That Blog Page 23

Social media by the numbers in Election 2012

Wednesday, 07 November 2012 16:52
With the election now over, lets take a look on how social media played a part of Election Day 2012.
There were an abundant amount of tweets and Posts regarding long lines or the efficiency (or inefficiency) of their polling site. Twitter was buzzing yesterday. Users were tweeting on average 11,000 election related tweets per minute. Yes I said minute. At the end of the night, before most polls closed, “#election2012” surpassed 11 MILLION tweets.
Another political historical event occurred yesterday – the 2012 Election Day became the MOST tweeted about political event with 20 million tweets (via Twitter data). After TV networks declared President Obama the winner, his twitter feed posted “For more years.” That post was retweeted over 225,000 times. BuzzFeed said it was the most popular tweet of all time. After the announcement of Obama’s win was trending more than 325,000 tweets a minute. Besides “#election2012,” “ivoted” was also popular on Twitter with more than 1.4 million tweets, averaging about 2,000 per minute.
We know people like to post pictures hence Intagrams popularity however there were more than 775,000 photos posted with some variation of vote attached to it and over 250,000 photos with election or a similar phrase.
Let’s not forget about Facebook. I saw a lot of “Let the removal from my news feed begin” or diatribe arguments of whose political view was right and quite a few “I love you but just not during election time.” Reports show that more than 2 million people were talking about Obama and almost a million were talking about Romney – I personally feel like those numbers are not correct because it seemed like EVERYBODY was talking about the election. The top 10 terms on Facebook included: “vote,” “Obama,” “Romney,” “election,” and “president.” Facebook also reported that 8.3 million people said they voted.
politics social media

Big Brands DO have a sense of humor

Tuesday, 06 November 2012 14:11
In trying to keep up with ALL the articles, research and studies, I came across this funny little article “6 Awesome Brand Responses To Social Media Bullies.” Ok so “bullies” might be just a tad overboard but nevertheless it was a pleasant break from the normal social media articles. It’s nice to see big brands have a sense of humor and aren’t afraid to use them, especially in a world where brands are not only afraid of lawsuits but the coveted “Like” button (or the option to unfriend). I was sad there were only 6 on the list (I’m sure they could have found something better than #6) but really like the “smart” that went into the Official Smart Car post. Let us know which one was your favorite.

Read the full article here:

Social Commerce Sales to Reach $30 billion

Monday, 05 November 2012 14:34
Who would have ever thought social media could bring in revenue. And who would have ever thought that social commerce sales could bring in approximately $30 billion a year (expected by 2015). That equates to 50% of web sales – who would have thunk it!

According to recent research Facebook drives 26% of referral traffic to business Websites and 20% of shoppers rather buy products through a brand’s Facebook page as opposed to their Website. These percentages are only expected to increase over time. Facebook may have started as a way for people to connect to other people online but it has become an important marketing tool for businesses to grow. Advertisers know this and use it to their advantage. 89% of Advertising Agencies use this platform to advertise on behalf of their clients. There are nearly 10 million registered small businesses currently use Facebook and there are over 42 million Pages on Facebook with about 17% dedicated for the purpose of selling products.
The research also showed that fans on Facebook are loyal brand followers and are more than likely to purchase from the company than non-fans. Are you using your brand’s Facebook page to your benefit? How much of that $30 billion in sales will be yours?

Vertical reach working for Google

Friday, 02 November 2012 13:11
When you look at the Google menu bar you will see things such as Shopping, Images, News, Recipes, etc. Each of those items is considered a vertical search engine, which is a search engine that focuses on a specific segment of content or topic on the Web.
Each vertical brings in revenue for Google. Earlier this year Google announced it was moving its free product-search to a paid one. Online retailers would bid to display products on Google’s Shopping site that they once received for free. Google felt a move like this would “empower businesses of all sizes to compete effectively.” But we know this move was done just to increase their revenue.
With this new pay-to-play model it is becoming apparent who among the menu bar will be bringing in the big bucks for Google. A recent study shows that this new model outperforms text ads in click-through rates by 47% and conversion rates by 38%. That provides a return-on-ad-spend of 25%. Can we say significant outperformance?

