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The Art of Instagramming

Instead of representing your company through articles, or even harder-- a 140 word snippet on Twitter, use pictures! Instagram is perfect for any business because it pushes your brand right to the forefront. You have complete control over the color scheme, layout, and content that creates the vision of your company. You decide what people see in their mind when they run across your business title in a conversation. Use these 3 main tips to give them something to talk about-- "did you see that new dress? It was so nice to be able to see the length on Instagram!" or "there is a new project coming out, I saw it on my feed this morning!" People talk about things they see on social media, so make sure they are talking about your latest post!

Instagram easily slips your company's marketing into the morning routine of anyone checking their phone. Plus their lunch break, after work, and before bed routines, too. With the right pictures, people will enjoy seeing your business posts pop on their feed just as much as seeing a picture of their neighbor's puppy, or all of the wedding announcements this season. No longer is there a separation between ads and what the viewer actually came to see, now it's all just part of the Instagram aesthetic. 

So how do you flawlessly mix in your business' photos with all of those personal posts, while also making them memorable?



1. Good Lighting

I cannot stress this enough, good lighting is the holy grail of Instagram-- everyone tries for it, and it has the special power to get anyone to double-click faster than possibly anything else. Of course what your pictures is of matters, but good lighting can make anything look good. Plan out your posts well so that you can take pictures in the best lighting. Natural light is best. For outdoor photos, the best time to take them is the hour after sunrise, or the hour before sunset. Referred to in the professional photography world as "the golden hours," this principle also applies to simple pictures taken on your smartphone! But don't worry, if your schedule doesn't allow for early morning picture taking, just make sure you find a room that has good bright natural light. Take advantage of the indirect light. Know your focus so that you can make sure the light directs the viewer's eye to the right place. Instagram users usually respond best to bright photos that utilize white space, color, and angle. Good lighting incorporates other photo quality needs-- such as, focus. Never post a blurry picture. Don't use filters that are too strong, unnatural, or obvious. Using natural light will eliminate the need for too much editing. All of these photo taking tips lead into an idea that will create continuity in your social media branding--


2. Decide Your Aesthetic Now

Before you post, decide what kind of look you are going for on your feed, and don't post if it doesn't match! On social media is it easy to want to post all of your material, but the powerful businesses are ones who have a very specific brand and stick to it. New customers will be viewing your feed all at once, on your Instagram profile. Make sure they find a set of pictures that look good together, and that give them a quick idea of what your brand is like. Having a predetermined style will help you when deciding what to post and what pictures to even take. Social media is how you reach the masses, and trust me, any soccer mom or college student can be just as picky as any critic when it comes to double clicking an Insta picture. Plan out your posts, be specific about your look, and hold your posting to a standard of excellence. Yes, even Instagram should be excellent in today's business world. As good as your sudden new idea might sound at 10pm, don't take a picture for it until the next day. Not only will the lighting be better, but it will give you a chance to make sure your post idea is up to your feed's standards. Trust me, I am the worst offender when it comes to late night Instagram ideas, but double checking before you post will help ensure a lighter, more engaging feed. Lastly, don't assume that your services or products only fit into a certain marketing mold. As an avid Instagram user, I have seen dog food advertisements that look just as pretty and engaging as ads for trips to Hawaii. No joke. And before I even realize what I am looking at, I've double-clicked and liked an ad that fit so seamlessly into my feed, I didn't even realize I was being advertised to right away.


3. Interact With Your Followers

Your account can get easily lost in the sea of other personal and business accounts, unless you remind your followers that you're there with more than just frequent posts. Commenting, liking, and following regularly is essentially saying "hey we are over here! We sell products that you need!" On my personal account I am often followed by small companies who can sense I would like their products, because they have checked out my feed and have a great idea of what I am interested in. Companies who follow me have turned me into an online shopping fanatic, because often I don't even have to go looking for them. Don't just get on your account to post pictures, make sure you are following similar businesses (know what your competition is up to) and especially follow people who fit your brand, because your products will fit their lifestyle or needs and they will support you with likes and purchases. Important tip: Let your followers know that you would love to see them tag your products in their personal pictures. It's like creating an army of brand ambassadors bragging about your business, and for free! For example, if you sell clothing, tell people to tag your account when they post their excited post about their new shirt! This gives people the source when they think, "ah where is that shirt from? I'd like to get it for myself!" One incentive to get this happening is to offer post features on your account! Pick the best pictures tagged with your products, and repost them on your business' feed. Now, if your business' services are not easily or often posted about by your customers, still let them know you are there by commenting on their posts and liking other pictures. But of course the best way to interact with your followers is to post regular, high-quality photos!

Instagramming doesn't need to take a lot of time. Create good posting habits so that it social media can become an easy, seamless marketing tool for your company! Being decisive and specific about what you post will bring in a large crowd of customers, people who know your brand and talk about it with their friends.


Posted in <a href="">Advertising/Marketing</a>, <a href="">iphone</a>, <a href="">mobile</a>, <a href="">Social Networking</a>, <a href="">technology</a>, <a href="">viral</a> | Post Comment

5 Tips on Designing Your Mobile Website

Mobile Sites

It is time that every website goes mobile-friendly, since not all of us may have a computer at home but for sure have a smartphone. 

I've seen some websites that have slowly developed their mobile sites, and although they still need some tweaking, the possibility of navigating their site on the palm of your hand is a reality. 

Check out these few tips on designing your mobile website:

1. Keep it clean and simple. A lot of websites have chosen to go minimalistic as part of their branding, and a lot of websites that are not exactly minimalistic on their desktop sites, have gone that route for their mobile sites. The simpler your mobile site looks, the happier users you'll have. Too many colors, buttons and graphics take away your user's attention from what's really important. So keep in mind that a clean and simple theme is the best way to go when you design your mobile site.

2. Re-think the responsiveness of your website. The fact that your desktop website looks in a certain way, doesn't mean it needs to look the same way on mobile. User experience is different when the person is on a computer than a phone or tablet. On a computer your user is able to click on items, look at images and make connections between colors, logos, and text; however, when your users use their phones or tablets, they don't want to keep scrolling and scrolling to pass all the ads and graphics in order to get to where they need to, so even if you understand the idea of your website, it doesn't translate the same way on mobile. A lot of websites have chosen to have one column on mobile, while they have 5 on their desktop site. Bottom line: your mobile site needs to be simple and easy to use.

3. Make content easy to find. One big reason why we want to have a desktop and mobile sites is because of the different screen sizes, and how your desktop site won't show the same way on mobile. So if you have a few links on the footer of your site, you'll want to make those links as buttons, so when your users are on their phones, those links are easy to find and easy to tap on.

4. Know who your customer is. The fact that your customers are using their phones in order to access your site should tell you something. They're either people on the run, or busy, or they don't have time to sit at their desk and navigate the web on their computers; these people move from one place to another and want the information in that place and at that time. So make your mobile site responsive to those people; don't think you need to impress them with captivating graphics, just feed them with the information they need. Think how touch screens work, how tapping on your screen should do certain things, and how, above all, everything needs to flow seamlessly.

5. Bonus point: Make your content available on social media. From social media sites, you want to lead people to your website; and from your website, you want your users to share your content on their social media sites. So make sure your mobile site integrates well with social media so your users are able to share your content, comment, etc.

What other tips can you share with us? Leave your comments below!


Posted in <a href="">android</a>, <a href="">Design</a>, <a href="">internet</a>, <a href="">iphone</a>, <a href="">mobile</a>, <a href="">Online Marketing</a> | Post Comment

The Anatomy of an Infographic

Infographics are one of the most effective ways to present information and make it go viral. That is possible thanks to our brain; it naturally prefers to see colors and shapes than a monotone black and white paragraph. So whatever you need to communicate, make it in a clear, creative and clutter-free way, you'll be able to teach your reader more because you have already captured their attention with compelling graphics and colors.

Keep in mind these tips next time you create an infographic, and you'll see higher engagement from your readers.

