In a meeting with employees last week, reported by CNBC, Bezos offered a healthy tinge of realism, as his company expands in the face of substantial and increasing opposition.
By now, social media is a core component of your marketing plan. You have surely realized by now that using platforms like Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, and Instagram can amplify your story more effectively than any tool we have ever known.
The issue arises when you misunderstand these platforms and use them as a sales tool, as opposed to what they were intended to be, platforms to listen, engage, and build relationships. I see people make that mistake constantly, and it hurts me every time.
With that in mind, I’d like to save you the trouble of going down a dark path. Here are three very painful examples of mistakes you or someone on your team might be making on social media:
1. Please stop mass tagging.
This one is one of my biggest pet peeves, especially on Twitter. Imagine the following scenario. I have my iPhone configured so that I get a ping every time someone mentions me on Twitter. You are starting to use Twitter to promote your brand and decide it is a good idea to share your new blog post and tag me, along with 10 other people in the tweet.
You do this because you want us all to read the post. You want to get on our radar. Let me tell you what happens next. I get pinged about a blog post I didn’t express any interest in reading, and then, if you get your way, every one of the people you tagged begins to reply to the tweet, which by default–thanks, Twitter–is set to reply all.
The notifications begin to pour in, one by one. Let me tell you how much of that “get on their radar” goal you have accomplished: All of it. You are on my radar. I will now be blocking you on Twitter and not engaging with you or your brand any time in the near future. Congrats.
Stop mass tagging people on Twitter or any other platform. Engage. Be personal. Be authentic. You know, like you are offline when talking to people.
2. Opting people into your messages never works.
I have been asking this question for many years and no one has offered a sane response as of yet: What was Facebook thinking to let someone add me to a group without my consent?
Just because you can add me to a group without my consent does not mean you should. In other words, you want me to join your group, follow you on Twitter, engage with your content? Give me a reason to. Don’t force it on me.
As I once heard from the guy who invented the Like button on Facebook, he wanted to give people a way to show their appreciation for good content. Instead, marketers ruined it and started to beg for likes.
Let people opt in because they recognize your value. By forcing me to opt in, you are essentially forcing me to opt out.
3. Cold pitching is something you should avoid at all costs.
Cold pitching on social media doesn’t work. People can just ignore your messages.
Instead, reach out to a journalist, engage with their content, build some trust. No, I don’t mean trick them into thinking you care and then going in and pitching them. I mean, really care.
Build relationships with relevant people in your industry not when you need them for something, but do it much before. Listen to what they have to say, hear their needs, learn their interests. Care.
This is the way we behave offline. Somehow, online, we think it’s acceptable to sell non-stop, force people to listen when they are not interested, and spam random folks in the hopes of getting a few likes or retweets.
You have Twitter. It’s free. Use it. The same goes for other platforms — start using them to listen and learn.
As someone smart once said: “You have two ears and one mouth. Use them in that ratio.”
The moment they receive that email, the employees’ brains go into overdrive–wondering what they did wrong, whether there’s bad news, whether they’re about to be fired, etc., Productive work grinds to a halt and the cold sweat begins.
In Valberg’s case, it meant he could hire developers and engineers in cities all over the country, or even the world. It worked: His company, InVision, now has 800 employees and a $1 billion valuation, and it’s 100 percent virtual.
“Any business here in L.A. is impacted to some degree,” says Sean Kelly, co-founder and CEO of Snack Nation, a Culver City, California-based company that delivers curated boxes of healthy snacks to businesses. At least five of his 170 employees have been forced to evacuate their homes. The company is coordinating product donations to firefighters. “It’s not just the community members, it’s also the firefighters and the people who are really responsible of containing the flames, who we could argue are in need of more help and support than anything.”
The Motorola G6 and G6 Plus are only a few months old, and were widely lauded as key handsets in the budget realm, coming in at £219 and £269 (inc. VAT) respectively at launch. I certainly felt that the Motorola G6 Plus was a smartphone to be reckoned with.
Now here we are not with a G7, but a new line altogether — the Motorola One, whose £269 launch price matches the higher-end Moto G6 Plus.
Arguably the key feature here is Android One, the version of Android that’s guaranteed to be updated over time. For those who want the very latest Android tweaks, and feel hampered by phones that don’t get immediate updates, this will be important. Google has guaranteed that Android One users will get regular security updates, and Android software updates through to Android 10.
If you don’t like lots of extras on your handsets, you should be happy as there’s little here by way of extras on top of Android. What you do get is the ability to have notifications that fade in and out when the screen is off, and Moto Actions — gesture-based extras such as twisting the handset to open the camera and doing a double shake, or what Motorola rather aggressively calls ‘karate chop motions’, to activate the torch. (Don’t try this with winter-cold hands unless you’re sure you won’t propel your handset with some force towards the ground.)
