Category Archives: Social Media
Last month, Twitter rolled out a couple of new features. Because Twitter is an important platform in a social media strategy, any changes they make to their policy can change how they use it as a tool. Let’s take a look at what they are and what they mean for the marketing community.
Direct Messaging from Anyone Who Follows You
You’ve been able to direct message people who follow you since the platform’s development. The other side of that coin is that anyone you follow is then capable of sending you direct messages. However, now it’s possible for someone who follows you to direct message you even if you aren’t following them.
For marketers, this means companies can now receive direct messages from anyone who follows them. The most important repercussion of this change is could be that consumers can now direct message companies with their praise or woes. This could open doors for a better customer experience and transform Twitter into a proper form of customer service. Savvy companies already utilize Twitter to engage their customers on a personal basis, but this would widen the channel of communication and allow customers to talk directly to a company.
However, this could also spell trouble for companies in times of trouble- should scandal or controversy arise, the ease and widespread use of Twitter means that companies could be getting magnitudes of hate mail yet unseen. Some would argue that it would be better to receive criticism in the form of direct messages rather than in the public forum of a regular tweet. This might be true, but it doesn’t take much effort for a user to send the same message privately and publicly, which is likely if a truly large gaffe has been made.
To ensure that your company can receive direct tweets from customers, make sure to check the box in your settings that says “Receive direct messages from any follower.”
As of October 14th, marketers can schedule Promoted Tweets via Ad Products. While scheduled tweets have been in action for years through third-party services like HootSuite, it’s a new feature to Twitter proper. This change has more straightforward ramifications for marketers as they will now be able to plan promotions for sales or products up to a year in advance.
Maximizing this opportunity, though, might be less impactful than the direct messaging news. In today’s reactive social media environment, where tweets can change meaning and necessity in a matter of minutes, it could be better to compose tweets as they become relevant to avoid any mistakes. Of course, tweets for set dates (“Merry Christmas” or “Happy Birthday to our CEO”) make sense and can be festive and playful. Also, if you have a blog, you can promote your posts at the same time that they’re scheduled to go live.
More pertinent is the ability to schedule what time of day your tweets will go live. There are certain times when your tweets and other social media will be most advantageous to post, so the ability to schedule certain posts to get the most attention can improve your chances of getting shares and retweets.
Otherwise, a word of caution to the wary marketer: plans change. Be prepared to change your message or delete it altogether in the event of delays or adjustments. There are few larger mistakes than the spread of misinformation, so don’t ever schedule a Tweet and forget about it. Also, if a major event occurs, Twitter will likely have a lot of attention on it as people try to get news. A scheduled Tweet about a new line of sneakers will, at best, go unnoticed during a national emergency or tragedy and, at worst, turn into an exercise in poor taste.
Using these new changes to Twitter effectively is a matter of responsiveness. The direct messaging should allow for more contact with customers and the Scheduled Tweets should take a couple of things off of a social media director’s schedule, while keeping an ear to the ground for change. With consideration, these could help marketing keep pace with social media in a meaningful way.
B.W. Taylor is a marketing writer who spends a worrying amount of his time studying social media trends.
It’s hard to believe now, but once upon a time MySpace dominated the Internet. Tom’s smiling face greeted millions of socially connected web users all over the world every single day. In 2006, it even surpassed Google as the most visited website on the Internet. But things started going downhill when a scrappy little startup called “Facebook” started taking everything people loved about MySpace and making it better. In 2008, Facebook surpassed MySpace in traffic, and the once dominant social network has been lagging ever since.
Since Facebook became the major player in social, MySpace has tried to reinvent itself over and over again. So… what exactly has MySpace been up to recently?
Myspace. Not MySpace.
Myspace (they dropped the big S) relaunched last year with a big ad campaign. Rather than trying to compete with Facebook, they have decided to focus on offering a platform to help musicians and music listeners connect to each other. The decision came after Specific Media (along with pop superstar Justin Timberlake) bought the company from News Corp for about $35 million dollars in 2011. That’s a far cry from the $100 million that the company was asking for, and a far, far cry from the $580 million purchase price in 2006.
After buying the site, Specific Media completely overhauled it. While some major online brands still connect to customers through the social media site, Myspace is mostly designed to help fans connect with musicians and other artists.
