Hashtags Coming to Facebook

Starting Wednesday for select users, Facebook will be able to support hashtags. Facebook wants to start using hashtags to make searching and conversing easier. Many other social media sites, such as Instagram and Twitter, have working hashtags that can be clicked on the view more content related that topic. Many Facebook users already use hashtags, so making them work will just be the icing on top of the cake. Facebook users will be able to type in a hashtag into the search bar to see who else is talking about the same topic.

Photo via someecards
How will social media users feel about Facebook #hashtags?

The company hopes adding hashtags on Facebook will help show that a single post is actually part of a grander conversation. So now, when all your friends post the scores to the games and talk about that awesome touchdown, they can add a hashtag and discuss what just happened with others who used the same hashtag. When someone clicks on the hashtag, they will be taken to another page that has all relatable posts in a single news feed. Facebook stated that the hashtag capabilities will include searching for hashtags, clicking on hashtags that come from other services and writing posts directly from the hashtag feed.

Is Facebook becoming too much like Twitter? As of right now, Facebook users can post a status that is up to 63,206 characters, unlike Twitter that limits a post to 140 characters. Facebook will allow users to add more content and opinion to their hashtagged posts. Compared to the brief posts on Twitter, Facebook users will be able to delve into the topic at hand.

Your hashtags don’t work on Facebook? Don’t worry! It will take a few weeks for everyone’s hashtags to go into effect on the social media site.

Do you think useable hashtags on Facebook will go over well with social media users? Comment below and let us know what you think!

Branding in Six Seconds or Less

Recently Twitter introduced us to Vine — a mobile app that allows users to share simple and fun looping videos with a maximum length of six seconds (think of it as the Instagram of short videos). It didn’t take long for brands to become part of the conversation, but will these GIF-like videos stick around or be a quickly fading social media trend.

Photo By Esther Vargas

Photo By Esther Vargas

Many brands have been active on Twitter and have developed successful strategies for effectiveness. Similarly, a strategy must be made for Vine, determining the personality and brand voice to be used. Here are just a few examples of how digital advertisers have been successful on Vine:

Teasers
When promoting a movie or a new product launch, the six second time limit works to its advantage, only capturing a few brief moments. Rolling Stones Magazine does an awesome job engaging with their audience to guess who is featured on the cover. For its April issue, Rolling Stones teased the cover, with cigarettes covering the mystery celebrity. 

Have no idea who it could be? Don’t worry, Rolling Stones released a Vine the following day uncovering none other than Mad Men’s Jon Hamm. 

Highlight Product
Vine’s short time limit means it’s necessary to show the product or brand throughout the video. This short clip from Malibu Rum shows you don’t have to make an elaborate video to tell a story and get the point across.

Special Offers
Flashing a quick coupon in a Vine is a great way to gain attention for the account and increase views, but it also promotes the brand. Peanut Butter & Co. uses this particular Vine to showcase their coupons. The clip stays consistent with the brand personality and is relevant to consumers.

Informing
Lowe’s videos offer useful home improvement tips, in only six seconds! Their current tagline of “Never Stop Improving” is supported with these playful clips that show you how to make tiny adjustments to make your projects that much easier. #LowesFixInSix is a great example of using social media for branding.

Contests/User Generated Content
Brands can gain a lot of positive attention from user generated content, and Vine is a perfect outlet for this. The Cavendish Hotel held the first vine-only contest to see who could make the most romantic #ValentineVine. The winner won a free night in the hotel, complete with drinks and dinner.

 

Brands have to be cautious to not fall into the trap of trying to include too much content in a brief six seconds. Vine is still a relatively new marketing tactic for brands, but there is potential if done correctly. We will have to wait and see if Twitter’s Vine will bear fruit for digital advertisers.
 

— By Rachel Keeton

Social Media: A Love-and-Hate Relationship

You probably have heard this phrase before: “Before you love anyone, you need to love yourself.” Guess what? This applies to social media, too!

Let me explain. Social media can be very chaotic, frustrating and overwhelming for many business that are trying to implement a marketing plan, but let’s be honest here–love or hate it, social media is not going anywhere. On the contrary, it’s growing on a global level. This dynamic segment in the advertising industry is always polishing and innovating existing technology. Changes are constantly happening, and they’re happening fast!

Photo by Dean Meyers

Photo by Dean Meyers

What are you going to do? Give up? Deny it? We most certainly hope not!

