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Ello is a referendum on personal data-driven web advertising

E10-1Ello, the new buzzy social network that doesn’t show ads or collect personal data, isn’t just the latest fad for the cool kids, and asking how Ello will make money is the wrong question.

Ello is a referendum on personal data-driven web advertising, which is being slowly and carefully ratcheted up to a saturation point.

We may already be there. Third-party cookies are running rampant in the browser, and retargeting (you, know when that ad follows you around the web) is happening more than ever. Meanwhile the biggest social advertising force on earth, Facebook, is becoming an ad network where brands can leverage Facebook’s knowledge of you to help target ads at you all over the web.

'The Angry Birds Movie' Gets Brands Posting

angry birds movie gets brands postingThe Angry Birds Movie has left some of its official brand partners far from angry.

Social media analytics provider Unmetric highlighted some of the most successful social content related to the film, which posted an estimated $55.5 million in box office revenue during its second weekend, bringing its total to some $112 million, according to Deadline.

“Free” Shows Which Friends Are Available To Hang Out

6-11freeSick of lonely nights at home browsing feeds? Free tells you which friends are…free…and let’s you ask if anyone wants to meet up without making you look desperate. Launching today on iOS, Free lets you announce plans or that you’re flexible, and group chat to organize your congregation. It’s like a green dot online status indicator for your real-life availability.

Free was co-founded by Path’s Danny Trinh, a true man-about-town with insights from his ex-employer’s missteps. “It was so frustrating. We were working on a core utility that everybody already had a behavior pattern for elsewhere” Trinh tells me.

10 Things We Learned About Social Media Users' Charitable Habits

10-9-19As the #IceBucketChallenge campaign showed us, social media can be a powerful medium for charitable organizations.

However, the precise nature of the relationship between social good and platforms like Facebook and Twitter can often be unclear. Do social media users really absorb the message? Do people use activism on a social platform instead of actually donating money to a charitable cause?

10 Ways of Becoming Indispensable to Your Social Media Audience

10 Ways of Becoming Indispensable to Your Social Media Audience

Once you recover the links that are usually lost in new marketing, you need to create value to make your audience grow. I present below 10 ways that can help your brand grow, increasing engagement and ROI, as well as conversions. The objective isn’t an meaningless number but real people who are engaged and proactive.

How to become indispensable to your social media audience

10 ways your business can (should) use Google+ Hangouts

google8-11By far the most exciting and feature-rich free tools provided by Google+ are Hangout Video Calls and Hangouts on Air.

Here are 10 ways to use them in your business.

1- Paid consulting: Hangouts on Air can be public or private, paid or free. If you’re using a HOA for consulting, you send the link to join the Hangout when you receive payment. Only those people who have the link to the video, which will be on YouTube as private, can watch the video.

11 Things You Can Do Right Now to Perfect Your Twitter Profile

T9-25News outlets should be mortified by the way they describe themselves on Twitter. Learn from their mistakes, and from the companies that are doing it right.

Every high-schooler knows that you can't choose your nickname. Happily, social media offers a remedy for people of all ages: the chance to write your own bio.

This ability to self-brand is priceless. Yet many fumble it. In fact, major media outlets approach their Twitter bios as if they were students cramming to finish their homework on the school bus, rather than world-class wordsmiths. At a time when publishers are increasingly interested in driving social traffic to their sites, such box-checking results in a lost opportunity

14 Eye-Opening Instagram Statistics

3-2InstIn less than five years, photo-sharing app Instagram has grown from Internet infant to social media star. 

New data from the Pew Research Center shows that among social media networks, Instagram has surpassed Twitter in popularity among U.S. adults. Pew's report states that 26 percent of online adults in the U.S. used Instagram in 2014. That’s up from 17 percent in 2013 and 13 percent in 2012. By comparison, 23 percent of online adults in the U.S. used Twitter in 2014.

3 Insights Entrepreneurs Must Know About Millennials' Mobile Behavior

3M10-6Now more than ever, entrepreneurs need to be cognizant of the importance of mobile marketing to millennials. The millennial generation is driving the biggest changes in how companies develop and market products and services in industries across the board.

While it may seem basic at the core, many companies are still missing out on opportunities to better understand the reasons why millennials buy certain products, identify strongly with certain brands or shop in certain ways.

3 More Reasons for Brands to Use Instagram to Boost Influence and Drive Sales

inst9-23Instagram is a unique medium for brand advertising unlike any other platform in the social space. The visually driven community allows users to communicate in the universal language of photos and videos, opening the world to the possibility of more "humanized'' content.

Instagram’s growth and reach speaks to its massive appeal to the millennial audience. Instagram provides huge advertising opportunities to drive brand awareness and purchase intent to those brands that understand users want content made for users by other users who understand them best.

4 Key Strategies to Create Social Media Brand FOMO

FOMO9-22As a brand it your job not to just sell to your customers, but connect and engage with them. You want to show your voice, what you stand for and that you are credible in your field--all the while building dynamic relationships with your fan base. So how do you keep them coming back for more each time? You create brand FOMO or the fear of missing out. Here are four strategies that will help you cultivate a stellar social media presence that people won't want to miss out on.

4 Recent Facebook Updates Businesses Should Know

FB9-4Are you staying up-to-date with the most recent Facebook updates and other changes? If you’re not, you’re in luck! We’ve rounded up some of the social network’s most recent announcements and updates that affect businesses.

1. Updates to the News Feed Algorithm (Again!)

Facebook has announced two major changes to the News Feed algorithm in the last couple of weeks. Both affect businesses and how you craft your Facebook posts.

5 largely untapped ways to drive loyalty using social media

customer loyaltyCreating customer loyalty is usually the result of two things: 1) forming emotional bonds with customers and 2) catering to their needs. Brands that can do both of these things have a rock-solid foundation to develop customer relationships. But gaining initial customer loyalty is only half the battle!

