Category : Social Media Addicts

World…Meet Snapchat. Snapchat…Meet the World.

The social media landscape is buzzing, yet again, over a new kid on the block that just may give Instagram a run for its money. Meet Snapchat, a social pic app designed to “make social media fun again”. Compatible for iOS and Android mobile operating systems, Snapchat enables users to capture images and send them to select recipients. Sounds like sending a picture message right? Not quite. The catch is, the recipient(s) can only view your image for up to 10 seconds and then it self-destructs in cyberspace, never to be seen again…. supposedly.

 For raunchy “sexters” and silly kids alike, this mobile app sounds like a cure all to erase any evidence that you don’t want the general public-mom, dad, your boyfriend, your office-to know about; however, there are a few loop holes that can shatter this false sense of security. Firstly, 10 seconds doesn’t seem like a long time to view a photo, but it may just be enough time for a recipient to take a screenshot. Although the app is enabled to alert the sender when a screenshot is captured, there’s not much that you can do to stop that person from saving the picture to their own device, and most seriously, sharing it with others. Secondly, that mere 10 seconds is also long enough for a different device to capture the photo while its still viewable through Snapchat.

With this said, its understandable why social media junkies and parents are buzzing over this new app. If you’re an innocent 7th grader, with a fresh smartphone, who just likes to take silly pics of you and your friends at lunchtime, this may be the perfect mobile application; however, if you’re a 10th grade girl, with a slew of boys who’ve been chasing you since you got your braces off, well, this app is a cause for concern for your parents. For us adults, this app can offer one of two things: a great escape from grown-up realities like bills, office work, and kids through silly pictures of our friends; or, a nightmare of embarrassment if you don’t practice discretion in what you send.

So, here’s my advice to you if you’d like to consider using this app:

If you don’t know how to act, don’t Snapchat 😉

To Vote or Not to Vote…For Facebook, that is the Question.

Within the last week, Facebook has made history again, asking users to vote for the third time in the company’s eight-year existence; but there’s a twist. Facebook users are voting on their right to vote for proposed changes to the social service. Yes, you read correctly, you’re voting for voting rights on Facebook, and if you don’t watch it, you may just lose that privilege.

These proposed changes come in light of Facebook’s review of its governing documents including the Data Use Policy and the Statement of Rights and Responsibilities. According to Elliot Schrage, Facebook’s VP of Communications, Public Policy and Marketing, the social media site seeks to reorganize their governance process, given their recent growth amongst users and public traders. In a nutshell, Facebook has gotten so big that their current voting system is inadequate and they’d like to get rid of it. The proposal states that the site would replace the system with one that emphasizes the “quality” of a vote rather than the “quantity” of votes.

The problem lies in the previous sentence: Facebook would like to do away with the present voting process, but does not seem to have a
definitive alternative.  I guess deciding upon this alternative would require another vote; but, what system do we have in the meantime? Are we to leave our Facebook policies to be decided upon by this now “big-wig”, publically traded company?

At first glimpse of this story, I wondered, “What’s all the fuss about? At least you’re getting a chance to vote for your vote.” But, if  many people don’t turn out –as history has shown-then you and I are left in a lurch where our voting rights may be null and void. This is just my take on the matter, so don’t take it from me; just consider it food for thought…

 

 

 

#HappyTechsGiving! An Honest Reflection of Our Favorite Online Marketing Tools

With Thanksgiving just around the corner, we at Strategis have taken some time to reflect on the things that we are thankful for when it comes to online marketing. From social media management apps to online advertising tools, new developments in web technology have made our jobs much easier as the industry evolves. This is not to mention the innovative channels of communications that have completely changed the way that we interact with one another and with brands.

Although there are many different pieces of technology, apps, and tactics that aid in our day-to-day marketing efforts, we’ve chosen to narrow down our favorites to a list of five:

1. HootSuite:  A social media manager’s savior, HootSuite is a helpful tool when handling the social accounts of various clients. From Facebook to Foursquare, any major corporation or small company can manage and track their social footprint amongst followers. With this tool, you have the ability to schedule up to 200 posts across all social media accounts with just one click, in addition to analyzing the effectiveness of your social outreach. While there are many different social media management apps on the market, HootSuite has always been our go-to tool.

2. Google AdWords: When it comes to enhancing your clients’ online presence, Google AdWords are of great importance. The science behind Google AdWords lies in Google’s “contextual targeting technology”, which only displays your online ad to people are searching for content related to your offerings. You can also tailor your reach to target people of different demographics, from various geographic regions, and even during particular times of the day. This particular piece of technology, allows us to do a more efficient job at targeting the right audience for our clients’ messages.

