Covid-19 / May-June edition: What are the right management tactics? What are other companies doing?- Tempemail – Blog – 10 minute

Logical and chronologically, today’s post is the continuation of my previous proposal for an Agile economic analysis of the period we’re living in, and the outline of a response for companies which are digital, digitalized, digitalizing, or intending to digitalize.

So what’s happened since my last post? Was I right? Where are we now? How fast are things going? Can we start thinking about exit dates from the crisis?

Let me start by saying that in this article, I won’t try to answer that last question about dates, even if I have some pretty specific ideas of how things are developing. The subject is and will remain highly speculative. Anyway, making predictions is not the right way to prepare. What we have to do is make some assumptions, then link those assumptions to tactics. And it is in that spirit that I’m writing this post.

So, where are we in the crisis?
First – almost good news! In my previous forecast, I distinguished five phases for this crisis. We are now passed the “Deer in the headlights” phase (phase 1) with its steep descent into economic hell. Depending on the country you look at, we took a shock of 20 to 35% of GDP.
We are also passed phase 2 – the “Flicker of Hope” stage – which held during the time the pandemic stabilized and started to retreat – roughly, the last few days before restrictions were lifted. This viral plateau formed the basis for the rebound, and as the curve continued to fall, the boldest among us began to act from the start of this phase.
No one saw it – certainly not the media, not even the financial reports – but the fall slowed down in April compared to the last two weeks of March. In the month of April, in my home country of France, we went from minus 32% to minus 27% . That may not seem like much, and in and of itself, it’s a terrible result. But if you read it dynamically, it represents an economic rebound of 18.5% in the space of a few weeks! And that is the basis for the much-touted rebound!

52% increase in American e-commerce!
Read that number again, but be careful if you’re subject to vertigo, because that 52% increase occurred at the same time that US GDP was falling by about 20%! Other players were simply shutout. Remind yourself that this number does not include numbers from the software giants or web platforms.
A few more numbers: GAFAM stocks (Google – Amazon – Facebook – Apple -Microsoft) rose by 17%, and the Nasdaq is up more than 2% since the start of the year (while the Dow Jones plunged by 17%).
For GAFAM, COVID-19_1 is not a crisis, it is an acceleration of their hegemonic destiny, and they understood that from the first moments of the crisis, at the same time the best e-businesses understood the same thing.
They have invested at any cost and in every form: free offers, discounts, campaigns, whatever you want. Social messages or explicit marketing – whatever! I think it’s been a long time since that much was invested in the communication of digital companies!
And when we recall that these companies are irreversible usage creators, we already know what will happen to those who remain paralyzed without moving.

Increase the digital budget of your digital products or services: marketing and development!
The first group to return in significant numbers to the outsourcing offers on the Pentalog platform is the Americans. That trend is also confirmed by Google queries – always useful in trend analysis. The Americans returned after less than a week of lockdown. Next, we saw the Europeans – and we’re getting twice as many leads from them as we did before the crisis started.
On the other hand, we’re surprised to see leads drop on SkillValue Freelance, because we see that as a real asset for overcoming the crisis.
Finally, whether you’re an e-commerce company or a classic retailer, a SaaS company or a tourism company, this is the time to go on the attack.
Some examples of actions:

Tourism needs to focus on relocating trade flows. Air travel is dead for the time being, but people are still going to go on vacation. Companies that were quick on the uptake noticed that vacation budgets were still not allocated when the roads and the campsites reopened. One result is a mini-boom in sales and rentals for camping cars and RVs: in what Bloomberg is calling “Covid Campers”. Dealers and manufacturers only needed to adapt their landing pages and buy some AdWords. Hats off to the fastest! American tour operators have invented the lovely word: staycation: you’re on vacation but you don’t leave your country! This means that all offerings need to be redone! We are currently working on a lead from a tourism company that wants to keep the Chinese in China! They have two months to succeed!
Increase your digital budgets, and make them more flexible. Imitate the American giants: capture growth while limiting risk through outsourcing and consulting. The risk of a second virus wave, especially in the fall or next winter, is high enough that you need to head it off by being able to rapidly reduce the budgets for your tech and marketing teams. For all that, if you’re not grabbing growth with both hands for the next few months, it could be fatal to your enterprise. Freelancing is another solution to get the same result.
Diversify your teams culturally. This is pretty much the Number 1 success factor worldwide. Remote work is a fantastic opportunity to successfully recruit talent from all over the world.

