Social Media Frontiers

Friday, December 19, 2014

Super Mario Balotelli

Liverpool striker Mario Balotelli has been handed a one match ban and a hefty £25,000 fine, as well as being ordered to attend an education course, in response to a post on Instagram that contained racist and anti-Semitic remarks.
eurosport.com

The ex-Manchester City player was charged with a breach of FA Rule E3(1).

A spokesperson for the governing body commented:

“His posting was abusive and/or insulting and/or improper. It is further alleged that this is an ‘Aggravated Breach’ as defined by FA Rule E3[2] as it included a reference to ethnic origin and/or colour and/or race and/or nationality and/or religion or belief.”

The post in question contained an image of Nintendo’s famous plumber Mario, accompanied by text that read: “jumps like a black man and grabs coins like a Jew”.
bbc.co.uk

Balotelli insisted in his submission to the regulatory commission that after being the victim of racial 
abuse himself, the reposting of the image was meant to be an ironic anti-racism statement. The 24 year old Italian international did admit he was in the wrong however, making a public statement that read:

“I am sorry that my team-mates and supporters of Liverpool FC have to be penalised for something I did and now come to regret. “It is my intention to comply with the decision of the FA and make sure it never happens again.”

Following the FA announcement of the decision Liverpool FC released their own statement:

"The club acknowledges the decision reached by the FA independent panel and due consideration will be given to the written judgement once we receive it from the FA. Any further action taken by ourselves in relation to this matter is between the club and player."


The decision means that Balotelli will not be present for Liverpool’s home encounter with Arsenal on Sunday (21st December 2014), although due to an existing groin injury his involvement in the match was always doubtful. However, with a record of only two goals in fifteen games since joining from AC Milan, whether The Reds’ supporters will actually see this as a negative remains to be seen.


Sam is an aspiring novelist with a passion for fantasy and crime thrillers. Currently working part time as a content writer, he hopes to one day drop that 'aspiring' prefix. Follow him @SamAtSMF

Contact us on Twitter, on Facebook, or leave your comments below. To find out about social media training or management why not take a look at our website for more info http://socialmediacambridge.co.uk/.

Balotelli’s Backlash For Instagram Post

How To Get Through Awkward Moments 

Every year we enter the holidays probably dreading meeting members of the family we haven’t seen for the past twelve months. That’s quite routine, I’m sure we’re all grown up and used to handling all the questions and smiles now.

While I was student you needed to have your set answers ready to go: ‘Yeah, it’s going well. Yep, I’m studying writing. No, I don’t know what job that will get me. Yes, I’m still seeing someone.’
You just had to say that about four times a day and then just drown yourself in cheese and turkey.

That sounds a bit negative, but I don’t mean it to. Christmas is great and I love my family, even if they’re unbearable sods sometimes. But we’ve had years of experience in handling all these family events.

It’s not just with your family though, you’ll often be lumbered with some awkward moments during your work Christmas parties too.

crushtheblog.com

With social media in full swing in our lives and lord, even in our grandparents’ lives you’re bound to come across a few awkward moments which social media is to blame for.
Let’s take a look at some classics you’ll probably deal with.

‘Why did you unfriend me on your social media accounts?’
Keep this one nice and simple, just tell whoever asks you a nice tailored response. If someone from the office is upset about this, say you’re having a social media reform and only keeping your family and friends on there. If someone from your family asks, just say you’re making the account a bit more professional so only friending work colleagues.

Most importantly, you can just own up to the situation and say that you get up to all sorts of naughty things and that you don’t want your great aunt watching you getting slathered in butter in Spain. Ah, that was a great night. A weird night, but a great one. I’m surprised that people aren’t queueing up to delete me at this point.

Did you forget someone from an important guest list or are you trying to actively avoid them? I’ve been there. I threw plenty of house parties in my time and trying to fine tune your guest list was such a pain, in the end I just gave up and welcomed all comers. My destroyed house stands as a beacon against this philosophy.

