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Social News Roundup | August 6, 2014

  
  
  
  
  

1. Schedule Instagram Posts with ScheduGram

ScheduGram

ScheduGram allows users to pre-schedule Instagram posts and manage multiple Instagram accounts through one interface. Read more… 

2. Twitter Partners With Puma to Test “Flock to Unlock” Advertising Program

Flock of Birds

Twitter has partnered with Puma to launch a new advertising program, “Flock to Unlock.” The idea behind the program is that a deal will be “unlocked” only when a certain number of followers retweet a particular message. Read more… 

3. Facebook Adds Ad Scheduling to Power Editor

Power Editor

Facebook added a new feature to its Power Editor that gives advertisers who use lifetime budgets the ability to schedule hours during which their ads should or should not run. Read more… 

4. Twitter Tests Showing Tweets From People Your Friends Follow 

Twitter4

Twitter’s latest test involves showing tweets to users from accounts their friends follow. Read more…

5. Nielsen Data: Mobile Devices and Social Networks Are Making TV Better

Watching TV

Social media is changing the way we learn about TV shows and how we watch them. Not only does it affect the consumer experience, but it also has proven to be a valuable source for advertisers to tap into social conversations. Read more… 

6. Google to Recognize Emails That Use Special Characters

Gmail updates

Google has become the first email provider to allow people to create email addresses using letters with accent marks and characters outside the Latin alphabet. Read more…

Social News Roundup | July 30, 2014

  
  
  
  
  

1. Facebook Is Forcing Users to Use Messenger App

Facebook Messenger App

Users will soon be required to use Facebook’s Messenger app in order to chat directly with their Facebook friends on mobile devices. Read more… 

2. LinkedIn’s Mobile App Gets a New Profile Look

LinkedIn Mobile App

LinkedIn revamped its mobile app by displaying more relevant information on user’s profiles based on how much time users have to use the app. Read more… 

3. Facebook Shuts Down Gifts Service

Facebook Gifts

Facebook is retiring its Gifts service and refocusing their efforts on helping businesses and developers drive sales on the web, mobile and directly on Facebook. Read more…  

4. Instagram Releases New Messaging App, Bolt, for iOS and Android

Bolt Instagram

Instagram has unveiled Bolt – a “one-tap” messaging app for iOS and Android that allows users to send their friends a photo or video that disappears once it’s been read. For now, Bolt is only available in New Zealand, Singapore and South Africa. Read more… 

5. eMarketer Poll: Email More Effective Than Social Media, SEO and Content Marketing

Email

In a report by Gigaom, 56% of respondents said that email was their most effective digital strategy for customer retention. 37% of the respondents cited social media, and 32% rated content marketing as the most effective. Read more… 

6. Vocalist Emeli Sande Asks Fans on Social Media for Help on Her Next Song

Emeli Sande

To find inspiration for her next song, Emeli Sande is turning to her fans on social media. Read more… 

7. OK Cupid Admits to Manipulating Its Social Network for Social Experiments

Online Dating

OK Cupid admits to manipulating customer data to see how users of its dating service would react to one another. Read more…  

Social News Roundup | June 4, 2014

  
  
  
  
  

1. Apple Announces iOS 8

describe the image

Apple’s latest update offers a slew of new features that includes health metrics, predictive typing suggestions, and the option to search for photos by location. Read more…

2. Instagram Unveils New Photo Features

Instagram Filter

Instagram announced 10 new editing tools that include adjustments to contrast, brightness, saturation, and intensity. Read more…

3. Adding Value to Ads is Key to Acceptance for Pinterest Users

Pinterest Logo

As long as brands add value in their messaging, Pinterest users are OK with advertisements. Read more…

4. Myspace Entices Users to Return With Old Photos 

Myspace

With the hopes of attracting former users to return to the site, Myspace is emailing users old photos of themselves to pique their curiosity. Read more

5. “Breaking Bad” Named Most Followed Series on Twitter

Breaking Bad

Between September 2013 and May 2014, “Breaking Bad” had the highest Twitter presence of any TV series. Other TV season highlights according to Twitter activity also includes the Super Bowl, the Grammys, and Ellen DeGeneres’ famous selfie. Read more…

6. The Vatican Cannot Ignore The Benefits of Social Media 

Vatican

Despite the negative comments from social media users, the Vatican turns to social media for greater opportunities for evangelization. Read more…

7. You May Be Following a Socailbot [Study]

Socialbots

Researchers in Brazil created 120 socialbots to infiltrate Twitter and discovered that the bots not only escaped detection, but also became influential among different social groups. In addition, the study found that activity level is a big factor in accumulating more followers. Read more…

5 Real-Time Marketing Tactics for the Oscars

  
  
  
  
  

The Oscars is a great time for brands to take advantage of real-time marketing — it’s a night full of celebrities, entertainment, and second screen social engagement with millions of Americans who are tuning in. Here are some tips for your brand to prepare for this year’s big moments.

