|'Rileyy69's' Twitter account (Daily Mail)|
Josh Bennett, Content Writer
The internet is full of some great and amazing statistics. The guys over at Giraffe Social Media compiled a list of their favourite social media/internet statistics. We here at SMF liked them so much that we thought we would share them as well!
1. Brazil has the highest online friends – average of 481 per user, compared to an average of only 29 friends per users in Japan!
2. Over 40% of Twitter users do not tweet anything!
3. About 0.05% of the total twitter population attract almost 50% of attention on the website.
4. Every month the online population collectively spends the equivalent of 4 million years online.
5. There are more than 1 billion search queries per day on Google.
6. By 2015, it is projected that brands will be generating 50% of their web sales through social media and mobile platforms with a projection of $30 Billion.
7. The Google +1 button is clicked more than 5 billion times each day!
8. In one day online, more iPhones are sold than people are born!
9. 4.8 billion people now own mobile phones. Just 4.2 billion own a toothbrush.
10. In 2011, there were over 75 million more people playing Farmville than there were actual farmers!
Which statistic do you like the most? Or which statistic shocked you the most? Let us know in the comments!
Remember to follow us on Twitter @SocialMediaF
Original Article: Here
If you’re a small business owner who doesn’t get Twitter, don’t worry – you’re not alone. If you consider yourself a Twitter novice, you’re in luck! Twitter’s web site recently released a swell Twitter for Small Business Guide designed to help folks like you not only learn about the benefits of leveraging their service, but also how to use it at a more functional level. The downside of that is that not all of us have the time to thumb through a ‘how-to’ manual about why and how to use a social media platform that may or may not help us make more money. Not to worry, though! We’ve already done it for you!
This is a simple break down of what Twitter is, why it could be good for you as well as some helpful pointers about how incorporate it into your marketing strategy. There’s a lot of depth to all of these points, so if there’s anything that you require a deeper understanding of, feel free to check out the full guide here.
Let’s not waste any more time!
What is Twitter?
Twitter’s web site puts it pretty succinctly: Twitter is an information network that brings people closer to what’s important to them.
That’s pretty simple, isn’t it?
With over 100 million active users, Twitter is one of the largest networks in the world. Its 250 million tweets per day have turned it into an interest-driven media machine that’s introduced new channels for communication – not just between people, but relevant businesses as well.
How can Twitter help your business?
Small business internet marketing on the whole has become more interest-based than ever before. In a world filled with tons of advertising and push-marketing clutter, platforms like Twitter are allowing people to cut through the noise and get to exactly what it is they’re looking for. It’s made it easier than ever before to connect – and connect frequently- with people who are interested in buying what you’re selling. That means a whole new world of opportunity if you’re brave enough to make the jump.
How does it work?
Users search for, link to and share information using Twitter as an incubator. Your ability to leverage Twitter depends largely on how well you’re able to interact with the people that are of interest to you and those who are interested in you. This perpetual, never ending dialogue with others can help you do a lot of things about people in and around your industry, using your observations to help sculpt a marketing plan based on how your users talk, interact and behave with your brand and brands similar to yours.
Twitter is 100% conversation-driven, meaning that it will take some participation (and time) on your part to make it work. Interacting with your followers and those who you are following yourself isn’t really a choice – it’s a necessity if you’re looking to grow your network and truly make it work. Remember- Twitter isn’t about creating a website – it’s about creating a conversation!
What’s the basic lingo?
The great thing about Twitter is its simplicity. Here are some basic Twitter terms that you’ll have to be familiar with before you start:
Tweets – In a nutshell, a tweet is what you have to say. It has to be under 140 characters in length. Whenever you share out information, you’re tweeting.
Hash tag (#) – Hash tags are the lifeblood of Twitter. They’re essentially the conversations themselves. For example – if you’re a San Diego Padres fan and want to contribute to a discussion on the team, searching the hash tag #padres will take you to thousands of tweets and conversations about the team. Diving right in and tweeting to people or just contributing can result in more interactions. The more interactions mean more conversation. The more conversations you have, the more likely people are to follow you. That brings us to…
Follow – Just like Facebook, Twitter allows you to keep tabs on the people and entities that interest you. If you like what someone has to say, you can follow them and their tweets will show up in your feed. You’ll be able to access the content they provide, read the articles they suggest and interact with them at will.
