Is VOIP Technology Going Social?

No one can deny the impact of social media on the global population and the way it has affected business across the world. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and many other social media platforms are continually using new ideas to connect individuals. How can VoIP or Voice over IP be left behind? VoIP too has been affected by the social media revolution and its integration is becoming more and more obvious.

Is VOIP Technology Going Social?

Innovations in social media with VoIP being the focal point

Almost all the popular social media platforms were initiated in the form of desktop websites. However, with mobile devices gaining prominence, the social media platform too evolved. Though initially these sites were not meant to be mobile but they changed for the better. Nowadays, the social media innovations are built around VoIP and all innovations keep VoIP as the focal point.

If we take a closer look at mobile apps like WhatsApp, and Viber, we can see that here the users are able to share text, images and video with one another. Though these sites are not as big as Facebook but their very existence is based on VoIP. Making calls and messages are sent over the internet. Well, the days of social media built around the VoIP has already started and things are getting better and better with every passing day.

Facebook Too Is Making Its Move

Zuckerberg has created the best ever social media platform for the modern world. This can be judged from its growing user base, which has already crossed the 1 billion mark. Every time there is some innovation or news of some new move from the company it garners huge interest among users.

A couple of years back, Facebook purchased WhatsApp for whopping sum of $22 billion. The app was originally a part of the growing social media but immediately after the acquisition, VoIP calling feature was added. Thus, instead of slamming the door on its competitor, Facebook used the opportunity to expand its services.

The messenger app even has internet calling facility besides the VoIP calling feature. Now, there are many other companies that would follow suit. They are going to replicate the Facebook model to enhance their businesses as well.

Businesses Are Already Using VoIP And Social Media

All leading businesses are using social media to reach out to their customers. Customers too expect quick response to their queries. All this is done with the help of social media. This gives a head-start to  IP-PBX based VoIP integration with social media.

Companies often make it mandatory to fill up a form before making their content available to customers. Now this data automatically goes into the company’s CRM or Customer Relationship Management software. Executives in the company can use the VoIP integrated with the CRM to call up new prospects or follow up with existing customers.

What Does The Future Hold For Social Media And VoIP?

According to industry data, 79% of the businesses in the US have already started to use VoIP services. Another report reveals that an equal percentage of users are using social media as well. Features like messaging will soon be integrated with VoIP. VoIP and Social Media are made for each other. The day is not far when probably we will not even be aware where and how we are using them.

About The Author

Michelle Patterson


Reward Online Customers with Offline Services

E-commerce customers deserve rewards no less than customers who visit retail shops. Whether it’s earning points for each purchase or a notch punched into a loyalty card, smart merchants understand online customers expect pretty much the same as in-store shoppers: competitive pricing, customer service when they need it, and not overwhelming them with frequent communication.

Online payment

As Mark Macdonald wrote on Shopify’s blog, shoppers everywhere — online and those who stand in line to pay — respond to a merchant’s personality much more so than they do to a brand. It stands to reason that repeat customers should get similar awards regardless of where, when and how they shop and not what they buy.

E-commerce Should Adopt the Local Touch

While e-commerce businesses have national or international customers, they would do well to adopt a personal touch, which Yodle recently found helps smaller businesses win more customers than national chains, even when their prices are higher. In fact, the survey found local businesses outperform chains in personalizing services and treating customers fairly by a factor of more than 9:1. It isn’t that customers yearn for face-to-face service, either. In fact, their number-one wish about their favorite stores is for an improved online presence.

This provides a lot of food for thought for companies that sell online exclusively or to supplement brick-and-mortar stores. An independent online site can adopt the same personalized tactics local businesses depend on to compete with big-box stores.

Consumers Like Online Rewards Best

According to another recent study — this one from Johns Hopkins University’s Carey Business School — Loyalty programs pay off best when used online. Why? Because most consumers do their initial product research online. They “scour the Internet” for the best deal, with little regard to a loyalty concept, but an appreciation for offers that give them a reason to return to an e-commerce site.

Here are a few incentives that can encourage online shoppers to remain on a site, order from it and return:

  • Free shipping. Unexpected shipping costs lead to an abandonment rate approaching 30 percent, says Kissmetrics. One solution is to offer a low-cost membership that provides free shipping year-round, particularly for perishable gift items like chocolates or flowers that happen to be go-to gifts for just about any occasion: birthdays, housewarmings, Mother’s Day, anniversaries, sympathy gestures.
  • Inexpensive upgrades. For $5 or $10 more, offer a minor upgrade or add-on product such as a business card case.
  • Coupon code for the next purchase. To get the most out of this offer, make sure the code appears in the shopping cart when the customer connects via an email. Kissmetrics notes that a small number of shoppers will abandon a cart when they can’t find a discount code.
  • Provide upfront cash rewards. reports 60 percent of consumers prefer a rewards program connected to a credit card rather than business-specific programs customers are expected to track themselves.