What are the advantages of Vertical Search? First, as big brother as this can possibly sound, the easiness in determining the intent of the user. If you were to click “Shopping” in Google, it means either your intention is to buy a product or to research a purchase of a product. Then factor in all the ways the search can be refined – your location, your past search history, your Google+ account and anything else Google has gathered on you – your search is refined and user intent is determined in order to present the most ideal information the user is seeking.

The deadline for merchants to comply with new pay-to-play was just a few weeks ago (October 17). Google might say it evens out the playing field however we and all the e-retailers concerned want to see how this opportunity affects their business.

With the holidays (quickly) approaching, online merchants (or e-tailers) should keep a watchful eye on their paid search campaigns and their ad spends. Their PPC manager might need to become their best friend.

Video Sharing niche filled?

Thursday, 01 November 2012 13:23
Are you the type that needs to chronicle your every step? Have you felt limited? Do you feel like your story should be a movie and not a still photo? There seems to be a lot of people who feel like that.

Instagram rose to instant popularity (mentioned on the web almost every 56 seconds) and is as recognizable as Facebook and Twitter. They took sharing photos socially to new heights. But there seemed to be a void. A niche that needed filling. Video sharing! Ok, so there is Viddy and Social cam – both gaining some traction but they aren’t at “superstar” status like other social outlets.

(IN COMES) Threadlife! (surrounded by a sea of inquisitive faces). Threadlife is a new startup led by the fearless Nick Swinmurn (Zappos founder). This company will have you looking at video sharing and sewing terms in a whole new light. Threadlife is a free iPhone app that allows users to record three second intervals of video. Now are you saying – three seconds just isn’t enough time? Well, you’re right. It isn’t enough time. However, when you start adding three seconds to another three seconds and another three seconds…well you get the picture (or video). Threadlife calls their three second clips “stitches.” You then combine your stitches (clips) into “threads” to make your video. This is similar to a playlist. A master thread can store “stitches” chronologically, or you can make them smaller, break them apart – lets just say you have options. You can even have friends contribute and collaborate on the video. Their website says it encourages “endless…ever-evolving stories.” What a wonderful concept. We will keep an eye on Threadlife – the app was just launched yesterday. Can you imagine what their 1 year birthday party will be like? A Halloween, birthday party of video sharing craziness – three seconds at a time.

Zany, out-of-the-box thinking at work.

Wednesday, 31 October 2012 13:33
Did you ever want to be a part of the solution and not the problem? Did you really do something about
solving the problem? Well an unconventional ad firm out of California came up with a great way to do their part to help with the foreclosure crisis
this country is facing. Romeo Mendoza, CEO of Brainiacs From Mars, came up with this idea after seeing a foreclosure sign on yet another house. Their Website says they think outside of the box but they need to include they act upon those out-of-the-box thoughts. They made a deal with a homeowner to turn his house into a, quite large, billboard by painting it some pretty crazy colors. In exchange Brainiacs From Mars will pay his mortgage for one year (if he keeps his house just the way they painted it). Their Website also says they are able to “generate out of this world media attention” and that they did. The story broke a few days ago and has probably aired on almost every major network news station across the country. And, you won’t believe how many people have filled out an application to have their house painted and get their mortgage paid for a year. Over 45,000! Brainiacs From Mars has a goal to repaint 3,000 more houses with crazy colors and advertisements. They set up a donation page with varying amounts. The goal is to raise $925,000 (their current total raised is $315). It’s great to see this kind of creativity coming out of another small shop. It’s also nice to see they can deliver when they say they think outside the box.

What I also noticed and especially liked is that all the buzz around the story is focused on the foreclosure crisis and the help this idea potentially can provide and not the media exposure Brainiacs From Mars is getting.

Social Media during a disaster.

Tuesday, 30 October 2012 14:36
In light of Hurricane Sandy we wanted to talk about how important social media is not only to help grow your business but in all situations, especially with a destructive storm like Sandy.

Everyone knows how a disastrous situation can go horribly wrong. Not to beat a dead horse, but can we say Hurricane Katrina? When Katrina hit back in 2005 social media wasn’t the behemoth it is today. If it was, it potentially could have helped save some lives.

