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Oct07

A Social Media Agency’s Likes and Fails: Tuesday October 7th 2014: Facebook Tackles Fake Likes and Katie Hopkins Trolls Again

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Facebook actually look like they’re going to be doing something about the fake likes that are popping up all over the site, as the social network has sued ‘scammers’ for £1.3bn.

We’re all aware that many businesses by fake likes to make their pages look more popular (if you didn’t already know this, I’m sorry you had to find out like this), but it would appear that Facebook aren’t willing to put up with it anymore. In a post on their security blog, they talk about keeping unwanted, inauthentic “stuff” off the platform, tagging it on to National Cyber Security Awareness Month. The post is actually full of handy info for those of you who might be starting up your own business pages, but are frustrated that it’s not gaining likes as quickly as you would’ve hoped.

The BBC ran an excellent investigation into the topic in 2012, where a fake business managed to amass over 3,000 Likes, despite not actually doing anything. You can read more about it here.

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Katie Hopkins, a woman who has made most of her fame by being a total asshole, has set the internet alight once again with her views on Kate and Gerry McCann, in light of the new developments in the case surrounding the hunt for their daughter Maddie.

Referring to the death of Brenda Leyland, a Twitter troll who Sky news confronted about the online abuse she directed at the McCanns, Hopkins tweeted “How many more must die before the McCann’s accept their negligence is at the heart of all their grief? Enough already.”

Needless to say, her opinions sparked a Twitter row amongst her followers, from those who were appalled by her tweet to those who, unbelievably, agreed with her. Comedian Dom Joly branded the former Apprentice candidate as a ‘media whore’, and we wouldn’t disagree with him there.

 

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by Iona St Joseph

Jun10

How to use a big event (like the world cup) to your Social Media advantage.

It’s a known fact that the biggest thing happening on Social Media is the brands and companies who are being reactive, quite possibly the most talked about tweet of all time is the reactive tweet from Oreo which was a reaction to the blackout at the 2013 Super Bowl. There can be a great advantage for your business in using big events and reactive tweets to help promote your company. The Oreo reactive tweet got over 15,000 retweets which would probably give it an audience of hundreds of thousands if not millions, which is an incredibly wide reach for the company, and from this their followers increased by 8,000. So you can see the appeal for companies to latch on to the big events that have wide audiences.

So here’s a look at how to prepare yourself for probably the world’s largest televised sporting event in the world, the World Cup and prepare yourself for any eventualities that you may be able to use to your favour.

First off, both Twitter and Facebook have launched features surrounding the World Cup which can help you to get involved in conversation. Twitter have added a feature to their sign up which will allow you to set your profile picture as your countries flag for the competition. They’re also adding a useful feature which will put all World Cup information in one place, simply by searching the #WorldCup hashtag. It will link to all the competing teams’ accounts as well as custom timelines for each match being played. They’ve also reintroduced ‘Hashflags’ which allow you to tag a country’s flag in your tweet with a simple three letter country code. eg. #ENG – This could be especially useful for live-tweeting about matches, as it’ll appear instantly clear to followers which match you’re discussing.

Facebook have launched a similar ‘hub’, a World Cup trending section which shows the latest trending stories surrounding the world cup as well as stories from your friends about the matches. It also shows information on the sidebar which includes the time and teams of the next upcoming match, teams that are playing now, and an interactive fan map which shows where fans of some of the top players come from. This could also be useful for watching popular stories unfold, if you see something interesting in this feed, jump on the story right away, whether it just be a re-share of an article or whether you can come up with an original piece to work with the story.

The best way to be prepared for any ‘event’ that may happen at the World Cup is to keep very aware, following all relevant news sources as well as more general areas surrounding the competition. Keep tabs on hashtags, possibly set up alerts (Google alerts are especially useful), as long as they won’t be buzzing every 30 seconds.

Prior to the event think about the best things that could come from the World Cup that would be easily linkable to your business, this will give you a head start on other companies. Maybe already have some tweets/images/videos prepared in the eventuality that one of these things does happen (if it doesn’t take too much time). Also I wouldn’t suggest you make a celebration video for England winning the World Cup, we all know it won’t happen.

Keeping a keen eye on your competitors is another good shout, they may break some news that you think you could give a better angle on. As well as keeping an eye on cultural style news sites like Mashable and Buzzfeed (even Reddit), they often break news before other traditional news sites, especially Reddit as it’s a community led site.

Basically, make sure you have an eagle eye out for everything, following the #WorldCup hashtag, setting up Google alerts and pre-planning are some of the best advice I can give you to appear truly reactive whilst in the midst of the World Cup.

