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HomeKit Weekly: Four ways to control cooling with fans and air conditioners

HomeKit Weekly is a series focused on smart home accessories, automation tips and tricks, and everything to do with Apple’s smart home framework.

We’re halfway through August, but summer doesn’t feel anywhere near like letting up: it’s hot outside! Luckily there are lots of ways to keep cool indoors — including four methods that work with HomeKit and Siri. Controlling cooling with HomeKit doesn’t have to be expensive either.


T-Mobile customer service ditches robots and call transfers as ‘Team of Experts’ offers dedicated 24/hr. support

At its un-carrier next event this morning, T-Mobile detailed its latest move, “Team of Experts” to evolve customer support. Designed to be good for customers and good for business, the new plan focuses on offering personal 24-hour support. T-Mobile has also announced new perks for customers like a free year of Pandora Plus and exclusive ticket access via Live Nation.


When does Apple release new iPhones?

iPhone buying decisions vary from person to person, and not everyone cares about having the latest version. This works for a lot of consumers since you can generally buy any modern iPhone and have a positive experience — especially if you’re upgrading after a few generations.

Every summer I hear from family members who are super excited that they just bought a new iPhone. If I mention that a new model is just around the corner and we even have an idea about what will be different, it never changes their buying decision. That can be hard for me to understand, but it works for a lot of people. Just look at Apple’s iPhone sales numbers during the quarter before a new model is introduced.

If you do care about buying the latest iPhone as soon as it comes out, it’s not too hard to guess when new iPhones will be introduced based on recent launches.


Opinion: My money is still against an Apple-branded car in 2025

Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has a good (if imperfect) track-record, but his latest note – in which he predicts that an Apple Car will go on sale sometime in the 2023 to 2025 timeframe – needs to be viewed in rather a different light to his usual ones.

Kuo has excellent supply chain contacts, giving him good insight into Apple’s short- and medium-term plans. Once a product is actually in production, the complexity of Apple’s supply chain means it’s hard to keep secrets.

But even before volume production begins, manufacturing lines need to be set up, molds need to be created, test-runs need to be carried out. So suppliers will be in a position to know a lot about Apple’s medium-term plans, and Kuo’s contacts can begin feeding him solid information …


When Is the Best Time to Post on Instagram in 2018? [Cheat Sheet]

In high school, one of my friends was determined to find the perfect time to post her Instagram photos to maximize the amount of likes she got. She was surprisingly scientific about it, posting at different times of the day and jotting down each of her posts’ “likes per minute”. After weeks of testing, she figured out which post time raked in the most likes, and, from then on, she could easily get 200 likes on all her Instagram posts.

My friend’s rather scientific method to maximize her Instagram likes still makes me chuckle to this day. But since I’m a marketer now, her desire to build a strong Instagram presence also resonates with me.

To build a sizable Instagram following, you need to create compelling content that your audience actually craves. But if you don’t post your content at the right time, most of them will never see it.

So how do you figure out the optimal post time for your specific audience?

The best way to find an ideal posting time is by testing the timing of your posts to see which post time generates the most audience engagement.

But if you don’t have enough resources or time to conduct your own tests, Sprout Social, a social media management platform with over 24,000 customers, has you covered. This year, they analyzed their customer data to see what time and day their social media posts generated the most engagement. They also segmented the data by social network and industry.

Looking at their aggregate customer data for Instagram, you can see that the following days and times (in Central Time Zone) are ideal for generating the most engagement on the social network:

Here are some more insights about optimal post timing extracted from their data:

  • Posting at 5:00 AM CDT from Tuesday to Friday generates some of the highest engagement — people usually check their phones right when they wake up.
  • Posting from 11:00 AM to 3:00 PM CDT during the weekdays also generates a lot of engagement — people usually check their phones during lunch or when they start to run out of mental energy toward the end of the work day.
  • If you want to post on the weekends, post on Saturday around 11:00 AM CDT when people eat brunch or hang out with their friends.

This general data about optimal post timing is a great starting point for growing an engaged Instagram audience, but if you want to get more granular, here are the best times to post on Instagram if your organization is in the technology, B2C, education, healthcare, and non-profit industries, according to Sprout Social’s research.

