Sick of your friends’ political posts on Facebook? Hide them with noppl!

The 2012 Presidential Election is now less than one month away. Tonight is the Vice Presidential Debate between Republican Vice Presidential nominee Paul Ryan and the nominee of the Democratic Party, Joe Biden. Social networking has been a huge part of both the Obama and Romney campaign. Political updates from the candidates and qualified individuals are valuable. Random opinions from your friends, typically, are not. If you’re active in the social sphere, you most likely have friends that post their political opinions to various social networking sites. Sometimes, this can be frustrating. Political discussion on social networking sites, such as Facebook, do not typically change anyone’s views. All they seem to do is pit friends against each other.

Enter: noppl. Noppl, “no politics please”, is a extension for the Google Chrome browser. The extension allows you to hide unwanted posts from your Facebook news feed. You hide the unwanted posts by typing in specific keywords you want to block. Noppl gives some pre-filled examples: Romney, Paul Ryan, Obama, Biden, Election. If you’re not a Chrome user, noppl is available as a bookmarklet for other browsers. So, if you’re not interested in your friends political opinions clogging your news feed, or if you’re going to DVR the debate and watch it later, I suggest looking into installing noppl.

I Fought the Law and Social Media Won

We’ve all heard the warnings to be conscientious about what we decide to post on our social networks. Personally, I just make sure I don’t post anything that my grandma won’t like. But it seems more and more people are running into trouble with the law because of what they’ve posted on their pages. Last month there were two separate cases of Twitter users threatening President Obama. One was a teenage girl who is being investigated by the Secret Service and the other was an adult male who was arrested. Another teenage girl maybe in trouble with police for faking her own kidnapping on her Twitter account. Not only did she become a trending topic, #helpfindkara, but she also launched a full police search for her.

Not surprisingly people all over the world want police to use social media more to help fight and prevent crime. At the moment the majority of officials rely on one way forms of communication such as newspapers, televisions, and radio; social media would allow them to investigate faster and more efficiently. Social media users share personal information and obviously feel comfortable sharing a lot more, if the above cases are any indication, so it only seems natural that police use that to their advantage. How do you feel about the police using social media; should they be allowed to access people’s private content on these networks?

Ellie Goulding Hosts Album Signing via Google+

I always like finding unconventional uses for social media, and British singer/songwriter Ellie Goulding wins the award for the day: today, she’ll become the first musician to host an album signing in a Google+ hangout.

From what I gather, there will be a form to “gain entry” to the event, and signed albums will be distributed to fans via snail mail. Admittedly, I was never much of a Google+ user, and Google’s effort to de-throne Facebook as the king of social media largely failed and Google+ looks more or less like a ghost town (seriously, when was the last time I logged in? Forever ago?), the “hangout” group video chat feature was one of the better things to come out of it, and I think Ellie has found an extremely creative use for it.

 

Ellie Goulding is no stranger to social media network-based interaction, either. The music video for her song “Anything Can Happen” was made with fan-submitted Instagram photos.

Both the Google+-based hangout and the crowdsourced music video are extremely clever uses of a social media platform, and exactly the kind of fan unconventional, fan-driven interaction that more social media marketing companies should be striving to drive! I’m not personally an Ellie Goulding fan, but much like composer Eric Whitacre’s Virtual Choir, it is something a broad range of people can participate in without having to travel anywhere, and something that people can point to and say “Yeah, I did that. And it was awesome.

Facebook Now: 1 Billion Users & Counting

As of September 14th, Facebook, Inc.  got its one-billionth user, which makes one- seventh of the world’s population being active users of Facebook. There is no doubt that Mark Zuckerberg, founder of Facebook, has his hands quite full these days. With Facebook going public this past summer, Zuckerberg is working hard to boost confidence among investors and the public and now with this latest accomplishment he has new goals of reaching the next billion and counting users.

Zuckerberg has learned how to reach users by taking useful knowledge from one of the best leaders, the late Steve Jobs,  whose focus was the “user experience”. The users are key, and building a service that caters to them is what the Facebook team’s focus is. Having majority of their active users outside of the U.S and Canada, it will definitely be interesting to see how Zuckerberg will try to draw in the next billion users.