5 Reasons to Use a Content Management System like Joomla

Are you struggling to decide between the various content management systems (CMS) available today? Well, it’s not an easy task if you are sure about the business needs.

Anyway here are a few insightful feeds on when and why should anyone prefer Joomlaas their web content partner.

5 ways to make posts more sharable

make content go viralThere's no way to guarantee that an item of online content goes viral, but you can boost your chances by breaking news, helping others or being silly, writes Avinash Nair. "From cartoons to memes through to funny videos, if your content has the 'fun quotient,' it'll do very well," he writes.

5 Ways to Use Social Media to Make a Huge Impact in Real Life

1-7smrlThese five tips can help you bridge the gap between online and offline in terms of social media, and keep you relevant to your consumers in the socially saturated world.

As ubiquitous as social media is in this day and age, more people are turning an apathetic ear to what brands have to say rather than hanging onto their every word on these channels.

That shouldn’t come as a shock to you, though.

6 Myths About Social Sharing

Consider everything you thought you knew about social sharing. Now, forget it. The trends you thought you knew have evolved and are not the same as they used to be. Time to hit refresh on your social marketing strategy and optimize your customer engagement by sharing the right content at the right time, and truly understand what channels people are using to make your message go viral.

A recent study revealed some surprising results that debunk some common misconceptions of social sharing. For instance, you would expect younger age groups (28 and younger) to engage with more shared content since they are the most “plugged in,” right? Not even close. In reality, people ages 55-64 are more than twice as likely to engage with a brands’ content. Additionally, you might predict that Saturdays and Sundays see the most consumer engagement since most people are not at work and less busy. Wrong again! People engage with shared content 49% more on weekdays than they do on weekends.

6 Ways to Kill Your Blog

do not actually kill your blogThe importance of blogging cannot be stressed enough in the social-content marketing arena. If you’re at all familiar with Internet advertising (which I assume you are) you’d know that a well-formed, high-end business blog is capable of pushing a brand’s products and services into the customers’ view more than pay-per-click advertising, social media, and other online marketing techniques.

As a blogger-for-hire, I’ve come to realize the most critical aspect that separates the good and the other business blogs: Mistakes.


7 Easy Steps to Increase Employee Engagement In Social Media

7-steps-7-25Employee participation in social media is an influential way of building customer trust and attracting sales leads to your company. According to a SlideShare presentation “War of Words: Myth-Busting Social, SEO & Content Marketing” from Minnesota-based online marketing company TopRank Online Marketing, 82% of customers say they trust a company more when the CEO and leadership team are active on the social web.

Commonly, many of your company employees regularly use social media sites such as Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Twitter. Other employees who love photography may use their smartphones to upload Instagram photos of company events, trade fairs or conferences to their Twitter or Facebook accounts.

7 Twitter Tools to Amplify Your Productivity

Are you spending too much time on Social Media?

Are you finding it harder and harder to keep up?

Are you looking for more efficient and effective ways to reach your audience?

I remember the first Tweet I read…My cat ate ____ for breakfast. Really? I love animals, but as a businessman I shunned twitter. Then my curiosity of this new technology prompted me to take a closer look. Over the years I’ve come to learn the power of Twitter.

7 Ways to Maximize Social Media’s Full Potential this 2016

maximize social mediaThere's no denying it. Social Media is part of our everyday life, as consumers, marketers, and social beings.

Whatever the niche is, whether B2B or B2C, one thing is certain—we have to do social media right. The fact is, your target market is in social media, you just have to know where and how to reach them efficiently.

Today Spiralytics' Rhiza Oyos talks about how to get ahead of the game and maximize social media’s full potential this 2016. Here are several ways on how to do it:

8 Game-Changing Marketing Lessons From the ALS 'Ice Bucket Challenge

ALS8-15Understanding why this effort has been so successful might just save your next social media marketing campaign.

If you have any social media presence at all, particularly on Facebook or Instagram, over the past few weeks you have probably noticed a daily influx of video posts in your timeline of people dumping buckets of ice and water over their heads. Fear not--this is not likely in reaction to the effects of global warming or people trying to escape the "heat" being generated by summer boy band tours. This viral phenomenon is the "Ice Bucket Challenge," which is being taken on by growing numbers of men, women, and children to help bring awareness to amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig's disease.

8 Reasons Why Every Business Needs Custom Twitter Hashtags

3-11hashCustom hashtags are most popular on Twitter but are also used on Instagram, Tumblr, Super, and other social networks. They are unique, an extension of your brand. Best of all, custom hashtags are completely free. 

1. Twitter chats.

Twitter chats are one of many ways to connect with customers and potential clients on Twitter. By using a custom hashtag, chat participants can follow the conversation by using Twitter’s search box. For a more professional look and a beautifully designed Twitter chat room, choose a third party Twitter chat provider. Most of them offer free Twitter chats and register the hashtag for you so you can easily track it.

A Conversation With Michael Lopp, Pinterest’s Head Of Engineering

8-3instaengineerAbout a year ago, Michael Lopp joined Pinterest as the company’s head of engineering — filling in the leadership of the engineering side next to co-founder Evan Sharp and CEO Ben Silbermann.

Much of his role, since joining, has been to help teams at Pinterest, which consist of units of engineers, designers and product managers, mesh and work well together. Lopp comes from both Apple and Palantir, where he saw environments that were focused on engineers and designers (or, in the case of Palantir, on the engineering side).

A Guide to Perfect Social Media Posts (Infographic)

posts7-9People like to say there's no such thing as perfect, but at the rate customers' attention spans are decreasing, social media managers can't risk posting updates that aren't close to perfection.

What does a perfect social media post look like?

An infographic from My Clever Agency has the answer. It explains in detail what strong, engaging and effective social media posts should include. While we've gone over what good Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Google+ posts look like, this infographic has been updated to include YouTube, Instagram, Vine and Tumblr.

