Advanced Google Search Commands

Google Shortcut Finds Pages That Have…
nokia phone the words nokia and phone
sailing OR boating either the word sailing or the word boating
“love me tender” the exact phrase love me tender
printer -cartridge the word printer but NOT the word cartridge
Toy Story +2 movie title including the number 2
~auto looks up the word auto and synonyms
define:serendipity definitions of the word serendipity
how now * cow the words how now cow separated by one or more words
+ addition; 978+456
subtraction; 978-456
* multiplication; 978*456
/ division; 978/456
% of percentage; 50% of 100
^ raise to a power; 4^18 (4 to the eighteenth power)
old in new (conversion) 45 celsius in Fahrenheit
site:(search only one website) site:lifewire.com “torrent sites”
link:(find linked pages) link:www.lifehacker.com
#…#(search within a number range) nokia phone $200…$300
daterange:(search within a specific date range) bosnia daterange:200508-200510
safesearch: (exclude adult content) safesearch:breast cancer
info: (find info about a page) info:www.lifewire.com
related: (related pages) related:www.lifewire.com
cache: (view cached page) cache:google.com
filetype:(restrict search to specific filetype) zoology filetype:ppt
allintitle: (search for keywords in page title) allintitle:”nike” running
inurl:(restrict search to page URLs) inurl:chewbacca
site:.edu (specific domain search) site:.edu, site:.gov, site:.org, etc.
site:country code (restrict search to country) site:.br “rio de Janeiro”
intext:(search for keyword in body text) intext:parlor
allintext: (return pages with all words specified in body text) allintext:north pole
book(search book text) book The Lord of the Rings
phonebook:(find a phone number) phonebook:Google CA
bphonebook: (find business phone numbers) bphonebook:Intel OR
rphonebook:(find residential phone numbers) rphonebook:Joe Smith Seattle WA
movie:(search for showtimes) movie:wallace and gromit 97110
stocks:(get a stock quote) stocks:wrld
weather:(get local weather)

Google Chrome keyboard shortcuts – Mac Edition

The following shortcuts will help you learn all the of main shortcuts for Google Chrome under macOS

Tab and window shortcuts

Action Shortcut
Open a new window ⌘ + n
Open a new window in Incognito mode ⌘ + Shift + n
Open a new tab, and jump to it ⌘ + t
Reopen the last closed tab, and jump to it ⌘ + Shift + t
Jump to the next open tab ⌘ + Option + Right arrow
Jump to the previous open tab ⌘ + Option + Left arrow
Jump to a specific tab ⌘ + 1 through ⌘ + 8
Jump to the last tab ⌘ + 9
Open the previous page in your browsing history for the current tab ⌘ + [ or ⌘ + Left arrow
Open the next page in your browsing history for the current tab ⌘ + ] or ⌘ + Right arrow
Closes the current tab or pop-up ⌘ + w
Closes the current window ⌘ + Shift + w
Minimize the window ⌘ + m
Hide Google Chrome ⌘ + h
Quit Google Chrome ⌘ + q

Google Chrome feature shortcuts

Action Shortcut
Show or hide the Bookmarks Bar ⌘ + Shift + b
Open the Bookmark Manager ⌘ + Option + b
Open the Settings page in a new tab ⌘ + ,
Open the History page in a new tab ⌘ + y
Open the Downloads page in a new tab ⌘ + Shift + j
Open the Find Bar to search the current page ⌘ + f
Jump to the next match to your Find Bar search ⌘ + g
Jump to the previous match to your Find Bar search ⌘ + Shift + g
When Find Bar is open, search for selected text ⌘ + e
Open Developer Tools ⌘ + Option + i
Open the Clear Browsing Data options ⌘ + Shift + Delete
Log in as a different user or browse as a Guest ⌘ + Shift + m

Address bar shortcuts

Use the following shortcuts in the address bar:

Action Shortcut
Search with your default search engine Type a search term + Enter
Search using a different search engine Type a search engine name + Tab
Add www. and .com to a site name, and open it in the current tab Type a site name + Control + Enter
Add www. and .com to a site name, and open it in a new tab Type a site name + Control + Shift + Enter
Open the website in a new background tab Type a web address + ⌘ + Enter
Jump to the address bar ⌘ + l
Remove predictions from your address bar Down arrow to highlight + Shift + fn + Delete

