Posts Tagged ‘social marketing’
One year, and now 250 million registered users later, we can say happy first birthday to one of the newest social media platforms, Google+. In light of Google’s celebration, they announced two major updates: Google+ Events and Google+ for tablets. Let’s dig a little deeper into what these updates entail to determine if Google+ looks like it’s going to continue its rising popularity.
Google+ Events: Google is striving to capture and save all the important highlights of an event, before, during and after the event occurs. This methodology is brought about due to Google’s perspective of our lives today stating, “In life we plan, we party and we keep in touch. Software should make all of this more awesome, and that’s exactly our aim with Google+ Events.”
So what exactly is Google+ Events all about? You can click the photo to the right to see a short introduction video but to start, the application has the ability to stay in sync with your Google calendar. This means you will never forget about dinner at Aunt Mary’s on Wednesday night, or little Drew’s baseball banquet Sunday night. When creating an event, you can also attach cinemagraphic themes (like a baseball picture), a personalized video greeting from YouTube, and even unique animations to make the invite fun to receive. Internet marketers should take advantage of this creative opportunity when making an invite for their company’s next event.
Now it’s time to go to the event, and enter “Party Mode” as Google+ calls it. You will receive a notification when the event starts, and then be asked if you wish to enable Party Mode. When this is turned on, you will see any photos other invitees upload, in real-time. Once the event has ended, you can go back to the event page and upload even more photos you may not have gotten to yet. The best part about this is that everyone can reminisce and relive the good memories of the event by seeing everyone’s photos in one place. Google even allows you to browse the photos by popularity, photographer, or who’s tagged. This is great for social media marketers when advertising for a company’s next big event. What better way to engage with your customers then having them upload photos live from the event for all invited to see.
Google+ For Tablets: Google reported that, “More people now use Google+ from a mobile device than a desktop computer, and today’s tablet release will quicken this trend.” With the Google+ application for tablets a user will see a beautiful stream that organizes content based by popularity, type and orientation. There is also a “lean back” Hangout option that is designed for couch or common room chats. With crisper text, easily-tappable actions and fuller photos, Google has truly designed this application to work at its fullest potential for Android users. Google also stated that the update for iPad’s will shortly be released. What do you think of Google+’s updates, will they fare against the social media ring leader, Facebook?
Recently, many people should have noticed Facebook’s ability to auto-tag friends when uploading pictures (the step right before you publish your photos in which Facebook will automatically grab faces of friends in the photo with a suggested friend name). This technological advancement is due to the acquisition of Face.com, a facial recognition software company. By acquiring this company, Facebook can now bring that technology in-house; which gives them control over the domain name, Face.com (awfully similar to Facebook.com).
According to the Silicon Valley Mercury News, “People who use Facebook enjoy sharing photos and memories with their friends, and Face.com’s technology has helped to provide the best photo experience. This transaction simply brings a world-class team and a longtime technology vendor in house,” a Facebook spokeswoman wrote. The technology is said to help with auto tagging when uploading pictures from mobile devices. Face.com was acquired for an undisclosed sum, and has grabbed the unwelcoming attention from some in Europe and the United States concerning privacy issues (see picture at right, courtesy of Shalom Life).
To add to more of Facebook’s privacy issues, the social networking giant was recently faced with a class-action lawsuit relating to their Sponsored Stories. The proposed suit accused Facebook of violating California law in which a user’s “like” is featured as a Sponsored Story, without their compensation or an opt-out option. The suits settlement just went public this past weekend, forcing Facebook to pay $10 million to charity.
However, these Sponsored Stories are vital to social media marketing, acting like a viral word-of-mouth spread in the Facebook world. Facebook founder, Mark Zuckerberg even refers to Sponsored Stories as the “Holy Grail” of advertising. So what exactly are Sponsored Stories? You can find them on the right hand side of your Facebook homepage under, “Sponsored.” This sidebar will give you a list of various pages recommended to you, based on your friends liking. You will see their name and profile picture, along with other friend names who have liked the page as well. The option to click on that page, and even like it right from your homepage is given to you. This could appear as a roadblock to internet marketers because it is now up to the brands users to influence others to like their page. But, in a consumers mind wouldn’t a friend liking a page be more influential for you to like it, then the brand personally telling you to? Let us know your thoughts and opinions below!
