Bethany

Archive for February, 2011|Monthly archive page

What does the Egypt Revolution tell us about Social Media?

In Trends on February 28, 2011 at 8:47 am

Social media is a revolution – and quite powerful, especially in organizing, inciting, and informing during the revolt in Egypt this month.

During the AMP Summit Series event (Washington D.C.), political strategist, Joe Trippi and policy adviser, Amanda Terkel shared their thoughts below about the potential of social media and what makes it so powerful and unpredictable in global policies.

 

  • It replaces the need for a charismatic leader. A cause no longer needs a  champion to attract followers. Certainly, there were a number of noble and courageous protesters (and some not so noble, unfortunately), but there was no single face attached to this revolution. Social media has created the possibility of what Ben Scott calls an “aggregate leader,” where the responsibility of advancing a movement can be dispersed.
  • It’s impossible to control or shut down. The size and speed of a social network are too difficult for a government — or any kind of bureaucracy — to control, said Joe Trippi. Before social media, the seeds of a revolution could be stamped out, but now the seeds can be suddenly sprout up everywhere. The power of social media made certain that the government’s attempt to shut down Egypt’s wireless access would be seen for what it was — a last-ditch effort that could never be sustained. The costs of taking an entire country offline are too substantial, if only for the opportunity costs that arise when consumers and entrepreneurs can’t access the Internet, Scott said.
  • Its effects are “politically agnostic.” There is no overseer that watches over, or brand that is stamped on a grass-roots social network, says Scott.  The best anyone can hope for is a small say in what goes on within it.  Of course, it is still important for institutions to have their say. One of the first things the Egyptian military did after President Hosni Mubarek resigned was create a Facebook page.

Were you surprised by the influence of social media on the Egyptian revolt? Do you feel the effects of social media on social activism are understated or overstated?

Story found at:  SmartBlogs

 

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LinkedIn Company Search

In LinkedIn on February 26, 2011 at 4:04 pm

Google, Bing and Facebook aren’t the only hot shots in town getting an upgrade… Check out LinkedIn’s newly launched Company Search.  This will be especially helpful for the sales professionals and job seekers.  You are now able to filter through a set of results to include only companies where you have a direct connection or that are in your extended network.  Read more below, or on the LinkedIn blog:

Your professional network isn’t just about the people you know, it’s also about the companies in your network and how you’re connected to them.

Today, we’re very pleased to launch a new Company Search on LinkedIn.  Now you can search for companies not only by attributes such as location, industry, and size but also by how you are connected.  You can filter a set of results to include only those companies where you have a direct connection or broaden your search to include companies in your extended network.

Results are personalized for you based on a number of factors including the keywords used in your search, any filters you have applied, and your overall connection strength to that company.  When searching for a company, we not only look across the words used to describe that company but also the words that the company’s employees use to describe themselves on their LinkedIn profiles.

If you’re looking for a job, Company Search is a great place to get started.  You can refine your search to a list of target companies, filter to only those firms hiring on LinkedIn, and then quickly view the jobs that company has posted.

Get started with the new LinkedIn Company Search here.

Search Engines Now Paying Attention to “Likes”

In Facebook, Strategy, Trends on February 25, 2011 at 6:26 pm

If you’re part of the 50% of Facebook users, signing in daily – there’s a good chance you’re “liking” some of the content you come across  (videos, updates, pictures, pages, etc.).  And of course we enjoy it when other’s like our content too – as it gives us insight into what our audience is interested in.  Well, Google realizes how powerful and relevant this social information is for search results.

As of a week ago, Google, announced they would start placing a greater emphasis on social results in a search, based on their relevancy.  Same with Microsoft’s Bing.

From “our” business/marketing perspective – this makes sense and we should consider doing the same in our Facebook advertising.  Perhaps, targeting ads based on likes (what the user likes/groups/pages) over interests.

Here’s the article from Marketing Vox:

Microsoft’s Bing has followed Google’s lead last week and tweaked its search algorithm to emphasize social results. Building on a partnership it announced a few months ago with Facebook, it has introduced Liked Results, which promotes links friends have publicly liked or shared via Facebook. Bing is extending Liked Results to annotate any of the URLs returned by its algorithmic search results to all users in the US, it says in a blog post.

Last week Google announced it would start placing greater emphasis on social results in a search, based on their relevancy. The reasons for both search engines’ decision to move in this direction are similar: As Bing explains “this is the first time in human history that people are leaving social traces that machines can read and learn from, and present enhanced online experiences based on those traces. As people spend more time online and integrate their offline and online worlds, they will want their friends’ social activity and their social data to help them in making better decisions.”

Liked Results will pull up any publicly liked or shared search results by a fried below the result. “For example, when I was planning a trip to Napa, I wanted to find a great bed and breakfast for my stay,” Lawrence Kim on Bing’s Social Team writes. “A traditional search result showed me a long list of web links and captions, which would take up some time to parse through individually. Fortunately, several of my friends that have been to Napa in the past have liked Churchill Manor. Using Liked Results, the Bed & Breakfast that my friends have liked gets highlighted with their pictures and names – making it easier for me to quickly refine my search and decide where I should stay.”

Changing SEO Strategies

If that sounds like a brand’s social strategy can be used to boost SEO, that is correct. If that sounds like a brand’s social strategy can be used to boost SEO, that is correct. As one example, Jen Lopez, Community Manager at SEOmoz, tells of how one tweet from an unexpected source drove its page’s ranking and traffic.

