Washington Post uses social media for breaking news

The Washington Post turned to social media to get ahead of the real-time news cycle as details of a Capitol shooting emerged. Here’s how they did it –

1. Update website and social networks. The editors quickly updated the website to demonstrate they were aware of the breaking news – even though they did not have any details to report.
wp-tweet-news

2. Source generation. Perhaps even better, they gave visitors an Continue reading “Washington Post uses social media for breaking news”

Public rush to Twitter for real-time news of Boston Marathon tragedy

Screen shot 2013-04-15 at 3.22.02 PMPublic dissatisfaction with the pace at which mainstream media reports the news is once again being highlighted  by the recent Boston Marathon tragedy. Twitter users turned the service into a media outlet and was perhaps the first to tell the world that a bombing had occurred  near the marathon’s finish line.

Within minutes, the network also thrust Broadcastify into the spotlight – giving users Continue reading “Public rush to Twitter for real-time news of Boston Marathon tragedy”

Where are the donors in the USA?

If you are running an organization that depends on the generosity of US Americans for funding, you’ll need to check out a study published by the Chronicle of Philanthropy that charts giving patterns in every state, city, and ZIP code.

There are many surprising facts in the study, here are our top 3:

1. The liberal north-east gives less than the assumed conservative mid-west. Salt Lake City, Memphis, and Continue reading “Where are the donors in the USA?”

Top Interactive Marketing Tips 2011

We hope you’ve had a great year following our tips! According to our analytics, our readers and clients were most interested in learning about the latest trends in social media and e-communications – and how to apply them to their business. Here’s to more of the same in 2012!

#1 – Social Media Management: Facebook ‘recommends you create a page instead’ of groups for businesses
Social Media ManagementThree things you can do to avoid losing your community of supporters to Facebook’s archive. According to Facebook, the archiving process will involve converting all old groups to the new group format–but without several key functions and content. For example, old groups will lose members and will not show ‘recent news’ or information about the group’s network and branding.

#2 – Social Media and Business:  Twitter – How Startbucks Use Twitter
Social Media and BusinessThe fact is, you can’t stop people from using social media to say good or bad things about your business or organization, but if you are a part of the conversation you can clarify misconceptions, learn from accurate criticisms, and show off the positive buzz.

#3 – Email Marketing: Spirit Airlines Jumps on Hard to Resist ‘Weiner’ Keyword – Should You?
Email MarketingWhile U.S. Congressman Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.) colleagues were busy rebuking him, Spirit Airlines’ marketing team were busy launching their “Want To See Our Weiner?” e-mail marketing campaign – all puns intended.
#4 – Social Media and Product Improvement: How Realtime Tech Can Highlight and Fix Biz Failures; Bikeshare review
Social Media and Product ImprovementThanks to technology, businesses and organizations function in a real-time information environment. Feedback on your brand’s reach, influence and performance is broadcast across the globe 24-hours a day in an endless news cycle fueled by social media.
#5 – Social Media and Crisis Management: How and Why BlackBerry Turned to Social Media
Social Media and Crisis ManagementBlackBerry needed to manage the 24-hour news cycle driven by social networks to assure their customers that a fix was in progress. Their best bet was to join the conversation and use their own social media networks to engage their customers. Twitter,Facebook and YouTube were all used by RIM/BlackBerry to keep customers abreast with the company’s efforts to restore service – here’s how and why!

How YouTube Killed Klickable TV

It has only been 3 years since Klickable TV‘s Founders Roger Wu and Emily Gannett presented their great idea to the world – a user-friendly platform where users can add clickable hotspots to their videos regardless of where they were hosted. Sadly, today Roger Wu sent an email to Klickable’s beta subscribers saying that Klickable TV will soon be no more… unless some else decides to buy the site.

According to Wu –

“We have had offers to purchase the site / technology / users and are open to other offers and proposals from those of you that know the product the best.  Therefore, if you are interested in the site and our users, please let me know as soon as possible.”

Klickable’s business model seemed pretty solid – the service was free but ran ads, subscribers can pay-up to run their own ads and more importantly access great analytics about their videos reach and impact to their bottom-line; they even had some big user endorsements from The Rachel Ray Show and Jay-Z’s Rocawear brand.

