It’s normal for many of us to have numerous emails a day that we need to check constantly, especially if we work in an office or for a business that requires us to be glued to our Gmail or Yahoo accounts 40 hours or more a week. But, how many of us are distracted from our work by social media sites?
I’ve noticed how many people are signed onto these social media networks each day by how many posts my friends are commenting on or posting and by how much my newsfeed is constantly being updated. And I obviously notice that this is going on because I too find myself being distracted by sites such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube on a daily basis.
Not saying that these people aren’t getting done or are on these sites all day long, but it’s very common these days to walk by a co-workers desk to see them looking at a funny picture or a friends post on one of these sites. Roughly 60% of wasted-time at work now involves being sucked in to the digital world of social media in one way or another.
Even by just navigating through the multiple tabs and or open windows is a major distraction. Infact, in a survey taken with more than 500 employees of U.S businesses of various sizes, harmon.ie concluded that a company with over 1,000 employees can waste more than $10 million every year due to these digital distractions.
We are living in the digital and social world and because of that I doubt that the use of these sites, along with checking personal emails and text messages, will ever fully be banned from businesses. Even if banned, I don’t think employers will be able to completely control the use (or lack thereof) of these online networks.
A picture is worth a thousand words and so much more. Our society has grown to be such a visual culture that photo sharing has become our way of communicating. Camera phones have made capturing unexpected memories easier over the years but now we have a way our actually sending those photos out to tell your friends and family stories: social media.
No matter where you are, you can always check and update your social media sites thanks to our improved technologies of laptops, tablets and smart phones. While the quality of these devices increases, so does amount of content that people put on their sites as well as the competition between different social sites such as Facebook and Google. These social networks look for new ways to make their sites more unique and easier to use than the other.
Now, when we look at our Facebook accounts, much of what we see is pictures rather than statuses. Our friends post pictures as a way of telling us where they are and who they are with. That friend can tag the location and other people in the photo as a way of attaching quick information rather than a long explanation of the picture. It seems that picture posting is snowballing as our society has become so visually based. Pinterest shows the evidence in this.
Pinterest is a social media site that has grown to be one of the top rated and used sites in the world. This site features pictures to tell about new products, home dÃ©cor, travel and fashion, rather than detailed wordy descriptions. It features these photos in a classy way and as studies show that consumers are more likely to shop on Pinterest than Facebook, it is obvious that a picture is all we need to sell us.
Facebook and Google + have both recently updated their layouts to include larger photos or â€˜cover photos’ which allows its’ users to select a picture that they think would best represent their social networking page. Looking at pictures is obviously a lot quicker and easier than reading; however, everyone sees things differently. This poses the question: how can we be sure that our pictures will mean the correct thousand words to everyone who sees them?
Imagine laying out in the privacy of your own backyard while airplanes are overhead, secretly filming you.
Well, no need to imagine. Google and Apple have employed “hi-tech mapping airplanes” fashioned with military-grade cameras to produce aerial images of towns, cities, and your own home. According to the Daily Mail, these high tech cameras will be able to film through windows and anywhere else on any type of property for the sake of new and improved virtual maps.
How is this any different from Google Earth, you might ask?
Unlike Google Earth, which utilizes satellite imaging, these privacy-infringing cameras are said to be similar to those used by the military. They can be installed onto airplanes, helicopters, and drones. The photographs can be taken at a height of 1,600 ft., and are capable of photographing objects that are merely just four inches wide. Additionally, these “spy planes” allow for high quality and detailed imaging ofâ€¦anything.
“Google has admitted to having sent planes over cities, while Apple has acquired a firm using spy-in-the-sky technology that has been tested on at least 20 locations, including London.”
We seem to think 3D maps are cool and convenient, right? We can see our own house, our neighbor’s house, even a town on the other side of the globe. We can virtually visit any country on the planet without ever having touched feet to ground. If we drive into uncharted territory, we can just whip out our iPhones and open a map app. The world has become smaller with social media marketing sites like Facebook bringing different cultures together without ever having to meet.
Like any new technology, the good is sometimes outweighed by the bad. At what cost will these aerial spies come? Will we forfeit our own physical privacy with the adaptation of these spy planes? What do you think?
ICANN and the grab for General Top Level Domains have been in the news for months now, but the lingo may be hard to follow for some. Here’s a quick overview for those of you who are have not been following the story closely.
The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) is nonprofit organization that has legal authority to coordinate and oversee many different internet functions including Internet Protocol (IP) addresses, and General Top Level Domains (gTLDs). gTLDs are the part of a URL that comes after the period (.com, .org, .gov, etc). In the past gTLDs were limited to just over twenty predetermined words. However, ICANN has decided to open up the registration of other gTLDs through an application process that costs $185,000 per domain. The application period closed May 30 and there have been around 2,000 submissions.