Targeting By Likes

Also, as more people incorporate Likes and their equivalents into their online activities, marketers are beginning to target their campaigns accordingly. Decanted Wines, for instance, great success with using psychographic targeting based on likes, company marketing guru Jessica Fialkovich tellsMarketingVOX. “With the increasing number of ‘pages’ that are replacing interests, we are starting to phase out targeting by interest and instead focus on likes/pages that would reach the same group,” she says. According to Fialkovich, since implementing the psychographic targeting, the company has seen an increase of click through rates of 150%, increased fans of 75%, and surprisingly a decrease in click through rate cost by 30%.

Facebook Pages: New Layout, Strategies

In Facebook, Strategy on February 12, 2011 at 6:34 am

Yes, Facebook has done it again …  a new layout!  This time, the change is for Pages (vs. your profile).  And like with any change, it takes a little time to get used to the location of items.  More exciting though, you’ll be happy to hear how you can utilize these changes for your business.  Honestly, I think these are some of the best improvements to the pages! :)

Here we go…this information is from Mashable (one of my favorites) and Facebook’s Guided Tour:

1. Photos: Take ‘Em, But You Can’t Leave ‘Em


When the photos across the top of Facebook profiles first appeared, people were in a panic. Now anyone could tag you in a photograph, and it would automatically show up at the top of your page. You can, however, “X” them out, if and when you notice them. You can also remove your name from photos when tagged by others. On Pages, fans cannot tag or post an image and have it show up at the top. They appear based on images you post to your own Page wall as well as images where you tag your Page.

Be strategic: If photographs are part of what you do, this is a nice showcase. If images aren’t as relevant to what you’re conveying, this can begin to look random and distracting. Upload several key images to your Page’s photo area and remember to keep it pruned in order to present a cohesive and clear visual message.


2. Navigation: Farewell Page Tabs, We Knew You Well


Not to sound the panic alarm, but tabs as we know them are gone. Facebook tries to assure us that this is fine because it is “Just like on people’s profiles,” but that brings us back to the question “Why does a business want their Page to look like a person’s profile?” The reduction in prominence of the tools that helped communicate your company’s calls to action is a blow to the effectiveness of Pages.

Be strategic: One thing that the new navigation forces you to do is to examine what superfluous tabs you used to hide next to your six visible tabs. Now all someone has to do is click the “More” link below the first six “tabs” and see the entire list of links including Discussions, which most Pages hide or remove to avoid diverting comments from the Wall to yet another area that requires community management.


3. Wall Filters: And The Top Posts Are…


Facebook is providing two Wall filters: Showing posts by your page and top posts from everyone. This ostensibly gives people a way to see the most “interesting” stories first. Unfortunately, this doesn’t mean they see the stories that are most important or relevant to the messages you hope to communicate to the public. If you’re the only one posting updates, this becomes moot. But imagine what will happen to the view for Pages where the fans post very frequently.

Be strategic: For best engagement, you will want to show “Everyone” as the default setting. For more control — which isn’t always advisable if you are looking to provide people with compelling, interactive content — set the default view to just your Page posts.


4. Admin View: Sign-In as a Page on Facebook


You, as the Page or the brand, can now interact with other parts of Facebook. Before, you could only post to other parts of Facebook as yourself, the admin behind the Page. While you still cannot post to people’s personal Facebook profile Walls as a Page, you can post to other Pages as a Page. This can be useful, but also confusing and potentially disastrous.

You have to make sure that before you post to a Page that you are in the proper setting (human or brand). Also, for less scrupulous brands, this is a new opportunity for spam. You may need to be more diligent about checking for posts from your competitors displaying their brand to your fans. You can view most recent and hidden posts while in Admin view

Be strategic: A good use of Page-to-Page Wall postings is when you have multiple Pages for brands you own. Or when you want to do co-promotions with business partners who have Pages. If you manage Pages for multiple partners, you could also do some thoughtful cross-posting, with your clients’ permissions, of course.


5. Settings: Getting in Control


One of best Page changes for brands is that you can now get e-mail notifications when someone posts to your Page or comments on your post. This has been a long time coming and an invaluable feature for helping you monitor your Page activity. You can change your e-mail notification settings for each Page.

In Settings, you can also set the default to how you post –- as yourself or your Page -– and specify which featured pages will appear down the left side of your Page. To choose the pages you want to show up under Favorite Pages, go to “Edit Page” and choose “Featured.” This is similar to choosing your featured friends. You can also feature Page owners or admins if you so choose. This is a big change from the previously hidden identities of admins.

Be strategic: While there will be much debate about whether or not you should post as a brand or as a person, the best practice is to post as yourself. One of the tenets of social media communications is transparency. Posting behind the banner of your brand is fine on your Page, but moving into other spaces as a brand can be invasive and unwelcome.

You can get to your e-mail and posting preferences by going to “Edit Page” and “Your Settings.” If you own multiple Facebook Pages, you can switch over individually or take the plunge and upgrade them all at once, but you’ll still have to go into each admin area to manipulate individual Page settings.

If you have any questions, or would like guidance on making this ‘upgrade’ change – feel free to email or call. :)  It has been neat to see how many of my current client family members have reached out to learn more about the changes & to set up a quick 30 min one-on-one. :)