#socialmedia This Week: 7 Helpful Social Media Resources for Business http://ow.ly/1huzct
This Week: Social Media News You Need to Know – While you’ve been busy updating your company’s Facebook page, keepin… http://ow.ly/1htqLx
How to Create Facebook Page Metrics Reports – It’s Facebook Friday — each week we’ll offer one tip for leveraging Fa… http://ow.ly/1hsPcI
6 Compelling Reasons You Should Use Pinterest for Marketing – Just recently, Pinterest hit more than 10 million uniq… http://ow.ly/1hsPcM
Top Social Media News of the Week 2/17/12 – Here’s your weekly roundup of major news points from the social sphere:… http://ow.ly/1hsvJv
Facebook Events Receive New Guest Suggestion Feature – It appears that Facebook is testing a new feature that provid… http://ow.ly/1hsvJz
9 Ways to Make Your Marketing Analytics Actionable – Tracking your marketing analytics can provide a ton of great in… http://ow.ly/1hsvJF
New in Sprout Social: Task Notifications, Enhanced Facebook Reporting http://ow.ly/1hs5sP
The Ultimate Glossary: 44 Email Marketing Terms Marketers Must Know http://ow.ly/1hs5sT
A Marketer’s Guide to Picking the Perfect Analytics Tool – Stop me if this sounds familiar. You log in to your analy… http://ow.ly/1hrmHL
An Insight into Facebook Marketing – Infographic – Tweet So what is happening with Facebook Marketing? Facebook has … http://ow.ly/1hrjah
Apply social media Pinterest Steals Attention Away From Twitter http://ow.ly/1hr28m
Apply social media Will Facebook Announce Timeline for Pages This Month? http://ow.ly/1hqNJc
Social Media updates How to Map Lead Nurturing Content to Each Stage in the Sales Cycle http://ow.ly/1hqNJj
Social Media updates 7 Rookie Social Media Mistakes From Big Brands http://ow.ly/1hqwGc
Apply social media Out With the Old: New Facebook Insights Are Here to Stay http://ow.ly/1hpOVa
Stay tuned for more! 5 Truths the Boss Needs to Know About Social Media Marketing http://ow.ly/1hpKXp
For those of us who eat and breathe social media for a living, it is a no-brainer.
What about the skeptical company head who just doesn’t quite get social media? Can he or she be swayed to adopting a social media campaign for their business, a program that could lead to both increased brand exposure and better return on investment (ROI)? via http://ow.ly/967hB
Inspiring story of how Hanna Phan landed her dream job with a very creative Présumé! http://ow.ly/94AgP
Social Business – 3 Ways Social Media Can go Beyond Marketing
Article by Jon Stokes
The arrival of social media as a communications channel for brands has generally been dominated as a way to publish marketing messages. While using social networks as a way to engage in conversations with customers has been a very successful approach, the truth is that social media can be used in many ways that go beyond external communications, and this is an area where a social media strategy can pay off.
The term “social business” can be a bit confusing, especially as it can also apply to businesses that operate ethically or with social responsibility. In a social media context, though, it refers to a business that has evolved its use of social media channels to become integral to how the business operates. Here are three areas of business that can be used to illustrate this:
1. Customer service
Best Buy is a great example of this, with their Twelpforce that empowers employees to assist with customer service issues or queries. Being able to respond and react to customer issues quickly through social media can turn perceptions around – even if a customer service representative is unable to resolve an issue immediately, a customer feeling that their issue is being acknowledged and responded to in a timely way can prevent further upset.
2. Internal communication and collaboration
Social media used internally can offer a variety of benefits. Even in a small organisation, sharing documents and being able to edit them collaboratively can save the hassle and confusion of tracking various changes in email threads.
In larger organisations the potential to share can allow employees who may never deal with each other day to day, to understand their projects and areas of expertise. Sharing knowledge and skills in this way can amplify the talent available and allow for improved productivity.
Enterprise social networks will become increasingly normal, and emulate existing social networks in their look and feel – many existing recruits, and almost certainly the majority of future ones, will be familiar in how these systems work and how to interact on them, but in a secure environment.
3. Recruitment and employee retention
As I touched above, the workers of tomorrow and beyond will not only be familiar with how to use internal social networks, but be deciding where they want to work as a result of it. Sourcing talent through social channels already exists through networks such as LinkedIn, of course.
Businesses can go beyond this though, and use social channels like blogs to really show how their culture is. If a business is truly social, it should have employees that are proud to share and represent the company on social channels. Increased transparency may worry some, but ultimately this should encourage companies to listen to the concerns and suggestions of their employees. A responsive company will be able to save recruitment costs in two ways, and increased employee satisfaction can’t hurt productivity.
What this means for the future
As companies gain confidence in social media for marketing, it will be clear that they can use it for other communications. The ones that are already starting this transformation tend to be technologically based, with in-house expertise, but the trend is definitely there for the future and it’s never too soon to start thinking about how it can be integrated in your business.
Want People to Return Your Emails? Avoid These
Next time you write an email subject line, think twice about the words you’re using.
Baydin recently extracted data from five million emails its users handled — either using the company’s “email game” or scheduled for later via Boomerang. It found that some subject-line words, such as “apply” and “opportunity,” got more responses than words from the aforementioned list.
Its data also suggests the best time to send emails is before work. Users who scheduled messages to read later, using Boomerang, most often wanted to deal with them around 6 a.m.
Already sending emails packed with “opportunity” at 6 a.m. and not getting a response? You’re in good company.
Baydin’s average email game player deleted about half of the 147 messages he or she received each day. Ninety minutes of the two hours he or she spent on email each day went to just 12 messages.
Facebook IPO: The Numbers Behind the World’s Most Valuable Social Network [INFOGRAPHIC]4151,58310The world is anticipating Facebook to file for an initial public offering this week, and most indicators point to $10 billion in stock and a valuation at over $100 billion.
Just how did our little status updates and vacation photos turn into what will likely be the biggest tech IPO in history (and a valuation that rivals some of the world’s biggest multinational banks and telecoms)?