Webpage shortcuts

Action Shortcut
Open options to print the current page ⌘ + p
Open options to save the current page ⌘ + s
Open the Page Setup dialog ⌘ + Option + p
Email your current page ⌘ + Shift + i
Reload your current page ⌘ + r
Reload your current page, ignoring cached content ⌘ + Shift + r
Stop the page loading Esc
Browse clickable items moving forward Tab
Browse clickable items moving backward Shift + Tab
Open a file from your computer in Google Chrome ⌘ + o + Select a file
Display non-editable HTML source code for the current page ⌘ + Option + u
Open the JavaScript Console ⌘ + Option + j
Save your current webpage as a bookmark ⌘ + d
Save all open tabs as bookmarks in a new folder ⌘ + Shift + d
Turn full-screen mode on or off ⌘ + Ctrl + f
Make everything on the page bigger ⌘ and +
Make everything on the page smaller ⌘ and –
Return everything on the page to the default size ⌘ + 0
Scroll down a webpage, a screen at a time Space
Scroll up a webpage, a screen at a time Shift + Space
Search the web ⌘ + Option + f
Move your cursor to the front of the previous word in a text field Option + Left arrow
Move your cursor to the back of the next word in a text field Option + Right arrow
Delete the previous word in a text field Option + Delete
Open your home page in the current tab ⌘ + Shift + h

Mouse shortcuts

The following shortcuts require you to use your mouse:

Action Shortcut
Open a link in a current tab (mouse only) Drag a link to a tab
Open a link in new background tab ⌘ + Click a link
Open a link, and jump to it ⌘ + Shift + Click a link
Open a link, and jump to it (mouse only) Drag a link to a blank area of the tab strip
Open a link in a new window Shift + Click a link
Open a tab in a new window (mouse only) Drag the tab out of the tab strip
Move a tab to a current window (mouse only) Drag the tab into an existing window
Return a tab to its original position Press Esc while dragging
Save the current webpage as a bookmark Drag the web address to the Bookmarks Bar
Download the target of a link Option + Click a link
Display your browsing history Right-click Back Back or Next Next, or click & hold Back Back or Next Next
Increase the window to full height Double-click a blank area of the tab strip

Google Chrome keyboard shortcuts – Windows and Linux Edition

The following shortcuts will help you learn all the of main shortcuts for Google Chrome under Windows and Linux.

Tab and window shortcuts

Action Shortcut
Open a new window Ctrl + n
Open a new window in Incognito mode Ctrl + Shift + n
Open a new tab, and jump to it Ctrl + t
Reopen the last closed tab, and jump to it Ctrl + Shift + t
Jump to the next open tab Ctrl + Tab or Ctrl + PgDn
Jump to the previous open tab Ctrl + Shift + Tab or Ctrl + PgUp
Jump to a specific tab Ctrl + 1 through Ctrl + 8
Jump to the last tab Ctrl + 9
Open your home page in the current tab Alt + Home
Open the previous page from your browsing history in the current tab Alt + Left arrow
Open the next page from your browsing history in the current tab Alt + Right arrow
Close the current tab Ctrl + w or Ctrl + F4
Close all open tabs and the browser Ctrl + Shift + w
Minimize the current window Alt + Space + n
Maximize the current window Alt + Space + x
Close the current window Alt + F4
Quit Google Chrome Ctrl + Shift + q

Google Chrome feature shortcuts

Action Shortcut
Open the Chrome menu Alt + f or Alt + e or F10
Show or hide the Bookmarks bar Ctrl + Shift + b
Open the Bookmarks Manager Ctrl + Shift + o
Open the History page in a new tab Ctrl + h
Open the Downloads page in a new tab Ctrl + j
Open the Chrome Task Manager Shift + Esc
Set focus on the first item in the Chrome toolbar Shift + Alt + t
Switch focus forward between the Address bar, Bookmarks bar (if showing), and page content F6
Switch focus backward between the Address bar, Bookmarks bar (if showing), and page content Shift + F6
Open the Find Bar to search the current page Ctrl + f or F3
Jump to the next match to your Find Bar search Ctrl + g
Jump to the previous match to your Find Bar search Ctrl + Shift + g
Open Developer Tools Ctrl + Shift + j or F12
Open the Clear Browsing Data options Ctrl + Shift + Delete
Open the Chrome Help Center in a new tab F1
Log in a different user or browse as a Guest Ctrl + Shift + m
Open a feedback form Alt + Shift + i

Address bar shortcuts

Use the following shortcuts in the address bar:

Action Shortcut
Search with your default search engine Type a search term Enter
Search using a different search engine Type a search engine name Tab
Add www. and .com to a site name, and open it in the current tab Type a site name + Ctrl + Enter
Open a new tab and perform a Google search Type a search term Alt + Enter
Jump to the address bar Ctrl + l or Alt + d or F6
Search from anywhere on the page Ctrl + k or Ctrl + e
Remove predictions from your address bar Down arrow to highlight + Shift + Delete