Online Shoppers & DIY Customer Service

Shopify’s Macdonald notes that online customers are fine with the DIY approach to customer service so long as the information is accurate. FAQs are helpful tools for this; smart companies ask customers for feedback and update them as needed. Customers also share FAQs on online boards and chats, including social media outlets.

In addition, more customers turn to Twitter and Facebook for customer service, making these tools important ones to check on at least daily.

How to Create Compelling Case Studies

Seeking to boost the credibility of your offerings in an effort to grow your business? A case study may be worth exploring since it can show consumers that your claims about your products or services are valid.

Case Study

Here are a few tips for getting started:

See How Others are Using Case Studies

Seal manufacturer Apple Rubber offers a collection of case studies on their website for visitors to access. These reports share industry insight, educate consumers on their products and ethical business practices, and dive deep into the technology behind their product.

Delete, a digital strategy agency uses case studies to provide an overview of client work, and attract new customers by allowing them to see how the agency might help refine their brand through a carefully-crafted strategy.

Find the Ideal Candidates

Carefully analyze the pool of candidates to identify those who are most qualified to be featured in your case study. Ensure the clients who you choose to highlight are extremely knowledgeable of the product or service, have experienced exceptional results, or have decided to make the switch from a competitor because you had more to offer, HubSpot suggests. Also, look for those companies who are key players in their industry or who don’t fit the mold of a traditional customer—the latter conveys your versatility as an entity.

Pre-Interview Documents

Once you’ve selected your primary participants for the case study, it’s time to schedule an interview. But first, you’ll need to handle the small technicalities, which include obtaining their consent via a written release form and drafting up questions for them to answer beforehand to help both parties prepare for the live interview.

The Interview

Now that all the administrative tasks are taken care of, it’s time to get down to business. Before you dive in head first, kindly remind the interviewee you’ll be asking a sequence of interview questions that correspond with the questionnaire.

Areas to address include:

  • Overall business structure, mission, and any other relevant company information readers should know
  • Problems experienced before the implementation of your product or service
  • Why your product or service was chosen; focus on the benefits of what you were selling before listing out the features
  • How the product or service was implemented; be specific when describing how they benefited from your product or service’s unique features
  • Results achieved
  • Why the interviewee would recommend your company to others

Put It All Together

Edit the responses for fluidity and grammar without altering the actual content. Also, add a captivating headline and briefly introduce the reader to your client. Discuss how you were able to assist, followed by a synopsis of the live interview responses.

A Few Additional Tips

Don’t just stop with the text. Use visuals, such as images, graphs, and videos to support your assertions and further engage readers. You also want to remain objective, which can be done by letting the customer’s voice shine through direct quotes.

Customers want proof of your company’s promises, and what better way to do so than by harnessing the power of a well-written case study? With these helpful tips, you’ll be on your way to publishing an effective case study in no time.

Fake Social Media Profiles and Doing Your Homework

In the past, I have written about a romance scam, someone from Nigeria tried to pull on me. The details can be found in the following blog posts:

Take the money and run

Romance scams revisited

Then a copywriter – whose email list I subscribe to – sent me an interesting story. It’s entitled Meet “Ojuola Infotech” – the despicable man who stole my book by Chris Marlow. Apparently, some person from Nigeria stole one of her ebooks, put his name to it and tried to market it on Amazon and other sources.

Here’s where the story gets interesting. When Chris did a search on Ojuola Infotech, she came up with two identical profiles – but different photos. One was a Nigerian black man and the other was a white USA guy. It reminds me of my romance scam – which, by the way, I did not fall for. If I went to this person’s Facebook page, I saw two photos

  • One was the pretty woman who tried to start a long distance romance with me. But a Google image search of her picture found it was identical to a popular porn star.
  • The other was a black lady, dressed in a nurse’s uniform. My guess this was not a friend of hers, but the “really” photo and persona.

One mistake Chris made was not to copyright her ebook. This would be something easy to do, in the US. You can ask your local public library for help and it’s submitting an application to the US Copyright office. She did this after the fact. But it was through another company called The Trademark Company. She was then able to prove she was the author and remove it from different book dealers like Amazon Kindle.

