Tuesday, 16 October 2012

INFOGRAPHIC: Mobile Marketing On the Move

Mobile is a powerful force in marketing that has enabled people to stay connected, view content and respond to messages from wherever they are. This infographic explores the expanding universe of mobile that has impacted the way we communicate, play and work.

This Infographic is Published and Designed by Hawkeye

9 Social Media Fun Facts To Shock

By RM Downey at Social Media Today:
The following stats are based on information about Social Media usage in the United States.

1. Almost 1/2 Of Twitter Users Are Democrats

Twittercrats find this #Debatable? This is compared to approximately 30% of the U.S. of the population being Democrats overall.


2. By Far, Facebook Still The Most Addicting

Stalking has never been more fun! 23% of Facebook’s users check their account at least five times every single day.


3. More than 1/2  Are Getting Social

Still awkward in public? Sure, but our fingers can clickety-clack away with “Don Draper” esque poise and sophistication. Americans (12 and up) could push 75% Social Media usage within the next 5 years.


4. Nearly 3/4 Aren’t “Checking In”

Most Americans still think they need Gym shorts for Foursquare. In fact, while only 3% have claimed to checked in this year, it is even down from the year before. The concept of “checking-in” will probably soon be replaced by “Opting-in” to share location data.


5. Only over 1/4 Are Following Brands on Facebook

After all the work Businesses and Brands put into reaching the Facebook audience, there is still a lot of work to be done to reach out and incentivize and audience to like and participate with Facebook pages.


6. Nearly 1/4 Are using Social Media Several times a day

There aren’t many things people do every day, but Facebook and Twitter make the list for many.


7. Almost 1/2 Say Facebook has an impact on what they buy

As compared to last year, Facebook’s influence on purchasing has doubled. For Twitter, on the other hand, buying influence ranks somewhere between 1-5%.


8. 3/4 of Twitter are posting their own Tweets

Followers, Groupies and Disciples have turned into active participators up from only 50% updating their statuses in 2010.


9. Over 1/2 of people have used Facebook on a Mobile device

While over 50% of users have used their Mobile devices to access Facebook, over 1/4 use them regularly to see their feed, post, share and like.

Research Via Jay Baer 


Friday, 12 October 2012

INFOGRAPHIC: The 10 Types of Social Media Addicts

By at Mashable:
Social media addiction: a disease likely affecting millions, but one that’s hard to track because it comes in many forms. The afflicted may reveal themselves as serial likers. They may have push notifications set for the most minor of social media updates. They may self-identify as “mavens,” “gurus” or “ninjas.”

But regardless of their appearance, they do walk among us. Of that we can be sure.
The following infographic, which comes by way of the marketing software company Marketo, details 10 of the most common types of social media fiends.

There’s “The Constant Checker,” who can’t go more than a few minutes without looking at his Twitter mentions or Instagram likes. There’s the Klout-obsessed “Self-Proclaimed Influencer.” There’s also the “Multi-Mayor,” who has to check in to a location every time she moves ten feet.
Any of these stereotypes hit a little too close to home? We certainly have to admit some do here.

Check out the full infographic below for more.

The 10 Types of Social Media Addicts
Browse more data visualization.

VIDEO: Twitter Study Reveals the Secret to Getting More Followers

By at Mashable:
After analyzing the Twitter profiles of 36 million users who have generated more than 28 billion tweets (that’s 794 tweets per person in three years on average), Beevolve’s social analytics research reveals user follower bases directly correlate with how much they tweet.

A Twitter user who has written 1 to 1000 tweets has an average of 51 to 100 followers, whereas users who have tweeted more than 10,000 times tend to be followed by 1,001 to 5000 individuals. It’s estimated that a person with more than 15,000 tweets has between 100,001 to 1 million followers.

Beevolve’s report called “An Exhaustive Study of Twitter Users Around the World” takes a look at users’ demographics, follower stats, gender preferences, favorite keywords and smartphone/app preferences.

Google Rolls Out Massive Street View Update

 By Carly Page at Search Engine Watch:
Google has started rolling out its biggest update to Street View ever, updating 250,000 miles of roads.

As well as updating hundreds of thousands of miles of roads, Google has doubled its special collections, adding indoor views of places such as Elsinore Castle in Denmark, and has announced that it's increasing Street View coverage in a number of areas.

"We're increasing Street View coverage in Macau, Singapore, Sweden, the U.S., Thailand, Taiwan, Italy, Great Britain, Denmark, Norway and Canada. And we're launching special collections in South Africa, Japan, Spain, France, Brazil and Mexico, among others," Google announced in a blog post.

Although this massive Street View update comes amidst Apple's iOS 6 mapping dramas, even those who upgraded to Apple's latest mobile operating system can take advantage of Google's new Street View features. It's accessible via Google's web application, so iDevice owners can simply point their web browsers to

Read the full story here

YouTube Mobile Views Up 400% In 18 Months

“We’re experiencing a massive consumer shift,” said YouTube’s Global Head of Content, Robert Kyncl, at the Abu Dhabi Media Summit this week.  Consumers are watching more online video on mobile devices than ever before and, as a result, “mobile has increased from 6% to 25% in the last 18 months across the whole of YouTube.”

