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The State of Snapchat - Is It Still Worth It for Your Brand?

Within the past few years, Snapchat has become one of the largest social media platforms, and currently ranks fifth for the most used among competitors like Facebook and Instagram.

This messaging app has earned a loyal following, thanks to highly popular instant communication features such as pictures that disappear within 10 seconds, and cutting edge facial recognition and augmented reality (AR) software.

It has even become a useful tool for business and marketing strategies, an avenue for brands to use to reach younger, more tech savvy audiences.

Yet over the last few months, it seems like Snapchat’s fate as a successful app has suddenly become unclear, all due to falling stocks and negative PR.

So, that leads us to the question of the moment, one that seemingly everyone wants answered: “Is it really worth it for your business and brand to invest social media dollars into Snapchat?"

Well, the answer can be yes and no. It truly depends on your intended audience, and what type of brand or business you’re promoting. It’s also important to consider the current state of other social media apps and websites before you decide on a direction for your social media marketing campaign.

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Gadget of the Week - GoPro HERO

Have you ever seen footage of someone parachuting headfirst from a helicopter – shot from that person’s adrenaline-pumping point of view? Or how about an amazing shot of a concert – from the perspective of the guitar, or even from a set of whirling drumsticks?

Odds are, if you’ve ever seen a piece of awe-inspiring first-person video that left you asking how they did that, then that footage was shot on a GoPro camera.

If you want to get started shooting incredible videos of your own, you could do a lot worse than GoPro’s latest, the GoPro HERO.

This “entry-level” camera packs a ton of power into a small, affordable piece of hardware, perfect for “newcomers” – and anyone looking to make quick, powerful videos without a ton of set-up.

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What Are Domain Authority and Page Authority?

Search engine optimization, or, more commonly, SEO, is the art and science that of getting your brand’s website and individual pages to rank highly on search engine results pages, or SERPs.

It’s that simple… and that complex.

SEO is a hugely powerful tool for businesses of all shapes and sizes, from all sorts of industries. In a lot of ways, ensuring that your business is elevated on search engines is one of the most important things you can do to get customers to your site. In addition to increasing your traffic rates, SEO strategies have been shown to generate more leads, at a far lower cost, than other digital marketing methods (such as PPC or display ads).

It’s that easy… and that difficult.

You see, everyone wants great SEO results in the blink of an eye. But what a lot of business owners don’t always realize is that SEO is a complex and multifaceted process, with a lot of moving parts. More to the point, it’s a marketing strategy that builds and compounds over time, so it can take a little bit of patience to really see explosive growth for your brand. 

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App of the Week - FreeConferenceCall

As any business owner can tell you, conference calls can be absolutely essential to getting things done.

But bringing together a large group of people – almost always scattered in different places, and perhaps even spread across different time zones – can be clunky and cumbersome, particularly over the phone.

People talk over each other. Bursts of static get in the way of having a clear conversation. People drop off the line, apropos of nothing.

With all this being said, it’s not hard to see why conference calls can sometimes get a bad rap.

That’s why the Geek team loves FreeConferenceCall.com and its suite of apps for Android and iOS devices. With FreeConferenceCall, you get all of the productivity and progress of a group chat – with none of the all-too-common headaches or hassles.

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Why Content Marketing Is More Important Than Ever

What do we mean when we talk about “content marketing?”

And we don’t mean that as a Philosophy 201 question, or anything like that.

No, we mean it literally: In practical terms, what is content marketing, and what does it do for small businesses like yours?

Content Marketing: A Brief Rundown of a Vital Digital Marketing Strategy

To the first part? We tend to define content marketing as a digital marketing strategy that lets you create and share multimedia content online, in order to reach audiences organically, and generate interest – and conversions – for your brand.

Content marketing can also be thought of as inbound marketing – it’s all about sharing content that gets new audiences to come to you, rather than requiring you to compete and struggle for their limited attention. 

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Gadget of the Week - Scrabble Keyboard

Have you perfected the art of making words from a jumble of letters that looks like “EIEEENV?” Do you know exactly how many points a “Q” is worth? Are you constantly scanning the dictionary, looking for new ideas and inspiration?

If you answered yes to any or all of the above, then you might just be a Scrabble fanatic.

This classic board game – which involves using letter tiles to construct words and create complex, interlocking crossword patterns – has been entertaining (and frustrating) wordsmiths for decades.

In addition to the legendary tabletop game, Scrabble has found its place in all sorts of other media, from newspaper games to smartphone apps. Now, you can take the small joys of Scrabble everywhere you go, thanks to this unbelievable keyboard.