SEE ALSO: Facebook’s Road to IPO
Our number-crunching friends at Statista have pulled down a swell of stats on the company’s mind-boggling ascendance in recent years. Most of the numbers indicate that Facebook is built to last. Its ad revenue far surpasses its social network contemporaries, its user base is projected to grow in 2012, and its revenue per employee and per user is on a steady upward climb.
But pause a moment to consider the ratio of income to value. As the graphic below points out, if we were to project, say, Apple’s valuation on the same scale, the electronics maker would be worth at least $2.2 trillion — a ridiculous number, to say the least. Does a perspective like that indicate a dangerous gulf between perceived and actual value? And are crazy-big IPOs like this another sign of Dot Com Bubble 2.0?
Scope the stats yourself and let us know where you land in the comments section.
Infographic courtesy of Statista.com.
Google Launches Your World Social Search Integration-and-pages
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Integrated social search is immediately evident in three spots on your search results page. You have to be signed into Google+ to see all this.Google Search plus Your World Personal Results1Photos get the personal touch, too. Looks like you once shared this photo from your Google+ accountGoogle Search plus Your World Personal Results 22If you’re signed in, Google search will auto-complete your person query to your nearest, matching circle connection.Google Search plus Your World Profiles in Search3Like a topic? Now you can follow one of these gurus. Yes, Britney Spears is an expert.Google Search plus Your World People and Pages4View As Slideshow »Google Search plus Your World Personal Results
Google Search plus Your World Personal Results 2
Google Search plus Your World Profiles in Search
Google Search plus Your World People and Pages
Google Search plus Your World Toggle
Now we know Google’s master-plan for integrating Google+ ever more deeply into the Google ecosystem: Pour the whole thing into Google search. Starting today, Google+ members, and to a lesser extent others who are signed into Google, will be able to search against both the broader web and their own Google+ social graph. That’s right; Google+ circles, photos, posts and more will be integrated into search in ways other social platforms can only dream about.
Google calls the search update “ “Search plus Your World.” Jack Menzel, product management director of search, explained that now Google+ members will be able to “search across information that is private and only shared to you, not just the public web.”
Google calls this access to “your web.” So instead of all the public information that is already available to everyone searching via Google, so you can see information that you posted into Google’s new social network and on some of Google’s other services like Picasa Web.
Menzel explained that starting today, Google+ results will be blended in with the traditional “authoritative results,” but clearly annotated. Type in a topic of interest, like “Rome,” and along with maps, travel info, historical references, you’ll find a post your friend wrote in Google+ about a recent trip to Rome. That post, though, will only appear if it’s been shared with you or if the post is public. Likewise, an image search will seamlessly blend the anonymous web with your web images and those of anyone you’re connected to — as long as they’ve shared them with you. Each image will be labeled as from “you” or with the name of your connection.
It’s a significant blurring of the line between the web as we know it and the web as you and your Circles of friends know it. Google’s Menzel admits, though, that those “your world” results are only as good as the information in the posts and on the photos. Many people post photos with the original JPEG file names. This will not help in the “plus Your World” search as, says Menzel, Google applies the same ranking standards to social graph data as it does to the rest of the web.
The deep integration of Google+ in search does not stop there, though. Google+ profiles will now be a part of the search query box. As long as you’re signed into Google+, Google will try to finish your search query with the most likely in-your-Circles match. Google, in other words, is assuming that you’re looking for someone you know and not just a random person with the same name. Actually, that could be a good bet.
You’ll also see results for public profiles of those you don’t follow or have in any circles. Naturally, the new Google Search will allow you to add them right from the results page. Similarly, when you search for a topic, Google will helpfully return results with “prominent people” who are experts in that topic. Yes, you can follow them direct from the results, as well.
At every turn, if you’re part of Google+. Google’s new search tools will only pull you further in, ensuring that the still young social engine is top of mind. As Google sees it, you’re getting more relevant results, because this is the information and the people you choose to connect with in the first place.
SEE ALSO: Mashable’s Complete Guide to Google+
Google’s search largess, though, extends only so far. No other social graphs are currently included in the results. So though you have dozens of Facebook and Twitter connections, Google will not attempt to enrich the results with that part of Your Web. Google is not filtering out results from Twitter and Facebook, but Menzel said Google only has access to that one open graph [Google +] and it does not “pull in anyone else’s social graph.”
Delivering information that is shared, ostensibly, only between small groups of people could raise some privacy and security red flags. To counter that, Google’s Search Across Your World only works if you’re signed into Google+ and searching on Google’s secure search at https://www.google.com. Once you start using Search plus Your World, by the way, you’re not stuck with it. Google is adding a handy toggle button that’ll let you switch back at any time to good-old-fashioned authoritative search from people you probably don’t know.
Last year, I joked that Google would place a “plus sign” next to the Google logo on its venerable search page. I even described a service much like the Search plus Your World. Clearly this was not such a crazy idea. Now the questions are how far will this go and how far will it take Google+? Is this the big lever Google needed propel the Google+ social platform forward and past rivals like Facebook and Twitter? It’s definitely a turning point and it’ll be interesting to see how Facebook, in particular responds. Is it time for Facebook to finally launch that fabled Facebook Search Engine?
Share your thoughts in the comments.
Editor’s Note: The article originally referred to Google’s search enhancement as “Search Across Your World.” It’s actually “Search plus Your World.”
20 Tips for Getting More Facebook Likes
We recently followed a very interesting discussion on LinkedIn where members shared their tips on how to get more Facebook ‘Likes’. So we have compiled a list, including some of our own expert tips, to give you some practical ideas on how you can get more ‘Likes’ for your business on Facebook.
Some of these may seem obvious, but nevertheless, we have still mentioned them – at least you’ll know you’re on the right track!
1. Customise your Facebook page URL
Vanity URLs are a fantastic way to make your fan page memorable and easy to find. Remember that this cannot be changed once it is set, so choose wisely.
2. Optimise the image options
As the saying goes ‘a picture says a thousand words’ so to really optimise your business page you should use the largest profile picture possible.
Currently the maximum profile picture size is 200 x 600 pixels.
