Archive for the ‘Facebook’ Tag

Security Leaks   5 comments

Companies are taking measures to protect their systems from security leaks that can make them vulnerable to external attacks.

Unauthorized Smartphones On Wi-Fi Networks: Smartphones create some of the greatest risks for enterprise security, mostly because they’re so common and because some employees just can’t resist using personal devices in the office.

The danger is that cell phones are tri-homed devices — Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and GSM wireless. If you use a device like a smartphone that spans multiple wireless spectrums, “someone in a parking lot could use a Bluetooth sniper rifle that can read Bluetooth from a mile away, connect to a smartphone, then connect to a corporate wireless network. Bluetooth thus becomes an open portal that allows hackers to access Wi-Fi and therefore the corporate network.

Only approved devices should access the network. And that access should be based on MAC addresses, which are unique codes that are tied to specific devices, making them more traceable.

Another tactic is to use network access control to make sure whoever is connecting is, in fact, authorized to connect. In an ideal world, companies should also separate guest access Wi-Fi networks from important corporate networks.

Open Ports on a Network Printer: Printers have had telephone lines for faxes for several years, and some are now Wi-Fi enabled or support 3G wireless connectivity. Hackers can break into corporate networks through these ports. A more nefarious trick is to capture images of all printouts in order to steal sensitive business information.

The best way to deal with this problem is to disable the wireless options on printers altogether.Make sure all ports are blocked for any unauthorized access.

Custom Web Applications With Bad Code: One common trick is to tap into the xp_cmdshell routine on a server, which an inexperienced programmer or systems administrator might leave wide open for attack. Hackers can use that opening to gain full access to a database, which provides an entryway to data and a quick back door to networks.

Small coding errors, such as a failure to use proper safeguards when calling a remote file from an application, provide a
way for hackers to add their own embedded code. A company can also be open to attack if it has a blog with a trackback feature (to report on links to its posts) but doesn’t sanitize stored URLs to prevent unauthorized database queries.

The obvious fix to this problem is to avoid using freebie PHP scripts, blog add-ons and other code that might be suspect. If such software is needed, security monitoring tools can detect vulnerabilities even in small PHP scripts.

Social Network Spoofing: Facebook and Twitter users can be fooled into divulging sensitive information. Usually, these types of attacks are subtle and not easily traced. Someone claiming to be, say, a employer, contacts an employee, and the employee believes that the caller is, in fact, a employer and doesn’t attempt to verify his credentials.

Companies should use e-mail verification systems that validate senders’ identities by generating return messages that ask senders to confirm their credentials.

Downloading Illegal Movies and Music: In a large company, it’s not uncommon to find employees using peer-to-peer systems to download pirated files or setting up their own servers to distribute software. The P2P ports should be completely shut down at all perimeters and ideally at the company’s endpoints. P2P programs can be stopped through [whitelists or blacklists] and filters on the enterprise servers. Injecting hostile code into P2P files is not difficult. organization.  A technique called “resource isolation” that controls which applications users are allowed to access based on permission rights.

SMS Spoofs and Malware Infections: Hackers can use SMS text messages to contact employees in direct attempts to get them to divulge sensitive information like network log-in credentials and business intelligence, but they can also use text messages to install malware on a phone.

An attacker can send an invisible text message to the infected phone telling it to place a call and turn on the microphone. That would be an effective tactic if, for example, the phone’s owner were in a meeting and the attacker wanted to eavesdrop.

it’s possible to filter SMS activity, but that’s usually handled by the wireless carrier because SMS isn’t IPbased and therefore isn’t usually controlled by company administrators. The best option is to work with carriers to make sure that they’re using malware-blocking software and SMS filters to prevent those kinds of attacks. Creating smartphone usage policies that encourage or require the use of only company-sanctioned or company-provided phones and service plans can reduce the risk.

Search Services   Leave a comment

Apart from Google, Twitter and Facebook there are other useful Search services to capture conversation. Though Facebook is the largest social networking site, its in-site search may not be the best way to see such data.

Youropenbook.org: is a simple to search and you can see what others are searching for.  It has the unique ability to search Facebook  for male and female Facebookers and is useful if you need to search on gender.