Online marketing firms will love getting creative with gTLDs and many large companies and brands have been bidding for words. Organizations with trademarked domains, like Google, will have the right to claim their own gTLD (.google) without having to worry about competing bids. However, non-trademarked gTLDs are fair game for everyone. In a recent blog post, Google revealed that they were also going after .lol and .docs. Many people believe there will be a huge rush to obtain gTLDs of commonly used words like .cars, .hotels, .games, etc.
On Wednesday, June 13th, ICANN will release who has submitted an application and which domains they are requesting. Due to the prohibitive cost of the application, there will not be a massive shift in URLs in the near future. However, you may begin to see large organizations make the switch soon.
Supporters argue that opening gTLDs will diversify the crowded domain naming space, while opponents argue that it will only be beneficial for organizations with deep pockets and domain name registrars like GoDaddy. Don’t worry, though – for the common internet user, the only thing that changes is the string of words you type into your address bar.
Sorry Google; you just got ousted!
If you haven’t heard already, Apple has relieved Google of their duties as the primary map provider for IOS. It’s about time! The Google Map app was great for finding addresses and such and knowing your own location. However, there was no turn by turn navigation! Regardless of whether or not my car has navigation, I would like to know that my phone has the capability of doing so just in case my friend drives, for example. Call me a worry-wart, but it’s something worth worrying about. So, Google lost in that respect.
Facebook on the other hand, scored BIG TIME. Much like when Twitter was integrated into the IOS platform, Facebook will now be doing the same. Users will be able to post directly to the wall, import friend information into their contacts, import events from Facebook into your calendar, or ask Siri to post for you. It is kind of ridiculous the amount of stuff that the new IOS will offer, but for Facebook we can call it an epic win.
For the social media marketing world as a whole, this Facebook iPhone integration is huge. If you have an iPhone, it will almost be essential to have Facebook as it is a major part of the device as a whole. The amount of people on Facebook will grow, even though it constantly does. For us community managers, it is important that we embrace these new users with valuable content on our clients’ pages for them to find and “Like.”
In the end, any Apple advancement benefits not only Apple but everything it comes into contact with. It makes life easier, more accessible, and even more fun and social. It is important that people take part in their social media activities and with Apple, it is becoming easier and easier.
We know that it’s rare to come across a person who doesn’t have some sort of social media account. A social media strategist Vincenzo Cosenza has even said that if Facebook was a virus, nearly the whole world would have succumbed to it already. And he’s not wrong.
Cosenza analyzed 137 countries to see how many people are on Facebook and put together a world map of social networks that shows just what the most popular social network is, as a result of a combination of Alexa and Google Trends for Websites Traffic data. According to this data, Facebook is in 126 of the 137 countries that were taken into account.
Surprisingly, America wasn’t the country that showed to have the most users on Facebook, but rather it was Europe that came out on top with 232 million users compared to North America’s 222 million users. According to research performed on comScore, America’s unique Facebook visitors only increased by 5% from April 2011 to April 2012, which lists Facebook as the lowest U.S growth rate. This data also lets us see that 71% of the 221 million U.S Internet users are on Facebook.
Of course other social media networking sites such as LinkedIn, Twitter, QZone and Zing still remain in full effect by millions of users in the U.S and other countries. Twitter, for example is the second most popular site in countries such as the U.S, Sweden and the U.K and LinkedIn is the second in Australia, Denmark, India, Finland and Canada.
Although research shows that the spread of Zuckerberg’s creation has been slowing, I don’t think that the worldwide social media network will be outranked anytime soon, even by popular upcoming social sites.
Although many viewers may not have realized they were watching history, Twitter’s first ever commercial aired this past Sunday. You can see the commercial here. The advertisement featured NASCAR driver Brad Keselowski tweeting from inside the driver’s seat and promoted a new hash tag page for NASCAR. Those watching thought this was the start of plenty of branded hash tag pages that would overtake the platform.
It’s being reported in a few places that this isn’t quite the case. Twitter is saying these new hash tag pages are specifically for events, not for brands. NASCAR has no control whatsoever over what ended up on the #NASCAR page. Twitter is using these pages to document major events and make it easier for users to feel as if they are experiencing an event without even being in attendance. The algorithm that Twitter is using is able to discern more important tweets, such as those from drivers, from lesser tweets such as from a fan watching at home.
This is a great idea for Twitter, as they are still putting the consumer first. Without having a brand shove a message down your throat they are able to create pages that deal with a brand, but aren’t solely about the brand. The experience of the event will always come first. This is exactly what social media is about.
