Social Media

Three Things Thursday: Google Maps are BACK! And some other stuff.

Maps App for iPhone Steers Right (via The New York Times)

This piece of news has restored my faith in humanity and has given me hope that maybe, just maybe, the world won’t end next Friday. I know this seems a bit dramatic, but if you know me personally, you know that I have very little sense of direction.

Life without Google Maps has actually been a bit of a nightmare. The MapQuest app was alright, but definitely more useful for people who you know, drive. Not people who rely on public transit and their own two feet to get around like me.

I just downloaded it right before I started writing this post and am checking it out for the first time. The article I’m citing is right. It’s fast, it has a clean design, and has more options than it did before. You really need to check it out for yourself to believe it – it’s everything we’ve been missing, and more.

After Instagram Breakup, Twitter Adds Photo Editing and Filters (via Wired)

You can no longer embed Instagram photos into your Tweets in a move from Twitter this week. (You can still click the link to see the image, but it won’t open up for you in your feed like it did before). With more and more people using mobile for, well, everything, this is going to be kind of a pain.

For me personally, I don’t send photos from Instagram to my Twitter feed all that often. I tend to use it as its own channel. However, I am curious to know what the typical consumer behavior is and how this is going to impact Instagram and Twitter usage.

To try to fill the void in our filter-loving hearts, Twitter has added a photo editing tool.

Twitter Filters

Photo via Wired

I haven’t tried it out yet, but it was definitely a smart move on their part.

Facebook Shows You Your Year in Review (via Mashable)

Everyone is having the end of the year (and possibly the world) craze, and Facebook jumped right on board with that. Yesterday I noticed a 2012 Year in Review option on my Facebook profile. Naturally, I checked it out.

Year in reviewIt was pretty cool. Definitely worth checking out.

Three Things Thursday [Late Edition]

Yeah, yeah. I know. It’s Friday, yet here I am still posting a Three Things Thursday. I was going to just forget the whole thing for this week, but then I came across a few things that I really felt were worth sharing.

Forgive me? Please?

1) 100 Fascinating Social Media Statistics and Figures From 2012 (via Huffington Post)

I knew that Obama’s victory Tweet of him and Michelle hugging was the most RT’d Tweet of all time, but there are definitely a few gems of info in this top 100 list. Some of my favorites included:

  •  25 percent of users on Facebook don’t bother with any kind of privacy control (count me in as part of that)
  • Links about sex are shared 90 percent more than any other link (on Facebook)
  • In 2012, 1 million accounts are added to Twitter everyday – and 175 million Tweets are sent from Twitter every day
  •  Nearly 4 billion photos have been shared on Instagram since its beginning

2) Got a Facebook Brand Page? Here’s How to Keep it Legal (via Ad Age)

This lawyer dude read the legal terms for Facebook brand pages and broke it down to share what information was pertinent. He’s my new hero.

Ad Age Lawyer

I highly recommend watching the video – and taking notes! Here are a few things I jotted down that I didn’t know about before watching this video:

  • In your Facebook cover photo, you cannot include pricing or purchasing info, contact information, references to Facebook features, or a call to action. (They want to keep it image specific).
  • If you have a promotion that includes prizes, it must be done via a Facebook app. The app cannot include features on a Facebook page such as a like button.
  • You cannot contact someone via Facebook if they won a prize through your promotion – you must contact them via e-mail or telephone

3) Africa For Norway: Viral Video Pokes Fun At Stereotypes In Aid Efforts (via NPR)

In a hilarious parody video, a group of Africans start a relief effort for Norwegians suffering through yet another brutal winter. Their plan? To send radiator heaters to Norway.

Clearly, this is a parody, but it really does address a serious issue: the media creating a “stereotypical image of Africa as a continent riddled with conflict, disease, corruption, poverty, and brutal dictatorships needing rescue from developed nations.”

Check it out -

Three Things Thursday: Facebook Makes Some Upgrades and Pinterest Gets Ready to Make $

I probably won’t be posting another edition of Three Things Thursday until after Thanksgiving. I’ll be spending the holiday weekend in Oregon and don’t plan on doing anything but drinking pacific northwest beers, eating lots of food, and possibly hiking (you know, to get a little exercise).