The challenge for everyone is to stay on top of everything that is happening in social media. Although changes can be tough, they are inevitable. How we embrace these changes is what matters, but many times you cannot do it alone. You might feel pressured to be present in all social networks and platforms, but the good news is you don’t have to be, and we are here to help you every step of the way.

A digital marketing agency can help your business develop a strategic and effective presence online. Because no two businesses are alike, we want to create a plan that will achieve your unique goals. We will tap into your strengths and fix your weaknesses. The last thing we want you to do is waste your time and resources by investing in a marketing strategy that will not support your objectives.

Our strategic plan is based on four key elements:

  1. Our clients’ goals
  2. Our clients’ needs
  3. Our clients’ culture
  4. Our clients’ values

If we cannot create a balance of these elements, we are not doing it right. Like relationships, we need to listen in order to have a clear understanding about each other. We hope that you will allow us to help you create a love relationship with social media. Let our team of experts guide you through this dynamic industry and help you find the best way to love social media without forgetting who you are as a company.

–João Mattos

Correlation Between Traveling and Happiness via Twitter

Researchers at the University of Vermont have been studying the relationship between the happiness level of people on Twitter compared to how far they have traveled from their primary locations.

With continued advancement in technology and the amount of personal and emotional information people share via online mediums today, experts can now study human behavior by looking at the sentiment that is expressed via social media. Not only are people providing information about how they are currently feeling, but their location in the world are almost always given as well. Putting all of this together allows researchers to come to a conclusion on how people feel based on where they are.

Photo Credit: epSos.de

Photo Credit: epSos.de

“Expressed happiness increases logarithmically with distance from an individual’s average location,” was the ultimate result of the study done by these experts. The research found concluded that people tweet most often from work and home and when they are further away from these locations, most often traveling, they are happier in their tweets.

While this may be a stretch and might not be the most accurate way to measure how happy people are, it is an interesting subject to consider. Are people happier when they are traveling? Do they express their true happiness on social media or do they just want to seem this way to their follows? Its hard to tell but most of us can agree, traveling to the beach compared to sitting in a cubicle would make the average person happier, even on Twitter.

Reference: Mashable: Twitter Happiness Soars as People Travel Further From Home

 

Politics of the Future: Digital and Social Media

What if President Obama held press conferences not in the White House, but on Google Hangout? What if he answered questions asked by the American people, rather than the news correspondents? Earlier this month India’s Finance Minister P Chidambaram did just that. The minister participated in a live video conference that lasted hour, but the conference sparked conversations that lasted quite longer (e.g. #askthefm).

“People have been calling this era of computers, the Internet, and telecommunications the ‘information age’ … What we’re really in now is the empowerment age…This power is shifting…to a new paradigm of power that is democratically distributed and shared by all of us.” – Joe Trippi, author of Revolution Will Not be Televised

President Obama's current Facebook banner.

President Obama’s current Facebook banner.

Today everyone and everything is going social. Barack Obama and Fançois Hollande are on Facebook, and even The White House, the WTO, and the United Nations tweet.Digital media has become a new form of infrastructure. The United Kingdom offers virtual tours of Parliament buildings. The EU website has an Audiovisual Newsroom. Online presence is a public expectation.

The virtual world has a very real influence.The last two years proved digital and social media’s power to mobilize entire nations (i.e. revolutions in Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, and Syria). Minister Chidambaram’s conference is further evidence of a growing desire to not only pay attention to the man (or woman) behind the curtain, but to eliminate the curtain altogether.

 

#SXSW Takes Over Social Media on a Global Scale

With all the hype of SXSW this year, its no wonder that social media was booming with the latest news on anything and everything that was going on during the festivals and conferences in Austin this year.

For those that don’t know about SXSW, it is an annual set of festivals, musical shows, and interactive conferences held in Austin, Texas. Started in 1987, the event has grown in popularity every year.

Photo By:

Photo By: Fsse

 

According to an article by Mashable, there were over 1 million tweets in 19 different languages sent across the world. The event has been known to bring together hundreds of cultures, all joining each other to celebrate an interest in music, film, and interactive media. In total, 205 different countries were represented at this years SXSW, which explains its popularity internationally. While the US had a major lead on interaction (71%), it is still incredible to see countries and languages that are usually off the radar, like Romanian or Indonesian for example, still creating conversation.

This amazing digital interaction between people across the globe shows how much social media impacts cultures from all corners of the world. Even though we are limited by geographic location and language, we can all come together for events such as SXSW through an online medium. Social media has taken over control, it is the main interaction for people to talk about anything and everything. SXSW is just one example of how an amazing time can be captured and displayed across the world to millions of people.