3. Include your Facebook page URL in your email signature
How many emails do you send each day? Now imagine each email you send is a chance for someone new to find out about your Facebook page!
4. Write a blog post about your new Facebook page
Give your readers compelling reasons why they should join your page. Don’t beg, just point out some of the reasons why they will benefit.
5. Put a Facebook ‘Like Box’ widget on your blog or website
The ‘Like Box’ is a social plugin that enables page owners to attract and gain Likes from their own website. The Like Box enables users to:
– See how many users already like this Page, and which of their friends like it too
– Read recent posts from the Page
– Like the Page with one click, without needing to visit the Page
Place this in your blog/website sidebar but when you do this, make sure you set the options to include ‘Facepile’. That way, you’re ‘Like box’ will show your readers how many of their friends like the page as well.
6. Add ‘Like buttons’ on your website
Installing a Like button on your website will help drive extra traffic to your posts/articles and it will also show that Facebook is an integral part of your brand.
The more you can integrate Facebook with your site, the more likely people will be to join your Facebook page.
7. Create a custom welcome tab
It can be a little confusing for a person unaware of your brand to land on your Facebook Wall. If they have no or little idea who you are, it can take a while to find out reasons for them to Like you.
You can mitigate this by creating a custom welcome tab. This can be a static graphic which welcomes brand new fans to the page, informing them of the brand, offering them benefits and reasons for them to join the community and finally, encouraging them to Like via a strategically placed arrow.
8. Offer an incentive for people to Like your page
If you decide to go down this route, make sure you create a dynamic Facebook landing page with a ‘reveal tab’ that contains content that is visible only to fans of your page.
The more valuable your incentive is, the more people will be compelled to click the Like button to access it.
Examples of exclusive content could be: An exclusive video, an exclusive whitepaper/.pdf, or exclusive pictures.
9. Tag other, well-trafficked fan pages in your updates
Their fans might see your page and you may get some cross-traffic. Similarly, if you host (or attend) an event with several of your fans, take photos, post them to your page, and then tag them in the pics. This will post to their walls as well and will drive additional traffic to your page.
10. Include your fan page URL on your Twitter profile background
Lots of ‘tweeters’ still use the web-based version and your profile background as a prime piece of web real estate. Cross-advertise and use one social network to promote another.
11. Ask your Twitter followers to join your fan page
Again, you should give some compelling reasons why your Twitter base should join your Facebook community. You might want to tie this up with when you are running a great competition.
12. Put your fan page URL on your business cards
Combine offline and online by letting the people you meet face to face know about your fan page.
13. Invest in Facebook ads
They’re easier than you think and you can spend as little (or as much) as you’d like.
Facebook advertising is a smart way to promote because you can target specific demographic and interest groups.
14. Ask fans to help reach a certain milestone
So you’re page is on 955 Likes. This is a great opportunity to leverage the power of your existing audience to get results. Politely ask your current fans for some help to push you to the 1000 mark by sharing your page.
You could even promise something special for your fans if they help you get to your milestone. For example, an exclusive video or coupon. But dont ask this too often or you may end up diluting the power of this tactic.
15. Promote your page in your YouTube videos
If you make compelling videos as a part of your content marketing strategy, throw in a well-timed Facebook page link at the end of your YouTube videos.
16. Newsletter promo
Send a message to your subscribers letting them know about your Facebook page and consider including a link to your page in every email newsletter.
17. Contact admins of groups related to your page
Groups are more powerful than pages in terms of their messaging ability. Pages send updates, but groups send messages directly to a users Facebook inbox, triggering an email alert.
If you contact the admin of a Facebook group in the hope of sharing your news, make sure it’s relevant and that it will add value to their readers – helping to nurture their community and help build yours.
18. Track your growth with Facebook insights
Use Facebook insights to analyse what activities drive the most growth.
You might also notice some important demographic information for example the gender and age of the people on your page. Once you know this information you can focus your content to appeal to the age group and gender of your fans.
19. Use the questions feature
If you find you’re having a slow week on your Facebook page, and that you’ve noticed that the engagements for your posts have dropped off, use the questions feature. Asking questions is a terrific way to better understand your market and to get people to interact with your page.
20. Create something worth Liking
In attracting Likes to your Facebook page, it is important to create a page that provides worth to your followers. So rather than following the standard procedure of just posting article after article and also the occasional video (whilst trying to be personable and likable); why not provide a worth-while community on Facebook, where you answer your followers questions within a narrow time frame based on your specific niche.
Another benefit around creating a Facebook community is that when a question is asked, the members of the community can answer it for you, thereby your community is creating worth for you! However, it is wise to try and have your own input in posts as this can make it seem more personable and likable.
Is there anything missing? Do you have any tips to share?
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Social media is no longer just a fad – it is the new form of communication, an entirely different and more effective platform of conversation and interaction than any other. Here are 8 basic fundamentals from Aaron Lee to get you started in the right direction.
Created by Aaron Lee.
Facebook Insights: Shows the Good and the Bad
Everyone knows that in the world of social, good news travels fast and bad news travels faster.
Fortunately, Facebook has just launched a new Insights feature that will allow admins to analyze which of their fans have provided negative feedback (aka the bad news) and provided ways to monitor it more closely (damage control). The tool, which has come out 7-years after Facebook started, adds to what we can learn from real-life conversation. Those of you who consider yourselves social scientists are probably wondering, like me, why a tool like this didn’t come out sooner. Was it too early before? Perhaps just a timing-is-everything-approach to the recent Insights launched earlier this year? We may never know. In any case, let’s thank our social programming stars and run with the new data.
The feature, not to be confused with sentiment insight, provides admins the ability to view the number of unique users that gave negative feedback on a Page post in addition to dialing in on the people who hid a post or reported it as spam. Now admins can view the ‘bad’ comments in addition to unsubscribe and hide analytics.
So how will admins do this damage control? With the new feature, admins will be able to identify which content resonates best with fans. This means, when content receives overtly negative responses from fans, admins can assess and alter the content strategy and thus eliminate any future negative snags.
Translation? People like you and me can now be more successful when managing client accounts. Prior to the update, we could manually go through the conversation threads but now we can better assess the responses after a post is made. Ultimately, dialogue will continue to grow as admins discover what posts identify well with fans and which don’t.
Incredible Things That Happen Every 60 Seconds On The Internet
In a single minute there are over 695,000 status updates on Facebook. That’s just one example of the mind boggling scale of online activity.
The following infographics show a bunch of other incredible things that happen in 60 seconds (via Barry Ritholtz).
Having surpassed one billion unique visitors this past May, Google has become a part of our daily online lives. Yet Google’s impact is expanding even further. Google+ has now grown to more than 40 million users.
Recently, the company introduced Google+ pages for businesses, designed to help brands connect with customers. While Google+ pages is in its infancy, the social network’s user base is growing, warranting brand attention and testing. Now is a good time to explore how Google+ works and what impact it can have upon the way your brand communicates with customers.
As with any social media channel, begin by asking yourself what your communities want and expect when interacting with your brand, and how this platform ties into your larger business goals. If Google+ makes sense for your brand, create your Google+ page and take a look at these recommendations to develop your Google+ page growth and engagement strategy.
Here are six steps to help jumpstart your brand presence on Google+, and what you should consider when communicating and engaging followers in the Google+ environment.
1. Drive Follower Growth
When Google+ users arrive at your page, they’ll see a big, red “Add to circles” button. After clicking this button, users follow your brand and receive its updates in their streams. But how do users get to your page in the first place?
- Place a Google+ Badge on your website that redirects users to your page.
- Drive viral growth by asking your employees and partners to share your page with their Circles. For businesses with multiple brands, create one Circle and share a portfolio of those brands with friends. Then, users can decide which ones they want to follow.
- Direct Connect is an interesting search tie-in that enables users to automatically add brands to their Circles by including a “+” before a brand name in their Google search queries. Similar to call-outs in advertising that ask consumers to “Like us on Facebook,” brands can say “Search for +Mashable on Google,” and the action will take users directly to the brand’s Google+ page.
- Leverage existing best practices for increasing likes on Facebook and follows on Twitter, then apply the same principles here. Just remember, a user must add your brand to a circle on his profile in order for you to publish content to him. The +1 action does not automatically create that connection.
- And of course, use advertising and media to drive traffic directly to your page.
2. Segment Followers with Circles
Once you have followers, you’ll want to consider how to segment those audiences so you can target the right followers with the right messages. Your Google+ page comes with the ability to create custom Circles as well as four default Circles: Following, Customers, VIPs and Team Members. Once users add you, they’ll show up under the “People Who’ve Added You” tab. You can then drag and drop certain users to your Circles to share content with them.
Because Google+ pages do not currently support geo-targeting, effective Circle management is crucial to properly connect with followers and drive engagement. You’re trying to build loyalty, and the quickest way to turn users off is by spamming them with irrelevant and untimely information. Approach Circle creation as you would audience segmentation in ad placements. Who would respond best to which message?
The great thing about Circles is you can get as nuanced as you want. For example, in addition to lumping all your customers into one Circle called “Customers,” you can segment them by product affinity, preferences, likeliness to influence others, or even history of engagement. The downside, at least currently, is that without location, demographic or preference data that allows for scalable segmentation, Circle management is a manual process. Be vigilant early on about adding followers to Circles daily, or you’ll wind up spending a lot of time sorting through user profiles.
3. Understand Your Google+ Audience
Because Google+ is only six months old, and its user base is changing daily, it’s important to gather insight on who your audience is and determine how best to capitalize on those connections to build an engaged following. You should not assume that your Facebook fans and your Google+ followers are the same people. Are your customers on Google+? Which of them actively use it? What type of content resonates with them and drives +1s or comments? And what content encourages shares that spread brand awareness and drive follower growth?
Google will soon launch data tools that give a brand insight into typical areas like user demographics and social engagement, as well as unique views into influencers and trends in your community. Tracking engagement metrics per Circle will give you perspective into how effective your publishing strategy is and how likely it is that certain groups will share your content. The Google+ Search tool can help identify trends based on keywords and the Ripples tool provides insight into viral shares and identifies influencers.
4. Differentiate Google+ Content
Once you take the time to analyze and understand your followers, you’ll likely find that interest and engagement differ from your Facebook and Twitter communities. Therefore, differentiate brand content among social platforms. Twitter content leans towards short, informative, witty posts that typically link away from Twitter to an article, blog post or website. Facebook thrives on a mix of informative posts, links, marketing campaigns (deals, coupons and initiatives) and easy questions designed to drive engagement. What type of brand content might flourish on Google+?
Google is an information powerhouse that hosts over 11 billion monthly searches. People are searching for relevant and timely content – like product and services information, local content, news, deals, how-to videos and behind-the-scenes photos, and other interesting stories they can consume and share. While Google+ is in its infancy, stick to Google’s roots and publish informative content about your brand that customers will find relevant and share with others. It never hurts to ask your community directly what type of content they want from you on this platform.
5. Take Advantage of Google+ Features to Engage
If you’ve been thoughtful about the last four steps, you should have a solid foundation for a Google+ publishing strategy that aims to engage the right followers with relevant content.
In addition to a text-based status update, each post can attach a photo, video, and URL link to make the post richer. Directly engage your followers by asking questions that start discussions and lead to +1s and Circle shares. The more users engage with a post, the greater the viral effect, and thus, brand awareness. This keeps your brand top-of-mind and drives interest in your offering. Here are other Google+ specific features you should consider.
- Google’s +1 button can be placed virtually anywhere, including your website, articles and even ads. Each time a user +1s your content, the action creates a personal recommendation for your brand that appears in the user’s stream and is shared with his Circles. By strategically placing +1 buttons on engaging content and connecting them to your page, you’ll create a targeted Google+ experience for your fans.
- Hangouts give brands a very cool opportunity to connect directly with customers in a video chat environment. Think about virtual wine tasting events, Q&A sessions, new product demos, webinars and customer service calls — all with a real, live person on the other side of the camera.
- Cross-product integration opportunities abound with Google products like YouTube, Picasa, Reader, Documents and Calendar. There is tremendous opportunity to effectively integrate those elements into Google+ to engage followers even more deeply.