Followers – These are the people who are following you and want to read what you have to say. Anytime you tweet, they’ll be able to see what you shared in their timeline. This is your audience, so make sure you’re paying attention to what they’re talking about as well! Some folks like to follow the people who follow them- not because of some unspoken courtesy (although that does happen), but rather because there’s a lot they can learn from their behavior.
Direct Message (DM) – Exactly what it says it is. When the conversation becomes too involved or in some cases – too private – for public consumption, Direct Messages allow you to interact with folks on a deeper and more private level.
Retweet (RT) – Retweet allows you to share someone’s comments with the push of a button. Retweeting is especially handy when you’re looking to share information such as a blog post or article. Instead of going through the pain of making your own tweet, you can merely hit the ‘retweet’ command and that person’s tweet will show up in your timeline for your followers to enjoy.
Mention (@) – When you want to bring something to someone’s attention, you can use the mention function. Your tweet will show up in your timeline and be visible to the person with whom you are interacting with. Mentions are usually used to directly start or jump into a conversation.
What are some basic best practices?
Like any information network, Twitter has some best practices that you should follow. The following is a brief summation of the points raised in the Twitter For Small Businesses Guide. For a more comprehensive overview, you can read the guide in its entirety, here.
Show Personality – The biggest part of your brand is you. Don’t be afraid to let your personality shine through. Too many people make the mistake of communicating in a generic tone. Remember, you’re having a conversation, not lecturing folks!
Follow & Learn – People who listen and learn on Twitter are those who are usually the most successful. Follow businesses that are similar to yours and see what they’re doing. Observe what’s working and what isn’t. Over time, your goals will be developed largely in part by the behaviors of your audience.
Give them something more – Twitter can be used to convey information about your company that might not be able to be found elsewhere. Maybe it’s a video showing you making a product. Perhaps it’s a promotion or special offer. It could even be an article teaching someone how to do something. Adding value to your tweets takes them from being just something that’s fun and informative, but a legitimate resource for information to your customers. That’s what will keep them coming back.
Be responsive – When people have something to say to you, respond. Like I said before, Twitter is all about the conversation. Especially if the tweet is something that might be more critical in nature, being able to address it up front and publicly says a lot about how you handle issues. Always be prepared to engage others. Your responsiveness is essential to strong branding!
Tweet daily – The best part about Twitter is that it doesn’t take a lot of effort to stay active. 420 key strokes a day can give you a tweet in the morning, afternoon and evening. Most marketing consultants are going to tell you to tweet at least one to two times daily. It’s up to you how much you decide to dedicate to Twitter daily, but being there every day – especially in the early going – is important! Stay active and stay relevant!
During the 2012 London Olympics, the positive and negative response to the games will be displayed in lights on the London Eye. Using the Twitter hash tag “#energy2012”, spectators of the games will create the first ever social media driven light show.
The lights will represent the general feeling towards how the Olympics are going; if the reaction is mixed, only half of the London Eye will be lit, while a mostly positive response will light up a larger section.
EDF Energy – official sponsors of the games - will analyse the general feeling of Twitter users and light up the famous attraction accordingly. Gold indicates positivity, while purple represents a negative response.
The 24 minute show will also feature gold, silver and bronze lighting, which will change depending on the colour of the medals Britain wins, and displays of the Union Jack flag.
The concept is already proving popular; with many Twitter users encouraging followers to use the hash tag in a bid to positively light up the London Eye.
During the Olympics, over 100,000 Tweets are expected to be posted every day on the subject of The Games – for the most part, the comments have been optimistic, with many people getting excited about the upcoming event.
Olympic decathlon gold medallist Mr Daley Thompson has introduced the unique idea, which will be displayed every night of the games at 9pm. He believes it is important for partakers to know their country is supporting and encouraging them.