Gone are the millions of blogs that once were a primary feature of MySpace. Since the site wants to focus on multimedia, and not compete with countless other blogging services, they effectively wiped clear years of personal musings. Unsurprisingly, this has caused a lot of anger among the site’s remaining loyal users, some of which even threatened to sue the company over the loss.
When you sign up for an account, you are asked to choose from a variety of different types, such as “Musician,” “Comedian,” “Fan,” “Brand,” “Venue,” etc. Your new home page is a slick, modern scrolling interface featuring lots of musical artists and automatic video. You can stream music tracks, and sometimes even entire albums, and make a playlist of the available songs. You can then share the music, get recommendations, and discover what your friends are listening to. Think of it as Spotify meets Pinterest.
But Can It Compete?
Myspace is now 10 years old (which makes it ancient in Internet years) and is trying to move in a completely different direction in order to reclaim its past glory. The backing of Timberlake, who also promised a download of his single “Suit & Tie” for every person who signed up for a new account, certainly means that it has a chance to get the attention required to be a competitive social network. But, of course, attention alone isn’t enough. Only time will tell if all that positive publicity and whiz-bang site design will translate into success for the once great social network.
Arnold Wiley is a blogger from Pala Vista, California. He writes about social media, online marketing, and techonlogy.
When most companies think of social media marketing, they think of creating a company Facebook page, starting a company Twitter, and if your business has anything to do with baked goods, art, or making things by hand, then you’re probably diving into Pinterest too. If this applies to you, then by by now you have three active social media accounts for your brand then you must thinking, “Ok, this is my social media limit, no more social media accounts. It’s too much.”
Trust me, as a community manager who maintains so many social media accounts I’ve actually lost track of how many there are, I understand the viewpoint that maintaining active social media accounts for your business sometimes feels like a lot of busy work, with little payoff. Conversions from social media are notoriously low, so you’re basically spending all that time “building up your brand’s presence” which for folks who like to measure the success of a campaign in hard numbers, this can be a slow and tedious process.
But, even if you’re feeling that creeping sensation of social media burnout, you need to put your professional pants back on, and create a Google+ page for your business—even if the thought of having to update yet another social account makes you die inside a little bit.
Here are three reasons why your business should be using Google+.
1) On Branded SERPs, Your Google+ Posts Look Like Ads
Google the name of a well-known brand. Now look to the right of your search results. If the brand has a Google+ page, there should be a big, beautiful box that displays crucial information about the company such as: an overview, when it was founded, who the founder was, and the most recent post.
Basically Google is rewarding the people and brands that use their social platform, by carving out some space for you to show off on your first page search results. Use it! This is essentially free ad space! For an example of a brand who is really using this space well, check out Instant Checkmate’s Google Plus page.
2) Google Favors G+ In Search Results
Searchengineland quotes Ben Edelman as saying, “I’ve found more than a dozen Google services receiving favored placement in Google search results.” He lists several examples of Google-owned and operated products and services and then goes on to say, “Some have developed into solid products with loyal users. Others are far weaker. But each enjoys a level of favored placement in Google search results that other services can only dream of.” Although the article’s author, Danny Sullivan disagrees with Edelman’s argument that Google indiscriminately favors their own services, Sullivan does admit that Google at least favors its social network, Google+ in search engine results.
Sullivan says, “Since Google+ it’s not a search engine, having Google+ suggestions positioned on the Google search results pages is simply unprecedented in my time covering the company.” Regardless of whether or not Google favors all their properties, or just G+, it’s still a good idea for your brand to build up your Google+ page so you can start benefitting from that favoritism.
3) Deeper Engagement
Google+ has a ton of cool features that other social media sites just don’t offer. For starters, G+ offers hangouts, which allow customer service professionals to instantly video chat with anyone in the world. Sounds a lot like Skype, right? That’s what I thought too, but with hangouts all you have to do is be signed into your G+ account, and click a button. It’s just as easy as starting a chat with someone, and with hangouts you can instantly connect with multiple people. Many brands have gotten creative with their interactive hangouts by hosting interviews, sharing inside scoops, launching exclusive products and hosting live Q&A’s. Glamour magazine has mastered hosting G+ hangouts.
