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Archive for March, 2012

Saturday News Round Up

Saturday, March 31st, 2012

Here are some new stories you may have missed in the past week:

Mashable reports on a prediction by Stephen Wolfram, CEO of Wolfram Alpha: “Forget Google Instant: In the Future, Search Engines will read your habits.”

YouTube banished the reply girls, in a move to make the relevant videos actually relevant and prevent misleading thumbnails from tempting clicks and earning money.

The new Timeline has been rolled out for brands, and Spotify has embraced it with open arms by offering a 1000 year history of Music. You can see the whole thing here: Spotify on Facebook.

Research has revealed that Facebook CMPs are much higher than other social networks.

Mashable provided another great read: The Evolution of Facebook for Brands. Take a look back at the humble roots of Brands on Facebook, brought to you by Jason Weaver is the CEO of Shoutlet.

GigaOm has delved into a hot topic: how much does Pinterest actually make? Which is something we’d all lke to know, considering the recent valuation of Pinterest at $200 million.

An App called ‘Girls Around Me’ has been shut out by FourSquare, many are hoping that the mere existence of the app will alert people to the dangers of sharing too much information on social networks.

There have been more signs that the Facebook IPO is creeping ever nearer, have a quick read of this report by CNet.

YouTube is launching a new platform called ‘I Will if You Will’ in support of Earth Hour, a campaign which dares you to take action for the planet.

And finally, remember the video “charlie bit my finger”? It has been reported that this video has made over $500,000 in 5 years; not bad for a home video.

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Be Careful What you Tweet

Friday, March 30th, 2012

Social media has got to be the easiest path to broadcasting you message, loud and proud; and with this great power comes great responsibility. Twitter is public and easily searchable, and anything you broadcast of this platform can, and will, be taken entirely out of context providing the circumstances are just right.

Image from Underdesign.wordpress.com

If you’re a celebrity PR agent, Twitter has got to be your biggest nightmare; while the added exposure and proximity to fans is a bonus, the possibility of your client going AWOL and having a very public melt-down is a real possibility.

Even average Joe with a very ordinary job can find himself in hot water should his Tweets be read by the wrong person; and no, your profile disclaimer can not save you here.

Very recently, a Twitter user was sentenced to 56 days of jail time for a racist tweet which was aimed at footballer Fabrice Muamba. He may be cleared of these charges today, but this isn’t the first time legal action has been taken over a Tweet. As David Cameron so rightly said: “Too many tweets might make a t….” I’m sure he meant to say twit.

Here are some important lessons to be learned from some memorable Twitter mishaps.

Back in 2010 a man was fined £3,000 for an angry Tweet directed at Robin Hood Airport: “Robin Hood Airport is closed. You’ve got a week… otherwise I’m blowing the airport sky high!” We all know that no one takes airport security threats light-heartedly. He was obviously joking; but the lesson here is: think before you tweet! Take a moment, breath, and decide if you still want to send it.

Early this year, Labour MP Tom Watson had his Twitter account “hacked” by his intern. And when we say “hacked”, we of course mean “he left it logged in and she foolishly posted a tweet on his behalf”. While doing this to your friends may be funny, doing this to your boss is not.

And finally: every PR agents worst nightmare, your client going bonkers on Twitter. Which is exactly what Chris Brown did earlier this year. After sending a series of hateful tweets to his followers, he then attempted to delete the evidence, although some quick eagle eyed reporters managed to grab some screenshots. The lesson here: don’t tweet angry! Never post anything that you have any inkling you might want to delete at a later date.

Have you had any twitter disasters?

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Changes to Facebook Checkin

Thursday, March 29th, 2012

Image from checkinblog.com

If you’re a Facebook page owner, don’t be alarmed if you see your Facebook Checkin numbers plummet in the next couple of days – this isn’t a rash spout of people taking back their last visit – it’s simply Facebook making changes to the way they count Checkins.

Their intention is to give you a more accurate picture of how people visit your business, which can only be a good thing, so don’t fret about the numbers. Once the new changes take effect, multiple checkins within a 12 hour period will be counted as one checkin. Also, if a person checks in, uploads 20 photos, and tags 6 friends in these photos, that will count as 7 check ins; the individual plus their 6 friends.

In terms of getting an accurate picture of how people visit your business, these changes are great, but you may feel disheartened that the numbers that are publicly visible on your page will go down.

So how can you boost these numbers?

