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Social Media Trends For 2024

 Friday, December 1, 2023     Erin      Social Media

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Social Media Trends to Look our for in 2024

Social Media is a forever changing medium that we have to constantly evolve with as there are new platforms and trends that appear every year. Just like with the changing technologies, and updates to our iPhones, we must adapt and evolve with it. 

In this blog post, we’ll explore some of the social media trends for 2024 and why they are important to consider for your social media strategy. Brands and companies need to constantly evolve with these changing technologies as well and social media platforms. The next section will list some of these trends for 2024 and explain briefly why they are of importance. 

Social Media Trends To Help With Your 2024 Strategy 

As we dive into a curated list of social media trends for 2024 that are reshaping the way we connect, engage, and communicate in the digital world we have to consider their importance. From emerging platforms to transformative content formats, let's now explore these trends that are not only shaping today but also paving the path for the future of social interaction online. Thus helping your social media presence and helping us to craft a social strategy that will elevate your brand awareness. 

  • Text-Only Posts 
    • This form of social media isn’t going anywhere, so it’s important to make sure that your brand has a presence on platforms such as Threads, LinkedIn, Mastodon, and Bluesky.
  • Social Media platforms are the new search engines. 
    • TikTok has recently integrated in-app Google search results and it’s become the second most popular search engine for Gen Z users.
  • Engagement will move toward DMs
    • It’s true that this form of engagement is more difficult for social media listening tools and for tracking analytics – but it doesn’t mean that it’s not still great for gaining business results. Often this is the preferred way to communicate with a brand for many users.  
  • Likes, comments or follows will be replaced with shares
    • It’s true that likes, comments and follows can be faked and we don’t want that for our brands. That’s why we want to focus on shares in 2024, we can do this by using our analytics. Most platforms provide access to this and it’s a great tool to track social media success and engagement. 
  • AI will become our new best friend 
    • For some AI might be a scary new experience, but it’s really more valuable than you think – it’s able to help create captions faster, help brainstorm ideas, help create testing posts and more. However, our social media managers are the ones steering the ship! We now have more time to think, interact with our audience and so much more.
  • Long-form videos will become more important 
    • Don’t panic, we’re just talking about two to five minute videos! Platforms such as TikTok are always testing long-form videos and to some success. Facebook and Instagram have always welcomed these longer-form video formats. It can be a great way to create videos for brand awareness and they offer a great opportunity for engagement. It’s also an excellent way to answer questions for potential new customers and for those searching for more information about your brand. 
  • LinkedIn will not prioritize personal content 
    • Over COVID this platform went through some changes in terms of what people were using it for. While it started off as a professional platform and almost a living resume – it turned into something different during the height of the pandemic. We started to see a lot more personal posts and even some selfies. In 2024 it looks like LinkedIn will return to its original purpose – a place for professionals, and now Gen Z, to showcase their work history, skills, involvement in their industry and more. 

Each of these trends will become something that we need to consider for your brand’s social media strategy. Staying informed and on trend is so important for a brand's success. So where do we go from here? i2bGlobal is able to help curate successful social media campaigns and build brand awareness with social media management. Our team is able to develop these social media marketing strategies that work alongside your business goals. 

Social Media Marketing with i2bGlobal 

It's evident that these ever-evolving platforms are more than just digital landscapes—they're vibrant ecosystems constantly shifting and shaping the way we communicate and engage with the world. The trends we've covered merely scratch the surface of an ever-expanding realm where innovation thrives and user preferences steer the course.

In this time of rapid technological advancement and evolving consumer behaviors, staying ahead in the digital sphere is imperative. Businesses striving to make an impactful mark and build a robust online presence must adapt and leverage these trends effectively.

At i2bGlobal we specialize in navigating this dynamic world of social media and we are able to harness these trends to drive engagement. We work hard to foster brand awareness and propel businesses towards success. Our dedicated team excels in crafting tailored strategies that align with these emerging trends, ensuring that your brand not only keeps up but thrives in the ever-shifting landscape of social media.

