Social media is an ever changing beast. Change or die, we say! New sites pop up daily that might to be similar to what’s already out there, while others are a new concept altogether. It is always important to keep up and stay ahead of those sites.
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Social Media Week 2013 has officially wrapped up here in Chicago and I'm happy to say I survived, barely!! It's these conferences and idea sharing sessions that inspire me and get me re-invigorated. I met some wonderful people and I have to say that these people are not just colleagues, but friends! As I reflect back on the week, I wanted to share some statistics...
Everyone can harness the amazing capabilities of social media sites like Twitter to strengthen a business. Let’s look at the top Twitter trends from last year. And... Just when you thought you were done reading 2012 re-caps, here we are with another! Lauren Leto, the creator of the website Texts From Last Night, once said, “Twitter provides us with a wonderful platform to discuss/confront societal problems. We trend Justin Bieber instead.” It’s funny – unavoidably, spirit-crushingly true, but funny nonetheless. The truth is that mass communication tools have always been very powerful. Yet they have probably always been wasted on spreading trivial news and gossip. The telephone changed the world, connecting people across vast distances … so they could exchange recipes or gossip about extramarital affairs. If you look back at human history, you likely can find that letters delivered by horseback, hieroglyphics, and maybe cave paintings have been misused by someone to tell someone else something that was unimportant.
Social media “is what it is,” as my father liked to say (about pretty much anything). It’s up to each one of us – and yes, that includes you – to harness its amazing capabilities into something useful. Socialty can help you make the most out of Twitter, and many other social media services. We help clients leverage social media into something that works for you and works to strengthen your business.
Let’s take a look at the top Twitter trends from last year.
Among the famous people who started their own Twitter accounts in 2012 are soccer legend Pele (@pele), rock icon Neil Young (@neilyoung) and Pope Benedict XVI (@pontifex). According to ABC News, on December 10th the Pope had 608 thousand followers, and that was before his account’s first tweet. One month later, 1.4 million and counting.
Twitter has 140 million active users, and 1 billion tweets are sent about every 60 hours.
The most retweeted message of 2012 was from Barack Obama, who sent “Four more years.” and a picture of his wife hugging him. This low-key celebration of his re-election as President of the United States was retweeted over 800 thousand times and favorited by 300 thousand users. A distant second was pop singer Justin Bieber’s heartfelt message “RIP Avalanna. i love you” when a 6-year-old fan he had befriended died of brain cancer. The message had 224 thousand retweets.
ABC News listed several “Conversations of the Year,” topics that drove messaging through the roof in 2012. These include the aforementioned U.S. national elections, the Summer Olympics in London, and the February 11th death of singer Whitney Houston.
Other important moments for the Twitter service in 2012 involved the boundaries of human life on our planet, and the exploration of another. Felix Baumgartner’s record-breaking skydive from the edge of space was one of Twitter’s “Conversations of the Year,” according to ABC News. Other notable tweets that were viewed by millions included live images of Hurricane Sandy – tweeted to Earth from astronauts aboard the International Space Station, live updates of the NASA mission to Mars as Jet Propulsion Laboratory tweeted from the shuttle’s command center as the Curiosity rover touched down on the Red Planet, and a tweet by film director and part-time adventurer James Cameron – sent from over 35 thousand feet under the ocean during a dive to bottom of the Mariana Trench.
Another cool look back at the top trends on Twitter in 2012 was published by the blog at HootSuite. (HootSuite is a Canadian social media management system that helps users to manage multiple social media accounts.)
HootSuite pointed out that 2012 on Twitter was all about passion, patriotism and battles, with the Summer Olympics and the U.S. elections as its two main examples. I think we all read some heated and grouchy if not downright mean messages. According to HootSuite, election Tweets peaked at over 320 thousand per minute, as the blogger asks us “Should the traditional saying, ‘no politics at the dinner table’ apply to Twitter as well?”
But HootSuite also noted that events like Hurricane Sandy, in which people are afraid or even helpless in the face of disaster or tragedy, show that Twitter and other social media can be a source of support, info and news. “In the aftermath of Sandy’s massive destruction, social became a channel for the world to help and send warm thoughts to those left in the dark,” the blog said.
I think we all should remember Twitter in 2012 for being a way people deal with and make it through life’s difficulties, just like in years past and during important global events. (The Arab Spring Uprisings leap to mind.) In 2012 we saw widespread power outages in and around New York City and other northeastern metropolitan areas – and we also saw simple gestures of kindness and solidarity like store owners stringing together “power strips” and giving free electricity access to passersby. The iPhone, Android smartphones and other “smart” devices proved their value to many, as we saw thousands of people who otherwise had no way to contact far away friends and family, using social media as much as they used simple phone calls as a lifeline. In 2012 we again saw Twitter used as a way for ordinary citizens to communicate with authority figures. Small-town mayors and other civil servants monitored Twitter and responded to questions, complaints, and even the occasional pleas for help, with the touch of a few buttons or a few taps on a touch-screen monitor.