Business Insider’s Owen Thomas reports that “that figure is up dramatically from the latest official statistics YouTube provides.”  According to the YouTube Press Statistics page, traffic from mobile devices tripled in 2011, over 20% of YouTube’s global views came from mobile devices and 3 hours of video is uploaded to YouTube per minute from mobile devices.  The stats page has not yet been updated with the 25% statistic that Kyncl revealed in Abu Dhabi.

According to Katherine Rushton of The Telegraph, Kyncl added that mobile will soon eclipse TV.  While holding up his smartphone he said, “This is the first screen, so when you talk about second screen, you are talking about the television.  When you’re making your selections on your phone and you’re sending them to the TV, something that is coming very soon [on a mainstream basis], when that transition is seamless, this becomes the first screen.”

Read the full story here

Monday, 8 October 2012

INFOGRAPHIC: The Evolution of Facebook

Facebook has significantly evolved since its inception in 2004. According to BBC Technology reporter, Dave Lee, Facebook now has more than one billion active users every month. There are currently 219 billion photos on Facebook, 1.13 trillion ‘likes’ and 17 billion check-ins.

This Infographic is Published by Xcellent Media and Designed by Grant Barnard

INFOGRAPHIC: The 12 Steps of SEO Recovery

SEO Prayer: Google grant me the serenity to accept the rank I cannot change, the courage to change the content I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.
This Infographic is originaly published by The Marketing Technology Blog [] and designed by Douglas Karr [@douglascarr]

5 Better Ways to Network on Twitter and LinkedIn

By at Mashable:
Social media is like a professional cocktail hour — a way to connect, share and interact with others beyond the confines of your cubicle. But now, it feels more like an epic college kegger — the kind where you find yourself wandering in a sea of red cups, the clamor of rowdy partygoers drowning out any real conversation and eliminating the chance to forge relationships that don’t involve tacos at 3 a.m.

So, how do you bring that party back down to a reasonable size, and actually connect with people you want to talk to? Half the battle is being able to sift through the noise. Here are a few easy ways to identify and jump into the right conversations with the right people for you and your professional interests.

1. Find the Authors of the Content You Read
Who are the social influencers in your area of expertise? Identifying these people is particularly useful in seeking out great conversations. One of the best places to start is the blogs or websites you go to for content. Check out the authors — people who contribute to online publications usually have a social presence, too. Follow them on Facebook and Twitter, and take the time to let them know what you think. Comment on their articles or blogs, then take it a step further and tweet some feedback. Giving a compliment with some added insight on the topic goes a long way.

2. Become an Author Yourself
There’s no better way to join the conversation in your field than by writing on the topic — either on your own blog or for industry publications. Not only will you have something to readily share and discuss on your social networks, you’ll likely have people in your field reach out to you with comments and ideas of their own.
If you don’t consider yourself a wordsmith, stick to what you know. Think about what questions you get asked most often about what you do, and write down your thoughts. Once you get started, you’ll be surprised how much you truly have to say.

3. Leverage Twitter Keyword Searches
Twitter can be a great source of information, but it can also be one of the “noisiest” places on the web. So a great way to find people, filter tweets and join a conversation is to search for keywords related to the topics in which you are interested. For example, if you work in social media, the most obvious place to start would be a keyword like “social media.”
It seems simple, but this isn’t a perfect science, and it requires some trial and error to see which keywords get you the results you want (for example, you might try “social media marketing” or “Twitter marketing”). Play around with different versions, and join the conversation when you find something of interest. Reply to people’s tweets and give your feedback or comments. Did someone link out to an article and give her opinion? Tell her that you agree or disagree and why.

4. Join Relevant LinkedIn Groups
LinkedIn groups are great forums for career-related discussions — members often share articles, ask questions and start online conversations with each other. Do a quick group search on LinkedIn, and you’re likely to get a long list of niche groups within your field. That said, do your research to make sure that any group you’re looking at is a good fit for your goals and interests before you request to join. (If you work in healthcare marketing, for example, a general marketing group might not be the best fit.) If the group is open (vs. invite-only), take a look around at the discussions and members to get a feel for the content and makeup of the group and see if it’s a good fit.

5. Meet the People Who are Looking at You
Even if you haven’t upgraded your LinkedIn account, if your settings allow others to see who you are when you look at their profiles, you should be able to see who’s looking at yours. Scan this once a week and take a peek at who has viewed your profile.
When it’s appropriate, connect with these people, thinking about why they might have taken the time to look at your profile. Are they in your field? In your community? A recruiter? Reaching out to engage in conversation not only shows you’re paying attention, but also shows you’re open to forming new professional relationships.

Worldcam Helps You Find Instagram Photos in Specific Locations

By at Mashable:
Ever want to find Instagram photos taken in a certain location? Worldcam lets you do just that.
The service, built on Foursquare, Instagram, Geonames and Geoplugin’s APIs, lets you search for Instagram photos of a specific location in any city in the world.

As Gizmodo notes, the entire service could also be described as an easy way to look inside any building, since Instagram users often take photos indoors.
While that may be true, however, we prefer to look at the service as a nifty way to browse through images from Instagram. Since Worldcam sorts photos by date, this is especially useful when you want to check out pics from recent events, such as a conference.
For example, this stream includes photos from the Moscone center in San Francisco, Calif., where Oracle OpenWorld 2012 is being held.