As a general rule, the current phase is going to last for several more months, probably at least until the end of October, when the probability of a viral return will increase, as it does with most coronaviruses, peaking in January-February. The fact that the disease is in Brazil and Singapore at this very moment does not prove that fresh air and higher humidity have no role to play in the spread. Australia did not see its contamination rate increase until autumn in the southern hemisphere, even though it is a highly mobile population with a lot of tourists.
This certainly does not mean that nothing will happen before then in the northern hemisphere. But if you know what to do for October, be prepared for July too! We don’t know if it will fall or when. But structure your tactics around these assumptions.

Meanwhile, my recommendation? Accelerate the delivery of technical products and services – intensely. Accelerate your digital processes – intensely.

During the next viral round, if one does occur, the collapse of non-digitals and those who failed to rebound in the current growth stream will not start from the levels they had in March 2020, but lower. At that time, companies must be able to count on a maximum of digital strategies, products, and services. If they don’t, someone else will take their place.
One more time for the numbers:

American e-commerce up 52%. In an economy that is down 20%.
Nasdaq + 2.2%, GAFAM + 17%, Dow Jones -17%, CAC40 -33%. The weaker the technological concentration in an index, the less resistant it is in the crisis.

Don’t give up – keep Agile. Stay loose, cause we could get hit again.

Learn more about our Outsourcing Offer

Further reading:
IT and Digital sector…. Who will survive? And how?
Pentalog: 20% growth in the first quarter… but what’s next?
Economic risk factors are already multiplying much too quickly in 2020
The post Covid-19 / May-June edition: What are the right management tactics? What are other companies doing? appeared first on Pentalog.

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Gears Tactics review – brains meet brawn in strategic spin-off | Games – Blog – 10 minute

Bloody sci-fi shooter series Gears of War and the term “tactics” may not seem like natural bedfellows, given that these games are best known for their macho space soldiers and chainsaw machine guns. Yet strategy has always played a far bigger role in the games than may be initially apparent. After all, the key innovation of the titles was to add cover-and-fire manoeuvres into a fast-paced action game. Gears Tactics simply inverts the emphasis. Whereas previously the tactical layer existed to complement the action, here all that gore greases the cogs of a smart and fiercely entertaining strategy machine.
Set before the original Gears of War, Gears Tactics sees players control squads of soldiers led by two veterans of its seemingly eternal conflict: walking chin Gabe Diaz and weaponised moustache Sid Redburn. Together, they seek to eliminate a troublesome general of the Locust Horde, a race of brawny subterranean monsters who have taken over Earth.
Gears of War’s storytelling has always held ambitions somewhat beyond its ham-fisted reach, but if you’ve previously enjoyed watching its slabs of virtual muscle do emotions, know that Tactics tells its story with pizzazz if not subtlety, featuring lovingly crafted cinematics, top-tier voice acting and some fairly major reveals for what is essentially a spin-off.

Strategy that feels like action … Gears Tactics. Photograph: Microsoft
Indeed, Gears Tactics has lost little of the series’s perennially high production values in the switch from shooter to strategy, boasting stunning visuals and slick animations alongside an incredibly intuitive interface. Also like earlier games, it is ferociously violent, with your soldiers frequently bursting and dismembering the Locust with bombs, bayonets and chainsaws.
Gears Tactics is a strategy game designed to feel like an action game, and this philosophy goes beyond the sharp visuals and the viscera dispersion rate. Any given mission sees your squad pitted against a much larger number of Locust, with each side taking turns to move their units between cover and eliminate as many of the opposing force as possible. Your soldiers have a limited number of “action points” per turn. These can be used to move, shoot at an enemy or deploy special abilities such as “overwatch”, which lets you set up ambushes, firing at any enemy who wanders into its cone-shaped kill-zone.
This foundation is familiar among tactics games, but Gears adds to it abilities such as “executions”, where theatrically killing an incapacitated enemy gives teammates an additional action point. Moreover, certain soldier-types sport powers such as “bayonet charge”, letting them rush across the battlefield to quickly take an enemy out of commission. Many abilities can be upgraded to provide free actions or even add actions to your pool. Some of the combinations you can pull off are truly exhilarating. In the late game, one of my snipers could pop the heads of a half-dozen Locust in a single turn.
Gears Tactics constantly encourages players to push forward into battle, to be aggressive and daring and think on their feet. Yet, while boldness is often rewarded, recklessness will be punished severely. Even the lowliest Locust grunt can blast half a health bar off one of your soldiers, while together they create overlapping overwatch traps that need to be surgically dismantled to prevent your squad from being wiped out.