Webpage shortcuts

Action Shortcut
Open options to print the current page Ctrl + p
Open options to save the current page Ctrl + s
Reload the current page F5 or Ctrl + r
Reload the current page, ignoring cached content Shift + F5 or Ctrl + Shift + r
Stop the page loading Esc
Browse clickable items moving forward Tab
Browse clickable items moving backward Shift + Tab
Open a file from your computer in Chrome Ctrl + o + Select a file
Display non-editable HTML source code for the current page Ctrl + u
Save your current webpage as a bookmark Ctrl + d
Save all open tabs as bookmarks in a new folder Ctrl + Shift + d
Turn full-screen mode on or off F11
Make everything on the page bigger Ctrl and +
Make everything on the page smaller Ctrl and –
Return everything on the page to default size Ctrl + 0
Scroll down a webpage, a screen at a time Space or PgDn
Scroll up a webpage, a screen at a time Shift + Space or PgUp
Go to the top of the page Home
Go to the bottom of the page End
Scroll horizontally on the page Shift + Scroll your mousewheel
Move your cursor to the front of the previous word in a text field Ctrl + Left arrow
Move your cursor to the back of the next word in a text field Ctrl + Right arrow
Delete the previous word in a text field Ctrl + Backspace
Move focus to a notification Alt + n
Allow within a notification Alt + Shift + a
Deny within a notification Alt + Shift + d
Open the Home page in the current tab Alt + Home

Mouse shortcuts

The following shortcuts require you to use your mouse:

Action Shortcut
Open a link in a current tab (mouse only) Drag a link to a tab
Open a link in new background tab Ctrl + Click a link
Open a link, and jump to it Ctrl + Shift + Click a link
Open a link, and jump to it (mouse only) Drag a link to a blank area of the tab strip
Open a link in a new window Shift + Click a link
Open a tab in a new window (mouse only) Drag the tab out of the tab strip
Move a tab to a current window (mouse only) Drag the tab into an existing window
Return a tab to its original position Press Esc while dragging
Save the current webpage as a bookmark Drag the web address to the Bookmarks Bar
Download the target of a link Alt + Click a link
Display your browsing history Right-click Back  or Next , or click & hold Back  or Next
Switch between maximized and windowed modes Double-click a blank area of the tab strip
Make everything on the page bigger Ctrl + Scroll your mousewheel up
Make everything on the page smaller Ctrl + Scroll your mousewheel down

 

How to make macOS better

This blog post focuses on a number of tips and tweaks that will help to make your macOS experience better and more efficient.

How to ensure macOS checks for new software updates daily

Within the Terminal type the following:

defaults write com.apple.SoftwareUpdate ScheduleFrequency -int 1

How to copy text from a website and paste it quickly into a text file

Head to the Keyboard section within System Preferences and highlight the Services section. Next, in the secondary panel scroll down you see “New TextEdit…..”. From there add your shortcut keyboard combination.

Next, copy text from a website and use your new shortcut keyboard combination. The copied text will automatically be pasted into TextEdit

 

 

How to add emojis in your documents quickly

Within macOS, select your text-based application and then type the following key combination:

Command + Control + Space

This will launch the emoji selector.

How to add a quit option to the Finder

To add a quit option to the Finder, add the following command to the Terminal

defaults write com.apple.finder QuitMenuItem -bool YES

Now type killall Finder into the Terminal window

How to stop macOS from indexing the Applications folder

To turn off Spotlight, open the Terminal and type the following:

sudo mdutil -a -i off

To unload it, type the following into the Terminal

sudo launchctl unload -w /System/Library/LaunchDaemons/com.apple.metadata.mds.plist

To load It, type the following into the Terminal

sudo launchctl load -w /System/Library/LaunchDaemons/com.apple.metadata.mds.plist

To turn on Spotlight, type the following into the Terminal

sudo mdutil -a -i on

How to quickly see your IP address and other Wi-Fi networking information

In macOS, hold down Alt (or the Option key on some keyboards) and click the Wi-Fi icon at the top right of the screen. Beneath the name of the currently in-use Wi-Fi base station you will see the networking information and also a disconnect option.

How to delete autofill entries from Google Chrome 

Within Google Chrome, position the cursor in the address bar and type the following after you enter a web address

Function+Shift+Delete

The auto-completed web address should now be removed.

How to quickly launch incognito mode in Google Chrome

Within Google Chrome type the following:

Command+Shift+N

How to force quit an app in macOS

Type the following:

Click Option, Command, and Escape

How to change the location of your screenshot images

Within the Terminal type the following:

defaults write com.apple.screencapture location ~/Dropbox/Screenshots

Where ~/Dropbox/Screenshots is the location where you want the screenshots folder to live.