Earlier this month Facebook announced that they would be opening new APIs (Application Programming Interface) which would allow Facebook to become the backbone of social checkins. Now, regardless of which app users are checking in with on Facebook, these will be published through Facebook. So now posts from Foodspotting, Gogobot, and Path will be counted in your Facebook page numbers.

With these changes in place it’s even easier for users to checkin to your business, so you’ll have to be sure you have a good presence on all platforms available.

You can encourage checkins by offering incentives for doing so; or even just by publicising that it’s possible to checkin to your Business, as your customers may not even be aware. Restaurants can make use of QR codes on the menu to facilitate checkins, or Gyms could offer incentives to frequent visitors. Rewards can be inexpensive, but are incredibly enticing to customers as they have to do very little to receive them.

How have the Facebook changes affected your numbers? And what are you doing to encourage your customers to Checkin?

via: Mashable & TechCrunch

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Optimise your Site for Mobile Search

Wednesday, March 28th, 2012

Most of us are Smart phone users these days; and if it isn’t an all out business ready machine, you’ll at least have an – albeit slow – web browser tucked away on your phone. And how many times have you been using said phone to try to find an essential bit of info on the web only to find that the website you know will house the answers isn’t mobile compatible.

Image from Gizmodo.com

While you may think this is a problem best left to your web designer, there are SEO factors to consider which can have an impact on your mobile compatibility.

  • On the design end, it needs to be very accessible, fast loading, and free of clutter. Remember that mobile users are looking at a tiny screen, and they don’t want to be zooming in and out all the time.
  • Mobile users search with shorter keywords; they generally want fast and direct information. Very few people find it easy to ‘just browse’ on a mobile device, so they generally know exactly what they’re looking for, it’s up to you to make sure you’re taking into account their search terms.
  • When determining search terms, also take into consideration predictive search terms as these are very popular time-savers.
  • Analytics will help you to better understand how people are accessing your site with mobile devices. Take a look at the devices used, and then the duration of the stay to determine if your site is effective at retaining mobile users.
  • Mobile users are local searchers; unless they’re looking for the occasional song title to settle an argument or an IMDB reference, they’ll probably be trying to locate a product or service in their area. Make use of GPS to let your users know where your nearest store is, or how they can contact you easily.
  • And finally, make sure you test your site on a variety of devices; enlist the help of your friends to make sure your site is looking gorgeous on all platforms.

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YouTube Changes

Tuesday, March 27th, 2012

YouTube recently made changes to the algorithm which controls which videos show up in the related video section. This was a direct response to users’ outrage that the old algorithm could be so easily manipulated in order for certain individuals to make money on the success of other videos.

Known as ‘reply girls’, these users discovered that by posting reply videos to popular YouTube videos, they could pull traffic from these videos using a certain amount of cleavage. They very rarely have anything of value to say, and usually merely point out the obvious for around 3 minutes. What would be the point of that, you may be wondering? They make a whole lot of money from the ads, as they usually bring in a similar number of hits as their target video.

The changes will now place videos in that section based not only on the number of views, but also on how long users view the videos for. This will hopefully stop the reply girl videos ranking quite so high, as the majority of people get bored after only a few seconds.

So what does this mean for users who post genuine video responses?

You’re now going to have to work that little bit harder to make sure you capture and engage your audience. YouTube will help you out along the way, by offering news stats which show not only hits, but also viewing times. Be sure to get your aim and message in to the video before you provide the content; then your users will know exactly what they’re going to see. You’ll also have to make sure that the thumbnail you use is highly relevant to the video content, as clicks will still count.

And what about the replygirls? The most famous, know as ‘thereplygirl’ will be using here exposure and video making skills to produce actual content, which will include tutorials and similar content. Although, without the constant exposure (no pun intended) it’s difficult to say if she’ll still be as successful.

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Forget everything you ever read about Twitter timing…

Monday, March 26th, 2012

I’ve always advised those who hunt me down for advice that the best time to use Twitter is around the middle of the day; anywhere between your 11am coffee fix and your 3pm tea break. This makes sense to me, and it’s easy to see why this would be the most popular time. If you’re using Twitter from work, or for work, then this would be the only acceptable time to Tweet.

And it’s backed up by figures and statistics; just look at how confirmatory this graph from Twitter statistics is.