YouTube Now Lets You Add Branding Across All Your Videos In A Click

Have you ever wished there was an easy way to add a branded logo to the corner of all of your YouTube videos or to feature a new video across all of your older programming?  Now you can do both of these things in a click.

This morning Chris Atkinson of ReelSEO reported on a new feature that YouTube has quietly rolled out called InVideo Programming.  With InVideo Programming you can brand all of your videos with an icon linked to your channel that will appear in the corner of all of your videos or you can feature a single video across all of your other videos.

To take advantage of this new feature, head to Settings and then choose ‘InVideo Programming’ from beneath ‘Channel settings.’  Click to choose whether you want to feature your channel or feature a video.

If you choose to feature your channel you can either have your YouTube avatar featured or you can upload a custom image in JPG, non-animated GIF, BMP or PNG form.  Note that transparency is supported so you can really create something that looks professional.  YouTube suggests that, for best results, you upload an image that is 800×800 pixels.

Once you’ve selected an image, you’ll be able to decide which corner the image appears in as well as the time and duration during which the image will appear on screen.

The process of choosing a video to feature across all of your uploads is similar.  Just click ‘Feature a video’ and choose the video you’d like to feature.  Again, you’ll select the corner you’d like the video to appear in and the duration you’d like it to appear for.  This is a great way to promote each new video as you upload it.

Read the full story here

Friday, 5 October 2012

INFOGRAPHIC: A Marketer’s Guide to Reddit

Marketers who threaten the Reddit community with spammy links and boring content will likely be destroyed, says Prestige Marketing. On the link-sharing site known as the “Front Page of the Internet,” only the strong survive.

Reddit receives 2.5 billion page views per month, and thus any content that reaches the front page receives millions of views. The only way to do that without spending a lot of money is to get Reddit’s 34.9 million monthly unique visitors to “vote up” your content.

In general, content should be original and clever. It also helps to make use of the site’s 164,678 subreddits, which are niche topics like “gaming” or “funny.” Redditors create a lot of the content that gets spread around to other sites, so advertisers who try to ingratiate themselves with the community by playing on internet memes should be careful.

But for those brave enough to try, just remember who your audience is. The average Redditor is a 20-something, college-educated male who earns between $25,000 and $50,000 per year. Redditors are internet savvy, typically liberal, and will reject anything overtly solicitous.

See an explanation of how Reddit works in this infographic below:

The Reddit Marketing Field Guide [Infographic]

App Store Optimization: 8 Tips for Higher Rankings

By at Search Engine Watch:
For app developers, App Store optimization is an incredibly important yet frequently overlooked opportunity when trying to create traction and growth (i.e., more downloads).
Not surprisingly, there’s quite a bit of overlap between App Store optimization and traditional SEO, but it’s important to remember that the App Store is in relative infancy when compared to its big search counterparts.

What foolows is an outline of the most important factors that can impact app store ranking, along with a few tips to ensure long-term improvement.


On-Page Relevance Factors

Based on a study of more than 200 app searches, it would appear that the following on-page factors are the most important within the app store.
  1. App Title: Keyword usage in the title appears to be one of the most important relevance signals. It is currently unknown whether it's a direct signal (keyword usage means higher ranking) or an analogous one (keyword usage results in higher click-through rates).
  2. App Description: Appropriate keyword usage should also be used within the body copy…errr app description.
  3. Keywords Data: A good old keywords tag, you ask? Yes, but it appears Apple is already de-weighting its impact. Expect keywords tag to get phased out altogether as app development becomes even more accessible to a mainstream audience.


Off-Page Relevance Factors

Unlike Google, Apple has total access to everything that happens within the confines of an application, which means there’s a boatload of data to determine user appreciation. The following signals can be used to compare apps within similar categorical clusters:
  • CTR: What is the click-through rate when served in a higher position?
  • Usage Weights: What is the average frequency of usage within the app?
  • Discard Rates: How frequently is the app deleted? What is the average life of an app on a desktop?
  • Downloads: How many downloads does the app have?
  • Reviews: What is the average review score and how authoritative and authentic are the reviewers?
  • App Updates: How fresh is the app? Is it continuing to create new features and optimize for new OS releases?


Possible (But Unknown) Factors

I believe Apple would be silly not to incorporate the following signals:
  • Social Signal/Incoming Links: What kind of ripple in the traditional web ecosphere is this app making?
  • App age: Are users consistently and reliably using this growing app? (Think of MS Word as a desktop comparison)
  • App Speed: Is the app responsive when compared to its competitors or is it a heavy experience?
  • Brand Trust: Is the app released by a maker that has a trusted arsenal of popular/successful applications? This would likely ensure that the app has undergone a significant QA (quality assurance) process.


Where App Store Optimization is Heading

Like any search engine, the App Store appears to be transitioning from one of semantical relevance to the deeper and more powerful KPIs that revolve around user data (nearly every algorithmic shift thus far appears to support this notion).
As the entire industry matures (and becomes more competitive), success and failure in ranking will be much more focused on the quality experience of its users.