Now type killall Dock into the Terminal window

How to disable screenshot drop shadows

Within the Terminal type the following:

defaults write com.apple.screencapture disable-shadow -bool TRUE

Now type killall SystemUIServer into the Terminal window

How to shutdown your Mac, with or without a delay

To shut down your Mac immediately:

Type the following into the Terminal:

sudo shutdown -h now

To restart your Mac immediately:

sudo shutdown -r now

We can even add a time delay (in minutes) if we wish:

sudo shutdown -r +60

How to make your Mac talk

Within the Terminal type the following:

say "Hello world"

We can even go one better and have it read any text file we like:

say -f /path/to/file.txt

Your Mac can then say whatever was in the text file.

How to change the default filetype for screenshot images

Within the Terminal type the following:

defaults write com.apple.screencapture type jpg

Now type killall SystemUIServer into the Terminal window

How to add your most recent used applications into the dock

Open Terminal and copy the following command:

defaults write com.apple.dock persistent-others -array-add '{ "tile-data" = { "list-type" = 1; }; "tile-type" = "recents-tile"; }'

Now type killall Dock into the Terminal window

How to show the full file path in Finder

To easily find the hierarchy of folders, you can easily find the full path by adding this tweak to the Terminal.

Open Terminal

defaults write com.apple.finder _FXShowPosixPathInTitle -bool YES

Now type killall Finder into the Terminal window

If you need to change it back, change “YES” to “NO” (without the quotes).

How to add spacers into the dock

If you need a way to organize your dock icons, the following command will allow you to insert a spacer into your dock that you can move around and place anywhere to divide your apps up by category.

Within the Terminal type the following:

defaults write com.apple.dock persistent-apps -array-add '{tile-data={}; tile-type="spacer-tile";}'

Now type killall Dock into the Terminal window

To add more spaces, add the command into the terminal again. If you want to remove the spaces just drag them out of the dock.

How to make hidden apps “hidden” in the dock

If you use ⌘H to hide apps on screen with this tweak, you’ll be able to add transparency to all of your hidden apps so you don’t forget they’re running in the background

Within the Terminal type the following:

defaults write com.apple.Dock showhidden -bool TRUE;

Now type killall Dock into the Terminal window

If you need to change it back, change “YES” to “NO” (without the quotes).

How to eliminate the dock reveal delay

If you need to speed up the dock when you have it hidden, this tweak will speed it up.

For faster animation, within the Terminal type the following:

defaults write com.apple.dock autohide-time-modifier -float 0.12;

Now type killall Dock into the Terminal window

For no animation, within the Terminal type the following:

defaults write com.apple.dock autohide-time-modifier -int 0;

Now type killall Dock into the Terminal window

To go back to the defaults, within the Terminal type the following:

defaults delete com.apple.dock autohide-time-modifier;

Now type killall Dock into the Terminal window

Apps To Install on Ubuntu 17.10 Artful Aardvark

This post lists all of the applications that I’m running on my Ubuntu laptop, with Ubuntu 17.10 and follows on from an earlier blog post of installed apps on Ubuntu 10.10.

I also include a few tips to fix some of the minor annoyances with this release.

How to disable windows snapping

Open Terminal – Ctrl+Alt+T

 dconf write /org/gnome/mutter/edge-tiling false
 dconf write /org/gnome/shell/overrides/edge-tiling false

Next, download and update Ubuntu

sudo apt update && sudo apt upgrade

Install the restricted extras package

sudo apt-get install ubuntu-restricted-extras

Install the Synaptics touchpad driver (for Dell laptops)

sudo apt-get install xserver-xorg-input-synaptics

Install the Gnome tweak tool

sudo apt install gnome-tweak-tool

Install the VLC media player

sudo apt-get install vlc

Install Neofetch

sudo apt-get install neofetch

Install the RAR compress/uncompress tool

sudo apt-get install rar
sudo apt-get -y install unrar 

Install Audacity

sudo apt-get install audacity

Install Youtube-dl

sudo apt-get install youtube-dl

Install Gparted

sudo apt-get install gparted

Install the lame codec

sudo apt-get install lame

Install id3v2

sudo apt-get install id3v2

Install the evolution email client

sudo apt-get install evolution

Install the filezilla FTP manager app

sudo apt-get install filezilla

Install Conky

sudo apt-get install conky

Install NTFS Config

sudo apt-get install ntfs-config

Then type the following command

gksu ntfs-config

Install the Stellarium screensaver

sudo apt-get install stellarium

Install the Thunderbird email client

sudo apt-get install thunderbird

Install Wine

sudo apt-get install wine

Install TLP

sudo apt install tlp tlp-rdw 

Apps to install

These are the apps that I install after I install Ubuntu

  • Install Chromium Dev Build
  • Install Firefox
  • Install BleachBit
  • Install Geary
  • Install Corebird
sudo apt-get install corebird
sudo apt-get remove --auto-remove corebird
sudo apt-key adv --keyserver hkp://keyserver.ubuntu.com:80 --recv-keys 0DF731E45CE24F27EEEB1450EFDC8610341D9410

echo deb http://repository.spotify.com stable non-free | sudo tee /etc/apt/sources.list.d/spotify.list

sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get install spotify-client
      • Install Asus ZenScreen driver
        • Ensure dkms is installed
sudo apt-get install dkms
  • Download the Displaylink driver
  • Extract files in the Downloads folder
  • Run a terminal command, in the same folder as the driver, then run
sudo ./displaylink-driver-1.4.210.run

How to take a screenshot

Shift+Prt Scrn

How to start a screen recording

Press Ctrl+Alt+Shift+R to start recording what is on your screen.
Once you have finished, press Ctrl+Alt+Shift+R again to stop the recording.