All of us at i2Global are excited to collaborate with you and curate a social media strategy to help guide your business to success. We’ll work hard to harness the power of these trends, optimizing your social media presence and maximizing your brand's potential. Contact us today to explore how our social media marketing and management services can elevate your brand's story in the captivating narrative of social media. You can reach us by phone at 1-888-422-9322 or by email at sales@i2bglobal.com


Building a Secure RESTful Web API with C#, EF6, and JWT: The Ultimate Guide

 Thursday, November 2, 2023     Bojan Arsenovic     Web Dev Technologies

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Introduction

Welcome to the ultimate guide on crafting a secure RESTful Web API using C#, Entity Framework 6 (EF6), and JSON Web Tokens (JWT). This post is designed to provide web developers with a comprehensive walkthrough of building an API from the ground up, and managers or small business owners with a clearer understanding of what a secure API entails.

RESTful APIs: The Cornerstone of Modern Web Services

In the era of cloud computing and mobile applications, RESTful APIs have become the cornerstone of software communication. They allow different systems to exchange data in a seamless, platform-independent manner. And with cybersecurity threats on the rise, securing these data highways is not just an option—it's imperative.

The Technology Stack

  • C#: A versatile language by Microsoft, tailored for creating scalable, robust applications, making it an ideal choice for API development.
  • Entity Framework 6: A tried and tested ORM for .NET developers that simplifies data access by abstracting the database layer, reducing the amount of boilerplate code.
  • JSON Web Tokens (JWT): A compact, URL-safe means of representing claims between two parties, perfect for securing our API endpoints.

Development Setup

Before diving in, ensure your development environment is set up with Visual Studio, .NET Framework, and the necessary NuGet packages for EF6 and JWT authentication.

Designing the API

Every good API starts with design. Identify the resources you'll be exposing and define the endpoints accordingly. Use the HTTP verbs (GET, POST, PUT, DELETE) to map out CRUD operations.

Building the API

This is where we roll up our sleeves. Let's start by setting up a basic controller in C#:

public class ProductsController : ApiController
{
    private readonly IProductService _productService;

    public ProductsController(IProductService productService)
    {
        _productService = productService;
    }

    // GET: api/Products
    public IEnumerable GetProducts()
    {
        return _productService.GetAll();
    }
}

We leverage dependency injection to abstract our business logic into services, making our API cleaner and more maintainable.

Integrating Entity Framework 6

EF6 interacts with our database. Here's a snippet showing how you might interact with it to retrieve data:

public class ProductService : IProductService
{
    private readonly MyDbContext _context;

    public ProductService(MyDbContext context)
    {
        _context = context;
    }

    public IEnumerable GetAll()
    {
        return _context.Products.ToList();
    }
}

This service uses EF6 to retrieve all products from the database—a simple demonstration of the power of ORM.

Securing with JWT

Security is where JWT shines. Implementing it involves configuring the OAuth2 authorization server and generating tokens for authenticated users:

public class AuthController : ApiController
{
    public IHttpActionResult Authenticate(UserModel userModel)
    {
        if (ValidateUser(userModel))
        {
            var token = GenerateJWTToken(userModel.Username);
            return Ok(token);
        }

        return Unauthorized();
    }

    private string GenerateJWTToken(string username)
    {
        // ... Generate JWT token logic here
    }
}

Error Handling and Validation

Robust error handling and data validation ensure reliability and trustworthiness. Use custom exception filters and model validation to handle this aspect effectively.

Testing the API

Use Postman or Swagger to test your API. These tools simulate requests, allowing you to ensure your API responds as expected.

Performance Tips

Performance is critical. Use caching, minimize database calls, and optimize query performance to ensure your API is responsive.

Deployment

When you're ready to go live, deploy your API to a server or a cloud platform like Azure or AWS.

Conclusion

By following this guide, developers can create secure, efficient RESTful APIs using C#, EF6, and JWT, while managers and business owners gain insights into the importance and intricacies of API security.

Need an API? We're Here to Help! Looking to develop a secure, robust RESTful API? Our skilled team at i2b Global is dedicated to delivering top-tier Web API solutions tailored to your specific needs. We provide the expertise, you reap the security and scalability benefits. Get in touch with us and let's craft your API solution together.


Remember, this is a blueprint—a starting point. Your final implementation may differ based on your specific requirements and infrastructure. But with this guide, you're well on your way to mastering the creation of secure, scalable RESTful APIs in C#.

