When Is the Best Time to Post on Instagram in 2018? [Cheat Sheet]

In high school, one of my friends was determined to find the perfect time to post her Instagram photos to maximize the amount of likes she got. She was surprisingly scientific about it, posting at different times of the day and jotting down each of her posts’ “likes per minute”. After weeks of testing, she figured out which post time raked in the most likes, and, from then on, she could easily get 200 likes on all her Instagram posts.

My friend’s rather scientific method to maximize her Instagram likes still makes me chuckle to this day. But since I’m a marketer now, her desire to build a strong Instagram presence also resonates with me.

To build a sizable Instagram following, you need to create compelling content that your audience actually craves. But if you don’t post your content at the right time, most of them will never see it.

So how do you figure out the optimal post time for your specific audience?

The best way to find an ideal posting time is by testing the timing of your posts to see which post time generates the most audience engagement.

But if you don’t have enough resources or time to conduct your own tests, Sprout Social, a social media management platform with over 24,000 customers, has you covered. This year, they analyzed their customer data to see what time and day their social media posts generated the most engagement. They also segmented the data by social network and industry.

Looking at their aggregate customer data for Instagram, you can see that the following days and times (in Central Time Zone) are ideal for generating the most engagement on the social network:

Here are some more insights about optimal post timing extracted from their data:

  • Posting at 5:00 AM CDT from Tuesday to Friday generates some of the highest engagement — people usually check their phones right when they wake up.
  • Posting from 11:00 AM to 3:00 PM CDT during the weekdays also generates a lot of engagement — people usually check their phones during lunch or when they start to run out of mental energy toward the end of the work day.
  • If you want to post on the weekends, post on Saturday around 11:00 AM CDT when people eat brunch or hang out with their friends.

This general data about optimal post timing is a great starting point for growing an engaged Instagram audience, but if you want to get more granular, here are the best times to post on Instagram if your organization is in the technology, B2C, education, healthcare, and non-profit industries, according to Sprout Social’s research.

Best Times to Post on Instagram for Technology Companies

  • Best Time: Wednesday at 10:00 AM CDT
  • Most Consistent Engagement: Wednesday to Friday from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM CDT
  • Best Day: Thursday
  • Worst Day: Sunday

Best Times to Post on Instagram for B2C Companies

  • Best Time: Saturday at 11:00 AM & 1:00 PM CDT
  • Most Consistent Engagement: Everyday from 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM CDT
  • Best Day: Wednesday
  • Worst Day: Monday

Best Times to Post on Instagram for Educational Organizations

  • Best Time: Monday at 8:00 PM CDT
  • Most Consistent Engagement: Weekdays from 11:00 AM to 4:00 PM CDT
  • Best Day: Monday
  • Worst Day: Sunday

Best Times to Post on Instagram for Healthcare Companies

  • Best Time: Tuesday at 1:00 PM CDT
  • Most Consistent Engagement: Tuesday to Friday from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM CDT
  • Best Day: Tuesday
  • Worst Day: Saturday & Sunday

Best Times to Post on Instagram for Non-Profit Organizations

  • Best Times: Tuesday at 3:00 PM & 9:00 PM, Wednesday at 3:00 PM & 4:00 PM, Thursday at 2:00 PM & 3:00 PM, and Friday at 10:00 AM & 2:00 PM,
  • Most Consistent Engagement: Weekdays from 12:00 PM to 5:00 PM
  • Best Day: Tuesday
  • Worst Day: Saturday

Timing is Key

Every brand’s audience is different. To build a sizable, engaged Instagram audience, you need to know who your followers are. And one of the best ways to get to know your audience and capture their attention is by knowing exactly when they like to surf the app.

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Unriddled: Samsung’s Big Moves, the Latest Bets on Video, and More Tech News You Need

“Unriddled” is HubSpot’s mid-week digest of the tech headlines you need to know. Each week, we highlight the top stories in a quick, scannable way and break it all down. It’s tech news: explained.

Unriddled: The Tech News You Need

1. Samsung’s Big Moves

Samsung, which is largely known by some for its mobile devices, has been appearing in its fair share of headlines lately. From its latest smartphone release to a new smart speaker, here are some key highlights.

The Galaxy Note9

Samsung held a high-profile product unveiling last week, where it officially debuted the Galaxy Note9: its much-speculated latest smartphone release, which boasts such nifty features as a “health censor” that can measure vitals like your heart rate and blood pressure.