The way the game injects pace and momentum into a traditionally slow-burn genre is its greatest success, so it isn’t surprising that it is weakest when the pace falters. Gears Tactics lacks the broader strategic layer of games such as XCOM, featuring instead a linear story campaign. This is the right call, but problems arise with the side missions embedded into this structure. Initially, they’re a welcome opportunity to flex your tactical muscles, whether you need to hold two separate control points against assault, or retreat from an encroaching artillery barrage as the Locust try to slow you down. In the latter acts, however, Gears Tactics forces you to complete two or even three side missions before moving on to the next story beat.
There is a logic to the idea – soldiers sent on one side-mission cannot be deployed in another, so you need to manage your squads carefully to ensure success. But it has the effect of slowing progress to a crawl when the story should be ramping up to the conclusion. There also aren’t enough mission types to prevent a sense of repetition creeping into those final hours. The latter half of the third act is a slog when it should be a sprint.
Nonetheless, Gears Tactics is a triumphant twist on an old favourite, capturing the fury and spectacle of its shooter-based brethren while also offering a more cerebral experience. Gears has always exhibited shades of American football, from the hypermasculine tone to its disconcertingly swole characters. Now it has the conspicuous brains to match its conspicuous braun.

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Too boring for loyal customers? Tactics to build your brand- Tempemail – Blog – 10 minute

Standing out from the crowd is becoming more important with the saturation of most markets. However, it’s no walk in the park when your product or service is pretty run of the mill. You know your USPs, but your potential customers will struggle to see beyond the preconditioned conceptions they have of marketing agencies or tech companies.
So, what can you do to get the people behind an initiative on the less sexy side of the spectrum? Ultimately, you’re looking at how to build a brand that people can fall in love with but that can also be a struggle. Taking a leaf out of the books that came before is always a good place to start. The following initiatives were presented by Channable’s UK business development, Conor McIlduff, at the Digital City Festival in 2020. They are working examples used by feed management tool, Channable, which has led to a customer base of over 3000 companies with a customer average lifetime of 42 months (and counting!) and an NPS score of 52, vs. the industry average of 26.
Partners and resellers
This is no revolutionary idea, but shockingly only 20% of SaaS platforms offer a reseller scheme. Channable has always worked closely with marketing agencies, even the concept of Channable was born through the input from clients, and therefore has offered a partnership/reseller scheme from the beginning. Today, a third of all new clients are onboarded and managed by Channable’s partners. Channable now has over 3000 clients, the maths adds up. Depending on your company model and revenue model, how you identify a partner and what added benefits there are can really differ. It’s handy to set minimum requirements, so you can ensure that your partners will want to work closely with you instead of just attaining a badge and not nurturing the relationship. For instance, in order to become a Channable partner and reap partner rewards, companies will need to onboard a minimum of 5 clients.
Designated roles
Especially when you’re a smaller company, you might find yourself with multiple responsibilities but it’s important to have designated roles to ensure customer success and loyalty are nurtured. If you have a sales team juggling between business development, customer success, and sales targets, all too often all activities will suffer. Channable created specific roles in each regional team to ensure existing customers remained happy. You can always adapt your internal structure to focus on customer happiness.
Customer feedback
Customer centricity is a definite buzzword in the world of marketing, but how do you exercise it? By making your clients king, they will feel important and integral to your company’s success. If your able to incorporate the client’s input into your roadmap, even better including them in your roadmap planning, you’ll leave them feeling appreciated. Imagine if you saw your idea in practice, it would feel good. In addition, it’s an added benefit for your company as you’ll be developing it to your market’s needs rather than what you think your market needs.
Offline presence
Engaging with your clients offline is important on so many levels. It helps them personify your company, you can have better conversations face-to-face, you can improve relationships, it can extend your reach, it can help legitimize your company, etc. Digital companies most definitely need to remember the importance of offline presence. If you want to increase that customer loyalty, host your own events for your clients! If you can pull off an event that’s a success, you’ll see your clients looking forward to the next event. Make it memorable. Channable likes to host a big BBQ for its partners in fun locations e.g. football stadiums or botanical gardens, and also hosted a customer training day inviting over 150 clients. If you don’t have a huge budget, even just inviting clients to your offices for a training or networking event, or partnering up with another company to co-host an event can be arranged by anyone and will have a similar impact.
Transparency
Transparency can be subjective, but can you say that your customer is fully aware of how your company runs? Transparency is a pillar for trust and in today’s world, with high competition, you rely on customers trusting you to gain their loyalty. Being transparent about your pricing, values, and offerings are clear starting points. Use your website to communicate this important information. If you’re concerned about competitors benchmarking themselves against you (don’t forget competitors also ensure healthy growth for a company) or you’re protective of certain aspects of your offering, offer callbacks, testimonials, or a FAQ page. The age-old saying “honesty is the best policy” has never been truer and consider how you, as a fellow consumer, value transparency and honesty from companies.
These pillars for building customer loyalty when your offering isn’t exceptionally sexy may not be revolutionary. But, they have helped Channable dominate the Benelux market and hopefully can inspire you.