Facepinch.com: Can view the most recent searches if you need to know what’s happening at present. Its is also possible to browse recently updated profile pictures of facebook users’ names and thumbnails. You can select specific countries if you are interested in a particular geographical area. Lets you view hot trending topics and see what is being sought on Facebook with the top 100 popular search list. You can search Facebook’s 500 million network or Twitter’s network instead.

Booshaka.com: Can have  real-time look at what is trending on facebook based on open search keywords or using a specific topic. You can select from main topics like news, music, sports, politics, fashion or movies provides a stream of updates from recent accounts. Displays number of  ”likes’ and comments a Facebook post has received and narrow down the results by what’s trending and what’s popular.

Kurrently.com: is a dedicated search engine for Facebook and Twitter, but you can narrow down to see results from one service or the other. The search results continue to refresh after after you’ve looked up a word or phrase.

Optimizing for Facebook and Search Engines   9 comments

You’re probably familiar with search engine optimization (SEO) tactics for improving your website’s search rankings in Google and other major search engines. But have you thought about how to incorporate social media into your search strategy? Optimizing for Facebook and search engines is benefits overall search rankings.

Facebook can be a valuable asset for search results. The volume of content and variety of places to add keyword-rich content can help you attract new Page members on Facebook, while providing more natural search results.Facebook is indexed by search engines and also has deals with Google and Bing to display social search results that include posts from your friends.

In the more general natural-search realm, a well-optimized Facebook Page can help you overtake a competitor by providing a second set of Pages (in addition to your own website) to display on the search results page. This can also be helpful when you’re looking to do some reputation management. A Facebook Page can also give you the opportunity to add a few more keywords that didn’t work as well on your website.

Places to Put Keywords:

Page name:    Your Facebook Page name or title is one of the first things both users and search engines. Create a keyword-dense title, but make sure it’s clear who you are and what you do.

URL:    You can also choose a vanity URL for your Page, which is another great place to include branded keywords like your company name. Facebook Page URLs are a large part of optimization, as content space is limited.

The Info box:    This small, 250-character box located below the Page icon is an underused gold mine for both traffic and SEO purposes. It’s one of the first things a current Page member sees when looking at either the Wall or Info tab. The keywords you use in the Info box can go a long way in search. With its prominent placement, the Info box is a great place to optimize a little info about your Page, because it’s the highest place in the Page code that allows custom text. You can even put a clickable link in there. You just need to include the http:// part first.

Keywords on Facebook Tabs:

The Facebook tab structure creates a helpful hierarchy of information and the ability to add lots of keyword-rich content. Facebook offers several standard tabs for your Page, including the Wall, Info, and Photos or Videos tabs. You can also add your own custom tabs.

Default landing tab:    Facebook allows you to choose a specific landing tab for new Page viewers. This is the first tab they
see, and its primary goal is to encourage them to click Like for the Page. It is also the first Page crawledby search engines. This default tab can be a custom tab you create, so make sure it contains relevant text that explains to both search engines and Facebook users who you are and what you do.

Info tab:  The standard Info tab has fields containing important descriptive data about your Page. It’s important to fill out all fields, as they provide an opportunity to include keywords and links for both local searches in the Location field and more general product or service queries in the Company Overview section.

Other Content:  

It almost goes without saying, but it’s important to continually share interesting content on your Facebook Page and always use all available descriptive fields on each type of content shared. Facebook allows nearly every piece of content to be indexed by search engines, so use the tabs, tools, and input fields that Facebook provides to your full advantage.

Media:   Post photos to multiple albums and include keyword-rich descriptions of the album and each photo. Every event or topic should have its own album for easier searching. Allow Page members to post their own photos and comment on or tag your uploads.

Events:  Use the Events feature for both real and virtual events. Always fill out all fields with a full description of the event, and make it open to the public.

Status updates:  There is a lot of debate about the extent to which updates help with search engines, but it’s clear that they are a big factor in Facebook searches. Take your time when planning content and include keywords; this is the bulk of what Page members will see on a daily basis.

Increased Interactions:
User interaction is a crucial yet elusive factor in optimizing your Facebook Page and improving search presence. Facebook views interactions with your Page (likes, comments, and posts) much like a searchengine views links pointing to your site. A user interaction is a vote for the content of your Page.