I hope all of you have some good plans lined up. I know I’m excited to catch a break! Without further adieu….

1) Facebook Rolls Out Share Button on Mobile Site (via Mashable)

I think we can all let out a huge sigh and exclaim “about damn time” on this one. As more and more users are doing most of their Facebook-ing on mobile devices, it just makes sense that all of the functionality becomes available on the mobile platform.

This is going to be especially beneficial for brand pages (and you know, those super annoying Just for Teens posts – or maybe I’m just friends with too many kids).

2) Facebook Launches Job-Listing App (via Wired)

In it’s furthering efforts to become the Super WalMart of online spaces, Facebook announced yesterday that it is kicking off a job posting app called Social Jobs.

In a recent Three Things Thursday post, I referenced an article that said 52% of job seekers use Facebook to help find work, up from 48% a year ago. Facebook isn’t actually posting the job listings – the 1.7 million jobs currently available come from other online online job boards including BranchOut, DirectEmployers Association, Work4Labs, Jobvite and Monster.com.

This new platform may make Facebook users reconsider how they are presenting themselves online. We hear stories all the time of people getting fired because of things they have posted, and we all know that potential employers are Googling applicants. If Facebook becomes a serious platform for the job search, you may see a lot less frat party photos and a lot more resumes (a la LinkedIn).

3) Pinterest’s March to Monetization Social site debuts business pages, case studies, best practices (via AdWeek)

The creators of Pinterest are ready to move beyond a dream board service for young women planning their fantasy wedding and cash in on their brilliant platform. How are they doing this? By debuting free-to-use business pages.

This is a major step forward for the company, who had “consumer page owners sign an agreement that doesn’t permit explicit marketing.” Get ready to start seeing ads on your Pinterest feed, ladies (and some gentlemen out there).

Behold the Power of Tumblr

I’ve been a Tumblr user since summer of 2009. I joined because I wanted a simple, aesthetically pleasing format to utilize to document my experiences as a City Year corps member serving in San Jose/Silicon Valley. In the years since I started using Tumblr, it has seriously blown up.

What once was a medium to parooze tattoo designs and cute pictures of corgis is now a major part of communication plans for major organizations. And you don’t have to be a big name to have an impact. Just today there was an article on Mashable talking about how the photo blog Humans of New York managed to raise $85,000 for Sandy relief in less than 24 hours. Pretty incredible.

In the past few months, the City Year Tumblr followership has grown drastically. We only had a few hundred followers about three months ago and now we are nearing 5,000. I used to rarely post on that – but now that we have such a big following, I’m posting on Tumblr at least 2x per day.

But what has really gotten me interested in Tumblr as of late is my friend Evan, whose Tumblr Becoming Bionic is chronicling his journey as a cancer survivor and his new life as an amputee.

Admittedly, his blog is not for the faint of heart. It’s raw, it’s emotional, and at times – graphic. But it has been truly inspiring for me to be able to take a look inside of his life and I know that he has been able to connect with people who are sharing his experiences as well.

Decided to do a little Q&A with him to talk about why he chose Tumblr and what his experience has been like using the platform:

Q: So, why Tumblr?

I wanted to connect with people while having the freedom to document my experiences as thoroughly as possible in as many formats as possible. Twitter bring people together and is a strong medium when you want to communicate with a large number of people, but I wouldn’t go as far as to say there are “communities” on Twitter. Tumblr borrows Twitter’s ability to reach more people, but it also gives you a diverse array of methods to get your message across and express what you need to.

Q: As someone who has spent a lot of time connecting with others via online forums, what makes Tumblr more advantageous? 

Tumblr strikes me as a hybrid medium, at least when you compare it to Facebook and Twitter. It has a chronological layout, which fits the form of a blog but you can spread that message through the use of tags, which is how I’ve managed to reach out to people quicker than I expected. Honestly, I didn’t really know how effective Tumblr would be in that regard. It sort of surprised me. But I found myself in direct contact with other young amputees and cancer patients within a few days – all thanks to #Cancer accompanying every post. 