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Square Enix just launched a Final Fantasy Tactics spinoff for Android and iOS – Blog – 10 minute

In context: Final Fantasy Tactics was release for the PlayStation 23 years ago. The beloved game went on to sell more than 2.4 million copies worldwide. Remakes of the title were ported to various platforms, including PSP, iOS, Android, and a reimagined version for Gameboy Advance.
If you are like me, Square’s 1997 classic Final Fantasy Tactics probably stirs up fond memories. If you are in the mood for some old-school FFT action, Square Enix has a new spin on the franchise that is playable today called War of the Visions: Final Fantasy Brave Exvius.
The title was initially launched in Japan last year. Like Final Fantasy Tactics, the game is turn-based combat on a grid, like typical tactical games. The art style is very similar as well, drawing inspiration from Akihiko Yoshida’s original work.

The story takes place in the kingdom of Leonis on the continent of Ardra. Cutscenes play out the narrative between battles. As the story progresses, the country becomes embroiled in a bitter war with several neighboring nations.
War of the Visions is not without its weaknesses, however. For one, it is only available on iOS and Android devices, leaving us to question whether Square Enix will ever give us a tactical PC port. It released an updated version of the original FFT called Final Fantasy Tactics: The War of the Lions for PSP in 2007 and subsequently ported it to mobile devices last year. But where is the PC love?
Additionally, the game is free-to-play, which, as you know, is code for pay-to-win. The primary P2W gimmick here is raising units from one to six stars. This leveling requires materials that are difficult to obtain, but of course, you can purchase what you need for real money to speed things up. You can spend hours grinding for resources, or you can spend your paycheck buying bundles of what you need.
Of course, like any of these F2P games, you can easily just while away the time without paying for anything, and the gameplay is pretty much the same as FF Tactics, so grinding is not all that bad.

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The 7 Most Effective Digital Marketing Tactics for Realtors – Blog – 10 minute

Of course, you can still utilize these tactics, and many do, but using these methods alone is not going to net you measurable, adjustable, data-based results. These old-world marketing methods will certainly not help you get the most out of your potential.
If you want to taste real success as a realtor in 2019 and keep up with the competition, you need a focused digital marketing strategy with several clear tactics. In order to help you step your marketing game up, let’s take a look at the 7 most effective digital marketing tactics for realtors:
1. Facebook Local Advertising
Almost everybody has a Facebook account nowadays, making it the perfect place to set up ads. As the most popular social media channel, Facebook provides a platform for you to not only target potential clients, but to give them a window into what kind of person you are.
Clients want a realtor who truly cares about them and someone they can relate to because moving homes is a very personal thing to most people.
Local advertising is especially important because most of your clients are likely to be people moving from one spot in an area to another. It’s rare that people up and change states or regions, but they’ll commonly move from one city to another within a contained area of the same state.
Facebook’s geo-targeting tool can help you zero in on a city or zip code so that your message can be personalized. Keep in mind, as with most targeting in digital marketing, it is better to appeal to a specific, focused group, rather than the masses.

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2. Local SEO Tactics
SEO is huge in real estate marketing. The first thing many people do when they want to move is Google “Homes for sale in [city]”.
Ensuring that results from your website, blog, and social media pop up relatively high on this list is crucial to nailing clients. To do this, you’ll need to update a blog regularly with content containing relative, high-ranking medium tail keywords.
These should include phrases like “modern homes in [city]” or “refurbished [city] homes”. Your industry, location, and offerings are a good place to start.
You’ll want to put these in titles, headers, sub-headers, backlinks, online directories, social media pages, meta titles, and meta descriptions as well. Keep in mind that the more links you get to your site, the better your site will rank for certain search terms. 
The best tactic here is to create a “hero page” — a long, unique, often educational piece of content that other sites will have a genuine interest in linking to.