1. Incorporate your real-time channels. Post your messages simultaneously on Twitter and other networks. Your audience may be watching live and browsing on multiple channels. You want to be sure your content will be wherever they are looking.

2. Be human. Remember your content should be adding to the experience of the show. So, participate in show like the audience does. People are more likely to respond to your messages if you behave like them.

3. There will be many quotes, surprises, and funny moments onstage and in the press room. Remember Jennifer Lawrence’s epic fall last year? That went viral right away on the Internet. Keep your eyes both on the television and online to monitor the trends while thinking about how your brand can mingle with the show.

4. Follow The Academy (@TheAcademy) to see backstage moments in the Green Room during the Oscars. Thanks to Twitter Mirror (@TwitterMirror), a mirror-shape machine offstage at awards shows, celebs can easily take selfies and tweet them spontaneously during the show. It'd be fun to see what people are doing off-camera.

5. Research the nominees for links to your brand. Maybe your products have appeared somewhere in a film or is mentioned by certain characters. Use this opportunity to show your support for an actor/actress or a candidate that is special to your brand. (For example, the nomination for "HER" will be great for Apple!)

Real-time marketing is an everyday habit. While it takes long-term commitment to engage your social audience, you will find it most rewarding during big events, when you see your daily devotion pay back with the followers and new faces responding to your messages like never before.

See you on the Oscars stream!

Do Slideshow Apps Have a Future?

  
  
  
  
  

In 2013, 1.6 billion pictures were shared over social media and mobile photo sharing apps. That’s a rate of 600 million photos shared daily. To give you perspective of how quickly that number is growing, 10% of all the photos taken in all of history were taken last month.

Photo sharing apps are creating new opportunities for app developers in areas like editing, mosaics, lenses and image stitching, to name a few. In fact, near the end of the year, you may have seen your Instagram feed exploding with “Year in Review” videos generated by a handful of these apps.

Statigram offered the opportunity to create one such slideshow with pop-up metrics of your photos from the year. Paired with music, this was a nice treat for any “IGer” looking to show off his best-of-the-best. Flipagram and Picflow also stitched images together into a video and were frequently seen on the Instagram stream. The end of the year is a natural period for reflection, and the apps filled that need for photo-sharing users. But since then, you probably haven’t seen any compilation videos. This begs the question: Are these photo-video apps seasonal, or a fad bound to disappear?

There are a few considerations for the longevity of these types of applications. First, users are likely heavy users of a photo-sharing app like Instagram. However, what would be the point in their reliving photos from the past on a regular basis? The heavy users’ audiences have already seen these images and are likely looking for what’s next, not yesterday’s material.

On the other hand, these photo-stitching apps can be used compile thematic images in one thread. A photo-sharer that covers a range of subjects or many sub-segments of a particular topic can aggregate her choice images into one post. This could pique the interest of her audience again.

On the brand side, it is a different story. Sharpie and Oreo, which are major players in the Instagram space, have not yet used these apps, nor have the majority of brands. This is where Renegade thinks the opportunity lies. While these apps may seem seasonal, the compilations are unique, unlike one-off photos. If done creatively and with forethought, a brand could create real interest in the content that strengthens the connection with its followers year-round! If Boo the dog and Jamon the pig can grow their followings with selfies, then one would think creative slideshow content could make a great connection with an audience as well.

What do you think?

flipagram

Women & Social Media in 2013

  
  
  
  
  

Maybe you’ve heard, but 2013 was a big year for women on social media. Believe it or not, we ladies now outnumber male users on almost every major platform, and we’ve got some data to back it up.

The Pew Research Center recently released the results of a 2013 survey in which 1,445 people across the U.S. were asked about their Internet and social media habits. Among the findings, Pew discovered that about 15% more American women than men use Facebook (76% of female respondents versus 66% of male respondents), and they outnumber men by 6% on Twitter, 33% on Instagram and a whopping 413% on Pinterest.

Which platforms do women use the most? In first place is Facebook (76% of American women 18+ use it), followed by Pinterest (33%), Instagram (20%), LinkedIn (19%) and Twitter (18%). When we raise the age of respondents to 25, the numbers change slightly. According to research by SheKnows and Harris Interactive, nearly 4 out of 5 women ages 25 to 54 use Facebook regularly (79%), followed by Pinterest (30%), Twitter (22%) and Instagram (13%).