8 Tips for Improvement

Here are a few tips to help you rank better in the App Store:
  1. Focus on natural incorporation of keywords in the title and description data
  2. Use conversion optimization techniques and push notifications to ensure more prolific usage of the application
  3. Keep the application “top of mind” through email and social media integration. Give your users a great reason to share, like, and follow.
  4. Offer heavy users the opportunity to review the app. A simple push with the opportunity to rate can give your ambassadors a platform to evangelize the product
  5. Try traditional PR to improve download rates and a bevy of quality content regarding the site
  6. Use event tracking and some iteration of “last state” tracking to prevent users from bouncing
  7. Use open graph (wisely!) to help spread the word.
  8. Make an absolutely killer app (if you’ve done that, feel free to ignore most of the above).

5 Ideas To Improve Your Cause Marketing

By at ClickZ:
Brands across the globe leverage October to promote social causes. Breast cancer awareness is one of the most well-known and highest supported causes for many reasons. The awareness of this cause also has many benefits - it leads to check-ups that could be timely, it helps in soliciting donations that lead to research, and it allows all individuals, both men and women, to become involved on a global level.

Many marketers are extremely sincere in their messaging and promise to donate a percentage of their revenue toward the cause. Clothing designers create collections for the cause. Local events are held to bring the community together to celebrate and honor their loved ones. Cause marketing does work.

Here are seven things marketers could do to improve their cause marketing:

1. Can they see your signs? Make sure the cause is visible. Make sure you do this across all your channels - the web, email, social media, your store or branch, and even your people. Airlines need to begin talking about the cause at the point of check-in, and not just by selling pink lemonade on flights. Also, do not make the call-to-action of the cause hard to find within the message. If the consumer cannot understand what you are doing, nothing will happen.

2. What's your contribution? Make sure that the consumer understands what your contribution is to the cause. Some brands raise money, some sponsor an event, and some brands may contribute with the goal of creating more awareness. Make sure that your organization's contribution is clear.

3. Empathy. Make sure your messaging is empathetic. If you want people to pay attention to what you are saying, share the stories of those that have been affected and their devotion to the cause. Emotional connections work, just make sure they are intriguing enough to grab the consumer's attention.

4. Is it mainstream? Make sure you dedicate prime real estate on email, your website, and even on social media. If you slip a tiny pink ribbon into a corner of an email, it might be very hard to see. Do not hide your cause in a corner. Also, make sure that your people internally understand the passion behind your cause so that they can articulate it to your customers.

5. Does it work? If you drive consumers toward a call-to-action, make sure that you test your landing pages for intuitiveness. Also, make sure that the landing pages work correctly. Even if the consumer does not make a contribution, use their click on your web page as an opportunity to segment them into a "special cause" category.

6. Let them know. Make sure you follow up after the "click-through" or "donation." Send the consumer a thank you message thanking them for their involvement toward the cause. Use significant milestones as a means to let the rest of your consumers know about your progress as well. This could result in more contributions toward your cause.

7. Make it year-round! For the brands with even a softer side, make sure that you inform your consumers about all the charitable causes that you are involved in throughout the year. Make a resolution to extend your "pink awareness" from October into the remaining months of the year. Follow up by using this interaction to highlight some of the other things that you do to foster even more loyalty and engagement.

Tumblr Has an Official Analytics Tool

Tumblr is one step closer to building an advertising business within the cozy blogging community known for single-subject blogs and animated pictures.

The Next Web reports that Union Metrics, the social analytics company behind TweetReach, has secured access to Tumblr’s firehose to create the social network’s first official analytics platform. Tumblr marketing and revenue consultant Rick Webb announced the news at today’s Advertising Week keynote in New York City while onstage with Union Metrics CEO Hayes Davis.

Union Metrics will pull information from Tumblr through social data company Gnip. With 75 million blogs, 32 billion posts, and more than 70 million new posts on the blogging site per day, someone has to make sense of all that data.

Available by invite only, Union Metrics for Tumblr can help bloggers determine what kind of content resonates with their readers; marketers can use it to learn what people in their target demographic like to read. Here are some of the things that the tool will be able to measure:

  • Top Posts
  • Top Tags
  • Popular Contributors
  • Top Curators (People Who Reblog Content)
  • Top Amplifiers (People Who Reblog the Rebloggers)
  • A Reblog Tree to Visualize How Content Spreads

Tumblr has been selling ads since May 2012. Said Tumblr VP of product Derek Gottfrid at the Social Curation Summit in July, “We put brands on an equal footing with users. The challenge is how to capture user value.”

Read the full story here

Facebook Hits One Billion Active Users

By at Mashable:
Facebook has officially reached one billion active users, Facebook CEO and co-founder Mark Zuckerberg has announced.

In an official blog post, he writes:
This morning, there are more than one billion people using Facebook actively each month. If you’re reading this: thank you for giving me and my little team the honor of serving you.
Helping a billion people connect is amazing, humbling and by far the thing I am most proud of in my life. I am committed to working every day to make Facebook better for you, and hopefully together one day we will be able to connect the rest of the world too.

Facebook had 955 million active users in July 2012, and though gaining 45 million users is not a small task, it seems as if the world’s biggest online social network took a little bit more time than expected reaching the 1 billion milestone.

Still, it’s an enormous number, dwarfing most other players in the social networking space by orders of magnitude. It took Facebook several years to reach the magical 100 million number back in 2008, but from then on it seemed like Mark Zuckerberg’s baby could not be stopped.

Read the full story here


Wednesday, 3 October 2012

INFOGRAPHIC: Google, Facebook, Twitter And The Evolution Of Digital Advertising

By Shea Bennett at Media Bistro:
Still less than a quarter century old, the technology behind online and digital advertising has advanced dramatically over the past decade, with the proliferation of increasingly-sophisticated multimedia and design software, emergence of Google, and social platforms such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter, combining to provide brands with a wealth of tools which can be used to target and engage customers, new and old.

The launch and rapid growth of the iPhone in 2007, and the beginnings of the iPad-led tablet market just two years later, have ushered a move into the portable, mobile space, providing new opportunities for marketers.

This infographic from PointRoll takes a closer look at the history of digital advertising.

Google, Facebook, Twitter And The Evolution Of Digital Advertising

Personal Voice vs Business Voice – The Fan Page Trap

By Kimberly Castleberry at Social Media Today:
Did you know that “just be yourself” doesn’t always work the way you would expect with your Facebook business page?

Facebook business pages (aka “fan pages”) have a feature known as “Voice” which allows you to switch between speaking (meaning posting) as your page and as your profile.
In social marketing, we’re taught to be ourselves and not hide behind our brand… but often that can lead to some severe confusion when technicalities of social sites come into play.

When you visit your Facebook Page, across the top of your screen will be a narrow menu that tells you which voice you are in, and asks if you would like to switch:

(Yes, this tool was previously buried in your Page’s admin dashboard, but has been moved out front and center now.

“You are posting, comment, and liking as…” either your Profile or your Page… a very important distinction!

So what happens when we accidently use our profile to post on our page?

The item is not shown to the fans! 
Let me show you how this works…
In your personal profile’s news feed… you might see a friend who is posting to a page they own but forgetting to switch over to “be” the page… it would look like this…

Seems harmless enough right?  Looks just like what you see when someone posts on a page they don’t own.

While this can be a good way to show your FRIENDS (of your Profile) that you are writing about something somewhere…  your FANS (of the Page) will have nothing appear in their news feed. 
So what do Fans See? 
Only this…. and ONLY if they visit the page directly… 

Your posts get lumped in with all the other posts by the other fans (because your profile is a fan of your page)… and NONE of this goes down your fan’s news feed!

How ya like them beans? 

So, sometimes this is useful because your friends of your profile may suddenly become aware of your page’s existence… it hurts your Page (a lot!) because your fans have no chance to engage with the content (unless they come to the wall and click through the posts by other, which most never will)… and thus no chance to build EdgeRank.

My favorite use of posting as a profile… on my own page… is to do it when I need to leave a comment on something and need to tag some of my profile’s friends. Since my page can not tag my friends, utilizing a comment and some tags via my profile can be helpful when I mention people I’m already friends with. 

The Voice tool on your Facebook Page is very powerful… but because of that it can also be “deadly” if used incorrectly!

Have you seen any page owners accidentally posting as themselves to their own page? 
Happy Facebooking!

~ Kim ~
Simple Tech Tips For Marketing

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

INFOGRAPHIC: How Social Media, Smartphones And Tablets Are Transforming Online Shopping

By Shea Bennett at Media Bistro:
Did you know that 64 percent of smartphone owners shop online using their device, and that the social media savvy are amongst the most active shoppers around, with 60 percent of Facebook users saying they would discuss a product or service if they were offered a deal of some kind?

Modern technologies such as social media, smartphones and tablets have transformed the retail business – 167 million people are expected to shop online in 2012, spending on average $1,800 per person – and links to user-generated content on Facebook, Twitter and review sites make up a quarter of the search results for the top 20 brands in the world.

By 2014, it’s estimated that the internet will influence 53 percent of all retail sales – both online and off.

This infographic from Symphony Teleca takes a closer look at how smart devices and social analytics are transforming retail.

How Social Media, Smartphones And Tablets Are Transforming Online Shopping
Browse more data visualization.

INFOGRAPHIC: 4 Steps To A Social Media Strategy

By Shea Bennett at Media Bistro: 
Congratulations! You’ve taken that brave, exciting first step and decided that you must utilise social media in your brand’s marketing arsenal. You’ve configured your Facebook Page, your Twitter profile is looking snappy and LinkedIn, Google+ and Pinterest are next on your ‘to do’ list.

Welcome! You’re going to have a lot of fun.
So… now what?

Success in social media takes hard work, and a lot of it. There are no quick fixes or ‘get rich now’ solutions. You have to put in the hours. You have to engage your audience. And to do that, you have to have a plan.

This infographic from BigThunk and Number 8 Communications proposes four steps to a social media strategy.
1. Define your goals – what are you trying to accomplish?
2. Define your metrics – how will you measure success?
3. Decide on tactics – what can you do to help accomplish your goals?
4. Execute your strategy – then measure and refine


4 Steps To A Social Media Strategy
Learn about infographic design.

How to use Social Networking to Become a Published Author

By Gursharn Kandola at Social Media Today:
Back in the day (like maybe a year ago), when a budding author wanted to get published, she would have to shop a meticulously written manuscript around to publishers with big hopes and dreams in tow. The other option would be to fund it yourself (or do some fundraising) and try to get the word out on your own.
Lucky for authors, there are some unique social methods to get your book published these days.