3. Virtual Tours
Convenience is the name of the game in the digital space — and so it has become in the world of real estate.
Virtual tours for real estate are a great way to give potential buyers a full walk-through of homes without ever having to step foot on the property. The key to creating a successful virtual tour is to invest in production and be aware of staging aesthetics.
Use high-quality cameras, like a DSLR, to capture real footage. Make the video responsive and interactive across all channels and available on both mobile and desktop.
Having a tour that is user-friendly and 3D is not only guaranteed to improve your marketing, it’s never been less expensive to put together.
4. An Tempemail Campaign
Operating an email campaign is still one of the most rewarding marketing tactics out there. This is because email prospects have most likely signed up and opted in to receive emails from you, meaning they are willing to hear your marketing pitch.
You’ll need to create engaging content that doesn’t sound too much like a sales pitch. The sole purpose of this email should be to encourage your prospective buyers to click through to your site so that they end up at the next stage in your sales funnel.
To collect emails, consider posting a downloadable buying guide or a similar PDF on your site. Offer it for free in exchange for email signups. That way you will already have a list of prospects that have expressed interest.
Done correctly, you’ll keep yourself relevant with your past clients as well as generate new leads.

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5. An Easy-to-use Website
People like simplicity, so make your website easy to navigate and aesthetically pleasing.
Include a list of all your new listings, content intended to help them through the process of home-buying, and links to relevant services they might need during the process. These include links to lawyers, home inspectors, movers, landscapers, and more.
Most importantly, though, ensure that your site navigation is easy to use. Having a 24/7 live chat function for customer support is a good idea too — consider looking into automated responses here so that potential buyers won’t be left on the line.
6. Pay-per-click Advertising
These are ads you take out that you only have to pay for when someone clicks on them. Each click you get is another small fee for you.
You can tailor these ads on Google’s advertising backend to target local individuals in a specific area, which makes them invaluable to local business owners and realtors. This is a great way to ensure that you get new leads that are genuinely interested in your services as they intentionally clicked on and opted in to your advertising.
7. Webinars
By hosting a webinar or an online workshop and offering your expertise to those interested, you will be able to spread your name and profile to a much larger audience.
Put together a simple PowerPoint on a topic within the industry that you are well-educated about, and use the resulting audience as an opportunity to generate high-quality, inbound leads.
The Takeaway
The real estate game is always evolving, meaning you have to do the same if you want to continue to find success in it. By utilizing as many of the tips in this article as possible, you’re guaranteed to see a sizeable increase in the size of your clientele.

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About the Author
Corey Tyner is the owner of Arizona Land Buyers and Austin Home Buyers. He is one of the top real estate investors in Arizona with over a decade of experience. His work has been featured on Bigger Pockets, Real Estate Agent Magazine, and several other real estate investor publications.

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How to Get More Followers on Pinterest: 4 (or More) Proven Tactics | Social Media Statistics & Metrics – Blog – 10 minute

Ah, Pinterest…the social media platform everyone loves, and loves to hate, at the same time. The platform that can create enough traffic to last you a lifetime. The platform that can take pretty different marketing tactics and still help prospects find themselves on your landing page, after having searched for landing page trends to better their own marketing tactics.
But why is that, really? Why is Pinterest such a powerful tool and why is it capable of helping your business thrive?
One thing you need to understand before exploring the sheer power of Pinterest and its followers is that Pinterest is more powerful than Facebook or Instagram in the visual search department – hence why Pinterest marketing strategies are a little different.
The users’ intent is different, to begin with.
People on Pinterest are searching for something they’d like to recreate, something they’d like to purchase, or even the person they’d like to become in due time (Enter: “Summer 2020” board…and that’s all the information I’m willing to disclose!)
And boy are they quick and methodical when it comes to their searches!