Motorola has equipped the Motorola One with a decent-sized 3,000mAh battery, which the online spec sheet says can deliver a ‘full day’ of uptime. The Geekbench battery test saw the battery last for 9 hours 37 minutes with screen dimming off and adaptive brightness on. The handset supports fast charging at 15W, giving up to 8 hours of power in 20 minutes of charging according to Motorola.
Budget handset makers don’t tend to major on camera functionality, but the Motorola One has a two-camera setup at the back with 13MP and 2MP sensors and f/2.0 and f.2,4 lenses respectively. These take a passable photo and there are some interesting features: I like spot colour, which washes everything except the selected colour out to black and white, for example, but there’s nothing startlingly new here. The 8MP front camera has an LED flash which doubles up as a front-facing torch. Google Lens is preinstalled.
If Motorola has pushed the boat out a little with the battery capacity, it has compromised slightly on the screen. It’s large enough at 5.9 inches, although some will find the front camera notch rather wide. On the left side there’s only room for the time and one icon, while there are four icons on the right. Still, it does look bang on-trend.
However, screen resolution leaves a bit to be desired at just 720 by 1,520 pixels. The notch means the aspect ratio is 19:9, but with just 287 pixels per inch (ppi) I did find text a bit fuzzy to read. The Motorola G6 and G6 Plus managed 1,080 by 2,160 pixels in a 5.7-inch (424ppi) and 5.9-inch (409 ppi) screen respectively, delivering a far superior viewing experience in both cases. There is a Night Light mode that can be configured to come on at a set time and reduces blue light; users can also select between two different colour modes, standard and vibrant, with the latter creating a bit more colour ‘pop’.
It’s good to see that two SIMs and a MicroSD card can all be in place at the same time. The latter will come in handy to boost the 64GB internal storage. Out of the box, 12.41GB was used, leaving just 51.59GB free. The Snapdragon 625 chipset and 4GB of RAM coped well enough with what I asked the handset to do.
With dimensions of 72mm by 150mm by 7.97mm and weighing 162g, the Motorola One is comfortable to hold, and the reasonably tall bottom bezel, complete with Motorola logo, isn’t surprising at this budget end of the market. There is a fingerprint sensor at the back, sitting inside a reflective glass backplate that tends to pick up fingerprints. It’s slippery too, and the handset slid off my chair a couple of times during the review period until I fitted the provided plastic bumper. This deals with the slipperiness problem but also reduces the allure of the glass back.
Motorola says the phone is splash-resistant thanks to a coating, but it isn’t fully IP rated. Fans of 3.5mm headsets will be pleased to see a connector here, along the top edge, with USB-C charging on the bottom edge.
So, here’s the thing. A straight point-for-point comparison with the Motorola G6 or G6 Plus puts the older phones slightly ahead of the newer one. The key feature that inclines me to the older phones is their superior screens. If you’re looking for the Android One guarantee, you might be swayed; otherwise you may want to look elsewhere for a bargain.
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Two unions have filed a lawsuit against Puerto Rico’s government accusing it of mismanaging employee retirement accounts.
The announcement was made Thursday by the American Federation of Teachers and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees.
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The unions allege the government has not created defined-contribution accounts as promised and instead invested hundreds of millions of dollars in pension contributions in accounts that earn very little interest.
A spokesman for Gov. Ricardo Rossello did not immediately return a message for comment.
The lawsuit comes as Puerto Rico faces nearly $50 billion in unfunded pension liabilities and prepares to implement pension cuts sought by a federal control board overseeing the island’s finances amid a 12-year recession. The suit in part asks that the government create individualized retirement accounts for teachers.
This article was originally published on ETFTrends.com.
BlackRock’s iShares expanded on its socially responsible exchange traded fund theme with the introduction of its first green bond strategy that cover fixed-income securities tied to projects designed to combat climate change or support a sustainable environment. On Thursday, BlackRock rolled out the iShares Global Green Bond ETF (NasdaqGM: BGRN), which has a 0.20% expense […]
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Smoke hangs over the scorched remains of Old Town Plaza following the wildfire in Paradise, Calif., on Thursday, Nov. 15, 2018. The shopping center housed a Safeway and other businesses. (AP Photo/Noah Berger)
A utility facing severe financial pressure amid speculation its equipment may have sparked a deadly Northern California wildfire asked U.S. energy regulators last month for permission to raise its customers’ monthly bills to harden its system against wildfires and deliver a sizable increase in profits to shareholders.
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In an October filing with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, Pacific Gas Electric Co. laid out a variety of dangers confronting its transmission lines running through Northern California, saying its system faced a higher risk of wildfires than any other utility.
