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The Age of Social Media Marketing has Only Just Begun

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January 23, 2018
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Many people say that we are living in the age of social media, but that isn’t true. Yes, we are living in an age where social media has been introduced, but we have only just started. Companies are still coming to terms with what social media can do for them, and the same is true for people.

Social media is only a few years old at this point, and while it has completely changed the way we live, it hasn’t even done 10% of what it will end up doing. Social media is already becoming the default way for people to communicate, but it will slowly become the default way to do anything on the internet.

Social media marketing is thus, a very lucrative career right now, with many jobs available in pretty much every region of the world, but it is going to be much more lucrative in the future. The reality is that social media marketing is still not being taken as seriously as it should be. Here are 3 things that will become commonplace in the industry as time goes on.

1 – More focus on statistics

Many companies are just starting out with their social media marketing, and they are not taking the metrics seriously. Companies think simply posting things on their social media pages is enough – they aren’t properly measuring and comparing traffic and engagement data. Thus, they are also wasting a lot of their marketing budgets. As soon as they realize their mistake, they will start focusing on the technical side of social media marketing.

2 – Elimination of older marketing methods

Industry-based magazines are still the preferred way to market services in many sectors, but that should be changing fast. We have seen the trend of industry-based social media pages grow, and with them, so will the phenomena of social media marketing being done through them. If you want to start your own social media campaign, it is a great idea to first create a page for your own industry and bringing the industry together on the page through what you know about social media marketing.

3 – Experienced Social Media Marketers Needed

This is going to be the most profound change in the industry. Social media itself is only a decade old, and social media marketing is barely half as old. This means that even a director level position on social media marketing requires only 2-3 years of experience at max, and the manager level positions can be attained with only 1 year of experience. That is why this is the perfect time to enter the industry – you don’t have to compete with highly experienced people, because there are no highly experienced people. Once social media marketing is a decade or two old, the job postings will start asking for a decade of experience too.

Social media marketing is the future – although there may be a replacement for Facebook, Snapchat, and Instagram in the future, but social media as a platform is here to stay.

Roles and Responsibilities of Business Analyst

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January 23, 2018
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A business analyst is a link between IT and the business. The Administration knows little about information technology, and the IT people do not know a lot about business. Mastering the technical issues of both formations is paramount for overcoming the challenges and for the development of tasks, such as management activities and strategic business planning. It is thus, a privileged position, connecting the technical solutions to the business objectives.

The Business Analyst should be able to understand the general functioning of the company, from marketing, finance, regulatory affairs, and governance, to customer service. A business analyst further needs to understand the economic context in which the company operates, and understand the organizational culture of the company and the way in which power relations are formed. Without this knowledge, the professional runs the risk of proposing solutions that, although technically perfect, can cause great problems and resistances.

A business analyst needs to master the various techniques required to understand, model, analyze, and document business processes and system requirements. He/she needs to be fluent in the methods, languages and notations used in the company, and determine whether market standards – such as BPMN, IDEF or UML – are specific to the organization.

The Responsibilities

This professional is responsible for prospecting opportunities for business growth in line with the company’s strategy, considering the direct and indirect impacts in other areas. To be more specific: a business analyst needs to:

  • Support the continuous improvement of the technology and internal processes of the institution,

  • Guarantee that the projects have well-defined purposes,

  • Synthesize information provided by several people related to the business,

  • Stress the possibilities of the business,

  • Identify and analyze the risks for each candidate solution identify projects,

  • Manage projects to act as a program manager for the implementation of selected solutions,

  • Seek the best business opportunities,

  • Analyze trends,

  • Create new products,

  • Re-create existing products, and

  • Think about finding new ways of doing business for the company.

Knowing the details of the business in its different aspects is fundamental to being successful in this function, for example, having a strategic vision to define orientation, objectives and macro processes; an operational vision to define and analyze the implementation of the business model through the organization’s policies and guidelines; a process view to define, model and detail processes, procedures, steps and steps; and a view of requirements to analyze technical aspects of requirements and specifications to meet business needs.

The business analyst is the recipient of the demands of the company’s business professionals, who often have little knowledge of technology and often have little time to explain what they need. By knowing the business in depth, he/she is able to quickly identify the user’s need, even if it is not clearly articulated. In addition, a business analyst is able to propose solutions that may not have occurred to the user, as well as assess immediately the impacts of what is being requested in other business processes of the organization.

The Future of Search Engine Marketing

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January 23, 2018
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When it comes to marketing, the one big problem which was hard to solve in the past, was about reaching the customer at the right time. You can give the same suggestion to a person a hundred times, and that person may react differently at all those times.

What’s more, you don’t just need to reach the right person with your marketing approach; you also need to reach them at the right time, when they actually need your product.

Whenever a product is launched, marketing managers figure out the perfect customer for it. When a new car is launched, all the marketing is based on who the ideal customer for it will be. The car may be perfect for families, or maybe women will like it more than men, or maybe it is aimed at a particular culture. These things are important but you need to reach the customer at the right time as well.

You may have designed the perfect car for families, but that doesn’t mean that your marketing campaign will yield results. Families that already have a car and are happy with it will not just go out and buy your car because they liked your marketing.

This is why search engine marketing is so important. Search engine marketing lets you reach out to customers when they are reaching out to you – which increases the likelihood of them becoming your customers a million times.

Think of it this way; you may see an ad for a new burger place in your area. If you see that ad after you have had your lunch or dinner, the ad will not be effective at all. With search engine marketing, things work differently. Someone who searches for “burger places near me” is someone who wants to eat a burger right at that moment. An ad shown to them can turn into an instant sale.

Voice Search Raises the Stakes

Another reason that search engine marketing will be even more important in the future is the rise of voice search. When people search through voice commands, they are searching through their mobile devices, which increases the likelihood of them looking to make an immediate purchase.

Someone who uses voice search to find great pizza parlors nearby probably wants some pizza right now. Voice search has also changed the way content is developed for the web. Now, there is a lesser focus on keyword placement and a higher focus on natural language.

The interesting thing is that voice search is fast becoming the default way that people search. It is possible that ‘typing’ will no longer be a thing we do in the future – as soon as voice recognition becomes 100% perfect, people may just use their voices to type all the time. Search is also being integrated into things – you can now search for things directly through the Google keyboard while typing a message.

How Puppet helps DevOps

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January 23, 2018
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Does your company spend more time fixing machine configuration problems and repeatable tasks, than thinking about strategies to improve and bring more value to the customer?

What if one of the reasons that your company can not move to production more quickly is because of problems of this type?

And what if it becomes chaotic to pass a change in the local database on to production?

Or in fact… have you heard about problems that in development, in my environment, in someone’s computer, the code worked, but then in production, it doesn’t?

That’s where Puppet can help you, especially if you are focusing on DevOps.

What is Puppet?

Puppet is a tool created in 2005 by Luke Kanies and now maintained by his company PuppetLabs, which serves to manage system configurations in a simpler way, automating repeatable tasks. You can find this tool in two forms: open source, and commercial (Puppet Enterprise).

The good thing about Puppet is that the configurations of the machines can be established through code, writing them in the language of Puppet. This language also allows you to subtract yourself from the system settings, which are at a lower level. With it, you can describe the resources that a machine should have (users, groups, packages, files, programs, etc.), in what state they should be, and the relationships that exist between them, and Puppet will take care of the rest.

For example, you do not have to tell Puppet that you need Maven on that machine, and as a Linux machine, the command to install Maven is X. You only have to indicate that you need Maven installed, and Puppet will look under what operating system it is and shall act accordingly.

Making configuration easy

Because the configuration and relationships between the resources are written in code, you can know not only the configuration itself, but the reason for that configuration as well. Everything is simpler. In addition to that, you can save the settings written with Puppet in your version control repository, so that besides the advantages of version control, tools like Jenkins can access them.

This way, we can improve the process of continuous integration, being able to develop-test-deploy applications with the same configurations of the system.

Puppet is also commonly used along with another tool called Vagrant, to simulate testing environments. Vagrant is a tool for managing virtual machines. Once the configuration code of your production server has been created, you can create a virtual machine with Vagrant and Puppet will apply that configuration to you. Then, you can pass the virtual image to the people of development, testing, QA, to do tests or develop in a simulation of the production environment.

Approaches of this type can make organizations more flexible and help them adapt better to changes. In addition, they promote DevOps culture, which is why the tool is becoming more and more popular in DevOps companies.