6. Analyze and Adjust Your Google+ Strategy
Google has made a huge investment in Google+, and it’s here to stay for awhile. Because of this cross-product integration, brands may see some exciting effects from Google+ social activity, like increased lift in search results and traffic from +1 buttons embedded in display ads. Consider how to integrate Google+ into your overall Google strategy — from SEO and ads to mobile and video –and view it as the social layer that ties all Google-owned properties together.
Brands should stay focused on follower growth and improved engagement rates by analyzing Circle trends and user behavior. Regularly assess data to improve page performance and brand awareness. The more viral your content, the more engaged the audience and the greater the likelihood of new users following your brand.
Managing Presence on Google+ Pages
Navigating a new social platform can be challenging, especially for larger brands that have a global presence, multiple brands and millions of fans. Last week Google announced its relationships with a handful of third-party social media management software companies that will provide tools for brands to manage their presences on Google+, including the ability to manage Circles, publish to Google+ and access analytics. These tools will help streamline publishing to multiple Google+ pages and effectively manage Circles in a scalable manner, while enabling access to analytics across a brand’s Google+ presence.
Social Media Strategist with a track record of creating and implementing successful social media marketing campaigns. Abreast of constantly evolving trends in online social networking, the blogosphere, search tools and Web 2.0 to create innovative and effective SEO campaigns for clients.
Exceptional internet research aptitude; Social Media Optimization; Social Media Strategy Development, Brand Development and Promotion; Publishing with Social Media tools; Online Content promotion; Blog and Website integration; Analytics
Examples of blogs:
Real time integration so that blog posts are auto-posted onto other social media channels such as WordPress, Twitter, Google+, Facebook, Facebook Pages, LinkedIn, saving you time and energy for a more focused approach to social media.
Analytics to monitor progress:
Sana J. Tayeb is a freelance blogger and social media enthusiast. Her work focuses on blog marketing, including social media strategy development and blogging consultation for individuals and small businesses. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Content Curators Are The New Superheros Of The Web
BY Expert Blogger Steven Rosenbaum
Yesterday, the ever-churning machine that is the Internet pumped out more unfiltered digital data.
Yesterday, 250 million photos were uploaded to Facebook, 864,000 hours of video were uploaded to YouTube, and 294 BILLION emails were sent. And that’s not counting all the check-ins, friend requests, Yelp reviews and Amazon posts, and pins on Pintrest.
The volume of information being created is growing faster than your software is able to sort it out. As a result, you’re often unable to determine the difference between a fake LinkedIn friend request, and a picture from your best friend in college of his new baby. Even with good metadata, it’s still all “data”–whether raw unfiltered, or tagged and sourced, it’s all treated like another input to your digital inbox.
What’s happened is the web has gotten better at making data. Way better, as it turns out. And while algorithms have gotten better at detecting spam, they aren’t keeping up with the massive tide of real-time data.
While devices struggle to separate spam from friends, critical information from nonsense, and signal from noise, the amount of data coming at us is increasingly mind-boggling.
In 2010 we frolicked, Googled, waded, and drowned in 1.2 zettabytes of digital bits and bytes. A year later volume was on an exponential growth curve toward 1.8 zettabytes. (A zettabyte is a trillion gigabytes; that’s a 1 with 21 zeros trailing behind it.)
Which means it’s time to enlist the web’s secret power–humans.
If you want to understand how fast curation is growing on the web, just take a look at Pinterest. The two-year-old visual clipping and publishing platform has now surpassed 10 million users, making it the fastest-growing web service on the web ever, according to Comscore. Comscore reported that Pinterest was the fastest independent site to hit 10 million monthly uniques in the U.S.
Curation is the act of individuals with a passion for a content area to find, contextualize, and organize information. Curators provide a consistent update regarding what’s interesting, happening, and cool in their focus. Curators tend to have a unique and consistent point of view–providing a reliable context for the content that they discover and organize. To be clear, Pinterest both creates tools to organize the noisy web and, at the same time, creates more instances of information in a different context. So it’s both part of the problem, and a solution. The trick is finding the Pinterest pinboards that you like, and tune out the rest.
Sites like BoingBoing and Brain Pickings are great content curators. And now brands are getting into the act. Harley Davidson’s site Ridebook features content in culture, style, music, and travel. And increasingly, curators are emerging as a critical filter that helps niche content consumers find “signal” in noise. Jason Hirschhorn’s Media reDEFined newsletter distributes posts on digital media, mobile, gaming, and web content. A barebones newsletter of links, it has become a “must read” curated daily offering for anyone trying to stay in touch with the fast-moving pace of change in media. But curation isn’t limited to media. The Haymarket-owned site Clinical Advisor now curates web video for nurse practitioners.
Superheroes are extraordinary humans who dedicate themselves to protecting the public. And anyone who’s trying to keep their head above the proverbial “water” of the web, the rising tide of data and information, knows that we need super-help…and fast.
So anyone who steps up and volunteers to curate in their area of knowledge and passion is taking on a Herculean task. They’re going to stand between the web and their readers, using all of the tools at their disposal to “listen” to the web, and then pull out of the data stream nuggets of wisdom, breaking news, important new voices, and other salient details. It’s real work, and requires a tireless commitment to being engaged and ready to rebroadcast timely material. While there may be an economic benefit for being a “thought leader” and “trusted curator,” it’s not going to happen overnight. Which is to say, being a superhero is often a thankless job.
The growth in content, both in terms of pure volume and the speed of publishing, has raised some questions about what best practices are in the curation space. Here’s where you should start
1. If you don’t add context, or opinion, or voice and simply lift content, it’s stealing.
2. If you don’t provide attribution, and a link back to the source, it’s stealing.
3. If you take a large portion of the original content, it’s stealing.
4. If someone asks you not to curate their material, and you don’t respect that request, it’s stealing.
5. Respect published rights. If images don’t allow creative commons use, reach out to the image creator–don’t just grab it and ask questions later.
