Neil Gaiman takes a break from social media

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Neil GaimanNeil Gaiman, the popular writer, will be taking a “sabbatical” from social media.

“I’ll be taking about six months off,” said Gaiman at the Guardian. “A sabbatical from social media so I can concentrate on my day job: making things up.”

The 52-year-old has 1.8-million followers on Twitter and 500,000 fans and friends on Facebook.

According to reports, the famed creator has released little output since joining social media networks. Gaiman thanked his Twitter followers for helping him finish his latest book. However, he claims that he would’ve finished it twice as fast without them.

Gaiman says that the problem isn’t the amount of time he spends on social media; it’s how it spreads to all elements of his life.

“People ask me where I get my ideas from,” explains Gaiman. He continues: “and the answer is that the best way to come up with new ideas is to get really bored.”

“You have to sit there for hours and you can’t read or use a phone or check something on the web. I’ll come out afterwards thinking: ‘Did I just plot out an episode of Dr Who there? I think I did.’ “

Source: The Guardian

Brands and Facebook Hashtags

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FacebookHashtags has finally made it to Facebook’s shores and this entails more opportunities for brand marketers. This staple feature is on other platforms like Instagram, Pinterest, Google+, and Twitter and has helped many brands to execute effective marketing campaigns. Moreover, it has allowed companies to discover what their customers are talking about in social media.

According to Facebook, this feature will allow brands to add context to a post or indicate that it is part of a larger discussion.” Through this features, users will be able to search for a specific hashtag from their search bar, click on hashtags that originate on other services, such as Instagram, and compose posts directly from the hashtag feed and search results.

When paired with Facebook’s sheer volume of active users, incorporating hashtags will definitely change the way brands market their products and services on this social media platform. Here are some of the ways in which companies can use this feature:

  • Business owners can now monitor conversations concerning their brand in real time.
  • Brands will be able to add another layer of metrics to gauge the success not only of their products or services but also of the marketing campaigns they launch.
  • Companies will be able to curate user-generated content that they can use for marketing campaigns.

Mobile-Friendly Marketing

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mobile apps advertisingWith people spending more time getting online using their mobile devices than personal computers, brands need to keep up and ensure that their marketing campaigns can be sustained on smart phones or tablets. Here are some things to remember when coming up with mobile-friendly ads:

  • Optimize landing pages so that they show up well on smaller screens.
  • Make sure to give customers access to vital information like street address, city, local phone number, and hours.
  • Keep content especially on social media fresh.
  • Use hyperlocal keywords. Mobile users are most likely to search for businesses or establishments that are within their current location.
  • Use the Facebook Power Editor to target ads for mobile users in their news feeds.
  • Don’t forget to include a call-to-action.
  • Strive to attract new customers but don’t forget about old ones. They have already established trust and loyalty and they expect more from a brand.
  • Optimize mobile advertising while costs are still low.
  • Ensure that ads are visually appealing—make sure that text does not exceed 20 percent of the space. Remember that simpler visuals make the bigger impact.
  • Always measure results and seek to refine your tactics. However, when you have found the “holy grail” tactic, stick with it.

Facebook to add new features, including hashtags

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HashtagFacebook is rolling out a set of new features to connect conversations across multiple social media platforms. And these new features include hashtags.

“We’ll continue to roll out more features in the coming weeks and months, including trending hashtags and deeper insights, that help people discover more of the world’s conversations,” said the company in a statement.

Experts say that the addition of hashtags could have a tremendous impact, especially for social media campaigns that are present in Twitter and Facebook.

The addition of hashtags will only magnify their popularity. And this is something online brands and marketers need to take note of.

Source: ZDNet

Millenials shop for cars on social media

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social media car shoppingHow do you buy a car?

According to a recent study from eBay Motors, Millennial auto purchasers commonly turn to their social media friends for advice. Out of 10 Millenials (people who were born between 1980 and 2000), more than nine use the internet to shop for new vehicles.

On top of that, majority of car buyers (not just Millenials) begin their shopping process on the World Wide Web.

“It has become increasingly important for dealers to ensure that they are reaching consumers when, where and how they want to shop for vehicles—which today, more than ever, means online and on mobile,” explained Kristine Chin, head of vehicles in eBay Motors.

The study had a sample size of more than 1,000 US adults.

