He Already Brought Sexy Back… Now He’s Bringing Back MySpace Too?

MySpace has long been outdated by newer social networks like the ever-dominating Facebook and Twitter. But a newly released video shows that Justin Timberlake has different plans for the forgotten website.

In 2011, Specific Media and Timberlake bought MySpace for $35 million. With a new design (similar to Pinterest), MySpace is almost unrecognizable from the site it once was. White backgrounds and horizontal scrolling give the website the facelift it sorely needed.

Also, instead of battling the social media giants, MySpace works with them. You can update Twitter or Facebook, find your friends from those networks and bring over videos and photos, all on the new MySpace.

Music also continues to be a huge part of the MySpace network, built with radio and playlist sharing. It returns to the original website goals of connecting artists with their fans.

When he purchased the failing website, Timberlake was quoted, saying: “There’s a need for a place where fans can go to interact with their favorite entertainers, listen to music, watch videos, share and discover cool stuff and just connect. MySpace has the potential to be that place” (ABC News).

While a noble goal, the real question will be: can it work? Can MySpace make a comeback? Will people return to the social network they already left behind, especially with so many other new networks to join?

Its a question every social media agency will want the answer to. Will MySpace join Facebook and Twitter in the social media campaigns or will it just become the musical connection that Timberlake dreams it could be? I guess we’ll just have to wait and see….

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.

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?

Social Media: My Source for News, Comment & Community

Remember the days of waking up, stepping onto your porch, picking up the newspaper, and reading the latest headlines? I have a vague recollection. It’s been some years since I subscribed to a newspaper.

Image: freedigitalphotos.net

Remember the days of waking up, turning on your laptop, opening your browser, and finding out what was making news? That memory is also starting to fade.

Increasingly, I get my information through social media, particularly Facebook. I’ll often start my day at Ingenex Digital Marketing by visiting such online news outlets as The Detroit News, Detroit Free Press, or The New York Times. However, I’ll usually exit after a few minutes given that I become overwhelmed by the amount of content. Other than the very latest news, I don’t always know where to look or what’s most relevant to me.

That inevitably leads me to Facebook to see what is on the minds of the people in my network. If there’s breaking news, someone will probably pass on word. If there’s some controversial issue, people will likely discuss it.I found out about the death of Whitney Houston through Facebook. Someone in my network posted it minutes after it was announced. That was a first — I had always learned of such things firsthand through TV news.

And then, we’re now in the final months of a presidential race. So, of course, there’s also been a great deal of political discussion on Facebook. I know people on both the left and the right and in all places in between, and I’ve been intrigued by the viewpoints shared. I may not agree with everything that’s said, but I’m more likely to consider the thoughts presented given these are folks I know and with whom I have a relationship.

It has become even more apparent to me since I started working at a digital marketing agency that social media is the modern equivalent of a town square. There’s extra joy in finding out positive news from people I know, and there’s a certain comfort in discussing tragedy from friends and acquaintances. What it ultimately comes down to is community — people want to feel connected to one another. The newspaper and other more traditional forms of media may have helped bind people in the past. Now, social media seems to fulfill that role.

IT’S ONLY THE BEGINNING

I’ve always been a huge social media fan. I remember in high school when you had to be invited to Facebook by another one of your high school classmates, because Facebook was only supposed to be for college students at the time. Since then I have grown to love social media. I’ve documented the last 7+ years of my life on social media, and my interest only continues to grow.

I have used all kinds of social media tools, from Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn to Instagram and Foursquare. I love social media, and that has sparked my interest of digital media and digital marketing. I was introduced through my advisor at Michigan State University (GO GREEN!) to a class called New Media Driver’s License that was offered through the College of Communication Arts and Sciences. I heard great reviews from fellow classmates about the class, so I enrolled this past fall semester.

After the first NMDL class, I was hooked. I knew that this was stuff that I was really interested in, and I could see myself working in the digital field. The NMDL course opened my eyes to many different digital platforms. I learned about writing blogs, social media in business, and the importance of SEO and SEM, which I didn’t even know about before taking the class.

Since I completed my Driver’s License, I applied what I learned to the rest of my courses at Michigan State and completed successful advertising campaigns for my clients using key tools like Google AdWords.

During my internship this summer at Ingenex Digital marketing, I hope to sharpen and grow my knowledge and skills of digital marketing. Through my experiences at Ingenex, I look forward to learning a lot and then taking that knowledge and applying it to my future career.

Using StumbleUpon’s New Ad System as a Marketing Tool

With 20 million members, StumbleUpon helps users to discover and share the best of the web. As you rate websites, your interest is shared with other like-minded users. The StumbleUpon experience is about seeing the exact content you want to see.

StumbleUpon has introduced a new ad system, titled Paid Discovery. Users can choose to use this system as a way to post their website to the constant stream of content that users are “stumbling” onto. Up to 5% of stumbles are dedicated to Paid Discovery. The system guarantees the right audience is landing on your content. An ad is not created. Your website is the ad.

What content is StumbleUpon Paid Discovery looking for? The StumbleUpon community wants to see photos, articles, videos, experiences that them smile, laugh, or in thought. Entertaining, informative, and visually appealing content works the best with users as more scores will rise in your favor, thus increasing the chance your content goes viral.

If you do choose to start a marketing campaign with Paid Discovery, there are different options for how quickly and how many users will reach your content. The engagement of users are measured carefully as you are only charged for the users who engage in your content at the level you specified. Factors that play into this include time spent, share rate, page interaction, activity, etc.

The benefits of using Paid Discovery are worth the awareness you will produce. The system will guarantee
discoveries, reach an engaged audience in relevant traffic, and pay for only the unique visitors you targeted.

Why Do Consumers “Like” Brands?

 

Research firm Chadwick Martin Bailey (CMB) recently published a study highlighting the purpose of interacting with a brand on Facebook. In a 15 minute web survey to 1,491 consumers, CMB found that 56% of users aged 18-35 interact with brands they use on Facebook. Overall about one in three users use Facebook to follow brands, where only 4% follow on Twitter and 1% on LinkedIn.

The main reason people “like” a brand is simply because they are a customer. Other popular reasons are to keep track of discounts or to show their support for the brand. A 77% majority consider the extent of their interaction to be reading posts on their newsfeed. However, a “like” could still mean good things for a business. 56% of respondents said they would be more likely to recommend a product after becoming a fan. About 51% said they would be more likely to purchase the product or service. Finally, 58% “like” fewer than five brands and 78% “like” fewer than ten. Therefore, for a majority of users a “like” is significant.

The first big takeaway from this is that Facebook should be the focus of a social media marketing strategy. A very small proportion of people in the study followed brands on other sites like Twitter and LinkedIn. Another thing to notice is that “liking” something is a fairly passive action. In order to make the most of a Facebook fan page businesses need to offer an incentive to be followed – like discounts, new product news, and interesting content – without being overaggressive.