Reinstalling apps on macOS

On occasion, I reinstall macOS on various Apple Macintosh computers. As such, remembering to install all of my apps and settings can become a pain. This post covers all of the steps I follow after I’ve formatted my Mac and reinstalled macOS. A hat tip to Casey Liss, whose blog post inspired this one.

Apps I install

These are the apps that I install after I have reinstalled macOS.

macOS Settings

  • Change the computer’s name in System Preferences > Sharing
  • Enable FileVault
  • Make sure messages originate from my mobile phone number

If you are selling your Apple Macintosh computer.

7 Social Media Trends for 2017

What’s next for the biggest social media platforms? Only time will tell, but here are my 7 social media trends for 2017 to watch out for. In addition, I include a number of notable considerations for your social planning efforts.

Social Messaging and the Growth of Dark Social

General sharing of content isn’t being “shared” as much as it used to be. Consumers are tending to use WhatsApp, Snapchat and other messaging applications to share content. This has meant that almost 70% of online shares are taking place within “dark social” mobile messaging. Dark social is difficult to measure because the tools don’t yet exist.

With the growth in messaging apps, it is becoming increasingly popular for people to turn to private social messaging, rather than engaging with social media. So much so, in February 2016 WhatsApp announced it hit the 1 billion user mark. Combined, the four most popular messaging apps, Facebook Messenger, WhatApp, QQ Chat and WeChat, have a wider conversation pool than the top four main social networks.

Brands can attempt to reduce the amount of traffic that comes from dark social by adding share buttons to their sites. The key problem is to track where the traffic is coming from, and this problem is likely to continue in 2017.

Live Video Streaming

In 2016, Meerkat, Periscope and Facebook Live brought streaming to the masses. In 2017, YouTube is readying the launch of YouTube Live. Video has seen the major growth in Facebook this past year, and consistently shows higher engagement that other forms of posts. As social networks fight to keep people online, a big focus on video makes sense.

It is worth keeping an open mind on how to use live video effectively. For example, through the release of live video of a marketing event, or even paid influencer product promotion. With the priority that Facebook is giving to video, coupled with the reduced reach of organic reach. You need to be experimenting with live video in 2017.

Using Video to Gain Share of Voice

On the topic of live video, 2017 is going to be the year when established big brands are going to start feeling the pressure from their smaller and more agile competitors. Particularly, in the execution of their video content strategies.

If it isn’t already obvious, Facebook is rapidly becoming full of video content. The simple reason is that people watch the content, particularly if they know the person, or are interested in the brand. For most brands, just 10% of their budget is allocated towards creating content, with 90% used for boosting content through advertising.

To gain the majority share of voice in 2017, brands will need to focus on using 90% of their budget on creating unique and useful content, that resonates with their audience.  10% boosting it or turning it into an ad. To get the best results from video, brands are going to need to understand their audience and what resonates with them.  Start to experiment and develop content for Snapchat and Instagram stories, it will pay off later in 2017, as your audience develops.

Paid Social Advertising

In 2017, if you want your content to be visible by consumers, you will have to resort to paid social advertising. Despite increased competition from brands, it is forecasted that by 2017, marketers will spend up to US$35.98 billion on social advertising. As such, expect the price of ad inventory to increase as brands step up their advertising efforts.

Facebook continues to update its algorithm, which caused less traffic to be sent to content sites. Rather, the platform now prioritizes posts shared by friends and families, rather than those from publishers and brands. The challenge for companies will be to produce much more interesting ads that will result in conversions. Companies need to focus on communicating their brand message to customers, while also being able to stand out from the crowd.

My advice is that unless you are a trained PPC expert, get help from a fully trained practitioner that can deliver ads that drive traffic to your site. With social, the wonderful days of free content distribution are over. The algorithm changes brought about by the social networks mean that organic reach is greatly reduced, in Facebook’s case from 15% to as low as 2%.

Brands have two choices, spend more on advertising, or have a true understanding of the content your audience wants to see and provide it to them. Even then, you would need to think about how you can maximize sharing, and engage influencers to increase reach. In the end, a successful strategy will most likely have to include both understanding and segmenting your audience and boosting the right content to those segments.