There might still be some people out there who want nothing to do with social media, however, they might change their mind when they are put in a situation where the only line of communication is a social one; Twitter, Facebook, etc. By 3 pm yesterday some of my family members in New York had already lost power. I knew this because it was updated on Facebook via a mobile device. In response to the earthquake that hit Haiti, Craig Fugate, Administrator of FEMA, said it’s usually not the government who provides the initial response but “individuals helping each other, trying to find out what is going on.” It is more widely and commonly used form of getting important information out to a large number of people. Schools, Universities and governmental officials use social media as a way to get information out there. Unfortunately some times they might send a tweet from the wrong account (ahem…remember Weiner?). But, if used correctly it is a great communication tool. In Long Island, NY where I grew up an air horn or siren was used as a secondary notification system. These sirens were tested regularly and after a while – you didn’t really give it any thought when you heard it. I guess if there was an actual pending situation you would. But comparing a horn to social media is like comparing a bicycle to a (yellow) corvette.
#Sandy had more than 4 million mentions in the past day by almost 400,00 unique sources on Twitter (Radian6). Hurricane Sandy was the top phrase on Facebook in the US. Instagrams CEO said they had well over 230,000 photos posted, averaging about 10 per second with #Sandy attached to it. There was even a little tête à tête between New Jersey Governor Christie and Atlantic City Mayor Lorenzo over evacuation methods or the lack of. FEMA urged their 163,400 Twitter followers to use texts or social media. The Red Cross tweeted that nearly 11,000 people spent Monday in a shelter. @CNNweather tweet confirmed over 7 million customers are without power this morning. @GovMalloyOffice reminded people that water can become contaminated and they shouldn’t try to wade or swim in it.

I personally was happy to hear from my brother although he had no phone or cell service he could still text. Other than no power and a few missing roof tiles all was well.

Social Media – There is a wrong and right way.

Monday, 29 October 2012 12:58
Mistakes come with the territory. Everyone makes them. Some do it more than others. Usually, the best way to get over a bad mistake is to not make it again. However when you are talking about social media mistakes it isn’t so easy to atone.

Lets take a look at a “mistake.” I take you back to the first Presidential debate between Romney and Obama. Obama gave credit to his grandmother for helping raise him and she passed away a few days before he became President. Within what seemed like milliseconds later @KitchenAidUSA (the company’s official Twitter account) tweeted: “Obamas gma even knew it was going 2 b bad! She died 3 days b4 he became president.” Twenty-five thousand followers received this very insensitive tweet. Worse yet it included a hashtag which included it on NBCs News social debate conversation. Lets just say if you went back to find that tweet right now you wouldn’t find it since it’s been deleted however it still lives – it will never completely be deleted. KitchenAide isn’t the first and they definitely won’t be the last to fall victim to social media gone bad.

Now lets take a look at a “non-mistake.” Since we used a big company for the “mistake” example lets bring it down to a small company, to show great ideas can come from anywhere. Canlis, a fine dining restaurant in Seattle, Washington, who easily rates 4 stars on, marked their 60th birthday by running a contest where winners were able to dine at 1950’s prices. The founders, brothers Mark and Brian Canlis used Twitter and Facebook to promote their birthday contest. They took signed menus from 1950 and hid them around the city. Starting 50 days prior to the big 6-0 they would hide one menu and provide clues via twitter and Facebook on it’s location. Each day was a new location, new clues. The first person to find the menu daily won a 1950 priced dinner. Asking yourself what made this a “non-mistake”? Well, a contest like this shows thought went into it’s development as well as the execution. It lasted a good duration, enabling interest and participation. It also encouraged repeat visitors to their sites. My favorite reason – there were multiple winners.


The Life Cycle of IM/Chat

Friday, 26 October 2012 13:41
Let’s take a stroll down memory lane. Can you imagine what life would be like without IM or text messaging? These forms of communication have helped to simplify our lives. Kids no longer have to hear their moms screaming their names, as an indication it is time to come home. They simply are sent a text. You can keep in contact with friends or family that live in other parts of the state, another state or even another country just like if they were sitting in the same room just by IMing or Skyping. But this isn’t a completely new thing we are dealing with. There was a start…many years ago – the baby steps that led to this wonderful simplification of communication.