How will curation evolve? A group of curators led by blogger Maria Popova are promoting a Curators Code. But this new collection of attribution symbols is getting early mixed reviews. New York Times columnist David Carr called the code a useful attempt for “creating visible connections between seemingly disparate pieces of information.” But others pointed out that the hyperlink has been providing attribution for years.
One thing I’m sure of–the web is going to keep growing fast. And the solution to making sense of the massive volume is a new engaged partnership between humans and machines. There are a number of companies building cool solutions you can explore if you’re looking for curation tools. Among them: Curata, CurationSoft, Scoop.it, Google+, Storify.com, PearlTrees.com, MySyndicaat.com, Curated.by, Storyful,Evri, Paper.li, Pearltrees, and of course Magnify.net (where I hang my hat).
So, if you’re ready to be a superhero, now’s the time. The web needs you. Your readers need you. All you need is a web browser and a cape. The rest is up to you.
[Image: Flickr user Zach Dischner]
Previously, the social network didn’t provide insight into what consumers did after clicking on an ad, making it difficult for you to see the impact of your advertising campaign.
Through the old system, you could only see data about the number of Likes a Page received as a result of an ad. The new metrics can be found in the ad dashboard called Actions, and will include comments, shares, app usage, and Credits spent.
Additionally, developers will also be able to measure actions within their apps, including purchases or any other Open Graph action. You can define which actions you’d like to optimize through the API.
By giving you more detailed data, Facebook hopes you will move away from establishing Likes as a goal and is encouraging more focus on engagement. The update doesn’t affect the pricing model; Facebook ads will still be sold on a cost-per-click or cost-per-impression basis.
Additional insights will help you measure the success of specific marketing objectives, as you’re now able to distinguish which actions came organically or through paid media.
Facebook Buys Instagram for $1 Billion
Facebook is not waiting for its initial public offering to make its first big purchase.
In its largest acquisition to date, the social network has purchased Instagram, the popular photo-sharing application, for about $1 billion in cash and stock, the company said Monday.
It’s a notable move for Facebook, which has exclusively focused on bite-size acquisitions, worth less than $100 million.
With Instagram, Facebook will get a formidable mobile player – an area that is seen as a weakness for the sprawling social network. Founded two years ago, the service — which lets users share photos and apply stylized filters – has become one of the most downloaded applications on the iPhone , with some 30 million users. Instagram released a version of its application for Google ’s Android operating system last week.
On Monday, both companies expressed their commitment to run Instagram as an independent service.
In a post on his profile page, Facebook’s chief Mark Zuckerberg said Instagram would continue to work with rival social networks. That will allow users to post on other services, follow users outside of Facebook, and to opt out of sharing on Facebook.
“For years, we’ve focused on building the best experience for sharing photos with your friends and family,” Mr. Zuckerberg wrote. “Now, we’ll be able to work even more closely with the Instagram team to also offer the best experiences for sharing beautiful mobile photos with people based on your interests.”
In a separate blog post on Instagram’s Web site, the company’s chief executive, Kevin Systrom, also reiterated plans to preserve the service’s functionality and said he looked forward to leveraging the new parent company’s resources and talent.
The announcement comes as Facebook prepares for its highly anticipated initial public offering, widely expected to take place next month.
Though Facebook is known for smaller acquisitions, Instagram’s surging momentum likely compelled the social network to swiftly put together a billion-dollar offer. Last week, Instagram, which has just a handful of employees, closed a financing round worth more than $50 million with several prominent investors, including Sequoia Capital, an early backer of Google, Thrive Capital, the firm run by Joshua Kushner, and Greylock Capital, an early investor of LinkedIn. AllThingsD first reported last week that Sequoia was in the process of leading a $50 million round in Instagram.
That latest funding round valued Instagram at about $500 million, according to one person with knowledge of the matter, who requested anonymity because discussions were private. Facebook’s purchase, one week later, means that investment has now doubled in value.
The deal is expected to close later this quarter, according to Facebook’s statement.
Here is the news release from Facebook:
“Facebook announced today that it has reached an agreement to acquire Instagram, a fun, popular photo-sharing app for mobile devices.
“The total consideration for San Francisco-based Instagram is approximately $1 billion in a combination of cash and shares of Facebook. The transaction, which is subject to customary closing conditions, is expected to close later this quarter.”
Mark Zuckerberg, founder and chief executive of Facebook, posted about the transaction on his Facebook page:
“I’m excited to share the news that we’ve agreed to acquire Instagram and that their talented team will be joining Facebook.
“For years, we’ve focused on building the best experience for sharing photos with your friends and family. Now, we’ll be able to work even more closely with the Instagram team to also offer the best experiences for sharing beautiful mobile photos with people based on your interests.
“We believe these are different experiences that complement each other. But in order to do this well, we need to be mindful about keeping and building on Instagram’s strengths and features rather than just trying to integrate everything into Facebook.
“That’s why we’re committed to building and growing Instagram independently. Millions of people around the world love the Instagram app and the brand associated with it, and our goal is to help spread this app and brand to even more people.
“We think the fact that Instagram is connected to other services beyond Facebook is an important part of the experience. We plan on keeping features like the ability to post to other social networks, the ability to not share your Instagrams on Facebook if you want, and the ability to have followers and follow people separately from your friends on Facebook.
“These and many other features are important parts of the Instagram experience and we understand that. We will try to learn from Instagram’s experience to build similar features into our other products. At the same time, we will try to help Instagram continue to grow by using Facebook’s strong engineering team and infrastructure.
“This is an important milestone for Facebook because it’s the first time we’ve ever acquired a product and company with so many users. We don’t plan on doing many more of these, if any at all. But providing the best photo sharing experience is one reason why so many people love Facebook and we knew it would be worth bringing these two companies together.
“We’re looking forward to working with the Instagram team and to all of the great new experiences we’re going to be able to build together.”
Via: NY Times
How Google AdWords is Becoming More Social
Written by David Rodnitzky
It’s becoming more and more difficult to lie in Google AdWords advertising, and social media is to blame.
Let me start to explain this through a hypothetical. Imagine you are the advertising manager for Jif, the peanut butter brand. Jif’s brand slogan is “Choosy Mothers Choose Jif.” It’s a brilliant slogan – after all, what mom would dare serve just any peanut butter to their precious children?