3. Google Alerts: If you’re looking to keep track of news pertaining to your company or brand, Google Alerts is another useful tool. You can simply enter a query topic(s) and have Google scan and deliver web results as often as you’d like. This is especially helpful when tracking your online reputation and/or staying up-to-date about your competitors or developments in your industry.

4. Search Engine Optimization (SEO): Search Engine Optimization or (SEO) is the process of increasing traffic to your website through search engines like Google or Bing. A number of ranking factors are taken into consideration when boosting your web search prominence including, page content, external links, and social media shares, amongst others. Given the immense amount of emphasis that is placed on a brand’s web presence, SEO is crucial to maintaining a prominent image online.

5.  Basecamp: For a marketing communications agency with many clients, Basecamp project management software is a must-have when it comes to organization. Keeping all project members in the loop, Basecamp offers an array of features including management of task assignments and sharing important documents and files.

As the marketing industry evolves and changes, we look forward to even more developments that can aid us in executing the most effective tactics for our clients. In the meantime, share your most favored online marketing tools in the comments below or via Strategis’ Facebook or Twitter, adding the hash tag #happytechsgiving.

 

…And of course, Happy Thanksgiving from all us here at Strategis… :)

Election Day 2K12: A Look Into How Social Media Has Captured Our Votes This Political Season

On the dawn of Election Day 2012, we now stare into a political arena that has changed drastically over the last four years. From tweets, to likes, to stumbles, and shares, the art of connecting with voters is completely optimized to capture the attention of our now hyper-connective society. Simply put, when you’re 59-year-old mother can relay the most poignant tweets from any debate night, it is clear that social media has severely altered our political landscape.

The fact of the matter is that politics, as we know it, has changed due to the complete overhaul of our society through social media. We connect not only through town hall meetings, overzealous campaign rallies, or dramatized commercials, but also through meaningful virtual conversations. For example, both presidential candidates have posted images with a powerful message or fact, opening up the opportunity for a full-fledged forum of debate.  

With analysts dubbing 2012, “social media election”, there is no room to underscore the financial investment that has been dedicated to outreach efforts this political season. An estimated $1 billion has been spent on advertising, with nearly $54 million allotted to digital ad platforms including mobile media across the U.S. This is not to mention the voter registration app that has been developed for 13 different states in partnership with the state government, Facebook, and Microsoft Corp.

With decision time fast approaching, there are few who will sit down and reflect upon the role of social media in this election-except the social media gurus, of course. But at a time when our votes are so heavily influenced by our candidates’ social media mastery, it’s worth the thought. Once the winner is announced, and we wishfully prepare for continued economic growth and social change, we should begin to ponder the next great idea that’ll keep are society forever engaged and informed on our country’s politics. How about this: A mobile app for submitting your ballot votes? You decide.

#Follow Fakeness: The Scoop on Sandy’s Social Media Backlash

Exactly one week after Hurricane Sandy’s devastation, we are all too familiar with the horrific scenes of rushing floodwaters and flattened homes along the East Coast. News broadcasts are now filled with emotional coverage of mourning families pleading for help from their water-engulfed neighborhoods.  Yet, despite the heartbreaking destruction, many people still chose to abuse their access to social media, posting fake pictures of the alleged damage that Sandy has left behind.

Social media damage control was a necessity in the hours following the storm, with many followers duped into sharing the doctored images. While some pictures were simply lifted from online photo galleries, others traveled the extra mile by grabbing screenshots from movies like The Day After Tomorrow, and adding true-to-life captions. This is not to mention the tactless celebrity comparisons like, “Snooki is a lot like Hurricane #Sandy. They’re both heading to Jersey Shore with intentions to blow everyone within a 50-mile radius” posted by a Twitter user.

With the startling evidence of thoughtlessness and the incessant need for attention and buzz, our societal priorities must be called into question. We are hyper-connective by nature, sharing and liking anything that retains shock value on a daily basis, let alone during a national emergency. But given the lives that were already lost during Sandy’s travel in the Caribbean, why take this storm and turn it into a joke?

The answer to that question remains to be seen; however, in the mean time stay smart when cruising your social media sites, especially during weather emergencies of any magnitude. If you come across an image that raises your suspicion, check out some online tips to avoid sharing incorrect information. Using these tips will not only decrease the unwarranted buzz that has circulated from false facts, but will also keep you and your followers better informed during an emergency.