With so many social platforms now on the popularity rise, how do we know which one will offer our brand the most engagement? Some may say Facebook due to its 901 million users, or maybe Pinterest for its lucrative, exponential growth in just a few months. But when you have a platform that gives users the ability to watch footage ranging from a music video to one of America’s funniest home videos, YouTube can definitely stir up a lot of attention. Social media marketing has grown tremendously in just the past year, so let’s dig a little deeper as to how internet marketers can utilize YouTube specifically for marketing their brand.
Produced by TechWelkin, the infographic below informs us of the latest YouTube facts and statistics. Here are some key takeaways I have derived:
- YouTube is the 3rd most viewed website after Google (#1) and Facebook (#2)
- More than 1 trillion views took place in 2011 (that’s 140 views for each person on earth!)
- The equivalent of 500 years of YouTube videos are watched every day on Facebook
- 700 YouTube videos are also shared on Twitter every minute
- Each week 100 million people either like, share, or comment on YouTube
- More than 50% of videos are rated/commented upon by the users
Based on these statistics we can conclude that YouTube has the ability to create awareness about a brand/topic on a global platform. Therefore, it is vital that your company create a YouTube channel and post videos that are both informational and more importantly, as entertaining as you can make them. In a world where three billion hours of video are watched monthly, we can no longer ignore that YouTube could be the next best way to advertise over television ads. What do you think about the popularity of YouTube and how is your business using the platform to market your products/services to consumers?
Many people took time out of their day yesterday to take action against the passing of two proposed bills, the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the Protect Intellectual Property Act (PIPA). An astounding 4.5 million people signed Google’s Anti-SOPA petition, according to the LA Times. Eighteen senators pulled back their position on PIPA, including Senator Marco Rubio (co-sponsor from Florida), and SOPA co-sponsor Arizona rep. Ben Quayle also changed his stance to opposing the bill on Tuesday.
The goal of these bills is to censor your web browsing which would also potentially impose damaging effects on American business and even our very own Internet Marketing Inc. All of you last minute paper writing college students must be in for a tough week because Wikipedia is officially blacked out in an attempt to dislodge the bills from being accepted. Wikipedia is allowing you to raise awareness by putting up a fancy box that allows you to input your zip code and let your voice be heard. After submitting your zip code, information of your district officials allows you to contact them. Feel free to drop them a line, express your concern and give them your opinion on censoring your rights.
Now there is always two sides to the story. Google understands that combatting piracy is vital, but, “the most effective way to shut down pirate websites is through targeted legislation that cuts off their funding. There’s no need to make American social networks, blogs and search engines censor the Internet or undermine the existing laws that have enabled the Web to thrive, creating millions of U.S. jobs.” Also joining in is Mozilla as they changed their default home page from a blank white background to black.
What are your feelings as to how citizens have reacted to this attempt at censoring your web searches?
There are billions of searches placed on Google from day-to-day, most of which inquiring about brands and businesses. Most businesses have the ultimate goal to turn those queries into relationships by making meaningful connections. Therefore, Google launched today Google+ Pages (similar to Facebook Pages, but with more benefits for your business).
First off, Google+ Pages will now come up in potential clients search results. This is important for your business because it allows them to not only recommend you with a +1, but make a real connection by adding you to one of their circles. This will create a long-term relationship by allowing them to listen in and spend time with your team. Your most loyal customers and super fans will want to say hello as soon as you start sharing.
Secondly, a new feature called Direct Connect serves as an even faster way for your business to get connected to your prime prospective consumers. Maybe you just heard about a new company on a TV commercial that you want to know more about, or you saw on a billboard a cool new product you want to try. In both scenarios, you want to get connected with the desired product/service right away; Direct Connect makes that happen in an easy and even automatic way. Just go to Google.com and search for [+], followed by the page you’re interested in (like +Internet Marketing Inc).
You will then directly be taken to their Google page, and if you desire, an option to add them to your circles immediately. As of today, Direct Connect only works for a limited number of pages, but give “+Google” a try to be the first to see this cool new innovative feature! If your organization seems fit for this great new opportunity to not only get more clients, but create a relationship with them, you can learn more about Direct Connect in Google’s Help Center.
A recently released report by Marketing Charts titled “State of Inbound Marketing Report” from HubSpot, reveals a growing trend of brands focusing their energy and funding on “inbound” marketing versus “outbound.” Outbound techniques have long been employed and still constitute the majority of marketing techniques, but that is beginning to change. Last year’s numbers indicated brands were beginning to rely more on inbound marketing techniques to generate leads; this year the outbound marketing budgets contracted further, closing the gap between the two opposing approaches.