Twitter in 2012 was also a major source of information for consumers. Tech products, like the Apple iPhone and iPad, drove major spikes in tweet traffic as tech experts and clueless “newbies” alike talked back and forth about upcoming items, when they’d be released and whether or not they were worth buying. Likewise, corporations continued to learn that a fan-base on Twitter can turn from a powerful help into a harmful critic if social media managers aren’t careful. Blogger Seth Fiegerman at Mashable compiled “11 Biggest Social Media Disasters of 2012” – among them:
- McDonald’s attempt to get #mcdstories trending, only to have the hashtag hijacked with fast food horror stories
- Snickers candy bars being eaten by British celebs in Twitter pics, which wouldn’t have been bad if the company knew that it’s illegal in the U.K. if it isn’t revealed as a paid endorsement
- Chick-Fil-A’s founder’s anti-same-sex marriage stance, which ignited many flame wars across social media
- Chick-Fil-A’s subsequent related controversy over whether or not the company created a fake Facebook account to defend the company after a Jim Hensen’s Creature Shop Puppet toy recall (ironically, a fake online accounts is called a “sock puppet”)
- American Apparel’s attempt to turn Hurricane Sandy into a promotional opportunity, offering 20% off for those in states affected by the storm, in case they were “bored.”
So with the old year behind us and 2013 well underway, we at Socialty hope you’ll remember to the highlights and lowlights of 2012 from Twitter and other social media platforms. And if you haven’t already, contact us to provide you with top-of-the-line social media services for your business. We provide high-quality content and account management, so in 12 months when you look back at 2013 you can say “I’m glad I had Socialty in 2013 to help keep our business growing!”
Sources for “Twitter Trends and Tragedies of 2012” were:
Keywords: Twitter, social media, 2012, HootSuite, business, ABC News, Socialty Inc., Hurricane Sandy
As Socialty looks back at 2012, let’s discuss some New Year’s resolutions for your small business social media on Google+, Pinterest, Twitter and more. It’s a blogging tradition at New Year’s – looking back at what happened last year and using your first blog to try and make sense out of what’s to come. Honestly, it’s probably also a way for bloggers to be productive while recovering from all that New Year’s celebrating! So as Socialty looks back at 2012, let’s also talk about what to do in 2013!
Here are some suggestions for your small business New Year’s resolutions. While many so-called resolutions are ignored or forgotten within a few weeks, you shouldn’t turn your back on these! Start with a vow to make the most out of your social media marketing efforts. While catching up on the college football championship game and putting away those holiday decorations, take a minute today to review your social media accounts. Here are a few things you can change to make a world of difference this year ...
If your business has a corporate website, you may qualify for a Verified Google+ Page. Check out http://bit.ly/QvXPhT and consider making a request to have Google verify your page. It isn’t very complicated, if your page meets the qualifications – the most important of which is probably, “Your Google+ page must already have a meaningful number of followers.” Rumor has it they mean hundreds of followers (not just 4 or 5, like your Uncle Marty’s crab wine distillery).
Pinterest rolled out official business pages back in November. Previously, individuals and corporations shared the same features on Pinterest. But now, your business can have a page with a suite of additional features. If your company has a Pinterest page, take a few minutes this New Year and change it to a business account (if you haven’t done so).
Also last Fall, the social media service Twitter introduced cover photos for profile pages. You can personalize your page with any header image you choose. From the “settings” menu icon, click “design” and then “change header” to do so. In the New Year, resolve to freshen up your Twitter page with a new cover photo every month – it makes the virtual “place” look a little nicer for your followers!
Another quick idea: review your business’ Facebook page, because it’s often easy to forget to keep the details updated when you’re “liking” and replying to status updates; check and update your privacy settings on Twitter, Google+ and Facebook.
Finally, let’s look forward to February. Twitter users beware! Your social media outbursts and shares will have to deal with a change to Twitter’s URL shortener – the short links will now be two spaces longer. This means a tweet’s content will have to be two characters shorter. But thankfully this also means that every month, followers will receive 2,000 less characters from Justin Bieber and Kim Kardashian!
So now you have a few social media resolutions for the New Year. Remember that at Socialty, it’s our pleasure to make your social media accounts thrive and prosper every year! Contact us today and find out how Socialty can help you and your business. We mean it when we say that in 2013, “Keep social and carry on!”