To say that if Facebook were its own country, it would be the third largest is quite a feat, but Zuckerberg is only getting his feet wet in the social media world. It will definitely be interesting to see how the company will draw in more users and how the company will do in Internet marketing against its biggest competitor, Google.

Social Media, Politics, and You

Many researchers and journalists, such as Matthew Fraser and David Carr, believe that social media was the factor that pushed President Obama past John McCain in the 2008 election. But this presidential election is a little bit different: social media has been around longer, everyone is more used to it, and more people are using it.  So how exactly has social media changed the game of politics and the 2012 presidential election?

Must Have a Presence
Candidates, local and national, have to have a social media presence in order to win an election. This is how today’s society connects with each other, and is the easiest and most effective way for a candidate to build a relationship with voters. Right now Romney and Obama are both using Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, and blogs to connect with the public.

Long Term Memory
Not only will comments made by the candidates through social networks never really disappear from the Internet, every comment they make through any medium, good or bad, will never completely go away. They will always be able to be found through social media; the Internet never forgets.

Instantaneous Reactions
Also, because of our ability to tweet, retweet, share, and post content all over social networks, everything moves much faster. Campaigns can respond to negative advertisements and comments made by opposition immediately through their networks. On the other side of that, if a candidate or someone within their party makes an offensive comment that can also go viral in a matter of moments.

As the campaign has already shown social media can both help and hinder candidates. Who do you think is winning the digital campaign?

Social Media Makes Customer Service Better

Something I found out firsthand this past week is confirmed by a press release last week via Garntner, a British technology research firm. Companies that don’t use social media to connect their customer base is the modern-day equivalent of ignoring customers’ phone calls!

 

 

“The dissatisfaction stemming from failure to respond via social channels can lead to up to a 15 percent increase in churn rate for existing customers,” said Carol Rozwell, vice president and distinguished analyst at Gartner.

This issue will matter more to businesses the more widely-adopted social media and internet marketing becomes, as it is an fast, flexible way of reaching out to customers with concerns and advertising products.

The reason behind this? Businesses are more successful when they reach out to their customers in the channel they would like to be reached in, and more and more people are choosing to use social media for much more than talking to friends. Take, for instance, a company like Comcast. After a frustrating round of phone calls when my Internet was just about (it was really slow!) down, I decided to reach out through their customer service twitter, @ComcastCares. It was very friendly and fast, and got my issue taken care of roughly two days before the customer support phone number told me it would, and it was certainly a good demonstrator of the power of a good social media agency.

Online Courses for Free??

For years, online courses have been available directly from universities. But students were required to be enrolled directly in the university and the courses cost as much as ones you would attend.

Enter Coursera. A new social entrepreneurship company partnered with the top universities in the world to offer free online courses to anyone who wants to take them.

Courses in a wide range of topics are offered, designed for students to master the material quickly. Taught by world-class professors from thirty three of the top universities around the world, these courses are perfect for improving your resume, advancing your career or just teaching you something you didn’t know before.

But, so what? Why do free classes matter? You don’t earn college credit by taking them through Coursera. They can take up to eight to ten hours of your time per week. So why take Coursera classes?

Easy answer. In this day and age, everyone needs to learn something new. Whether the class you take just teaches you how to improve your health, basic math or teaches you to how to utilize new technology, Coursera has something for everyone. You can learn more about the importance of social media marketing or how to write your own digital media and mobile app. During my time at Ingenex, I have learned the importance of keeping up with the digital transition. So why not take a class? And everyone loves getting things free… so why not get a free education from one of the best universities in the world?

Digital Media Consumption is Inevitable

Being born in the early nineties, I am part of the last generation to grow up with heavy exposure to tangible media. I grew up with a fax machine, a cassette player, and a print newspaper delivered to my house daily. Now, I email, listen to music digitally, and subscribe to a newspaper on my iPad. I just purchased a laptop without an optical drive. Almost all content I consume is digital. It is a great time to be at an digital marketing company like Ingenex while the digital world is evolving rapidly.