Are 1 in 5 companies missing the point of social media?

sm7-11The need for companies to have a presence on social media is pretty much accepted wisdom now. Sure there are a few outliers who think that it’s all just a passing fad, but for the most part people get that they need to be there. The thing is, being on a social platform and using a social platform effectively are two very different things.

In fact, new research suggests that a lot of brands are getting some fairly fundamental things wrong. The research, which comes from Sprinklr — a company that specialises in enterprise social relationship infrastructure — shows that 20% of companies rarely, if ever, respond to customer complaints made via social.

BitTorrent’s privacy-focused chat app ‘Bleep’ launches in alpha

BT9-17While most people know the name “BitTorrent” from the popular p2p transfer protocol used to transfer media files, the company BitTorrent is actually using the technology to build an ultra-secure chat application called Bleep.

And today BitTorrent released a public alpha version of Bleep on Windows, Mac, and Android. The app itself is based on the “principles of BitTorrent technology,” which means it can connect people directly without using centralized servers — thus eliminating the possibility of someone eavesdropping on your conversation by gaining access to that centralized service. Bleep can also be used for both voice or text-based conversations that are encrypted and stored locally on your device.

Brazil, Indonesia, Mexico, Turkey, India Powering Next Wave Of App Growth, Says App Annie

AA10-28A new report by mobile app analytics firm, App Annie, and mobile content and commerce association MEF, has identified Brazil, Indonesia, Mexico, Turkey and India as the next growth markets for app publishers — with rates of app downloads in these five markets growing substantially between Q3 2013 and Q3 2014.

Brazil topped the charts for app download growth, with 100% growth over this period; followed by Indonesia with 70% growth; Mexico and Turkey on 60% apiece; and India growing by 30%. While China is identified as the largest of the growth markets, app downloads here only grew 10% over the period.

Chernin Group, AT&T nearing deal for Fullscreen YouTube network

ATT7-25AT&T Inc. and the Chernin Group are nearing a deal to acquire a majority stake in Fullscreen Inc., a popular YouTube video network, a source close to the transaction said. 

The deal between Fullscreen and Otter Media, a joint venture of AT&T and Chernin, would put the valuation of the company at $200 million to $300 million, said the source, who was not authorized to comment on the transaction.

Chicken soup for the Facebook soul

5-7FBcIt's 1:30 p.m. – three hours before a morsel of food will be served – and a crowd is already gathering outside of Miriam's Kitchen.

If you didn't know it was there, you'd probably walk right by it: Located in Washington, D.C.'s Foggy Bottom neighborhood, known primarily for wandering undergrads and lush embassies, Miriam's Kitchen hides inside of the Western Presbyterian Church on Virginia Ave NW.

For its patrons, however, Miriam's Kitchen might as well have an iconic marquee worthy of a five-star eatery.

Codenamed “Moments”, Facebook Has Built An App For Super-Private Sharing

FBM9-19Facebook has failed repeatedly to get us to use complicated lists and privacy settings to share intimate moments with just our closest friends and family. It’s clumsy and confusing doing that with the same composer for blasting News Feed updates to everyone. But now Facebook is polishing off a new app codenamed “Moments” designed to make this micro-sharing much simpler, multiple sources tell TechCrunch, including one who has seen a live internal version of the app.

Coming soon to Facebook: Video ads that follow you from device to device

FB7-21Advertisers on Facebook see the emerging method of sequential mobile advertising as a way to better control their branding message with consumers on social media.

Sequential video advertising allows marketers to place targeted video ads in front of a user when they click an ad on their mobile device. Based on what the person clicks, and what the product or message is, marketers are then able to follow up with similar video ads as they hop from one device to another.

Content Curation: The Biggest Benefits [Infographic]

Marketers are responsible for producing content at an extremely frequent rate. According to countless studies, content marketing is proven to help generate leads, increase traffic and establish thought leadership, among other benefits. However, many lack the time, staff or budget to publish enough original content to keep up with the demand.

That is where content curation can come in.

Content is Only as Good as its Shareability

content shareabilityMost of us can remember a day when the pinnacle of communication revolved around our beeper and a pay phone. This best effort at mass communication was unfortunately tied down to a newspaper, magazine, TV, radio, billboard, and word-of-mouth. Content shareability and “viral” content was strictly reserved for the global enterprises that could afford TV ads and national billboard campaigns. And even if a brand had a great national campaign, it might take weeks or months to attract the majority of their target segment, and by that time, they’ve most likely progressed to something else. In the 1970s, if a very good friend that lived in a different city had a baby, it may take days or weeks for you to even see a picture of this new bundle of joy. Fast forward to today, we see pictures instantaneously of people on different continents just seconds after a photo is taken, thanks to advances in social media. Let’s venture even further into the past, shall we? “Gold was discovered in California in January 1848, but the gold rush did not really start until an article appeared in the New York Herald on August 19, 1848.” (History House) You catch the drift. Good content begs to be shared, and its success is only as good as its shareability.

Crowdsourcing Employee-Inspired Content Adds Brand Value [Study]

6-12csEngaging employees via digital channels can help companies deliver a unified, authentic and consistent customer experience, the CMO Council’s new study says.

Crowdsourcing and sharing employee-generated content via digital channels helps companies reinforce brand value and recruit talent, according to a joint study from the CMO Council and Executive Networks.

Drive higher profits with social media. Download the free guide: Connect your Enterprise World by Weaving Technology into the Enterprise Ecosystem.


HS8-19Did you know that enterprise organizations that have integrated social media into everyday business processes generate on average 20% more revenue and 60% higher profit growth? It's true. It's about a lot more than individual and independent venues such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram... it's about imbedding social media as part of your integrated communications, including Customer Service, Business Development, Marketing, Publicity, Employee relations and more.

Download Connect Your Enterprise World: Weaving Technology into the Enterprise Ecosystem to learn how you can maximize the value of your social initiatives across your organization as well as:


Ello Is Starting to Look More Like a Business

E10-25How can a social network with no advertising ever make money?

