Making Headlines: Google, Facebook Announce Big Updates

Making Headlines: Google, Facebook Announce Big Updates

Local businesses received some welcome news this week as Google introduced a feature to make shopping from local merchants easier. And  Facebook released a new tool aimed at helping users better manage their privacy settings.

But Facebook and Google weren’t the only ones making headlines in the small business world this week. Read on for a full list of news stories in our Small Business Trends weekly news and information roundup.

Local Marketing

Google Mobile Search Gives 360 Degree Product View, Places to Buy

A new Google mobile search feature may end up benefiting physical stores much more than ecommerce retailers. The feature seems to support a rising trend in which consumers are actually researching products online first only to later buy them at a physical location. Google has introduced a 360-degree product view on its Google Shopping results on mobile searches.

Social Media

New Facebook Tool Designed to Manage Your Privacy — Really

A new Facebook Privacy Policy update will likely inspire a chuckle from critics. The social site’s professed dedication to protecting the privacy of its users has generally met with more than a little skepticism in the past. Privacy issues with Facebook’s Messenger app and revelations about a so-called emotion manipulation experiment Facebook conducted on users are just the latest.

Twitter Analytics to Optimize Organic Tweets

Since its inception, Twitter was designed to be global. For business, this social media platform has proved itself as a customer acquisition, retention and even as a sales tool. To date, Facebook, Pinterest, and LinkedIn have all provided analytics both for advertisers and website owners to track organic and sponsored posts. Twitter is never far behind.

Shine a Light on Dark Social Traffic Hiding in the Shadows

Online marketers tend to overlook dark social traffic. It’s a category of social sharing that escapes their attention because web analytics and social media measurement systems can’t track it. Marketers need to work outside these systems to generate dark social insights.


Coin Could Replace All Your Credit Cards — Nearly

A Coin could replace all your credit cards — or nearly. That’s the universal Coin card, of course. Coin is the exact same size as a traditional credit card. It’s got a plastic skin so it’s got the look and feel of a credit card, too. Inside however, is an electronic device that stores information you load onto it from a card scanner.

Lower Earnings are Driving Down the Number of Entrepreneurs

Sometimes basic economics explains why people make the choices that they do. I was reminded of that principle the other day when I was preparing to teach an introduction to microeconomics class and was looking at data on what has happened to entrepreneurial activity in the United States since the Great Recession.

The Top 5 Trends in Taxes for the Coming Year

As I look back to the 2014 tax trends I discussed, I see that things haven’t changed all that much. In fact, the trends in taxes that I foresaw for 2014 continue to be largely the same for 2015, even though Congress has changed and the economy continues to brighten.


7 Really Simple Strategies for Saving Money During the Holidays

Is money tight in your business during the holiday season? Holiday gifts for clients, employee bonuses, tips for service providers, holiday parties — that’s all extra spending. On top of that, if you are in retail or manufacturing, you may have needed to stock up on inventory and extra materials to meet customer demands.

Top 4 Health Insurance Trends for Small Businesses

Small business owners face constant changes. Over the past year, many may have dealt with the effects of the health care industry evolving, the ups and downs of the economy, even employees’ circumstances changing. Here are four health insurance trends that may help small business leaders as they prepare for the year ahead.

How to Keep Your Business Running During Your Vacation

The holiday season is upon us, and with that comes vacation time for many entrepreneurs. If you’re on the fence about shutting down your business while you go over the river and through the woods because you’re worried you’ll miss out on sales or opportunities, keep reading. You absolutely can take a vacation while keeping your business alive.

Marketing Tips

The Secret Formula to Better Content Ideas

Everyone knows that content is king. The UK consulting firm Content+ found that having a blog gives sites 434 percent more indexed pages and 97 percent more indexed links.

Small Business Cyber Monday Deals Still Going On

Cyber Monday, the largest online shopping day of the year, may be over. But for small businesses there are some deals still going on — at least until the end of the week.

Small Biz Spotlight

Spotlight: iDropped Turns Broken Phones into a Business

If you own a smartphone, chances are you’ve dropped it at some point. From cracked screens to broken buttons to battery issues, smartphones and mobile devices can have a lot of problems. And fixing them yourself isn’t always a viable option. But the next time it happens, you can take your phone to a company like iDropped.


Cats are Popular on the Internet, But What About in Your Coffee?

If you love cats and coffee, this is the perfect latte art for you. Twitter user @dongurinekobei, based in Japan, shows us that coffee can be more than a drink with her photorealistic cat illustrations formed in the foam of latte.

Technology Trends

Sony’s FES E-Paper Watch is Not Smart

We’re awash in new devices. It seems on a regular basis that a new smartphone, tablet, or wearable device is hitting the market. Watches can now do more than tell time. They can make and receive calls, browse the web, and receive email and social media notifications. But an upcoming entry from Sony may be the most interesting yet. The FES Watch isn’t even a smartwatch.

The Top 3 WiFi Security Myths – Busted!

The advent of the Internet has changed all aspects of the world significantly, making it, in some ways, a smaller and a more closely knit place. Also, since it has already been quite some time since the Internet was introduced, many people have already had the opportunity to get online. Still, there are online experiences that remain unique to some and enhance that experience significantly.

Skype Translator App Now Available for Sign Up

Going global? The Skype Translator app could help your small business reach around the world. The app translates 40 different languages — in both directions. That means you can converse with a person who speaks Mandarin Chinese, for example, even if neither of you understands the other’s language.

Amazon Echo: Fun, But Not Very Useful – Yet

How would you like to have your own administrative assistant to help you research information and compile simple lists?  All done hands-free by saying commands aloud? And when you’re not assigning or asking things, how would you like an audio speaker that sounds good, so you can listen to music in the background as you work?

Great news photo via Shutterstock

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