However, new research revealed by TBG Digital has revealed the most active time for ad conversions is 6am to 12pm and 8pm to 12pm. Which is pretty much the exact opposite of everything I’ve said in the past.

This could be related to the way in which Twitter is used, with far more people turning to Twitter for a quick news fix rather than a casual natter. These differences could simply be a reflection of the different ways which we utilize Twitter, and may simply show that we’re far less likely to go off on a tangent by clicking on an ad during working hours, we save that for our personal time.

TBG digital carried out this research based on advertising statistics of only 10 brands, which is already a small sample. And they were the first to admit that these are also early emerging trends and don’t necessarily show future growth.

They also revealed that CMPs are much higher on Twitter than any other social network. It also revealed that ‘news’ category click through rates were higher on Twitter than Facebook, but Facebook still dominates for ‘travel’ and ‘consumer electronics’.

Tony Wang, the general manager of Twitter UK, told New Media Age; people often make the mistake of lumping Twitter in to the ‘social’ sphere. It could be compared to a news feed, or super quick micro-blogging RSS feed. In order to make the most of this network we have to alter our perception of it, and really try to understand why people are using it.

This is beneficial news to internet marketers; and futher reiterates the point I often try to make; if you want to be successful on Twitter you have to be a valuable resource. Interaction alone isn’t enough, you have to be sure you’re bringing something to the table.

via: New Media Age

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Social Media Schedule

Sunday, March 25th, 2012

Social media is a time thief, ask any employer and they will probably tell you it’s the number one drain on their employees attention span. It’s easy to get caught up in a YouTube loop, get pulled in to a Facebook conversation, or to spend hours checking and re-checking Twitter. So if you’re using social media for business purposes, you have to be sure youre making the most of your time and using it wisely. Here are some tops tips for keeping up appearances on social media without giving up your day job.

As with most things, to be effective and time conscious, it pays to have a schedule in place. Not only will this help you to cover all of your bases, but it will also help when it comes to time management. If you know that updating your Twitter feed normally takes you 5 minutes per day, then after fifteen you know you’re just wasting time.

Here is a suggested agenda, which will be entirely adaptable based on the platforms you’re using.

Every Day

Check in with your various profiles. On Facebook, post a link or a status update about your business or a recent news story. Schedule tweets every day, if you’re using Tweetdeck or Hootsuite you can even schedule your re-tweets.

If you’re scheduling tweets, then you can do this daily or weekly. If you do it weekly make sure you check in and update them based on currently relevant topics. You may see something you simply can’t resist tweeting.

Monday

Don’t make social media the first thing you do on a Monday morning. Firstly, you have far more important things to be doing, and secondly, if you’re using it for business purposes then things won’t get started until around lunch time anyway. In the UK, Twitter is busiest between 11am and 3 pm, which coincides with tea breaks and lunch; the time which feels most appropriate for such activities.

  • Go through your RSS feed and pull some stories from the weekend.

  • Spend 5 minutes on each of your social networks, post something, but just use this as a check-in.

  • Respond to and private messages and offer to move business inquiries offline.

Tuesday

A great day for a blog post, wouldn’t you agree? This will give you plenty of time to receive responses, and to push it across social networks. You don’t have to come up with a new blog post every week, or restrict yourself to just one, but it helps to have an aim in place.

Wednesday

Check the LinkedIn questions for any industry specific questions which you may be able to help with. Spend some time browsing Pinterest for interesting content, repin, like follow to your hearts content. This may even help inspire a blog post or two.

Thursday

Focus on interaction today; pose questions, ask for feedback, spark debate, retweet, like posts, comment of photos; anything that will grow your reach and make you a valuable part of the social media community.

Friday

Dont forget to #ff today, it’s an important part of Twitter etiquette, it shows that you have indeed been paying attention to what is happening on Twitter all week, and that you’re an active participant.

If you blog every day, plan your posts for next week now, there’s nothing worse than the feeling of panic which washes over you when you’re struggling to come up with content on a monday morning.

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Weekly News Round-Up

Saturday, March 24th, 2012

Spring is finally here! Don’t spend all day staring at your computer screen; get your quick news fix here and then get out and enjoy the sunshine.

There’s a lot of buzz around Google’s plans to alter its algorithms to allow for semantic search; which would return search results based on the intent and meaning of your search terms rather than just keyword relevancy.

  • Google also has plans to penalize websites which are overly optimised, which TekGoblin were kind enough to cover this angle for us here.