Until five years ago, Jif could advertise this slogan across the Internet without fear of any actual choosy mothers disputing their claim.
For example, they could have created an ad on Google that showed whenever someone typed in “peanut butter” that looked something like this:
Choosy Mothers Choose Jif
Nine Out of Ten Moms Feed
Their Kids Jif. Shouldn’t You?
One of the great things about buying advertising on Google was that anyone could show up #1 – if they had catchy-enough advertising and the money to bid to the top of the auction. In the offline world, only the biggest brands can buy prime real estate on Rodeo Drive or Chicago’s Miracle Mile. On AdWords, you could run your business out of your aunt’s basement and show up ahead of Walmart on major search queries.
This is changing, however, and fast.
Google’s Path to Social Integration into AdWords
Over the last five years, Google has made a conscious decision to incorporate “user sentiment” into the “Ad Rank” algorithm that they use to determine which ads show up on search engine results pages (SERPs).
In other words “social” is creeping into Google Adwords.
These days, if Jif really isn’t the choice of choosy mothers, there’s a decent chance Google can expose this fallacy to its users.
Phase One: Inferred Sentiment
The first foray into this sentiment analysis came with the introduction of “Quality Score” back in 2006 . Quality Score is a murky combination of factors that determine whether your advertisement, landing page, and business model are “good” for Google visitors. This is partially determined by algorithms (for example, the click-through rate (CTR) of your ads is a heavy influencer of Quality Score (QS), partially determined by manual review of Web sites by Google employees, and partially determined by consumer interaction with your site.
Recently, Google announced that the weight given to landing page relevance and usability would be increased in determining an ad’s Quality Score. One of the factors that strongly influences your landing page relevancy score in AdWords is the “bounce rate” – the percentage of people that see your landing page and leave your site in less than a second. In other words, if consumers “speak with their mice” and click away from your site, Google will make it harder for you to advertise on AdWords.
A few years later, Google announced something called “merchant ratings” in AdWords . These ratings come from sites like Epinions or BizRate and allow advertisers with great user reviews to advertise this fact in their AdWords ads, as shown by an Amazon ad:
Because only advertisers with four out of five stars or better are allowed to run these merchant rating ads, advertisers with bad customer service are effectively punished by not getting stars next to their ads (lower CTR, high cost per click, or CPC).
Phase Two: Actual Sentiment
Google has now started to move from aggregated sentiment analysis (bounce rate, user ratings, click through rate) to using your personal and social sentiment to help determine which ads to show you.
There are basically three ways that Google currently does this.
1. Google’s Cookie
First, Google actually gives users the ability to edit/correct the personal information stored in the cookie Google has about you.
Simply go to: Google Ads settings page and Google will tell you what it knows about you, and it gives you the option of changing it if you like.
Here’s what they think about me: [screen shot]
It’s actually pretty accurate, with the one exception that I definitely do not like baseball!
2. Google is Watching and Measuring Your Search History
Next, Google uses your actual search history to determine what ads to show to you.
This is most apparent on the Google Display Network, where you are likely retargeted to no end after visiting an advertiser’s web site.
In search, Google uses “session-based ads ” to show ads to you for products that are totally unrelated to your current search, but might have been something you searched on in recent memory.
3. Google+ is Now in Adwords
The last, and perhaps most significant innovation, is the integration of Google Plus into AdWords.
Just as Facebook encourages “social actions” (Bob Smith and 8 other friends like Coke) in their ads, Google now offers the same concept, called “social extensions .”
If you +1 a brand’s Google Plus page, your friends will see your name/picture right below the brand’s ad.
Is Social a Game-changing Addition to AdWords?
First, it creates a huge incentive for advertisers to capture +1s for their Google Plus brand pages, just as these advertisers now spend money capturing likes on Facebook. If advertisers previously didn’t care much about their Google Plus pages, they might very well now.
Perhaps more importantly, however, it makes it all the more difficult for brands that don’t deliver on their promises to continue to effectively advertise on AdWords. Imagine if you did a search for “peanut butter” on Google and four out of five ads had social extensions that showed pictures of people you knew who were vouching for these brands. One didn’t. What are the odds that you would click on the one brand without any social endorsements?
Most of us know the “United Breaks Guitars ” story – one angry consumer posting a complaint video to YouTube about United Airlines that got 2.5 million views (and got him a new guitar). Social extensions on Google – and for that matter, social actions on Facebook – are the opposite of the consumer complaint. Delight consumers, and you are likely to get more business – and pay less for each click – via AdWords.
Putting it all Together
Put this all together, and you have an AdWords ecosystem where it is quickly becoming impossible to escape bad customer service or terrible products.
Google is increasingly rewarding advertisers who do the following:
- Create landing pages that people like
- Get good reviews on sites like Epinions
- Have ads which your friends are willing to recommend.
To put it another way, if you want to sell peanut butter by claiming that you are the choice of choosy mothers, these days you’d better have an army of mothers willing to vouch for you!
Jocelyn Goldfein, Facebook Engineer, Explains Why It Matters There Aren’t More Girl Geeks | #socialmedia
Jocelyn Goldfein, Facebook Engineer, Explains Why It Matters There Aren’t More Girl Geeks
Jocelyn Goldfein has a simple reason for wanting to increase the number of female engineers: She’s tired of meetings where she’s surrounded entirely by men.
“Personally, I care that there aren’t more women in tech because I love most aspects of my job, and the one thing I don’t love is often being the only woman in the room,” said Goldfein, director of engineering at Facebook. “I would just enjoy my job more if there were more women.”
Goldfein has not only worked on some of Facebook’s best-known products, such as Questions, Photos, and the revamped News Feed, but she also helps hire people for the social networking site’s expanding army of engineers.
The latter role has illustrated for Goldfein the urgency of encouraging women to specialize in technical fields. She says she can’t find enough engineers to meet her staffing needs, a problem she argues could be remedied if more women pursued computer science degrees.
