Category Archives: Social Networks

Social networks drive online sales and have the power to impact brand awareness.

Six social media feature updates you need to know about

The technical whizz kids who work for social networks have been very busy of late thinking up new and improved ways for us to use their platforms.  Over the last couple of months Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and LinkedIn have released new features left, right and centre in a bid to make their experience a more valuable one for us lowly users. Many of these features will help your business generate more value from social media engagement, so we’ve done the heavy-lifting and put together a hit list of the features you need to know about:

1. Instagram video

instagram-video

If you are a snap-happy social media user, you’ve probably already heard that Instagram now allow video posts as well as photos.  This is almost certainly in response to the recent launch of Twitter’s new micro-video-blogging app Vine, which is gaining momentum at a rapid pace.  They’ve given us a bit more to work with than Vine though, allowing up to 15 secs of video in a post.  Plus you can apply all of the usual filter-tastic effects to your new moving-picture creation when posting. Since last week you can also upload existing vids from your phone – giving you the opportunity to mine the archives for Instagram gems!

Tip:  The introduction of video has opened up loads more opportunity to engage your audience in creative ways. Don’t be obvious and just post adverts like Carnival Cruises did, inject a bit of fun like these brands!

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Important Facebook update: Run competitions on your timeline!

Facebook yesterday announced a change to their Promotion Guidelines, which dictate how brands and businesses can run promotions on the platform.

Facebook-Promotion-rules

Until this week it was only possible to run a competition by hosting it through a third party app (which usually installed a tab on your brand page). ‘Like and share’ type mechanics were strictly prohibited (despite many flouting this rule!). But Facebook how now relaxed these rules, meaning you can run competitions directly from your brand page timeline and use ‘Like or Comment to enter’.

This is good news for all of us (accept maybe the app providers!), but especially good news for small businesses who may not have the funds to create branded competition through an app. There are still restrictions to how you can run promotions, so we recommend you read the changes in full here (unless you want to risk deletion of your page without notice – which does happen!).

If you’d like some advice on how you can benefit from this change without contravening the guidelines – get in touch !

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Facebook EdgeRank – who really sees your posts?

Many assume that once a Facebook page post gets published to the Timeline it will reach all Page fans. But this is simply not true – Facebook have control over how many and which fans will see your content. Typically this means that (unless you are supporting your content with ad spend) only around 10% of your fanbase will see each post.

Facebook Edgerank

However, Facebook will push it out to a wider audience based on how many likes, comments & shares the posts receive (therefore encouraging Page owners to create engaging & relevant content).

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Pinterest Tips from Pinerly

So you’ve grabbed your Pinterest invite and set up a profile, you’ve probably explored a few pinboards and followed a few people. You may have even created a few pins of your own. But building an engaged community of fans in this shiny new world of social content curation is not as easy as you first thought, right?

This cheat sheet from Pinerly should give you a headstart…

Cheat sheet from Pinerly

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Social network employee kidnapped!

We’ve just heard news that new social networking site All2gethr has received a video message from someone calling himself ‘AlligatorKiller’ who claims to have kidnapped their Head of Communications.

All2gethr employee kidnapped

All2gethr (and their slogan ‘Anything Goes’) has already earned a reputation for attracting dodgy (and downright sinister) behaviour from its users.  Having just recovered and re-launched following a police investigation, they now face new accusations that their practice of selling user data for profit breaks various data protection guidelines.

Its no surprise they have received fresh threats from begrudged members and anti-All2gethr protest groups. But this latest threat is, apparently, very real as they have now confirmed that one of their staff is missing.

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Foursquare launches brand pages for businesses

Until now brand pages were only available to a handful of big players (and high spenders!), but this week Foursquare announced the launch of their ‘self-service’ brand page feature – open to all.

BBC Radio 1 on Foursquare

Not to be confused with venue pages, brand pages offer businesses the chance to behave more like people (in the same way they can now do on Facebook), without being tied to a location.  Users who’ve been appointed as ‘manager’ of the brand page can choose to use Foursquare ‘as a page’. This means the brand can check-in to venues, follow other users (& brand pages) and most importantly leave tips. So brands on Foursquare now have the opportunity to leave hyper-relevant, highly-targeted content at locations for people to discover.

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Is Twitter growing up?

In his recent book ‘Delivering Happiness’, Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh wrote about the moment in the early days of the business when he sat down with CFO Fred Lin and asked the question ’What do we want to be when we grow up’?

Baby crying

With an estimated 200 million now using Twitter and 65 million Tweets being sent per day some may argue that in the world of Social, Twitter is certainly no spring chicken. The heavy adoption amongst celebrities, politicians and the media has fast-tracked the network to stardom and engrained it in the global Zeitgeist.

But in business terms although Twitter has made some inroads in the US with the introduction revenue streams such as ‘Promoted Tweets’, it certainly has a way to go before it matches the behemoth that is Facebook on subscribers, ad revenue or turnover.

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Facebook: Will it be the new internet?

Those of you who are geeky enough to be keeping up with social media news lately will have noticed some potentially game-changing announcements from Facebook. The techies at Zuckerberg’s market-leading social platform have been very busy pushing out new user & developer features that open up massive potential for integration across mobile & web, not to mention influencing the way we use the service.

Facebook Mobile annoucements - Mark Zuckerberg

Recent announcements include <quick gasp of air!> the launch of single sign-on for mobile apps, access to the Facebook Search & Places database for app developers, a ‘Deals’ feature for Pages that can be linked to locations, plus the updated Facebook messaging and a possible homepage tool on the horizon.

Such a battery of updates might lead conspiracy nuts (and me) to wonder about their game plan.  Could it be that the future of the internet is Facebook-shaped?  Are we looking at Google 2.0 (.4.6.1v3)?

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Digg is dead, long live the new Digg4

I’ve recently got my hands on an invitation to the new Digg 4 (and some to give away – see below), which launched in invite-only Alpha a few weeks ago.  I’m really fascinated by social bookmarking as a concept and I’ve been pottering around on Digg for a while to get an idea on what makes it tick.

Digg4 - home page

The one overriding issue I’ve been pondering over is that although the basic concept is easy to grasp (see below for an explanation), the actual Digg experience is often a confusing one that leaves me feeling a little empty inside.

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Quora – all of your questions answered

I was recently sent a private beta invite to new wiki-type Social Network / knowledgebase Quora, which is the brainchild of former Facebook people Adam D’Angelo & Charlie Cheever.   The start-up has already been massively invested in by US VCs, who piled millions into it earlier this year.

Quora

The concept is essentially a question & answer system that they call ‘reverse blogging’.  The idea is members post a question and wait in anticipation for the wisdom of the masses to provide them with an answer.  Kind of like Yahoo Answers but with an added topic / user ‘following’ element that is now a norm with most Social Networks and helps provide a more relevant experience (cuts out the reems of chaff).

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