It seems that more adults than ever are using social media across the board, as you can see in this handy Pew chart, with Pinterest and Instagram seeing the largest increases.

sms12 13 resized 600

These gains are mirrored among women, as well. When asked about the frequency of their social media use, women ages 25-54 reported using Instagram, blogging platforms and Pinterest more than they were six months ago.

avgtime13 resized 600

Are women just more connected than ever? In a poll taken by Real Simple and The Huffington Post, 69% of women said they sleep with their smartphones nearby, 68% eat dinner with them and 76% check them at least once an hour. That’s a lot of time spent just an arm’s reach away from the next tweet, pin or Facebook post.

Looking at these figures, the show-stealer is Pinterest, by far. The Internet referral traffic generated by Pinterest has overtaken Twitter, Reddit and LinkedIn—combined—and is second only to Facebook as far as social networks go. Taking into account that a third of women are on Pinterest, immediately we know that Pinterest is a force to be reckoned with, or at the very least, considered as part of a social media strategy. 

Social media traffic trends October 2013 from Shareaholic resized 600

The takeaway? If your brand is hoping to reach women over social in the new year, it’s wise to consider all platforms, but Pinterest may soon have the biggest impact on your bottom line.

Weekly Social Media Roundup: July 26th

  
  
  
  
  

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Busy week? We bring you six bits of information that you might have missed.

1) Surprise! Not many businesses believe social is important. - MIT Sloan Management Review and Deloitte surveyed 2,545 business professionals in 99 countries on the topic of social business, and found that only 36% of surveyed professionals viewed social as important to business.

2) If Instagram is high school 2.0, who are you this time around? - Instagram is the high school of social networks, allowing users to develop their style and personality in a very public way. Find out what typical high school role (The Star, The Selfie, The Foodie, etc.) you play with your Instagram portfolio.

3) Facebook is raking in profits from mobile advertising. - The social networking company said Wednesday that it had revved up its mobile advertising from virtually nothing a year ago to 41% of its total ad revenue of $1.6 billion in Q2 2013.

4) Chipotle faked their own Twitter hack, and it worked. - To promote their 20th anniversary, @choptletweets posted a series of abstract tweets that were hints to their daily trivia. Because of the stunt, they gained over 4,000 followers and received over 12,000 RTs; that’s way more than the normal 250 followers they gain per day.

5) Instagram ads are on the horizon. - Mark Zuckerburg announced during a Facebook Q2 earnings call that Instagram might one day have ads. It’s no secret that advertising on social boosts brand engagement, but will users accept the interruption?

6) Facebook user stereotypes: are you a stalker, a newbie or a curator? - Facebook users each browse and post on the platform in different ways, but this Optify infographic attempts to whittle them down to nine stereotypes. Which profile best suits your habits? Note: none are particularly complimentary.

What We Can Learn From the Health and Fitness Industry

  
  
  
  
  

Social media has provided brands, regardless of industry or size, the opportunity to connect directly with their community of supporters. The brands that are most successful on social provide relevant, engaging content to their fans, rather than exclusively talking about themselves. Twitter hosts countless customer service interactions, YouTube often showcases internal culture, and blog comment sections allow brands to garner and digest immediate feedback. In each of these instances, the focus is on listening to the customer and turning social media into a two-way conversation, not a highway billboard. While there are many examples to choose from, the health and fitness industry has done an especially great job, using their social channels to listen to their customers and tap into their lifestyles.

Here are a few examples:ViSalus community

ViSalus

ViSalus has turned their Instagram channel into a platform that fans can visit for weight loss motivation and encouragement. They share recipes, boast member before-and-after photos, and showcase the healthy, happy members of their community. They also regularly show off the gym in their corporate office, demonstrating that the ViSalus team is truly committed to health and fitness.

 

Weight Watchers

Weight Watchers PinterestWeight Watchers is doing a great job on Pinterest, a channel that often gets the little-brother treatment. Rather than focusing exclusively on product, they have made an effort to make their pins useful to their customers. By filling their Pinterest page with healthy recipes and motivational boards like “Words to Live By,” the brand is a helpful resource and acts like a loyal friend to their customers. And Weight Watchers didn’t simply set up their page and forget about it; they actively drive traffic to their Pinterest page through their Facebook posts.

 

Whole Foods

 

Whole Foods

Whole Foods consistently does a great job of nurturing brand loyalty and trust. They listen closely to what matters to their community and adjust accordingly. With over 5,000,000 YouTube views, they use the channel as a vehicle for transparency and communication, by directly telling their customers what they're doing and why they’re doing it.