What’s the Difference between Inbound and Outbound?
So what exactly constitutes an inbound approach versus an outbound approach? And what techniques are brands turning to? Essentially, an outbound approach is that where a marketer pushes his message out to the masses whereas an inbound approach is designed to pull in people who are already looking for your product or service. HubSpot classified these techniques based on how important they were perceived by the company, and also allowed for multiple responses in order to account for brands that place value in more than one technique. From their data, we see that popular and time-tested outbound techniques, such as direct mail and telemarketing, contracted 1% and 6% respectively, only generating 10% of leads each. Trade shows remained flat at 10% importance among respondents, meaning outbound techniques are preferred by less than 1/3 of brands.
Meanwhile, inbound techniques have become increasingly important to brands. Paid search and AdWords were the only inbound methods that fell in importance, now at 22%. However, social media, company blogs, and SEO methods have all increased in importance to brands, with social media and SEO methods important to 60% and 59% of companies, respectively. Company blogs were claimed to be important to 49% of the survey’s respondents.
Follow the Money, Inbound Marketing Budgets on the Rise
But let’s get down to the bottom-line: company budgets. When asked whether budgets for inbound marketing strategies increased or decreased for the year 2010, 51% of respondents claimed their budget had increased, with an additional 37% claiming it had remained constant. This means that 88% of American companies have maintained a healthy budget for inbound techniques, such as social media and SEO marketing strategies. Furthermore, of the companies that claimed to have a lower budget for inbound marketing campaigns, 92% claimed that the economy, not performance, was the reason for the decrease.
Specifically, social media campaigns returned high confidence numbers from brands, with four in 10 companies overall acquiring customers from major social networks. Businesses are increasingly placing their confidence in inbound marketing strategies, believing social media and SEO to be the two most important channels in gaining leads and bolstering their brand image.
Facebook CEO, Mark Zuckerburg, surprised his almost 500 million man strong user-verse this week by unveiling new features for the social network at the F8 Developer Conference in San Francisco. Some initial response has been hyperbolic, claiming an end to the Internet as we know it; however, conventional wisdom indicates that major changes to one of the Internet’s most popular Websites will doubtlessly impact our online experience in a dramatic way. Zuckerburg’s vision is extraordinary and revolutionary; in his keynote, Zuckerburg proposed the Web as a social being, where you, your friends, your brands , and your favorite bands (among other things) are all a part of the experience. Ultimately, Facebook is attempting to socialize the Web in a much deeper way than any previous vision.
Open Graph to Blur Existing Distinctions between Websites
The main feature of Zuckerburg’s vision includes the “Open Graph.” The CEO highlighted current issues in connecting Facebook friends to one another through their Yelp or Pandora accounts, leaving many people unconnected precisely when they are sharing informed personal insight. As a result, Zuckerburg has proposed the Open Graph, blurring the lines of current distinct Websites.
The Open Graph is essentially Facebook’s method for reading tags from other Websites to decipher what information their users are “liking.” For example, IMDb starting immediately will include “Like” buttons for films, and Facebook will publish your recent favorite film. Likewise, favorite plays on Pandora will be published on your profile. Furthermore, this process will be fluid, allowing for information from a CNN article – liked on CNN.com and published on Facebook – to appear when you hover over the News Feed story. Facebook has paired with major partners – including Microsoft, CNN, and ESPN – ensuring that there will be enough Websites from which users can begin to test these features.
A lot to “Like” about the Changes to Fan Pages
For brands and businesses, it just got a lot easier to gain fans. Zuckerburg announced that a single line of code will integrate a “Like” option onto Websites, so that one click can ensure an interested customer has connected to the brand via Facebook. Just like the major partners, brands that include this code will make their website, a fan’s News Feed, and their fan page separated by less than three clicks.
There are skeptics who question whether the public desires to be so steeply invested in Facebook, or social networking for that matter, that are unsure of whether these changes to Facebook will indeed succeed. It is important to keep in mind that Facebook’s 500 million person strong network can certainly find a sizeable group of test subjects. The future of social networking and the Internet is uncertain; however, it seems there’s consensus to the claim that major changes are in the pipeline.