Other key findings include:
•    94% if Millennial car buyers collate information online
•    Around 33% of Millennial car buyers access the internet via mobile phone
•    A little over 10% of Millennials listed visiting a dealership as their preferred method of shopping

Source: NBC News

Israeli military restricts what its soldiers can post on social media

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Female Israeli SoldierIsraeli soldiers are being advised by the military to watch what they post on social media.

The orders come days after a group of female Israeli soldiers posed for photos wearing nothing but underwear and combat gear. The pictures quickly spread on Facebook.

And this wasn’t the first time that such an incident occurred. Previously, a photo shared in a social media site was posted by an Israeli soldier. The picture appeared to be a crosshair aimed at a Palestinian boy.

“These restrictions stem from information security concerns,” explained an Israeli military representative.




Mobile Marketing with Social Media

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social mediaMobile marketing is essential for businesses especially now that smartphones are becoming more and more integrated in people’s lives. Thanks to these devices, people are connected online more easily and that spells business for brands like never before.

While it may seem like a ton of extra work needs to be executed for mobile marketing, the opposite is actually true especially if a business owner knows what platforms to use. Integrating this kind of business promotion becomes easier through social media. Below are some apps that can be used for this purpose:

  • Instagram

This is more than just a photo-sharing app in as much as it allows companies to promote their products and services as well as to raise brand awareness through pictures.

  • LinkedIn

The world’s largest online network for professionals also has a mobile app which allows access to updates, a user’s profile, messages, and groups. It allows brands to connect with prospects.

  • QR Codes

These funny square things are very useful especially for brands who wish for their customers to connect with them using social media through mobile devices. Simply generate a QR code for a brand’s URL and that can be printed virtually anywhere.

  • Facebook Promoted Posts

These are ultimately better than Facebook ads or Sponsored Stories since these appear on people’s news feeds. Using this can be a very cost effective way to acquire new followers.

  • Promoted Tweets

Twitter is one of the biggest social networks and it is more than just a micro-blogging site. Promoted tweets have a better chance of being seen by people who use Twitter from their mobile device. With that in mind, it is important to catch the attention of the potential customers on this platform.

Controversial Taco Bell picture stirs up social media

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Taco Bell Fan PageThe origins of the photo have yet to be traced, but it has been posted numerous times in the Facebook Page of Taco Bell. It also hasn’t been confirmed if the shells were meant for customer consumption.

As of press time, representatives from Taco Bell were unavailable for comment. Likewise, the restaurant chain has yet to address the social media feeds.

Speculators describe the picture as a mere prank. But investigations are underway to determine exactly where the picture came from.

Source: Mashable

Does your social media profile affect your job prospects?

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Social Media JobAccording to a survey from On Device Research, one in ten people aged 16 to 34 have been turned down for job opportunities due to something they posted on a social media site.

“If getting a job wasn’t hard enough in this tough economic climate, young people are getting rejected from employment because of their social media profiles and they are not concerned about it,” explained Sarah Quinn, ODR’s marketing manager.

More than 60% of the participants claimed that they aren’t concerned about how social media could affect their prospective job postings. Hence, it will not change how they interact with social networks.

The survey also found that most young people design their social media profiles to appeal to their friends rather than prospective employers.

Source: The Daily Caller

Council addresses misuse of social media

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social mediaLast year, a council worker in Wales was fired for misusing social media. And, according to reports, the incident has served as a warning to others.

In 2012, there were 14 cases of social media misuse in the council staff. The violations included suggestive comments, threats, and even criticism of concerned authorities.

Powys council reported three cases of social media misuse—all of them in Facebook.

One of the employees sent inappropriate messages to a learner in the social media site. Two others posted inappropriate comments which could be deemed disreputable for the council.

These violators were issued corresponding penalties by the Powys council.

In an interview with BBC, Matthew Sinclair—the chief executive of the TaxPayer’s Alliance—said that the council took the appropriate course of action in these matters.

“Taxpayers want to know that council staff are using their time properly and getting value for local residents’ cash,” said Sinclair. “Whilst social media can be useful for letting residents know what the council are up to and for increasing transparency, it’s important that it’s not misused.”

He concluded: “If council staff are posting inappropriate comments on social media accounts then appropriate action must be taken.”

Source: BBC News