Plan for Mobile 

Very much a given for 2017, but worth repeating. Mobile traffic has overtaken desktop on the web this year. Google is also now working on a new, mobile-first web index. These changes mean that it is more important than ever to make the mobile experience as great as possible. Increasingly, this means putting mobile first, rather than simply optimizing for mobile devices. If you are not already optimizing for mobile devices, then you have failed before you have even begun.

Co-collaboration with Super Fans, Influencers and Brands

In 2017, collaborating with others should become an important part of your overall content strategy. Collaboration is the fastest way to grow your fan base and attract new audiences.  Focus on finding ways to co-create content together. Also, consider publishing some of your content on LinkedIn and Medium. Both have established audiences and networks and will give your content a fresh pair of new eyes.

Artificial Intelligence and Chatbots

Artificial intelligence is now reaching a level where it is becoming useful to many people’s daily lives. The rise of digital assistants, such as Alexa, Siri, Cortana, and the new Google Assistant have kicked off a trend of getting people to talk to their devices, rather than use their fingers. This is one area to watch closely in 2017.

Chatbots are also going to have profound effects on how customers interact with brands on social. Chatbots will deliver human-like conversational interactive experiences and provide capable customer support. Linking a purposeful chatbot to website content, will mean consumers will be able to ask and pull information more quickly and deeply than visiting a product landing page.  Chatbots make sense for brands, allowing common questions to be answered and simple bookings to be made. This can free up customer support agents to answer more in-depth queries.

 

Notable mentions to consider in 2017

Copywriting

The true value of excellent copywriting will finally reveal itself. Whether it be scripting video content, writing blog content, or even Facebook copy with a call-to-action. Great copywriting has the power to drive clicks. Excellent copy drives an emotion, whether it be to sign up to a newsletter, buy a product or even to remain memorable.

In 2016, I’ve seen many brands skim the value of great copywriting. They think that “words” are enough. (These are also the same brands that think just getting a post up on a social media platform is a win. It’s not.)

Great copywriters are hard to come by, but they are worth the investment. Why? Because they are the ones who take your story and tell it in such a way that your audience wants more of it. This is particularly true in social.  In 2017, have your posts written by an in-house copywriter (if you can). Or develop your own skills at copywriting.

GIFs and Emojis

GIFs and emojis bring personality to how consumers express themselves. Apple’s recent iOS 10 functionally supports these new means of expression, and Facebook has embraced animated GIFs. Many brands would be smart to follow to this trend, both by using GIFs and emojis in their own content. But a word of caution, don’t overdo it!

Social User Experience

Social media consumers now have a richer control of their own social user experience. As such, social platforms are providing users with better controls over how their feeds view content. Consumers increasingly have more power than ever to block content or see it less often. To meet these changes, brands should perform usability testing to make sure the social experience they provide is truly in line with customer behavior and their preferences. 2017, will be the year of the finely tuned news feed. Noisy brands will disappear from the social feed altogether.  Test, test, and test again the impact that your posts are having on the consumer’s social feed.

Lenses and Filters

Lenses and filters took off in 2016, with Snapchat selfie lenses bringing augmented reality (AR) to global attention. In 2017, Facebook will also invest heavily in AR to compete with Snapchat and others to deliver new experiences on mobile devices.

In Facebook’s  Q2 2016 earnings call, Zuckerberg notes:

“The biggest thing that I think we can take away from this as we invest in augmented reality in addition to virtual reality is that the phone is probably going to be the mainstream consumer platform [where] a lot of these AR features first become mainstream, rather than a glasses form factor that people will wear on their face.

And one of the big themes that we’re talking about here is becoming video first. And as people look for richer and richer ways to express themselves, just like people in the past have shared a lot of text and photos on Facebook, we think in the future more of that is going to be video, and more of these augmented reality tools I think are going to be an important part of delivering that experience and making that fun to use and expressive as it can be.”

With planning for mobile in everything that you do, it is also worth your time experimenting with filters and creating new experiences. As the tools develop further this year, I see these becoming more and more important as part of our everyday lives.

So, these are the trends I see developing further in 2017.  From your experience, what would you add?

Social Media 2016 in Review

2016 has been a period of consolidation for many of the biggest social media platforms. In this blog post, I review the year and highlight a number of key product launches from a marketing perspective. 2016 was the year that video exploded across the major platforms, with Facebook emerging as the winner. However, let’s explore this and other emerging trends from the year.

Facebook

In 2016, Facebook shifted to become a video-centric social platform. With the launch of Facebook Live and vertical video ads , both relatively new products, they are already seeing fantastic brand popularity. Facebook forecasts that its own News Feed will mostly focus on video within the next five years. As such, brands must focus their efforts on delivering compelling videos which drive engagement. This will be easier said than done! Brands will need to experiment with a variety of video styles, which best reflect their own individual narratives.