The above graph shows the percentage of adults in the US who use Pinterest.
As you can see, the three main consumer age groups are all included in this graph. And this is one of the main reasons why you should want to increase your Pinterest following and your use of Pinterest in general.
Pinterest is there to help more than 300 million people around the world find what they’re looking for, and those people can be anything from marketing professionals to stay-at-home parents interested in DIY projects.
For example, my mother (mentioned in a previous post) is an avid DIY-er. If you’re a marketer targeting that group, she may have all of the characteristics of your buyer persona.
I like using Pinterest for visual content marketing ideas. If you’ve got top-notch boards that can help me build a post based on a picture, I’m your person!
All in all, Pinterest can help you increase your website’s traffic by having the users click on an image, it can give you pretty good marketing opportunities, make your email marketing game stronger than ever, and help you convert prospects into customers.
So, if you’re sure what your KPIs are, and that you’ve set realistic goals, let’s see what you can do to build boards that followers will love to check out.

Your Content – Original or Otherwise

On an image-dominated social media platform, you need to make sure that you’ll be able to stand out and give your users some great content that will draw their attention and make you the king of the playground – or the platform, call it what you will.
Most pins on Pinterest are re-pins. And when I say most, I mean over 80% of them. And while it’s not bad for business, why would you want to leverage content that’s already there?
For starters, you should try posting some originals: product photos for ecommerce, infographics for the SaaS wizards, and some graphs for all would make your boards seem like the only solution one would need.
But who’s to say that you don’t need to post some repurposed content or re-pin old pins after you’ve done your best with your originals? Nobody.
Let me tell you a thing or two about re-pinning first: It can – and will – get you noticed.
The logic is a little bit like the one behind affiliate marketing: “Hey, we’re like-minded brands, I liked your content, I pinned it. Check it out!” but you won’t be saying this with words. Rather, you’re showing your appreciation to the brand.
Oh, and your appreciation to the followers’ taste, which will definitely not go unnoticed. Who doesn’t love having someone praise their fantastic taste?
For example, let’s look at Joy Cho’s account, one of the most followed on the platform. Here’s what her Pinterest board looks like:

Here’s a pretty dress from a website that is not her own, that is re-pinned and that is on-par with the influencer’s own content. So, here’s some more happy traffic – for another website, sure, but it links back to the website and it can create a powerful partnership.
But we’ve got another thing we need to discuss here: Pins that don’t attract as many eyes as you want.
Yes, I know, it’s very stressful to think that your pins have gone to waste and that you need to delete your own content. But are you going to let this get in the way of building an iconic Pinterest crowd?
Poor performing pins can show you a great deal about “life, the Universe and everything”, or, as someone who’s not into sci-fi (shame!) would say, about your followers and the trends you’ll need to implement, in order to see some serious growth.
What are those pins that need to hit the road, though? Well, let’s see:

The ones that don’t show consistency with the brand tone you’ve set across your social media platforms.
The ones with duplicate content.
The ones that don’t have as many re-pins as you would’ve liked.

It just doesn’t feel right, I know, but much like an email list, social media content needs a lot of pruning as well, if you want to see it bring back some serious results. And you’re in it for some serious results, I hope.
Oh and here’s a pro tip for you: Check what kind of content your followers love and what they love to hate, across all of your platforms and your competitors’ as well! It will give you the edge you’re looking for.
Oh and here’s another uber-pro tip that shouldn’t be a tip at all, but anyway: evergreen content. ‘Nuff said.

The Audience You Need

Everything begins and ends with your audience. Your content is made to please your crowd, your KPIs are set according to their behavior, and your project’s lifecycle is determined according to their needs.
So, what do you think about your audience? What is it that you need to do to get not just all the audience you want, which could, potentially, backfire provided you’ve attracted some bad fish along the way?

Use Hashtags #Likeaboss

You’ve got your marketing personas at the ready, some content to last you a day or two – or 20, you know…always be prepared! – and you’re all set to begin attracting the right crowd.
Am I your ideal user? Well, you’ve got to use #mua, #contentmarketing or #sfx to attract me. So, create pins and boards that will have those hashtags in the description.
If you’re unsure, you can always check your highest-performing Instagram posts and their hashtags or use a little nifty tool that will help you map out your content strategy accordingly.
When a user searches for a specific hashtag, they’ll get the pins that have this specific hashtag in their description. And voila!
Also, hashtags have an added bonus, that will give you those SEO vibes you’re looking for (in a way): Hashtags are a way to group things into categories, thus making it easier for you to organize your pins.
But also satisfying user intent, as users want what they want and they want to find it fast and easy. And you’re there to provide that, by giving the content they need!
Super-super pro tip right off the realms of Pinterest itself: Don’t use troll hashtags. Rather, be specific. For example, your users won’t search for #contentblunders. They will, however, search for #contentmistakes.