So folks, the bad news is that you have to learn a brand new social networking platform and continuously update it. The good news, is that once you get comfortable with it, you’re going to love it using it, and see the positive effect it will have on your brand. Good luck, and may your content receive many “+1s.”
Marissa Litchman is a freelance blogger and social media consultant in Los Angeles, CA. She also writes about SEO, Google, and online marketing. When she’s not blogging or consulting, she is busy raising two toddlers as a single mom.
A lot has been said about Facebook’s role in breaking up relationships and tearing people apart, but this social networking site has actually been responsible for bringing people together as well. Family members have found each other, long lost lovers have reconnected, and old friends have been able to get back in touch.
Here are 4 reunion stories that happened because of Facebook.
1) Family Finds Missing Dog
In Nashville Tennessee, Bobby Lyons and her family thought their dog was gone forever when he went missing from their front yard over a year ago. Boxx, an 11-year-old pitbull mix had actually been found by a volunteer group East C.A.N. It wasn’t until over a year later that a member of the volunteer group posted Boxx’s picture on Facebook. Lyons’ granddaughter recognized Boxx and contacted the group. If it weren’t for Facebook, Boxx would have never been reunited with his family!
2) Mother And Daughter Reunite After 48 Years
If you’re a parent, you know that the thought of going 48 years without seeing your child is almost unbearable. Joan Courchene Wehrmeyer separated from her husband when their daughter, Stephanie Phillips, was just a baby. Stephanie was raised exclusively by her dad, and grew up never knowing who her mother was.
48 long years later, Stephanie’s husband entered Joan’s name into a people search website online, which led him to Joan’s Facebook page. Shortly thereafter, Stephanie and Joan met each other in-person for the very first time since Stephanie was a baby. They were surprised to learn that they both worked in the same profession, and enjoyed cooking. The two have been close ever since.
3) Brother And Sister Reconnect
California resident Steve Inman had always wondered what happened to his sister Sally who had been born in North Korea. He was told his father, Steve Sr., was stationed with the Army in Korea when he married his mother, Chum Ku Yi. The couple had a daughter, Sally, and raised her for about eight months in Korea with the help of a nanny, an old woman they knew.
When the Inmans moved to the states, they had to leave their daughter Sally behind in Korea while they worked out the legal issues surrounding her paperwork. Sally was temporarily left with her grandmother. One day, the grandmother said that Sally’s former nanny had come to visit because she missed the little girl and wanted to take her for a few days. For some inexplicable reason, the grandmother said yes. The old woman never returned. Sally just simply disappeared.
Even though the two had never even met each other, Steve never forgot about his older sister who had been left behind in Korea. As an adult, Steve decided to create a Facebook page for “Sally Inman, Missing Child.” To his astonishment, Sally’s daughter found the page and put the two in contact with each other. They now talk almost every day.
4) High School Sweethearts Re-ignite Old Flame
Marty Russell and Julie Korhummel went steady in high school, but lost touch with each other after Russell enlisted in the army shortly after graduation. Although both went on with their lives, got married and had children with other people, they never forgot about each other.
A full 35 years later, the two found each other through a mutual high school friend’s Facebook page. The two became so smitten all over again, that Marty Russell sold his business near the Oregon border and moved to Livermore so he could spend his life with Korhummel! They’ve been happily married ever since.
Do You have Someone You Want To Reconnect With?
Of course you do! If you think back to all the close relationships you’ve had with people over the years, chances are there’s at least one person whom you’ve lost touch with. But what can you do if the person you want to find isn’t on Facebook? Gasp!
For us social media junkies, it can be hard to believe that there actually are people who don’t own a Facebook account. Even if they do, many people keep their privacy settings so secure, that you can’t even search for them. Fortunately, there are many websites you can turn to in your quest to reconnect. If the person you’re looking for doesn’t have a strong web presence, you can still track them down by entering their name into a people search directory and locate their contact information.
Who do you want to find?
Jessica Ruane is a San Diego blogger. She specializes in writing about about social media and family.
