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”

Facebook, Face Recognition Technology and Marketing

Thanks to Facebook, facial recognition technology is now a part of our everyday lives. Our subscription to being face-printed is almost seamless and without thought as we contribute to refining Facebook’s massive face-print database by uploading images to the social network and Instagram, then tagging the images with names of people we know. Marketers have not been left out of the fun. Businesses can now access face-print database systems procured by Facebook and some government agencies to target shoppers and offer them special deals when they walk into a store or are in close proximity.

Why are retailers using face-print for marketing?
According to independent researcher and consultant, Ashkan Soltani, the goal is to know Continue reading “Facebook, Face Recognition Technology and Marketing”

Facebook Sponsored Stories Still Worth Buying

Sponsored Stories is a great Facebook ad product – it allows businesses to publicize the fact that someone likes their page to that person’s friends and other Facebook users. And since peer influence is perhaps the most powerful marketing agent, this ad product has been a big hit for advertisers – but not so much for some Facebook users.

A class-action lawsuit was filed against the social network to protect the privacy of users who did not opt to have their “likes” used as marketing. According to the NY Times, Facebook Continue reading “Facebook Sponsored Stories Still Worth Buying”

GM is pulling their Facebook ads – should you?

According to the Wall Street Journal, GM is all set to slash their $10m Facebook advertisement budget to $0. Why? According to the company, Facebook is a good platform for engaging their clients, but not an effective network for marketing the company’s vehicles. That sounds just about right – since the network was created to facilitate person-to-person connection and engagement.

Selling ads is a relatively new Facebook product. Now that the company is public, I expect it to grow and improve rapidly in order to satisfy shareholders. While the network is a vast database cataloguing the personal lives and preferences of over 3 billion users, Facebook has failed to provide marketers with the level of access and diversity of product that would deliver shared success from advertising.

So how would you know if Facebook is not a good place to spend your advertising dollars? Here are three things to consider:

1. Long-term ads perform better than short-term placements
There are a lot of people on Facebook, but they are not there to click on ads. It takes a long time for users to view and then click on an ad. The longer your campaign run-time, the better the results will be.

2. Awareness or action – there is a difference
What is the purpose of your campaign? Continue reading “GM is pulling their Facebook ads – should you?”

Facebook Page Moves to Timeline

On March 30, 2012 your Facebook Page will join Facebook Profiles in adapting the new “Timeline” layout. Here are 5 things to know about the new layout:

1. Your Page will feature a ‘cover’ image
Cover images should be sized 851 wide and 315 tall; smaller images will be stretched to meet this requirement – thereby distorting the image.

Facebook Cover Image Example
Facebook Cover Image Example

Your cover image should not include the following:

  • Price or purchase information, such as “40% off” or “Download it at our website”
  • Contact information, such as web address, email, mailing address or other information intended for your Page’s About section
  • References to user interface elements, such as Like or Share, or any other Facebook site features
  • Calls to action, such as “Get it now” or “Tell your friends”

You can still creatively use your cover image to promote Continue reading “Facebook Page Moves to Timeline”

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!

How to Use Twitter to Promote Events

Over 200 million folks use Twitter to keep up with brands, each other, snark, and a wide range of topics. Twitter is also great for promoting – and organizing events (as evidenced by TweetUps). Planning a conference, concert or a book signing?  Adding Twitter to your marketing plan can help boost your guest list.

If you already have a presence on Twitter, here are three tips for using Twitter to get word out about your event (if you don’t have a Twitter presence, start here) –

1. Location, location, location – target your locals
Tweeting your event to the universe and hoping the right person will see it is not the way to go. Use hashtags to include your tweets in searches for your event’s city or venue. For example, if you are hosting an event at the 9:30 Club in Washington DC, your tweet could look something like this: “Who’s coming to the Thievery Corp show at the #930club? Tix still available. #WashingtonDC.”

2. Partnerships – friends influencing @friends
If your invited guests are using Twitter, partner with them to promote the event – the more popular they are, the better. Guests that have a strong following (speakers, musicians, authors etc.) can be great ambassadors for your event  – get them to share details of the event via Twitter and their other networks. Got performers? Target their followers by mentioning them in your tweets  – and don’t foget to use hastags.

3. Promo basics – what’s in your goodie bag?
It doesn’t matter what type of event you are tasked with promoting or where you’re promoting it; follow the basics! Give your prospects an incentive to attend your event – offer rewards for registering. Teasers are also great for building a buzz about your event. Tweet “behind the scenes” photos and video interviews so prospects can get a taste of what to expect.

Follow the steps above (that are appropriate for your event) and watch your conversion rate climb. Happy promoting!

Google+ Ready for Business Profiles

Google+ Ready for Business ProfilesGoogle is finally inviting businesses and organizations to set up profiles in their Google+ social network!

First adopters can choose to set up a business profile in one of five categories; “Local Business or Place” (e.g. Hotels, restaurants, places, stores, or services), “Product or Brand” (e.g. Apparel, cars, electronics, financial services), “Company, Institution or Organization” (e.g. Companies, organizations, institutions, non-profits), “Arts, Entertainment or Sports” (e.g. Movies, TV, music, books, sports, shows) and “Other” (e.g. pages that don’t fit any of the above categories).

Here are answers to three questions you may be asking before joining Google+ for business: Continue reading “Google+ Ready for Business Profiles”

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!