These brands are each making the most of their social channels by creating content that is relevant to their customers’ lifestyles and providing useful services. They successfully demonstrate just how critical transparency, authenticity and connection are for brands today.

How to Get Your Friends to Join Social Networks - Pt. 3

  
  
  
  
  

This is part three of a three-part series about getting your friends, colleagues, family or associates to join social networks and find their value.

Now that you’ve got your friend to join multiple social networks and find a community for them to embrace, let’s talk about how they can create value for their audience.

Before we get into the tips for each network, let’s first define what social media value actually is.

If you’ve ever read Malcolm Gladwell’s book, The Tipping Point, you would know that he places people that force cultural change into three distinct groups: Mavens, Connectors and Salesmen. To quickly sum up the roles of each, Mavens have vast knowledge about a particular subject and are able to talk about it eloquently; Connectors are people who know individuals in a particular field; and Salesman have the ability to make individuals adopt ideas that they were previously unsure of.

In real life, you’re lucky if you become one of these archetypes, but in social media, the ones who are adding value to their connections are all three.  Value comes from being knowledgeable when commenting on relevant topics, interacting with people and letting others see it, and being convincingly opinionated so that you are sometimes at the point of being controversial. Doing all three of these things consistently plays a major factor in determining your value on social media. Think about your favorite blog site—would you visit it if they didn’t update it on a consistent basis? I don’t think so.  Would you follow your friends if they didn’t contribute to a conversation on Twitter? I didn’t think so either.

Creating Value on Twitter

Participate

Having a strong, consistent and opinionated voice on Twitter can attract an audience to a specific account.  This is where you can take the reins of being a Maven on Twitter.

Don’t hesitate to jump in conversations that surround a topic you’re interested in. If one of your followers is talking about a subject that interests you, or one that you can formulate an opinion on, just hit the reply button and put in your two cents.

Your fashion friend can set up lists of industry bloggers and search terms using Tweetdeck to monitor hot hashtags or and reply to their tweets.  Here are examples of tweets containing the hashtag “#fashion”:

Listorious resized 600

A response that can be written in reply to @CuriousYam that adds value would be something like “@CuriousYam I really like the #Floral #Circleskirt. I bought a similar one from @Target but it’s a print pic.twitter.com/adsuha”

Another example is answering questions that users post. For instance, if a person is looking for a specific product and you know where it can be acquired, you become a Connector by replying with the answer.  

Engage With Influencers 

By finding and following the major influencers in a specific industry, it’s easier for a user to be “in-the-know” of breaking news to form an opinion and share it with their followers. When it comes to social media, like in real life, the faster your access to information, the more influence you can have. Most individuals have to build this influence organically by constantly updating their social feeds, unless they have a pre-established reputation.

To find interesting influencers, you can run a quick search of “fashion” on Listorious.com, a site that lists reputable accounts by topic. You can quickly see a few of each account’s most recent tweets and reply to them from inside the website. Have patience in building relationships with these influencers. Sometimes they won’t respond, but if you reply to one of their tweets with something insightful you may be rewarded with a retweet or a mention. When influencers start taking notice of your ideas or thoughts and start to engage in conversation with you, it raises your status as a Salesman. 

Creating Value on Instagram

Images hold a lot of weight in the online and mobile space because, besides videos, they capture a person’s attention the longest (after all, a picture is worth a 1,000 words). We might as well make every one count. 

Mix Images With Descriptions That Resonate With Your Audience

Along with pictures that showcase a brand’s work, telling a story or putting a description with relevant keywords will resonate with your audience.

 sethbrundle

In the picture above @sethbrundle is able to showcase his new partnership while using relevant keywords. You can see that he received a bunch of likes and comments on his post.

Let’s say for instance that your friend, who has a huge following in New York City, posts photos of a new shop and their products to her Instagram account (and tweets them). She becomes a Maven by showing her followers where it is and the things she bought, and she becomes a Connector and a Salesman for that brand once she mentions them on her picture. By doing this, your friend helps to create value for those interested in fashion and even people who are interested in new shops that open in their neighborhood.

Creating Value On LinkedIn

People go to LinkedIn to find news, get valuable insights from experts in their particular industry, and to also have access to them.  Being consistent in posting relevant articles, statuses or questions in groups and on your homepage can create interaction and lead to discussions.

Let’s go back to your friend, the fashion designer. For him or her to create value, they will have to be on the forefront of news that relates to their industry in order to share it on their timeline.  If your friend has a fashion blog, sharing new posts on their timeline can create views and showcase their expertise. Even if they’re not creating original content, providing commentary on articles from the LinkedIn Today – Fashion & Apparel section, for example, will generate positive activity on their timeline. 