So what’s next for hash tag pages? Besides major sporting events, I assume major television events such as finales and awards shows will be the next to get the hash tag page treatment. This will make Twitter an even better place to “live” tweet an event as you’ll be able to quickly see a ton of posts and media and become fully engaged without having to seek out a few different hash tags or phrases.
With 85% of high school students owning mobile phones and millions of Facebook users, the opportunities for cyber bullying are more prevalent than ever. In some court cases, the problems were so bad that Facebook was forced to reveal the aggressors. While there has been a lot of controversy surrounding this, like in schools, cyber bullying becomes a legal issue.
Increasingly, people are using social media as ways of expression. While social media marketing has become a very successful way for businesses to advertise as well, the abuse of Facebook has led to this whole new world of bullying that wasn’t present 50 years ago. Because of this, new measures must be taken to curtail it.
One such way of preventing bullying online and in schools is creating a mobile app. By having an application right on your mobile phone, you would be able to directly contact the school or administrator of a site when you see bullying occurring. It can be done anonymously, so students wouldn’t feel like they were ratting out people or getting themselves in trouble as well.
The problem with such apps and programs is that they often come at a very high price. A school would need to be set up with a way to check it and monitor messages that come in. Especially in situations where bullying can become a legal issue, it is important that all facts coming in are accurate. Also, with today’s economy, and school districts cutting left and right, they might not be in a position to change their policies as of late.
No matter what the method, cyber bullying needs to be combated. With the widespread use of The Internet and social media, the number of bullies online has unfortunately grown as well. To provide a safer environment for students of all ages and adults alike, it is essential that this battle is not only fought in schools and the workplace, but that websites themselves are monitoring their content. By doing so, directly or indirectly people’s lives are being saved.
When it comes to the location based aspect of social media marketing and checking-in Foursquare is the king. Foursquare offers check-in promotions for certain retailers if they set them up through Foursquare, but what happens if retailers and brands start taking this idea and creating their own apps for it?
This is exactly what Denny’s is doing. They’ve created an app and a contest that is based around checking-in to one of their restaurants in each of the 50 U.S. states. The first person to do this will win free Grand Slams for life. I heard about this and started plotting to be the first to win as I love Denny’s, but alas I don’t think taking off from work to drive cross-country to eat Denny’s will go over well with my bosses. If you run into the same problem that I do there are other promotions available from checking-in to a Denny’s numerous times.
These kinds of apps could spell trouble for Foursquare. I downloaded the app to see how it worked and here’s the first thing I saw.
The Denny’s brand smacking me in the face. Why would a large company ever consider check-in promotions through Foursquare again when they could get their brand integrated into an app of their own?
You can see when I went to enter the 50 State Challenge I once again had the Denny’s logo on my screen and the ability to sign in using my Facebook account. This kind of high-quality app will keep me engaged with the Denny’s brand and also functions well enough to not cause any sort of frustration.
I think as we move ahead into the world of location-based promotions we will see retailers and brands produce more and more apps like these. Foursquare may need to begin considering what it can do to make its own app standout and be the clear choice for brands looking to get people checking-in.
Today, it seems like big banks and corporations are constantly in the news. With the recent financial crisis, there have been massive government takeovers as well as buy outs from other banks. This banking crisis was caused by loans that were not paid and was also one of the direct results of the housing crisis. Unfortunately because of the global connectivity of the world today, the events that occurred on Wall Street and in other cities aside from New York escaladed across the ocean to Europe and other places abroad.
People in the banking industry have (yet again) reason to worry. Mobile iPhones now have apps that are “mobile wallets”. These mobile wallets are used to store money digitally, eliminating the need to use a specific bank. Approximately 50% of the country has expressed interest in digital wallets. Consumers can easily make purchases and pay bills online without ever having to go through the bank. It is predicted that within 5 years, today’s smartphone users will use mobile wallets as their preferred method of banking.
This type of digital transaction is another reason banks have to worry. While going digital has proved to be successful for companies to grow, it has caused a loss of jobs. People no longer need to go into banks to deposit checks and pay bills. With online banking becoming a preferred method for on the go people, there is less of a need for physical banks. That’s the unfortunate truth of an online world. There is less of a need for physical jobs, but an increased demand for web marketing content.
In order to save banks and save jobs, the industry needs to stay on top of their game. Banks need to make sure their apps are comparable with these mobile wallets so people continue to use their resources. While going digital has created a loss of physical jobs in many cases, a complete overtake by mobile wallets would mean even more jobs lost. In a slow job market, it is essential that this does not occur.