Social methods? Like what?

So glad you asked! There are two 'modern' ways that you can leverage to see your book publishing dreams come to light: Crowd Funding or Publish your books as an app.

A way of raising money online using social means, crowdfunding has grown in popularity recently. With sites like KickStarter and GoFundMe gaining ground, authors can use social media and viral videos to highlight their projects and garner interest (and therefore funding) to help publish their books.

The social aspect is key here. Interested donors can share the campaign link with their individual social networks to help spread the word. If your presentation or video is compelling enough, you could potentially generate all of the funds you need.
Crowdfunding sites have different parameters and some are focused on specific causes or certain project types. GoFundMe's video is a great description of what crowdfunding can do for you:

Book App
Another option to publish your book is to go digital. The popularity of digital books is rapidly increasing and in response, there have been apps developed that allow you to publish your book as an app and publish it on Apple's App Store or Google Play. Once there, use social media to spread the word and get your book downloaded by the masses.

Apple's iBook author app is one option that will help you bring your book to life. With available templates, image galleries and pre-defined widgets, you can drag and drop your way to a published book!

Another option is the Android Book App Maker ($79US) which lets you to create good looking and functional eBook apps for Android from an existing text file. The Book App Maker supports international languages and can be defined with either the scrolling or flipping options with varying fonts and illustrations. In a short time, your book can be designed and uploaded to the Android marketplace - easy peasy!

If you're an author having some challenges getting published the traditional way, why not leverage social networks to generate funds or publish the book yourself?

Microsoft Previews New Touch-Friendly MSN And Bing For Windows 8

By Anthony HA at TechCrunch:
Microsoft just gave a quick sneak peek of the redesigned version of MSN at the IAB MIXX digital ad conference. It’s optimized for Windows 8 (in fact, it will be the default homepage for Internet Explorer 10 on many Windows 8 devices), and it will be launched on the same day as the new Windows, October 26.

The MSN homepage’s new layout is reminiscent of the Metro design that we’ve already seen on Windows and Windows Phone 7. It’s a clean, tile-based design, with big type and images, with a new News section.
And it’s optimized for navigating with touch screens. One of the cooler new features is the ability to “flip ahead,” where you basically swipe across the screen to flip the page and read the next article. Another new feature is the ability to “snap” content to the side of the screen. For example, you could look up financial information on MSN Money, snap that content to the side of the screen, then open a PowerPoint presentation and copy the information over.

Microsoft also offered a preview of new Bing apps for search, news, and travel. Again, there was a new layout, and you could snap content to reference later. And yes, space is saved for big, glossy ads.

Read the full story here


Rdio Will Pay Musicians $10 per Fan

By at Mashable:
Digital music service Rdio has long stood in the shadow of its cooler older sibling Spotify. But it may just have found its way out of that shadow — by being the first major music service to pay artists for their social media fan base.

“There is no art without artists,” said Rdio’s founder Janus Friis, who was also one of the co-founders of Skype and of Kazaa. “As part of this industry, we know a business that doesn’t reward its most important contributors is a business that has to change.”

Going forward, the company will pay musicians $10 every time they turn a fan into an Rdio subscriber via some form of social media.

It’s called the Artist Program — and for Rdio, which makes up to $10 a month off subscribers, it makes a lot of financial sense.

For artists with thousands or even millions of Facebook and Twitter followers, this could be an enormously lucrative new revenue stream. Indeed, the artist formerly known as Snoop Dogg — now Snoop Lion — has already signed up.

“I love that any new artist can take advantage of this program,” Snoop said in a statement. “I’m a fan of Rdio already, and it’s cool to see them supporting artists like this.”

Read the full story here


Sunday, 30 September 2012

INFOGRAPHIC: Facebook Sees 3.2 Billion Likes and Comments Each Day

By Jason Keath at Social Fresh:
Facebook is now using Infographics to promote advertising on the largest social network in the world.
With a low stock price, and no bottom in site, the pressure is on for Facebook to promote the benefits of its advertising product.
Some of the highlights include:

  • Touting Facebook as the number one social network (more people, more devices, more often)
  • 3.2 billion likes and comments every day on Facebook
  • Touting larger ad space in the newsfeed (on mobile and tablet too)
  • 49% of campaigns have a 5 times or greater return on ad spend
  • 70% of campaigns had a 3 times or great return on ad spend
Facebook Sees 3.2 Billion Likes and Comments Each Day
Browse more data visualization.

HootSuite Adds Real-Time Chat to Dashboard

Social media management tool HootSuite integrated real-time chat onto users’ dashboards Wednesday with the release of HootSuite Conversations, calling the free addition an “epic release” for businesses.

HootSuite Conversations encourages collaboration among employees who switch back and forth between HootSuite’s dashboard and their emails. Now, HootSuite allows any HootSuite user with an email address to start group conversations within the dashboard without having to switch over to his or her email client.

“We wanted to create a private channel to have conversations to increase efficiency and improve return on investment,” CEO Ryan Holmes tells Mashable.

