Blogging For Gold

Facebook Advertising: The Key is Micro Targeting

I have started another shot of Facebook advertising with a Budget of $1000. I was determined to boost my followership and likes on my Facebook page which were growing at a snail’s pace in the past few months. I also wanted to promote the new look and format of my travel blog to others through Facebook advertising tool. I am familiar with the functions of this tool as I had used it before. I also got advice from Facebook representatives on how to effectively promote and advertise on Facebook.

The key to its success lies in micro targeting your audience because that is the key. The key is to focus on the group of people that are the most relevant to me and the travel blog. Using demographic and psychographic parameters and indices, one had to carefully craft a picture of one’s followers and get a feel of their habits, age, nature and interests. If you can get that right, it is easier than to selectively communicate with them and tweak promotional offers that target them specifically.

Here, one needs to pay absolute attention while forming a target group. There are filters like male, female, age group, location, city, interests and hobbies, income group, ownership of consumer durables, job profile and the list just goes on. It can all get very confusing at times but if you take your time and apply all your parameters, it’s half the battle won in the first place. One can experiment by changing the post that one is boosting, changing headlines or content of the post. One can tweak one parameter or the other to assess the effectiveness of the posts. Many different permutation and combinations can be used to get maximum website clicks and post shares.

Remember, like every advertising campaign, yours also must have a clear objective, message, content and a reasonable goal. Get that right and put most of your research time on getting that done through and through.

One can change the timing of the boost and its nature to get different results. At an average expense of $100, one can expect around 1250 clicks. If you get more than this figure, you have done well. There is a metre on the advertising page that tells you how selective and focused your audience definition has been. This will give you a fair idea of how successful your campaign will be. So go out there and burn a few dollars for a little bit of love, likes and shares. Experiment with your gut and get your content out there to be viewed by millions. With over 2 billion members, Facebook is the most effective advertising tool on social media and it just cannot be ignored. Facebook also helps you design your own ads and campaigns. You can add video, images and sounds to produce your own snazzy ads and messages. Get in depth into what your product proposition is and make sure you highlight it enough. I promise you that Facebook will give you results but you will have to experiment at first for a while before you start getting better at it.


Oh! My Porn – Social Media and the Proliferation of Porn

The most startling fact emerged from a research conducted recently that says social media has taken over searching for pornography as the most popular activity on the internet. Teens see more porn on Tumblr and Snapchat than they consume from the net. With over 20 million porn sites on the network, there is a huge demand for porn which is being fulfilled by sites like youporn.com and grouporn.com that has reached 1 billion in sales faster than any other company on the net.

Social media with all its wondrous value add applications. Social media helps in the deception and sharing of pornography on the net amongst friend groups. People have also been known to share their personal nude pictures and videos on the net. It’s a fact that more than 1 in 5 cupolas first meet on Facebook and an equal number blame Facebook for their break up and separation. More than 50% of the population who are active on social media are under the age of thirty.

This is where parents need to get involved and keep a strict check on the online world of their children to understand what children are watching and sharing on these various social media platforms and applications. There has also been an upsurge of cyber bullying and young people have been affected by it.

As much as 24 million Americans are addicted to online pornography, this compulsive behaviour can cause deviant sexual behaviour, loss of job and unwanted social behaviour.

So yes, social media has brought pornography closer to netizens and has made it easier for them to share it amongst each other. An NSCPP poll conducted recently show that children are especially aware of this problem and 4 out of 5 children using Facebook or Twitter want protection against porn and cyber bullying.

Cyber pornography is a grey area in India but has been banned in many countries. In India, it comes under section 67 of the Information Technology act 2000.

The downloading and storage of pornographic material is not a crime under the law if it is for the purpose of private viewing in your home. But however, if this material is used for the purpose of distribution, it is seen as a crime. So publishing pornography on your site or blog or sending it to others using social media is a crime and punishable by 3 years in prison. In a recent case, a 21-year-old engineering student was arrested for sending obscene messages to a lady through his social media application. If the content being stored or viewed carries pictures of kids or underage girls, then it is an offence and punishable to up to 5 years in prison.

So cyber pornography and publishing of pornography are a crime in India. But the downloading, storage and private viewing of this material are legal in India except in the case of child pornography. Here, it is a crime and punishable by 5 years in jail.

Internet pornography has been banned before on 31st June 2015 and the order was passed by the additional solicitor who wrote to the DoT to ban more than 857 pornographic sites popularly being used to download absence material.


How Social Media and Internet Helped Me Fight Back

Social media, internet, applications and technology per say has made a dramatic impact in the last four to five years of my life. After the tragic demise of my father, I was left alone to pick up the pieces. Now, there was no one to guide me and to handle all that he had left to me. It was now my job to take his legacy forward and increase the wealth that he had bequeathed to me.