I’m going to try to get it all…

1961 – The Computation Center of Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) allowed 30 users to log in and send messages to one another at the same time.
1965 – Hundreds of registered user accounts (close to what we envision email to be) from MIT and other New England colleges existed
1970s – Peer-to-peer communication was established between universities and research labs
1980s – MIT created Zephyr Notification Service. Unix was used to locate and send messages to users. MIT still uses this service
1980 – CompuServe’s CB Simulator replicated citizens band radio through text-based messages and user handles – considered to be the first online chat
1982 – The Commodore 64 PC was released which included internet service, Quantum Link (which later became AOL). The Internet service was fee based and used a modem
1996 – an Israeli company launched ICQ, the first widespread market of text-based messaging to online users. It allowed users to chat, share files and more.
1997 – AOL launched AIM (remember the ever familiar sounds of opening and closing doors? Or you Buddy List?) allowing users to send messages to one another, it also included “away” messages and icons
1998 – ICQ was acquired by AOL (was sold to Digital Sky Technologies in 2010) and Yahoo launched Yahoo! Messenger (original name was Yahoo! Pager). Yahoo! Messenger was a little more advanced than AIM as it allowed users to customize their “IMVironments,” create custom status messages and integrate their address book. It also had a chat room
1999 – Microsoft releases MSN Messenger (renamed in 2005 as Windows Live Messenger) showed when contacts were online.
2000 – acted as a single gateway for users of the multiple big networks. They are considered to be the original IM service based on Extensible Messaging and Presence Protocol (in August 2012 Jabber disabled new registrations due to abuse)
2002 – Apple develops iChat (in 2011 iMessage was announced. In 2012 both iChat and iMessage was replaced with Messages)
2003 – Skype enters the scene adding video and voice to instant messaging
2005 – AIM reaches 53 million users. Meebo, an instant messaging service supported Yahoo! Messenger , Windows Live Messenger, AIM, ICQ and later MySpaceIM, Facebook Chat, Google Talk and others. They also developed mobile versions for Androids and iPhones. Google Talk (or Google Chat) was also released in web, native and mobile applications.
2006 – MySpace developed MySpaceIM as an addition to their social site. They were the pioneers.
2008 – Facebook Chat is released

2011 – Skype integrates with Facebook to provide video in Chat. A mobile app is also released, Facebook Messenger.2009 – Windows Live Messenger had over 330 million active, monthly users

Now having seen the run down of how we got to this point, where could it go from here? The Internet and all that it allows people to do can never remain stagnant. There has to be something else…right?

Finding Jobs Online

Thursday, 25 October 2012 14:01
Yesterday we attended a Career & Internship Fair at the main campus of UCF. Events like these remind us not every contact is made online. It’s good to know events like this still exist that provide face time and gives younger people the opportunity to hold verbal conversations with potential employers. Although the next step or few steps might take place virtually at least there was some in person contact early on. When some of us graduated we lugged around multiple (hard) copies of our very rigid resume. Or we hauled around an awkward portfolio to display our creativeness. Do you remember purchasing the newspaper to look at the Classifieds? Now, you wouldn’t be caught dead doing any of the before mentioned. But, then again it depends on who YOU are (or what age group you belong to). With unemployment greatly affecting the older work force that potentially have been with their current company for MANY years, they might not know any other way. Most of them have shied away from social media. They find, like most other things, the tweeting, posting and status updating to be quite frivolous. Being a part of the digital conversation might not be a skill set needed for their current job but knowing how to network can be crucial to their career. The marketplace for jobs is online. If you are looking for work you need to be a part of that dialogue. Recently AARP developed a service called Work Reimagined which is powered by LinkedIn, the social media site focused on connecting and staying connected based on your career. The new site focuses on individuals with extensive experience, strong work ethic, emotional maturity and all the things that older workers bring to the table. The site really helps the older worker stay in the game if that is what they chose to do and it provides a more level playing field. You can no longer say age puts you in or out of the game. And you can no longer dismiss social media. With that said we hope everyone enjoyed the Fair and best of luck to all the attendees in finding a career or internship.

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