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”

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!

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.

What Microsoft Thinks of the iPad

What Microsoft Thinks of the iPadStarting today, the iPad 2 is finally available at an Apple store near you. The revamped device is 33% thinner, 15% lighter, and outfitted with HD cameras, improved battery life and other delights. Apple fanatics the world over are excited and ready to test Apple’s latest gadget – but what about Microsoft? Is Bill Gates intimidated by Apple’s latest smash hit? What does the Microsoft founder think of the iPad?

Well, just last year one brave soul dared to ask Mr. Gates that question after a lecture at Stanford University. The CEO did not give any indication that he was intimidated by Apple’s iPad, instead he explained that portable devices like the iPad are “great advances” for computing and said that Microsoft is still a key player in the industry.

Computing is destined in a way to almost disappear because all the walls [and] desktops around you will be capable of displaying, and you’ll be able to do input though gestures, and through voice — that’s not to say that keyboards and pointing devices will go away,” said Gates, “but they’ll be supplemented by an ubiquitous type of computing where every surface is a output and every action is an input.”

He also stressed that getting prices down, and improving the quality of content are improvements he’d like to see with portable devices such as the iPad. Mr. Gates also acknowledged that iPad computing could be key to the digital delivery of textbooks – something his foundation would regard as good for the environment.

Checkout his lecture to Stanford MBA students on ‘Education for the Real World’ – and let us know what you think of the iPad.

How Starbucks Use Twitter

Social media is clearly a great tool for promoting a business or organization. But all business leaders have one concern about social media: What to do about the stream of unflattering feedback in such public forums.

Staying away from Twitter, FourSquare or any of the other social networks is not a good way to manage negative sentiments. A better approach is to take control of the conversation by establishing a presence in the networks so that you can monitor and follow up on negative feedback.

Let’s look at Starbucks as an example, this retail giant is celebrating 40 years of business – and lots of negative feedback! In an interview with USA Today, CEO Howard Schultz described one way the company uses Twitter:

We have a Twitter feed visible in our corporate office that is unfiltered. So we are watching what people are saying about Starbucks. From time to time I go over and look at it, and it’s not always positive. I like that. I can’t answer why people are so emotionally linked to what we do or why they like or don’t like us so much. I do like the fact that they’re talking about us.”
-USA Today

The 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.

Do you need a mobile phone for facebook?

Do I need a mobile phone to be on facebook?

2011 is a big year for mobile marketing and facebook is gearing up to take advantage of this trend by forcing users to add mobile phone numbers to their profiles.

facebook users are now being asked to enter their mobile phone numbers and enable SMS texting from the social network in order to verify their identities for simple tasks such as logging in or setting up a vanity URL. If you’d rather not enter your mobile phone number in the network’s database, you are simply told to try again “at a later time”.

There is no word from facebook to clarify what “a later time” might mean, but this is proving an inconvenience for businesses that don’t use mobile phones or people would rather not add their mobile phone number to the network.

facebook requests mobile phone number for vanity url
facebook: no mobile phone number? try again at a later time

But let’s be clear, a mobile phone is not a requirement for being on facebook and doing business in the world’s #1 social network – but it’s fast becoming a necessity.

The Truth about Twitter, Trending Topics and Your Business

Are Twitter trends fixed?
Twitter Trends - fixed?

The wikileaks fiasco has revealed an ugly truth about social media marketing via Twitter – their top trends may not be ‘the top trends‘ after all.  Marketers assumed that top tweets and trending topics were based on actual Twitter user activity, but according to Twitter – this is not true. When users raised questions about the omission of tweets about wikileaks in Twitter’s list of trending topics and top tweets, the company was forced to admit that “Twitter favors novelty over popularity…” and that the company is  in full control of what topics make their lists. Continue reading “The Truth about Twitter, Trending Topics and Your Business”