Q: Can you share an example of someone who have connected with so far?

I made friends with a girl who’s terminal with Leukemia. She “liked” a couple of my long, winded entries, and I subsequently followed her blog (and her family’s as well… both document her battle with cancer). Her story touched me for obvious reasons, but I wrote to her because of the way she put it out there. She’s open about her struggle and a lot of people are learning from it.

You can check out Evan’s Tumblr here: becomingbionic.tumblr.com

Three Things Thursday: Twitter Updates and ThanksGIVING

Apologies for not posting last week. I was en-route to Syracuse to spend the weekend with some friends – I’m sure you’ll find it in your heart to forgive me.

I’m sure a lot of you expected me to do post election social media analysis, but there really wasn’t anything new and exciting to report, and I think people are kind of over it at this point. The only cool thing was that Obama’s victory Tweet featuring a photo of him and Michelle hugging was the most retweeted Tweet EVER. Kinda awesome.

It was actually quite difficult to find three interesting social media marketing tips since the Internet was saturated with election coverage, but here goes…

1) Now You Can Add Interactive Images to Your Tweets (via mashable)

Apparently ThingLink enables users to make their images interactive – including embedding links to videos, audio, and adding text.

Essentially it turns an image into a “jumping off point for a range of online destinations.”

It’s pretty cool, but I’m not really sure how pervasive this will be. You can check out an example of it here.

2) #GivingTuesday (via givingtuesday.org)

We all know about Black Friday and Cyber Monday, but this year on Tuesday, Nov. 27, you may find yourself participating in the launch of #GivingTuesday.

Essentially, the idea is that this will be the kick-off date to holiday donations. Partnering with a bunch of major companies (Microsoft, Cisco, and Sony to name a few) #GivingTuesday hopes to get people to together to “create ways to give more, give better and give smarter.”

Am very curious to see how this will take off.

3) You Might Have Gotten An Email From Twitter About Your Account Being Compromised, It’s Real (via techcrunch)

Twitter is sending out e-mails to its users to let them know that their account “may have been compromised by a website or service not associated with Twitter” and that they need to change their password.

TechChrunch was actually a victim themselves!

Personally, I have been receiving a lot more spam direct messages than I ever have in the past. The solution is always to change your password – maybe this is something we all should consider doing more often just to protect ourselves. I know it’s annoying, but it’s a lot less annoying than having 50 people Tweet you to let you know you need to change your password.

Insensitive Marketing During #Sandy

I totally understand the value of connecting your organization’s messaging to what’s going on in the real world. I do it with City Year all the time.

However, a few companies chose to capitalize off Sandy (and the people that were stuck in their homes) to make a buck.

Two of the guilty parties are Urban Outfitters and American Apparel.

Here is what I received in my inbox from Urban Outfitters:

 

If I used the pass code ALLSOGGY at checkout, you were given free shipping for your order. All in the name of helping Sandy “suck less.”

American Apparel offered 20% off for customers living in the areas affected by the hurricane via an e-mail blast:

As Mashable documented, this sale was not welcomed by many people in the Twittersphere.

Personally, I don’t appreciate making light of such a serious situation. I found it to be incredibly inappropriate and distasteful.

One piece of e-mail I didn’t mind receiving was from Barack Obama, in which he didn’t ask me to donate to his campaign but instead asked me to donate to the American Red Cross so I could help support those affected.

More organizations should follow suit in that approach – garner attention for helping build support, not to take advantage of a terrible situation to make a profit.

Three Things Thursday: Facebook Losing Ground with Teens, How to Avoid Being a One Hit Wonder, and CATS!!

What’s up? It’s Thursday! Isn’t that awesome?! Seriously – I’m psyched for the weekend. Halloween is one of my favorite holidays and I’m really pumped to dress ridiculous and have a good time with my friends.