The anatomy of an infographic


1. Engaging your audience must be your goal. Data visualizations are one of the best received and shared content types.

2. Study your data and visualize it. (Start with a blank page) Think of colors and shapes, and then visualize your data in between them.

3. Keep the design simple. Choose a theme color, and keep it simple! Choose colors that compliment each other and make that no more than 3 colors total. Same thing applies to different fonts and sizes.

4. Images > text. Always. If you can use an icon instead of the word, do it. Images are not only to beautify your work, they're also there to get your message across.

5. Support your work. If what you're doing is teaching facts or objective information on your infographic, then provide your sources and keep your credibility safe.

Posted in <a href="">Advertising/Marketing</a>, <a href="">Design</a>, <a href="">Online Marketing</a> | Post Comment

Trending: Abstract Homepages

When it comes to making a statement, the main image is probably what first comes to mind. Depending on the website, you'll also expect a certain type of image. A vacationing website? Paradise. A construction website? some awesome building. Clothing store? Colorful jeans folded neatly on a table. What about... a powerful, abstract image instead?

A lot of websites have made the (temporal) move to have one of those amazing abstract backgrounds, a while ago it was a video, and before that, a very explicit image of what you do and offer; kind of salesy, even. However, presently, abstract images and shapes and colors are being played with and made great pieces of art, and then displayed on a homepage. 

They produce high impact, they're engaging and various types of websites have chosen to go this way and show they are their own brand, and they're not following any influences. It's a great way to stand out from your competitors, and also a great way to be reminded by your customers. 

Check out some of these examples:



What do you think about these designs? Would you try an abstract image on your website?


Posted in <a href="">Advertising/Marketing</a>, <a href="">Design</a>, <a href="">Online Marketing</a>, <a href="">technology</a> | Post Comment

Adobe Photoshop App

Screen Shot 2015-07-07 at 11.54.18 AM.png 

I don't know about you but I'm not one to take many selfies but with this new photoshop app from Adobe I know I'll be taking more pictures. Now many of us are familiar with Adobe photo editor on our PC however this new app will be able to bring a more accessible way to interface.
Adobe has been working on mobile apps for years, on 2011 the first edition of photo editor for mobile devices from Adobe came out named as Photoshop Touch, unfortunately it wasn't all the it was cracked up to be, it wouldn't let you display any more than the most basic information for a file; for instance, it didn't show the image dimensions or any EXIF info. It also offered only the most basic sharing, which was e-mailing a link and only allowing comments. In May, Adobe announced the end of Photoshop Touch while offering a sneak peek at Project Rigel, the new photoshop app, predicted to come out in october. This new app however will only be eligible for download for Apple's iPhones and iPad. No worries Android fans, Adobe still offers a couple other related mobile apps, Photoshop Express app for lightweight photo editing and Photoshop Mix for combining two photos.

Posted in <a href="">apps</a>, <a href="">internet</a>, <a href="">iphone</a>, <a href="">mobile</a>, <a href="">technology</a> | Post Comment

Samsung Galaxy Note 5 vs. Galaxy S6 Edge+

Drum roll please! Yes, the new Samsung 6 Edge+ and Samsung Galaxy Note 5 have finally arrived, Samsung has outdone themselves this time. Now the question you're asking yourself is which one should I go for? The Samsung Galaxy Note 5 and Galaxy S6 edge+ are almost the same device ... almost. Let's go through their many similarities and their main differences. Now the two handsets have an almost identical footprint, but the Note 5 is 10 percent thicker than the edge+. The Note 5 has the hight of 153mm and a width of 76mm while the Edge+ has a hight of 154 mm and the same with of 76mm. The Note 5 is also the heavier of the two, weighing at 171g and the Edge+ at 153g, making the Note 5 12 percent heavier, both devices have premiummetal frames. You'll find glass on the back cover of both handsets, however the GS5 Note has a curved edges making the two devices very alike, the edge has curved edges on the front of the glass while the Note 5 has them on the back handset. Both these beauties are offered in traditional black, the pearl white, sliver, and the gold. 

Now lets get techie! Display Resolution on these are exactly the same 2560 x 1440 %18 PPI, with 5.7-inch AMOLED panels displays. They have the exact same high-end Exynos processor 7420 64-bit octa core 2.1 GHz + 1.5 GHz. Both offer the same RAM of a 4GB memory and a storage of 32GB or 64GB, depending on which one you wish to go with. Both of these have 3,000 mAh battery, which are unremovable, and can charge quite fast via USB or wirelessly. The Galaxy Note 5 comes with the the active stylus, you can also now do notes on its black screen before you've even turned on the display. Another great feature the S pen provides to the ability to screenshots. The Edge+ offers besides the nice clean look, a display on the curved side your top five favorite contacts that are color coded and your top five apps on the edge of the screen, providing you with quicker accesses where ever you are in the OS. There you have it, quite similar but if your going for more efficiency then the Galaxy Note 5, now if you like more of the superficial side then go with the Samsung 6 Edge+. The choice is yours, good luck!

Gizmag compares the features and specs of the Samsung Galaxy Note 5 (left) and its pen-less twin, the Galaxy S6 edge+

Posted in <a href="">android</a>, <a href="">mobile</a>, <a href="">opinion</a> | Post Comment

How can you maximize your social media activity on a minimal time commitment?

Screen Shot 2015-07-27 at 12.11.24 PM.png

As with all things, social media management is what you make of it. Small business owners are always looking to strike the right balance between marketing their products or services and actually running their business. Because of this business struggle of not knowing what should be top priority, business owners are often hesitant to jump into social media because of the preconception that maintaining a social media presence online can be time consuming. Which is why most people will initially avoid it, because who has the time to spend tweeting and Facebooking when they are trying to run a business? But having the right knowledge and tools at your disposal can make all the difference in the world, and part of that is knowing when and how often to post to these social media channels. 

To stay as specific as possible, I am going to narrow my tips to Twitter and Facebook because they are the most popularly used across multiple industries and the easiest to use for those just starting out. 

Deciding How Often to Post

For Twitter, the research says that you should shoot for at least 5 tweets per day. This research can be a great starting point, but you should monitor your own results as you progress in engagement. Each market is different and they expect different things from different brands and services. 

For Facebook, research says that the most successful brands post just once per day. But you should keep in mind that bigger business have a better chance at being noticed on Facebook user's home feeds. This shouldn't keep you from using Facebook because of the notion of competing with bigger brands. Facebook can still be useful to small businesses even though the engagement rate drops off after the first post is seen. In order to keep up, research suggests smaller brands should probably post on average 5 times per day on Facebook as well. Keep in mind this is just research to get you started. You will need to monitor and track your engagements in order to create a schedule catered to your own company's market. 

Optimal Time for Posts

Twitter: Research says that the optimal time for tweets are at 12pm and 6pm because they have the higher click rate. But the posts at 5pm get the most retweets. 

Facebook: Optimal time for shared posts are at 1pm, but the mosts clicks are for posts at 3pm. 

Utilizing the Available Tools 

You can save even more time by scheduling your posts in advance. Facebook already has this capability built in which allows you to create posts and schedule them for a specific day and time in the future. There are also other social media automation tools available for business owners. We even have our own at LunaSoft that we built on our platform for our own use which is now available for our clients to use as well. It allows us to monitor our social media engagements and also create and schedule all of our posts. 

With a social media management tool, you could potentially spend only one day a week on your social media creating and scheduling posts for the entire week. This will really free up all that time you need to actually run your business. This way all your social media is already taken care of and you don't need to worry about getting to a computer all day. 

To wrap it up, it's important that the research should only be your starting point. Even with utilizing the social media management tools out there, its important to first find what works for you and your customers. Monitor your own results and then tailor it to what will fit the best for what you are looking for. 