He stated: "We want to make the EDF Energy London Eye a spectacular showcase of national support for the athletes - and one that will inspire them every night of the Games."
Beth McNally, Marketing Assistant
2012 Olympic athletes are now under pressure to limit their use of social media during the games.
The International Olympics Committee (IOC) encourages social media by fans and athletes; however they only allow posts to social media networks which are written in a “first-person, diary-type format”*. Sharing videos from the Olympic Village has also been banned, and athletes are required to gain permission from fellow athletes before sharing photos of them.
The reason for this being that the IOC want to discourage athletes from providing information which may otherwise be reported by broadcast partners or other media outlets.
Is the IOC taking these rules too far?
American sprinter Nick Symmonds spoke to Mashable about the situation and described the rules as “ludicrous”,** and other athletes have stated the rules as “stifling” and “overbearing”. ***
This could also create confusion amongst fans and social media followers of the 2012 games – will sharing information about their favourite athlete be interpreted as a first-person post? Or simply overstepping the mark?
Watching the events on TV is entirely different from instantly engaging with contestants and spectators first hand – social media updates allow fans get to see what happens behind the scenes. In this day and age, this kind of exposure is expected with an event such as the Olympics. Allowing more digital freedom will allow athletes a larger platform and create more exposure for the games. It would also inspire people from around the world to interactively get involved, so surely allowing it will act as an advantage for both the IOC and the athletes.
Should athletes have more freedom when it comes to social media? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section.
***(The times of India, 2012)
Like what you see? There’s a button on Facebook for that. Like it so much that you want it? There… isn’t a button for that. But for company brand fan pages, there should be.
The presence of having a “want” button included on Facebook would ultimately have a different impact on a company brand page than that of the traditional like button. Depending on what you post, it could get a whole lot of use or not. A café changing its cover photo to a picture of a new seasonal summertime salad definitely gets plenty of clicks for wanting whereas a status update just wishing everyone a happy Friday and inquiring about weekend plans is best left to being liked (though if comments left behind include awesome weekend outings, those could very well be “wanted” just as much too.)
You want it, you got it! But for a brand’s profile page, how could such a button be put to best use? Let’s imagine and put a plan into action on what it would be like for Facebook to have this kind of feature available shall we?
Consider the Industry
The nice thing about having a button that implores that we “want” a specific item is that it can really help promote new products being rolled out at companies or even show off older products that have been recently revamped and enhanced. For retail brand pages this button would be extremely helpful to boosting the sales of hot new items, particularly during the holiday season in the case of chains like Macys and Target. Beyond retail, a want button is also ideal for the food, beverage, and entertainment markets all of which roll out seasonal items and have plenty of familiar favorites to highlight to the consumer.
Include a Visual!
Just as Pinterest has an image at the ready to repin, so should brand pages looking to make the most out of a want button. Including a picture not only maximizes the use of the new button, but may also be shared onto multiple Facebook profiles. Take care with how many photos you post onto the brand pages wall though – unlike Pinterest or even Tumblr, Facebook wasn’t designed as a microblogging website and nonstop pictures each day could clog the profile up.
If you know you want to feature a high number of pictures, a good idea would be to create a photo album and encourage users to visit it and click on the products that they want. Add new photos of products daily to keep ‘em coming back for more.
(Note: I’m talking about this button as though it’s real. Must remind self it’s not just yet, must remind self it’s not just yet…)
Copyright Permission. You Need It.
This is where it starts to get tricky because unlike Pinterest where many of the photos on the site don’t often link back to the original source, for Facebook to use a want feature would require that all of the images posted be copyrighted to the source posting them. No ifs, ands, or buts about it. Even more crucial would be that the images would have to either include a URL link to the site where a visitor could find out more about the product or click through the picture to the website in order to buy it. After all, you did “want” it, didn’t you? To that end, the launch of such a feature would also require constant updates on products that sell out or are available in limited supply, both on the brand page and on the website.
Written originally by Deborah Sweeney. Article here
1. Search for Events
LinkedIn offers a robust "Events" section.
While the site automatically suggests events that might be of interest to you, it also allows you to search listings by keyword.