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If Social Media Is Declining, Where Should I Put My Digital Marketing Focus?

Since it started to really take off in the early part of the 21st century, social media has been ascendant. That language may sound a little bit lofty or hyperbolic, but it’s totally earned.

The way we see it, the rise of social networking has been one of the most influential events in recent world history. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Snapchat have all fundamentally changed the way we speak to each other; the way we conduct our business; and, above all, the way we market and sell to one another.

But is the stratospheric rise of social media finally reaching a turning point? And what effects could a social media downturn have on your digital marketing efforts?

Let’s break down the ups and downs of social media in 2018, and explore what digital marketing channels will continue to best serve your brand in the weeks, months, and years ahead.

Is Social Media Declining?

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App of the Week - Triller

A lot of people like to complain that there’s no music on MTV anymore.

After all, as your Gen X uncle loves to remind you, the network began its life as “Music Television,” and rose to prominence sharing music videos from artists from all sorts of backgrounds. Now it’s all about reality shows, with music videos (basically) nowhere to be found on the channel.  

But here’s the thing… Despite what the geezers think, music videos haven’t died. They’ve just become more collaborative, and they’ve moved online. And that’s all thanks to services like YouTube, Instagram, and our spotlight app of the week: Triller.

Equal parts video creator and social media platform, Triller bills itself as a way for anyone to “create flawless, Al-powered music videos.”

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How Do Users Engage With Your Site, and What Does It Mean for Your SEO?

Search engine optimization, or SEO, is a process your brand can use to position itself highly on search engine ranking pages (also called SERPS).

In a lot of ways, SEO is one of the most important tools you can use to get future customers to find your business’s information online. It’s also an effective way to keep users coming back for more, and increase the likelihood that your newfound website visitors will be primed and ready to become eager conversions, either right away or at some point down the line.

In short, SEO really does matter. In 2018 and beyond, it’s an essential strategy for businesses of all sizes to have in place.

But, then, this beggars another question: What goes into a successful SEO effort today?

From the jump, it’s important to realize that SEO is a multi-faceted process, and a lot of different elements go into generating search engine success. It’s part art, part science, and part game – and you need to master all three of those buckets if you want to claim your rightful place at the top of the SERP.

Today, we’re going to focus on one part of the SEO formula that often goes overlooked: The user.

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Gadget of the Week - Driverless Car Roundup

Driverless cars – also called self-driving cars, or autonomous cars – are all the rage right now in the tech world.

A far cry from the science fiction vehicles of yesteryear, driverless cars are almost here, give or take a few major hurdles standing in the way.

What do you need to know about the next big thing in driving… or not driving, as the case may be?

How Do Driverless Cars Work?

One of the big questions that many consumers have about driverless cars is how exactly they work. It’s easy to see why this comes up again and again; in a lot of ways, the technology does still seem a little too good to be true. 

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Jason Finn

Founder & Chief Geek

Jason has nearly 20 years of consulting experience, predominantly in the technology space. Most recently he was the COO and Director of Technology for Rich Casto & Company, a national training and consulting organization in the real estate industry.
As a consultant for IBM, PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, and Envision Consulting Group (now IMS Health), Jason has served clients of all sizes, including Big Pharma, Fortune 500, and Global 1000 companies:

  • Allstate Insurance Company
  • AOL (America Online)
  • Astellas Pharmaceuticals
  • Eli Lilly and Company
  • Ford Motor Credit
  • Wockhardt USA (formerly Morton Grove Pharmaceuticals)
  • Norwich Union
  • PNC Bank
  • Reynolds and Reynolds

Sarunas Budrikas

Creative Director

Sarunas is a web design and development expert with hundreds of successful projects in his portfolio. He is passionate about delivering extraordinary user experiences for every client and consistently goes above and beyond everyone’s expectations. As an SEO expert and strategist, he can optimize your website, or app, to get the most out of it, day in and day out. Sarunas holds a degree in Electrical Engineering from Kaunas Technology University, in Lithuania. Sarunas now lives in Chicago, and calls it home.

Alexandra Olsavsky

Client Experience Specialist

Alex specializes in content generation and social media promotion for Geek | Chicago clients, helping to solidify their presence in the online community. This includes blog writing, graphic design, co-ordination and design of weekly newsletters, and active engagement on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and LinkedIn. Outside of Geek, Alex is a classically-trained soprano who professionally performs around the city of Chicago (most recently with the Chicago Baroque Band, and with the Rolling Stones for their "50 and Counting" tour).