Posted in <a href="">Advertising/Marketing</a>, <a href="">Facebook</a>, <a href="">SEO</a>, <a href="">social media</a>, <a href="">Social Networking</a> | Post Comment

A World Lost and Found in Branding

I studied Art History while I was in school, and one thing that continued to come up in class discussions and in my own writing and research, was the issue of branding. We live in a world of brands to which we are exposed to on a daily basis. I bet if I asked you right now, you could name at least 10 brands off the top of your head. I can also assume that you could go on to describe their brand logo colors and maybe the jingle from advertisements. We live in a world of branding and there is no escaping it. Brands exist everywhere, and in every industry, including university art history discussions. Screen shot 2015-07-21 at 8.56.57 AM.png

Establishing and maintaining a consistent brand is not always an easy task, but it should be a major cornerstone to your business. Creating a brand goes much further than picking two colors in your logo. Although that step is important, creating a brand is more about creating a culture and overall feeling for your company and business strategies. This culture is how the public will perceive your company and that guarantee could eventually generate brand loyalty in the industry. People buy and interact with the brands that they trust and love. Which is why it is so crucial to establish your brand with the vision you have for it now and for the future.

I know here at Luna we take our brand very seriously. We never publish or put our name on anything that is not consistent with our brand image and standards. Our brand is a reflection of our culture and attitude and we want to make sure how we feel is also how the public perceives our business. 

What did you in your business, establish your brand? Leave a comment below with some tips for all our readers!

Posted in <a href="">Advertising/Marketing</a>, <a href="">Miscellaneous</a>, <a href="">opinion</a> | Post Comment

The Great Smartphone Debate

It could be the most heated debated rivalry of the century. It's a question that has caused passionate arguments across the world: Which is better, iOS or Android? You could walk into a room full of people and ask each one which is their favorite smartphone operating system, and the odds are pretty good that most would have a preference. Some would even be able to explain why one is better, despite having never really used the other.

iScreen shot 2015-07-15 at 8.47.26 AM.pngt's interesting that it appears that smartphone users are split right down the middle, when the Android operating system actually dominates the global market. As of this year, 78% of smart devices run the Android operating system, with iOS making up only 17%. With such a wide gap, one could make the argument that these two products aren't really competitors in the traditional sense at all. What these numbers more accurately show, is the market share of people who are more inclined to spend money on their brand new devices versus the people who are less inclined.

iOS users account for 23% of online sales, while Android users account for only 5%. As you can see, these sets of numbers outlining market share and the amount of money being spent on them are pretty reversed. This shows to some degree that Android devices are viewed by many as the natural replacement to their previous products that do not run such software. Have you found that you use barely any of your smartphone's features? Would you agree that many use their smartphones as the new basic phone? We'd like to hear your thoughts in a comment below!

Posted in <a href="">android</a>, <a href="">apps</a>, <a href="">internet</a>, <a href="">Inventions</a>, <a href="">iphone</a>, <a href="">mobile</a>, <a href="">technology</a> | Post Comment

Retail Stores Ease Website Fears

As a software specialist at Lunasoft and working at the Lunasoft retail store, I have had many anxious people come in inquiring about starting a new website.  A lot of them are nervous because they are not tech savvy and openly admit that they don't know how websites or the process of building one even works. But after spending just a few minutes in our retail store, almost everyone who comes in is reassured and ready to move forward with their project just because of what we emphasize with running a store front.

Legitimacy and Quality

Many are put to ease after first walking into the retail store because they realize that Lunasoft is an established brand with an eye for quality and the reputation to back it up. Quality and reassurance is so important with something like a website because it is your face online and this makes it a personal experience for our customers. Many of our store visitors have voiced concerns over people who have managed their website in the past, because they felt that they were unreliable and inaccessible. Therein lies the beauty of a retail store because you can come in at any time and speak with a person about whatever concerns you may have. We have made our business and support easily accessible and reliable with face to face customer service. 

Lunasoft Retail Store

The Personal Touch

Many times, I am posed with this hard-hitting question asked by a skeptical prospective customer, "Why should I go with you? What sets you apart from online web-builders like Wix or Weebly?" Among one of the first things I emphasize is the fact that they are in a retail store where they can get face to face support. They quickly agree, because they know how frustrating it can be to call the support for online web agencies and to deal with lots of different people before resolving one issue. This business concept that we have extablished with the opening our retail store goes a long way, just because face to face customer service makes your life and business that much easier. 

Have you had a nice experience visiting the Lunasoft retail store? If so, please share your thoughts in a comment below! If not, we invite you to visit us!

Posted in <a href="">Advertising/Marketing</a>, <a href="">organization</a>, <a href="">PR Public Relations</a> | Post Comment

Extending Your Android Phone's Battery Life


Take a look at this screenshot of the home screen on my Nexus 5 smartphone. Do you notice anything unusual? Besides the fact that I use instead of Yahoo Mail or Gmail, what is different about my smartphone is the fact that my LTE connection is turned off. I do this intentionally to preserve battery life.

I have found that leaving my internet connection on all the time burns through my battery life must faster compared to leaving it off by default and only turning it on when I need to use it.

The Gains

Prior to experimenting with this way of saving battery life, a charge would last me about a day, if that. Now, depending on usage, I regularly get well over a day per charge, but not quite two full days.

How To Quickly Toggle Internet Connectivity

Starting with Android 5.0, the Android platform no longer allows 3rd party apps to toggle internet activity due to security reasons. Gone are the days when you could simply download a widget that could quickly toggle internet connection with just one click. Now, the fastest way I have found requires 2 clicks. Simply add Settings to your homepage as a shortcut, and select Data Usage as the item to display. On my phone, this is what the new "widget" displays when clicked:


This screen enables me to not only quickly toggle internet connection, but also view where I am in my usage for the month. If you feel that your battery life is much less that what you think your phone is capable of, I highly recommend you consider looking into managing your smartphone's internet connection.

Posted in <a href="">android</a>, <a href="">apps</a>, <a href="">Google</a>, <a href="">mobile</a>, <a href="">technology</a> | Post Comment

Why You Should Offer Daily Deals on Your E-Commerce Website

Train Your Customers

daily-deals-ecommerce-software-boosts-sales.pngOffering daily deals on your e-commerce website helps your customers to see that you are a place where a bargain can be found. When visitors come across a site and get the feeling they won't ever get a good deal, they are less likely to ever return. Promoting the occasional sale may accomplish this, but the beauty of daily deals is that they create shopping habits: customers take advantage of a great deal and then keep coming back in search of more.

Boost Your Customer Base

There is nothing quite like a great deal to gain new customers and clear out inventory fast. Take for example what HTC did on Nov. 4, 2014. HTC is one of many Android device manufacturers that has been struggling in recent years, so they took advantage of an opportunity they had launching their Nexus 9 tablet.

Just one day after the product was launched, they ran a "hot deal" promotion where the tablet was 50% off, or down to $199 from $399. The promotion was incredibly successful, with HTC selling out of their inventory within the first hour. Although HTC offers deals on a daily basis, this particular sale proved one thing: HTC was able to turn themselves around and get their devices into the hands of countless new customers who otherwise would not have chosen HTC.

Take Advantage of Social Media

How do you think all of these new customers will be telling each other and spreading the word about the great daily deal on your website? Most likely through social media of course! Benefits include:

  • Your number of followers growing
  • More external sites linking to your content
  • Your website moving up the search engine results as a result

Urgency Drives Conversion

Daily deals in effect put you in control of your website sales. If your customers don't feel a sense of urgency, they are more likely to postpone purchasing a product, and this increases the odds they will forget to purchase or decide not to altogether. Generally, people don't want to miss out on a great deal, especially if it is on something they need.

Choosing The Right Daily Deals E-Commerce Website Software

There are a wide variety of daily deals website development options, ranging from the simple plugin to the more complex enterprise solutions. If you want to save yourself hassle and try a simple and elegant solution, consider using Lunasoft Daily Deals Software to draw more customers and boost sales.