“The implications of PGE’s exposure to potential liabilities associated with wildfires are dramatically magnified,” the filing said. “Overcoming the negative financial impact of any significant damages that might ultimately be attributed to PGE will require an ongoing commitment of capital from investors.”
San Francisco-based PGE — one of the nation’s largest electric utilities serving most of Northern and central California — made the request a month before the Camp Fire broke out Nov. 8 and quickly ballooned into the deadliest U.S. wildfire in a century. No cause has been determined, but speculation has centered on PGE, which reported an outage around when and where the fire ignited.
The company has lost $15 billion in market value, its shares plummeting 60 percent in a week.
PGE already faced financial pressure from its suspected role in a series of deadly fires in California wine country last year. The company’s filing last month said it needed to boost revenue to keep investors from fleeing, noting that its credit rating was downgraded and its shares had plummeted since the 2017 fires.
Wildfires threaten PGE’s ability to attract and maintain the investment necessary to support its system and meet California’s clean energy goals, company spokeswoman Lynsey Paulo said.
“PGE’s electrical system is not immune from the impact of increases in the frequency and severity of extreme weather,” Paulo said.
The company said in its rate-hike request that the extreme wildfire risk justified a higher profit than an average utility is allowed to earn. It cites a California legal standard holding utilities entirely liable for damage caused by their equipment regardless of whether the company was negligent.
A state law approved this year makes it easier for the company to raise rates to pay off lawsuits, but the company says it still faces high risk and got no relief for fires that start this year.
The precipitous drop in the stock price shows investors are taking into account not just the fires but also the risk of future wildfires for which the utility could be responsible, analysts said.
“It’s going to be very difficult for PGE to finance its needs in the short run, so we think at this point, regulators need to step in and give the market some reassurance,” said Travis Miller, a strategist at Morningstar.
PGE is asking for a 9.5 percent increase in transmission charges — the cost of high-voltage lines that move power across large distances. That amounts to about $1.50 more per month for the average residential customer, Paulo said.
Advocates for utility customers have balked at PGE’s contention that it needs to raise rates because of wildfires. They say its problems are the result of poor management decisions.
“We don’t pay electric bills in order to keep bailing PGE out from its own negligence and incompetence, and we can’t afford it,” said Mindy Spatt, communications director for The Utility Reform Network.
PGE reported to the Securities and Exchange Commission this week that it had renewed its insurance coverage for wildfires to about $1.4 billion for the year covering this fire season. But an analyst at Citi Investment Research estimated damages could exceed $15 billion. And the company’s potential liability for last year’s fires has been pegged at upward of $10 billion.
Some analysts believe PGE will be able to survive financially as long as there isn’t another major catastrophe. But wildfires are getting bigger, deadlier and more destructive as housing pushes into rural areas and drought and high temperatures tied to climate change become the norm.
“The business doesn’t earn enough money to pay for that in any kind of regular way,” said Michael Wara, director of the Climate and Energy Policy Program at Stanford University. “These have to be extreme, once-in-a-generation events.”
PGE’s ability to raise capital will be constrained, so it will probably be forced to cut back on expenses such as replacing aging equipment, analysts said. California utilities also need to invest in the type of upgrades that will allow the state to meet its aggressive renewable energy and carbon reduction goals.
Fire investigators have blamed PGE equipment for 12 of last year’s wildfires, including two that killed 15 people combined. In eight of those fires, investigators said they found evidence of violations of state law and forwarded the findings to prosecutors.
The company is facing dozens of lawsuits from insurers and people who lost their homes in last year. And a lawsuit this week blames PGE for the latest fire, accusing the company failing to effectively maintain power lines.
California regulators generally allow utilities to pass on the costs of those lawsuits to their customers, but only if the company can show it prudently managed its equipment. The new state law makes it easier for utilities to bill customers if they can show a fire got worse from things outside their control, like severe weather. But lawmakers didn’t drop the standard that puts all the liability on the utility, which is unique to two states.
“Very large damage payments of the size faced by California utilities are very unusual in other states,” said Hugh Wynne of Sector and Sovereign Research, an investment research firm.
Bussewitz reported from New York.
Mexico’s President-elect Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has reached out to the country’s business elite, announcing the formation of a business advisory council including big names, especially in media.
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Lopez Obrador said in a pre-recorded video circulated Thursday that he would meet with the council every couple months.
Lopez Obrador, who takes office Dec. 1, says Mexico needs the private sector’s support to generate jobs and grow the economy.
The leftist politician quickly moved to meet with business leaders to calm markets after his victory in July. Last month, Lopez Obrador roiled markets again by announcing the cancellation of the capital’s $13 billion airport project.
Ricardo Salinas Pliego, the founder of Grupo Salinas, which owns TV Azteca network, and Bernardo Gomez, the co-CEO of Televisa network, are among the council’s members.