To access the events section, click the "More" option on the top navigation menu on your LinkedIn profile and select "Events."
From here, you can browse all the public event listings or narrow down results by location and industry type.
If you do carry out a keyword search, you'll have the option to sort results by date or relevance.
2. Add an Application
Did you know about the third-party applications available on LinkedIn?
While the selection is not huge, there are some really useful widgets you can add to your profile.
Highlights include the Box.net Files application, which lets you share content on your profile and collaborate with friends and colleagues. You can also share the books you're reading with Reading List by Amazon.
SixApart's Blog Link lets you connect your blog to your LinkedIn profile. Behance offers an app that showcases your creative work, and TripIt's My Travel means you can share info about business trips.
To view all the applications available, click on the "More" option on your navigation menu and select "Get More Applications."
3. Customize Your News Feed With LinkedIn Today
While LinkedIn is great for career-related news, the site is now also a great resource for business and industry news.
The "LinkedIn Today" feature lets you customize a news feed totally tailored to your professional interests and network.
To set up your LinkedIn Today page, click on "News" on the top navigation bar and select "LinkedIn Today." Now if you click on the cog icon to the top-right of the page, you can customize what you see.
You can "follow" industries to see news relevant to certain areas and follow sources (such as Mashable) to see their content in your news stream.
Once you've set up your page with personal preferences, log into LinkedIn to catch up or get sent a daily or weekly email digest.
4. Join a Group
LinkedIn has thousands of groups that you can join and get involved with for some targeted, work-related social networking.
To get started with LinkedIn Groups, hit the "Groups" option on the top menu.
Now you can see groups that your contacts belong to as well as groups that LinkedIn's algorithms think you might be interested in. Or search by keyword.
The results for searches will show how active a group is, so you can be sure to join a group that's current.
With over 1 million English language groups alone, we're sure you'll find at least one relevant to you, no matter how niche your area of expertise or interests. If not, you can always create a new group.
5. Experiment With LinkedIn Labs
Finally, have fun with LinkedIn's experimental "Labs" section.
Whether you want to see a visualization of the most-searched companies on LinkedIn, see your own network in a more creative way, view your LinkedIn connections on a timeline, or search
LinkedIn via text message, there is a widget to do it.
Sourced from here
For the past week Cambridge has been watched over by a caped crusader, fighting crime and bringing justice for all. You may have caught a glimpse of the masked vigilante and taking to the streets in his 'Batpod'. Yet his vehicle is made of cardboard, he makes the noises himself and the man of mystery is actually Rob Thomson, a 23 year-old film fanatic from St Ives.
Finally, after weeks of projecting the logo onto the night sky, Batm... Rob has come to have a chat with us.
"The idea for Batman didn't really take long to come up with, we're doing a series of films and we basically thought that Batman would be a really good idea because of the new film coming out in July. We thought that it was pretty relevant and thought it was a really funny idea, especially the image of the Bat-bike. It came up after a conversation about how I could make the video, with my friend. We thought it would be really funny if it was in a Flintstones style - me running about with some cardboard. Another friend, who's really creative and designs really cool costumes and stuff, helped me design the Bat-pod and I got the costume off of the internet. The idea was just to be running around, wearing this ridiculous thing and making the noises myself through Cambridge."
"It didn't take too long to do - we were quite lucky as it was perfect for filming, a bright and lovely warm Monday afternoon. It was quite busy as well - which helped. I basically got off early from work, met my friend and spent the afternoon filming.".
But Rob didn't expect his afternoon of fighting crime to become an internet hit, the video becoming viral and gaining over 670,000 views along with his channel gaining over one million.
"It was a huge shock at how popular it's become. I thought that a few of my mates would find it funny that I was running around Cambridge dressed as a superhero but I certainly didn't expect it to become viral."
"I think there's a certain charm of how low-budget and how obviously DIY it is. I think that's the reason why a lot of people have engaged with it and enjoyed all of our other videos."
"I take a lot of my inspiration from Monty Python - especially 'The Holy Grail' as it's one of my favourite films. I think that there's a real surreal element to my work as we do have a lot of fun and it only really works if you're aware of the films we're parodying. I also love 'Trigger Happy TV' because of the unsuspecting nature of it and how it gauges the reaction of people."
I think a lot of people think I'm a bit crazy - some people try not to make eye-contact or just get out of my way and give me strange looks. Thankfully though, a lot of people don't take it too seriously and just have a laugh with it."
So what's next for Rob's project 'The Robson Experience'?
"We're just going to keep doing what we're doing; I'm really shocked that I now have fans that are waiting for the next installment! We've got quite a few ideas up or sleeve, I've got a great idea for Indiana Jones and some other films, but they are currently top secret. We want to make a new video every two weeks, so you're going to have to wait and see!"
And with that, the mysterious Mr. Thomson jumps into his cardboard Batbike and zooms off. Luckily for us though, we'll be catching Indiana Jones somewhere in Cambridge soon.
Rob's latest take on a blockbuster was Independence Day and can be found on here and to keep up to date with his shenanigans, you can subscribe to his channel at TheRobsonExperience
Meg Penny - Social Media Marketer
Twitter announced upgraded versions of its iPhone and Android apps Tuesday — adding many of the features that Twitter.com users have been enjoying for some time.
Now you can click on a tweet with a video link on your smartphone, for example, and have the video play directly in the tweet — just as you can on the website.
Expanded tweets will also include images and the summaries of articles, should the link point to one of Twitter’s media partners (such as Mashable).
“This new experience will roll out gradually to iPhone and Android users,” writes Twitter mobile product manager Sung Hu Kim in a company blog post.
The update adds a number of other features we’ve written about previously to Twitter’s mobile experience: event-based hashtags, such as the one that lets you follow all the action from #NASCAR, and smart search which will offer suggestions on what you’re looking for before you’ve finished typing.
All in all, the upgrades make Twitter’s mobile apps a more effective media-consuming experience — and puts the company light-years ahead of Facebook, which has struggled to update its mobile apps.
The iPhone upgrade appears to work as advertised; however, we didn’t see embedded media in the upgraded Android app.
Have you updated your Twitter app yet? What do you think of these updates? Let us know in the comments.
Original article here
Twitter is preparing a major new version of its iPhone app, which will include an interactive tweet view, enhanced notifications and more, 9to5Mac reports.
The info comes through leaked release notes which bring a detailed list of all the new features in the next Twitter for iPhone version, 4.3.
These include a more interactive tweet view experience, letting you see content previews, videos and images within tweets containing links to “partner websites,” as well as the ability to choose whether you want to receive push notifications when certain people tweet.
Other improvements include highlighted tweets about selected events, autocomplete in the Connect tab, and the ability to tap someone’s avatar and be taken to their profile pages.
The time of launch for this update is unknown, and some of the features may change when it actually hits the App Store.
Original article here.
A US court has ordered Twitter to release old messages and details about a user arrested during an Occupy Wall Street protest in New York.
The micro-blogging firm contested the subpoena, saying the tweets were owned by users rather than the company.
But a judge said defendant Malcolm Harris' privacy would not be violated if the material was handed over.
Earlier, the American Civil Liberties Union commended Twitter for defending free speech rights.
"If you post a tweet, just like if you scream it out the window, there is no reasonable expectation of privacy," Judge Matthew Sciarrino wrote in his decision.
Nevertheless, the judge said he would personally review the information and would only release the relevant sections to prosecution and defence lawyers.
The case centres around Mr Harris, managing editor of the New Inquiry website, a cultural magazine site.
He was arrested on 1 October - along with hundreds of other campaigners - during a march across New York's Brooklyn Bridge.
Prosecutors claim tweets by Mr Harris would reveal that he was "well-aware of police instructions" ordering protesters not to block traffic.
Mr Harris, and others, say they thought police had given them permission to march on the road.
Prosecutors have asked to see tweets posted by Mr Harris between 15 September and 31 December.
Mr Harris's lawyer had tried to block access to the postings, but the judge ruled that once the messages had been sent they became the property of Twitter. That would mean the defendant was not protected against unlawful search and seizure under the Fourth Amendment of the US constitution.
But Twitter challenged the subpoena, arguing that the judge had misunderstood how the service worked.
Twitter's lawyer, Ben Lee, said during earlier hearings: "Twitter's terms of service make absolutely clear that its users 'own' their own content. Our filing with the court reaffirms our steadfast commitment to defending those rights for our users."
The firm also said the Stored Communications Act gave its members the right to challenge requests for information on their user history, and that the micro-blogging firm did not want to take on legal battles that its users could pursue independently.
"We look forward to Twitter's complying and to moving forward with the trial," the district attorney's office said after the judge's ruling.
But Twitter expressed disappointment, saying: "We continue to have a steadfast commitment to our users and their rights."
Mr Harris' case has been set to go to trial in December.
Original post: Here
I recently attended a conference, where Claire Diaz Ortiz, who heads social innovation at Twitter, spoke about influence. She said something surprising. She said that two of the most engaged “brands” on Twitter had far fewer followers than the celebrities or giant brands with many millions of followers. Those brands were both Christian Ministries: Joel Osteen and Rick Warren. Today, with about 725,000 followers, a Joel Osteen tweet gets far more retweets than one from Lady Gaga, who has 26 million followers. The reason, Ortiz said, is shared values.
I imagine that many corporate social media documents list engagement as a goal. Whether it’s an individual initiative or an overall strategy, the word “engagement” has become the ultimate prize in the world of social media. Yet, gaming the system, creates only an illusion of engagement.
Try as you might to create massive amounts of engagement, it’s your mission—the meaning you bring to your community that determines genuine engagement. Joel Osteen has a mission—a higher calling. But you don’t need to be a ministry to have a mission.
If your social media efforts strive to be helpful, inspiring, supportive, informative or fun and do so in a way that fits your brand and delivers value, you have a better chance of being engaged than if you goal is engagement.
Social media is the ultimate vehicle for spreading ideas and as Seth Godin says, “ideas that spread win.” Yet we see so many manipulative tactics being used to get people to like Facebook pages, to retweet updates on Twitter and to “engage” for reasons other than a desire to be part of something and spread the word. A mission to increase engagement is like a mission to make a viral video. Other people will decide if your video or your idea is worth spreading.
How do you increase your Facebook likes or get more retweets? If it involves giving people a secondary reason like the opportunity to win a prize or vote for a charity, the sharing is short term. A relationship based entirely on this type of motivation is fragile at best.
Consider three types of engagement:
Organic engagement happens when people choose to like, share or comment on your Facebook status, share your tweets, or comment on your blog without prompting or reward. Because of your content or your product, they are moved, on their own to talk about and to you. They feel something about your product or your content that drives their behavior.
Discovery sometimes needs a little help. People may not be aware of your Facebook presence or they may be standing on the sidelines and need some encouragement to participate. Encouraged engagement comes from promoting the fact that your content exists and making the “ask .” And, it should be accompanied with an explanation of what to expect from your social media account.
Encouraged engagement also includes asking for the “like” or the comment. It’s a gentle reminder that you want to have a conversation.
Incentivized (or Forced) engagement
Now we are getting into murkier territory. Almost everyone incentivizes engagement at some point. You run a contest to get people to interact on Facebook or Twitter. You offer a reward for sharing content. “Come by our booth and tweet about our product for a chance to win an iPad”
As a short term result, you’ll get more likes and more people talking about you on Facebook or more Tweets because you paid for it in some way. But it’s not sustainable. Forced engagement is not a long-term strategy. If people don’t ultimately connect organically, you will be caught in a never ending cycle of having to offer a reward. You don’t build trust and nobody really cares that much because as soon as a better offer comes along they will disappear.
So the next time you sit around the table hatching a plan to “increase engagement” ask three questions.
Is this engagement sustainable? Does it build trust? How will people feel (about you) when they are sharing? The answers to those questions will tell you whether you can expect engagement that adds value to your brand or the illusion of engagement.
Source: How To Avoid The Illusion of Social Media Engagement | Social Media Explorer