That was the biggest criticism of the buzzy new social network Ello—which claimed it would never have ads—when it exploded in popularity at the end of September. Onlookers wondered how it could possibly reconcile its ad-free mission with the pressure to show returns on its initial venture investment. “They don’t have a business model,” said Jeff Jarvis, a prominent journalism professor and media critic, “so why would anyone think of investing in them?”

Ello, Ello? New ‘No Ads’ Social Network Ello Is Blowing Up Right Now

E9-25In March a new social network launched promising the opposite business model to Facebook, i.e. not selling ads based on user data and instead relying on, perhaps, paid premium features to keep going. Ello then sunk without a trace until, in the last 24-48 hours or so, activity on the site completely blew up. And this is a pretty basic social network with the bare minimum of features. Why? A combination of factors.

Perhaps it was Facebook’s trenchant stance against LGBT users having both a real name and ‘persona’ name. Ello got traction with the LGBT community after Facebook disabled the accounts of some drag artists who used their performance names instead of their “real” names. Musicians with stage names have also complained.

EU OKs Facebook’s $19B WhatsApp Acquisition, Clearing The Last Antitrust Hurdle

wa10-3This just coming in: the EU has approved Facebook’s $19 billion acquisition of WhatsApp — deciding that the two are “not close competitors”. WhatsApp today has 600 million users, while Facebook has 1.3 billion, with 300 million using its Facebook Messenger product.

This marks closure for the last big regulatory hurdle that the social network needed to pass before closing the deal.

Even with $5.5M in funding, Ello’s future looks unclear

E10-24So the Ello saga continues, and this time with $5.5 million more in the bank, and a new kumbaya-esque charter and legal status that’s leaving us with more questions than answers.

Yesterday, the hip alternative — and ad-free! — social network announced that it has raised a lot of new funding, and that in the name of staying true to its promise of keeping ads and data-brokering off its minimalist, black-and-white piece of the Web, it’s filing to become a public benefit corporation (PBC) in the state of Delaware.

Facebook Enhances Remarketing Capabilities With New Features

facebookimage1Facebook has unveiled two new enhancements to help brands build awareness and advertise to consumers who have already visited their websites.

The improved remarketing capabilities include multi-product ads and new changes to Custom Audiences.

The multi-product ads, available on both desktop and mobile, appear as a slideshow, where marketers can showcase three products within a single ad unit. Facebook says this feature increases the likelihood of a person seeing a product and further clicking on the ad.

Facebook is hoping new Mentions app is a Twitter-killer

FB7-17When it comes to following celebs, Twitter is king.

Yes, Instagram is steadily gaining in popularity, especially among the younger demographics, but it’s hard to deny the power and influence that Twitter wields for those who want to know what’s going in the lives and minds of their favorite actors, musicians, or those who are merely famous for being famousright now. Despite the “Insta” in Instagram, it isn’t always instant.

Facebook launches anti-cyberbullying initiative Down Under

Bull9-22Facebook is getting tough with cyberbullies, who have made many children’s lives a living hell.

The Menlo Park, California-based social media kingpin will begin embedding public safety messages into Australian users’ news feeds in an attempt to get a leg up on cyberbullies. Anti-bullying educational videos will soon begin appearing on Aussie teens’ suggested posts, and similar videos will also be targeted to parents.

Facebook tweaks News Feed to surface more posts that users actually read

6-12FBFacebook today said that it has started making changes to its News Feed based on the time people spend on individual posts. More changes will be coming over the next few weeks.

Clearly, time spent is important, but Facebook’s engineers have started to take a more nuanced view of the metric.

Facebook Users Can Now DVR Content, Including Ads

FB7-22Facebook introduced an Instapaper-like feature on Monday called Save that lets people bookmark links, photos and videos shared on the social network and check them out later.

After users save a post on Facebook, they can pull up a new "Saved" tab to view their stockpile of time-delayed content. A person's saved content will remain private unless he or she decides to share it with their friends.

Facebook will sometimes pop up a gallery of things that users have saved in their news feeds to remind them of their stored content.

Facebook’s Potential Anonymity Project Could Be A Tough Sell

FB10-8A new Facebook app project might try to embrace the kind of anonymous sharing that we’ve seen on apps like Secret and Whisper, according to a new report by NYT’s Mike Isaac. The software would be a standalone application designed for mobile that wouldn’t require users to employ their real names, a policy FB enforces on its main social network. The app should arrive some time in the next few weeks, per the report, but what isn’t at all clear is what kind of incentive will draw users in.

Facebook’s Profit Propelled by Mobile

FB7-25SAN FRANCISCO — Once again demonstrating its mastery of the mobile computing wave, Facebook dazzled Wall Street on Wednesday by posting significant growth in revenue and profits for the second quarter, driven largely by ads shown in the news feeds of a billion Facebook users checking the service on their mobile phones.

Shareholders celebrated, sending the stock of the company to a record high in after-hours trading.

Fighting food: Consumers revolt online

food8-3Sitting at her kitchen table in Houston, Bettina Siegel, a corporate lawyer-turned-school lunch blogger and mom of two, had no idea she had the power to spark a massive consumer uprising with her laptop.

But that’s exactly what she did. In March 2012, her petition on Change.org asking the Agriculture Department to stop serving “pink slime” to school kids drew nearly 260,000 signatures. The social media fire, fanned by ABC News and dozens of other media outlets, led retailers and schools across the country to drop the product, formally known as lean finely textured beef, or LFTB, from their ground beef.

Flipboard Will Introduce Video Ads This Year 649 SHARES

flip8-15Facebook and Twitter aren't the only companies pushing forward with video ads this year.

Flipboard, a popular social news reading app, is planning to introduce video advertising in September, CEO Mike McCue announced during an appearance at a ReadWrite event in San Francisco on Wednesday night.

The first video advertiser on the platform will be Chanel, with more advertisers to come later.