Additional Resources


The Differences Between Paid and Organic Social Media

 Tuesday, October 31, 2023     Erin      Social Media

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The Differences Between Paid and Organic Social Media 

Social media can be a fantastic tool when it comes to promoting your business and help to showcase it to the world. Of course there are two different types of social media, paid and organic – both have their benefits and can greatly help your business grow. 

Having an online presence is one of the most important things you can do for your business. This is due to the fact that one of the first things a potential customer will do is search for your business on social media. So what are the differences between paid and organic social media marketing? At i2bGlobal we’re able to help work with businesses to understand the benefits of social media marketing. Learn about the benefits and differences of both paid and organic social media marketing and how they are vital to the success of every business. We’ll do our best to explain these differences and how we can help you grow your reach. 

Organic Vs. Paid Social Media 

The obvious difference is that one is paid, meaning you have established a budget and are running online advertising and social media advertising campaigns. The other one is unpaid and is relying on traffic and leads through unpaid social media posts. Some of these posts can be organic content such as sharing blog posts, services, etc. 

There are four types of organic social media strategy according to Search Engine Journal, content creation, reach, engagement and long-term relationship building. When thinking about budgeting this might be a great place to start for some companies. According to Search Engine Journal we would want to focus on the following for paid social media; content promotion, reach, cost, engagement and conversions and short-term results and Scalability. 

We can clearly see that both paid and organic social media strategies have their similarities and distinct differences. These are two different approaches and they can have vastly different results. Organic social media tends to be a mix between text posts, blog posts, images, videos and more. It’s also the job of the social media manager to respond to comments and direct messages – furthering the engagement goals and helping to give your brand a voice. It’s also an important step for all businesses to show that they have good customer service. Today many potential customers and returning customers will go to social media before they do anything else. 

Paid social media uses more of a budget in order to run ads across social media platforms. Your brand is now showing up on potential customers Facebook newsfeed, Instagram newsfeed and now Threads (this is still a new platform, we’ll save that for another blog). By using paid social media you’re allowing your brand to target new customers and this is always a great benefit to any business. 

Getting to Know Paid Social Media 

There are truly some great benefits to using paid social media, as we stated in the previous section. But what if we went a little further and learned about these benefits and aspects of what it means to use paid social media? I think you’ll find that the benefits outweigh the risks. 

According to Search Engine Journal, “unlike organic social media, which only reaches existing followers, paid social media allows content to be targeted to specific audiences.” So we want to make sure that we’re targeting your audience that you desire to reach the very most. That might come in the form of an ad or a boosted Facebook or Instagram post. 

There can also be content created on your website that targets a specific audience. This can be achieved by using blog posts or certain website pages designed specifically for that service or audience. At i2bGlobal we also use search engine optimization to help target potential customers to your website through Google searches. Paid social media is used for short-term goals that can help create lead generation or the purchase of a product or service.

These paid social media campaigns can be done by using video ads, image ads, carousel ads and text only ads. Facebook and Instagram allow us to target the age and area in which you wish to advertise your company. The next step is really when you’re ready to have a conversation with your social media team and work out a strategy. This will involve setting goals and budgets and figuring out the message you want to get across in this particular campaign. 

i2bGlobal and Social Media Management & Marketing 

i2bGlobal has been working with companies for over two decades creating stunning websites and driving customer engagement. Through this work we have also developed a team of social media specialists and digital marketing strategists. Working with companies to expand their business through social media management, marketing and original content creation. 

If you’re interested in learning more about our social media marketing, AI editing, website development, digital marketing, blogging and more please reach out. We have a team of dedicated professionals that are ready and eager to help your business and brand grow in this ever changing digital landscape. Please feel free to contact us by phone at 1-888-422-9322 or by email at sales@i2bglobal.com


Deep Dive: Pinia's Core Features and Benefits in Vue 3 Applications

 Friday, October 6, 2023     Bojan Arsenovic     Web Dev Technologies

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Introduction

In the dynamic world of Vue.js, managing state effectively ensures that applications are efficient, scalable, and maintainable. Pinia has emerged as a go-to solution for state management in Vue 3, tailored to seamlessly integrate with the framework's modern features.

The Rise of Pinia in Vue 3

Historically, Vuex dominated the state management scene for Vue. However, with Vue 3's introduction and its powerful Composition API, Pinia has gained significant traction. Its design, closely aligned with Vue 3's composition features, offers developers a more intuitive and streamlined state management experience.