Here are a four of the main highlights from Facebook in 2016:

  • Facebook LiveAllows anyone with a smartphone to broadcast to anyone, anytime and anywhere in real-time.
  • Instant ArticlesThese are fast and interactive articles on Facebook and load up to 10 times faster than regular articles on smartphones.
  • ReactionsFacebook Reactions enable expression with five additional emojis, in addition to “like.”
  • MarketplaceIn a move to promote social selling, this feature enables you to buy and sell items to the Facebook community.

 

Facebook growth

2016 has been another record-setting year for Facebook. In their latest earnings report, Facebook earned $7.01 billion in revenue during Q3 2016 and now has 1.79 billion monthly users (up 16% from Q3 2015).

The importance of search

In 2016’s Q2 earnings report, Facebook revealed that it now sees 2 billion searches per day, up from 1.5 billion a year ago. Google remains the leader in search with 3.5 billion searches per day. But it is clear that Facebook sees search as a key discoverability tool for brands.

Since April 2016, Facebook has been automatically adding alt tags to images that you upload, and are populated with keywords representing the content of your images. Most regular Facebook users have no idea to the amount of information that is now routinely being extracted from photographs. Below is an image from my own feed, that shows the keywords Facebook is able to extract from the image.

 

Search has the potential of increasing your reach on Facebook and driving attention to your key shared posts. It is worth keeping a close eye on Facebook search in 2017.

 

Twitter

In 2016, Twitter refocused its product strategy. It is no longer a social network, instead it is a news product. In a recent message to Twitter’s employees, CEO Jack Dorsey made it clear:

“Twitter is what’s happening, and what everyone is talking about (literally!). News and talk. We’re the people’s news network.”

People choose us for news because we’re the fastest. Fastest to get news, and fastest to share news with the whole world. Now let’s strive to be the first. The first place people check to see what’s happening…and the first place to break what’s happening. In the moment LIVE, or a fast recap of what we know so far…what matters.

This makes sense for Twitter, particularly as Twitter is where many people go to learn about breaking news. In 2016, both Twitter and Facebook had to deal with the prospect of people creating and sharing fake news.  This problem will continue into 2017, and new tools will need to be created to deal with the problem. Particularly new tools to help with fact checking.

Key product launches from Twitter in 2016:

  • Customer support tools: Easier ways for businesses to provide support to their customers on Twitter.
  • MomentsTwitter Moments enable users to stitch together multiple tweets into slideshow-like stories.

Twitter focused on providing customer support features in 2016 at the request of many brands who deliver support on the platform.  On the marketing side, there were no new tools for marketers.

 

Instagram

2016 was an incredible year for Instagram. The Facebook-owned company has gone from strength-to-strength with a number of key product launches and achieving growth with more than 500 million monthly users.

Key product launches from Instagram in 2016:

  • Stories:  Instagram Stories enables its users to post photos and videos that disappear after twenty-four hours, much like Snapchat Stories.
  • Business toolsInstagram is getting serious about businesses and has worked with hundreds of brands to enhance the Instagram experience. The focus has been on three key areas —customer acquisition, data insights and post exposure. 

Instagram trends to watch in 2017 

Live video

Facebook has been extremely bullish on live video, and has shared that its users watch live videos more often and for longer periods of time than non-live videos. So it’s no surprise to see Instagram is testing live video too (though there’s been no confirmed launch date for this feature yet).

The evolution of Instagram Stories

Instagram launched a Snapchat style stories to “fill the gaps” between the posts in our Instagram feed, as Kevin Systrom explained to The Verge:

If Instagram is built around highlights, we’re filling in the space in between — and becoming more about visual expression in general. We’re capturing all the world’s moments, not just the best ones.

The stories product, will continue to evolve and give brands a way to drive traffic from Instagram. Those with verified accounts can now share links through Instagram stories. 

 

YouTube

The top 100 advertisers on YouTube have increased their spend on YouTube video ads by 50 percent. This goes to show the faith in video ads that marketers now have. YouTube has also seen an increase in brands partnering with creators on branded content opportunities such as product placements, promotions and sponsorships, this trend will continue.

There you have it, 2016 was the year social continued to evolve particularly on mobile platforms and a year of consolidation of products and features.

