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Sometime ago buzz began about a new digital assistant that would be available with the unveiling of Windows Phone 8.1.
Now, Microsoft’s first assistant, Cortana, is here. Microsoft has made the new Windows Phone 8.1 available to developers which means your carrier will have the phone available very soon.
The name Cortana apparently comes from a holographic character in Microsoft’s video game franchise, Halo.
Whatever the inspiration, the Cortana assistant acts much like Apple’s digital assistant Siri and Google Now. It’s designed to be your personal assistant keeping track of things that are important to you and searching for information on your Windows Phone. Cortana will be able to set your alarms and even reserve a table at a restaurant. She will remind you of meetings in your calendar and even tell you how long it will take you to travel to your next business meeting.
Cortana works inside just about every other app on Windows Phone 8.1, too. Tapping on a magnifying glass inside the app you’re running allows you to multitask. So, if you’re listening to music while on the road, you can tap to activate Cortana to also set a reminder or alarm, schedule a meeting, or run a Bing search.
Here’s a look at how Cortana works, from Windows Phone Central:
Outside of Cortana, Windows Phone 8.1 features new live tiles that you can customize with a unique skin. The Verge also notes that the update improves support for dual SIM cards, calendar views, and app updates.
“On one hand, Windows Phone 8.1 is a push toward the future, full of new things and new ways to do old things. But it’s also simply Microsoft’s biggest effort yet to bring its mobile platform closer in line with iOS and Android, to make it seem less alien to those who might switch.”
There is actually a way to get access to the updated mobile operating system. But be aware, this process will void the warranty on your device until your carrier releases the operating system update, according to The Verge in a different post.
If you’re not an app developer and are too anxious to wait for your mobile carrier to release the update, here’s how you can get Windows Phone 8.1 now.
First, go to the Windows Phone App Studio and sign in with your Microsoft account. The next step is to create a project. If you already have Windows Phone 8, you can download a free preview app. When you sign in to the app, your phone will detect the Windows Phone 8.1 update.
The post Microsoft’s First Digital Assistant, Cortana, Is Here appeared first on Small Business Trends.
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Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/Spavia/Corporate_Offerings/prweb11720715.htm
Pancheros Mexican Grill, a fast-casual Mexican brand known for its creation of Bob the Tool, will open its newest New Jersey location in Bridgewater. In honor of the grand opening, the location will be offering a $1 burrito promotion on April 22, from 4–6 p.m.News and information presented in this release has not been corroborated by QSR, Food News Media, or Journalistic, Inc.
Police tell FOX23 a manager at a fast food restaurant in Broken Arrow finished closing the store when two men robbed her at gunpoint.
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Whether you need to promote your brand, share event pictures, connect with your clients or create a buzz, social media marketing is a necessity and not an option any more.
An optimized social media profile shows your strong social media presence. But how do you elevate your social media profile to establish a strong connection with your fans?
Let’s explore two of the most popular social media platforms and how you can optimize them.Facebook Optimization Your Facebook Profile Demands a Vanity URL
Select a unique username for your business page through www.facebook/username. This will be used for your unique Facebook URL. However, once the name is chosen, it cannot be modified later, so be sure to check for errors.Add a Professional Touch to Your Profile Image
Your profile image should only consist of your name and logo of the company. This helps to build brand awareness every time your business updates, comments and shares content on Facebook.Be Creative With Your Cover Photo
Think of roadside billboards. Your cover photo should follow the same path. It should be eye catching and express your brand clearly:
There are many Facebook applications that can help you promote links to your site, your articles and online retail space. Here are few commonly used ones:
Facebook pages are indexed by search engines. This means that public updates from your Facebook business page often show up in Google’s real time search results. So, next time you update something on your page, keep important keywords in mind.
And nothing is more boring than a page full of text so be sure to add images and videos. Research shows that updates with images are clicked 54% more than text-only updates and 22% more with video updates.Twitter Optimization Be Smart With Your Twitter Handle
What comes after the ‘@’ symbol is important. It should convey something to followers. For instance, an effective Twitter handle is your company name. However, keep in mind that your handle can only be 15 characters. So get creative if you have a lengthy name for your company.Get Creative With Your Profile Image and Background
Your profile picture is attached to all tweets so keep it consistent with your business logo because it is the face of your brand. Twitter is all about what you have to say, so it should look like its coming directly from you and nowhere else. Be creative with how you present yourself. An engaging profile image should possess the following characteristics:
An engaging image for your Twitter profile can make you stand out in a sea of thousands of tweets. Moreover, if you are successful with your universal value proposition and targeted value proposition, there are chances that lots of visitors will become your consistent followers because they identify with your overall value proposition.
Similarly, your background image can make a big difference in the conversion rate. Incorporating a compelling background image increases the amount of time visitors spend on your profile. Your Twitter background image should communicate and highlight your value proposition. Try some of the following ideas:
Your header image should not overshadow your profile image. Keep it dark and muted. If your image is too bright, your profile may not be readable.Develop a Great Bio
Every business is unique and so are its requirements. It is important to be interesting and engaging. Your bio should be a unique 160 character summary of your company’s mission. This reflects who you are, why people should follow you and the benefit of following you. Make sure to display:
This is the easiest thing to do and hopefully takes the least amount of time. If you do not want to add a specific location, pick a geographical location. Advanced search on Twitter allows users to search by location. Adding your location is a great way to connect with your local community.
Also add a link to your website. Chances are that the 160 character summary doesn’t explain everything you want to convey to someone who is genuinely interested in your company. Ideally, that is what your website does.
Tablet Photo via Shutterstock
The post How Do You Optimize Your Facebook And Twitter Accounts? appeared first on Small Business Trends.