Foursquare Releases Social Search-Centric Redesign

FS8-6-1The network is now more focused on allowing users to tailor the network to their personal preferences, which, conveniently, opens new opportunities for brands.

After relegating check-ins to a different app in May, Foursquare debuted a redesign of its core functionality on August 6 that instead focuses on social search.

And this, in turn, should open additional opportunities for brands to reach consumers on the network, insiders say.

Free Guidebook: Mastering Facebook for Business


smm9-30How to Use Facebook for Business

Facebook can be a great tool to get your business found on social media. Building successful fan pages is only aspect of mastering Facebook for Business – this guide provides a ton of other highly useful strategies and tactics to drive traffic and conversions. Download HubSpot's comprehensive guide to using Facebook for your business for free here:

Download Now: http://bit.ly/1vt7awC

Social Media Image Templates [60 free templates]

After you read the guide above to determine how best to use Facebook for your business, take your posts to the next level with beautiful images. Download the free templates below to create awesome social media images to attract more fans and customers to your Facebook page.

Download now: http://bit.ly/1u8I1qL

Remember to share this email with your friends & colleagues, too. Sharing is caring.


Game-Changer – From Weibo to WeChat

WC9-22Will the exodus from Weibo to WeChat change the way brands do social? How can marketers best adapt to the changing social landscape?

China has a number of "Weibo" (Twitter-like) platforms. But Sina Weibo is China's biggest. In July, Sina announced 2014 second-quarter advertising revenue growth of 29 percent year-over-year to $155.8 million off the back of Weibo, exceeding the company’s $155 million goal. There is no denying that China's Sina Weibo social media platform has reached a high point in brand involvement. But the problem is that audiences have moved out. 

Glitch-Face Is The New Selfie

Mobile self-portraiture for art and security.

The omnipresent “selfie” has some pretty particular, pretty annoying visual characteristics. We’ve grown accustomed to the unnatural 45-degree angle that thins the face and exaggerates the eyes (which are usually eerily deadpan, focused on maneuvering into the aforementioned thinning angle). Selfie aficionados know their most flattering and flattening Instagram filter. It’s not just a self-portrait, it’s an avatar, a self-made and self-modified icon, and it’s not particularly realistic.

Google Tests New Music Ads

gmusic8-10Google is testing “Listen Now” ads with Spotify, Rhapsody and Apple 's Beats Music, the latest in a string of new ad formats that can simplify purchases for consumers.

Search for the name of a musical artist, from “The Beatles” to “Miley Cyrus” to “Camille Saint-Saens,” and Google displays ads – grouped together under the “Listen Now” label — promoting music services, including its own Google Play.

Here's Why There's No Dislike Button on Facebook

FB10-22Like it or not, social media is an integral part of our lives. But sometimes, the etiquette can be a little fuzzy, especially when your only option is to hit that "like" button.

How do you properly acknowledge an event like a death in the family? Or share your opinion about a headline without participating in a quickly devolving comment thread? If you choose to "like" that post about your co-worker's surgery or your friend's kid's missing pet, will it come off as supportive or flippant?

Hot New Social Network Ello Knocked Out By Cyber Attack... Already

E9-29Just as Ello said hello, it briefly said goodbye.

The ad-free, blatantly anti-Facebook social platform that debuted barely more than a month ago fell victim to a Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack. The knockout punch, which hit yesterday afternoon, caused an outage that lasted 45 minutes.

How Kevin Systrom Controls Every Ad on Instagram

Insta7-22ASPEN — Photo-sharing network Instagram still hasn't fully rolled out its strategy for selling ads on the service. But CEO and cofounder Kevin Systrom has revealed that he has an unusual and unprecedented amount of control over photo ads before they go up on the service.

"I'm looking at every ad," Systrom told the Fortune Brainstorm Tech conference at the Aspen Institute on Tuesday. "We implemented that early on." He added that he had the power to reject or suggest changes to the content.

How Social Media Impacts Customer Service

How Social Media Impacts Customer Service

There are so many moving parts to a strong customer service strategy, it’s easy overlook the benefits of social media. But do so at your own peril. In today’s world, a presence on social media is as important as having a toll-free phone number. Here are just a few of the reasons why.

Reap the benefits of two-way brand engagement. Customers enjoy it when businesses share information, tips, ideas, and sometimes even humorous banter across social media. Many consumers love to send a message out to their favorite brands over social channels and are excited when they respond back. Two-way engagement on social media is a great way to build brand loyalty and help give your company its own voice.

How to Find the Best Days and Times to Post on Social Media [INFOGRAPHIC]

SM9-26What Days and Times Should I post?

This depends on a couple of things: The social media networks you use, and when your target audience is online.

There are several ways to find out when your audience is online to find out the best days and times to post on social media pages. One is to reference social sharing platforms that collect such data, like Buffer or SproutSocial.

How to Handle Social-Media Criticism

sm-7-10"Keyboard courage" has some people posting cruel things they would otherwise not say to someone's face.  Hiding behind a screen is not a shield.  

As a social-media consultant and strategist, I have seen my fair share of rude behavior on various platforms and personally experienced this on several occasions.  Everything from gossiping, not following through with deliverables and jealousy has come my way.  While my first reaction is to fire back, I have learned this isn't an appropriate response.  By firing back in social media, this is exactly what feeds the beast.  Don't feed the beast!

How to Make Funny Videos Without Becoming the Laughing Stock of the Internet

tech8-3Humor is a potentially powerful weapon in a brand’s arsenal, but they must be savvy when they wield it in video form. That means in part creating relatable content that isn't too long and tells a brand’s story.

Laughter is often said to be the best medicine, and when it comes to digital marketing, it certainly presents unique opportunities for consumer engagement.

Like the social outcast who discovers he can make the star quarterback laugh and finds himself suddenly catapulted into the upper echelons of high-school society, a funny branded video can quickly engage an audience and raise a brand's social currency.