Why Jenkins is a great tool for DevOps

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January 23, 2018
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Continuous integration is a software development practice where team members integrate their work frequently (at least once a day, although multiple daily integrations are usually done). This is a fantastic idea in the DevOps context, which is why Jenkins is an important tool for companies focusing on DevOps.

Each integration is verified by compiling the source code and obtaining an executable (this is called build, and must be done in an automated way). In addition, quality tests and metrics are also passed to detect errors as soon as possible.

It is highly recommended to make builds periodically and to check that they work correctly, to achieve a more reliable final product, with fewer production failures. By frequently integrating the code, and with the help of tools like Jenkins, you can know the status of the software at all times. You know what works, what doesn’t and what mistakes there are. You can also monitor the quality of the code and its test coverage. Continuous integration can even help you reduce technical debt and keep costs down. So how does Jenkins help in this system? Let’s see.

Jenkins

Jenkins is a continuous, free, open-source integration server and currently one of the most employed for this feature. It is also very easy to use.

This tool comes from another similar one called Hudson, devised by Kohsuke Kawaguchi, who worked in Sun Microsystems. A few years after Oracle bought Sun, the Hudson community decided to rename the project to Jenkins, migrate the code to Github, and continue the work from there. However, Oracle has since continued to maintain and work on Hudson.

The basis of Jenkins is the tasks, where we indicate what needs to be done in a build. For example, we could schedule a task that checks the version control repository from time to time, and when a developer wants to upload their code to version control, it will compile and run the tests.

If the result is not expected or there is an error, Jenkins will notify the developer and the QA team by email or any other means to resolve it. If the build is correct, we can tell Jenkins to try to integrate the code and upload it to the version control repository.

That’s not all. One of the good things Jenkins has is that in addition to being able to help you integrate the code periodically, it can act as a linking tool throughout the development process.

From Jenkins, you can look at your quality metrics and visualize the results within the same tool. You can also view the test results, generate and view the project documentation, or even pass a stable version of the software to the QA environment to be tested, pre-production or production.

It is imperative to have a version control repository (mercurial, git, svn, plastic, etc.). Everything you need to do the build must be there (code, test scripts, third-party libraries). Without this, we will not be able to get the most out of Jenkins, since one of its strengths is that it is able to monitor version control and act on any changes.

The Art of Social Media Marketing

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January 23, 2018
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Social media marketing is finally being taken with the seriousness that it has always deserved, which has resulted in an interesting fragmentation of the work. Companies are starting to realize that technical efficiency in social media marketing is a completely different beast than artistic skills. Social media marketing is taken as one job right now, but we are going towards a future where there will be a social media manager, and a social media artist, both working together to run creative social media campaigns.

As the industry forks itself, you will have to decide which side you want to fall on. You should know a bit about both sides, but you will need to pick a specialty that you can master. There is another option as well; you can work in smaller firms where the work will probably be done by one person, and manage both sides of the coin. Here are the main differences between the two.

The Technical Side of Social Media Marketing

The most important thing in the world of marketing is ROI – if you do not measure the success of your marketing campaigns, then what is the point? You will never know which strategy works and which one doesn’t, and you will keep on wasting your marketing budget on campaigns that don’t increase sales. The technical side of social media marketing is all about managing the metrics.

It is all about A/B testing to find out what type of posts generate the most engagement. It is about being able to decide which campaign you should pour your budget on, and what type of engagement proves to be the most successful for you. If you are the type of person that is always on top of things and loves to be detail oriented, then this is the side you should choose.

The Creative Side of Social Media Marketing

This is the part of social media marketing that is visible. You can apply any strategy you want and send your social media posts to every social media user in the world, but if the posts themselves aren’t interesting, it will be of no use. On the other hand, a really great social media post can, by itself, result in advertising that would have cost you millions of dollars otherwise. If you are the type of person who loves coming up with ideas, and (more importantly) want other people to think these ideas are great too, then this is the part you need to focus on.

Even if you choose to be in the creative side of the business, you will need to know your technical fundamentals if you want to succeed. The same is true for the other side as well; if you choose to be on the technical side of things, you will need to know about the creative side as well. We wouldn’t be surprised if social media marketing gets so huge that companies create a department for social media even if they already have a marketing department.