Controversy Looms as Reddit Stands by Freedom of Speech

The self-proclaimed “home page of the internet”, Reddit, has come under recent scrutiny for their questionable conduct in handling controversial discussion boards. Founded in 2005, by two college grads, the site offers user-generated news stories and pictures in forums dubbed “subreddits”. The recent controversy erupted in the last few days over subreddits that contained inappropriate pictures of a voyeuristic nature.

Following public outrage of these message boards, Reddit soon moved to eliminate the discussions and attached pictures. To make matters worse for the company, a noted contributor to the site, Adrian Chen, tracked and confronted Michael Brutsch, also known as Violentacrez, the man who managed the inappropriate forums on Reddit. Subsequently, Chen released an article on his personal website exposing the details of their phone interaction and the charges of ill-willed conduct.

The social news website soon lashed out on Chen, blocking any links to his articles and previous posts on Reddit; this done seemingly to protect Brutsch who is known to have close ties to many of the higher ups in the company. Furthermore, in a move that has baffled many since this dispute erupted, Reddit has stood by their first amendment right to freedom of speech in defense of Michael Brutsch’s actions; this on the heels of their grievance against Adrian Chen who publicly condemned Brutsch’s actions.

While Reddit’s right to freedom of speech is valid according to the U.S. constitution, this company also has a moral obligation to their patrons to filter, track, and eliminate inappropriate content and conduct on its site.  This responsibility spans farther than the issue of patron misconduct on Brutsch’s behalf, but Reddit’s seemingly insincere actions in condoning his behavior by standing by the first amendment.

Encouraging photos and discussion of under-aged girls and female up-skirt shots is unacceptable in every aspect of our lives including the workplace. Why is this instance any different?  Social media sites including Facebook and YouTube enable users with the power to report offensive images and videos from their sites. Why are Adrian Chen’s actions any different? Consider these questions when weighing in on the social site controversy.

Jump on the Pinterest Bandwagon!

There have been many emerging social networks in recent years, but Pinterest is definitely one to take notice of. Started in 2010, Pinterest did not take off immediately, but as soon as it caught on its growth became the fastest in social media history. According to an article by Gayle Falkenthal featured in the Washington Times, Pinterest now ranks third amongst the most used social networks behind Facebook and Twitter with over 104 million users. Women dominate the Pinterest user base as of now, but men are starting to catch on as well.

Pinterest aims to connect people around the world by allowing them to “pin” and “re-pin” photos of things they enjoy. You can pin anything; from beautiful landscapes to delicious recipes, Pinterest has it all. Each user’s Pinterest profile consists of boards, where all their pins are displayed. These boards can be titled anything you want, from “dream house” to “clothes I love,” and you can have as many boards as you’d like. Friends go through one another’s boards to re-pin things that they enjoy. Many users also purchase the things they pin, making it an extremely important marketing and business tool for companies.

Because of Pinterest’s easy-to-use set up and appealing visuals, people have become obsessed. It’s the new, trendy network to belong to, and the few clicks that it takes to pin something to your profile turns into hours of exploring pictures and products. So even if you belong to a few other social media sites, think about giving Pinterest a try!

How to be a Hit on Instagram

Attention all iPhone and Android users:

If you haven’t made an account on Instagram, then you probably should, especially if you love photos. That’s what Instagram is all about, sharing photos. You may be groaning about another social media website and more photo sharing, but what makes Instagram so special is that you can apply filters to those photos. Facebook sure thinks it’s special because Instagram was recently purchased by the social media giant for $1 billion.

The photo sharing app has exploded recently and people are all over it. But what is it about Instagram that makes it so interesting? Well, the photos themselves are interesting. They tell a story. Instagram’s main method of communication is sharing photos, so people post the best photos they have for the day. For example, celebrities like @Rihanna and @justinbieber will post:

– A photo that tells a story.
– A picture with a new article of clothing.
– A picture of you lounging at home.

Celebrities like Drake and Taylor Swift, among others, post pictures of their work, behind the scenes, and some photos from their daily life. This shows that they are people above all else. In common with people, brand pages can:

– Post pictures of their location. Burberry, “A 156 year-old global brand with distinctly British attitude”, has pictures of a London sunset.
– Post pictures pictures of events. Burberry has a few photos about an event in Taipei, while Urban Outfitters had a nail art event.
– Post pictures of special deals. Urban Outfitters has a photo promoting a giant Vans shoe giveaway.

There are certainly various ways to gain followers, but some of those ideas can certainly help. Most importantly, keep things interesting.

And I know you’re asking yourself, “Who’s that male model in the Instagrammed photo above?” Ehh, just some guy.