How to Pick the Perfect Social Media Marketing Platforms

SMP926One of the most important steps in a successful social media strategy is choosing the right social media channels. I get asked it all the time – what social network should my business invest in? The short answer is surprisingly simple. If a large percentage of your target audience use a channel and you have the resources to serve it well, then you should be there. It does go a little bit deeper than this, but it is not rocket science.

Today I am going to outline an easy step by step process to ensure you pick the right social media marketing platforms to connect with your target audience.

How Twitter can solve its onboarding problem

T9-25I love Twitter — I get so much value from it. I never want it to go away and I actually have a bet with a friend that Twitter will be here in 20 years. Twitter was also the first network I added to my company.

But, Twitter has an onboarding problem.

This problem stems from the simple fact that it is not simple or easy for a new user to learn how to use Twitter to maximum benefit. It takes a lot of work to make Twitter work for you.

I spent 48 hours on Ello. This is what I saw

E9-30If you’ve been on Facebook or Twitter in the last week, you’ve probably heard a lot of people talking about this thing called Ello. If you tried to sign up to see what it is, you would’ve gotten a message back saying, “We will invite you as soon as we can. Ello is currently in beta, and we are inviting new users in small groups as we roll out new features.”

One of Ello’s founders, Paul Budnitz, told Betabeat that the site has been receiving more than 30,000 of these sign-up requests per hour this week. The only way to get an account is to receive one of five unique invite codes that every user gets. This has caused quite a stir, and it’s gotten to the point that people are actually purchasing invites from other users on eBay, with prices ranging from $5 to $500.

I’m an Instagram Lover and a Fighter – Are Ads Going to Ruin My Relationship?

Instagram7-17The introduction of ads into Instagram feeds in Australia may threaten the comfortable relationship many users have with the social media platform. How can brands make sure they get the basics right?

I have a confession: I'm in a relationship with Instagram. It's there when I wake up in the morning, and there as I go to sleep at night. It's there when I need a little respite in my day, or to share moments of joy in my life. And it's there on the couch with me when I'm watching TV.

Important Facets of Social Selling

SS9-26If you're not utilizing social media to help your company grow its brand and generate leads - wake up! Here are some tips for how to take full advantage of social selling and examples of brands that are doing it right.

The goals you establish for your sales team are more easily attained when you build up your brand, generate leads, and establish loyalty among your current customers. If you are a company that has yet to embrace social media, you are missing out on an opportunity with social selling. Let's take a look at how social media can build you up in areas that assist your sales goals.

In social media, quality beats hype

Social media marketing is the online equivalent of flyering: there’s you, going about your business and there’s the marketing person, shoving a piece of paper in your face. Of course, you have the option to decline the flyer and be on your way. Or, you may accept it and read what it has to say. If you do happen to take a moment to glance at the leaflet’s content, the next step is deciding if it’s convincing enough to act upon—the same way that you decide if you’ll click the link on a marketing tweet or ignore it and keep scrolling down the feed.

This could be why, on the Business Journals Web site last week, millennial trends consultant Jeff Fromm boldly declared, “Social media marketing is dead,” in the sense that “the idea that social media marketing is the most effective approach to win over millennials” isn’t necessarily true. Even if (and precisely because) that demographic is a group of heavy social media users.

Increase Twitter Engagement with these 10 Easy Steps

Twitter is perhaps unique among all social media platforms in that it is most suited to mobile traffic. Indeed, it generates maximum revenue from mobile and tablet traffic. That apart, it has been growing at a phenomenal rate with close to 60 million tweets going out each day. If you are not already earnestly trying to get traffic via twitter, read the above-mentioned facts again. They are predictors of the future.

Here are some very easy ways to increase twitter engagement and traffic generation.

Instagram hires new brand exec to ramp up ad efforts

It was all the way back in November of last year that Instagram first began running its first ads to a big, successful numbers. Frankly, there has seemed to be much movie since then. Now, though, the Facebook-owned company is finally about to step up its ad game in a big way.

James Quarles, who has been Regional Director Facebook EMEA (Europe, the Middle East and Africa) will be transitioning over to a new role: as Global Head of Business and Brand Development at Instagram, it has been confirmed by an Instagram spokesperson to VatorNews.

Instagram’s “Bolt” Leak Could Be A New Facebook App Or An App Install Ad Test

Inst7-25Some Instagram users are reporting having briefly seen a banner advertisement within the Instagram application which pointed to a new app called “Bolt,” described as a “one tap photo messaging” app. Next to the app’s name and description, a download button linked out to a non-functional URL on the Google Play store.

The current speculation being shared around the web is that Bolt is a new application soon to be released by Instagram. However, it also seems likely that the Bolt leak was a test involving an expansion of Facebook’s app install ads to the company-owned Instagram platform.

Is Facebook Slingshot Third Time’s A Charm Or Strike Three?

FB79Facebook has today launched strike three against Camp Snapchat with Slingshot. As with many of Facebook’s recent products (like Paper), Slingshot is an already-proven idea dressed up in an expensive UI with an established distribution network of billions. Despite the fact that most social apps fail, it should be a home run.

But it won’t be. And not because it’s different from Snapchat, and not because it’s the same. Not because it’s prettier, and not because it has the cool “reciprocation” feature. The reason Slingshot will flop, just like Paper and Poke and Camera and whatever else, is because of Facebook.

Is Twitter Making a Comeback? Some New Treats for Marketers

5-22TwFor anyone who pays attention to the stock market (which I don’t) or the news (which I do), it’s clear that Twitter hasn’t been looking so hot these days. Last month, the social platform fell short of its projected revenue for the first time as a public company. Somewhat embarrassing, right? Twitter’s much younger cousin Instagram even surpassed its monthly active user count when it hit 300 million monthly active users back in January.