Interaction within groups can raise your friend’s value as well. Many people, particularly in fashion, are looking for manufacturers, as evidenced in the Textile, Apparel, Footwear and Fashion group. 

Suppose your friend is an experienced designer with connections to models and raw materials. Answering questions on these topics in LinkedIn groups allows them to become a Maven, Connector and a Salesman in the group. Asking questions about relevant subjects also can potentially create leads that eliminate the middleman, which would strengthen your friend’s reputation as a Connector..

Last, but not least, your friend can connect people to others. LinkedIn offers the ability to “introduce” two individuals who are not yet connected to each other. You can call it e-networking. Most users do this when they'd like to talk to people who are offering jobs on LinkedIn.  

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There you have it, three steps on how to get your friends to join social networks, find value for themselves and create value for others. I hope this works for you.  Now go out there and make some new friends, followers, and connections! Don't forget to read part one and part two

How To Get Your Friends To Join Social Networks - Pt. 2

  
  
  
  
  

This is part two of a three-part series about getting your friends, colleagues, family or associates to join social networks and find their value.

Part II: Helping your friend find their community

The biggest step is now over—you got your friend to sign up for Twitter, Instagram and/or LinkedIn. Let’s move on to the next step: how does your friend find the people who share the same interests and passions?

I firmly believe that social media becomes worthwhile when a person finds a niche community that they interact with on a regular basis. Going back to our example in my previous post, your clothing designer friend will value social media only if they can use it to meet the designers, big fashion houses and trendsetters that matter to them. Fortunately, there are a number of tools and techniques within each network that can help guide your friend’s search and unlock the power of social networking.

The first group of people your friend should immediately follow is their real-life friends. These folks are a good place to start because they probably share some of the same interests as your friend, and they’ll be willing to divulge information from within a particular online community. Advise your friend to look through their friends’ followers and connections for interesting accounts to follow.

A big purpose and where the power of social media resides is being able to go outside your reach and connect with people who you wouldn’t have access to in real life.  The following tools exemplify this and heighten a user’s experience in a way that can benefit them.  

Twitter

Follower Wonk: This tool allows you to search Twitter bios for particular keywords and compare followers or following of up to three separate users. For instance, if your friend is looking for other fashion designers to collaborate with or get advice from, a search for the terms such as “fashion,” “fashiondesign” and “couture”  reveals hundreds of results. From there, your friend can compare three users to see who they mutually follow in order to grow their network even further. Go ahead and give it a try. 

Screen shot 2012 10 01 at 4.02.38 PM 

Tweetdeck: Tweetdeck is a desktop or browser add-on that lets you monitor and engage various users; the platform also provides insight on certain keywords and allows you to create lists for certain followers and search terms. Your friend can monitor words like “fashion AND NYC” to see who is talking about certain fashion events in New York City. The strength of the keywords and lists can help your friend see who is actively engaged in the topic of their choosing. This is a great way to be more specific in a search for users that are considered influential within a certain community.

A search for #fashionmodel produces these results on Tweetdeck

Instagram

Search: Probably the most powerful tool for Instagram is already located within the app itself. The search feature allows you to look up hash tags found in the picture’s description and comments. Searching for the tag “#fashion” brings up close to 13 million images. Once your friend sees a user who consistently posts high-quality images that are constantly receiving plenty of interaction, they should tap the follow button because that person is viewed as an influencer. Monitoring several tags at once can help your friend target their niche market.  

Statigram: Statigram is an online Instagram viewer that allows users to view more pictures at once in a web browser instead of scrolling through their mobile app. It also gives you a great breakdown of the metrics within your account. The only feature that it doesn’t have is the ability to post pictures to an Instagram account. 

Here's a snapshot of my Instagram account from Smtatigram

Linkedin

Like Instagram, LinkedIn’s search bar can be used to access all of their users, groups, and companies. Their advanced search feature allows a user to be more thorough in their search. This can be helpful if your friend is having trouble finding a person’s name but remembers their title and company.

To find big guns, joining groups would be the best place to start. Members in groups are typically employees within a certain field that are trying to gain benefits from the content and discussions that are posted. Within each group page, on the right column, LinkedIn lists the top influencers for each week. Since these individuals are leading a lot of the group’s discussions and managing the group, interacting with them could offer more insights. All your friend has to do is make their acquaintance within the group and then request to connect with them.

A group's influencers list from Linkedin

Now that your friend has found influential people to follow and started interacting with people who have the same interests as they, it’s time to move onto the final step: creating value to gain a loyal following. 

-- Sean Clark

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