It comes with one of the company’s signature stylus pens: the Note9 S Pen, which can remotely unlock the phone, play music (from the phone), and even control games like Fortnite — a game that, Samsung will have you know, is available in beta to Galaxy users.

Samsung-Galaxy-Unpacked-2018-3

Source: Samsung

Its other boasting points include all-day battery life and 512GB built-in storage space. The price tag: a cool $1,000.

As for the design and build specs, VentureBeat‘s Kyle Wiggers has you covered. Read full story >>

Back to Bixby

When I attended the Samsung Developer Conference last year, the spotlight was largely on Bixby: the company’s digital personal assistant, akin to Amazon’s Alexa or Google’s Assistant.

But in the months following the event, Bixby had yet to make a mainstream appearance — until now. At the same unveiling event for the Galaxy Note9, Samsung at long last debuted its Bixby-powered Galaxy Home smart speaker.

Kind of.

The Galaxy Home speaker is slated to boast superior sound quality — much like the otherwise disappointing HomePod did — and is activated with the “Hi, Bixby” command. According to the Verge‘s Jacob Kastrenakeshe, the speaker should have the same Bixby capabilities as those available on Samsung phones. As for its release date, well, that’s to be determined.

However, this year’s Samsung Developer Conference is currently scheduled for early November, where I expect to hear more about Bixby — including, perhaps, more details around the Galaxy Home.

Of note: Among these announcements, Samsung also announced a new Galaxy smartwatch. Read full story >>

2. Facebook’s Video Acquisition

Facebook confirmed this week that it acquired the seven-person team, along with accompanying technology, from Vidpresso: a startup that helps make video content interactive.

For some time now, Facebook has been seeking ways for users to engage more with video. Earlier this year, we covered these efforts when it announced a host of new native features to make live videos more interactive, like real-time polling and game-show-style Q&A filters.

Screen Shot 2018-08-14 at 2.02.26 PM

Source: Facebook

Some have speculated that these features are Facebook’s attempt to mimic the success of HQ Trivia (which yesterday announced a new partnership with Apple TV). That app offers interactive Q&A features similar to the ones slated to be incorporated into Facebook’s video platforms. TechCrunch‘s Josh Constine has more. Read full story >>

3. YouTube Rolls out New Incentives for “Stars”

YouTube is reportedly offering to pay its most popular creators to make use of and promote such new features as premium memberships and live chat. The compensation, allegedly, falls somewhere between tens to hundreds of thousands of dollars.

It’s one of the ways YouTube is responding to Creator demand for more diversified ways to monetize beyond advertising. The new options also include a built-in platform for merchandise sales, and “Super Chat,” which allows followers to pay the Creator to give their messages a shout-out during live broadcasts. Bloomberg‘s Lucas Shaw has more. Read full story >>

4. You Can Expect Group FaceTime, but Not Next Month

One of the many new items unveiled at WWDC — Apple’s annual developer conference — was Group FaceTime: a new feature within Apple’s built-in video call platform that would allow numerous parties to join the conversation at once.

But according to the beta release of iOS 12 — the latest iPhone operating system, expected to launch in full in September — Group FaceTime isn’t included. It also won’t be included in the latest MacBook operating system, macOS Mojave, according to 9to5Mac.

Source: Apple

Apple is one of the later players in the Big Tech realm to offer a group chat platform. Instagram, for example, offers four-way video messaging, while Facebook offers group calls and video chats within Messenger. For the later, the maximum is 50 people — whereas Group FaceTime would cap participants at 32. Read full story >>

More News You May Have Missed

5. Facebook Page Engagement Has Dropped 50%, According to New Data

Spoiler alert: Page engagement is still down. Read full story >>

6. YouTube Poised to Unseat Facebook as #2 Website in the U.S.

A new study shows YouTube might soon dethrone the social media giant. Read full story >>

7. I Looked at Everything Google Is Tracking on Me. Here’s What I Found.

New research shows that Google may know exactly where you are and where you’re going — even with location history turned off. Read full story >>

8. 65% of People Think Social Media Sites Should Remove This Content

Are social media networks responsible for the factually incorrect content shared and published on their platforms? Nearly two-thirds of internet users think so. Read full story >>

That’s all for today. Until next week, feel free to weigh in on Twitter to ask us your tech news questions, or to let us know what kind of events and topics you’d like us to cover.