If your brand uses Twitter, then one of your obvious goals would be to gain a loyal Twitter following. This won’t happen if your Twitter account isn’t engaging. Here’s how you can get an authentic audience:
- Choose your profile picture
Your profile picture or avatar is displayed whenever you Tweet and Retweet. It also shows up when Twitter suggests that people with similar interests follow you. Therefore, if you want to be taken seriously by the Twitter community, change that default egg – which looks like a fake or inactive account – into a clear and professional or creative profile picture. Your photo doesn’t have to look like a mugshot. You can even use caricatures of yourself or an image of you looking up or down, depending on the image you want to project. The point is to make sure that the photo is recognizable as your brand.
- Build a blog
Give reason for people to follow you by creating relevant and unique content. You can even use your blog to advertise your Twitter account. To do this, simply put a link to your Twitter account or add a Twitter box to your website or blog. To generate a customizable Twitter box, you can use Twitterforweb. You can also use Twitter’s own Twitter buttons.
- Pay attention to how you describe yourself in your profile
Your profile description is that rectangular box with your Twitter “bio”. This space introduces you to potential Twitter followers, so it’s better not to leave it blank unless you’re already a popular personality. Say something about yourself, so you can give people a reason to follow you. One common yet very important tip is using links in your profile description. You can maximize this feature by pointing followers to your personal blog, helping them get to know you better and establishing a stronger connection with them.
- Use the right hashtags to increase searchability
One important tip from VoIP provider RingCentral is to actively use hashtags to cut through the noise on Twitter and increase your visibility. If you’re creating content for businesses, then use #business. If you’re specializing on social media, then use #socialmedia.
- Follow people who have a good follow ratio
Follow people who have a good follow back count. Chances are, they’ll also follow you so they won’t lose followers.
- Follow credible people in your industry
It also pays to follow popular personalities in your industry. Even if they don’t follow back, you’ll get access to the best content related to your brand. When you follow more people in your industry, Twitter also recognizes which topics you’d most be interested in. It can recommend you to other similar profiles or give recommendations on which people to follow.
- Engage with your Twitter followers
Refrain from making your Twitter account impersonal and all about you. Aside from Tweeting your own content, retweet other relevant content from your followers. Ask questions, respond to tweets, comment on others’ tweets, and use hashtags to connect better with your audience.
- Don’t be an annoying Twitterer
Annoying habits on Twitter include trolling, using irrelevant and multiple hashtags, and sending spam tweets and private messages to your followers. You’d either get blocked or unfollowed.
- Tweet regularly
As mentioned, this doesn’t translate to being an annoying spammer. Instead, post evenly spaced tweets during the day (morning, noon, and night) to capture the attention of users logged in during different time periods. You can use an app such as Buffer or Hootsuite to schedule your Tweets.
Twitter is an extremely peculiar site. In all essence, it is a website of limits. There’s very little to do on it except share text, videos and photos, hash tag random trends and re-share or ‘retweet’ other people’s thoughts and feelings. Even user’s characters are limited to 160 characters or less per ‘tweet’. Despite this, Twitter has created one of the world’s largest networking sites with hundreds of millions of people actively using it, including celebrities, athletes and prominent businessmen.
Of course, wherever there are people, there’s opportunity. With the amount of people that actively use Twitter on a daily basis, it is of no surprise that a type of guerrilla-marketing has sprung up in the midst of all the commotion. Marketing your business through Twitter is no new phenomenon but it does take certain savvy to do it properly. Fortunately, Twitter makes it simple enough for any entrepreneur to market on the website, here’s how to get started.
Use Your Profile
Your profile is your identity and for a business it is what your company will identify your product with. Change your profile picture to an eye-catching brand logo or an enhanced photo of your product, this will allow people to quickly identify your business and understand what it’s all about. Make use of the background image as well as a way enticing consumers. Use a photo that relates to your business.
Don’t waste the space given for text on your profile. Your username and account name should be the name of your business; the description should introduce your product and add links to your website if you have one. Post your business address and telephone or VoIP number (more info) so interested clients can contact you easily. Every opportunity to promote your business should be taken, especially on your own profile.
Use the Twitter Features
Hashtag, retweet, trending? If these words sound foreign to you, you better learn them quick. These are some of the ways by which your product can be promoted to the Twitter population. Adding hashtags links to your tweet will bring your post to a big group of tweets tackling the same topic. As a result, your tweet can be seen by people all round the world even if they don’t follow you.
