Snapchat Photos, Videos, Chat and Video Calls – Learn the Basics of Snap!

Snapchat is a simple FREE app for iPhones, Android mobile devices that takes photos or videos for sharing with friends or associates.  The photos and videos include options to place a short ‘title’ of 31 characters on the screen for whomever you send your message to view as they see the photo or video.  The appeal of Snapchat is that it will disappear after a few seconds so it’s perfect to send quick message, photo or video.

Snapchat defaults to a camera or video capture of YOU from your front facing camera (the same side as your screen) but you can change it to capture photos and video of others with the rear camera by touching the small icon at the top right of the screen which will rotate from front to rear camera and back again each time you touch the icon.

Touch the top right icon to rotate to the rear camera

To take a photo simply touch and remove your finger from the circle at the bottom of the screen.  To take a video touch the circle and hold your finger on it while recording the video and remove your finger when done recording.  It also records audio so you can narrate your video, share a quick message or just say ‘hi’ along with the video message.

Touch the circle for a photo – Hold your finger on the circle to record a video

Once you have created your Snapchat masterpiece there are options to adjust how long the photo or video message may be viewed by touching the small number you will see in the lower left side of the screen.  If the number says 3 it means your message will be visable for 3 seconds, touch the number and select up to 10 seconds for the viewing of a photo while any video will play for the entire length of whatever you recorded.

Adjust viewing time allowed by touching the ‘number’ and save your Snap for later by selecting the ‘down arrow’ icon

Snapchat does not let you send photos or videos from your camera that were not taken through Snapchat.  There are 3rd party applications but most of those have been disabled or may get you kicked off Snapchat if they catch you using them so if you want to send a photo or video later you must record it and ‘Save your Snap’ in ‘Stories’ which also creates a folder on the camera specifically for Snapchat captures.

You can create a ‘Story’ by saving multiple Snaps then ‘add Snap to Story’ which enables users to view the Story for up to 24 hours. This is helpful for instructional videos for clients, How To messages and productivity outside of just sending fun Snaps to friends or family.

Save Snaps to create a Story with multiple photos or videos

The Chat feature in Snapchat is found by ‘swiping’ to the right (touch the screen with your finger and hold it down while moving it to the right) from the main screen then selecting the contact you want to send a message to.  Chat works similar to regular text messages including the option to add photos or video in the exact same method as you do for a regular Snap with the unique option to add a photo from your cell phone photo gallery.

Snapchat can be helpful for business communications although the majority of users are sharing thoughts, comments, amusing or random messages just for entertainment.  It’s worth installing the free app since Snapchat continues to grow and it’s one of the top used ‘social networks’ by the 30 and under Millennials age range.

Robert Dotcom Jackson

Internet Builders – Building BETTER Websites, SEO & Social Marketing Solutions

913-963-6792 Cell or Text

Find me on Snapchat – RobertDotcom

www.Facebook.com/RobertDotcomJackson 

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Facebook Graph Search ‘Search Engine’ Live and Competing with Google for Top Search Results with Social Networking User Data

Google has dominated the search engines for over 10 years now leaving Yahoo, Bing, AskJeeves, AOL and everyone else far behind.  Internet Builder Consulting has been saying it since 2009 when Facebook began showing ‘search results’ outside of Facebook using Microsoft Bing that it was only a matter of time before Facebook became it’s own ‘Search Engine’.  The time has come and past and now the Billions of Facebook Users will never have to leave Facebook to search on Google, Yahoo or Bing again.  The first version of Facebook Graph Search works on the most valuable aspect of Facebook, your friends, what they are doing, where they have been and what they like.

People use Facebook because it instantly connects them with like minded individuals, people ‘like ME’ which is common in society.  Facebook Graph Search provides levels of detail no other search engine can provide enabling you to search for ‘friends’ who like Pizza or have visited Spain or even locate someone you may have met at a store that helped you and you wanted to thank.

Interesting enough this works quite well since the latest professional to join the Internet Builder Consulting team, Jennifer was found through Facebook after some exceptional service at the pharmacy.  I used Facebook to narrow down a list of people names Jennifer that worked at a pharmacy in Kansas City and ended friends with our latest hard working team member!

The first version of Facebook Graph Search is focused on primarily searching ‘friends’ and connections   As the system progresses it will include Business Pages and Fan Pages eventually encompassing all aspects and INFORMATION stored on Facebook.  The image below is the new Facebook Graph Search menu with a few ‘suggested’ search options although you can search for ANYTHING!