Engage and Entice

“If you build it, they will”- No. Not in our case here, sweetheart, no. You can’t have followers come knocking on their own. Pinterest is no marketing automation – like Moosend, one of the best Constant Contact alternatives! – that will give you those “set it and forget it” vibes.
You need to be active, you need to be engaging, and you need to be enticing, otherwise Pinterest’s Smart Feed – the Bowser to your Super Mario – will make sure you’ll never get to your ideal followers.
So, get on with pinning, first and foremost. Re-pin stuff from your “Explore” and “Trending” pages, pin other people’s pins, leave some comments, and follow some boards on your feed.
Always be consistent, post gradually, and create the look and feel of a person behind the account and not just another brand that’s there to hit it and quit it.
The point is that you’ll need engagement day-in, day-out in order to manage to get something worthwhile. And if you don’t believe me, think of this: If you’re going to create 50 content pieces in a day, how long is it going to be until you manage to find the time and energy to create something new?
The same goes for Pinterest’s Smart Feed. If you decide to do one thing – even if it’s huge, like pin 100 things – each week, Pinterest will think you’re not engaged. So why would followers engage with you?
Rather, why would it show off your content to people? Why would you be of enough use to end up in the Smart Feed?
But if you show consistency, the algorithm will reward you by showing your pins way up high, like Judy Garland’s rainbow. And the rest will be history.

The Opportunity That Made the Thief

Okay, Okay, “thief” might be a very strong word, but it’s not like what I’m about to suggest is proper stealing.
In the world of social media, where followers come and go and there’s always a new fad to follow, you’ll have to do a couple of things to remain relevant, and studying your competitors is one of them.
When I say study, I mean study hard and a lot. You’ll need to sit down, find their best performing content, and pinpoint what it is that made it the best performing one.
First of all, go to the search bar and look for exactly the thing your pins and boards are going to be about. For example, I’d look for the words “content marketing” and I’d get a ton of results.

Then, I’d go to the itty bitty arrow next to the search bar and click on “People”. Here:

Do you see where I’m going with this? Your competitors’ followers followed them for their content and the topics they like to post – rather, pin. And your content is similar, isn’t it?
Well, it’s a no-brainer that you should follow their followers. It’s an action, it’s engaging, Pinterest will recognize this and start showing more and more of your content, and it’s a risk-free tactic that can give back a great deal of value.

What’s in a Pin?

In other words, how smart is the Smart Feed and how can you make its intelligence work in your favor and yours alone?
You’ll use your descriptions, you’ll use your hashtags, you’ll use everything you can, but there’s more to it than that.

The Relevant Boards

First of all, when you create a blog post and want to help promote it through Pinterest, try and pin it to a board that’s relevant. That way, Pinterest will recognize what it’s about.
Combine that with your keywords and your hashtags and you’ll be sure to let Pinterest know exactly what this post is about, where to show it and the exact search terms that correspond with.
This will help create a useful “recognition system” that Pinterest’s algorithm will definitely utilize when it comes to search results.
And search results are what your potential followers want. And it’s also what they’ll get, with your post in there.

The Old Account Turned Business

“But Téa, how is one of my prospects going to actually see me for what I can offer?”
Well, my friend, I’ve got another solution for you. If your prospects see your pins here, there, and everywhere, they’re that much more likely to open them and actually do something with them.
And if your account is a little old, it’ll be way easier for you to do just that.
“But Téa, nobody likes old accounts.”
Um, the social-media-platform-turned-search-engine does. And it never forgets someone who was there from the beginning.
Pinterest’s algorithm thinks that an old account is one with some serious bouts of wisdom. This makes the account more trustworthy in its eyes, making the pins appear more and more often.
But there’s yet another thing you need to take into account, and this is the fact that Pinterest actually favors business accounts.
So, just take one of your old, active accounts, make it a business account, and just shoot!
An account that’s older will help your prospects discover you with more ease and a business account is there to show authority – you’re not there just to spend time. Rather, you’re there to give something to the world.