Facebook’s focus on user behavior and interaction extends to visits, clicks, and Event RSVPs as well. The exact weight or algorithm the site uses to calculate interaction is unclear, but the higher the engagement on your Page, the higher you will rank in Facebook searches and the more prominent your placement in a suggested search.

Encourage interaction on your Page by posting frequently and including lots of content that asks users directly to interact.

Security Threat in Social Networking   Leave a comment

A message from one of your friends appears in your in box, sent via a social network site that you use regularly. The message promises a big deal and points to a Web site you’ve never heard of. You click the link—and the next thing you know, your PC is misdirected to a phishing page that steals your log-in details or to a drive-by download site that infects your system with a password-stealing Trojan horse. And your friend says that she never sent you the message. This is a security threat in social networking.

Whether the culprit is a fake LinkedIn profile page that serves up URLs leading to dangerous Web sites or a bogus Twitter message that purportedly comes from a friend, social networks are rapidly becoming the newest medium for malware attacks. As operating systems and applications became harder to hack directly, online criminals came to realize that it was much easier to fool people into clicking bad links, opening dangerous files, and running malicious software. They also figured out that the most effective place to exploit the trust that naturally exists between friends and colleagues was within the mechanisms of the online social networks themselves.

By now, most Internet users are savvy enough to recognize spam e-mail. But what about a spam tweet that seems to come from someone in your circle of friends and links to a page that looks almost exactly like the one you use to log in to Twitter? A week may go by, and suddenly the data thieves who now control your account begin sending messages with URLs—some of which perform drive-by downloads and infect the recipients’ PCs with malware—to everyone in your social network.

Facebook and MySpace users have already had to deal with a number of worms and other nasties that are designed to spread independently of any action taken by the account holder.

If you think that details of your social networking account may have been stolen or compromised in some other way, report your suspicions to the site’s support team immediately. Change your password frequently, and avoid clicking message links that purport to transfer you back to the social network site. Instead, to get back to your account, type the site’s address directly into your browser

Make Money with Facebook   5 comments

With the number of Facebook’s  users increasing everyday, businesses of all types are realizing they have a big opportunity to make money with Facebook the world’s largest social network.

It is important to understand that Facebook is not your traditional e-commerce channel and should not be used as a direct
marketing tactic. The hundreds of millions of Facebook members have joined to share their personal stories through updates, images and videos within their social network not to buy products. Utilizing the social network as a sales channel is not a bad thing but should be handled carefully. Aggressive behavior does not pay off.

Develop a strategy for connecting with your customer base. Your strategy should be about quality not quantity of people that “like” your page. Taking the time to develop relationships with your fans, creating engaging content and measuring results are the three essential steps to an impressive return on investment.

-Engage with those who like you page: Start with an interesting and compelling Facebook Page that differentiates your business from the competition. Apps are a good way for any business serious about marketing on Facebook to create a unique experience that helps you stand out. From sharing videos to contests, Facebook Apps are among the most used features on the platform. Add in the ability to share with friends and a strong Facebook App can have a huge impact.

Creating a separate tab that helps business owners showcase their products or services is the right approach. Constantly posting your products on your Facebook  wall will turn people off, resulting in a sharp increase in the number of people “unliking” your page and, therefore, dismissing your brand. Creating a low-risk high-reward option for your customer is important, so always think like your  customers when implementing any new Facebook idea. There are thousands of amazing apps on Facebook and visiting the Facebook App Directory is a good place to start.

-Engaging content: Facebook uses the news feed optimization formula  to decide what content shows up in a user’s top
news feed, this formula  is tied to Facebook’s current news options (top news vs. most recent) .

Facebook news feed optimization has become a new type of  SEO. If you like or comment on updates from one particular
Facebook page often, you are likely to see that business’ status update in your top news feed (the default setting) on a regular basis. The formula called EdgeRank, looks at affinity score (how often the user interacts with the page), weight (how many comments or likes a post has), and time decay (how recent that update was posted). In many respects, this is not unlike link building.

If you post content on your page that does not follow the above formula you are wasting your time, as updates will not be seen by your fans. Before you press the share button, reread the post and make sure you are asking for engagement. For example, if you are thinking of launching a new product, ask the opinion of your customers.