No other search engine database has such a deep level of information to search through since Facebook knows who you are, where you live, who you are friends with, where you went on vacation, to lunch, what kinds of cars or hobbies you enjoy and MUCH more.  Facebook claims that only the information you share with friends is going to be searchable (most everything) although the Facebook Terms of Use everyone agrees to when they create an account clearly states Facebook owns all the data and can do whatever they want with it 🙂  What Graph Search means is companies are going to have to pickup the pace with Social Marketing.  There are more users on Facebook than Google every day and now that Facebook has Graph Search there is little reason to ever leave…

Google has its first real challenger here while Microsoft is going to see a boost in traffic on Bing.  When Graph Search doesn’t find the results you are looking for, you will also get a list of Bing web results within Facebook.  This also dramatically increases the value in Social Marketing Optimization (SMO) as part of any effective Search Engine Optimization (SEO) program.  It is NOT about the ‘likes’ a Facebook page has, it is about how it is setup, optimized and connected just like SEO is for a website.

Mark Zuckerberg said the main difference is Graph Search’s ability to deliver ‘answers’ rather than ‘links to answers’ makes it clear that Facebook and Bing are on the same page: The Bing team has long been working on a search solution that eschews “blue links” in favor of a search engine where people are as important as pages.

Bing Director Stefan Weitz recently stated that the majority of people doing research on the internet, for a new product, or a potential vacation, won’t rely on search engine page alone. They will turn to friends and experts to get additional input before making a decision. The more Bing enhances its social sidebar with increasing amounts of social data, the less you are likely to jump around to other sources.

If you would like to know more about how to setup, optimize, market and manage your business, products or services online contact The Experts at Internet Builder Consulting for a consultation 816-842-7774 – we helped create social marketing with 18 years experience building BETTER Websites, SEO and Social Marketing solutions.  Having a Facebook page with effective, optimized social marketing, has never been more important for the success of your business.

It’s not about the likes, it’s about the leads.

Robert ‘Dot Com’ Jackson
Internet & Technology Expert
816-842-7774 Office

Pinterest for Online Marketing, the Latest Social Network

Nearly everyone with a pulse has a Facebook account today and all savvy marketers use Social Networks to reach customers.  Facebook overtook Google as the #1 source of online referrals and continues to be the #1 location on the Internet.  Google came out with Google+ in an attempt to capture back some of the lost traffic from Facebook but the masses have not migrated over to Google.

In steps Pinterest and up Pinterest will go as one of the top Social Networks due to some of the unique features and ease of use.  When we setup our first company Pinterest account I had little hope it would benefit the company.  I was wrong, within days the Pinterest account was sending more traffic to our company website than Facebook was (remember Facebook is the #1 referral source online today). In the first week of testing with a new Pinterest account the traffic reports showed Facebook referred 66 total visits while Pinterest referred 44 visits.

The most interesting thing of note is the amount of time spent on the website from different traffic sources.  Facebook visitors spent an average of 51 seconds on the company website while visitors from Pinterest spent 4 minutes 41 seconds.  The value of a Pinterest referral is higher since those visitors spent significantly more time looking through more pages of the website and reading the content.

Pinterest is not open to the public…yet, to create an account you must be invited by a current user or request an invitation from www.Pinterest.com.  Currently, Pinterest is dominated by females at 87% of the users with males users making up 13%.  The majority of users on Pinterest, at 80% are age 25-54.  Pinterest is a visual Social Network meaning everything is formed around pictures of items found online ranging from websites to shoes, clothing, gadgets, computers, real estate or food.  This works well with mobile devices such as the iPhone, Android phones and tablets. 

Pinterest Profile shows items online ranging from products to places or services and statistics

The beauty of Pinterest is people can actually shop, learn and buy the products people ‘pin’ to their profile ranging from a set of headphones on Amazon.com to a new home from a home builder website.  Each image ‘pinned’ must come from an active website with an image, FLASH does not work and neither does Facebook (I would guess that Facebook blocked them to try and keep the competition lower).  The basic idea of Pinterest is a visual Twitter where users can ‘Follow’ other users, share items from other users on their accounts and post anything from any websites users want to share or promote.

Our company uses Pinterest to showcase examples of websites we built on one of the ‘Boards’ http://pinterest.com/robertdotcom/websites-seo/ while other boards showcase technology or products http://pinterest.com/robertdotcom/tech-computers/ that links to the online sources where customers may actually purchase the products.  Overall the Pinterest site has a great look and feel, it is easy to setup, easy to use and has an incredibly high referral rate online.  This means that the numbers will continue to grow as users are added and smart companies will use Pinterest to market their products, services and brands.  Below is a nice graphic from Mashable outlining useful information:

Pinterest is only one of the top Social Networks required to effectively market online as a key part of any Search Engine Optimization (SEO) program.  Search Engine Optimization includes on-site SEO aspects such as how the website is built, code, META Tags, content, etc. with off-site SEO completing the program.  Social Networks encompass the majority of off-side SEO today since they are the top referral sources on the Internet.  Do not think of Social Networks as stand along products, consider them an important part of a complete online marketing program for your business, product or service.
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Robert ‘Dot Com’ Jackson

Internet and Technology Expert

Internet Builder Consulting – Building BETTER Websites, SEO and Social Marketing Solutions since 1995