Social Media Scandals, Scams and Security Updates

Brands got a rude awakening this week. Turns out, social media is not as secure as the Defense Department. Or even a pre-school, really.

“Twitter has a problem: While the social network is trying to woo brands and advertising money to its platform, companies’ Twitter accounts keep getting hacked.” – CNN Money

 

Twitter Hack

Photo by: Photo Giddy

The Twitter “leak fiasco” started back in 2009, when personal accounts of Twitter employees were hacked. With an increasing number of accounts and services related to Twitter it became very difficult to manage the huge amount of data. Therefore, the system without an extra security features appeared to be fragile and easy to break into. It was Fox News’ twitter account next. The portal with more than 2 million followers was hacked in 2011 and, therefore, assassinated.

During the last week, scary news about major brands being hacked came out and now we are all waiting what’s going to happen next. Jeep and Burger King’s Twitter accounts have been broken into.

Social media is by far the best one-on-one experience you can give your customers – no other media allows brands the opportunity to directly communicate with their customers in any sort of efficient manner. But brands seem to have forgotten they didn’t build the social platforms they prize but rather tuned-in to a conversation already in progress. Despite the recent Twitter security update, social platforms are not reinforced with the secrecy and security ad agencies offer that brands have taken for granted for so long.

Marketers should keep in mind the nature of the beast. Social media is a technology meant to gain its own momentum thanks to its viral nature, the same type of draw that lures hackers. Short of social media platforms completely revamping the structure of their site, marketers need to be hyper-mindful of their own security. In case of breach, social media marketing agencies should have a plan in and always remember to maintain a sense of humor and camaraderie in the aftermath of security failures – even with competitors.

— Co-written by Elena Nadtochiy & Ashlie Forchione

Twitter vs. Instagram: A War on Pictures

By now most of you have heard of the ongoing feud between Instagram and Twitter, but incase you haven’t been keeping up I’ll break it down for you. It all started this spring:

April 
Facebook makes offer to purchase Instagram for $1 billion.

August
On the 14th the Office of Fair Trading approves the deal, while the Federal Trade Commission closes their investigation concerning the deal on the 22nd.

September
The deal between Instagram and Facebook officially closes on the 6th and Instagram surpasses Twitter in daily active mobile users.

November
Twitter, who attempted to purchase Instagram, announces they will be releasing their own range of photo filters in the coming months.

Now, just last week Instagram photos on Twitter were appearing oddly cropped and yesterday Instagram photos have completely disappeared, though, they can still be viewed through the URL of the original tweet. Obviously many social media users are starting to express their frustration, but it will be interesting to see how users respond in the coming months after Twitter releases their photo filters. Will people begin to choose one network over the other and how will the digital agency respond to the change?

2012: Social Media’s Lacking Role on Black Friday

 

 

With many shops opening as early as 8 p.m. this past Thanksgiving Day, Black Friday did not have its same traditional role, as waking up at dire hours of the morning to get the best deals for one’s holiday needs. Online shopping goes away from this traditional Black Friday role, as well, but this past Thanksgiving and Black Friday online sales were both up significantly  at 17 % and 21%.

Having many retailers marketing on social media sites, like Facebook and Twitter now, one would assume traffic from such sites would have aided to these high numbers, but in reality this year traffic to retail pages via their social media sites was down sharply. Traffic via social media sites was down by 35% from last year. Looking for instance at Twitter, which drove zero traffic to retail sites as opposed to 0.02%  last year. This does not look too optimistic especially with growing user-bases on both Twitter and Facebook. These numbers need to get better; social media marketing agencies have their work cut out for them if social media sites are going to be a means of getting to users and the users in return acting on it.

Be Approved & Be Known Online

 

Due to social media sites, like Facebook and Twitter. Users feel more comfortable to get free everything from free music, news, and communication with celebrities. Well what is also a plus about social media sites is you can get approval by your followers and friends, even if it is not in real time. Sometimes telling a joke does not get the laughs you want when you are hanging out with friends, but when you post it online it creates an uproar. Jeff Bercovici of Forbes Magazine calls this ‘virtuebragging’. People lately have been doing it with Hurricane Sandy and the Presidential Election, but you can do it about anything from a funny joke to a silly picture to share information you think is interesting and simultaneously get approval. This is a great positive about social media sites since you can influence others to see your ideas.

Social media agencies can definitely use this tactic to get the word about their clients in creative ways. ‘Virtuebragging’ definitely can go viral and get a message out, which is great tool personally and professionally. It can engage friends and it can engage one’s clients.