Once again, just be honest and tell people exactly how it is. Say you have to trim your numbers and keep events small and organise a meet up with the left-out people sometime else. Somewhere else, too.

If someone from work tries to friends you on a personal account following on from festive fun and you’re not sure what to do – Don’t fret. This one is the easiest to handle, just tell your colleague or boss that you keep your social media completely personal and like to keep work and play separate. Just about everyone will understand this one.

scorephoenix.org

Most importantly, during your office do’s just remember that while you’re unwinding, you’re still among a work environment. So always be a bit wary of your surroundings and your sobriety. Don’t throw up on your boss. Please.

More than anything, when you come across these awkward Christmas moments just act as human as possible.

Social media isn’t a strange surreal thing; more often than not it’s just your own social life so treat it as such.

Hope this helps you prepare for your awkward festive encounters.


Either that or just hit the drink early. It’s Christmas. I won’t judge. I’ll join you


Tom has just graduated from University of East London in Creative and Professional Writing. He loves writing and is currently interning as a content writer hoping to go further. His other loves include Arnold Schwarzenegger films and his dog. Follow him @TomAtSMF

Contact us on Twitter, on Facebook, or leave your comments below. To find out about social media training or management why not take a look at our website for more info http://socialmediacambridge.co.uk/.

Handling Awkward Christmas Encounters

Down The Rabbit Hole

In the last week of writing leading up to Christmas, it feels great to sit down and write about everything I’m sure that we all want to hear about to make us feel all warm and fuzzy inside. This story nearly takes the cake though.

I've written before about dogs being reunited with owners after large amounts of time and while that’s one of the best feel good topics, I think you’ll find this story just as heart-warming.

A child was reunited with her little toy bunny after being separated for over four weeks thanks to a solid social media campaign spearheaded on Twitter.

cambridge-news.co.uk

This all happened in Cambridge after someone found the bunny at the Grafton Centre car park. Once being found, the lost toy spent sometime in the lost and found box before parking attendant David Craig decided to do something about the lonely rabbit. He decided to take pictures of the rabbit and post them all across Cambridge hoping to attract the attention of the owner.

The pictures eventually drew the attention of Cambridge MP Julian Huppert and TV’s Kirstie Allsop who helped promote the pictures across twitter to help the rabbit find its way home.
At long last, the rabbit was reunited with its 18 month old owner, Jackie thanks to the delightful campaign.

cambridge-news.co.uk
The campaign was first noticed by Jackie’s Father, Prof. John Danesh’s PA after she had remembered him mentioning that his daughter was still upset over her missing cuddly friend.

After a quick phone call, David was happy to get the reunion in motion: ‘I know Jackie is the apple of his eye and he would do anything for her and so he was keen to get it back.’

After returning Flora the rabbit, David said: ‘She’s a lovely girl and as soon as she saw Flora she knew exactly who it was and started cuddling her as though she’d never been missing. I thought it would cheer people up at Christmas but I never expected it to get to big – it was just a bit of fun which got going and then snowballed!’

Nathalie Jacoby-Danesh, Jackie’s mum said that she was thrilled when Flora was returned and commented on how Jackie and Flora had been together since birth. I’m 25 years old now and still have the blanket I had as a baby tucked away somewhere in a cupboard. You have to hold onto those things.

Nathalie went onto say: ‘Jackie was completely miserable when she lost Flora – I spent hours walking around the Grand Arcade and retracing my steps but I just couldn’t find her. Neither my husband nor myself really use social media so his PA Hannah was very switched on to notice the campaign and it all came as a great surprise to us. It was a lovely gesture and it’s amazing that somebody would go to so much trouble to do something so kind.’

Nathalie has printed out pictures from the campaign to put in a book for when Jackie is older. That should make for a good story.


Isn't that a nice little heart-warming story? That should get you feeling a bit more cheery if the decorations aren't up yet.  


Tom has just graduated from University of East London in Creative and Professional Writing. He loves writing and is currently interning as a content writer hoping to go further. His other loves include Arnold Schwarzenegger films and his dog. Follow him @TomAtSMF

Contact us on Twitter, on Facebook, or leave your comments below. To find out about social media training or management why not take a look at our website for more info http://socialmediacambridge.co.uk/.

Child’s Toy Returned Thanks to Twitter

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Follow the Waypoint

An update on an app has given users a map which will direct them to their nearest Christmas displays.

Earlier this week I wrote about Christmas packages being stolen and the social media site Nextdoor being utilised to prevent theft.

But Nextdoor weren't quite satisfied with just making sure that Christmas presents are delivered safely though. They've just introduced an update to their app called the ‘Holiday Cheer Map

livebooks.com

The Holiday Cheer Map will help people find nearby Christmas lights displays and festive events by putting a large multitude of pins on the map which will direct people straight to the holiday fun.
I took a quick glance over the map and though sadly it’s only based in the US for now, there were large concentrations of events scattered in all areas I checked.

I really hope that Nextdoor starts working on a bigger presence across the globe because it seems as though they've really hit a niche market with their service.

The waypoints will direct users not just to Christmas lights in towns and events in shopping centers, but will also show pins at houses with outstanding Christmas displays. My neighbours are currently putting my decorations to shame, they've got some lovely lights and trees up while my house is… a bit bare, well truth be told there are none up yet. It’s fine though, I’ll do the decorations this week. I swear on Rudolph’s nose.

People who are using the app and visiting the designated pins can give comments on each display sharing details of what’s on offer in the area, whether it’s a light display or Christmas tree maze. There’s also an option to list for a ‘Sighting of Santa’ to add to the magic.

The Holiday Cheer Map is mostly kept updated by the users and so far it’s been doing great.
Here’s a quick rundown of how it works:

Users visit their neighbourhood map and hit ‘Add new spot.’
Once they’d added the spot, they just need to verify the address, list what category the event is under and then leave some comments and pictures if they chose. Once that’s done, it’ll be on the holiday map. Once that’s done, users can share the location on other social media sites so that their added area gets as many visits as possible.

squarespace.com

Nextdoor commented on their new festive map by saying: ‘No matter how you’re celebrating the holidays this season, Nextdoor’s Holiday Cheer map is the insider’s guide to the most festive spots not only in your area, and the holidays will certainly be merry and bright this year, since the spots are curated by those who know the area best: your neighbours.’

We’re just a few days away till the Christmas break now, so if you’re feeling a bit ‘Grinchy’ don’t despair, you’re almost free.


I’ll be here bouncing with excitement waiting for the big day. 


Tom has just graduated from University of East London in Creative and Professional Writing. He loves writing and is currently interning as a content writer hoping to go further. His other loves include Arnold Schwarzenegger films and his dog. Follow him @TomAtSMF

Contact us on Twitter, on Facebook, or leave your comments below. To find out about social media training or management why not take a look at our website for more info http://socialmediacambridge.co.uk/.

New App Guides To Christmas Lights Display

How To Run A Successful Festive Campaign

Getting your social media right over the Christmas period is incredibly important. We’ve shown you how, now let’s take a look at how some companies have gotten social media just right for the festivities. They’ve all made it onto my nice list.


(Source: cutestpaw.com)


1. McDonald's :

First up we’ve got the ever social savvy McDonald's. Their social campaign is called: ‘Knitmas Greetings’. For the campaign, people are given the chance to make their own stocking on the website and then share it across social media. Take a look here and give it a whirl. I’m still trying to make mine, the unbearable pun of ‘Get your Claus of my Big Mac’ is too great not to use.

The best of the best stocking submissions will in turn be made real by knitwear firm, Grannies.
I’d love to win one of those stockings, but I’ve had mine ever since I was born. Can’t break tradition now. Alongside their traditional Christmas menu, McDonalds' are making sure that they’re on everyone’s thoughts just that bit more. 


2. British Airways:


(Source: telegraph.co.uk)

You probably remember some of British Airways’ great marketing this year. The #LookUp campaign was masterfully done and it will be remembered it for quite a while.

For Christmas, British Airways have turned to social media with their Thank-You campaign. This video has been broadcast across different social media sites and was also played during flights. That’s some good exposure.

Passengers will be asked to submit recommendations for holiday destinations during 2015 through Instagram. One image will be crowned winner and the prize is a rather huge: ‘half-a-million Avios points which is enough to get to New York eight times in First class, to Sydney five times in Club World (business class), to Dubai sixteen times in World Traveller Plus (premium economy) or to Paris 111 times in economy.’

3. Expedia: 

In the travelling vein, Expedia are also running with a similar winter campaign. Expedia has encouraged fans to share their special festive experiences on social media by posting images on Twitter and Instagram using the hashtags: #WinterAtHome or #WinterAway.

4. Debenhams: 

Retail store Debenhams has also nabbed itself a mention with its new ‘Found It’ campaign. For Found It, Debenhams is asking people to upload their selfies under the hashtag: #FoundIt. Each selfie however has to feature an item which the customer has just found in store that they intend to use as a gift for someone. A winner is announced once a week and there’s a £1,000 up for grabs for each winner.

Richard Cristofoli, Debenhams’ marketing director commented on their campaign and how it reaches all different media: ‘As a multi-channel retailer our campaign seeks to engage with consumers with a multi-channel approach.  It is a broad campaign which can play out across all media - paid and owned.’

This social media campaign along with their very Christmassy television ad really shows how Debenhams are a company that have gotten it just right at Christmas by not just embracing the normal Christmas ad, but also their social media avenues.

(Source: mccgp.co.uk)


5. Marks and Spencer:

Lastly, you’ve probably seem the Marks and Spencer ad by now with the two fairies clocking in for the night and putting in a hard nights work making for a great Christmas. I wish we had snow like that before Christmas. But this campaign goes a bit deeper than just your typical Christmas filler. The advert first launched on social media giving us socialites the first views.

Even more impressively so, they’ve launched this Twitter which is playfully run by the two fairies themselves who have been flitting about across the country spreading good Christmas cheer. They’ve been generating a lot of attention with their small yet charming events such as creating real snow outside a primary school in Cornwall, giving gifts to night shift workers and creating fairies made of lights above Newcastle’s Tyne Bridge.



However, they have been linked only to their Twitter and not to the actual M&S brand. I just hope that the two fairies are recognizable as an M&S product; otherwise their branding could be lost in spite of this wonderfully done campaign.

All in all, I’d say Marks&Spencer are the 2014 social media Christmas winners.

So there are just a few of the brands that are getting things right this Christmas.
Many of us still sit down and wait for our favourite brands to just release their new holiday adverts, but I think now it really is time for companies to start taking their social media just as seriously.

All that’ll do is make your company look like a spreader of Christmas cheer – and everyone loves a bit of that. 


Tom has just graduated from University of East London in Creative and Professional Writing. He loves writing and is currently interning as a content writer hoping to go further. His other loves include Arnold Schwarzenegger films and his dog. Follow him @TomAtSMF

Contact us on Twitter, on Facebook, or leave your comments below. To find out about social media training or management why not take a look at our website for more info http://socialmediacambridge.co.uk/.

Brands Getting Social Media Right For Christmas

Filtering Your Filters

Two whole years since the last update to Instagram’s library of filters, the Facebook owned company has finally given Instagrammers five new options to play with.

fstoppers.com

According to Instagram, the new filters, titled Slumber, Crema, Ludwig, Aden and Perpetua, aim to take advantage of the advances in your phone’s camera by catering more to higher quality pictures.

While the existing filters included in the app help users give lower quality pictures captured by earlier camera-phones a more professional feel, the new options soften and shift colours subtly in an attempt to delicately enhance higher resolution images.

The company’s official blog states their reasoning:
Photography trends have evolved, and the capabilities of the camera on your phone have vastly improved. We've seen tremendous creativity within the community, not only in the moments they share, but in the time spent carefully composing and editing photos and videos to bring out emotions and make them beautiful.

But that’s not all folks…

The update doesn't just give a few pretty effects, with tweaks to the user interface it’s now easier than ever to manage and apply these filters. The classic hot air balloon image known to all Instagrammers is replaced by a blurred preview of your photo with the effect applied, a much more sensible approach in my opinion.

telegraph.co.uk

Flicking through to the end of the tray unveils the new ‘manage’ button, whereby you can rearrange your list, placing more frequently used filters at the top. You can even completely hide the filters you find yourself continually skipping past, cutting out the hassle of all that scrolling.

The ability to upload slow-motion video has also been implemented along with real time commenting. No longer are we forced to abuse the refresh button waiting to see those latest comments.

On the whole the announcement seems to be receiving a warm response from the app’s 300 million users, although there’s still no help for those drunken selfies from your weekend in town…


Sam is an aspiring novelist with a passion for fantasy and crime thrillers. Currently working part time as a content writer, he hopes to one day drop that 'aspiring' prefix. Follow him @SamAtSMF

Contact us on Twitter, on Facebook, or leave your comments below. To find out about social media training or management why not take a look at our website for more info http://socialmediacambridge.co.uk/.

Instagram Updates and Expands Its Filter Options

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

YouGif

YouTube will finally allow users to take short segments of videos and turn them into gifs, a feature that has been long anticipated and requested.
theoopsydaisys.com

I spend a fair amount of time during my days looking at and laughing at gifs and sending them along to who I think will laugh at them, I've often sat back and wondered just how people would make a gif. Obviously, a quick Google search would have told me but I never quite found the energy to go actively searching for a method.

However, YouTube is planning on making this a lot simpler for the not so gif-savvy folks like myself by introducing a feature which will allow viewers to easily create a gif from a video of their choice. At long last I can make countless Arnold Schwarzenegger gifs to bombard all my friends with online. Ok, maybe no Arnie gifs
This truly is the golden age of technology.

Initially rolling out for a limited time only, the feature was actually not announced by YouTube but noticed by a Kickstarter CTO, Andy Baio who tweeted about the gif feature when it was first noticed.
The gif option is currently only found in the PBS Digital Idea’s channel and videos and you’ll find it right below the share button. Take a look by following the link.

Click on the Gif button and you’ll be given a little frame slider option and you can then create a gif from a clip as short as 0.3 Seconds or as long as 6 seconds. It will also show you a little preview of what your gif will look like underneath the slider. I’ve given it a whirl and it is really is quite simple. Especially for people like me who as said, aren’t that good at gif creation.

Despite this only just hitting the news this week, it was actually announced over a month ago in YouTube’s Creator Preview, but YouTube like to keep us surprised and have kept this update fairy quiet. Quite odd really when it’s something that’s been requested for a while but hey, I’m not complaining!

Mike Rugnetta who’s apart of the PBS Ideas channel commented on the new feature and they were just as surprised as everyone else. ‘The lot of us got an email last night from our partner manager letting us know Idea Channel had been added to the group of channels they're using the beta test the new GIF feature.’

He added that: ‘It's great! Having the ability to excerpt YouTube videos as GIFs on the watch page make perfect sense to me. It's something fans have been doing manually (downloading videos, using Photoshop, etc.) for a while — this makes that process much easier and more populous. I'm excited; I can only hope they'll make it widely available!’

publicbroadcasting.net

So keep patient and use the gif service every so  often and hopefully YouTube will roll it out across many more videos. I can already imagine the incoming storm of gifs that we could end up facing.


I can’t wait. 


Tom has just graduated from University of East London in Creative and Professional Writing. He loves writing and is currently interning as a content writer hoping to go further. His other loves include Arnold Schwarzenegger films and his dog. Follow him @TomAtSMF

Contact us on Twitter, on Facebook, or leave your comments below. To find out about social media training or management why not take a look at our website for more info http://socialmediacambridge.co.uk/.

YouTube To Let Users Make Gifs From Videos