 

Key Facebook Statistics – January 2017 Edition

Facebook statistics
Facebook statistics

For marketers, these latest Facebook statistics can help develop strategies to ensure you are targeting the audience you want to reach in the most effective way. Here are the key Facebook stats for January 2017 via Zephoria

    1. Worldwide, there are over 1.79 billion monthly active Facebook users (Facebook MAUs) which is a 16 percent increase year over year. (Source: Facebook as of 11/02/16).
    2. 4.5 billion likes generated daily as of May 2013 which is a 67 percent increase from August 2012(Source: Facebook)
    3. 1.18 billion people log onto Facebook daily active users (Facebook DAU) for September 2016, which represents a 17% increase year over year (Source: Facebook as 11/02/16)
    4. There are 1.66 billion mobile active users (Mobile Facebook MAU) for September 2016 (Source: Facebook as of 11/02/16) an increase of 20 percent year-over-year.  There are 1.03 billion Mobile Daily Active Users (Facebook DAU) for June 2016 which is an increase of 22% year-over-year.
    5. On average, the Like and Share Buttons are viewed across almost 10 million websites daily. (Source: Facebook as of 10/2/2014)
    6. In Europe, over 307 million people are on Facebook. (Source: Search Engine Journal)
    7. Age 25 to 34, at 29.7% of users, is the most common age demographic. (Source:Emarketer)
    8. Five new profiles are created every second. (Source: ALLFacebook)
    9. Facebook users are 76% female (out of 100% of all females) and 66% male (out of 100% of all males).This is stat is one that you really have to think about because it’s comparing the percentage of all females against the percentage of all males who are on Facebook. To dig a little deeper take a look at this study which does a much better job at explaining the nuances – Source: Brandwatch
    10. Highest traffic occurs mid-week between 1 to 3 pm. (Source: Bit.ly blog) On another note, a Facebook post at 7pm will result in more clicks on average than posting at 8pm (Source:  Forbes).
    11. On Thursdays and Fridays, engagement is 18% higher. (Source: Bit.ly blog)
    12. There are 83 million fake profiles. (Source: CNN)
    13. Photo uploads total 300 million per day. (Source: Gizmodo)
    14. Average time spent per Facebook visit is 20 minutes. (Source: Infodocket)
    15. Every 60 seconds on Facebook: 510,000 comments are posted, 293,000 statuses are updated, and 136,000 photos are uploaded. (Source: The Social Skinny)
    16. 4.75 billion pieces of content shared daily as of May 2013 which is a 94 percent increase from August 2012. (Source: Facebook)
    17. 50% of 18-24 year-olds go on Facebook when they wake up. (Source: The Social Skinny)
    18. One in five page views in the United States occurs on Facebook. (Source: Infodocket 2012)
    19. 42% of marketers report that Facebook is critical or important to their business. (Source: State of Inbound Marketing 2012 The Takeaway:
    20. 16 Million local business pages have been created as of May 2013 which is a 100 percent increase from 8 million in June 2012. (Source: Facebook).

    Thought to take with you:  At 1.79 billion, Facebook has more monthly active users than WhatsApp (500 million), Twitter (284 million) and Instagram (200 million)—combined. (Source: CNBC)

    More Facebook stats can be found from their 2016 third quarter results here

In 2016 ad blocking will become the normal

Are you running an ad blocker? If not, chances are you will be using one in 2016. According to a PageFair/Adobe report about 16 percent of users in the U.S. block ads. Globally, there are nearly 200 million people stopping ads, 181 million of whom are on desktop computers.

Almost $22 billion in global ad revenues were blocked in 2015, that accounts for approximately 14 percent of all global ad budgets in the U.S. In 2016, the U.S. figure is projected to double.

Savvy adults are becoming more protective of their privacy, and are becoming increasingly annoyed with ads obscuring web content. Ads are also slowing down web page load times and no one likes that. But don’t take my work for it, take a look at Google Trends chart below and see how search terms for adblock tools are rising.

But who is using adblock software anyway?

  • Men are 48% more likely than women to use adblock plug-ins when browsing  Tweet This!
  • Mostly millennials and 18-29 year olds, 41% of whom claim to use adblock software

In 2015, Apple announced support for content and ad blocking in iOS 9. As such, iOS ad blockers raced up the App Store charts. Two of the most popular iOS blockers in Apple’s ecosytem have been Crystal and Purify Blocker. Both block ads and user tracking, while Purify Blocker also blocks images, fonts and scripts.

On desktops, it’s Google Chrome, not Apple’s Safari, that has been driving most of the adblock growth. Ad block use on Google’s browser increased 51% from Q2 2014 to Q2 2015, reaching 126 million average monthly active users.  Consider the irony, since online advertising accounts for 90% of Google’s revenue today.

Quick Facts:

  • Ad blocking estimated to cost publishers nearly $22 billion during 2015  –  Tweet This!
  • There are now 198 million active adblock users around the world –  Tweet This!
  • Ad blocking grew by 41% globally in the last 12 months –  Tweet This!
  • US ad blocking grew by 48% to reach 45 million active users in 12 months up to June 2015 – Tweet This!
  • UK ad blocking grew by 82% to reach 12 million active users in 12 months up to June 2015 – Tweet This!

Expect ad blocking to grow in web browsers on both desktops, tablets and smartphones.