A retweet further spreads a certain tweet to the retweeter’s follower group. If you’re tweet is catchy or enticing enough, it can be retweeted hundreds of times reaching thousands of people around the globe.
When a hashtag is tweeted enough, it starts to trend. Ultimately, this should be the goal of your tweets because this will be seen on the “trending topics” column which means an even larger population will be able to see it. How? Well, people are just intrigued to see what others are talking about so they often check the flow of tweets related to the topic. As a result, you can be connected to literally millions of people if your product or company begins to trend.
Use the Media
The no-brainer in marketing on Twitter is the use of photos and videos. Post a creative advert of tweet a photo of your products with a catch tagline and people just might take notice. It’s all about how well you’ve created your media.
At the end of the day, you’ll get nowhere if you have no followers. Building a follower base is extremely important as this will determine how far your tweets go. Tell your friends to follow you and get the word out by mouth or follow people who follow a lot of others since chances are they’ll follow you back.
Twitter is an extremely cheap and effective way to get your name and brand known, but it may take some time before you build up your fan base. But continue to persevere; who knows, your business campaign may just be the next trending topic.
The use of social media marketing is currently viewed as a good investment for marketing a business organization and has become an important structure supporting major areas of the organization. There are various aspects of organizational management that could be directly or indirectly influenced by social media. There are varieties of ways by which social media could significantly grow your organization and make it pursue a more productive marketing scheme that will benefit the entire organization in general.
Social media in promoting your company public relations
In order to embark in a more productive business undertakings, public relation is critical in any kind of business. You want to stir the online community in making known to the public your company services and products. A good approach to take in making your business more visible to the public is to use the social media community in creating loyal fans of your brand and allow them to spread the word about it through their own social media communities.
Social media is an effective tool to rapidly spread the word around and being able to have your own social media network composed of people who have related interest as your company, you can easily drive a public relations campaign with the help of the social media platforms. Share your stories, like other fan page similar to your company niche and build your own community who share the same interests are good tricks that you can do in order to introduce your brand to the public and even go viral when you are lucky enough.
Social media and finding top talents for your organization
Marketing is not the only benefit of social media to your organization. It could also help in your company’s human relations and management especially in the aspect of hiring talented individuals to work for your organizations. The HR community is currently growing and many companies are using their social media accounts in scouting for the best talents in the world to become important assets in their work force. Top talents also create their own social media accounts such as LinkedIn which is a good source when looking for the best talents to work for your company.
Social media in growing market sales
Social media is a good source for building professional relations to your prospect customers. Many sales persons are engaged in creating their own social media profiles where they could build connections, interact and to make a sale of their products. You can use the social media platform as a content management system to promote your product information with a call to action to entice your potential prospects in patronizing your products. There is a wider market potential to make a sale using mobile marketing as more people are using their mobile devices in accessing their social media accounts to connect, search and even shop online. If one is able to make an appropriate marketing position in the social media market, there is a high chance of growing your sales online.
Social media features optimized for marketing
There are many tools available for social media marketing nowadays. Google has launched its Google + which is optimized for socials and marketing. Other social media sites are also penetrating the marketplace using their social marketing tools such as “like” for Facebook, “tweet and re-tweets” for Twitter and “pinning” for image marketing in Pinterest. Other sites like Reddit, Stumble Upon and Dig is also taking socials as a way of marketing business through content marketing approach. With these powerful social media tools, social media undeniably becomes an important partner in all aspects of marketing schemes of any organization. The use of social shares also becomes a relevant source for building organic links to your website which is a good search engine optimization strategy in social media marketing.
About the Author:
This is a guest post written by Stacy Carter, se, technology and marketing writer and guest blogger. She contributes to the site: Cell Spy that covers useful compendium about spyware for mobile devices.
A little over a century ago, Mark Twain’s magnificently bushy mustache wrote a forgettable science fiction story that pretty much predicted the Internet. This is ironic, considering that his (Twain’s, not his mustache’s) style leaned more towards the simple than the fantastic–which is why we don’t know him as “Samuel Clemens, Sensational Space-Age Scribe” in the first place. But I digress. He probably had no idea that his imaginary “telectroscope” – a device that links phones all over the world to create a system for instantaneous data exchange – would someday sound eerily prophetic. I’m pretty sure he knew, though, that if such an idea were to become a reality, humanity would inevitably find ways to use it as an excuse for terrible behavior. Here are four abilities we’ve seemingly given up for instant news, worldwide communication, and the power to make rows of virtual candy explode.