The Importance of Business Analysts

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January 23, 2018
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You may have noticed that there has been a boom in the number of business analyst positions available in the market. There was even a time when business analysts were people working in consulting firms and investment banks – you barely ever found them in corporations. They were present in some of the biggest companies in the world but were non-existent in small and medium-sized enterprises.

This has completely changed in the past few decades, to the point that you will find business analysts in small offices as well. This has happened because business owners have learned many lessons in the past few decades, and have realized their weaknesses.

The Changing Rules of the Business World

There was a time when the best thing a business could be was big. The way things worked was this: once you were big enough, it was hard for anyone to really compete with you, unless your business made a huge mistake. Big companies were comfortable companies – helmed by CEOs who were interested in maintaining the status quo, and growing the company at a glacial pace. This was how business was supposed to be – graceful and imposing, a world where the giants could work without worry.

Then, things started to change. Suddenly, as information technology began to become commonplace, big corporations started getting competition from small companies. Microsoft and Apple were now bigger than IBM. Nokia had been making phones and was the most successful company in the world. But suddenly, in the span of a few years, Apple was the king, and in a few years more, Nokia had to sell off their manufacturing plants. As soon as Microsoft started becoming comfortable, Google appeared and started dominating the tech landscape.

Big businesses are not competitive

This was a puzzling new world, and it soon became apparent why small businesses kept winning. Small businesses were not bogged down with bureaucracy. If a small business was doing something the wrong way, it wouldn’t continue due to tradition, it would just change its course and be efficient again. Big companies, on the other hand, tried to maintain the status quo and were thus left behind. Companies realized the problem. When a CEO has 10 people under them, the CEO knows everything that is happening in the company, and takes decisions accordingly. When there are 5000 people under the CEO, with offices all over the world, it is possible for the company to become inefficient without the CEO ever finding out.

The Business Analyst

Thus began the age of the business analyst. A business analyst does many things – create reports, monitor business processes, seek new markets. Notice that all these are also things that small companies do to succeed. A business analyst is a person who dives deep into the organization to find out everything that is wrong and to fix it before it becomes a big problem.

In many ways, a business analyst plays the same role that the hand of the king used to play in olden times. The king sat on the throne, while the hand went among the people, eliminating weaknesses festering inside the kingdom. A business analyst ensures that their company never runs out of innovation and competitiveness.

Search Engine Marketing: Google’s smart play

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January 23, 2018
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Achieving efficiency is hard when it comes to marketing, but search engine marketing has long been one of the best marketing tools in terms of ROI. Search engine marketing is so successful because it reaches people who are looking to buy a product or service. If you search for red jeans, for example, odds are that you want to buy red jeans. An ad about red jeans will result in you making a purchase right then. There’s almost no other medium of advertising that is so useful, aside from maybe instore advertisements.

Search engines have always played an important role in the development of the internet. They allowed new websites to flourish by allowing people to discover them. Search engine marketing grew with the internet and is now one of the most important tools in the digital marketing landscape. Google knows this, and so does every other company, but there are two things which Google has done that showcase their grasp on the zeitgeist of the internet. Both were linked to search engine marketing, and both are amazing because of how smoothly they were pulled off.

Voice Search

Ask people about Google Voice Search or Siri and they will tell you that they are assistants that help us do stuff on our phones. The reality is that the main function of both of these is to act as a search engine – they simply make it easier and more natural to search for information. Search engine marketing’s productivity and efficiency have grown exponentially with the growth of voice search. People ‘ask’ their phone questions, using Google search without even realizing they are using a search engine. The answers they get are just that – answers, not search results.

Putting Google Search in the URL Bar

Previously, there was a simple process when you were looking for something. You would open Google (or some other search engine) and search for what you wanted. It was clear that you were using a search engine. Google, on its browser Chrome, changed the game. They combined both. While it seemed like a simple step towards efficiency and saving the visual real estate, in reality, it was a smart move to make people search more.

Now, you don’t open a search engine – entering words instead of a URL in the bar is just a natural thing you do to look for what you want. Google has you using their search engine without realizing that you are using a search engine.

Both of these moves make Google search an intrinsic part of a user’s internet experience. They make us so used to Google’s search that we cannot go back to not live without it. We may use Bing or some other search engines to test it out, but Google is just the default thing used. As search volume grows, so does the audience for search engine marketing, and so does the demand in companies for certified search engine marketing professionals.