Despite the amount of digital consumption of media, I am still and will always be a huge fan of print media. I love the feel of good quality paper stock. The vibrancy of ink printed on paper. However, the transition to digital media is inevitable.  Consuming content digitally is eco friendly (something we love to be here at Ingenex!) The amount of paper I saved this year alone by purchasing textbooks on my iPad is huge. There is no shipping either when content is purchased digitally – just one click and done. Digital consumption is just more convenient. I don’t have to waste resources driving over Barnes & Noble to get a book, wait for a textbook to be delivered from Amazon, or worry that my monthly issue of Vogue is not going to make it to my doorstep. Besides being eco friendly, digital content is inherently social. It is super easy to share an interesting article read on a tablet. Humans are naturally social beings, and digital media makes it that much easier.

I am eager to learn about all things digital since digital and social media are taking over our lives. During my internship at Ingenex, I hope to grow and strengthen my knowledge of digital marketing. I am looking forward to applying skills learned to a my future career!

New Media Driver’s License will change your life – or at least get you to start a blog

I recently finished work on a master’s degree in digital media at Michigan State University. I was out of school for a few months and interviewing for jobs, and the topic of social media came up on a few occasions.

“Digital media, eh? Do you know about search engine optimization and search engine marketing? Have you ever worked with Google AdWords? Do you write a blog? Have you ever devised a digital marketing strategy?”

“Uh.. Mmm.. What’s a SEM?”

Image: freedigitalphotos.net

So, I walked away from a few interviews without an offer, but with a desire to delve into social media and digital marketing. I had heard of New Media Driver’s License (NMDL) course at MSU, but didn’t think to take it while in graduate school because it wasn’t part of my master’s curriculum.

I enrolled in the summer 2012 session and it turned out to be a tremendous experience. I learned about search engine optimization, search engine marketing PPC, digital PR and social media marketing. I worked with Google AdWords. I started a blog. And I devised a digital marketing strategy.

After the course concluded my NMDL instructor, Derek Mehraban, offered me an internship at his Ann Arbor based digital marketing agency. My first day at Ingenex Digital Marketing was interesting and everyone was eager to help me. I could tell after my first day at Ingenex that I would come away with a host of digital knowledge. Everyone was very helpful and friendly, and my first day jitters quickly subsided.

I’ll have more to report on what I’m learning in the days and weeks to come. Again, I encourage you to take the New Media Driver’s License class.

Also, I encourage you to look into Frita Batidos in Ann Arbor. It’s a Cuban-inspired restaurant a few blocks from the office, and our entire group went to lunch there on my first day. I had the chicken frita with guacamole and it was excellent.

Graduate Success Story – Caroline Zieleniewski

 

Nickname: Care or Line

Linkedin Profile: linkedin.com/in/czieleniewski

College You Attended: Michigan State University

Current Job Title: Currently seeking employment

Favorite Color: currently it’s green (GO GREEN!!)

What you learned in your time at Ingenex: How to manage clients social media platforms, how to promote a brand through different social media outlets including Pinterest, link building to grow the awareness, writing search engine optimized content for websites and so much more!

New Media Drivers License: Yes! I can drive the web :) I learned so much in this class and without it I wouldn’t of had this awesome internship.

How your internship helped launch your career: It has exposed me to many different aspects of digital marketing and now I’m ready to tackle the digital marketing world. I had hands on experience at Ingenex which I think will really help me stand out in my job search.

Advice to incoming interns: ASK QUESTIONS! You can never ask too many questions. Also, have fun with the internship, if you want to try different aspects of digital marketing just ask and  someone will find a project for you.

Most importantly: Enjoy what you do and have fun. Find something that you enjoy doing for work. For me social media is fun and doesn’t seem like work, working on social media all day is awesome!
I just want to say thank you to everyone at Ingenex for making this internship a great experience! I will miss you all!