If you’ve ever wondered what makes something go viral, hopefully this blog post will uncover some of these hidden characteristics. Last Friday, viral scientist and author of The Social Media Marketing Book, Dan Zarrella, gave a webinar on The Science of ReTweets. He collected over 100,000,000 retweets and observed almost every element possible within its 140 characters. He looked at everything from word choice to punctuation to the time of day – all in his quest to discover what makes something “retweetable.” In the end, he came up with a collection of tips and tricks to make your tweets go viral.
1. Use the most retweetable words
Of the millions of tweets in his database, Zarrella identified 20 words or phrases that are more retweeted than others. These include (in order): ‘you,’ ‘twitter,’ ‘please,’ ‘retweets,’ ‘post,’ ‘blog,’ ‘social,’ ‘free,’ ‘media,’ ‘help,’ ‘please retweet,’ ‘great,’ ‘social media,’ ‘10,’ ‘follow,’ ‘how to,’ ‘top,’ ‘blog post,’ ‘check out,’ and ‘new blog post.’
While it’s unsurprising that the most retweeted words are those relating to Twitter or social media, it’s interesting to see that the phrase “top 10” makes the top 20. Zarrella explained that people, on average, like to see “chunked content” or readings that are easy to skim and digest. Seeing words such as “top 10” or even “how to” are signals to people that the link is easily readable and, therefore, sharable.
2. Avoid the least retweetable words
Here’s some words you should probably avoid using in your next tweet (also in order): ‘game,’ ‘going,’ ‘haha,’ ‘lol,’ ‘but,’ ‘watching,’ ‘work,’ ‘home,’ ‘night,’ ‘bed,’ ‘well,’ ‘sleep,’ ‘gonna,’ ‘hey,’ ‘tomorrow,’ ‘tired,’ ‘some,’ ‘back,’ ‘bored,’ and ‘listening.’ In other words, don’t be boring! Ask someone why they’re not on Twitter and you might hear: “why would I want to know when you’re eating breakfast?” Well now there’s proof of the unattractiveness of these status updates.
3. Include a link in your tweet
It’s hard for something newsworthy and sharable to be self-contained within only 140 characters. That’s why the most retweetable tweets include a link to something interesting. Also, the use of URL shorteners (especially bit.ly) leaves enough room in the tweet for others to add a short comment. Don’t miss this opportunity. Link to the story and keep it short!
4. Tweet the news
Another unsurprising tip, but important nonetheless. Breaking news, in particular, is one of the most sharable types of content. And again, guess what’s not sharable: small talk.
5. Use longer and more unique words
The average tweet has about 1.58 syllables per word, while retweets have 1.62 syllables. Also, retweets often contain words that are uncommon in average tweets. In other words, be unique and interesting in your choice of words and you’ll be the social butterfly of the Twitter Party.
6. Use colons, not semicolons.
In general, Zarrella proved that tweets with more punctuation are more retweetable. While you would think that the opposite would be true given the focus on rationing your characters, it turns out proper punctuation is a more attractive characteristic. And the use of colons makes for great “Headline: Sub-headline” news stories. Semicolons, interestingly, actually make it less likely for you to be retweeted—perhaps given the ambiguous nature of when to use it properly.
7. Write entertainment tweets for women, opinion tweets for men.
This tip is actually more dependent on your particular audience. But if you’re unsure what kind of content your followers would be willing to share and you skew a particular gender, use this rule of thumb.
8. Avoid the self-reference
Even though Twitter previously asked its users to share “What’s on your mind,” it turns out that the self-referential tweets are the least retweetable. In fact, this goes for every sensory experience that just involves you. Instead, your tweets should focus on social experiences, focusing more on “we” instead of “me”
9. Time your tweet for Friday 4-5pm EST
Like every good comedian knows, timing is everything. And it’s no different in the world of twitter. Zarrella identified that people are more likely to share another tweet on a Friday and anytime from late afternoon to evening. But the sweet spot is definitely from 4-5pm EST.
10. Ask for it!
They always say the simplest solution is the correct one, but on Twitter this is especially true. Adding “please retweet” to your next tweet makes it 5x more likely to be retweeted! (Just remember to use this tip sparingly since it can become a bit annoying).
So Why Should I Care About Retweets?