DevOps Tools You Need to Know

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January 23, 2018
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DevOps is here to stay – it is such an efficient way of managing development that it is hard to go back to anything else. If you are planning to grow your career in development, or in any IT field for that matter, you will have to grasp DevOps, and you will have to learn how to properly work in a DevOps environment. This doesn’t just mean thinking in a DevOps way – this means being able to use the tools that are used by DevOps companies.

Jenkins

DevOps means ensuring that all the different people involved in the development process work together in real time. Previously, the method was different – different people would work on their own part of the job, and in the end, everything would be compiled. This process led to many problems, and DevOps is the answer to all those problems. Jenkins is basically a live DevOps tools – it allows companies to go from using DevOps as an idea to using DevOps as a tool.

Jenkins makes it easy by allowing everyone to add their code to it, and then it compiles everything in different configurations. If there are any errors, it automatically notifies the people involved. This ensures that DevOps isn’t just a buzzword, but a proper process at your company.

Docker

Docker is one of those tools which, once you start using, you can’t just live without. It solves one of the oldest problems in programming – when you code something and it works, but it doesn’t work when you show it to someone else. Almost every single time the problem is because something on the computer you ran it was missing something required by the code.

Docker solves this problem by creating ‘containers’, and these containers contain everything that is needed in order to run the code. This means that no more incompatibility problems. The containers are a lite version of virtual machines – light enough to be run anywhere they are needed.

Puppet

Puppet makes your life easier. When you work in DevOps, you try to keep machine configurations as similar as possible, to ensure that code can be merged without issues. Puppet allows you to automate such tasks. You tell it what you need to get done, and it will figure out how to do it. You tell it that you need Maven to run some code, and Puppet will search for Maven and install it automatically, after checking the configuration of the system.

These are just some of the tools used by companies that are serious about DevOps. If you want to succeed in the world of DevOps, you will need to know how to use these tools. The good thing is that these tools are designed to make it as easy to do DevOps as possible, so they will not complicate your life in any way.

Looking for a Cloud Solution? Amazon Web Services Offer the Best

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January 23, 2018
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Are you a business looking for a cloud solution for your IT needs? If yes, then you need to use a system which has a proven record and is already helping businesses in different niches. Here, we describe what a cloud solution is and then describe the advantages that you may get with Amazon Web Services (AWS).

What is a Cloud Solution?

A cloud solution is a network-based solution where you either use an application which is hosted on an internet server or provide your clients with resources that can be accessed from anywhere by using the internet. Internet-based solutions are getting popular because they eliminate the need for a company to create and manage network support.

You can focus on your core business when you employ top cloud solutions such as Amazon Web Services (AWS) which is an excellent platform for various businesses and applications. An internet solution is robust and allows your clients to effectively use your services in a variety of situations.

Advantages of Amazon Web Services (AWS)

AWS solutions are amazing and provide you with advantages that may not be comparable with other options. Here, we share the top advantages of using Amazon Web Services:

No Infrastructure Costs

The most important advantage that you gain with an AWS solution is the elimination of the required IT infrastructure. Since your business is hosted online on a dedicated server, your premises do not have to remain physically open to support your clients. There are also no large upfront costs, which often make it difficult for new business to perform aggressive marketing efforts.

Standardized Solution

The IT solution often works as a supporting element and may not be your core business. This means that if you decide you host your own IT solution, you may not be able to maintain the highest industry standards. Selecting an AWS solution will ensure that you will provide your clients and employees a standardized platform, which allows them to fully utilize the functionality of your application.

The presence of an AWS IT solution also means that you do not have to employ IT support. Amazon already offers an amazing support system, where you can employ effective help desks to help you perform at the top of your business productivity. Hiring them to provide you an IT support system covers all your bases and ensures that your customers do not face any issue.

Scalability

AWS Solutions are perfect if you are running a business model where you may need to expand your services soon. You can always manage your customer demands as well as ensure that you offer ideal employee support, even if you have to quickly expand your work team and achieve greater productivity levels.

Security

AWS solutions are extremely secure on multiple levels. They are supported by Amazon, which has a very strong security system that covers all their clients. The highest security standards in the IT industry are followed by Amazon and your web services are always covered by regular audits.

Finding out more about how Amazon services work will allow you to select an AWS partner to offer you the ideal IT support!