Best Times to Post on Instagram for Technology Companies

  • Best Time: Wednesday at 10:00 AM CDT
  • Most Consistent Engagement: Wednesday to Friday from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM CDT
  • Best Day: Thursday
  • Worst Day: Sunday

Best Times to Post on Instagram for B2C Companies

  • Best Time: Saturday at 11:00 AM & 1:00 PM CDT
  • Most Consistent Engagement: Everyday from 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM CDT
  • Best Day: Wednesday
  • Worst Day: Monday

Best Times to Post on Instagram for Educational Organizations

  • Best Time: Monday at 8:00 PM CDT
  • Most Consistent Engagement: Weekdays from 11:00 AM to 4:00 PM CDT
  • Best Day: Monday
  • Worst Day: Sunday

Best Times to Post on Instagram for Healthcare Companies

  • Best Time: Tuesday at 1:00 PM CDT
  • Most Consistent Engagement: Tuesday to Friday from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM CDT
  • Best Day: Tuesday
  • Worst Day: Saturday & Sunday

Best Times to Post on Instagram for Non-Profit Organizations

  • Best Times: Tuesday at 3:00 PM & 9:00 PM, Wednesday at 3:00 PM & 4:00 PM, Thursday at 2:00 PM & 3:00 PM, and Friday at 10:00 AM & 2:00 PM,
  • Most Consistent Engagement: Weekdays from 12:00 PM to 5:00 PM
  • Best Day: Tuesday
  • Worst Day: Saturday

Timing is Key

Every brand’s audience is different. To build a sizable, engaged Instagram audience, you need to know who your followers are. And one of the best ways to get to know your audience and capture their attention is by knowing exactly when they like to surf the app.

Unriddled: Samsung’s Big Moves, the Latest Bets on Video, and More Tech News You Need

“Unriddled” is HubSpot’s mid-week digest of the tech headlines you need to know. Each week, we highlight the top stories in a quick, scannable way and break it all down. It’s tech news: explained.

Unriddled: The Tech News You Need

1. Samsung’s Big Moves

Samsung, which is largely known by some for its mobile devices, has been appearing in its fair share of headlines lately. From its latest smartphone release to a new smart speaker, here are some key highlights.

The Galaxy Note9

Samsung held a high-profile product unveiling last week, where it officially debuted the Galaxy Note9: its much-speculated latest smartphone release, which boasts such nifty features as a “health censor” that can measure vitals like your heart rate and blood pressure.

It comes with one of the company’s signature stylus pens: the Note9 S Pen, which can remotely unlock the phone, play music (from the phone), and even control games like Fortnite — a game that, Samsung will have you know, is available in beta to Galaxy users.


Source: Samsung

Its other boasting points include all-day battery life and 512GB built-in storage space. The price tag: a cool $1,000.

As for the design and build specs, VentureBeat‘s Kyle Wiggers has you covered. Read full story >>

Back to Bixby

When I attended the Samsung Developer Conference last year, the spotlight was largely on Bixby: the company’s digital personal assistant, akin to Amazon’s Alexa or Google’s Assistant.

But in the months following the event, Bixby had yet to make a mainstream appearance — until now. At the same unveiling event for the Galaxy Note9, Samsung at long last debuted its Bixby-powered Galaxy Home smart speaker.

Kind of.

The Galaxy Home speaker is slated to boast superior sound quality — much like the otherwise disappointing HomePod did — and is activated with the “Hi, Bixby” command. According to the Verge‘s Jacob Kastrenakeshe, the speaker should have the same Bixby capabilities as those available on Samsung phones. As for its release date, well, that’s to be determined.

However, this year’s Samsung Developer Conference is currently scheduled for early November, where I expect to hear more about Bixby — including, perhaps, more details around the Galaxy Home.

Of note: Among these announcements, Samsung also announced a new Galaxy smartwatch. Read full story >>

2. Facebook’s Video Acquisition

Facebook confirmed this week that it acquired the seven-person team, along with accompanying technology, from Vidpresso: a startup that helps make video content interactive.

For some time now, Facebook has been seeking ways for users to engage more with video. Earlier this year, we covered these efforts when it announced a host of new native features to make live videos more interactive, like real-time polling and game-show-style Q&A filters.