Keep Secrets…Well, Secrets
Secrets are hard enough to keep on their own without everyone else constantly poking and prodding at fifty megabytes per second. From unintentional data leaks to movie spoilers, nothing is spared from the sheer power of a negligent mouse click. It doesn’t help that the nature of social media encourages users to share information, no matter how insignificant. We’ve all seen your lunch on Instagram (and trust us, you need to eat more vegetables), know how bored you are thanks to your latest Tweet, and applaud you for giving a hapless baby a reason to hate his parents someday by Liking the page guaranteeing him the name “Optimus Prime” after a million Likes.
It doesn’t even necessarily have to be something you intended to do. Just ask any victim of phishing, the act of deceptively acquiring bank account data and using it to wipe people’s savings clean. It’s possible to trick you into providing vital information, if hackers tried hard enough (read: pretend to be dying African uncles and bamboozle you with tales of undeserved inheritances).
Live a Healthy Lifestyle
Much like secret-keeping, engaging in exercise is already a challenge in itself. Unless you’re an actor, model, or fitness coach, you’d have a difficult time trying to squeeze a regular gym routine into your busy schedule…and that’s before we factor in sites like 9gag. There are so many things to see online – essays, videos, pictures of grumpy cats – that it becomes difficult to get off the computer and on the treadmill.
Ordering food can also be done online, making the process of stuffing our faces even more convenient than before. Rushing to meet a deadline at work? You no longer have to walk all the way to a fast food joint to buy food. Heck, you don’t even need to call them using your business phone (more info) to get your greasy, salty, faux-meat burger fix. Between that and the healthier (and more time-consuming) option of preparing – or at least physically buying – food, it’s not hard to see why most people would go for the former.
Be Productive and Focused
Don’t get me wrong: multi-tasking is a great thing if you know how to prioritize. Unfortunately, the exact moment we figured out how to work on two tasks simultaneously is about the same time we tried to squeeze in ten other unrelated things as well. You end up taking more time than you normally should, and subsequently produce subpar work. Say hello to wilfing: by the time you realize that your report is due in five minutes, you’re already drowning in a sea of Web pages talking about living dinosaurs, the dangers of liposuction, photorealistic illustrations of Disney princesses, and scathing reviews of the Twilight books.
Be Decent Human Beings
The accountability that goes with face-to-face communication tends to be completely bypassed online in favor of brutal comments and insensitive jokes, all lobbed from behind the gigantic sandbag of anonymity. One can simply make a bogus social networking account and fire away, flinging insults and racial slurs without fear. Studies have shown that the lack of eye contact and the desire to present a strong image to the rest of the world greatly influence our online behavior, which is just a fancy way of saying that we really love punching other people in the nose when nobody’s there to slap our wrists.
Speaking of violence, “online gaming” and “nice people” are two things that don’t belong in the same sentence. All it takes is an afternoon of online gaming (preferably, a first-person shooter) to both extinguish your faith in the human race and teach you fifty shorter, considerably less civilized variations of “your mother never loved you.”
Ah, if only we could redesign the Internet to make us more productive and stop us from making stupid decisions. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to catch up on the latest installment of Epic Meal Time.
When it comes to the social network of the internet as we know it today, the first thought always flies to Facebook. The website that started with humble roots as a student body social website in Harvard University had ballooned exponentially into a billions strong crowd of users that use its services in order to share virtually everything (and sometimes downright too much) about their lives on a daily basis.
What Facebook can do
No longer merely just a social networking site, Facebook is now a melting pot of a variety of services—users can find friends, family members, old schoolmates and more over the search feature. They are able to create fan pages and groups where they can discuss mutual hobbies and interests. Users could also make their own pages in order to promote themselves, or turn it into an online shop where they could display their wares in an album for others’ perusal. Users can communicate via chat and, most recently, over VoIP (read more) using the new Facebook messenger app that had been developed for mobile OS. Businesses use their Facebook pages to update customers as well as announce contests and other important updates.