“As someone who spends a lot of time hiring engineers for Facebook, I can tell you there are not enough qualified software engineers in this country — or probably on this planet — for my needs,” Goldfein said. “And as it happens, we’re missing half of our computer science majors. If you look at the gender divide, women are taking 50 percent of bachelor’s degrees, but presently they represent at most 20 percent of computer science majors.”
Goldfein has joined chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg in the growing ranks of female Facebook employees who are pushing women to take charge of their careers and working to overhaul the male-to-female ratio in tech .
Doing so doesn’t require momentous societal shifts, or aggressive programs targeted at girls in elementary school, according to Goldfein. Her proposal: introduce female undergraduates to computer science courses early in their college careers. Goldfein notes that she’s spoken to many students who discovered an interest in engineering only after it was too late for them to switch their majors.
“If I could shift that to freshman year and those women could have that epiphany in time, that’d make a huge difference,” she said. “A lot of people think you have to begin with pre-adolescents and four year olds. But I think it’s not too late to influence women entering college now and try to show them that this can be a great career for them.”
In an attempt to woo more undergraduates to give engineering a try, the social network has experimented with targeting freshman students with Facebook ads promoting computer science courses at their universities.
In an interview for The Huffington Post’s Women in Tech series , Goldfein shared her take on why there aren’t more female engineers, what mistakes some women make in their careers, how social media can change the ways women think about technology, and more.
Why do you say you don’t love being the only woman in the room?
Sometimes it subjectively feels lonely. I think anytime you’re the only one, you can feel singled out. You can feel like, “If I say something dumb, am I letting down all of womankind because all women will be judged by my representation?” I’d rather just be representing for myself, thank you.
What’s the secret to increasing the number of women in tech?
I’ve come to basically believe this is a self-fulfilling prophecy: The reason there aren’t more women in computer science is that there aren’t very many women in computer science. You look into a computer science classroom and see mostly men and think, “Oh, this classroom is not for me. I’m going to go find a class that has more people that look more like me.”
Yes, it would be wonderful to have great social change — it would be wonderful to read books to my children that don’t have all male doctors and all female nurses – but I don’t think we need to solve that to solve this problem.
I think all we need to do is hold up enough great examples of the phenomenal women who are in tech and inspire the next set of girls. They don’t have to look around and see 50 percent women, they just have to see enough people like themselves that they can imagine themselves there.
Are there mistakes that up-and-coming female engineers make that their male counterparts do not?
It’s hard to say there’s one quality I’d ascribe to all female engineers, but as a general rule I think that women can be less confident. They’re more apt to question themselves.
It’s classic that men are going to negotiate harder for a position and role than women do and I’ve seen that play out. It’s classic that men assert all the credit for the things they did, whereas women will say that they should share the credit or that they’re lucky.
And there’s good reason for that — we have lots of good sociological evidence that suggests if men do that it’s seen as confidence, but if women do it, it’s seen as arrogance or bitchiness. So I think women have learned that behavior not because they’re not capable or confident, but because they’ve been in an environment where we have to negotiate that. You have to negotiate what it takes to be liked while being self-confident.
What advice do you give to the aspiring women who you work with?
The advice I give a lot of women is “fake it till you make it.” I give it to men and women and I think it’s universally applicable. Sometimes you will be over your head, but the act of trying and the act of putting yourself outside of your comfort zone, and trying something you’re not sure you’re capable of, is what it takes to become capable of it.
Women find “fake it till you make it” comforting because it says, “try anyway.”
Netscape co-founder and venture capitalist Marc Andreessen told Fortune recently , “Our industry historically … do we produce products initially aimed primarily at men or women? You’d have to say men.” Do you agree?
I think definitely there have been male-oriented interests that have driven technology forward. There have also been also gender-neutral interests that have driven technology forward. It is interesting and really true that in the last five years, we are seeing more and more things that are female first, which are being led by women’s interests. I think that’s tremendously interesting and good for the world.
How does social media have the potential to change the way women think about tech?
I think it’s fair to say that social media — and other forms of technology, too — have turned women into power users of technology and power consumers of it.
There are all kinds of places where women are claiming their place as the power users of technology. That creates a place for women as entrepreneurs as well. Increasingly, as the next wave of really successful startups will be social media-based, I think you’ll see more room for female leaders creating those companies and creating those experiences.
Source: Bianca Bosker at Huffington Post
The 4-year-old blogging platform officially announced the acquisition Monday afternoon on its company blog, noting that “the opportunities in front of Twitter are exciting, and we couldn’t be happier about bringing our team’s expertise to a product that reaches hundreds of millions of users around the globe.”
Twitter’s company blog echoed the same sentiments.
“We’re always looking for talented people who have the passion and personality to join Twitter,” reads a blog post about the deal. “Acquisitions have given us people and technology that have enabled us to more quickly build a better Twitter for you.”
Posterous as a platform particularly lends itself to mobile blogging. While posts can be added using the website’s rich text editor, posts –including those containing pictures, video, or documents– can also be added via email.The acquisition brings Posterous’ engineers, product managers and other employees into the flock with plans for them to work “on several key initiatives that will make Twitter even better.”
Posterous Spaces will remain up and running without disruption, and the company promises to “give users ample notice” if any changes are on the horizon.
If you purchased a domain from Posterous, you’ll receive an email from its domain partner eNom in the next several days with instructions on how to access your account. If you’re redirecting your domain or subdomain to Posterous, the service will continue to point to your Posterous Space, with no need for you to make any changes.
For those who want to backup content from Posterous or move your content to another service, the company will be providing instructions on how to do so in the coming weeks.
Why do you think Twitter bought Posterous? Tell us in the comments below.
How to Allow Subscribers on Facebook
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Facebook‘s Subscribe option allows you to share certain content with the wider public — without having to compromise your privacy.
Through the Subscribe function, you can post public updates you don’t mind sharing with the world, but keep other, more personal updates private to your friends and family.
At the moment, the option to allow subscribers is purely opt-in, so here we show you how to enable and manage this functionality.
Take a look through the gallery above for our simple walkthrough. Let us know in the comments below if you’ve enabled subscribers for your Facebook profile — and if so, why.