You need to be careful about everything. For instance. I follow a blog by Douglas Ernst, mainly for his stories on superheros, Marvel and DC comics, etc. But he did a story entitled ‘Money: Master the Game’: Tony Robbins gives readers a sound blueprint for financial freedom by Tony Robbins. After reading his blog post, I checked out the book through my local public library. They have gotten the book via the inter-library load system.

I started reading the book, which is very well written and entertaining. But then I decided to Google ”Money Master the game summary”. One can find a couple interesting articles:

Both give some interesting insights and perspectives into the book.

My recommendation? Read the book but do look at the analysis and rebuttals of others.

And speaking of romance scams and fake profiles. Someone tried to pull the same trick this week. They presented they were a pretty woman from France. But a quick search of the image found it belonged to a popular porn star. And they didn’t bother to put together a profile one can find on multiple social media outlets. It’s an obvious fake.

Android App Security and Communication Tips

Last week, I shared some tips on Android apps entitled Three Tips for Choosing Android Apps. In order to understand Apple and Android, I pointed out that both were derivatives of the Unix system.

smartphone weight training

A good article that explores the underlying languages is Developing for the iPhone and Android: The pros and cons. In the article, these points are crucial:

  • “Android apps are written in the Java programming language”
  • “On the other hand, applications that run natively on the iPhone operating system are written in Apple’s Objective-C, a dialect of the more common C language that has elements of Smalltalk.”
  • “Over the past year or so, however, new tool kits and development platforms have emerged in the marketplace to make it possible for programmers create iPhone applications without having to study Objective-C.”

These are important points. When I was at COD taking programming courses, they did offer courses in C, C++ and Java. With C and C++, you can understand the languages Windows, IOS, Unix, Linux and Android are written in. Java is also immensely popular at community, private and state US universities. So it is easier to crank out Android app developers.

On the other hand, objective C is not taught a COD or Harper, two Illinois community colleges with great computer science offerings. So Apple will probably get less developers. And there is no overall king of tool kits out there yet, to crank out Objective C. With that in mind, along with much higher prices for a Unix system derivative and hardware functionality duplicated by Asian firms – I’ll run with Android. And like the article also points out, Android is an open system and Apple a closed one.

In 15 best antivirus Android apps and anti-malware Android apps at, two antivirus products stand out from China:

  • 360 Security
  • CM Security

Do you really need an anti-virus?  Let’s look at Best Free Antivirus App for Android.  It says this:

“First things first. Can my Android device get infected with a “virus”?”

“The short answer is NO. Because, you see, Android apps work under a “sandboxed” security scheme. This is a technique that places “virtual walls” between apps and the rest of the device’s software, so that the only way an app can share resources and data is by declaring permissions which restrict what actions an app can perform on your Android device, what files it can reach, and whether it can get access to your personal data or not.”

In ELI5: How do mobile apps make money? , it does raises questions how apps make money. I installed both 360 Security and CM security on my Android machine. The CM security and their companion product Clean Master, appear to sell ad banner clicks. I do get advertising with them – which is OK. But they have pointed out some vulnerabilities with some existing apps. But they suggested upgrading them – which I did. Which brings up a great point. Check your phone for firmware, operating system and application upgrades.

I don’t know how 360 Security makes money, as they don’t have paid product upgrades or banner ads. I do like both 360 Security and CM Security.  But I have some old favorite on Windows with Malwarebytes and CCleaner.  I have the Malwarebytes real time protection activated.  They are supposed to work well with antivirus apps. I booted out 360 Security and kept CM Security.

I’ve installed the MagicJack app. It keeps starting up initially and prompting me for login info. I’m currently waiting for MagicJack Go to arrive from Amazon. I like Skype for video chats and talking to friends and family connected with Skype. Ooma does have a phone app. But I have read that it is five dollars extra per month and is limited to only 1000 minutes a month (i.e. sign in to your Ooma site and look at add-ons). If you go to Google Play store (i.e. apps for Android devices), it has about 2.9 out of five stars in ratings. MagicJack App has 4.1 out of five stars for a rating. And it offers unlimited calling (i.e. I’m sure there is some cap somewhere). On the other hand, Ooma has excellent user ratings and reviews on Amazon. What does that tell you? Ooma for a home system and Magic Jack for mobile devices and backup.

Anyway, enough for now. More on MagicJack and Google App Dialer with Google Hangouts, when I have a chance to test them. Remember this.  If you use WiFi sites often, check out 17 best Android VPN apps

Does Your Company Need a Blog?