Featured image credit: Samsung

How the Baader-Meinhof Phenomenon Secretly Influences Your Decisions

Let’s say your friend recently told you about a new Netflix show.

After you heard about the show from her, you began seeing and hearing about it everywhere — on Facebook, at dinner with your parents, on your favorite radio station.

Kind of creepy, right? It might feel a bit like a conspiracy theory, like the whole world’s suddenly playing a prank on you — but it’s not. It’s known as the Bader-Meinhof Phenomenon.

There are a few ways the Baader-Meinhof phenomenon might influence your customer’s decision-making process, and understanding the psychology behind it is key to taking your marketing strategies to the next level. Let’s take a look at three ways in particular now.

Three Ways the Baader-Meinhof Phenomenon Secretly Influences Your Customer’s Decisions

1. The Baader-Meinhof Phenomenon and Repetitive Marketing

To incorporate the effects of the Baader-Meinhof Phenomenon into your marketing strategy, you need to put your brand messaging out there as much as possible.

Remember, the Baader-Meinhof Phenomenon can only happen if someone initially notices or learns about your product. You’ll want to start with strong ad copy, an attention-grabbing headline, and memorable images to attract your audience and introduce them to your company.

Now that their brains are selectively paying attention, you’ll want to spread your messaging to various platforms, including social media, radio stations, TV, billboards. You’ll want to choose platforms that align with your brand and customer base — the point is, you want to repeatedly appear on these platforms so your customers can notice you.

Paid online advertisements and retargeting are two effective strategies for ensuring your frequency-illusioned customers start seeing you everywhere.

Ideally, this will become a self sustaining long-term strategy. Even if your customer isn’t in the market for your product now, they’ve seen your company everywhere. Next time their friend is looking for a product like yours, your potential customer will mention you first.

2. The Baader-Meinhof Phenomenon and Social Proof Theory

The Social Proof Theory, first coined by psychologist Robert Cialdini, states that someone who doesn’t know how to act or think will imitate other people, or turn to peers for guidance.

In marketing, social proof is an extremely effective method for persuading customers to buy a product. Customer reviews, testimonials, and statements like “four out of five parents recommend” are critical for convincing hestitant buyers to choose one product over another.

What does this have to do with the Baader-Meinhof phenomenon? Well, think about it: the Baader-Meinhof phenomenon maintains that you’ll see or hear something more if you’ve recently learned about it.

For example, let’s say you’ve recently learned about the new FitBit Charge 2.

Suddenly, you hear your coworkers talking about it. Then, you see a post on Instagram, with one of your favorite celebrities endorsing the product.

It’s likely people were talking about the FitBit Charge 2 before you heard about it, but once you did, your brain paid more attention to it. You took note of all those people raving about the product, and meanwhile, your brain chose not to pick up on that other conversation about the new Samsung Galaxy Gear Fit.

In other words, you selectively listened to people discussing the FitBit product because you’d recently learned about it, and then social proof led you to believe it was the best, and perhaps only, fitness tracker option.

As you can see, these two psychological phenomenons work together to convince someone to buy one product in particular.

To get the most out of the Baader-Meinhof Phenomenon, you’ll want to use it hand-in-hand with The Social Proof Theory. Include reviews and testimonials on your website, as well as third-party sites like Yelp, so once your customer learns about your product, she will be subsequently convinced through social proof to buy it.

3. The Baader-Meinhof Phenomenon and Confirmation Bias

The Baader-Meinhof Phenomenon works for two reasons — selective attention, and confirmation bias.

Let’s consider the second reason for a minute. Confirmation bias is actually a phenomenal tactic to convince customers to buy from your company over your competitors. Essentially, confirmation bias means someone looks for evidence to confirm what they already believe, even when that evidence is largely neutral.

For instance, let’s say you read that right-handed people are better at math. You believe it, and whenever you meet someone who’s right-handed and good at math, you file that information away as evidence you’re correct. You’re insistent on maintaining your prior beliefs. You look for evidences that supports it, and you ignore evidence that contradicts it — like your left-handed friend who is incredible at math.

What does this have to do with marketing? A lot.

Once your customers believe something to be true about your product, they’ll look for evidence to support it and ignore evidence to the contrary. If you can convince them your product offers something unique nothing else on the market can offer, they’ll believe it, and then they’ll seek out evidence to support it.