Pinia's Core Features

1. Simple and Intuitive API

Pinia prides itself on its easy-to-use API. Unlike Vuex's more verbose structure, Pinia provides concise methods, making state management more intuitive. This simplicity reduces the learning curve, especially for those new to state management.

2. Reactivity with Vue 3's Composition API

Reactivity is at the heart of Vue, and Pinia harnesses this power to the fullest. By leveraging Vue 3's enhanced Composition API, Pinia ensures that state changes are immediately reflected across the application, ensuring a seamless user experience.

3. Built-in DevTools Support

For developers, debugging is a crucial part of the process. Pinia's integrated DevTools extension is a game-changer. It allows for real-time tracking of state changes, making the debugging process smoother and more efficient.

4. Direct Access to State Outside of Components

One of Pinia's standout features is its ability to access state outside of Vue components. This flexibility aids in scenarios like service functions or utility methods, where direct state manipulation is advantageous.

5. Improved TypeScript Support

TypeScript has grown in popularity due to its ability to catch errors early and its powerful typing system. Pinia's excellent TypeScript support ensures type-safe state management, bringing peace of mind and robustness to your applications.

State management in Vue 3 with Pinia

Benefits of Using Pinia in Vue 3 Applications

1. Enhanced Developer Experience

With its simplified syntax, robust debugging tools, and improved reactivity, Pinia undoubtedly elevates the developer experience, reducing boilerplate and enhancing productivity.

2. Optimized Performance

Pinia ensures that applications run smoothly by efficiently managing reactivity and reducing unnecessary re-renders. This optimization translates to faster app load times and smoother interactions for the end-user.

3. Scalability for Large Projects

Pinia's modular architecture is ideal for large-scale applications. Developers can effectively organize and manage state, ensuring that as projects grow, maintainability remains hassle-free.

4. Easier Maintenance and Upgrades

Aligned with Vue 3's modern features, Pinia ensures that application updates, feature additions, or framework upgrades are smooth and straightforward.

5. Positive End-User Experience

By ensuring optimal performance, seamless interactions, and quick load times, Pinia directly contributes to a superior user experience, keeping users engaged and satisfied.

Real-World Examples

Consider a large e-commerce platform built with Vue 3. With numerous product listings, user accounts, and order processes, managing state can be a challenge. Using Pinia, this platform can efficiently handle product searches, user authentication, and order tracking by maintaining a centralized and reactive state. The platform benefits from quicker load times, intuitive interactions, and a smooth checkout process, all thanks to Pinia's features.

Let's create a simple Pinia store for a shopping cart and a Vue component that uses this store.

Pinia Store: ShoppingCart.js

import { defineStore } from 'pinia';

export const useShoppingCartStore = defineStore({
  id: 'shoppingCart',

  state: () => ({
    items: []
  }),

  getters: {
    totalItems() {
      return this.items.length;
    },
    totalPrice() {
      return this.items.reduce((sum, item) => sum + item.price, 0);
    }
  },

  actions: {
    addItem(product) {
      this.items.push(product);
    },
    removeItem(productId) {
      this.items = this.items.filter(item => item.id !== productId);
    },
    clearCart() {
      this.items = [];
    }
  }
});

Vue Component: ShoppingCart.vue

<template>
  <div>
    <h2>Your Shopping Cart</h2>

    <ul>
      <li v-for="item in cartItems" :key="item.id">
        {{ item.name }} - ${{ item.price }}
        <button @click="removeFromCart(item.id)">Remove</button>
      </li>
    </ul>

    <p>Total items: {{ totalItems }}</p>
    <p>Total price: ${{ totalPrice }}</p>

    <button @click="clearAll">Clear Cart</button>
  </div>
</template>


<script>
import { useShoppingCartStore } from './ShoppingCart.js';

export default {
  name: 'ShoppingCart',
  
  setup() {
    const shoppingCart = useShoppingCartStore();

    return {
      cartItems: shoppingCart.items,
      totalItems: shoppingCart.totalItems,
      totalPrice: shoppingCart.totalPrice,
      removeFromCart: shoppingCart.removeItem,
      clearAll: shoppingCart.clearCart
    };
  }
};
</script>

In this example:

  1. We've defined a Pinia store shoppingCart that has a state with items array, some getters (totalItems and totalPrice), and actions to manage products in the cart.
  2. In the Vue component, we've accessed the store's state, getters, and actions to display and manage items in the shopping cart.