So what could be contributing to the demise of this little company with a great idea? If YouTube is a part of your social media marketing plan, you should thank Klickable for some of the great features YouTube now offer account holders. The truth is, as Klickable gained traction, market leader YouTube simply applied all of Klickable’s great ideas to their platform. As a result, YouTube account holders can now add captions, ads, and clickable links (that takes viewers from videos to any Website) to the videos they upload.

So why would anyone want to buy Klickable? Well, their application works on pretty much any platform – not just YouTube and let’s face it, you cant click on a link on your TV… at least not exactly.

We certainly hope you’ve been using some of cool features Klickable and YouTube have for marketers. Here’s to wishing the folks at Klickable continued success!

Online Donations – What to Expect

If you run a non-profit organization, by this time of year you should be shoulder-deep in soliciting donations to keep your projects going – if not, there is still time!

Network for Good (a major hub for non-profit giving that distributes over $350 million in online donations to more than 45,000 different nonprofits organizations) recently shared some great information that I think should help non-profit organizations (small and large) understand what to expect from their donation campaigns this giving season.

The best news is that giving has gone mainstream – in 2001 the average online gift (through Network for Good’s platform) was $226 – today it’s $73. It’s not that people are giving less, but that more people are giving and mostly in smaller amounts than in 2001. For example, today 65% of Americans give online – compared to just 4% of Americans in 2001.

It’s a great time to raise funds for a worthy cause. Here are three articles to get you started on your donation campaigns:

1. Non-profit fundraising – from email to donation form
Four great take-aways for anyone using email to get visitors to give through online donation forms… Read more »

2. How to craft emails and other communication
If you are sending “e-blasts” to your customers or supporters – please, stop doing it now. This outdated style of email marketing has the same results as fax broadcasts of… Read more »

3. Give your donation campaigns the holiday spirit
…come up with cleaver ways to engage your audience, pair your brand with the festivities, and present an opportunity to convert your audience to customers… Read more »

Good luck – and remember to share this resource with your friends!

New Facebook Design – Timeline

facebook timeline biography cover
Facebook's new biography "cover"
Your Facebook profile is about to undergo some heavy design changes – but don’t groan, the company did their research and this time they are confident you will like it 🙂

The new layout will be called Timeline and its focus will be you. According to Facebook’s own research, users spend more time looking at their own profile than they do anything else, so Timeline will be geared towards making your profile seem more interesting to it’s primary visitor.

Timeline will be more than just a new design, the layout will provide users with an overview of their life since they joined Facebook – possibly all the way to their birth.

Let’s take a look at a few of the design elements that will frame this experience –

A Biography Cover
The first thing visitors to your profile will see is your feature cover – since every biography has a nice cover, why shouldn’t yours? The cover will appear pretty large (see above) and can be uploaded or chosen from any of your photos. The downside is that it appears so large that finding your info will require a little searching. The upside is that if you click on the cover it retracts. If Facebook implement this type of cover for business Pages it will be a great billboard for advertising products and services!

Activity Log (i.e. Chapters)
You (and other visitors) will be able to scroll through your life and Facebook activities right up to when you were born! If you forgot to add some major life event such as: ‘lost a love one’, ‘acquired a pet’, ‘bought a house’, ‘lost weight’, ‘had surgery’, was ‘diagnosed with an illness’ or ‘changed your beliefs’ – there will be a feature that will allow you to update your timeline with this information. And if you forgot to mention that you were somewhere – your friends can now add that information (and more) to your timeline as well. The downside is that it’s a lot of information. The upside is that you will have access to this information and can remove (and sometimes delete) some of it from the timeline.

selective sharing on facebook

Highlighting Important Events
It will be easier for you to control who can see the things you share on your timeline – in just a few clicks you can select the audience for any post or updates you choose to share. The new layout will also allow you to ‘star’ or highlight stories you deem important (allowing them to display differently). The downside is that there will be a lot to learn but its mostly intuitive. The upside is that it will be easier for you to manage what your ‘friends’ see in your timeline going forward.

Happy facebooking!

Searching for Steve Jobs’ Inspiration

Steve Jobs, Apple co-founderSteve Jobs, the late chief executive officer and co-founder of Apple Computer and of Pixar Animation Studios, left an amazing legacy that has impacted the lives of many across the globe – even those that have never used an Apple product or seen a Pixar film. The announcement of his passing dominated all search engines, news sites and social media networks – including Facebook and YouTube.