But I digress. Here are the top three social media news bits I found most interesting this week…

Facebook Barely Beat Twitter, Trounces Google+ Among Teens (via Mashable)

A recent study done by Gene Munster and Douglas Clinton at analyst firm Piper Jaffray found that, to the surprise of no one, Facebook is still the top preference of social media channel for teens. However, the lead wasn’t as large as you might think.

Of the 7,700 teens surveyed, here is how it broke down:

  • 3,280 chose Facebook
  • 2,118 chose Twitter
  • 928 chose Instagram
  • 430 chose Goolge+

There were also some teens who chose Tumblr, Pinterest and even LinkedIn (which makes me question how active their social life is, but whatevs).

I’m not sure that these results are really reflective of the nature of the medium – but how well it translates over to mobile (which I think is why Pinterest did not fair as well as I may have thought). If Facebook can really figure out how to optimize mobile, they might be safe for years to come.

Don’t be a Social Media ‘one-hit wonder’ (via PRDaily.com)

All of the memes of the presidential election has probably let to this discussion of the benefits of creating short term infamy that a clever meme can bring. While these are fun things to have around, they definitely aren’t a great strategy for organizations to take.

When it comes to a social media presence, sustainability is key. And while it is great to run mini-campaigns and sweepstakes, you should always ask yourself “Where does this fit into our overall communication strategy?”

Here are some tips the article provided for sustainable social media:

  • Be consistently useful: For me at City Year, this means making sure I’m providing my audience with information they can use. Our Bullying Prevention Month series is a good example of that.
  • Spend time beyond your profiles: Don’t spend all of your time posting on your own channels – take time to engage with other communities that are related to your topic of interest.
  • Space out your big splashes: Don’t run a contest every week. I’ve found that if you are constantly making asks of your audience, you can wear them out. Be careful of overloading them.
  • Treat your community members like human beings: I will never get to know each of my fans or followers personally, but I can notice what content they are interacting with and give them what they want. I can check the demographics and learn more about them. They are more than just numbers. They are my biggest asset.

UnPolitic Your Feeds! (via BuzzFeed)

I think a lot of my Facebook and Twitter friends are getting sick and tired of their feeds being taken over by political commentary. (Sorry I’m not sorry…)

To help out these poor souls, BuzzFeed and Google Chrome have created a feed filter that will replace all mentions of politics on your Twitter feed with this:

You can also do this with your Facebook feed and the BuzzFeed website. Clever.

While I think it would be a mistake for people to do this, I find it pretty hilarious. Hope this brings folks some solace as we sweat out the next 12 days.

I’m Megan Baker, and This is How I Work

A recent blog post by one of my closest friends (and talented blogger if he would only stay on the wagon) Romel Antoine inspired me to write a post to describe how I work.

It isn’t something I have really thought about before until recently in one of Emerson classes we discussed “A Day in the Life of a Social Media Manager.” I felt like I was looking at my daily schedule on the screen as we dissected the responsibilities of a typical day in the life of a social media manager. Thought it would be interesting to break this down even further in a more personalized way.

So, here goes…

Name: Megan Baker

Occupation: Digital Content Coordinator, City Year Headquarters

Location: Boston, MA

Current Computer: PC for e-mail and social media posts, iMac for video editing

Current Mobile Devices: iPhone 4

I Work: With purpose

What apps/software tools can you not live without?

WeTransfer for sending big files, HootSuite for posting on social media and monitoring Twitter feeds, and Twitter for iPhone for on-the-go and live posting.

What’s your work setup like?

I have a two computer set-up with my PC being my primary machine (because I need to use it for editing our website – Mac isn’t compatible with our CMS and Outlook works better on a PC) and my Mac being secondary. HQ has a really open, collaborative environment which I really like. I share space with my boss, the Senior Director of Marketing, which makes it really easy for us to check-in throughout the day.

Also have plenty of photos of my dogs, family, and friends, Lilo and Stitch and Hello Kitty desk toys, and a Buffalo Bills flag.

What do you listen to while at work?

I usually don’t listen to music because I like to be open and available for conversations with co-workers. But when I really need to focus, I listen to my Manchester Orchestra Pandora station. Some of the artists that pop up on there are: Phoenix, Vampire Weekend, and Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros.