Posted in <a href="">Advertising/Marketing</a>, <a href="">ecommerce</a>, <a href="">internet</a>, <a href="">SEO</a> | Post Comment

New Google Maps Update is a Game Changer

Google Maps Integrates with Uber and Open TableMost of us use Google Maps here and there, and some of us use it on a daily basis for directions, restaurant info and more.  It has been a useful tool for quite some time; but, with the release of the new update last week, the application has been rejuvenated with highly useful integrations from Uber and Open Table.

In the past, Google maps could tell you how long it would take to drive from A to B by car, bus, by bike, or on foot.  Now, if you're on foot, Google Maps will also tell you how long it will take for an Uber driver to come get you, how long the ride will take, and how much it will cost.  You now have all of the resources you need to make a transit decision without leaving the app. 

Need a reservation at a cool downtown restaurant too?  The Open Table integration has your back.  Find open tables at the best restaurants in town, and book your table directly from the Google Maps app.  This feature has previously been available; but, up until now, you had to follow a link to and book the reservation there.  Now, you never have to leave the comfort of Google Maps.

The new integrations come in addition to a brand new user interface that has both bold colors and bold textures to stay current with design trends.  The ability to quickly get pictures or reviews at a glance makes the application more user-friendly than ever.  Our recommendation is in: Download the new Google Maps app, and let it go to work for you.

Posted in <a href="">Advertising/Marketing</a>, <a href="">Google</a>, <a href="">news</a> | Post Comment

3 Tips to Help You Get to Know Your Customers Like Friends

Get to Know Your Customers Like Your Friends USing AnalyticsYou know what makes your friends happy, and you know what makes them tick.  Would it help you to know what makes your customers happy, and to know what makes them tick?  Sure it would. What if there is something about your homepage design that is a pet-peeve to the majority of your audience?  Wouldn't you want to know?  Avoiding pain points and making your customers happy can be the difference between a good and a great business, so getting to know your audience might be the first step in elevating your business from good to great.

  1. Who is Your Audience?  Understanding your demographic is the first step towards engaging with your demographic.  Just like understanding your friends is a vital first step in developing a relationship with them.  Are they married or single?  Are the retired or just out of college?  Do they live in New England, or the southwest desert?  Once you understand the demographic, you understand more about the person (i.e. someone in Park City, UT is more likely to buy a snow blower than someone in  Miami, FL).
  2. How Does Your Audience Find You?  Opening up your analytics software is like looking into a crystal ball.  If your number one referer of website traffic is Facebook, then you should consider allocating additional budget dollars to social media marketing.  Then, figure out which pages are getting hit, and create more of those pages.  Research which links your audience has clicked on in the past, and know that they will likely be clicked on again.  Answer this question: "How do my website visitors interact with my website?" With that answer, you can adjust accordingly.
  3. Don't Assume Anything!  You must be willing to let go of your preconceived notion of who your audience should be, and use statistics to identify who is really paying your bills.  Get to know those people because they may be very different from the people you know.  They may prefer to engage with you by email instead of by social media.  They may like to watch your videos, but they hate reading the copy you write.  The only thing you should assume is that there are people who want your product/service. 

Understanding your audience isn't done in a matter of hours or even days; however, by properly setting up your tracking software, all you have to do is wait and see.  Look at who is buying your product,  figure out where they are, and how they'd like you to address them.  Lastly, don't assume that you know them because you probably don't know them.  Unless, you are a barber with a clientele dating back to the 80's, then you'd better let your analytics tell you who they are.  Make them happy, avoid what makes them tick, and you're business will thank you.

Posted in <a href="">Advertising/Marketing</a>, <a href="">ecommerce</a>, <a href="">email</a>, <a href="">Facebook</a>, <a href="">opinion</a>, <a href="">Productivity</a>, <a href="">Social Networking</a>, <a href="">video</a> | Post Comment

Retail Robots Are Real and Being Hired by Lowes

Lowes Robots Coming SoonThese days, several classic sci-fi movies are being proved right or wrong, as artificial intelligence becomes more common to society.  Some have hypothesized the future emulating the Terminator films with a super computer taking on the human race, while others envision a scenario from Minority Report with civilians being arrested for crimes that they have yet to commit.  Nonetheless, home improvement gitant, Lowes, is preparing to alter the social norm by adding robots to their staff in order to improve customer service and sales.

The robots, called OSHbots, have been programmed to patrol the aisles of a hardware store, armed with an up-to-date list of inventory, and the intelligence to connect customers with the products that they need.  The intelligence is said to be particularly impressive.  You should be able to walk into the store with a random screw or bolt; and, upon showing it to the robot, the robot should be able to identify the part and direct you to where you can buy the part in the store.  If the part is not in the inventory, it will also know that right away as well.

Among the criticism is the fact that the robots will replace people, and that means they are taking away jobs.  It's difficult to say which is more valuable at the moment.  The robot costs about 50k, while an average worker earns about 25k plus benefits; however, the robot never takes a sick day, and it's personal life never gets in the way of doing a good job.  How we define a good job will determine a lot of the robots' future.  Will people respond well to being assisted by a robot?  We don't know how efficient the robot is in terms of communicating with a customer. 

Would you buy from a robot?  Do you think robots will eventually replaces sales associates across a variety of industries?  Let us know in the comment below.

Posted in <a href="">Advertising/Marketing</a>, <a href="">Inventions</a>, <a href="">news</a>, <a href="">opinion</a>, <a href="">technology</a> | Post Comment

Tablet Purchasing Tips

New Tablet PicI, like millions of consumers around the globe, plan on purchasing a tablet computer in the next few months. This will actually be my second attempt at purchasing a tablet. About a year ago, I purchased a 7" generic tablet from Amazon. I figured that all tablets were pretty much the same and that I didn't need to spend more than a hundred dollars in order to get a decent functioning tablet. How wrong I was!

I soon learned that a tablet is not one of those items that you should skimp on. The device that I had was not terrible, but it failed in 2 key areas. First, the display was very bland. It had a screen resolution of 800 X 480, which does not look very good on a 7" tablet. I remember being able to see the actual pixels on some games and pictures. I mainly used the tablet to read PDF files, so seeing the text pixelated at times was quite distracting.

Second, the particular tablet that I purchased did not run and was not able to run Google Play, the official Android app store. This did not seem like such a big deal at first, as I figured downloading and using another popular app store would suffice. This proved to be unsatisfying as well, since competing app stores generally have a limited selection of apps and their versions of the most popular apps tend to be outdated.

All things said, I learned a valuable lesson in tech purchasing: don't focus your eye on the cheapest product. A new rule of thumb I use is to calculate a nice middle ground and shop within that price point. For example, a cheap generic tablet may cost about $100 and a premium tablet may cost about $500, so right now I'm comparing what kind of tablet I can get for about $300. Have you ever been disappointed by a tech purchase? We'd love to hear your thoughts and what you learned in a comment below.  

Posted in <a href="">android</a>, <a href="">apps</a>, <a href="">internet</a>, <a href="">mobile</a>, <a href="">technology</a> | Post Comment

Social Media No Longer Organic: Requires A Marketing Budget

Paid Social Media Marketing BudgetHave you ever wondered why Facebook is worth billions of dollars?  They don't charge you to create an account, and there are no monthly fee for usage or maintenance; so, how does the company pay for their thousands of employees and for their Frank Gehry-designed campus?  Simple: by showing you ads every time you log in.

Social Networks, like medical clinics, restaurants, and clothing stores, need to pay their bills; and, for social networks, advertisements comprise the majority of their revenue.  With the number of social media users growing by the day, those advertisements are reaching broader audiences, driving the cost of advertisements up by the day. 

Facebook, which was once an organic platform where businesses could engage with their audiences, is now littered with sponsored stories and display advertisements. As a business owner, you can still use Facebook to engage and grow your business organically; however, if your competitors are paying to remain in your audience's news feed all day long, then you are missing out on business.