If you are just starting out and have very few people following your page, Facebook advertising is a great approach to reach the right people at the right time. Advertisers can request that ads are served based on what your customers have said they liked in their profile. Example, you can promote a new brand to people on their birthdays, based on information from those user profiles. Before launch, Facebook will even show the number of estimated reach so as to not waste marketing dollars advertising to those less likely to engage.

-Performance: Your Facebook Page, Facebook Insights offers valuable customer information. After reviewing age, gender and country of residence you can enhance or change your current Facebook strategy. Using this data, you can decide which content works best, the audience you are currently reaching and where improvements can be made. In the end, it’s all about making social connections with your target audience.

Google+   Leave a comment

Google+ social network  home page just like Facebook consists largely of a news feed or a ‘Stream’. The Stream is organized a little bit differently to Facebook though- stuff that you’ve hit +1 on commented on previously will rise to the top of your feed if there is a new comment. So Google knows that you are interested in becoming more visible.

Like Facebook, you can make a status update, or share photos, video and your location. Unlike Facebook, you don’t have to do it on your own profile to make an update. There is a drop-down ‘Share’ menu in the upper right corner which allows you to share from any Google+ page. So you don’t have to open a new tab to share something, or navigate from the page you are using.

There is another menu on upper right for notifications. This works similarly to Facebook in that it changes colour when you have a notification, and drops down when you click on it. Unlike facebook, you can reply to comments within that menu.  So you don’t have to navigate away from whatever you are doing.

Circles: Google  reckons that ;people have different “social circles”. When you add someone on Google+, you put them into at least one circle using a drag and drop down system. Sometimes you might want someone in more than one different circle,  ‘family and ‘friends’. You just need to drag and drop into a second circle.

Categorizing people into groups can be done on Facebook, but it is hidden within Facebook’s  settings. Google+ makes creating those filters easy, so you don’t have to share anything with anyone you don’t want to. Every time you share something on your Stream, you get to choose which people to filter in or out.

Sparks: You can search for anything that interests you, and any Google News that applies to that interest will show up in your Sparks news feed. In short, Google+ is doing some simple keyword and tag search

Hangout: is Google’s video chat feature. When you start a Hangout session on Google+ , it starts you default webcam and broadcasts  video to your circles. It opens up in a pop-up window.  You can invite people to join the video chat.

Google+ Android App: Android users can download an app to assist them while they are away from their keyboard. It has just five icons on the main screen- Stream,  Huddle, Photos, Profile and circles. There is a bar across the bottom of the screen that tells you if you have any notifications.

Using Huddle from the Android app is a handy way to communicate with a group of people- it is basically a reply to all email function.

Social Connections in Social Networks   Leave a comment

In social networks there are three types of people who bring about social connections.

Connectors: are people who links us up with the word,people with a special gift for bringing the world together. They are “a handful” of people with an extraordinary knack for making friends and acquaintances. These individuals typically have social networks of over one hundred people. Connectors gain success in their ability to span many different worlds as a function of something intrinsic to their personality, some combination of curiosity, self-confidence, sociability, and energy.

Mavens:are information specialists or people we rely upon to connect us with new information. They accumulate knowledge, especially about the marketplace, and know how to share it with others. A Maven is someone who wants to solve other people’s problems, generally by solving his own. Mavens start “word-of-mouth epidemics” due to their knowledge, social skills, and ability to communicate, they are information brokers, sharing and trading what they know.

Salesmen: are persuaders, charismatic people with powerful negotiation skills. They tend to have an indefinable trait that goes beyond what they say, which makes others want to agree with them.

Each of these categories of people can potentially become your ‘first tier’ influencers. These are the people that are directly connected to you in some way. They follow news about your brand. They discuss your brand with their
connections. They want to have a closer dialogue with you. They are all influencers in their own right and, with their own specific skills, can reach out beyond your immediate network to influence others. Your tier 1 influencers can connect to your tier 2 influencers, who can also help to spread the word about your brand.

If you can find people in your immediate network who have these qualities you can start to engage in dialogue with them, cultivate them and give them information.

If you can find some information that is not generally available externally it will be very well received. Mavens will relish these bits of ‘special’ information – they will broker the information to the connectors and salesmen in their networks, and the message gets out. Each type of information gatherer will connect in some way to the next tier of influencers which may be further away from you in social distance, but closer to others in their own networks.

TIER 1 INFLUENCERS:

-Tier 1 influencers typically hang out on user forums, they help out in community sites and they often have the answers     the community needs.                                                                                                                                                                                                 -They respond to questions posed on the forum, or, if they are connector types, they will know someone in their network  who does have the answer if they don’t actually know it themselves.                                                                                                   -They may run user groups or attend them.                                                                                                                                                     -They are forum moderators.                                                                                                                                                                                  -They run user Q&A portals and participate in chat rooms.
-They are often quick to respond to a question posted on Twitter or Facebook.
-They are significant in your ‘fan-out’ evangelism efforts.

Fan-out messaging works like this. I tell two people, who each tell two people, who each tell two people, who each tell two people. My original message has fanned out and has reached 30 new potential customers – or, more importantly, potential influencers for my brand. These influencers and their connections are vital in getting your message out on your behalf. They retweet your interesting news on Twitter, they link to your blog from their own blog and they share useful links on Facebook. This network rebroadcasts and amplifies your message for you.

Tier 1 influencers are often early adopters. They buy the latest gadget, phone and eBook reader. They beta-test new releases of software and often have the latest and greatest laptop. They demonstrate their new hardware to anyone who will watch. They download the latest Twitter client and tweet endlessly about it. They broadcast this to their friends
through blogs, Facebook and Twitter. These influencers created a buzz about the device which ensured that a huge amount of people got to hear about it through the reports in the newswires.

Large companies have structured rewards and incentives programmes for influencers who are not usually motivated by financial incentives, but who thrive on knowledge gathering, community and recognition.

If you get your key influencers right then your tier 1 and your tier 2 influencers will do the job of getting your message out for you.

If you maintain a close relationship with your tier 1 influencers they will reward you by broadcasting your message for you. Airlines get loyalty from their travellers with Air Miles programmes and frequent flyer clubs, and supermarkets
offer incentives through their loyalty and rewards cards.

If you invest time in maintaining the relationship with your tier 1 influencers, you will find you have a great circle of loyal advocates to spread the word about your brand. These influencers will greatly increase the amount of coverage when
they talk about your product or gizmo, so it’s worthwhile talking about it. If you don’t think you have the time to invest in talking about your product across your channels, then spending 30 minutes a day promoting your message can still be of
benefit if it is done outside your immediate circle of connections.

Link Up with Linkedin   1 comment

Facebook ‘Liked’ products be top sellers   Leave a comment

With over 600 million members or “friends,” Facebook is the most powerful of the online social networks. Online
retailers are discovering new ways to harness this power not only to increase their sales, but also to infl uence buyers through the virtual word-of-mouth that the Facebook Like button enables.

The way it works is simple. Individuals, companies, or groups create Fan pages on Facebook where they can post updates. Facebook members can become a fan by simply clicking the Like button located on the fan page. Fans then receive updates posted by the page creator.

Companies have begun to integrate this feature into their own web sites, allowing them more exposure through this social network.  is is an efficient way for retailers and manufacturers to let their customers and Facebook fans know about new releases of products, events, and special off ers and coupons.  e added benefit to retailers is that anyone connected to the person who Liked the item will also be exposed to the product when they see the Facebook News Feed of the fan of the brand.

Up until a few months ago, retailers only went as far as allowing members to become fans of a brand as a whole. Lately, however, a new trend has emerged. Merchants such as Levi’s and Amazon now use the Like feature at a product level. How does this work and what does it mean for you as an online retailer? Let’s look at Levis.com. In the screenshot example below, Levi’s has integrated Facebook’s Like feature into the product information for each listed item.  e jeans maker also shows how many people have Liked each pair of jeans to the right of the Like button. By displaying the number of members who Like a pair of jeans, Levi’s is betting that consumers will be more influenced to look at and buy those jeans.

During an internal usability study conducted in May of 2010 with online shoppers across various age groups who had Facebook accounts, it was discovered that the Like feature did influence members’ shopping experience. Observations showed that jeans with a higher number of Likes got more views from these online shoppers than jeans with fewer Likes, at least initially.  While ultimately select a pair of jeans based on their personal style, they also spent time investigating the products with more Likes to find out why they were more popular.

In order to use this feature, Facebook members must allow Levi’s to use some of their Facebook information, such as:
their friends’ birthdays, th e display of their friends’ Facebook profile pictures on the Levi’s web site if they Like a product, and  Information posted on their Facebook Wall when they select to Like and/or comment on something.

By having access to this account information, Levi’s can alert its online shoppers about friends’ birthdays as a means to promote gift purchases.  And in hopes of influencing a shopper’s buying decision, it can also show shoppers images of their friends who have Liked or commented  on certain products.  is  where the true power of marketing through social media shines.

And when viewing a friend’s Facebook page or status update in News Feed, members can see if a friend has Liked or commented on something through the Levi’s web site. At the top of the next page is an example screenshot of what
would typically appear on a fan’s Facebook Wall if he had Liked and commented on a Levi’s product.

Members seeing a product on their Facebook Profile pages when they commented on a Liked product, as well as seeing a product they simply Liked.  These same consumers also said that if they saw a pair of jeans that a Facebook friend Liked or commented on, they would be more inclined to click on that product, driving them back to the Levi’s site.

 Consumers who may have never considered visiting the Levi’s web site are now exposed to and driven to the site
via a single product they saw on a friend’s Facebook profi le page or within the Facebook News Feed. If only 0.25% of Facebook’s 600 million friends visited the Levi’s site, that would still amount to an additional 1.5 million visits.

So what’s the downside?  at depends on what a consumer is comfortable with people knowing about her. In the case of Levi’s, the one drawback we heard from testers was that they may not necessarily want to display the types of clothes they Liked for fear of criticism.  The main deterrents when it came to announcing their clothing styles were body type and size, color and style.

Enter Amazon.com.  In late July 2010, Amazon partnered with Facebook to create a personalized shopping experience for consumers based on their Facebook Likes and their friends’ Likes. Amazon accesses a customer’s Facebook account, with the customer’s permission, to gather information .

Once a customer has allowed Amazon to access this information, the retailer uses it to recommend products based on the customer’s Likes and her friends’ Likes. Aside from displaying the friends’ profile pictures for products they’ve liked, Amazon also shows friends with upcoming birthdays. Based on their Likes, Amazon provides gift suggestions for these friends.

This type of integration allows Amazon to gain key insights into how product sales relate to social recommendations—a metric which, up to this point, has not been easily measured. Based on this data retailers can build models to show how
fi nancially valuable it is to have members Like a product or brand and truly gauge the impact of social network marketing.

Overall, this marriage between social networks and online retailers has a bright future. As more people use Facebook to
keep up with friends, trends and gossip, Facebook’s potential as a commerce tool for online retailers will only continue
to grow. So consider how your retail site could benefi t from integrating Facebook’s Like feature and test the user experience before deploying it to make certain your customers understand and appreciate the feature. It could impact your site more than you think.

Apps Store Optimization   Leave a comment

There’s a new term Internet marketers need to become familiar with: ASO, or App Store Optimization. As apps have ushered in a new era of business on the Web, ASO will soon take its place alongside SEO as a key component of online success.

Consumers are quickly realizing that apps are increasingly abundant, providing solutions to problems, and  conveniences never before seen. But as the number of apps increases at a rapid pace consumers need a little help finding what they need. That’s where ASO steps in. And, just like SEO, ASO takes up-front planning to achieve top
rankings in the app stores.

Plan before you build

It pays to do your research. Apps are neither easy nor cheap to build — so it is critical that just as much care is given to ensure its adoption and help turn that app into a solid business investment. What’s more, under-developed apps can incur the wrath of poor user reviews, all but dooming its future. It’s easy to dream up the next great app but far more
difficult to fulfill an actual consumer need. Study the market.

• What do the top 100 ranking apps in your category have in common?

• What features do the top apps overall have in common?

• What are consumers searching for (services or features) that could give your app an edge?

Try to identify what users are searching for and use those keywords when developing and promoting your app; starting with the title and description and possibly even using the developer name. Words like “easy,” “fun,” “fast,” and  “exciting” are highly searched and enticing to the consumer. Your mission is to build app that has mass appeal and easy-to-understand benefits.

Naming Description

The name of the app must feature a strong keyword. This will have a major impact on your app store ranking and, of course, helps consumers discover your app through search. Take care in researching keywords that are appropriate to the app and its functions before settling on a name.

When it comes to app descriptions, clearly outline the benefits but be strong and concise — enough to grab the consumer’s attention and convince them why they should install your app. Avoid using special characters in your title as this will have a negative effect on how the name appears in the app’s URL. Also, include “Free” or “Lite”, if appropriate. Another strategy is to build your app dependent on a popular platform such as Facebook, and use that name in your copy. If building on a third party platform, however, engineer a user notification when that third party has an outage so that your app does not get blamed and slapped with a low rating. Remember that every good piece of copywriting includes a strong call to action.

Pricing

Included in the research phase of app planning is pricing. App prices will vary but should stay in line with similar apps or functionalities. Price an app too high and it will quickly fall out of favor — meaning lost ratings and reviews and the possibility that cheaper alternatives dominate the app stores. Pricing too low can add a “cheap” feel to the app and also result in being overlooked.

More than 80 percent of the traffic in the Apple App Store is directed to free apps. So, one pricing strategy is to use the “freemium” model — that is, offering a free version of the app while outlining the benefits of the paid model both in descriptions and in the app itself. Review your options, such as inapp purchasing to monetize on engaged users. Half of the top-grossing App Store apps are now free with in-app purchasing, and this percentage has been increasing rapidly. Paid apps should stay under the $4.99 price point, as consumers still expect to pay very little even for high-quality apps.
Should you decide to charge for your app consider using price promotions. For example, offering a $4.99 app for $.99 for a limited time can create a sense of urgency on the part of consumers and garner media attention.

Create High Quality Images

Create quality images to showcase your app and its benefits and label the images with strong keywords. The app’s icon must also be of high quality, and make sure it “pops” off of the page.

Plan the Preview

Search for an app and you will quickly see app store page results. Many times, the iTunes Web Preview is listed higher
than your app’s home page as they are very search engine friendly. These preview pages are critical to building organic traffic and attracting links — these pages must be optimized.

Use keywords and be sure to maximize the use of copy before the “More…” button, seen on Apple App Store previews, for example. You are limited to three lines here; each made up of 120 characters before word-wrapping. The URL, page title, meta description, meta keywords and the H1 tag should all be loaded with the app name and keywords. Currently, the iTunes preview page use a “no follow” attribute for links to the app’s home page so there is no benefit to the developer. Again, do your research — it will pay off with more downloads and higher rankings in the App Store.

Pre-launch tactics

Before officially launching an app, it is important to build some buzz. • Launch a website for your app. • Promote the app on social sites, and start networking with app review sites and other online communities, like LinkedIn Groups.
• Leverage your social network by integrating Facebook Connect into your app and request user ratings.
• Create a video featuring the “value” the app offers the user. Consider creating a professional screencast in high definition to demonstrate the quality of your app. Post on YouTube and use the links in  press releases and requests to app  reviewers.
• Demo the app at mobile industry shows — you never know when someone from Apple is watching (or reading) and it
could land the elusive App Store featured app.

Launch Advertising

Most Web marketers are familiar with display ads and, therefore, attempt to buy mobile display ads first. The problem is that mobile display ads are not very effective at growing traffic. Most marketers of free apps report that it costs between $1.50 and $3.00 (or more) to acquire an installation using mobile display ads, and that mobile display ad campaigns do not scale very well. Since it now requires approximately 50,000 U.S. installs in a single day to place in the top 25 in the U.S. App Store free rankings, explore lower cost alternatives such as “cost per install” networks, which provide cost per
install campaigns below $1.00 and at the high volumes required to break into the top of the App Store rankings.
Apps that rank in the top of app stores and retain that position do not achieve that status by sheer luck. It takes  planning and careful execution to land in the Top 25. But the effort will be handsomely rewarded with higher revenue and user engagement.

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