Technologists, entrepreneurs and consumers alike turned to the Internet in search of Steve Job’s inspiration and to better understand his life and legacy. Many found it in his 2005 commencement speech at Stanford University.

YouTube videos of his speech have become a favorite share on Google+ and Facebook. The video on Stanford’s YouTube channel is currently at 6.5 million views and counting; even though the channel has roughly 1,392 videos, this one video accounts for 25% of the channel’s views.

The video of Steve Job’s 2005 Stanford University commencement speech is also the #4 – Top Favorited Education YouTube video of all time. Watch it to see why and hear the important life lessons Jobs left for us all –

Spirit Airlines Jumps on Hard to Resist ‘Weiner’ Keyword – Should You?

Spirit jumps on weiner
High performance keyword?

They say, ‘any publicity is good publicity’, but embattled U.S. Congressman Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.) may not be in agreement with that statement these days. The Congressman’s ‘x-rated’ sexting has made him both a laughing stock and a trending topic. But while his colleagues were busy rebuking him, Spirit Airlines’ marketing team were busy launching their “Want To See Our Weiner?” e-mail marketing campaign – all puns intended.

Thousands of Spirit Airlines customers got an email today with the subject line “Want To See Our Weiner?”, announcing their “BIG Weiner Sale” with “Fares Too HARD to Resist” (yes, emphasis on ‘big’ and ‘hard’ included). No word yet on open rate, unsubscribe or click rates but this bold move is bound to have businesses wondering if it is ever a good idea to capitalize on trending topics from negative press.

If you are not sure jumping on a negative trending keyword is for you, here are three steps you can take to get in the limelight.

  1. Start your own trending keywords – promote your events, sales and overall business with keywords that are powerful enough to anchor your campaign. Seasonal keywords are great examples – “summer”, “Memorial Day”, “pool party” are just a few.
  2. Associate your brand with positive trending keywords. “International Women’s Day”, “Yoga”, or “love” could do the trick.
  3. Find your customers funny bone – How? Ask them. You can get a sense of whether your customers might find something funny or irritating by asking them about their favorite TV shows, songs and pastime. You might be surprised by what you learn.

One thing’s for sure – if Spirit Airlines’ “Want To See Our Weiner?” e-mail campaign is a success, we’ll be seeing a lot more bad puns in future interactive marketing taglines.

Facebook ‘recommends you create a page instead’ of groups for businesses

“Should I create a Facebook page or group?” That’s a question interactive marketing professionals hear all the time. Well, Facebook just made answering that question easier by announcing they are archiving all Facebook groups created using the old group format (‘old’ meaning groups created before April 1, 2011). In fact, the company has flatly stated, “If you’ve been using your old group to promote your business, we recommend you create a page instead.”

According to Facebook, the archiving process will involve converting all old groups to the new group format–but without several key functions and content. For example, old groups will lose members and will not show ‘recent news’ or information about the group’s network and branding.

Here are three things you can do to avoid losing your community of supporters to Facebook’s archive:

Step 1. Upgrade to Facebook group 2.0. If your old group had a lot of activity, you should be able to upgrade to the new version of group; a notification above your group’s wall will allow you to activate the upgrade. Alas, if your group had a steady following but lacked activity, the next time you log in you’ll get a notice that says, “This group is scheduled to be archived.”If this happens you can do one of two things:

  1. Get some activities going in your group – this might help recover the opportunity to ‘upgrade’ and save your group from being archived.
  2. Jump to steps two and three below.

Step 2. Start the group-to-page migration. If you have been using a Facebook group for your business or organization, you’ll need to create a Facebook Page pronto – and start inviting your old group members to join your page. You won’t be able to interact with your old group members after Facebook archives your old group so you’ll need to act fast!

Step 3. Start a new group. If you have been using a Facebook group to keep up with friends and family, you’ll need to create a new group and re-invite your friends and family from the old group to join the new one. Facebook wants group managers to use this product to communicate with “…small groups of people in your life“, so don’t start a group if you expect a lot of members – start a page instead.

There are lots of cool features in the new Facebook group format; users will be able to post updates, questions, and photos, host group chats, create shared documents and schedule events — plus take advantage of new privacy settings.