A quick suggestion also so as to keep reactive content relevant to your company, is to think about the event you’re reacting to tonally, how does it represent your company, does it fit with previous content and will it relate closely to the topic and your business. Also, you’ll have to think about the media of your ‘reaction’ will it be a text post, an image, a video or a social media campaign? Work out what’s right for your business and stay alert, and don’t forget to enjoy the football!

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by Helen Stirling

Apr24

Facebook Announce News Aggregator for Journalists – FB Newswire

Not content with just being a social network where friends can share baby pictures and what they had for lunch, Facebook has launched a service for journalists and newsrooms, in order to make it easier for them to find, share and embed newsworthy content from Facebook, which is aptly named FB Newswire.

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FB Newswire is powered by Storyful, who are the current leader in social content discovery and verification for newsrooms. Andy @10Yetis Barr and I were lucky enough to see Claire Wardle (@cward1e) from Storyful speak at News:Rewired last year about some oof the work they do, and they are definitely worth reading up on if you want to learn more about identifying and verifying content online.

The newswire aggregates newsworthy content shared publicly on Facebook by individuals and organisations from around the word, which journalists can then use in their reporting. The updates include photos, videos and status updates posted by people on the site.

Facebook announced the venture on their blog, Facebook Newsroom, that they are confident journalists will find “compelling social content from Facebook” for use in their stories. They have also referenced the fact that referral traffic to media sites grew more than four times in 2013, and that the media has become an integral part of Facebook, initially with the trending stories, and now with their own newswire.

It will certainly be interesting to see how the Facebook Newswire is used across the media, and whether it Facebook eventually becomes as synonymous with news as Twitter is. Whilst there are a lot of things I dislike about Facebook, the addition of trending topics has been one of the better ideas that has been inflicted in my timeline, so I’m hoping that FB Newswire has a similar, positive, effect.

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by Iona St Joseph

Mar04

Starting Up on Social Media: An Introduction to Twitter

What is it?

This is where breaking news happens. Real-time micro blogging, however tweets are limited to 140 characters. You share observations and articles of interest to you with people who choose to follow you. Your whole message doesn’t have to fit into 140 characters, this can be your headline and you can link to a fuller article, blog post, video or photo. You follow people and businesses that interest you and your business.

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What’s happening?

How many people use it?

Over 900 million

Why should I use it?

As you’ll hear us say over and over again, don’t feel you have to use social networking sites if you don’t have the time to invest in them, or if you don’t think they will work for you. They are all very different, so if something is working of r you on Facebook, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it will work for you on Twitter.

As Twitter is so fast paced, it can be a lot more forgiving than Facebook, and it also gives you the opportunity to try out a number of different strategies to find out what works. You’re obviously limited to the number of characters that you can use in a tweet, which means messages need to be kept informative, yet concise.

How do I get a return?

Twitter is great for raising the profile of your business, it can generate business leads and get visitors over to your website. You can create a ready-made audience for your promotions, business news and new product releases. It also helps you to search for other relevant people, and even potential customers.

Twitter is also becoming an important customer service tool, with businesses having Twitter accounts manned full time to answer queries and sort problems. It has become common for users on Twitter to complain about a brand, and being involved in the conversation can quickly prevent damage.

To get return on your Twitter activity you need to have a well thought out campaign that’s attention grabbing. Having a social media strategy in place, alongside a detailed content plan can take away a lot of the headache, and gives you a detailed timeline to work to. This also means you can establish the way you’re looking to portray your brand online.

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A Social Media Agency’s top tips for Twitter

1.Update your Twitter account regularly. At least 10 times a day if you can manage it. Don’t worry about keeping content super specific to your business, share what you think is funny and interesting and this will help to build your follower base.

2. Engage in conversation. Talking to other people can help build your follower base and get your name out there.

3. Share content. Pictures and videos are far more likely to be shared by others, so why not share a picture with that news story?

4. Don’t overuse hashtags. These can be great for joining in with conversation, like #Sherlock or #Oscars, but don’t hashtag everything you do. No-one cares if you’re using a new #OliveOil in the #Kitchen, unless you’re Jamie Oliver.

5. Don’t link your Twitter and Facebook accounts to post the same thing. People don’t want to see the same updates twice, and the same content doesn’t work across both platforms.

What are you waiting for?

Twitter.com

 

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by Iona St Joseph

Mar03

Starting Up on Social Media: An Introduction to Facebook

What is it?

Facebook is a social networking service which has just celebrated its 10th birthday, having launched in 2004. It allows users to create a personal profile, add other users as friends, and exchange messages, including automatic notifications when they update their profile. As the most popular social network out there, you’ll undoubtedly have heard about it before. However, don’t worry if you’re not sure what you should be doing on there.