Slowly, each and every social platform will include paid features that are meant to help businesses engage.  And, as social media becomes an increasingly useful marketing tool, your social media strategy could become vital to your growth.  Developing a social media following is very different from a paid standpoint, as opposed to the traditional organic approach.

We've come to a time where you now need to allocate part of your marketing budget to social media.  Hiring a kid out of school won't get the job done, and neither will doing it yourself.  It's time that you prepare to take another step into the future of client acquisitions.  Facebook is paying the bills with advertisements, and everyone else is following the trend.  Get ahead before you fall behind.

Posted in <a href="">Advertising/Marketing</a>, <a href="">Facebook</a>, <a href="">Facebook</a>, <a href="">Online Marketing</a>, <a href="">opinion</a>, <a href="">social media</a>, <a href="">Social Networking</a> | Post Comment

Update Your Business Listing on Apple Maps Connect

Apple Maps Connect for BusinessLast night, search engine land reported that you, as a small business owner, have one more thing to add to your tasks list.  Apple Maps is now editable by business owners, or by their authorized representatives.  Unfortunately, as of now, agencies and webmasters will have a lot of difficulty using the service because each listing claimed requires a separate Apple ID. 

Similarly to the way one would claim a Google Maps listing, obtaining access to an Apple Maps listing requires an automated call verification to confirm ownership.  The service is free, so, from the standpoint of a small business, there is no reason not to claim your listing.  Even if you think you're Apple Maps listing already looks perfect, we still recommend getting it done now, so you can add additional categories to your listing to drive additional traffic to your site.

New listings, or updates to existing listings, are said to go live within a week, possibly sooner, unless a listing is flagged for fraud, which could require users to proceed through a few additional verification steps.  The Apple Maps platform receives over a million visitors every year, and it's accessible to the general public.  So, take care of it now and capitalize on free web traffic.

To claim your listing, proceed to

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Google Announces Revolutionary Email Platform Called "Inbox"

New gmail called Inbox by GoogleToday, Google announced the launch of a new email platform called "Inbox."  The project has been in the making for two years, and was built by the same people who launched gmail.   This isn't going to replace gmail, but it will compete.  Inbox was built to revolutionize the email industry, and that's just what it's going to do.  

Of all the new features entailed, we believe Inbox's most impressive feature to be what Google calls the "Highlights" feature.  This gives Inbox the ability to read through your emails, identify the key information, and highlight that part of the message, so that you don't have to spend countless time browsing.  More impressively, Inbox will access your flight itinerary, for example, and display it with the real-time flight status, which Inbox is able to retrieve from the web.

New Google Email Gmail called InboxIn addition to Highlights, Inbox will feature more comprehensive bundles to sort your email.  In the current gmail interface, the system automatically tags emails as either: Primary, Social, or Promotions.  The idea was to let you quickly move through certain types of emails, like Twitter updates or Upcoming Events.  The new system will do just that, but it will take bundling to a new level.  You will now be able to look through your bank statements at once, and you can even teach the system to read your mind by telling it what type of emails you'd like to be grouped together.

Inbox has also made strides in developing the way you are reminded of upcoming events, tasks, and follow ups.  The product itself is not yet available to the public, but Google has announced that you can get an invitation to use it when it becomes available by emailing Google at

Posted in <a href="">apps</a>, <a href="">Calendar</a>, <a href="">email</a>, <a href="">Google</a>, <a href="">news</a> | Post Comment

3 Ways to Get More Production Out of a Sales Team

More Production Out of a sales teamAre you feeling like you're wasting money by paying your sales team to work your leads?  After all, you did start the company yourself and you've been the full time salesperson before, even while completing all of the operations for your business.  You know you have an amazing product/service, and you know a well trained sales team should be able develop your business; but, why can't you get more production out of your sales team?

1) Training: Like you said, a well trained sales team should be able to develop your business.  On the contrary, a poorly trained sales team will bring your development to a screeching halt.  They must know the product/service better than they know their left hand, and they have to know the pain points that they will be solving by doing business.  Good training includes ongoing training, and regular performance reviews.  Help your sales staff develop on a personal level, and they will deliver for you professionally.

2) Tools: This implies software tools, but also includes a particular skill set that has become vital for successful sales people in 2014.  I'm talking about the teaching the sales team how to do their homework, or research their leads.  A good online marketing specialist has the tools to make a great private detective because of their ability to research information quickly using the internet.  These days, a sales person needs to be able to do the same.  Use Facebook to find their hobbies, use LinkedIn to find their credentials, and use their website to learn more about their history.  Any one bit of information found could be that one common ground that initiates the sale.  In addition to detective tools, a sales person needs a high quality CRM; and, preferably, a marketing automation suite to work with the CRM.  This way they are able to handle more leads, and handle them more efficiently.  Warning: software tools require great training, or they will prove to be a burden as well.

3) Polish: They say that in sales, you have to sell yourself.  They're right, of course.  The majority of decision makers will figure out who has the right solution; and, of those companies, they will select the company whose sales person made the strongest impression.  There are many deals a sales person will lose because their personality doesn't gel with that of the buyer; so, don't miss out on the deals that were in your control.  For many buyers, an annoying tone of voice, a stained suit, or non-groomed facial hair could be a deal breaker.  A bad pitch, a lack of confidence, or forgetting your belt could also lose you a deal.  The same goes for bad breath, crooked glasses, or a shirt that is just too tight.  Get the point here?  It's not that a polished sales person will earn more business, but that a salesperson lacking the polish will lose deals that they'd already earned.

In conclusion, take some time to assess your force.  Do you need to get more production out of your sales team?  Make some changes, and watch the results.  Just remember, they are on your team, and they want to sell.  Help them sell and everyone wins. 

Posted in <a href="">Advertising/Marketing</a>, <a href="">Professional Web Design</a> | Post Comment

American Tech Companies Looking Small: What is Alibaba's Ace in the Hole?

NYSE Alibaba Tech CompaniesWhen Alibaba had their IPO about a month ago, we already knew they were going to be the next tech giant.  With an initial offering of $68 dollars, it was obvious.  So, what has happened since the IPO?  The baba stock has had ups and downs, hovering around the $85-$90 price point, while the majority of the stocks listed on the NYSE have begun to deplete in value. 

Yesterday, a CNBC report speculated about the coincidence between the Alibaba IPO, and the S&P 500's all time record high, which occurred just 8 minutes after the IPO.  Since then, we have seen sharp declines from the S&P, as well as the other major indexes here in the states.  While it does seem to be an interesting coincidence, many people have speculated that the stock market has been on the verge of a downward turn for several months.  Alibaba could have been the last major IPO to cash in for quite some time.

Alibaba Stock Price IPOEither way, it's fun to speculate about what caused what, and why this stemmed from that.  So, let's question the future of Alibaba.  With that stock value of just under $90 dollars per share, the company is the 4th largest tech company on the American market, only behind Microsoft, Google, and, of course, Apple.  Additionally, they still have a very serious ace in the hole.  That being, they have already dominated the Chinese market, and they are still expanding throughout the world.  The other three companies on that list have all taken on the global market, yet none of them have been able to penetrate and dominate the Chinese market.

At the moment, with China's Firewall still looming, and with their government well in control, it seems most likely that Alibaba will be able to dominate the world before anyone else is able to dominate China.  Alibaba's future is still uncertain, but not in comparison to the state of American stock prices.  The next few months will tell an interesting story, but who will come out on top?  Will anyone come out on top?  Let us know your thoughts below!

Posted in <a href="">Advertising/Marketing</a>, <a href="">ecommerce</a>, <a href="">Google</a>, <a href="">Government</a>, <a href="">internet</a>, <a href="">Inventions</a>, <a href="">news</a>, <a href="">opinion</a>, <a href="">technology</a> | Post Comment

New Google Adwords Display Ad Formats and How They Can Help Your Business

Lunasoft Google EventYesterday, the Luna team hosted an Online Marketing event, sponsored by Google, during which two Google experts delivered a presentation on how new Google tools can help SMBs better compete in the digital space.  The Google team members discussed everything from video marketing and using maps to new AdWords features, mobile and more.  Of everything mentioned, a lot of our guests were curious about the new ways they could capitalize on the new AdWords features and the new mobile capabilities, so we wanted to publish a quick review of some of the more useful formats and tools.  Let's take a look:

LunaSoft Google PartnershipEngagement Ads "Lightbox Ads": These ads utilize the technology of HTML5 to create high-end dynamic advertisements that are intended to engage the user.  To be more specific, when a user hovers their mouse over a lightbox ad for a duration of two seconds, the advertisement is programmed to expand into a full screen experience.  If the two second duration is not met, the advertisement stays in it's place and the advertiser is not charged for the experience.  Typical media for said advertisements include videos, shopping experiences, games, catalogs and more.  Engagement Ads are used to lower your cost-per-engagement (CPE) by preventing accidental clicks (due to the two second rule); and, if a user shows interest, the ad then takes over the screen while the remainder of the users' content is dimmed to highlight the ad.

Pay Per Click Advertising by LunastudiosAnchor and Magazine Style Ad Format: Also designed to increase mobile conversions, anchor and magazine style ads give advertisers the capability of disrupting a mobile user.  The anchor ads will stay put at the bottom of a user’s screen as he or she surfs through their loaded web page. As they continue to scroll through the page, the ad stays anchored to the bottom of the screen.  This gives the user more opportunities to click on the ad; however, we have to believe that this format could lead to several instances of an accidental click, which still costs the advertiser a pretty penny.  Magazine style ads, on the other hand, have been around for many months, but they have now been extended to display ads within mobile applications, in addition to mobile websites.  The purpose of these ads is to provide the glitz and glam of a printed magazine to the interface of a mobile device.  Both of these ad formats give the user the ability to dismiss the ad at any time.

All of these ad styles can be customized by industry or tailored to a brand like never before.  Google's strategy is to make their advertising platform more lucrative for clicks, so that they create a better user experience for their users (and they make more money off of more clicks).  At the moment, there are almost 30 different ad formats that can be utilized by advertisers and that number is sure to grow as Google continues their reign of dominance over the digital advertising industry.  Want to learn more about the advertisements, and how you can use them to increase your AdWords ROI?  Set up a free consultation with one of Luna's online marketing specialists.  We're happy to help.

Posted in <a href="">Advertising/Marketing</a>, <a href="">iphone</a>, <a href="">mobile</a>, <a href="">Online Marketing</a> | Post Comment

The King of Android File Managers

OI File ManagerIf you're a consumer, the odds are high that at some point in your life you have experienced the excitement of opening a box containing a brand new smartphone and marveling over its beauty, speed, and capabilities. For most people, half of the apps that come with the phone are unusable, so they go straight to their app store of choice to download some alternatives.

Of all of the apps on an Android device, the file manager is considered by many to be the most sensitive. People expect their file manager to work right out of the box, and they can become quickly frustrated when it can't fix the problem it was supposed to solve.  When they don't work as planned, the more popular and recognizable apps will send across a message like this: "This is the way our app is designed and this is the way it works. Good luck finding an alternative that is as good." But, because of plentiful competition and because the file manager performs such a seemingly simple task, it's unable to make such claims.

If you visit the Apps section of the Google Play Store and search for "file manager", you will be pleased to find that there are hundreds of different options. What is not pleasing is trying to guess which ones are usable, avoiding the ones that are horrible, and finding the one that is great and provides a consistent experience. I'll save you a little bit of time: somewhere around the 10th result you'll see an app by the name of "OI File Manager". Go ahead and install that one.

OI File Manager MenuThe OI stands for "Open Intents", which reveals that the app is very much open source. (It is so open source that you can quickly download the app in just 2 clicks from the website using any browser on any device.) The fact that the app is open source plays a huge part in why it is the best. With all of the apps that you use that contain ads, why add another one to the list? Also, why would you need to give any company access to the private files on your device?

Another reason why OI File Manager is awesome is because it allows you to extract files from a zip file. This sounds so simple, but you would be surprised to know how many different apps I had to go through before finding one that was able to do so in such a straightforward way. Straightforward is the keyword to remember. If you're frustrated with how confusing, incapable, and slow your local file manager is, check out OI File Manager.

Posted in <a href="">android</a>, <a href="">apps</a>, <a href="">mobile</a>, <a href="">Productivity</a> | Post Comment

LunaStudios to Host Google Partners Event at LunaSoft Showroom

Lunasoft Google

Salt Lake City, UT - LunaStudios, the creative arm of software agency, Lunasoft, is pleased to announce an exclusive Google sponsored event at our retail showroom, located at 12 W Broadway in Salt Lake City, UT.  The event will take place on Wednesday, October 15th from noon-1:00pm MST.  Attendees will be treated to refreshments, and a live webinar streaming from Google's corporates offices. As an official Google partner, Luna will have multiple specialists present, all of whom have been previously certified in both Google Adwords and Google Analytics.  After the Google presentation, attendees will have an opportunity to chat with our specialists who can assist with any unanswered questions.

"We are thrilled to develop our relationship with Google, and to have the opportunity to inform our clients and partners about new and exciting ways they can use Google's tools increase revenue to their respective businesses' and organizations," states Michael Kanner, Director of Online Marketing at Luna.  "Google is innovating faster than anyone in the tech world; and, as of late, they have been increasing their focus toward helping SMBs compete in the digital space.  They've created so many opportunities, and we're happy to help our clients capitalize on them."

Google Reps

The live-broadcasted presentation will include a panel of Google executives, including Allan Thygesen, VP of Global Small Business Sales, and Fred Vallaeys, AdWords Evangelist.  Small Business owners, entrepreneurs, and marketing professionals are welcome to reserve a spot by following the link the following link:

Sign Up

About Luna

Located in the heart of downtown Salt Lake City, Utah - we service clients world-wide. Half of our customer base resides in Utah while the other half are located in states as far East as Massachusetts & Florida, and West to California.

Luna builds more than websites. We create sales tools that cater to your audience.  For more information, head to


Posted in <a href="">Advertising/Marketing</a>, <a href="">Google</a>, <a href="">Online Marketing</a>, <a href="">PR Public Relations</a>, <a href="">SEO</a>, <a href="">tutorials</a> | Post Comment

The Future of Pay-Per-Click Advertising: Highly Targeted Ads

Ads PPCOld school pay-per-click analysts remember a time when you could simply pay off Google to rank for keywords that you couldn’t attain in the organic search results.  It was such a simple concept: Pay Google for every Click they produce to your website.  It was easy to get the placement you wanted; and, best of all, most of Google’s users didn’t know when they were clicking on an ad, as all results appeared to be the same.  Slowly, Google started adding visuals to tip off users to the fact that their ad slots were in fact advertisements.  As of this year, Google has implemented a small yellow square that indicates “Ad.” 

As pay-per-click ads become more visible, more expensive, and more ignored by the users, many businesses are showing smaller profit margins from generic AdWords, and they're starting to taking aim at their customers in different ways.  That’s not to say that pay-per-click is disappearing.  It’s just that in order to get your money’s worth out of PPC ads, you have to have a highly targeted audience of qualified leads.  Fortunately, this data is available and ready to be used.  Additionally, technology has allowed us to get closer to our audiences than ever before.  The new tools allow you to literally find your future consumers, and personalize a direct message. 

Seven years ago in the PPC world, we had to qualify a consumer based on the keyword that they were searching.  For instance, we’re a web development agency so we would’ve wanted to target the keyword: “Custom Website Development.”  Five years ago, that term brought us all kinds of leads (good and bad); but, for the price we paid per lead, it was a very efficient form of advertising.  In today’s market, the same number of leads for the same search phrase costs a significantly larger amount of money.  This is because there are more agencies and SMBs using AdWords and more competition means higher prices; that’s economics 101.  So, instead of continuing what worked 5 years ago, we’ve changed up our marketing system.  Now, in addition to AdWords, we also do contextual advertising, video advertising, display advertising, product advertising and more.  That’s because we can now target users based on age, geography, clothing brands and even relationship status. 

A married user in their fifties, living in Park City, Utah, who wears clothes made by Ralph Lauren, is a great target for a high-end couples spa advertisement.  On the contrary, a single user in their twenties, living in St. George, Utah, who wears clothes from Old Navy, is not a good target for the same ad, even though they both may search for "Relaxing Activity Utah."  So, we look at our demographic, we hit those consumers with what they want to see (maybe a specific product or service), and we show it to them where they want to see it (maybe social media) and how they want to see it (maybe video).  When we do use AdWords, we load our campaigns with extensions.  If we are targeting people in our general area, our ads will have a location extension so they can see where we are.  If we want the phone to ring, we will increase spend on mobile ads and enhance them with call extensions.  The goal here is to make the most out of a budget.  Spend your money on qualified leads that will convert by finding out who they are and how they would like to be spoken to.  With so much data at our fingertips, we certainly don’t want to waste time with old school PPC.  Find your team of experts and get started today!

INSERTED 10/01/14:

Luna Will Be Hosting a Google Sponsored Event! Stay Tuned for more information!

Posted in <a href="">Advertising/Marketing</a>, <a href="">Google</a>, <a href="">mobile</a>, <a href="">Online Marketing</a>, <a href="">opinion</a>, <a href="">Professional Web Design</a>, <a href="">SEO</a>, <a href="">video</a> | Post Comment

Android Apps Coming To A Computer Near You

Android on ComputerEvery once in a while, a programmer makes the news for creating something extraordinary. He or she creates something that pushes the boundaries of what code was believed to be capable of. Today, that award goes to a developer by the alias of "Vladikoff". In order to understand what he built, you first need to think about the way Android apps currently work. If you want to run an Android app, what would you use to run the app?

For most people the answer is obvious: any device that runs the Android operating system. Most people believe that only Android smartphones and tablets are capable of running such apps. Those who are tech savvy know that, in addition to such devices, one can run apps on their computer using developer tools, virtual machines, emulators, etc. 

Although running Android apps in the Chrome browser is in its early stages and still prone to errors, Vladikoff created a "hack" that allows you to simply drag an app into the Chrome window and begin running it. Since Chrome is a web browser available on all major computer operating systems (Windows, Mac, and Linux), this progress is a game changer. It means that even Mac users, whom Apple has been trying to protect from the Android ecosystem, will now be able to run Android apps. Android is not far from being a part of everyone's computing experience.    

Posted in <a href="">android</a>, <a href="">apps</a>, <a href="">internet</a>, <a href="">Inventions</a>, <a href="">Java</a>, <a href="">linux</a>, <a href="">mobile</a>, <a href="">news</a>, <a href="">technology</a> | Post Comment

Accessing Developer Options on New Android Devices

android developer optionsOne year ago, I purchased a Nexus 5 and I've loved the device dearly since then. The phone runs smoothly and the battery life is stellar. Yesterday, I wanted to transfer some files from my phone to my laptop, running Linux, but I had a little difficulty doing it. As I did research online, I discovered that I needed to activate "USB debugging" in order for my files to successfully transfer. I remembered from my previous Android phone that this setting was located within "Developer Options", so I looked for such options on my Nexus 5.

I was left scratching my head, as they were nowhere to be found within Settings. 

Now I had to research where my precious Developer Options had gone. I soon discovered that these options needed to be "activated", but thankfully the process was quite simple. All I had to do was navigate from Settings to About Phone and then click "Build Number" 7 times. (See Image). Developer Options were then visible when I navigated to the top level Settings.

This experience begs the question: Why did Google decide to "hide" Developer Options in its latest version of Android? I have done a little bit of investigation, but I can't find any official documentation from Google explaining why they made such a move. I have only been able to find speculation across various tech forums, and the general consensus is that Google did this for "safety reasons". If this is true, it does make sense to hide these settings from the general population because most people will never need them, and accidentally messing with these settings can potentially be harmful to the device. What do you think? Did Google make a smart move hiding something the vast majority of people will never use?  Or, do you think all options should be out in the open? Leave a comment below!

Posted in <a href="">android</a>, <a href="">Google</a>, <a href="">mobile</a>, <a href="">Productivity</a>, <a href="">security</a>, <a href="">technology</a>, <a href="">tutorials</a> | Post Comment

Who Will Have Access To Your Phone?

Phone Disabled PicIt's a scenario that fiction novels have touched on for decades: organizations tapping into our personal devices and using them to harvest information about us. We have all gotten so used to the idea of large organizations having our data that most people don't resist it anymore. Purchasing a smartphone and loading it with personal information is now commonplace. What is more, people will download social network apps with the sole purpose of sharing their personal information. Whether the devices have this information or not, they are still valuable to thieves.

In the US, smartphone theft has been hailed as an "epidemic", with about 120 devices being stolen every minute. That is a staggering number. In the time it took you to read this sentence, about 4 people had their cell phone stolen. As a result, state governments have been pondering over what laws to create or measures to take to curb this relatively new problem.

California has recently announced a bold measure: creating a law that requires all smartphones sold in the state to have a "kill switch" built in that forces the device off if it has been reported as lost or stolen. What this means is that stolen devices would no longer be of any value, being in a sense paperweights until reactivated. What are your thoughts on this proposal? Would you be okay with the state having access to this "kill switch" on your phone? Share a comment below!

Posted in <a href="">apps</a>, <a href="">Complaint</a>, <a href="">Facebook</a>, <a href="">Government</a>, <a href="">internet</a>, <a href="">iphone</a>, <a href="">mobile</a>, <a href="">opinion</a>, <a href="">security</a> | Post Comment

A New Angle


The other night a notification popped up on my phone screen, it was from the Snapchat Team. Which typically I wouldn’t have opened, but I just clicked on it and to my surprise I was drawn into what they were informing me of. It contained an entire tutorial on this new story option they had created just for EDC stories on Snapchat. At that moment, I knew what EDC was but had no understanding of the concepts or dynamics behind it. Then I had a realization of the popularity of this event for one application as well-known as Snapchat to recognize one event so big that they decided to create a whole category for it. My curiosity at this point initiated my research behind what all of this was about.

 I have been to music concerts before but EDC would blow any of those out of the water I am sure. EDC standing for Electric Daisy Carnival is put on by Insomniac and a carnival it is. They don’t only play music but they have live performers, light shows, interactive art, and circus acts, but the audience participation is their number one focus. They create this experience for their guest’s that allows every sensation of their bodies to be enticed in this moment. From the lights to the creatures they bring to life all around the audience, they create a world unlike any other place on this earth.

While reading about the journey he has had to overcome, Pasquale Rotella is finally living his childhood dreams. He is the true mastermind behind EDM (Electric Dance Music). He held the vision of these extremely detailed events and technological advances now have helped him put all of this together to create EDC. He has not just created an entirely new category of music and concerts, but an experience for his guests that can never be taken away. The intricate detail that is behind the designs, with the coupling of technology is a powerful and almost unrealistic thought. The way these two extremes come together is pure beauty.

Now, I understand why Snapchat took such an interest to this event. They have always had stories where “snaps” can be shared with your friends for 24 hours, but now they turned it up a notch. With simply one location of an event, Snapchat can now bring all of these stories together. EDC was chosen to be the test run for this new category at their annual event in Las Vegas, Nevada this last weekend. Don’t worry though, your pictures weren’t shared automatically. The EDClive account would have to be added and your location turned on your phone.

The real reasoning behind this new feature is to be able to see every different angle and side of an event. This, in my opinion, is extremely creative. Now it won’t be just a curiosity of what the stage looks like from a different area, everyone added to this stream will get a slide show of everyone’s position and angle of EDC. How brilliant it is to merge this popular event and application, and it will, without a doubt, be a pivotal occurrence.

Posted in <a href="">Advertising/Marketing</a>, <a href="">apps</a>, <a href="">internet</a>, <a href="">iphone</a>, <a href="">technology</a>, <a href="">tutorials</a> | Post Comment

Review: Android 4.4.3 Software Update

2 days ago, I received a unique notification on my phone: one that I do not get very often. This notification is one that puts a grin on the face of just about every Android enthusiast. I'm talking about an OTA update, or "over the air" update. This time, it was for the latest 4.4.3 update for my Nexus 5. My Nexus 5 is actually the first Nexus device that I have ever owned, and I must say I love the phone! It is very fast and the battery life is exceptional. I actually use an app called "Data Enabler" which I use to turn off my LTE connection when I am not using it, and this causes my battery to usually last me 2 or 3 days per charge. This is phenomenal, considering that most smartphone users have to charge their phone every day.

Nexus 5 - Android 4.4.3

As I finished downloading the 4.4.3 software update, I was not surprised to see that not much had changed in terms of visuals. Just about everything looked the same with the exception of the default phone dialer app. This app had actually been overhauled. In terms of usability, it was definitely a step in the right direction, but in terms of visuals I still do not understand why just about every contact in my phone has to be a different color. Nevertheless, I am very happy with the resulting software, and am very glad that I have a Nexus device and am able to get the latest updates as they are released by Google.

As I was browsing the internet for more information regarding this update, I discovered that Google's policy is that it only updates its Nexus devices 18 months with the latest software. I was a little dismayed to learn this, but once again not surprised. A business won't survive if it updates/fixes its products forever. For now, I am happy with the phone, and when that sad day comes when my Nexus 5 is considered "too old" by Google for more updates, I plan on looking for alternative software.

Posted in <a href="">apps</a>, <a href="">Google</a>, <a href="">mobile</a>, <a href="">technology</a> | Post Comment

7 Smart Celebrity Branding Tricks Your Business Should Be Using

Be honest: do you judge celebrities? Of course you do.

You had an opinion on Miley's scandalous VMA performance (what the?!) and Kim and Kanye's Vogue cover (ugh). Or if you're like many of us, perhaps you simply wonder how in the world the Kardashians became (and remain) famous at all.

Welcome to Hollywood.

Hollywood Sign

Bottom line? It's all about branding.For better (or worse…) celebrities (and their publicists, manager, assistants, stylists and that guy they tweet about who works at the gas station) have the ability to draw people in by being just 'regular' enough to make those not on the A-List believe that they know them. It's easy to write off one (or all) of the Kardashians as mindless. It's also easy to turn to Taylor Swift only during awkward relationship moments.

Not so fast —the tabloid fodder that Kate (Bosworth or Beckinsale… or Hudson or Middleton… Winslet or that other one…) channels in to photo ops, you can channel in to your business. Let's get started. Here are a few tips to building your brand (& fans) with sound nuggets of wisdom from your new celebrity friends (and their assistants.)

1. Make yourself unique.Jackie Kennedy Onassis

Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis may have been reluctant when it came to publicity, but there is no denying that the former First Lady's name remains synonymous with elegance. The same goes for Coco Chanel and the classic flap handbag.

As a company/brand, not only do you need a clear vision of what you stand for, you need to stay true to that and those values. By being clear and carving out your niche, your customers and fans become more likely to feel as sense of ownership toward your brand.

2. 24 hours a day. 7 days a week.

Branding is a 24/7 job. When you go out, you may be photographed (especially if you have your publicist tip off the paps.) Okay, while that's not the exact scenario for the average business owner, the message is this: you never know who's watching.

All press is good press? Not true. Lindsey Lohan may be in the tabloids, but notice she's not making movies and she's not in the position to be the face of much beyond a luxury rehab facility. Roger Federer on the other hand, has lived a scandal-free life (so far?) that's boosted his worth beyond pro-Tennis star —he's also the face of Rolex.

3. Be Transparent.

Public awareness has increased over the last few decades and customers genuinely want to know where their product comes from. Likewise, they want to know the people behind the service.

Know what you stand for and own it.

4. Be public.

While most small businesses will not be taking part in global campaigns, being a part of your community is key. Whether it's taking advantage of a public speaking gig or taking part in a local project, increasing your visibility helps you reach markets you may never have been able to crack otherwise.

5. Be social.

We've all been baffled by certain celebutants and their mass, cult-like following on social media. Although the majority of SMBs will not see millions (or hundreds of thousands…) of followers, social media is an important branding component.

Social media is about interaction and creating a fan base for the products and services you offer. It humanizes your brand in ways that were not possible 10 years ago.

Love them or hate them, celebs are masters of creating personal moments on social media. Creating a moment that has an authentic feel is why it's successful.

6. It takes a village.

Celebrities have handlers, publicists, stylists, agents and a handful of assistants to ensure their day-to-day runs smoothly. While most SMBs don't have the funds or resources to copy this exact model, the idea can be achieved in unconventional ways.

Such as? Make your customers a part of your team if possible. Invite them to use Instagram, Twitter or FaceBook to send you photos of themselves using your products. Engage with them on these networks. Like their photos, even if it may be unrelated to you or your industry.

Although your claim to fame is unlikely to come from a reality show or inviting your fans to join you on a private jet tour, business owners would be smart to take a few short pages from celebrity 101… Remember, you and your employees are your best brand/business advocates.

Posted in <a href="">Advertising/Marketing</a>, <a href="">blogs</a>, <a href="">Online Marketing</a>, <a href="">PR Public Relations</a>, <a href="">social media</a>, <a href="">Social Networking</a> | Post Comment

Hey Girl (or Guy), What's Your Name?

Steve JobsSteve Jobs wasn’t a fan of overt, ‘branding’ and ‘marketing’. ‘Dirty’ is how he described the two words, preferring instead to focus on educating his audience, providing them with value. Some will argue it’s semantics at best —and it is, at least on some level. Regardless, it’s a rather ironic twist of fate that in the end, Jobs and the icon company he lead and co-founded have come to be known, respectively, as being some of the great marketing geniuses of our time. 

There’s no doubt that there is much inspiration, plenty of knowledge to gain surrounding both the man (and the myth) that was Steve Jobs. Yet with every new Jobs article, when I glimpse at the photographs showing current Apple CEO, Tim Cook, outfitted in Steve’s trademark black shirt and jeans, it’s this bit of copy my mind recalls without fail:

Here's to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They're not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them. About the only thing you can't do is ignore them. Because they change things. They push the human race forward. And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.

—Apple, Inc.

It’s brilliant copy; its message strong. There’s no question it’s made a lasting impact. Yet the question must be asked: Why are ‘we’ as individuals and brands obsessed with being ‘the next Steve Jobs’ or ‘the next Apple’?

Again, perhaps we’re arguing semantics. We claim to crave innovation, to value creativity and to want to change the world. Is it genuine or do we merely value the idea? Is our driving force really innovation and individuality as opposed to ego?

What I really want to say is simply this:  

Stop trying to be Steve Jobs.

You’re were not, are not and will never be, the man who spawned a generation of Apple fan boys and the tablet computer whose release garnered lines of perspective owners that spanned 3+ city blocks in downtown San Francisco.

And that’s okay.

The unknown symbolizes beauty. Creativity. A new generation of innovators who aren’t satisfied with the status quo.

Let us never forget history and its crazy geniuses who ‘pushed the human race forward,’ but that doesn’t translate to ‘hey, let’s strive to become them.’

When we recognize that fame isn’t, or sadly shouldn’t, be the name of the game, perhaps it will also be the moment that the world, however unintentionally, is to learn your name.

Posted in <a href="">Advertising/Marketing</a>, <a href="">branding</a>, <a href="">Copy Writing</a>, <a href="">Design</a>, <a href="">Inventions</a>, <a href="">iphone</a>, <a href="">Online Marketing</a>, <a href="">opinion</a>, <a href="">technology</a> | Post Comment

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January 2020


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