It may seem a bit geeky to focus so much attention on just one of Twitter’s features, but in reality, learning to craft better tweets can have a great impact on your bottom line. The more your message is retweeted, the more other followers will notice you. And the more followers you gain, the more traffic you can convert on your website! Even more, learning the rules to go viral on Twitter can help shed light on other ways to make your other content more viral. So with that said, I’d like to craft the perfect tweet given our tips on retweets:
“Please Retweet: Top 10 Ways to Write Retweetable Tweets on Twitter!”
A new study detailing the likelihood of referrals and purchases from Facebook fans and Twitter followers has revealed, perhaps unsurprisingly so, that fans and followers are a brand’s best friends. The study explains that 60% of Facebook fans and a whopping 79% of Twitter followers are more likely to recommend a brand or brands after becoming a fan or follower. Furthermore 51% of Facebook fans and 67% of Twitter followers are more likely to purchase products or services offered by a brand after becoming a fan or follower.
New meaning to “brand loyalty”
Skeptics of the lasting impact or advantage of a brand maintaining its presence on Facebook or Twitter may insert their feet into their mouths now. The simple act of clicking “become a fan” or “follow” is likely not the sole reason these brand loyalists are recommending or purchasing from a brand. Still, the regular interaction with and updates from their brand of choice remain influential in their decisions to recommend or purchase. In some ways, a person’s news feed is the ultimate location to stage a marketing campaign, as updates are mixed between posts from a user’s friends, subliminally asserting that this brand itself is a friend.
The end of the email era?
If critics still need convincing, they need only look at the frequency with which Facebook users are logging onto the social network. The raw numbers of daily log-ins were detailed in a previous post, but they, nonetheless, indicate that almost half of Facebook’s user-verse (universe reference, anyone?) logs in each day, most times more than once, ensuring that an update or promotion is not left unnoticed. Furthermore, a recent article in the Wall Street Journal announced the “End of the Email Era,” positing Facebook messages had replaced emails, citing a study by Prompt Communications. In the study, 96% of respondents claimed to use Facebook messages as a means of communication, with only 91% of respondents admitting the same for email.
Just like video killed the radio star, Facebook messages have killed the email. Armed with the knowledge that radio remains a viable means of mass communication, we know that death is not quite as final as the Buggles suggested. Nonetheless, as medium replaces medium, the broad encompassing tool of email has been edged out in sheer usage by its cousin, the Facebook message. The question remains over the qualitative differences between these media, as almost certainly deeper conversations and more information can be exchanged via email than Facebook message. That being said, it is becoming increasingly clear, given the frequency with which the social network is utilized by everyday people and the inherent loyalty of fans and followers, that social networks are and will remain a crucial arena for marketing campaigns.
So we know the postman always knocks twice, and that the USPS will deliver your mail through rain, sleet, or snow, just not on Sundays. But as snail mail has been replaced by email, email has been increasingly replaced by its cooler cousin: Facebook messages. As the number of users has exploded, so too have the number of transmissions through Facebook messages. Which leads to the latest hiccup in the world’s most popular social network.
Last week an undisclosed number of private messages were misdirected by Facebook’s servers to unintended recipients, originally reported by a Wall Street Journal writer who fell victim to the server snafu. While spreading general confusion, these messages also offered snapshots into the lives of other Facebook members. Messages ranged from teenagers lamenting their sweetheart not asking them to the prom to even death threats.
A Selection of mis-delivered messages:
1.“Until I start hearing some thank yous from you, I will be unable to give you rides home after dance.”
This raises great questions over modern parenthood. Are today’s adolescents so plugged in their parents need to Facebook them in order to garner a thank you?
2. “The jealousy, the vibes, and what I hold dear to me made this whole weekend hard. The cuddling, truth or dare game, the texting back and forth for long periods of time, and the whispering back and forth for a long time got to me.”
Unrequited love and intrigue has never seemed quite so titillating as when it’s delivered through a Facebook message, where you can simultaneously poke the object of your affection.
3. “I took my stuff off don’t want to ruin your life for you. So you can continue to cheat on facebook I don’t care anymore. I have asked you please not to do things but you keep on and on. So you are listed as married but that is because my status is gone. Too bad everything had to end over a f*****’ website. Wow that was worth it to you I guess.”
The age of question of who gets to keep the circle of friends has only gotten messier in the digital age, wherein, it appears, all record of a relationship must be cleansed from that “f*****’ website.” The question remains whether a post-marriage restraining order will mandate these two be defriended.