Is Your Social Media Content D.O.A.? Try This. (Infographic)

formula7-16Like everyone, you hope every piece of content you post gains some traction, and with any luck, goes viral. But all too often even well-crafted posts end up in the social media graveyard, with just a small number of shares and likes.

Well, it's on to the next post, right?

Not so fast. Before you start drawing up that next one, consider this infographic from Los Angeles-based Gryffin Media that might unlock some of the secrets to that elusive viral post.

It's baaaccckkkk! Join 45 Social Media Experts at Web's Largest Online Social Media Conference... Social Media Success Summit 2014!

SMMS-814Social Media Success Summit 2014 is a special online conference designed to help you master social media marketing, brought to you by the experts at Social Media Examiner. Forty-five of the world's leading social media pros will show you how they succeed with social. This takes place totally ONLINE over three weeks – and the best part is that by registering, you also get access to replays of everything, in case you miss some sessions. To see the whole itinerary and the slew of events, click here:


LinkedIn Beats The Street In Q2 On Sales Of $534M, EPS Of $0.51

With social networks Facebook and Twitter handily beating analyst estimates for Q2 earnings, LinkedIn today reported its Q2 results and showed that rising tides are lifting its boat, too. Revenue for the second quarter was $534 million and its EPS (non-GAAP diluted) was $0.51 as the company also raised its guidance for Q3 and the full year. The company’s stock is up by around 8% in after-hours trading to $195 a share.

Analysts expected LinkedIn to post earnings per share (EPS) of $0.39 (non-GAAP diluted) on revenues of $511 million. As a point of comparison, last quarter, LinkedIn beat analysts’ estimates on sales of $473 million and EPS of $0.38. Today’s revenue numbers are up 47% on a year ago, when LinkedIn posted revenue of $364 million in Q2 2013.

LinkedIn Publishing Platform Now Accessible To 230 Million Members In All English-Speaking Countries

1-8LIEarly last year, LinkedIn opened up its publishing platform to all members, initially arriving for a selection of English-language speakers on the network. Previously, access to the blogging platform had been limited to a small, editorially selected group of “Influencers” like Richard Branson, Bill Gates and Barack Obama. Today, the company says that it has reached one million posts, and now, it’s expanding access to all members in English-speaking countries. The expansion means that 230 million English speakers are able to publish on LinkedIn going forward.

LinkedIn's Mountain Of Data Is Now A $1,200 Sales Tool

linkedin logoWho wants to pay serious money to see your biographical details on LinkedIn? Cynics might say: “Nobody.” People familiar with LinkedIn’s business model to date will say: “Recruiters.” But the big answer going forward is like to be: “Sales people.”

LinkedIn this week is rolling out its most advanced version yet of Sales Navigator, a $1,200-a-year tool that lets sales people in any industry hunt efficiently for potential customers who might be predisposed toward a meeting because of shared personal connections. LinkedIn says companies such as PayPal and Autodesk have been testing this service, with good results.

LinkedIn's New App Predicts What You Need To Know Before A Meeting

LI7-16LinkedIn wants to become a bigger part of its users lives by reminding them of networking details they ought to know, so they don’t have to bother remembering them.

The professional network with 300 million registered users says it’s launching a new, smarter app that uses “anticipatory computing” techniques to prompt users with tidbits of information they should know about people.

The Connected app, launching Thursday, replaces a previous app called Contacts, and uses a card-like interface to show users updates on what’s happening with people in the network. The app is also smarter than its predecessor in a few ways: it can integrate with a smartphone’s calendar to learn about forthcoming appointments.

Migrate Beyond Facebook. Make a Huge Impact on Smaller Niche Sites.

N10-3Social media is no longer just an optional add-on for businesses: It’s a requirement for staying competitive. Today’s customers are hyperconnected to their devices and networks, using them to not only socialize but also receive the recommendations and information they need to make purchases.

Millennials Expect a Consistent Brand Experience Everywhere

branding7-17By now we all know that today’s internet user expects an optimized experience wherever they virtually go. That’s especially true for Millennials. A recent survey from SDL reiterated data that the majority of 18-24s expect a consistent experience with brands across all channels and they access that information on multiple devices and offline.

What’s the bottom line for all of us given this information?

Millennials More Likely to Purchase What They Share on Social

M9-25-1A new consumer report from ShareThis suggests that Millennials’ sharing activity on social media is directly connected to their buying behavior.

Many in the marketing industry say Millennials are harder to reach than any other age group, as they are less responsive to advertising. But is that really true? ShareThis' new report about Millennials' digital sharing and consumption habits suggests that brands can crack the code of marketing to this "elusive" generation if they know what they like to share on social media.

Most Companies Don't Get How Customer Service on Social Media Works

cs8-5It's not them. It's you.

About 80 percent of companies think they’re crushing it at customer service, but only 8 percent of paying customers agree. The disconnect was reported in a recent Sprinklr study, and truthfully, the results are not that surprising. Disgruntled customers are generally the most vocal. I believe it was Tolstoy who said “Happy customers are all alike, unhappy customers will write the most unique and profane things on Facebook.” 

New Site Aims to Help Journalists Verify News Found on Social Media

First Draft News CheckerA new website funded by Google News Lab aims to help journalists find and verify first-hand news accounts posted on social media. The site, called First Draft News, is designed to help reporters find legitimate sources and material on sites like Facebook, Twitter andYouTube, while at the same time stopping the spread of rumors and hoaxes that proliferate the Internet following major news events.

"We will be publishing features, case studies, interactives, videos, podcasts, industry news, how-to guides and collections of tools on a daily basis to help journalists navigate this new minefield of reportage," wrote Alastair Reid, the site's managing editor. Eight members of Google's First Draft Coalition will contribute to the site, including EyeWitness Media Hub, Storyful, Reported.ly, Bellingcat, Meedan, Verification Junkie, Dig Deeper, Google News Lab and Emergent


Ousted Reddit employee Victoria Taylor breaks silence to thank her supporters

7-8RedditFormer Reddit director Victoria Taylor took to the platform on Wednesday afternoon to thank her supporters for their actions over the weekend, saying that their voices “matter.”