Generally seen as a more personal way of social networking, as you associate more with your friends on the site, rather than users you don’t know. However, this is one of the reasons why Facebook is so popular with brands and businesses. If you can create content that is deemed as shareable on Facebook, then you have a great way of reaching a large number of consumers, by targeting people and their friends.

Despite the fact that you see links on Twitter to Buzzfeed what seems like every single minute of the day, it’s actually Facebook where the majority of their shares lie. During December 2013, they had 5,637,393 shares on Facebook, and that probably isn’t going to show any sign of slowing down.

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Facebook is a social utility that connects you with the people around you.

How many people use it?

Approximately 1.2 billion, as of December 2013.

Why should I use Facebook?

As with any social media network, only use it if you plan on updating it on a daily basis. No Facebook page looks much better than one that hasn’t been updated for six months. Saying that however, we would recommend land-grabbing your business name across all social media networks, just to make sure that no-one else can get their hands on them.

If you’re looking to appeal to a wide range of people and their friends, then Facebook is where you need to be. However, be aware that people will let you know what they think if you open your business up to them on social networks.

Facebook advertising can be a great way to get your business out there, and is far cheaper than traditional advertising. You can target people by demographic and location, so it’s handy to be able to target the very customers you want to sell to.

How do I get a return?

With the biggest audience on any social network, using Facebook means that you can reach huge numbers on your page. Starbucks have over 36 million people on their page, whilst Skittles have 24 million, and that’s a lot of people to be talking to everyday. It’s important to remember that building up an audience and community takes time. You don’t have the same resources, or the same recognisable brand as Starbuck and Skittles, so working your way up to 36 million likes is going to take hard work.

Starbucks' Facebook Page

Starbucks’ Facebook Page

Anything is possible on Facebook thanks to the wonders of iFrames; you can get email sign ups, take bookings, sell tickets, the world is your oyster. Anything your website does your Facebook page can do, and what with the recent changes to the way competitions are run on the site, it’s now easier than ever to do promotions on your page (albeit with strict guidelines).

Facebook can be integrated into your website and marketing in other ways too, thanks to Facebook’s OpenGraph. You can have Facebook comments included on your businesses blog or news section. Timeline apps are of increasing importance as well, just look at the number of times you see what your Facebook friends are reading on The Guardian or what they’ve pinned on Pinterest.

When it comes to a social media strategy, Facebook is one of the foundations.

A Social Media Agency’s top five tips for Facebook:

1. Don’t link your Facebook and Twitter accounts. There’s a high chance that people are going to follow you on both, and they aren’t going to want to see duplicated content.

2. Remember to post at least three hours apart, otherwise your posts will be lumped together in people’s news feeds.

3. Facebook isn’t the same as Twitter. Three updates a day is ample.

4. To quote every douched social media conference out there, content is king. Make sure you’re sharing images and video, not just status updates, in order to increase engagements.

5. If someone is posting or commenting on your page with complaints, direct them offline. Get them to email you with their problem, and remove it from the public forum asap, so dirty laundry isn’t being aired in public.

What are you waiting for?

Facebook.com

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by Iona St Joseph

Feb05

A Social Media Agency’s Likes and Fails – Wednesday February 5th 2014: Google Avoids Fine and Ashes Returned After Facebook Plea

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Google has promised to make “significant changes” to how rivals appear in search engine results, having been accused of giving favourable treatment to its on sites and products until now.

The changes, which they are having to undergo to avoid a big fine, should be enough to end a three-year investigation into the company, who have said that they are looking forward to resolving the matter.

These new rules mean that Google will now have to give prominent placement to rivals within their search engine, something which we imagine they won’t be very keen on. They have now accepted to guarantee that whenever they promote one of their own services, the services of three rivals will also be displayed in a way which is easy to see for the user.

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Fail

A thief has returned the ashes of a dead woman after stealing the van in which the urn was kept at the time, following a Facebook campaign online.

Matt Hart, 62, had left his mother’s ashes on the passenger seat of his van when he parked it outside his home in Dorset. He was planning to drive to Scotland the next day to scatter her ashes, but found his vehicle had been stolen, along with the remains of his mother.

The truck was later found dumped in a lane, but the ashes were nowhere to be seen, so he turned to Facebook for help. The appeal was shared, and two weeks later a neighbour informed him that the ashes had been returned to the spot his van had been stolen from.

Nice of the thief to return the ashes, who knows what he had planned for them before he saw that Facebook appeal…

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by Iona St Joseph

Nov11

A Social Media Agency’s Likes and Fails – Monday 11th November 2013: Google+ and Kelloggs Both Cause Controversy

We’ve gone with two fails today, because it’s Monday and everyone hates Mondays.