However, these are but a few of the many features that Facebook had pumped out in the span of its existence as it grew into the giant that it is today. Many of these features are no longer available since they have either repeatedly failed, or users have tired of them. There is even some evidence that some users may be tiring of Facebook altogether.
The downward slope
Spotify listens, Facebook questions and other similar features have vanished from the features lists, especially after the transition into the News Feed layout. Many users, the prominent ones in particular, who used to rake in hundreds of likes on their posts, have noticed a downward slide. The News Feed was a rather downturn. There is also the Timeline layout in Facebook that has caused quite a few users distress, because it easily returned old posts that they may not want brought back to light at present times.
Unhappy with the way Facebook is turning out to be as more and more changes occur, a number of users are withdrawing from the site, some of them abandoning it altogether. This is never more evident than with the teenage demographic which, according to CNET.com’s recent report. Teens are one of the largest demographics in Facebook (and everywhere else in the internet bewails this fact owing to the kind of updates this age group makes) but they seem to be losing interest in Facebook simply because it’s become too much.
With so many users on Facebook, everyone they know is there, which includes family who they do not truly want to associate with when it comes to their online lives. Facebook has also become complicated with all the new features and changes, that it’s no longer simple enough to keep a teen’s attention span. They are moving on to more private and secluded platforms such as Instagram (another service that is ballooning by the day), and Tumblr, where their privacy is prized.
One wonders what fate will befall Facebook if this exodus continues, but for now, it hardly seems to make a dent in the giant’s armor.
Being adept at social media is an advantage to anyone. An article in McKinsey Quarterly says that few domains in society and business have not been impacted by the social media revolution. Many businesses and organizations recognize the transformational power of social media and have responded to this change. Social media platforms are now being utilized to generate sales leads, create sophisticated viral campaigns, increase brand loyalty, and more. Even individuals benefit from social media — we see amateur performers being catapulted to instant popularity through YouTube, professionals finding their dream jobs on LinkedIn, and writers turning their self-published works into best-selling ebooks through social media promotion. If you’re not as social media-savvy as you would like to be, consider these tips:
Learn the craft of image manipulation and video production
The creation of compelling content is a must for anyone who wants to master social media. Nowadays, YouTube videos are uploaded in a blink of an eye and infographics, memes, and other images have become staples in catching followers’ attentions. You can start off by learning the basics of video editing, and don’t worry if what you come up with is not as perfect as you would like it to be. The McKinsey Quarterly article also says that, “Too much perfection is actually a barrier to collaboration and co-creation, as it disinvites participation.” The raw and unpolished feel is actually acceptable, since it invites your audience to engage with your material.
A lot of online tools can now help you learn more about multi-media production. To make animated videos, you can also use sites such as Xtranormal and GoAnimate. There are also hundreds of Photoshop tutorials on YouTube and other free resources such as Adobe tutorials. If you need a quick image upload, then simply use image-filtering apps like Instagram.
Brush up on your writing skills
Responding to comments, coming up with regular blog posts, creating simple infographics – all of these require decent, if not exceptional, writing skills. If you’re not that comfortable with the written word, you can build your confidence level by doing two important things: reading and writing. The only way you can learn excellent writing is to read excellent writing. So throw away that copy of 50 Shades of Gray, and substitute it with classics such as Strunk and White’s Elements of Style and more contemporary but awesome novels like Ender’s Game or even Harry Potter. There are also online sources you can use to guide you in basic grammar like the easy-to-read explanations of Grammar Girl, the humorous albeit sarcasm-laden The Oatmeal, and the Marvel/DC-inspired Grammarman.
The next thing you can do to practice writing is to put up a blog. It can be about any topic that interests you. Your own blog site will not only motivate you to write, it will also give you hands-on experience in promoting your blog posts on social media. You can also sharpen your writing skills by participating in online forums and commenting on the blogs of others.
Follow the social media experts
Learn social media from the experts themselves. You can follow recognized social media gurus like Guy Kawasaki, Pam Moore, and Mari Smith on Twitter. You can also read blogs like Social Media Examiner and Social Media Today and experiment on the tips they give.
Of course, your social media skills won’t improve if you don’t use social media yourself. Focus on a few networks you would like to master and start learning their distinct characteristics. It may take a bit of time, but you’ll be able to gain more confidence as you use social media more and more.