As Reddit’s director of communications and talent for the past two years, Taylor established the Ask Me Anything (AMA) feature. Her time at Reddit came to an abrupt end last weekend when word leaked out about her firing. Moderators for subreddits took down their pages in response and a petition quickly circulated calling for the ousting of Pao.

Pavlok’s Wristband That Electroshocks You For Facebooking Or Skipping Workouts Now On Indiegogo

Pavlov and his dogs proved conditioning shapes behavior patterns. A hundred years later, a startup called Pavlok hopes the same theory and its electroshock wristband will make us exercise, wake up on time, and stop procrastinating. Launching today on Indiegogo starting at $99, Pavlok’s app lets you set up goals like hitting the gym or avoiding social media sites, and then its wristband electrically shocks you when you screw up. Brutal, but potentially effective.

Pavlok can also stick to your plan, or make you pay a stranger (similar to GymPact or StickK) if you fail. Pavlok hopes to raise $50,000 for production and manufacturing of the wristbands, which it plans to ship in March or April 2015.

Pinterest for eCommerce

PI8-6Adding Pinterest to Your eCommerce Strategy

Last month, Pinterest showed off its first ad at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, and it’s a beautiful tribute to how the platform connects and inspires 70 million users worldwide. Just four years from its beta launch in 2010, Pinterest has 2.5 million page views per month, making it the fastest growing social platform today.

But its popularity is not the only draw – Pinterest is more successful than Twitter and Facebook at turning followers into consumers. Take a look at Pinterest by the numbers:

Pinterest is a serious business tool, it’s not just ‘pretty pictures’! Here’s a great free eBook on how to utilize your 'pins' to capture your audience's

pinterest7-16Discover how you can successfully attract, retain and engage your audience on Pinterest! Find out how your brand can get discovered on Pinterest including ways to:

Click here to download: http://bit.ly/1keSDg0

• Measure the most important Pinterest metrics
• Tie your Pinterest efforts to tangible revenueBuild your initial follower base on Pinterest, and how to keep it growing
• Run contests on Pinterest
• Leverage your Pinterest investment on Facebook and Twitter
• Create compelling, relevant content on your Pinterest page
• Use Rich Pins, like Place, Article, Produce, Recipe, and Movie Pins

Pinterest Just Made It Easier to Discover Pins You Care About

P7-17The folks at Pinterest are on a tear lately. The popular image-based social-media network unveiled yet another new discovery-happy feature. This one’s called “Interests,” an easier way for users to find and follow pins from people with shared -- yup, you guessed it -- interests.

For businesses, the update gives your customers a new, less time-consuming way to discover your posts, directly from their home feed across all of Pinterest’s platforms -- on the web and on its Android, iPhone and iPad apps.

Starting today, users can now dig deep into all kinds of highly specific interests, from “ultralight backpacking” to “urban homesteading” and, you name it, just about everything in-between.

Pinterest Ramps Up E-Commerce Features

PI7-27-1The image-based discovery platform is rolling out pins for specific interests, another feature that will benefit online businesses. So how can marketers best use Pinterest for e-commerce?

Pinterest continues to boost its e-commerce services in order to help brands further engage with consumers. Shortly after it designed a new Follow button for brands, the platform has unveiled another new feature to make brands' pins more discoverable.

Pinterest Rolls Out Messaging So Pinners Can Have Conversations Around Shared Pins

Pinterest today is unveiling a new way users can communicate, collaborate and share with one another. With the launch of a new messaging feature, users will be able to keep discussions going on Pinterest around their favorite Pins without having to leave the site or apps.

Last spring, Pinterest launched its Send a Pin feature, which enabled users to share interesting Pins with their friends on and off the site. Users that were connected on Pinterest would receive a notification that would point them to the shared pin. And others would receive emails about the content that was shared.

Reddit’s Community: Can’t Win With ‘Em, Can’t Win Without ‘Em

7-7reditYou know the story from beginning to end: A regular old website earns popularity, gains top users who are almost celebrities, and then the site dies more quickly than it rose.

A lot happens in between, but those are the basics of it.

Digg was a perfect example of this. Flickr is another. All of these sites have something in common: A fanatical reliance, if not focus, on ‘community.’ It’s worth remembering that having users is not the same thing as having a ‘community.’

Requests for User Data Rise in Twitter’s Latest Transparency Report

twitter-7-4Twitter said that it has seen an increase in requests from government agencies around the world for account information and content removal.

Twitter on Thursday released its bi-annual transparency report, detailing the number of requests for information the company receives from government agencies around the world.

Releasing transparency reports, a practice pioneered by Google four years ago, is now commonplace for many large technology companies; Facebook, Yahoo and Microsoft regularly release their own similar versions.

Shoutout Aims To Be The Simplest Way To Share Photos With Friends

SO9-26Shoutout is a new iOS app offering what co-founder and CEO Philip Golbraikh calls “visual texting.”

The idea, basically, is to create an environment where people don’t worry about the quality of their photos and instead treat them as “a visual representation of your message” — this is what I’m doing, here’s something cool I saw on the street, and so on.

Social media on your wrist: Hicon is a bracelet that makes social networking wearable

wear7-21Your social media interactions aren’t meant to be confined to your pocket or desktop – they’re meant to be worn on your wrist for all the world to see and, potentially, interact with. That’s the thrust of the Hicon, a unique bracelet with small, colorful buttons linked to your social media accounts. In other words, it’s wearable social media.

The Hicon dubs itself “The Social Bangle,” and that pretty much sums it up: It’s a waterproof silicone bracelet that’s spotted with six interchangeable buttons for your social media accounts, including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn and WhatsApp. When you receive a smartphone alert for one of your social networks, the corresponding button on the Hicon lights up and vibrates. Wearers can dismiss the notification with a shake of their wrist.

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