Fail 1.0

Google+ have been getting a lot of flack from the YouTube camp over the past week, as the video sharing site’s co-founder Jawed Karim has spoken out for just the second time in eight years about Google’s changes to YouTube, which enforce the use of its Google+ social network.

He posted ‘why the fuck do i need a google+ account to comment on a video?’, and he raises a fair point. Google’s overhaul of the YouTube commenting system has created controversy, as users now need a Google+ ID to be able to comment on a video. A number of users have said that they won’t use Google+ to comment on YouTube videos – and will therefore stop commenting.

Bad news for both YouTube and Google+ then. Mondays really do stink.
Fail 2.0

The weekend was not a good time for Kelloggs. We do not envy their social media and marketing team. No way.

As part of their ‘Give a Child a Breakfast’ campaign, a Kellogg’s marketing wizz thought it would be a good idea to tweet this on Saturday morning…

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… which, as you can imagine, led to a mild upset on Twitter. The tweet infuriated many users, with a number of them pointing out that it seemed to suggest that the company would only be donating breakfasts to vulnerable children if the initiative received sufficient publicity. Eesh.

The company took to Twitter to defend itself on Sunday morning, tweeting: ‘We want to apologise for the recent tweet, wrong use of words. It’s deleted. We give funding to school breakfast clubs in vulnerable areas.’

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by Iona St Joseph

Oct28

A Social Media Agency’s Weekly News Roundup – Monday October 28th 2013

1. Twitter has had a test run of its floatation on the stock market, trying it out to avoid a flop similar to that of Facebook last year.

The ‘mock market’ launch by the New York Stock Exchange on Saturday was rolled out in order to try and avoid a repeat of Facebook’s launch on the rival Nasdaq exchange.

The New York Stock Exchange regularly does systems testing at weekends, but this was the first time it had run a test for an initial public offering (IPO).

2. Instagram has began its advert roll-out across the platform, but not as we would have expected it. The adverts will appear in users’ timelines as a normal post, but with a ‘sponsored’ banner across the top of the image.

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If you’re not a fan of having ads clogging up your news feed, you’re not the only one, and thankfully there is an option to hide them using the more button.

3. The Pope has had an absolute stormer on Twitter, amassing over 10 million followers. He tweeted his thanks on Saturday, after he reached the milestone following. It’s good news for the Vatican as well, who are looking to spread the word of the gospel through social media.

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4. YouTube is reportedly looking to launch a Spotify-esque subscription service, which will be predominantly aimed at mobile users.

Similar to Spotify, it will offer people the option to watch videos for free with adverts, or they will be able to pay $10 per month in order to watch ad-free videos.

According toBillboard, both the free and paid versions of the service will allow unlimited access to the music on YouTube, but the premium service could also include the ability to stream full albums, as well as cache music for offline listening.

5. Pinterest has seen its value increase by more than 50%, to a whopping £2.3bn, following a round of fundraising. Pinterest said it plans to use the new funds to further expand internationally and develop its mobile services.

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by Iona St Joseph

Sep02

A Social Media Agency’s Likes and Fails – Monday September 2nd 2013: George Bush on Instagram and Privacy Concerns

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Prepare yourselves for some absolute corkers in your Instagram feed, sepia fans! Ex-US President George W. Bush has joined the site, launching his account with a couple of patriotic pics at the start of the Labor Day weekend.

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Apparently we’re yet to know whether the account will continue with pictures of an official nature, or whether it will include images of a more private nature.

SELFIE’S PLEASE!

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New research has apparently found that Facebook, Twitter and Google have all been snooping on messages sent across the three different networks, prompting campaigners to get their knickers in a twist once again about privacy.

The findings emerged as the result of experiment conducted by High-Tech Bridge, following revelations by US security contractor Edward Snowden about government snooping on internet accounts.

High-Tech Bridge used their systems to send a unique web adress in private messages, and then waited to see which companies clicked on the link. During the ten-day experiment, six of the 50 companies tested were found to have opened the link.

*GASP*

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by Iona St Joseph

Nov15

Social Media news – 15th November – Pinterest business accounts, Facebook mobile share

Pinterest have introduced business profiles, so that when businesses sign up they can just enter a business name rather than a first and last. There is also a verification process which takes the official business website into account, and a hidden line of code to verify. The company will then have a verification badge on their Pinterest pages. The good news is that businesses that are already signed up for Pinterest can change to the business profile. 

They are also setting up a microsite with brand successes and case studies on it as well as best practices and guidelines for brands. 

 

Facebook have finally added a share button to their mobile site. It has been long requested by users of the mobile version and has finally been put in place. It sits alongside the comment and like buttons under each post. 

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by Helen Stirling