What’s your best time-saving trick?

I setup my social media posts for the day in the morning. I spend about 60-90 minutes catching up on education and social media news and schedule my posts for the day. I don’t know how I functioned before HootSuite. (Of course I monitor the feeds all day, but the bulk of posting happens before 10:30 am).

Besides your phone and computer, what gadget can you not live without?

My iPad. Hands down. I don’t use it for work that often (only for big special events) but it comes in really handy for grad school and of course, personal entertainment. I do most of my web browsing and Netflix viewing on my iPad.

What everyday thing are you better at than everyone else? What’s your secret?

I think that I’m good at getting investment from folks in terms of getting them involved. I’m usually the one in the office helping plan community building and social events and typically have a really solid turnout. My secret is that I have a positive attitude and an infectious laugh.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?

You’re not going to like everyone, and everyone isn’t going to like you, but you still have to learn to work effectively with everyone. I’ve had a couple challenging working relationships over the past few years and I had to learn to look past likability and being friends with everyone. In the end, you have to get the job done and build the best relationship you can in the process.

Anything else you would like to add?

There is nothing more refreshing than a good brainstorm. Bring different people into the fold that might not have direct experience with the topic at hand, but you know are creative thinkers. I have a monthly meeting with a group of people to brainstorm social media content for the month and it is one of my favorite things I get to do at my job. It has helped me build stronger relationships, be more aware of the amazing work that is happening at my organization, and has given me some damn good content leads. Plus, it’s fun!

(This series originated from Lifehacker)

Three Things Thursday: Lessons from an Invisible President, Measurement, and Mobile

It’s that time of the week again!

Before I dive into my three top social media stories of the week, I’d like to start with a  question – what sites do you rely on for social media news? I have a few go-to’s (Mashable, Wired, AdWeek, Forbes) but am looking to expand. Let me know what reputable sites you frequent in the comments!

1) Being @InvisibleObama: Five Real Things Marketers Can Learn From An Imaginary President (via Forbes)

The man behind one of the most notorious satirrical accounts of the presidential election season knows a thing or two about marketing. It doesn’t hurt that Ian Schafer, the man behind the Tweets, is the founder and CEO of a digital agency called Deep Focus. While he has plenty of experience to draw from, he shared some insights of lessons he has learned while Tweeting on behalf of an invisible president:

  • Twitter is a tremendous (and probably the best) complementary platform for live television: If you have a live television event happening, be sure you understand how Twitter can play a role.
  • The timing of good content is everything — but being first isn’t: Create and manage content expectations for your audiences – and be consistent with your delivery.
  • Haters gonna hate. Sharers gonna share: Understand how your audience will behave in that channel.
  • Don’t be cheap when it comes to paying attention: Pay attention to all of the conversations that are happening, not just the high-level (and seemingly) high impact conversations.
  • Having an audience isn’t a privilege, it’s a responsibility: Own up to it.

Really loved his advice here – I feel like we’re seeing a lot of shortlived memes pop up such as @SilentJimLehrer, but Invisible Obama feels like it has legs behind it. It is definitely the longest running joke of the campaign so far, and a lot of that has to do with the approach Ian is taking.

2) 19% of New Facebook Fans Now Come From Mobile (via Mashable)

There are now more than 600 million people using Facebook on their mobile phone.

A Facebook analytics company called PageLever took a look at 500 Facebook fan pages that had more than 100,000 fans and found that in May, only 5% of new fans were through mobile. Only three months later, they did the same measures and found that the percentage had jumped to 19% – a fairly staggering increase if you ask me.

There are a couple possible reasons for this that you could speculate:

  • The obvious one of course is that more mobile users means more fans via mobile
  • Facebook launched advertising for mobile, which may mean that more people are being targeted through their mobile phone

I know that on my news feed on my iPhone, I have seen more recommended pages for me to like and I have been taking advantage of that. Definitely another reason for brands to consider their Facebook strategy through the scope of mobile.