It seems as if no matter what the industry, every company has a blog—leaving you wondering if your stand-alone web page is enough. Does your small business also need a blog? Here we explore some of the companies that are doing great things with their blogs, and the benefits they are reaping in return.

How others are profiting from blogs (and you can too)


1. Bike Bandit: The Bike Bandit blog identifies as “The web’s largest source for power sports parts, accessories, gear and tires,” boasting an inventory of over 8 million products. They support a presence on every major social media site and actively keep up with and share industry news. They excel at getting customers to engage with their brand and refer to their blog as a community. Customers have come to recognize this “community” as a place to share experiences, “talk shop,” and keep the conversation going about all things motorcycle-related.

Takeaway: A blog can be used to inviting customers to feel like they’re a part of your business. Like chairs and newspapers in an old-time barbershop, a company blog can become a place to gather and swap stories. For the right clientele, that approach is golden.

2. Culinary Connection: This company helps aspiring chefs get the training they need without breaking the bank in high tuition fees. The Culinary Connection program doesn’t use a traditional classroom model, rather they place students in working kitchens for apprenticeships with professional chefs. Because of their interactive atmosphere, they support their business with a blog that discusses all things cooking and food. From sharing recipes to discussing techniques, they support themselves as an authority in the cooking industry and keep their clients returning for new information . No big sales pitches, just relevant content.

Takeaway: Your blog should stay consistent with your primary topic, and should focus on quality. You don’t need to push sales with your blog, rather, use it to attract potential clients and maintain existing ones.

3. Get Found First: Pay-Per-Click (PPC) advertising is big business, and Get Found First is one of the best at helping companies leverage their ad spend to bring in revenue. These guys know the value of content marketing, using well-informed articles, videos, infographics, and other media to attract the selected audience. Their company blog is called the “Knowledge Center,” and they keep their look and content fresh and valuable. Their focus is on continued education across topics someone involved with PPC would appreciate.

Takeaway: Make your blog visually appealing and use it as a space to educate your customers and shed light on emerging industry trends.

Tips on blogging for business

  • Don’t publish junk. If your editorial calendar calls for a post twice per day, and you’re not ready with a well-written article, don’t throw in something just to make the schedule. Make every piece of content count, and continuously strive for quality.
  • Do post regularly. A general rule of thumb is to create a new post at least twice per week. Find what is right for your industry and be consistent.
  • Do include a call to action. Have a call-to-action on your blog and in every post. Never leave the reader with nowhere to go, wondering how to do business with you, or where to go from there.

A Trio of Tips That Will Help You to Successfully Market Your App

You did your research, read plenty of articles and infographics, and spent hours carefully crafting your very first app. Now it’s time to think about doing whatever you can to make sure people find it and use it. About 90 percent of people who download an app will use it for only about six months, according to Trademob. In order to help keep your app customers active and continue to use your app, as well as to attract new users, it’s vital to focus on marketing techniques and tactics.


Harness the Power of Social Media

If you don’t already have accounts on all the social media websites, now is the time to create them. As a major bonus, using sites like Facebook and Twitter to get the word out about your app is completely free. Once you have your pages set up on all the sites including Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn, promote your application at least a few times a week on each site to help get the word out about what the app is and how it can benefit people. Encourage people to “like” or follow your posts by offering a discount on your app to those who do so. In addition to using social media to advertise your app, you can also connect with other groups and people that will help to boost your knowledge of app marketing and development.

Figure out the Price

Although it’s natural to want to get as much financial bang for the buck from each app download as possible, try not to price yourself right out of the app ballpark. Understandably, the apps that tend to be downloaded the most are the free or super low-priced ones, so try to price yours as low as you can. One way to make sure you are getting some revenue from all of your hard work is to create a “freemium” app that is free to download and then offers in-app purchase options, or you could also offer a subscription service for people to use the app in an ongoing way. If you decide to offer at least part of your app’s features on a subscription basis, Chargify offers an outstanding subscription management services that will help handle and manage the billing process and let you focus your time and efforts on marketing.

Create a Clever but Searchable Name

Choosing a great name for your app is an important part of your marketing plan. You can have the best and most useful app on the planet, but if no one can find it based on its name, all of your hard work will be for naught. For example, try to come up with a name that is catchy, but also has a word that ties into what the app is about. When you submit the iOS app, you will also need to create an extended name as well as a short tagline. This should include certain keywords that help to make it very clear what your app does, and allows people who are searching for an app just like yours to find it.