Looking for a way to use Instagram for business purposes (other than taking vintage style snaps of your coffee mug) Look no further, TechCrunch has shared this brilliant little article which will help you do just that.

Pinterest has finally listened to our concerns and taken the steps to update their terms of service.

And finally, there’s a huge stir this week surrounding some rather dubious HR hiring practicies after individials were asked to hand over their Facebook passwords in job interviews. Facebook has reponded by saying they could take legal action against any businesses guilty of such practice as it’s against Facebook users’ terms of service.

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Sport Relief 2012 @ The Digital Media Centre

Friday, March 23rd, 2012

Here at Bigfoot Digital we like to get stuck in when it comes down to fundraising, and because it was for such a good cause we felt extremely excited to play our part in Sport Relief 2012.The Digital Media Centre approached us with an exciting and fun challenge and that challenge was to try and keep the wheels of two exercise bikes spinning for a full day, and they needed the help of everyone at the Media Centre. Here at Bigfoot Digital we like to stand out from the crowd, and what better way to stand out than to dress up as farmyard animals whilst completing our stint on the bikes? Lindsey and I quickly accepted this challenge and we kicked off this morning’s cycle event in two rather fetching cow and rabbit costumes, the chosen music was quite amusing as we found ourselves peddling away to Queen’s-Bicycle Race. People were soon lining up to keep the wheels turning and made some very generous donations towards Sport Relief 2012.

The second event that took place this morning was a race up one tower of the Media Centre, across the top floor then back down the opposite tower, we were out of breath just thinking about it! Unfortunately we didn’t participate in this task, but one young chap managed to run up five stories’ and back down in a very impressive 58 seconds which proved almost impossible to beat! So instead we headed over to the cake stall that had some rather creamy and delicious looking buns and pies on display, and from our intense cycling stint we thought we’d reward ourselves with a great big piece if apple pie  and because it contains apples it counts as one of our 5 a day?…right?

It was great to see everyone coming together to raise money for people that need it the most both here in the UK and in some of the world’s poorest countries. We hope everyone has a fantastic weekend, and if you’re taking part in the ‘Mile’ then good luck from the team here at Bigfoot Digital!

 

Here are a few pictures from this morning:

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How to Find Content for your Social Media Profiles

Friday, March 23rd, 2012

If you’re active on social media you probably have accounts on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest, Blog and maybe even Google+: all of which are which are desperately vying for your attention every day. Obviously you want to balance contribution evenly with interaction. So the question is; how do you populate all of these, keep them current and fresh without spend your every waking minute trawling the internet for good content?

The trick to this is to streamline your search process; you have to know exactly where you’re going for content, and then spend ten minutes every morning finding it. This will free up your time for genuine interaction.

To start with, don’t be that company; the one that finds one thing per week and posts it everywhere several times. If your fans are following your Facebook and your Twitter, they’re going to expect unique content in each feed.

You have to understand what users expect from social networks, and what content is best optimised for each platform. Some things just work on certain networks better than others.

Twitter, for example, is perfect for quick news updates about your industry, but it doesn’t work quite so well for long run campaigns and audience contribution, as this would be far too high maintenance.

Facebook is perfect for pulling in content from other areas, and it works for a variety of different media. It also works with longer term projects, and you can be sure of a wider reach, as Facebook is generally slower paced.

And finally, sites like Pinterest are great for visually stunning content. It isn’t about the page that it links to, it’s about the image you’re sharing. Try to remember this when you’re frantically pinning to boards trying to self-promote. Yes, Pinterest is a traffic driver, but it usually drives traffic to things people can buy, rather than to articles etc. If you want to link to an article, make sure you have a clear pin description; show your audience what they will gain from following the link.

Now we have that covered, you need to establish a system for sourcing great content.

Say hello to your new best friend: the RSS feed. You may already have one set up for news stories, but now you need to utterly flood your news feed to achieve that 1000+ symbol. You may be thinking this is counter productive; how am I expected to read more than 1000 news stories per day? You don’t.

If you use Google Reader, you’re going to use search terms to pull specific content from those stories based on your industry key words. Remember to use these useful little Google tips to streamline your search and find the most relevant news.

I’ve found my content, now what?

If it’s a news story with a good headline: Tweet it.

If it’s a story which invites comments: Facebook it.

If it’s an eye-catching image or video: Pin it.

And if it gets you thinking: Blog about it.

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