Screen Shot 2018-08-14 at 2.02.26 PM

Source: Facebook

Some have speculated that these features are Facebook’s attempt to mimic the success of HQ Trivia (which yesterday announced a new partnership with Apple TV). That app offers interactive Q&A features similar to the ones slated to be incorporated into Facebook’s video platforms. TechCrunch‘s Josh Constine has more. Read full story >>

3. YouTube Rolls out New Incentives for “Stars”

YouTube is reportedly offering to pay its most popular creators to make use of and promote such new features as premium memberships and live chat. The compensation, allegedly, falls somewhere between tens to hundreds of thousands of dollars.

It’s one of the ways YouTube is responding to Creator demand for more diversified ways to monetize beyond advertising. The new options also include a built-in platform for merchandise sales, and “Super Chat,” which allows followers to pay the Creator to give their messages a shout-out during live broadcasts. Bloomberg‘s Lucas Shaw has more. Read full story >>

4. You Can Expect Group FaceTime, but Not Next Month

One of the many new items unveiled at WWDC — Apple’s annual developer conference — was Group FaceTime: a new feature within Apple’s built-in video call platform that would allow numerous parties to join the conversation at once.

But according to the beta release of iOS 12 — the latest iPhone operating system, expected to launch in full in September — Group FaceTime isn’t included. It also won’t be included in the latest MacBook operating system, macOS Mojave, according to 9to5Mac.

Source: Apple

Apple is one of the later players in the Big Tech realm to offer a group chat platform. Instagram, for example, offers four-way video messaging, while Facebook offers group calls and video chats within Messenger. For the later, the maximum is 50 people — whereas Group FaceTime would cap participants at 32. Read full story >>

More News You May Have Missed

5. Facebook Page Engagement Has Dropped 50%, According to New Data

Spoiler alert: Page engagement is still down. Read full story >>

6. YouTube Poised to Unseat Facebook as #2 Website in the U.S.

A new study shows YouTube might soon dethrone the social media giant. Read full story >>

7. I Looked at Everything Google Is Tracking on Me. Here’s What I Found.

New research shows that Google may know exactly where you are and where you’re going — even with location history turned off. Read full story >>

8. 65% of People Think Social Media Sites Should Remove This Content

Are social media networks responsible for the factually incorrect content shared and published on their platforms? Nearly two-thirds of internet users think so. Read full story >>

That’s all for today. Until next week, feel free to weigh in on Twitter to ask us your tech news questions, or to let us know what kind of events and topics you’d like us to cover.

Featured image credit: Samsung

How to Use Pinterest Search Ads

Want more visibility on Pinterest? Wondering how to use Pinterest search ads to promote your products and services? In this article, you’ll discover how to use Pinterest search ads to reach your ideal customers. What Are Pinterest Search Ads? Pinterest is a search and discovery tool. Users can actively search for specific ideas, products, and […]

The post How to Use Pinterest Search Ads appeared first on Social Media Examiner.

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How the Baader-Meinhof Phenomenon Secretly Influences Your Decisions

Let’s say your friend recently told you about a new Netflix show.

After you heard about the show from her, you began seeing and hearing about it everywhere — on Facebook, at dinner with your parents, on your favorite radio station.

Kind of creepy, right? It might feel a bit like a conspiracy theory, like the whole world’s suddenly playing a prank on you — but it’s not. It’s known as the Bader-Meinhof Phenomenon.

There are a few ways the Baader-Meinhof phenomenon might influence your customer’s decision-making process, and understanding the psychology behind it is key to taking your marketing strategies to the next level. Let’s take a look at three ways in particular now.

Three Ways the Baader-Meinhof Phenomenon Secretly Influences Your Customer’s Decisions

1. The Baader-Meinhof Phenomenon and Repetitive Marketing

To incorporate the effects of the Baader-Meinhof Phenomenon into your marketing strategy, you need to put your brand messaging out there as much as possible.

Remember, the Baader-Meinhof Phenomenon can only happen if someone initially notices or learns about your product. You’ll want to start with strong ad copy, an attention-grabbing headline, and memorable images to attract your audience and introduce them to your company.

Now that their brains are selectively paying attention, you’ll want to spread your messaging to various platforms, including social media, radio stations, TV, billboards. You’ll want to choose platforms that align with your brand and customer base — the point is, you want to repeatedly appear on these platforms so your customers can notice you.

Paid online advertisements and retargeting are two effective strategies for ensuring your frequency-illusioned customers start seeing you everywhere.