To start a private conversation in HootSuite, users must click on the speech bubble icon on the top right corner of their dashboard. Users then invite co-workers or import their Gmail contacts.

Read the full story here

Bing Adds Klout As An Influencer and Vice Versa

By at Search Engine Watch:
Klout and Bing have teamed up to include Klout Scores and influential topics into the Social Sidebar. After performing a Bing search, the "People Who Know" section of the Social Sidebar will now include people Klout believes to be influential about the topic you searched.

Bing believes this will help people connect with the right experts. From the pop-up that appears, you can click through to the influencer's Klout Profile or directly to topics the person influences.

Conversely, over on Klout, some people will notice new items to their Klout profile, courtesy of Bing. Klout will measure two data points from Bing that will be showcased in the "Moments" area.
Influences who appear more often in the Social Sidebar as a result of Search will be recognized for it on Klout. According to the Klout blog, if you have linked your Wikipedia account on Klout, your "profile will also be rewarded for the frequency [you] are searched on Bing." Klout also announced they will continue to add signals generated from Bing searches.

Read the full story here

Restaurant Reservations via Foursquare

By at Mashable:
See a restaurant you like on Foursquare? Instead of adding it to your to-do list, you can now make a reservation directly through Foursquare’s mobile apps.

Foursquare has partnered with OpenTable to provide the service. It won’t work with every restaurant — just the 25,000 that allow online booking through OpenTable. Qualifying restaurants will have a “Make Reservation” button on their Foursquare pages.

The location-based app has been offering this service on its website since May.

The experience is seamless. Other integrations with OpenTable, like Stamped’s, don’t allow for in-app booking, instead sending you to in your mobile browser to make a reservation.

Read the full story here

Saturday, 29 September 2012

Why You Shouldn't Over Post on Facebook

By Matt Coffey at Social Media Today: 
As social media professionals, I believe this is one of the two biggest struggles we have both with our clients and with our bosses, the other being actually what to post, but that is a completely different topic.

More is not always better when it comes to Facebook. Ignoring the fact that most fans never return to a page after they like it, people get frustrated and annoyed by constant posts. Worse than that: now you, the social media professional, has to come up with a large amount of posts. When posting three or more times per day, most of those post are worthless with little value to the fans.

This is a graph from Jeff Bullas' article 10 Powerful Tips to Increase Engagement on Facebook:

Posts made between 8 PM and 7 AM receive 20% more user engagement.

Here are some great stats from an article from the social business:

One-to-two posts a day is more effective than fewer or more posts per day. One or two brand posts receive 32% higher “like” rates and 73% higher comment rates compared to posting 3 or more times a day.
Engagement is highest when brands post four to five posts a week. Posting one to four times a week produces 71% higher user engagement than five or more posts in a given week. Posting less than that, does not maximize your opportunity to target your fans as often as possible.

Clients may think the easy to fix to a low level of Facebook engagement is more posts, this will never work. Content is king. Visually appealing posts get more engagement, along with questions and discounts.
In short, be sure to experiment with what you post and the times you post. You may be surprised to see when you are getting the most engagement.
If you’re having a hard time with social media marketing, seek consultation from a social media agency to create a plan or manage your networks.

How often do you post on your social networks, and what results have you seen? Let us know in the comments.

Read the full post here

Top Reasons Your Fans Are Hitting the 'Unlike' Button

By Amine Rahal at Social Media Today:
Getting a lot of people to like your Facebook page can be gratifying, but losing their loyalty can be equally devastating. You’re usually left thinking “what did I do wrong, was it something I said?” That’s if you’re keeping track of your fan numbers close enough!
This is the unsettling reality for many companies and independent pages who are struggling to find ways to retain fans after enjoying an initial boost of popularity. So what is causing your fans to hit the infamous unlike button, and what can you do to stop more fans from doing so?


The Human Spam Filter Effect – Posting Too Frequently

If you’ve ever used an email client before you know about spam filtering – it’s an automated mechanism that identifies spam-like content and throws it straight into the trash bin. Many Facebook users are so in-tuned with internet browsing that they’ve developed their own built in spam filter and are quick to discard overbearing, unwelcomed, and useless status updates. In fact, people get so aggravated by a high frequency of posts that they don’t even want you having access to their wall anymore, and subsequently they unlike your page.


So how often should you post?

This is no rocket science and there is no magic formula. Each business is different so it's all about A/B testing. Besides, your emphasis should be on quality not quantity. The general rule of thumb is that if you don’t have something great to post, don’t post at all. With that said, if you’re taking the time to research your market and pay attention to the requests, opinions, and interests of fans, you should be able to produce at least 3-5 good status updates per week to start with. Increase the frequency if you see a positive response and increased engagement from your fanbase. Again, test different scenarios and don't be afraid to fail at times...


Lack of Incentive - What Have You Done For Me Lately?