3) 5 Social Media Metrics You Should Be Monitoring (via socialmediatoday.com)

My City Year social media managers know that I’m a stickler for social media metrics. While you can gain a lot of insights from measurements – it is definitely difficult to figure out what you should be measuring and what the results actually mean.

Here are five social media metrics you should be paying attention to:

Engagement: Are people liking or retweeting certain types of content? Are you seeing patterns in your engagement? Keeping track of that can help you determine what your audience wants to hear from you so you can give them more of it.

Reach: How large is your audience? Is it growing consistently? Are you losing fans? It’s important to track these sorts of things – and to be aware of the influence your active audience members have.

Referral Traffic: While it is important for social media channels to create conversations, one of the most important end games is that you want to drive them to your website. This is because for many brands, this is where the consumer “action” is to take place. Determine which channels are driving the most traffic, and give them your attention.

Share of Voice: How much is your brand being brought up in comparison to your competitors? It is important to know how much your brand is dominating in conversations.(This is something I don’t have really any experience in – but would love to explore).

Influence: Know how influential you are and on what topics. There have been questions raised about the effectiveness of programs like Klout, but I still think that they give you a good idea – especially when it comes to your topics of influence.

Do you have any social media news pieces I didn’t feature that you think mattered this week? Let me know in the comments! And don’t forget to share any social media news sites that you frequent that you think I should check out!

Three Things Thursday: Job Seekers Turning to Facebook and the Impending Death of the PC

For the past few weeks I have been writing a “Three Things Thursday” feature on my organization’s intranet Marketing/Communications blog. I’ve realized that the content is actually pretty cool (at least in my opinion) so why not post it on my public blog?

Essentially, I take a look at all of the social media and tech news for the week that applies to my work as a social media manager and pick the three top stories that I find most relevant, then explain what I feel the potential impacts might be for the digital strategy at City Year. On here I won’t get quite as granular with it, but I will share my insights on why I think each piece matters.

Enjoy…

1) Job Seekers Choose Facebook Over LinkedIn, Twitter (via mashable)

According to a new survey from recruiting tech firm Jobvite, 52% of job seekers use Facebook to help find work, up from 48% a year ago. LinkedIn was used by 38% of job seekers, up from 30%; while Twitter usage rose from 26% to 34%. Further, one in five respondents said that they had learned about a job from a Facebook connection.

I found this to be really interesting, especially since I don’t know anyone who has found a job through Facebook. I think this will have an impact on the Facebook presence of companies on the channel. You might start seeing a “Work for Us” tab pop up on corporate Facebook pages and an increase in Facebook advertising for open positions. And in today’s economy, that isn’t such a bad thing.

2) PC Sales Slump as Kids Say No to Computers (via wired)

Based on weak back to school PC sales, it seems as if kids don’t want computers anymore. According to wired, “Shipments of PCs in the U.S. shrank during the most recent quarter by more than 12 percent, according to IDC, and by nearly 14 percent, according to Gartner Inc.”

So, what are kids buying these days? As more and more young people prefer to go mobile, it seems as if the days of the desktop (and maybe even the laptop) are long gone. Personally, I really love my iPad for my graduate school work when it comes to reading and research. Call me old school, but when I need to sit down to write a paper, I prefer to use my MacBook. I think this will have a big impact not only on the PC industry (I’m guessing we’ll see a lot more tablet options) but also in the gaming and web industry as more and more content will need to be compatible on mobile devices.

3) More Americans are staying informed with digital media than with newspapers and radio (via Adweek)

Well, duh.

According to a recent Pew survey, only 1/3 of 18-29 year-olds get their news from TV, which is down from nearly half six years ago. (The exceptions of course are The Colbert Report and The Daily Show).

One of the most surprising pieces of data that I found in this really cool infographic was that 29% of people under the age of 25 get no news at all on a typical day. WTF? That’s just scary. I feel like you have to legitimately try to not get any news on a typical day. Thanks to social sharing on news sites, it’s almost impossible to get on any social networking site without being exposed to the top headlines of the day.

In terms of marketing, people will have to get more creative to reach their audience (especially if they target millennials). The traditional press release and VNR aren’t going to cut it, because they simply aren’t tuning in.