Conclusion

Pinia is not just another state management tool; it's a testament to how Vue 3's modern capabilities can be harnessed to build powerful applications. Its core features and inherent benefits make it an indispensable asset for any Vue 3 developer.

Ready to Elevate Your Vue 3 Project? If you're looking to harness the power of Pinia for your Vue 3 applications or need expert advice on state management strategies, reach out to our team at i2b Global. Let's work together to build efficient, scalable, and user-friendly Vue 3 applications!

Additional Resources


Meta Has Introduced a Verification Program

 Friday, September 29, 2023     Erin      Social Media

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Meta Has Introduced a Verification Program

It was recently announced that Meta would be introducing a verification program for creators on all of their apps; Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp. What does this mean for users? Basically you can pay to play, more so even, not just for Meta paid ads but now to verify yourself and your business pages. 

Meta has offered some options for packages, these prices are all in USD, so for our Canadian clients we will need to do some conversions. For Businesses it’ll cost $21.99USD per month when purchased on the website and $27.99USD per month when purchased via the app. There are also combined packages available for both Instagram and Facebook, the cost will be $34.99USD. Individuals also have the option to be verified at a cost of $19.99USD per month, this is also for a combined package. 

Benefits of Being Verified 

When you choose to verify yourself or your business, or both, there will be some added benefits. Not only will potential customers know that you are truly you and not an impostor, but they’ll have added faith in your company. 

Verified users on all Meta platforms will have proactive account protection, direct account support, verification and exclusive features. This is a new feature and we’ll have to see how this will benefit businesses in the long run, but it seems to be a great idea and might be worth the extra cost. 

  • Proactive Account Protection
    • Get protection against someone trying to be you (or your business) through account monitoring and secure your account with two factor authentication.
  • Direct account support
    • Speak to a real person about any issues you’re experiencing with your account. 
  • Verification
    • Helps your community know that it’s you (or your business) with a verification badge.
  • Exclusive Features
    • Use exclusive stickers for your Instagram and Facebook stories and more. 

We would recommend to all of our clients to consider this as something that might work within their social media monthly budget. This is a feature that we can explore together and learn about as it becomes more important and popular during this launch. 

Should You or Your Business Get Verified?

This is entirely up to you and we encourage you to contact us today to discuss the benefits further. With our comprehensive social media management and results driven services, i2bGlobal always strives to provide the best to our clients. 

Other platforms have introduced verification services as well such as X (formally Twitter) and LinkedIn. We’re still learning what this might look like for the future for our clients and we’re excited to see where it goes. 

If you’re interested in our social media management services please contact us today. We also offer social media strategy, account setup, content creation and curation, online reputation management, social media advertising and performance analytics and reporting. 

To contact us at i2bGlobal please feel free to call us directly at 1-888-422-9322 or email us at sales@i2bglobal.com



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We have been using I2B Global for over 5 years and for multiple business ventures, and we could not be more pleased with the service we have received. Bob and his team have been incredibly accommodating, supportive, and always share their wealth of experience. I could not recommend I2B Global more, Thanks for all your work.

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To Bob, Bojan, and the I2B Global Team: Thank you so much for the outstanding work you have done for us so far. Your way of responding to our needs is truly a breath of fresh air in this fast paced era we live in. We continue to add more services your firm has to offer given how effective your site design and SEO has been. We look forward to continued growth along with you for years to come. Keep up the excellent work.

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We have been a client of I2b Global Inc. since 2007. While they are a smaller company, they have the knowledge, experience and responsiveness of a much larger firm and they are up-to-date with the latest online improvements and trends. Similar to other web development companies, they can build you a nice website but where they excel is at the customizations needed for your business and most importantly delivering these changes at a reasonable price with expert guidance and advice. Any support issues or change requests are dealt with very quickly and it is not uncommon to see this happen even in the evenings and weekends. If you need a professional website and a reliable company to support and host it we highly recommend I2b Global Inc. Al Mickeloff, Marketing Manager – Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum

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