Here is where technology helped me and I found it to be a very powerful ally in my fight back to normal life and taking charge of my environment and my destiny. I managed all my financials through internet banking and mobile alerts. I can even buy and sell funds at the click of a button and transfer funds or pay my utility bills through the internet. I use the Airtel application to pay my wi-fi and mobile phone bills. When I go out for long travels, I know my house is safe with an integrated alarm system and video camera that give me live feed on my mobile phone. I am always keeping an eye at my house. My insurance policy and life insurance premiums are all paid online with active alerts. They are a steal to manage. I make my post bill payment through card and Paytm at times. I don’t use a car. Who needs the hassle of a driver and a car to maintain especially when I am travelling throughout the year.

My security payment draft goes through net banking. Social media is also helping me do my catharses after my father’s blog and has been the corner stone of my blogs newly found success. I am integrated into most social media apps and used skype extensively last year. Whatsapp is another application that I use frequently. With My 13 inch MacBook Air and iPhone 7, I am equipped at all times to meet my travel blogging challenges. Not to mention, my Canon Mark 5 camera with 100 mm to 200 mm zoom lens and also the bazooka 200mm to 400mm. It has a built-in wi-fi for photo sharing and transfer technology that plays a huge role in connecting us together.

In both ways, by giving me efficiencies and simplifying tasks, it has given power back to me so that I can take charge of day to day tasks. On the emotional front, it has helped me through a tragic phase of life and the loss of my father through my catharsis. It has helped me get a new focus and vision in life and that has led to my recovery and keeps me motivated in life to strive and make an effort. It has been my healer and I am hooked on to it.


Social Media – A Devil’s Lair

The advent of Orkut and the popularity of Facebook and Twitter has made a rapid resurgence in our times. Its utility, value and the ability to connect the world together is unparalleled. The advent and popularity of smartphones, tablets and smart devices along with the proliferation of Wi-Fi facility around the world has made social media a very very powerful weapon. But just like any other weapon of mass destruction, it can be used in destructive ways by negative forces to accomplish their work.

Social Media – As A Propaganda Tool

Like Lao Tzu once said, all battles are won even before they are fought. Social media has been used by modern day marketers as a positive and negative tool to spread false propaganda against a competitor and to defame others. It has been used by day to day mom and pop businesses like dhabas, hotels and even small retail shops. One of my friends at Kake Da Hotel has got the brunt of this attack when a video showing his staff in negative light went viral on Twitter. All the subsequent media blitz on YouTube, India Today and NDTV pointed to unhygienic conditions in which food is prepared in the dhaba. The poor owner Captain Arun Chopra’s famous dhaba was raided by food inspectors. But like a true Punjabi warrior, Captain Chopra fought this and got a high court order to stop this nonsense from his enemies.

Politicians and newsmakers have used social media to uncover truth, carry out sting operations, catch corrupt politicians taking bribes and even speeding propaganda against political enemies. Raids and counter raids are conducted to humiliate and harass the opponent. This is what creates the news and the controversies on which our media survives. There are many such examples where the social media has been used to fuel infamy and it has been very effective at that. Social Media agencies manage this for a buck and the rewards are immediate.

The armed forces have used it to highlight their plight, lack of proper food and ammunition and services. Many jawans have voiced their concerns through social media to highlight issues that have been kept on the back burner by the government.

The stock market is a major user of this kind of propaganda as social media is used to decimate false information to cause a manipulation in the stock market indices and to drive down competition stock. Pitting one company against the other, social media plays the levelling advocate by making money both ways.

So like the bomb of Hiroshima, THE FAT boy has become really fat and is flexible with muscles. Social media has already become a more powerful tool than the main stream media and it is time we acknowledge that. We need to try and use it in a positive manner to do good and not to harm competition but to improve our business by using its efficiencies and effectiveness.


Why Taking Backups is Important for Bloggers

Backup is a very necessary thing as a blogger if you wish to store, save and share information from one device to another like a phone, a computer, a laptop, iPad or iPhone. All Mac devices have back up facility. I use an iPhone 7 as my primary phone and a MacBook Air as my first choice of computer. It is thus imperative that I take backups of my information both on the Mac and iPhone on the iCloud. An iCloud is a data storage device that can store information such as videos, contacts and photos. You can buy space on the iCloud like 10 GB, 50 GB etc. for a price from Apple and then take back up on it. This is useful even if you lose data due to a crash or lose your device. You can be sure that your data is available to you all the time and that too on the go. There is no need to carry cumbersome hard drives or disks with you in your bags to save data. The iCloud feature saves that problem.

Google also gives you that facility as a Google Drive and Photos where you can save data or pictures and share them with a third party. I share data with my service provider on Google Drive in this manner. This too can be purchased at a cost. Technology today has bridged that gap. Even your music and movies can be shared and stored in this manner.

At all time, take back up. It is your only safeguard against a crash. iCloud is a storage subscription service. When you subscribe to iCloud, you get 5 GB of space free and you cannot exceed the capacity of 15 GB of storage space.

iCloud Shortcoming: iCloud is not a Dropbox and does not have that kind of a facility. Application updates are not automatic. 5 GB is too little space and you may need more of it. But all in all, it is the best back up service as it is in the market along with Dropbox and certainly a popular one.

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