Ideally, this will become a self sustaining long-term strategy. Even if your customer isn’t in the market for your product now, they’ve seen your company everywhere. Next time their friend is looking for a product like yours, your potential customer will mention you first.

2. The Baader-Meinhof Phenomenon and Social Proof Theory

The Social Proof Theory, first coined by psychologist Robert Cialdini, states that someone who doesn’t know how to act or think will imitate other people, or turn to peers for guidance.

In marketing, social proof is an extremely effective method for persuading customers to buy a product. Customer reviews, testimonials, and statements like “four out of five parents recommend” are critical for convincing hestitant buyers to choose one product over another.

What does this have to do with the Baader-Meinhof phenomenon? Well, think about it: the Baader-Meinhof phenomenon maintains that you’ll see or hear something more if you’ve recently learned about it.

For example, let’s say you’ve recently learned about the new FitBit Charge 2.

Suddenly, you hear your coworkers talking about it. Then, you see a post on Instagram, with one of your favorite celebrities endorsing the product.

It’s likely people were talking about the FitBit Charge 2 before you heard about it, but once you did, your brain paid more attention to it. You took note of all those people raving about the product, and meanwhile, your brain chose not to pick up on that other conversation about the new Samsung Galaxy Gear Fit.

In other words, you selectively listened to people discussing the FitBit product because you’d recently learned about it, and then social proof led you to believe it was the best, and perhaps only, fitness tracker option.

As you can see, these two psychological phenomenons work together to convince someone to buy one product in particular.

To get the most out of the Baader-Meinhof Phenomenon, you’ll want to use it hand-in-hand with The Social Proof Theory. Include reviews and testimonials on your website, as well as third-party sites like Yelp, so once your customer learns about your product, she will be subsequently convinced through social proof to buy it.

3. The Baader-Meinhof Phenomenon and Confirmation Bias

The Baader-Meinhof Phenomenon works for two reasons — selective attention, and confirmation bias.

Let’s consider the second reason for a minute. Confirmation bias is actually a phenomenal tactic to convince customers to buy from your company over your competitors. Essentially, confirmation bias means someone looks for evidence to confirm what they already believe, even when that evidence is largely neutral.

For instance, let’s say you read that right-handed people are better at math. You believe it, and whenever you meet someone who’s right-handed and good at math, you file that information away as evidence you’re correct. You’re insistent on maintaining your prior beliefs. You look for evidences that supports it, and you ignore evidence that contradicts it — like your left-handed friend who is incredible at math.

What does this have to do with marketing? A lot.

Once your customers believe something to be true about your product, they’ll look for evidence to support it and ignore evidence to the contrary. If you can convince them your product offers something unique nothing else on the market can offer, they’ll believe it, and then they’ll seek out evidence to support it.

Easier said than done though, right?

To learn how to use confirmation bias to your marketing advantage, let’s take a look at an example from the 1990’s, when Schlitz, a failing beer company, hired Claude Hopkins, a legendary man in advertising at the time.

Hopkins asked Schlitz to give him a tour of their brewery. On the tour, he saw plate-glass rooms with beer dripping over pipes, expensive wood filters that took out impurities in the beer, and rooms filled with filtered air. The pumps and pipes were cleaned twice a day to avoid contamination.

Seeing the impressive process in action, Hopkins asked Schlitz why they didn’t advertise it to people to prove their beer was better.

The Schlitz people told him, “All companies brew beer the same way.”

“Yes,” Hopkins replied, “But the first one to tell the public about this process will gain a big advantage.”

Within six months of Hopkins’ advertising campaign for Schlitz, Schlitz beer became the number one selling beer in America. Why? Because people were given evidence to believe Schlitz was purer. Once they were embedded with a confirmation bias for Schlitz, they probably tasted the beer and thought, “Yes, this is more pure.” They also avoided other beer companies’ advertisements to the contrary.

By figuring out what makes your product unique and telling potential customers, you’re creating a confirmation bias that your product is exceptional. As people seek out evidence to support their belief, the Baader-Meinhof Phenomenon asserts they’ll begin seeing your product everywhere.

It’s not easy, but if you can create a compelling campaign to capture an audience’s attention and show them why your product is better than others, the Baader-Meinhof Phenomenon and confirmation bias can do the rest.