The Organized Pinner and the Ghost of Seasonal Stuff

You’ve got your content and your pins and oh it’s so fantastic but…Oh, it feels like something’s missing, doesn’t it?
I know what it is. Pinterest is made for those people that are organized enough to want to plan ahead. And being organized is crucial for your Pinterest strategy.
You’ll need to, first of all, create sections. These will be your subcategories and they’ll help you organize one large content category into lots of smaller ones, making it easier for a follower to determine which one of your pins would be of use.
Which also means that they’ll favor your profile over the non-organized ones.
But organizing pins is not just about the sections. Look:

Pinterest itself ran a survey that showcased the exact point in time when its users start looking for something seasonal.
New Year’s searches begin as early as October, whereas Thanksgiving searches begin around June.
By planning way ahead and making sure that your content is placed right in front of your prospects’ eyes, you’re also ensuring that you get more visibility. Your prospects need to look no further.
And you’ll see your traffic reach legendary levels!

And Finally…

I’m sure that you’ve already got a bunch of friends and followers on other social media platforms and a bunch of people in your mailing list as well. They’re the ones that comprise your crowd and they’re the ones you need to consult.
Using their taste and their likes and dislikes to your advantage is what will turn your Pinterest profile into a traffic machine. So, here’s how you’re going to do that.

Use Buttons

In your website or your emails, use your social media platforms’ icons and links to make sure you’re giving your followers the opportunity to find your profile and enjoy your content.
The exact same thing goes for your website. Someone that enjoys your website will definitely find use on your Pinterest profile.
You can also post some Pinterest-exclusive content. Send a survey through email or create a simple poll on Twitter or Facebook, asking your followers what they’d like to see. Don’t forget that social media is the pool of all content and it can help you determine what your followers would like to see.
This, paired with a good social media analytics tool, can help you pick and choose content – both as far as the type and as far as the subject is concerned – minimizing the possibility of guesstimates.

Use Shares

Here, like this:

Many of your Facebook and Twitter followers have no idea that you’re on Pinterest as well. You don’t just want to keep them in the dark, do you?
Share your pins or those that you discover on Facebook and Twitter as well and see who will engage, who will be intrigued, and who will just pass.
This will give you more engagement brownie points that you can imagine. Not to mention that, by sharing your content on other platforms and reaching a broader audience, you’re also increasing the chances of that audience sharing your content across platforms in general.
So hop to it!

The Takeaway

Pinterest is a tool that’s as powerful as any, and by building a good crowd, it can help your conversion, your website’s traffic, and your brand’s wellbeing overall.
Killer content, great use of hashtags and plenty of description terms won’t just do the trick on their own though. You’ll just need to put your mind and other social media platforms to it and up your email marketing game as well, with links, shares, and buttons.
And don’t forget: Pinterest’s search bar is an itty bitty search engine, and by giving your best Pinterest SEO self and optimizing descriptions, hashtags, and your own Pinterest username, you’ll see your efforts thrive!
Oh, and one last piece of advice, which shouldn’t be advice, but a staple, at this point: Always A/B test, my children, always A/B test! 😉

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Google, Mozilla team up to block Kazakhstan’s browser spying tactics – gpgmail


Google and Mozilla have taken the rare step of blocking an untrusted certificate issued by the Kazakhstan government, which critics say it forced its citizens to install as part of an effort to monitor their internet traffic.

The two browser makers said in a joint statement Wednesday it deployed “technical solutions” to block the government-issued certificate.

Citizens had been told to install the government-issued certificate on their computers and devices as part of a domestic surveillance program. In doing so it gave the government ‘root’ access to the network traffic on those devices, allowing the government to intercept and snoop on citizens’ internet browsing activities.

Researchers found that only a few sites were being monitored, like Facebook, Twitter, and Google.

Although the Kazakh government is said to have stopped what it called “system testing” and allowed citizens to delete the certificate, both Google and Mozilla said its measures would stop the data-intercepting certificate from working — even if it’s still installed.

“We don’t take actions like this lightly,” said Marshall Erwin, Mozilla’s senior director of trust and security. But Google browser chief Parisa Tabriz said the company would “never tolerate any attempt, by any organization — government or otherwise — to compromise Chrome users’ data.”

The block went into effect invisibly and no action is needed by users.

Kazakhstan has a population of 18 million. Researchers said that the Kazakh government’s efforts to intercept the country’s internet traffic only hit a “fraction” of the connections passing through the country’s largest internet provider.

The Central-Asian country currently ranks as one of the least free countries on the internet freedom score, based off data collected by watchdog Freedom House, trailing just behind Russia and Iran.

A spokesperson for the Kazakhstan consulate in New York did not respond to a request for comment.


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