You may have forgotten how you got all of those fans to begin with; you probably offered some type of incentive. Maybe it was a discount, some exclusive content or app, some genuinely helpful information, or some wholesome entertainment that made them come back for more. Whatever it was, you’re obviously not doing it anymore. Keeping fans on Facebook is a lot like keeping fans with any other type of media. If a television show is no longer entertaining, viewers stop watching, ratings decrease, and eventually it gets taken off the air. If you’re noticing a steady decline in fan numbers, you need to take action immediately and reintroduce the incentive-based status update strategy. A good way to let your fans know that they’re appreciated is to use a reveal tab/fan gateway to give them access to exclusive content that only fans can see. This will make your fans feel valued and motivate them to keep following your statuses to avoid missing any upcoming contest or giveaway. It will also encourage non-fans to join your page out of curiosity.


Failed Initial Targeting

Maybe the reason why they’re unliking you is because they were never really your fans to begin with? It could be that in your rush to get as many fans as possible in the beginning, you may have neglected the process of carefully targeting your audience. There are lots of ways to get fans on Facebook, including buying them from marketing gurus that are equipped with all the latest tools and tricks. However, if you don’t make an effort to ensure that your fans are properly targeted you could find a large percentage of them losing interest down the road.


So how do you do a better job of targeting your true fan base?

One of the best "organic" ways to attract fans that are likely to stick with you for the long haul is to advertise your fan page EVERYWHERE you can. Think beyond your website, e.g. email signatures, business cards, flyers, invoices, brochures etc... Another great way to attract targeted fans is do joint ventures with other fan pages in your niche. The concept is simple – you find already successful fan pages that have a lot fans who would probably be interested in your page, then you contact the page administrators and ask them what it would take for them to post a link to one of your statuses in their next update. However, the most efficient ways to attract laser targeted Facebook fans will require you to put your hand in your pocket: Facebook Ads! Using Facebook Ads you can target people by location, age, sex, marital status and most importantly INTERESTS. This gives you the ability to display your ad only on profiles that are likely to become fans and/or customers. Coupled with a fan-gated contest or giveaway, Facebook Ads is ridiculously efficient! Try different ad rotations and targeting options to ensure you get the best bang for your buck.


Your Posts Just Suck

There really is no better way to say it. Your fans are unliking your page for the simple reason that they are tired of reading substandard posts that lack useful information or entertainment value.


How do you fix this?

In essence, you need to learn how to post status updates that are captivating and share-worthy. Adding a dislike button to each one of your statuses using Status Magic (as explained in the previous link) might be a good way to find out what your fans do not like before they get so sick of your antics that they completely unlike your entire page.


Use media to your advantage.

If you don’t have the resources, time, or skill to create your own quality media content, find it elsewhere on the web and introduce it to your fans. Sometimes being a known resource and sharing content that has already been created is all it takes. You’d be surprised how many people will stick around just because they know you always bring the best of the web to their fingertips. Think of websites like Digg or Reddit to find potential "viral content" that is relevant to your niche.


Use news and trends to your advantage.

Again, you don’t have to be a world-class journalist and conduct interviews or author breaking news. You just need to point out the latest trends and occurrences that your fans are likely to be interested in, and maybe add your own spin or opinion on the matter. Remember that your fans are basically subscribers; keep them up-to-date and involved.


Be interactive and engaging.

When you’re posting a status about an upcoming promotion, recent news, or a popular trend, make sure you pursue the input of your fans. Hold a poll, ask them to leave a comment, and give them the opportunity to engage in open dialect. Getting your fans involved is a good way to keep their mouse cursor away from the unlike button, and it also creates a buzz. If you're running out of ideas on what to post, check out this article.


And finally...Have a personality and be personable!

Don’t be afraid to be funny, witty, and unique. Stand out from the crowd by acting like a human being, and not a status updating advertising robot. There is no preset formula that will make people like you. Facebook is a digital platform but it still operates in the real world; people like other people simply because... they’re likable. What’s the point of starting a page on a social network if you’re just going to be antisocial?

Read the full story here


Thursday, 27 September 2012

Instagram Now Have Daily Mobile Users Than Twitter [Stats]

By Lauren Dugan at Media Bistro:
For the first time in history, Instagram saw more daily users in the United States accessing its app on mobile than Twitter did. The month of August saw nearly half a million more users augmenting their photos with sepia-toned and retro lenses than sending 140 character messages every day.

These stats come to us from AllThingsD‘s report of an unpublished comScore mobile US audience measurement report.
In August, Instagram saw an average of 7.3 million daily active users, while Twitter’s average hovered around 6.868 million. That’s 432,000 more daily users for Instagram than Twitter.
And people were spending more time perfecting the retro-chic veneer they added to their photos than the things they tweeted: the data indicates that the average Instagram user spent 257 minutes using the app, while the average Twitter user spent 169.9 minutes sending and reading tweets.

The numbers are thrown into even more contrast when you consider how many total (not daily active) users each app had in August. Twitter saw 29 million monthly unique users over the entire month, and Instagram saw 22 million.

This means that, while Twitter has more total users, Instagram’s users are visiting the app more often and are spending more time with the app in the course of a month.
Since a good chunk of Twitter’s advertising revenue comes from the ads it serves up on mobile, working on user engagement and daily visits could help the company earn more.

Likewise for Instagram, if Facebook can harness the already very active userbase and somehow monetize them, they’ll be in a better position to justify the $1 billion price tag the service cost.

Do you use Instagram or Facebook on your mobile phone more often? Let us know in the comments below.