Easier said than done though, right?

To learn how to use confirmation bias to your marketing advantage, let’s take a look at an example from the 1990’s, when Schlitz, a failing beer company, hired Claude Hopkins, a legendary man in advertising at the time.

Hopkins asked Schlitz to give him a tour of their brewery. On the tour, he saw plate-glass rooms with beer dripping over pipes, expensive wood filters that took out impurities in the beer, and rooms filled with filtered air. The pumps and pipes were cleaned twice a day to avoid contamination.

Seeing the impressive process in action, Hopkins asked Schlitz why they didn’t advertise it to people to prove their beer was better.

The Schlitz people told him, “All companies brew beer the same way.”

“Yes,” Hopkins replied, “But the first one to tell the public about this process will gain a big advantage.”

Within six months of Hopkins’ advertising campaign for Schlitz, Schlitz beer became the number one selling beer in America. Why? Because people were given evidence to believe Schlitz was purer. Once they were embedded with a confirmation bias for Schlitz, they probably tasted the beer and thought, “Yes, this is more pure.” They also avoided other beer companies’ advertisements to the contrary.

By figuring out what makes your product unique and telling potential customers, you’re creating a confirmation bias that your product is exceptional. As people seek out evidence to support their belief, the Baader-Meinhof Phenomenon asserts they’ll begin seeing your product everywhere.

It’s not easy, but if you can create a compelling campaign to capture an audience’s attention and show them why your product is better than others, the Baader-Meinhof Phenomenon and confirmation bias can do the rest.

10 Real Estate Social Media Marketing Strategies That’ll Bring in New Business

The following is a guest post by Leslie Mann, a real estate agent with Gibson Sotheby’s International Realty of Weston, MA.

Most real estate agents have a social media presence, but are they really giving home buyers and sellers want they crave?

Buying or selling a home is an important financial (and emotional) decision. Most people are full of questions when they undertake this endeavor.

They want more than someone who’s just experienced in the industry. They want someone who will protect their interests and help them navigate the complexities of real estate. It is important that the agent they choose is someone they’ll feel confident having by their side throughout the process.

Learn social media with the experts at HubSpot Academy.

That’s where social media comes in. If applied correctly, it can be a great way to open a dialog, share advice, and begin to forge a relationship. Here is a handy list of social media dos and don’ts for real estate agents.

Tips That Agents Should Embrace

1. Promote the town, not just the house.

Home buyers want to know the good, bad, and ugly of each town to which they’re considering a move. Yet most real estate blogs simply give buyers basic demographic statistics and perhaps some flowery language about the area. Use your social media channels to give potential clients a far richer understanding of the markets you serve, letting them know the pros and cons of each neighborhood.

Many cities have a “@CityOf …” Twitter handle, which you can mention directly in your own tweets. Use these handles to promote properties you have listed in that city. City accounts on Twitter tend to be receptive to these shout-outs, and might retweet you — increasing your post’s reach to their followers.

Instagram Business accounts are also prime real estate (no pun intended) for you to post beautiful photos of the town in which your properties are listed.

2. Be yourself.

I’ve heard of many realtors who pay a ghost writer to write their marketing copy, yet this approach has its shortcomings. The copy simply doesn’t ring true; it fails to give clients a sense of who you really are. Studies show that consumers want to make a personal connection with those whom they do business with, and there’s no shortcut to writing your own authentic social media content that resembles who you are as a real estate agency.

Let your personality shine through across each social network you’re on. It’s a great way to open a dialogue with a client before they ever pick up the phone.

3. Educate your buyers.

Some of the most trying days as a real estate agent prove to be great lessons we can share with our clients. Talking about common real estate pitfalls makes your buyers smarter, giving them a smoother browsing experience and qualifying them to work with you.

Social media is the perfect outlet for this. If you have a blog, consider writing articles about home-buying tips, and use social media to promote them. Perhaps you can tweet a “Real Estate Fact of the Day,” hashtagging #realestate while you’re at it.

4. Chat with your followers.

Home buyers today expect instant responses to their questions, but where they ask those questions has changed.

Home buyers are calling real estate agents much less than they used to with questions about a property or neighborhood. They’re going online, using Facebook’s Recommendations feature, and tweeting at real estate offices on Twitter. Be ready for this outreach, answer them, and use these questions as an opportunity to start dialogue with followers who might be in the early stages of the buying process.

5. Respond to comments, good and bad.

Respond promptly and courteously to engage readers who post comments on your social media sites. One caveat: Don’t feel compelled to respond to those who post abusive comments. Social media does lure its share of online bullies, and not every remark aimed at your is worth your breath.

Resist the temptation to get into battle with your harshest critics, and acknowledge those who praise your service. A lot of people who reach out to you are simply looking for more information about a listing — or a listing they might’ve thought was still available, but has been sold or rented. Absorb their frustration and use their comment as an opportunity to pivot their interest to other properties.

Practices That Agents Should Avoid

6. Shouting about your home listings

It’s fine to let people know about the homes you’re marketing, but don’t make the house itself the primary topic of your conversation. Think about common questions home buyers and sellers ask you, and turn these into posts. Provide valuable content and you’ll keep people coming back.

7. Forgetting video

Today, 45% of people watch more than an hour’s worth of Facebook or YouTube videos a week.

It’s tempting to skip the expense of shooting and editing a video, but online video is an important element of home marketing. Think about it: Home buyers are visual buyers, and if done well, a video creates an emotional connection with them that they might not have from just a photo-based listing.

YouTube videos also improve your website’s ranking in search engines like Google — a common place where home buyers and renters start their search for a new home.

8. Assuming you’re only connecting with first-time buyers

According to a recent PDF by the National Association of Realtors (NAR), 36% of home buyers in America are 37 years old or younger. About 66% of them are first-time buyers. Now here’s an even more intriguing statistic: More than 80 million Facebook users today are 45 or older.

If you think you think you’re just talking to first-time home buyers on social media, think again.

Social networks like Facebook are great places to engage “fans” and learn what they’re looking for from their agent, but keep in mind they’re not all new to the buying process. Have content suited for all levels of home-buying experience ready to serve up to your fans and followers — you never know whom you’ll be connecting with.

9. Talking to yourself

A post, link, photo, or tweet on your profile might look nice to you, but it means very little if it doesn’t resonate with the people who are following your page.

Social media is more about listening than about talking. Pay attention to what people are saying about you and your brand. Solicit and gather feedback through informal polls or via free survey services like Survey Monkey or Google Forms. This will ensure each and every piece of content you share on social media reflects the interests of your customers.

10. Ignoring your existing clients

Invite your previous buyers and sellers to join you on social media. That way, your sites becomes richer communities of shared experiences and objective advice from those who recently completed the home buying/selling journey.

At the end of the day, your followers might prove themselves to be your strongest property advocates.

10 Free Social Media Templates

 
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How to Quickly & Easily Create a Buyer Persona [Free Tool]

As marketers, we’re tasked with making a living out of making a connection — but not just any connection. To scale growth and keep acquisition costs down, your time and resources need to be spent positioning your business in front of the right people, at the right time.

That’s where buyer personas come in. Well-researched buyer personas align departments — marketing, sales, and services — around actionable audience insights, creating a clear picture of exactly who you are trying to attract and serve.Create a customizable buyer persona in minutes using our free Make My Persona  tool.

But before you can begin refining your strategy to match your ideal customers’ preferences, you need to document your persona in a way that’s both visible and actionable.

Introducing Make My Persona, an interactive web tool that generates buyer personas for you after answering a series of questions about your ideal customers.

The free tool guides you through strategic questions designed to help you organize and better understand your buyer persona research. Upon completion, you’re presented with a fully customizable, shareable persona document highlighting important details about your target audience.

No more unmanageable documents filled with disconnected persona research notes. No more stressing about the format and design.

How to Use the Make My Persona Generator

1. Go to hubspot.com/make-my-persona and select your path.

We understand that buyer persona creation has several phases. That’s why we designed two unique paths for you to choose from based on what information you need.

Make My Persona Options

If you’ve already done your persona research:

You can head straight to the tool to start organizing your persona data into a meaningful, customizable buyer profile.

If you haven’t done your persona research yet:

We’ve got you covered with an educational guide designed to help you learn what a buyer persona is, how to conduct research, surveys, and interviews, and how to ultimately use this data to build your own persona. Once you complete your research, you can revisit the tool to continue generating your persona.

2. Fill in details about your persona via the guided walkthrough.

Make My Persona will walk you through a seven-step persona creation flow. Each stage of the flow focuses on a different aspect of your buyer persona — from their age and education to their goals and challenges.

Make My Persona Walkthrough

Note: If you’re not prepared to answer one of the questions in the walkthrough, don’t panic. You can skip ahead at any time and revisit and edit your responses later.

3. Customize your document.

Once you complete the walkthrough, you’ll enter the persona document editor. At this stage, you can customize the look, feel, and format of your persona document to align with your unique business needs and branding.

As you can see below, Make My Persona maps your buyer persona across a number of tiles — each one carrying a set of characteristics your business would need to properly engage with this person in real life. These characteristics include:

  • Age
  • Level of education
  • Social networks used
  • Industry
  • Job responsibilities
  • Goals or objectives
  • Biggest challenges
  • Whom they report to
  • How/where they get information
  • Tools they need to be successful

Have these questions in mind once you start creating your persona in our Make My Persona generator.

Overview of buyer persona generated by Make My Persona tool

4. Download your buyer persona as a PDF or use your unique share link to collaborate with your colleagues.

Happy with your persona document? Download it as a PDF and share it far and wide across your organization.

Remember: Buyer personas aren’t just useful for marketers — everyone can benefit from having a better understanding of your ideal customer.

Screen Shot 2018-08-14 at 9.35.42 AM

Here are some ideas for how to spread the word about your new persona internally:

  • Email your fancy new PDF to the entire company, including your superior. In the email, explain what buyer personas are and why they’re important. Then, introduce your buyer persona using the characteristics produced in Make My Persona.
  • Present your new persona(s) in your next company meeting, explain why they are important, and how this persona will help your business succeed and grow.
  • Think about this persona every time you create a piece of content and ask yourself: Is it helping them achieve their goals or solve their challenges?
  • Print out a few copies and put them on the walls around your office. They’ll be friendly reminders of whom you’re doing all this for.

Note: We’ll store your persona info in case you want to go back and make updates. In fact, we encourage you to think of this as a living, breathing document that you should regularly revisit as you learn more about what makes your audience tick.

Not quite ready to ship it? That’s fine, too. We’ll provide you with a collaborative link you can share with your team. This link will generate a copy of your persona which your colleagues can edit as they see fit. When you land on a variation you all agree on, you can save it as a PDF.

5. Share the tool with someone in your network.

Did you find the tool helpful? Pass on the gift of simple and quick buyer persona creation by retweeting the post below:

Make My Persona

7 Free Project Management Software Options to Keep Your Team On-Track

59% of U.S. workers say communication is their team’s biggest obstacle to success, followed by accountability.

Managing multiple projects at once, delegating tasks, and collaborating across teams is difficult on a good day — but can become downright impossible when unforeseen obstacles get in the way.

Miscommunication and inefficiencies in your project management process can lead to confusing and stressful experiences for your employees, and hinder your company’s ability to satisfy your clients’ needs or hit end-of-year goals. This can lead to major losses over time.

Fortunately, there are plenty of free project management software options to keep your team on-track without breaking the bank. To streamline your process and ensure everyone on your team is on the same page, take a look at these seven exceptional free project management tools.

1. Teamweek

Teamweek is an effective project management tool to automate your task delegation process, and visualize which project tasks have been completed and which haven’t. If your team often collaborates with other departments on projects, this could be a useful tool for you.

Features include:

  • Gantt-chart visualization to track important deadlines and projects
  • Integrations with Slack, Github, Evernote, and others
  • Team collaboration option through shared calendars and task notes

Cost: Free for an unlimited number of projects for up to five team members

2. Zoho Reports

Zoho Reports is easy to use and lets you create comprehensive dashboards and data visualizations to ensure your projects are on-track. You can import data from outside files, cloud drives, applications, and in-house apps, enabling you to create more accurate cross functional reports. (Zoho Reports is a HubSpot integration partner).

Features include:

  • Easy drag-and-drop interface with BI visualization tools
  • Ability to share and collaborate on reports and dashboards with colleagues privately.
  • Cloud BI reporting tool embedded within your own website or product
  • Integrations with Slack, Google Apps, and Dropbox, as well as mobile apps, making team collaboration easier.

Cost: Free for one project with multiple users, storage up to 10 GB

3. Asana

Asana, one of the most popular project management solutions used by millions of people across 192 countries, has a clean and user-friendly interface. The all-in-one tool lets you create boards to visualize which stage your project is in, and use reporting to keep track of finished tasks and tasks that need your attention.

Features include:

  • The ability to create templates to automate mundane tasks
  • The ability to collaborate and share information across the team, privately and securely
  • The option to set security controls and designate admins
  • Over 100 integrations for a more efficient start-to-finish process
  • Custom project fields, share documents, and filter tasks

Cost: Free for unlimited projects for teams up to 15 people.

4. Teamwork

Teamwork, a project management tool that specializes in bringing together remote workers, allows you to create team member status updates so your remote and flexible teams know their coworkers’ schedules. It also provides customer service functions, including the option to assign tickets or view customer emails in one place. (Teamwork is a HubSpot integration partner).

Features include:

  • Customizable navigation to prioritize your team’s needs
  • Gantt chart for visualizing due dates and project timelines
  • Private messaging, and option to make project details private
  • Team member status updates for remote or flexible team members

Cost: Free for two to five users

5. Wrike

Wrike stands out as an exceptional project management tool for teams who want the option to customize workflows and edit and revise projects from within the platform itself. The tool offers the ability to color code and layer calendars, and its mobile form allows colleagues to update project information on-the-go. You can add comments to sections, videos, or documents, and create custom fields to export data most relevant to your company.

Features include:

  • Security measures to ensure only authorized personnel can access information
  • Activity Stream to allow project managers to micromanage small tasks, see activities in chronological order, and tag team members
  • The option to unfollow activities to declutter your own personal Stream
  • Email and calendar synchronization
  • Built-in editing and approval features

Cost: Free for five team members

6. Paymo

Paymo’s free version only allows access for one user, but if you’ve got a small team or you’re a freelancer, this could be an efficient option for tracking billable hours and invoicing clients. Along with tracking finances, Paymo also allows you to organize project timelines, create to-do lists, and stay on top of your budgets for multiple projects at once.

Features include:

  • Kanban Boards
  • Time Tracking
  • File Sharing and Adobe CC Extension
  • Reporting
  • Three Invoices

Cost: Free for one user, one GB storage

7. ClickUp

ClickUp provides a few impressive features to customize the all-in-one project management tool to suit your team members, including the option for each user to choose one of three different ways to view their projects and tasks depending on individual preference. If your marketing team overlaps with sales, design, or development, this is an effective solution, as it provides features for all of those four teams.

Features include:

  • The ability to organize your projects based on priority, and assign tasks to groups
  • The option to set goals to remind teams what they’re aiming to accomplish
  • Google Calendar two-way sync
  • An easy way to filter, search, sorting, and customize options for managing specific tasks
  • Activity stream with mentions capability
  • Image mockups
  • 57 integrated apps

Cost: Free forever, with unlimited users and unlimited projects, and 100 MB of storage

11 Blockchain Companies You Should Be Paying Attention To

Even though blockchain is arguably one of the most revolutionary emerging technologies right now, do you think you could name a blockchain company off the top of your head?

It’s hard to name more than a handful of blockchain companies today — the cryptocurrency and blockchain space are still relatively new, so most blockchain companies don’t get a lot of exposure.

But let’s say blockchain explodes in popularity soon. Knowing which companies already make headlines and which ones are due for some press would be useful — if you know which blockchain companies are poised for success and which ones aren’t, you’ll be more likely to pick the right blockchain company for your business and the right crypto assets for your investment portfolio.

With that in mind, read on to learn about the 11 blockchain companies you should be paying attention to today.

11 Blockchain Companies You Should Be Paying Attention To

1. Steem

Steem is like YouTube on blockchain, but instead of paying content creators in fiat currency, publishers use Steem to pay content creators in STEEM, the platform’s cryptocurrency, which is easily convertible to Bitcoin and Ether. Similar to how YouTube pays top content producers to create the platform’s best videos, publishers who use Steem can reward their top content creators and curators for publishing popular content.

To prove that Steem can be the future of content monetization, they built a social media network called Steemit on their platform. Steemit is still in Beta, but it has attracted over 920,000 users who publish more than 1.5 million posts each month. Steem has also paid content creators over $40 million in its digital asset, which are called smart media tokens, proving the platform’s viability to publishers everywhere.

2. Ripple

According to the Institute of International Finance, global payments cost $1.6 trillion each year and usually take an average of three to five days just to settle. Brad Garlinghouse, a former executive at AOL and Yahoo!, knew he could solve this frustratingly prevalent problem with blockchain technology, so, in 2012, he founded Ripple.

The company has its own payment infrastructure, RippleNet, and through it, banks, payment providers, and digital asset exchanges can connect with each other to seamlessly transfer money, no matter where they’re located.

Ripple’s technology allows banks to settle cross-border payments in real-time, lets payment providers use Ripple’s own cryptocurrency, XRP, to lower liquidity costs, and enables corporations to instantly send global payments to their beneficiaries. Over 75 banks across the globe have implemented and tested Ripple’s technology with their own internal payment systems.

3. Chain

Chain is a blockchain development company that builds cryptographic ledger systems for the financial services industry. Their blockchain-based tools help banks, stock exchanges, and credit-card companies quickly and securely store, trade, and manage financial assets.

By setting up strategic partnerships with financial titans like Capital One, Citigroup, Visa, and Nasdaq, Chain has accelerated Wall Street’s adoption of blockchain technology.

4. Intellectsoft

Founded in 2007 as a mobile app development company, IntellectSoft has evolved into a software solution development company that provides custom software development and consultancy services in emerging technologies, like blockchain, Internet of things, artificial intelligence, augmented reality, cloud computing and more.

For almost 11 years, they’ve helped organizations design, develop, implement and maintain the latest software solutions in their businesses. Their blockchain experts also boost enterprise and Fortune 500 companies’ security by integrating distributed ledger technologies, identity solutions, and smart contracts into their processes.

5. Altoros

Using Cloud Foundry, an open source cloud application platform, Altoros can build, test, deploy, and scale their customers’ blockchain frameworks easier and faster than other software development companies.

Throughout their blockchain consultancy process, Altoros helps enterprises evaluate the viability of their blockchain-based solution, design and develop the solution’s architecture, and maintain and enhance the solution for their client’s customers.

6. Celsius Network

Celsius Network is like a blockchain bank — users can deposit, borrow, and earn interest on their crypto. For instance, you can hold your cryptocurrency in the network and earn up to 5% interest, use your cryptocurrency as collateral for dollar loans at a 9% interest rate, and short Bitcoin or Ethereum if you feel bearish about the crypto market. It’s like banking on blockchain.

7. LeewayHertz

In 2008, Leeway Hertz launched one of the first apps on Apple’s AppStore. Now, they’ve jumped into another new industry, blockchain, to help enterprise companies develop Blockchain applications, like distributed ledgers, smart contracts, and decentralized apps.

As a custom software development company with a proven track record in IT consultancy, they plan to be the leading blockchain developer for the biggest brands in the world.

8. OmiseGO

OmiseGo is a Ethereum-based financial network for payment services, merchants, and financial institutions. Their public OMG network and decentralized exchange enable transparent, peer-to-peer transactions of any asset in real-time.

Digital wallet providers can also connect to the OMG network through their open source SDK to enable wallet-to-wallet transactions of crypto and fiat currencies and asset trades from different blockchain protocols. In August 2017, OmiseGO became the first Ethereum token with a market capitalization over $1 billion.

9. Blockchangers

Blockchangers isn’t like most blockchain companies. Even though they help their clients understand and leverage blockchain technology through lectures, workshops, consulting, and development services, like other blockchain companies, they consult their clients based off the assumption that governments will regulate cryptocurrency one day, which the creators of blockchain aimed to fight against. This is the most realistic way to consult clients who want to use crypto and blockchain — the only way governments can fight cryptocurrency fraud is by regulating it.

Blockchangers also hosts Northern Europe’s largest blockchain conference, Oslo Blockchain Day, and their clients include PwC, DNB Bank, and more.

10. ChromaWay

ChromaWay is a blockchain platform that provides smart contract solutions for real estate and finance companies. In 2017, they made headlines for building the Green Assets Wallet — a platform that connects green investors with potential investment opportunities — to help meet the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement.

11. Techracers

After a group of Indian engineers founded Techracers in 2012, the blockchain solutions provider experienced so much explosive growth that they had to move its headquarters to the U.S. in 2017. They’re now one of the most robust blockchain solutions provider on the market.

For their clients, Techracers build customized solutions in every facet of blockchain technology, like ICO launches, smart contract audits, smart contracts development, cryptocurrency development, cryptocurrency wallet development, cryptocurrency exchange development, and private blockchain development.