Tags: social media,Twitter,Facebook,Google+,social media positioning,Socialty Inc.,Pinterest,social media marketing
At Socialty, we have a simple, yet elegant, mission: to help small businesses manage their social media campaigns and online reputations. Socialty creates dynamic content, manages your presence and engages users to create word of mouth buzz. We use an online approach that focuses on sites such as, but not limited to, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, etc. Today let’s take an in-depth look at LinkedIn, one of the fastest-growing social media sites. LinkedIn maintains a specialist approach to social media marketing.
On October 16, LinkedIn held a press conference to announce its new profile page design and other changes, upgrades, and statistics.
Chief Executive Officer Jeff Weiner began the event (also streamed online from company headquarters in Mountain View, California) by saying that LinkedIn is “about connecting talent with opportunity at a massive scale.” The social media networking site and its features aren’t “just tools that enable people to find their dream jobs,” Weiner said, “but tools that enable people to be great at the jobs they’re already in.”
The CEO then shared LinkedIn’s company mission statement: “To connect the world’s professionals to make them more productive and successful.” He then emphasized the word professionals, and said that is the context with which LinkedIn creates value for its members as a social media service. Worldwide there is “one social platform – LinkedIn – that has that exclusive focus on a professional context.”
Weiner stated that LinkedIn has over 175 million registered members, and has added 50 million of those in the last year alone. LinkedIn is currently adding an average of 2 new members every second. Interestingly, Brazil has recently become the fourth nation in which more than 10 million LinkedIn members reside. The other top countries are the United States, India, and the United Kingdom.
LinkedIn ultimately helps professionals “connect, find, and be found by other professionals,” said Weiner. It has become “the professional profile of record.”
The CEO pointed out a phenomenon, saying that people update their profiles when they aren’t looking for work. He contrasted this to a traditional resume, which is often only dusted off and updated when a job change is wanted or needed.
Weiner went on to talk about the increasing importance of what LinkedIn calls “mobile solutions,” using the social media site via smartphones and tablet applications, especially via the iPad. He announced that mobile utilization (how often LinkedIn is being accessed by a person using an app) has increased from 10% last year to 23% now. In other words, LinkedIn is being used more and more by people who aren’t necessarily sitting at a desk in an office.
Weiner seemed proud to announce that over one million unique website domains have deployed a “Share On LinkedIn” button. This allows any LinkedIn member to easily post links from interesting or enjoyable online content to their own LinkedIn page, which then is viewable by that member’s professional contacts. Also, thousands of companies are utilizing a button to “Apply With LinkedIn” which makes filling out online job applications easier.
Over the last few months, LinkedIn has improved or introduced several features, said Weiner. He included:
- A redesigned homepage at http://www.linkedin.com/
- New capabilities for receiving optional notifications
- New capabilities and apps for smartphones
- Apps for the iPad tablet
- The Endorsements feature (which allows members to vouch for other members who have a certain skill or ability)
- A feature allowing members to “follow” professional luminaries
- Long form content publication made affordable/free for those luminaries
- “Engagement increases” such as status updates, “like” buttons, and the ability to comment on other peoples’ content
The press conference was then turned over to Deep Nishar, Head of Product for LinkedIn. He led off with a statement of the company’s product philosophy. It is to “build insanely brilliant and simple products that change people’s lives.”
Nishar then announced statistics provided by comScore, Inc. (http://www.comscore.com/) – LinkedIn has 135 million unique visitors per month and ranks 26th overall in the entire world (as of August 2012).
One month ago, said Nishar, the site launched a new design for the “LinkedIn Company” pages. It features insights into what is going on at a given company, and potentially it can share fresh information. On one corner of the page, the new design features “How You’re Connected,” listing “First Degree Connections” (people you know), “Second Degree Connections” (people those people know), and total employees of that company who are members of LinkedIn. Nishar added that the new company pages also feature a products section and a careers section, and that currently there are over 2 million “LinkedIn Company” pages.
Nishar then spoke about “LinkedIn Today.” He called it the “defacto professional trade magazine” for members and stated that by utilizing the knowledge of who members are, what members’ networks are, and what industries they are part of, it provides a tailored view of daily news they should be reading. It “gives insight and helps [the members] do [their] jobs today.”
The Product Head then mentioned that LinkedIn recently launched its “Top Leadership Series,” a sort of long-form blog which is being written by “150 of the most powerful business luminaries” from around the world. They represent 11 countries, he added, and they post “about what they care about to share it with the community.” The group includes a Nobel Prize winner and a MacArthur Fellowship “Genius” grant winner. The group as a whole has authored 29 books from the New York Times Bestseller List.
Nishar also expressed his pride in the “Endorsements” feature, repeating that LinkedIn is adding 175,000 new profiles per day (about the same as 2 per second), and announced that profiles on the site are now being viewed 25 million times every day.
When you choose to bring your social media campaigns to Socialty, you can definitely count on our company’s expertise to help you to create, freshen up, and then to maintain a dynamic profile page on LinkedIn.
In 2012, it’s more important than ever that you and your company’s interests be represented accurately and honestly on websites such as LinkedIn. Isn’t it time for you to contact us? Then you can “Keep Social and Carry On!”
Watch the entire press conference at:
Keywords: LinkedIn, members, social media, professional, socialty, connections, page design, media campaigns
“What should I do?” It’s a natural question. What’s the best approach to use when your business is ready to take the plunge and enter one or more social media services? Socialty can guide you in the right direction, whether you’re an “old pro” or a “newbie” using the social media websites. First, consider your reasons for using social media. Is it important to you that (relatively speaking) it isn’t expensive or time consuming? Do you feel like it will be fairly easy to do? Perhaps most importantly, is your existing customer base using it? What about potential customers? Which group(s) do you want to reach out to?
Second, ask yourself to mentally (or even better, in writing) list the goals for your business relating to online presence and social media use:
- Do you want to match up against your competitors? That’s a reason for a lot of business owners that have been “left in the dust” behind more tech-savvy companies. There’s no shame in that, but perhaps it’s time to get serious about social media and let Socialty help you catch up with them.
- Perhaps you just want a way to contact existing customers. “Liking” your business page on a site such as Facebook will keep the customer informed by opening a line of communication between you and them. You can tell them about special offers and discounts, for example, and they can tell you exactly what they like or dislike about your company.
- Maybe in your case the main goal will be to promote your products or services, which in turn will increase awareness of your business. You might only need to target a small town where you’re located, or a worldwide potential audience. The best news is that social media not only lets you easily self-promote your business, but good word of mouth is readily visible from one customer to the next through online reviews, comments and discussions!
Third, it’s time to think about the costs. Better than 4 of 10 businesses choose not to budget for social media marketing. However, a majority of businesses spend something – if only a small amount of money – on leveraging social media for their business, which greatly improves the likelihood that it will result in a positive impact on the bottom line. But it need not “break the bank!” Of those businesses spending dollars, more than 1 in 4 spend less than $100. As the old saying goes, a little goes a long way! Socialty can help you stretch those dollars to get the most out of them.
That brings us to another point. Who’s going to do all the work? It isn’t backbreaking, muscle-straining labor, but social media marketing is time intensive and requires thought, planning, and good old-fashioned follow-through. Many businesses don’t employ anyone to run social media efforts, but increasingly (as the benefits become more and more obvious) owners and management are realizing why they should do so. You can try to do it yourself, and sometimes that’s a successful approach.
However, we at Socialty usually hear from our customers that the plan didn’t work out. In one way or another, whether it’s a lack of time to write and post blogs or e-mails, difficulty learning the “ins and outs” of social media systems like Facebook and Twitter, or unexpected occurrences that shift attention away from the necessary upkeep like updating pages and responding to online questions, business owners often find that it’s worth using a service that has the skills needed and that will put in the time to make it work!
The next step is to figure out which social site(s) you want Socialty to target. For many businesses, using Facebook is a great place to start. According to Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg the site recently surpassed one billion active users every month! It is a great site for “sowing seeds” to grow your business. Many Facebook users are more likely to buy your products or pay for your services if they choose to receive updates from you via their News Feed. You can “reap the harvest” by using Facebook to increase brand loyalty and to drive repeat business back to you! To complete the circle, promoting online social media is possible through your storefronts and/or through print, radio, television, or virtually any kind of advertising.
Another of the most popular social media services is Twitter. Unofficial estimates are that over 500 million people have Twitter accounts. You can “tweet” a message of 140 or less characters (letters, numbers, symbols) to consumers who choose to “follow” your business. Of course this can be a deceivingly easy process, with a language of its own that can take time to master. What you should write, when you should tweet (and how often) can change how successful or unsuccessful your efforts are. Socialty can help by formulating a plan customized to your business, its goals, and its customers.
Other sites you may want to utilize include YouTube, Google+, and LinkedIn. Each of these can have a tremendously positive effect on your business, but each also has its own intricate features, strengths, and risks. For example, you wouldn’t want to post a video on YouTube that acts as a commercial for your business, only for a rival business or disgruntled customer to write hate-filled or obscene comments about it! Socialty can protect your online reputation and also help direct complaints to the appropriate people for resolution.
In short, Socialty is ready to help you today to reach your goals in social media marketing! If you have a plan, we can help you execute it. If you need a plan, we can help you create one.
The best approach is to let Socialty create, update, or take over your social media program. Your business will be in great hands with a professional company, you won’t have to worry anymore, and you can “Keep Social and Carry On!”
Links to the sites Referenced above: