Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Does Social Media help with Online Direct Marketing?

Does Social Media help with Online Direct Marketing?
The debate over the importance of social media in the area of online direct marketing continues according to industry experts around the globe. However, the focus of this debate has now shifted to discussing about the best way it gives value to companies. However, there are still those who argue against the use of social media sites like Twitter and Facebook in their online direct marketing campaigns.

There are plenty of marketers today who look beyond the hype of social media, in an attempt to get a better insight about the other marketing methods. They do this in spite of the focus that most companies place on the social media platform.

From technology platforms to analytics, all companies face a number of challenges. Many hire outside partners in order to help them address these issues, but in most places the market is flooded with people think that social media is the only way to build a successful online presence.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Social Media leads to more Targeted Advertising

Social Media leadsMarketers are now saying that social media users’ demographics can be tapped into to bring about more targeted advertising, but are still unsure about how such sensitive information should be handled. But these issues too will eventually be settled.

Social media sites tend to understand the audiences better, and because of this understanding of user behavior, they manage to collect important information each user. But this could also lead to collecting users’ private information, and advertisers should be very careful about using their users’ private information. This can be very important to the user, and this is why it is very important for advertisers to know how to handle it.

Advertisers need users’ personal information to target them with specific products and services that are a part of what they are interested in.

Monday, May 9, 2011

The Latest Trends in Social Media

The Latest Trends in Social Media
Reports have shown that YouTube was the fastest growing social media site in the month of April for the second consecutive month. This online video sharing website now accounts for nearly 1 out of 5 visits to a social networking site. YouTube is now established as the third biggest site, overtaking Hotmail recently.

However, Facebook on the other hand has lost market share of the number of visits for the second consecutive month in a row, dropping to below 55% of market share for the first time since last year.

The fastest climbing social networking sites were Twitter, Yahoo!, Tumblr and Answers. MySpace and Club Penguin have noticeably dropped in market share.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Social Networking Sites all set to change Traditional Media

Social Networking Sites all set to change Traditional Media
Social networking sites have taken the world by storm and are all set to change the way that traditional media works. Today, social media has now started giving traditional media a direct link into what targeted audiences actually want instead of depending on assumptions made that are based on various demographics.

Because of the rise in popularity of social networking sites, it has been proposed that there will be a drastic change in way media companies target audiences in the next 5 years. Social media has a very big impact on traditional media and is going to help free all of us of the assumptions that we make in traditional media.

Traditional media basically targets audiences on the basis of age and gender demographics, which rarely gives an accurate depiction of what people actually want. Social media on the other hand, provides marketers with the opportunity to find out what people really want.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

How to get your Employees to comply with your Social Media Policy

How to get your Employees to comply with your Social Media Policy
Today, more and more businesses are using social networking and media sites to handle a large part of their business. But it is very important for businesses to execute a social media strategy. This involves cultural alignment, building a solid process and training employees so that all the necessary parts of the organization can participate as well. A social organization is truly social when it is active internally as well as externally. And this is where it can get complicated.

Many of the major corporate PR blunders have occurred because of careless employees tweeting from corporate accounts. This is why it is very important to trust the person who you are putting in charge of voicing your brand. But what if the employees communicate from their own accounts?

If you restrict your employees from using their own accounts, they will complain that it is their personal account and they have the freedom to use it as they wish, especially if the employee concerned isn’t customer-facing. But remember that every employee’s account is the face of your company, especially if you are identified as their employer in their profile.

Here are some tips to get your employees to comply with your social media policy:
  1. Before getting started, it is important to first understand the culture of your organization and your employees’ usage of social tools. Understand what your organizations goals are and relate your social media goals with this.

  2. Train your employees and conduct regular workshops.

  3. Make a space like an internal blog, discussion group or wiki where your employees can find answers and ask questions.

  4. Highlight all the “Do’s” and “Don’ts” of your policy. Focus on all the positive behaviors and what people can do to driver their careers.

  5. Create a solid process. Make sure that each part of your organization is completely looped in. Find a good way to share information.

  6. All your employees will want to know what in it for them. Train them well in social media.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Social Media Sites swamped with news of Osama Bin Laden’s Death

Osama Bin Laden’s Death - TwitterIt was announced earlier today that Osama Bin Laden is indeed dead. This momentous news will go down in the pages of history. In years to come, you’ll probably be asked where did you get this news? Most people say that they found out about this from social media sites like Twitter.

As US President, Barack Obama, announced this news today, he not only addressed the world through the TV but through Internet live streaming and social media as well. From the start of the speech, right to the end, Twitter recorded more than 4000 tweets per second.

It has become increasingly common that the news actually broke on Twitter. The news of Osama’s death was released on Twitter even before the President announced it on TV. A few minutes after the media outlets began tweeting, the news was the most talked about in the US. Social media has played a very important role in bringing the world closer to the news, what with photos take from phones being shared across these sites.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Social Media plays an Important Role in the success of Organizations

Social Media plays an Important Role in the success of Organizations
Today, organizations have started to think different and have taken to social media to increase revenues. Social media contributes to millions of dollars worth of business annually. This is why many businesses have started using innovative and cutting-edge approaches to further their aims through social media.

Surveys have shown that more than two thirds of companies are now using social media to handle their day-to-day business activities, and have received some very important results that contribute to their success.

Most small businesses do not have the kind of budgets that larger corporate’s have for communications and marketing, which is why social media channels are now considered to be encouraging as far as generating value is concerned. Effectively using social networking sites, forums and blogs is a great way to increase annual sales. Such a boost can help companies expand and grow and invest in more businesses or hire more staff.

Surveys have also shown that as many as 9 out of 10 companies are now using LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter. Of course, having a Facebook Page or a Twitter Feed is no guarantee of success, but if used to good effect, can bring in a lot of recognition. Social media helps business to spread their message through networks and connections.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

How Social media can benefit and Harm kids

How Social media can benefit and Harm kids
Social media sites like Facebook can really enrich your kid’s lives, but they can also be detrimental to their physical and mental health as well. Reports on kids and social media have studied kid’s usage of social media sites like Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, blogs and video gaming sites.

Reports have shown that social media sites can be beneficial for kids as it helps them stay in touch, socialize, entertain and even do their homework well. These sites can enhance your kids’ creativity and help them develop various technical skills.

However, on the flipside, social media can lead to depression, cyber-bullying and exposure to inappropriate content also. Too much time spent surfing through social media sites can lead to kids neglecting their studies, physical activity and even sleep!

Facebook’s latest “Send” Button

Facebook’s latest “Send” Button
There is a new button in the world of Facebook! And no, we’re not talking about the Poke or Like buttons. After years on end of sharing links to blogs, videos, articles and more private information, Facebook has finally rolled out the “Send” button that allows users to share links privately. By clicking on the button, users can now share information with each other through email without the mass fanfare of the Like button.

Some of the early adopters of this Send button are People.com, Huffington Post and Gilt Groupe. Currently, the Like button is being used by nearly 2.5 million website to better expose and integrate their products on to Facebook’s vast platform. The Send button will enhance popularity.

The Send button is Facebook’s attempt to be seen in a favorable way by the skeptics who feel that the site is going too far as far as sharing user’s private information is concerned. Facebook is also going to be launching major improvements in the future.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Handling a PR Crisis through Social Media

Handling a PR Crisis through Social Media
Everybody makes mistakes. Companies, employees – everybody! Services sometimes don’t live up to expectations and products sometimes malfunction. Once the press gets an idea of your misfortunes, you’re just about done in for. The best way to maintain your reputation is through social media!

Catapult your social media team into acknowledging online that your brand is aware of the allegations being made. Talk to your audience through Facebook and Twitter and don’t just limit it to this. When a PR crisis occurs, your business is at stake. Here are a few ways to use social media to overcome bad press:

  • Let your boss do the talking: The public doesn’t want to hear from the employees in the case of a PR crisis. They want to hear from the head honcho – the big boss. So, ask your CEO or brand manager to show up in front of the masses and assume responsibility for the mistake made while at the same time offer a plan of action and a solution.

  • Use YouTube: Apart from discussing the matter with your followers on Facebook and Twitter, you should also consider making a short YouTube video. In the video, ask a high-level executive like your CEO to address the situation and explain what your company is doing to make things right. Integrate this video in all the social networking platforms and circulate it through social bookmarking sites.

  • Be Straightforward: Respect the public’s intelligence by admitting your mistake and telling them your side of the story. Be honest about your mistakes. Send out tweets, status updates and videos and demonstrate how honest and transparent you are and your followers will continue to support you.
  • Monday, April 25, 2011

    Want to measure your Social Media ROI? Here are 5 Tools!

    Want to measure your Social Media ROI? Here are 5 Tools!
    Measuring your Returns on Investment from your social media campaign can be a bit difficult, what with all the real world business performance metrics failing to give accurate results.

    Measuring your social media ROI is indeed very challenging; however studies have shown that nearly 65% of the companies who use social media are also using engagement data as the top metric to measure ROI. 22% of the companies on the other use product revenue to define performance.

    Here are 5 tools to help you measure your social media ROI:
    1. Viralheat: This is a social media analytics tool that is enabled with Facebook, Twitter and Google Buzz and offers analysis based on sentiments to identify the moods. It helps companies to discover supporters and detractors who are talking about you. It monitors, informs and shows you which of these conversations are going viral. It also provides insights about your social media campaign.

    2. Social Networking Media ROI Calculator: This is a free tool that helps to calculate all the user’s social media efforts. It will provide you with a rough idea of cists, benefits, advertising and traffic values and PR values.

    3. Argyle Social: Lays emphasis on conversions and follows other unconventional routed to your normal “click-centric” metric. It helps users to measure and optimize their efforts and to decide which conversations they really want to achieve through social media marketing.

    4. Tweetreach: This will provide you with detailed reports on your users’ Twitter activity and will show the overall exposure, mentions, retweets, impressions and replies on a particular tweet.

    Thursday, April 21, 2011

    The Pros and Cons of Social Media for the Journalism Field

    The Pros and Cons of Social Media for the Journalism Field
    Today, everybody seems to be tuned into social media, through their computers or mobile phones. Everybody seems to commending social media for its various uses. But what can the flipside be? Here we will talk about the pros and cons of social media.

    Pros of Social Media

    Although a lot of people say that social media is killing our psyche, it is however in fact working wonders in a number of fields including journalism. It opens new windows for new opportunities in every field. The most important aspect of social media is that it is easy to access and made specifically for the audience.

    Getting the latest news on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter is easy now. However, it can work wonders for journalism in many different ways. Blogging is a reliable source nowadays. Blogs are probably the fastest way of spreading news and can do so even before a reporter published or broadcasts a story.


    Twitter is another great way of spreading news. In the latest Japan disaster, Twitter feeds were being used to coordinate relief efforts.

    The Cons of Social Media

    The Internet provides us with opportunities to interact with people across the world, who we would otherwise never be able to physically meet or chat with.

    The Internet has made it possible for a number of clubs, organizations and relationships to develop, where individuals meet and interact with each other or even conduct business online without having to meet each other in person.

    Sure this can be beneficial, but what we all seem to ignore is the fact that we are all losing the ability of communicating face-to-face! Physically meeting and interacting with people is now a thing of the past. Is virtual communication slowly overshadowing physical interaction?

    As far as journalism is concerned, can social media be considered as a boon or bane?

    Wednesday, April 20, 2011

    Business Leaders share Tips for Blogging

    Business Leaders share Tips for Blogging
    Bloggers tend to be extremely passionate and versatile when it comes to writing. But most of them spend hours on end wondering what more can they do to make their blogs more reliable, popular and useful for their viewers. In the Disney Social Media Moms Celebration that took place, bloggers received some very useful answers about how Facebook can be used to boost their blogs.

    The Internet is largely used to search for all kinds of information, but it is also used to make many discoveries through the people you connect with. For instance, 92 percent of mothers who use Facebook use it to keep up-to-date with their friends and family. And, 50 percent of mothers who use Facebook use it to learn about various brands and to get recommendations through friends.

    Every day, nearly 1 million users are being added to Facebook, and bloggers can capitalize on this to feed their blogs through Facebook or by using the Notes tool. Here is how you can do it:
    1. Start by creating a page and posting all your blog stories in it.

    2. Then integrate all the appropriate social plug-ins on to your blog.

    3. Advertise to target other bloggers and build your business.

    4. Use the insight tools to get a better understanding of your audience.
    Apart from the financial concerns, there are plenty of issues to focus on. It is important to separate the personal identities from the professional ones and have a different page for each of these as well as on your personal profile.

    Tuesday, April 19, 2011

    Ways to attract more followers on your Social Networking site

    Ways to attract more followers on your Social Networking site
    Social networking can seem very complicated to most of us, especially if you’ve got nothing but an empty Facebook or Twitter page with no friends and no followers. Building a loyal following takes a tremendous amount of time, but by taking a few simple steps, you’ll see your social media presence expand faster than you can imagine. Here are a few ways to attract more followers on your social networking site:

  • Start by putting all your social media buttons and links on your website or blog. Make sure that all the Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn networks are clearly visible on your web pages with links to those pages.

  • Add all of your social media links at the end of your emails, newsletters and any kind of electronic media. Invite people to become a “Fan” on Facebook or to “Follow” you on Twitter.

  • Expand your followers through social media. Post a message on your Facebook page and invite people to follow you on Twitter. On LinkedIn, add all of your social networking links to your profile page.

  • Place your social media links on all your print materials. Add these links to your postcards, business cards, newsletter or any direct mail.

  • Write articles and blogs with great content to encourage people to share your work or respond to it. Social media helps you to interact with others and to share information. By communicating regularly with your followers, they will share your work with others and thus expand your network.
  • Friday, April 15, 2011

    Google’s Social Networking Mistakes

    Google’s Social Networking Mistakes
    Larry Page, Google’s new CEO, is passionate about social networking, and so is Google! And he’s immensely interested in getting Google onto the social networking platform.

    Google has been repeatedly saying that Facebook is not a real competitor to them, in spite of many of the Google employees shifting to Facebook. Does Google get intimidated by Facebook? It seem this way, what with the whole frenzy of social networking tests and activities going on in Google.

    Google has been making several attempts to get it right as far as social networking is concerned. They’ve tried to buy out Friendster, but couldn’t do so, and now they are encouraging their employees to work harder in this area.

    Google had launched Orkut a month before Facebook came on to the scene and was the biggest social networking site at the time. But with the emergence of Facebook, Google has lost its top spot. Google feels that its future success largely depends on its social networking capabilities and not on email or search engine capabilities.

    Thursday, April 14, 2011

    Social Networking is popular amongst Seniors

    Social Networking is popular amongst Seniors
    Senior citizens has increasingly started turning towards social networking sites like Facebook to keep in touch with friends and family. Social networking amongst seniors has become so popular that many of the North Shore senior centers and councils are holding workshops to teach senior citizens about how to use Facebook. Many of these workshops are booked out!

    Many senior citizens are now creating their own Facebook profile pages and using it on a regular basis. Most senior citizens confess to using Facebook more than actually watching television! Social networking is a great way for senior citizens to keep in touch with their friends and family.

    What with more and more people going social, the only thing left to happen was the seniors joining up. And now that this seems to be the case can anyone argue that social network is not a phenomenon?

    Wednesday, April 13, 2011

    Students hit Facebook the first thing in the morning

    Students hit Facebook the first thing in the morning
    Studies have shown that most students head straight for Facebook the first thing in the morning; the minute they wake up. Surveys have shown that Facebook is the most popular social media platform that students go to for their daily social media fix; the first thing in the morning. Nearly 84% of students use this site before they go to any other site and nearly 96% of students say that they have to visit Facebook every day.

    These findings have established that Facebook is still the leading social networking site used by students, followed by YouTube, Twitter and then the other rivals. The biggest reason why students prefer to use Facebook as the leading social networking site is because:

  • 83% of them use social media because their friends use it too.

  • 3 in 5 students use social media because it is fun or provides them with knowledge.

  • Half use social media to make their lives easier.
  • Tuesday, April 12, 2011

    Quepasa’s record doubles with its latest social media ad campaign

    Social Media Ad CampaignQuepasa Corporation, the founder and operator of quepasa.com is a popular social networking and gaming platform for the Latino community. Today, it announced the results of its social media advertising campaign that was sold through its reseller partner – Sony Pictures Television Ad Sales Latin America. This campaign was Quepasa’s first such campaign and has resulted in more than 13 million user engagements – which is a record-breaking success for the company.

    The campaign was designed to support the launch of a new Mexican consumer product. The campaign was brought about to promote the product through a broader media than television, Internet and radio. The campaign invited people to share their entries across social profiles in order to win points and prizes. What’s more, participants could also double their points by taking part is “high value” tasks.

    In just a matter of 6 weeks, the campaign generated more than 13 million engagements. The DSM technology was responsible for producing such powerful engagement numbers. By using the click-through method on a traditional ad display as a proxy for an engagement, the company managed to drive the equivalent number of clicks as that of when traditional media would buy more than 6 billion impressions. This is another good example of how social media can drive ROI for advertisers.

    Sunday, April 10, 2011

    Search Engines tap into Social Media sites to tailor the Search Results

    Search Engines tap into Social Media sites to tailor the Search Results
    Search online for a specific topic and you’ll get mixed results that could relate to or not relate to what you are looking for. This can be very frustrating form a browser. So, in an effort to get better and more personalized search results to online queries, most search engines have started tapping into social media sites for recommendations.

    This step is considered to be the most groundbreaking step in the last few years of online search, and has managed to make the online search experience a better and smoother experience. Internet searchers are constantly on the lookout for the best search results and should not be fooled by low-quality websites that take advantage of loopholes in the system. And what better way to do this than by using social media sites? Only one friend will know what their other friends want and can recommend the best and most tailored links.

    Online search has been a frustrating experience off late. And this is why introducing people is a great way to boost online search efforts. Every month, more than 500 million users on Facebook itself, share about 30 billion links, blog posts and other content with friends.

    By liking things and sharing things on Facebook, most of us unknowingly help our friends in their search queries. There is great potential in recommended links, which acts as a sign that a page holds good and interesting information. Pages that users like on Facebook are very powerful because users know that their friends will definitely check out the links that they like.

    Friday, April 8, 2011

    Twitters latest Milestones!

    Twitters latest Milestones!
    The big guys at Twitter have started using their own social networking platform to share the latest milestones that have been met by the microblogging site.

    The promotional team at Twitter has unleashed a whole barrage of tweets that exclusively detail some of the company’s biggest accomplishments during the first quarter of 2011.

    Some of the most interesting, and impressive news shared includes:

  • The first quarter of 2011 seems to be very big with more than a 41% increase in the number of Tweets per day globally, and a 38% increase in the number of Tweets per day in the US alone.

  • From December to March, there was a noticeable 52% increase in the number of account signups, with a 57% increase in the US alone.

  • Mobile growth on Twitter was huge. A 50% increase in monthly mobile signups was observed.

  • The first quarterly increase in the number of Twitter users per month include: 104% Android, 55% iPhone, 72% iPad and 51% Blackberry.

  • Twitter is now clocking the number of tweets per day at 155 million, which is up from 55 million at this same time last year.

  • Thursday, April 7, 2011

    Would Organizations benefit from granting employees access to Social Networking Sites?

    Would Organizations benefit from granting employees access to Social Networking Sites?
    Many organizations and public bodies have shown concerns over allowing their staff members access to social networking sites. But are they right or wrong?

    Many people believe that organizations that use social media gain certain benefits by using these internal systems to generate a sense of loyalty or a sense of community within the organization, but still others believe that embracing social networking in the organization can result in breach of practices, especially with privacy.

    This leads us to the question that does allowing your staff to access social networking sites from work impair productivity or breach privacy?

    Or does granting access to social networking sites provide for more useful communications and demonstrating to your staff that you, as the organization, trust them to use this technology in a healthy manner?

    Wednesday, April 6, 2011

    Hackers Target Social Networking Sites and Mobiles

    Hackers Target Social Networking Sites and Mobiles
    The biggest threat to your online activities would come from the lack of adequate security measures taken on mobile web browsers and social networking sites, and from high targeted attacks against organizations. This is a conclusion made by an Internet security threat report recently.

    Today, hackers are banking on gaining trust from their colleagues and are using this to launch online attacks. The biggest online attack came in 2010 and was known as Stuxnet. It largely targeted all the industrial control systems and has been dubbed as the most sophisticated malware to ever exist. It proved that malware can even be used to disrupt any vital infrastructure, such as the water pipelines, electrical power supply grids and financial trading systems.

    In 2010, targeted attacks were not only restricted to large multinational companies, but also included a number of smaller organizations as well. With smaller companies attempting to reduce the number of helpdesk calls being made, attackers are increasingly finding the opportunity to install software on their computers. This is why organizations should manage technologies that can control and manage these attacks centrally.

    And with more and more people using social media for business as well as social purposes, it is important for businesses to implement security measures.

    Tuesday, April 5, 2011

    Dis your friends with Facebook’s latest iPhone Application

    Dis your friends with Facebook’s latest iPhone Application
    Facebook has recently updated its iPhone application, which mainly focuses on the Facebook Places application and also gives users the ability to “unfriend” contacts from their phones.

    With this application, you can now check out various events like TV shows and concerts and other stuff that you may like. You can also view various venues on a built-in map. The application is not what you would exactly call as groundbreaking, but it still is a good update.

    If you want to “unfriend” someone in your contacts list, all you have to do is click on the arrow in the top right corner of the person’s profile and you’ll get a new menu with the option.

    Friday, April 1, 2011

    Google’s +1 not a hit

    Google’s +1 not a hit
    Google’s latest attempt to implement social networking elements into its search engines appears to not be making a mark. Google is struggling to overcome the serious threats that are posed by the Facebook and Microsoft search collaboration.

    Google’s latest social search feature, +1, was released on Wednesday and has received weak reviews. Many users feel that it is potentially confusing to their browsing experience, it is too weak to overshadow its strong and already established competition and it has a weak social graph anchor.

    From the public’s point of view, the +1 feature looks like a copy of the Facebook “Like” button, which makes Google look more like a follower than an innovator. This move is not considered to be revolutionary. It’s being seen as a move made by Google to catch up with what Facebook has already done.

    While Google still remains the leader in search usage and advertising, it does not have the kind of social networking and social media influence that Facebook and Twitter have.

    Thursday, March 31, 2011

    Cyber-bullying leads to new levels of depression

    Cyber-bullying leads to new levels of depression
    In the days gone by, kids and teenagers used to have to tackle bullies in schools and colleges by enduring taunts and being pushed about. But kids could escape this nightmare after school; in the warm comfort of their homes. Not anymore!

    Bullying has reached new levels and has grown beyond school playgrounds. Bullying is now reaching our homes. Even in the safety of their bedrooms, kids are no longer free of the threats and taunts that cruel bullies like to dish out. And this has been made possible through social networking sites and online gaming sites.

    Cyber-bullying is latest way to be mean online and harangue other kids and teens your own age. From cell phones and computers to social networking sites, cyber-bullies use any medium to harass, threaten or humiliate people. Apart from making people absolutely miserable, cyber-bullies can hide behind their anonymity and don’t really have to face their victims. Yet, the impact is just as traumatic, as sending messages through social networking sites can spread quickly.

    The Internet takes bullying to a whole new level and online bullies don’t give other students a chance to heal or to move on because there is always a chance that a harassing email can be forwarded to thousands of other people just for kicks. Since teenagers spend most of their time online, this can be very devastating to them and can lead to new levels of depression, and in some cases, suicidal tendencies.

    Wednesday, March 30, 2011

    Is ‘Facebook Depression’ the latest to hit the Social Media scene?

    Facebook Depression - Social Networking SitesThe latest warning to be issued by doctors is Facebook Depression! This is the latest in a series of disadvantages that social networking sites have been presenting off late, and it poses as a serious emotional danger for troubled teens especially.

    Although there are many debates about whether the depression already exists in these vulnerable children and just gets worse or is triggered off by negative influences; it is still being recognized as a condition that is triggered off by social networking sites. Facebook is no place for emotionally vulnerable teenagers.

    Social media sites present a false reality to youngsters through friends, contacts, status updates and happy pictures of popular contacts. To emotionally vulnerable youngsters who are yearning for popularity, this may make them more depressed. Most youngsters do not realize that the image created on social networking sites is far from the truth.

    Texting, emails and spending time on social networking sites can increase mood swings and make them obsessive about online issues instead of getting back to the real world.

    Tuesday, March 29, 2011

    Should Teachers talk to children about Facebook usage

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    Social media is literally everywhere! The latest to make it into the news is how it is affecting the way teachers and students get connected outside of school. But is this a good thing?

    A school district recently placed limits on peer to peer communications between students and teachers through social media. But many school authorities have said that talking about issues of public concern is alright.

    Some schools do not see this is as a problem, but others have developed certain guidelines for their teachers. There is a certain unspoken code of ethics that teachers have to abide by.

    Monday, March 28, 2011

    Social Media boosts Pfizer’s anti-counterfeit campaign

    Social Media boosts Pfizer’s anti-counterfeit campaign
    Pfizer, the pharmaceutical conglomerate, has been using social media to boost its Real Danger Patient Safety campaign. The second phase of this campaign, which began as a cinema advert, uses Facebook and Twitter to warn the public about the dangers of medicine spam.

    The campaign’s website explains that medicine spam is in fact an unwanted online communication that is not only confined to email but can also affect other social media sites as well. Counterfeiters adopt the latest technologies and prey on unsuspecting people.

    The campaign explains how Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and other online forums can be used by counterfeiters to send medicine spam. Pfizer’s own Viagra and other erectile dysfunction treatments are some of the most counterfeited drugs, and there are thousands and thousands of websites that sell fake versions. However, the problem is growing what with counterfeiters now targeting lifesaving medication for cancer and heart problems.

    Friday, March 25, 2011

    MySpace going down

    MySpace going down
    MySpace is a troubled company and is sinking very quickly. According to recent reports, the social networking site witnessed a drastic decline in traffic by a whopping 10 million visitors in just one month!

    From the start of this year right till now, MySpace’s web traffic has dropped by nearly 14.4 percent, from a total of 73 million users to 63 million. In addition, the traffic to this site has been halved by what it used to receive nearly a year ago. This news comes as the company’s owner is desperately trying to sell the company.

    MySpace’s troubles have been reported widely and there have been rumors that the company’s owners are looking to sell the site. At the start of the year, the company began laying-off nearly half of its staff. Many different companies could be interested in MySpace. The social gaming site Zynga has been mentioned a few times. News Corp., the company that bought MySpace is steadily losing money on the site.

    Thursday, March 24, 2011

    Facebook tries new Ad Format

    Facebook tries new Ad Format
    In a bid to ramp up its revenue increasing efforts, social networking giant, Facebook is testing out a new ad format that would essentially target used based on the keywords that they use in their wall posts and status updates. This move might rekindle the debate that was brought about over privacy that has plagued Facebook for many years. This format will be called as “related adverts” and is specifically designed to provide advertisers with a far more targeted audience by offering those products and services that are based on a user’s activities and thoughts.

    The move is the latest made by the social network to leverage on its users’ personal data and use it for advertising purposes. In January, Facebook rolled out the “sponsored stories” section that enables brands to attach themselves to a user’s status update, click on “likes” on a homepage and place check-ins as well.

    Supporters of this new move say that advertisers could especially gain from presenting users with a product that they were already thinking about, making it more likely for them to buy it!

    Wednesday, March 23, 2011

    Will Social Media replace market research surveys

    Will Social Media replace market research surveys
    Will market research surveys be replaced by something more powerful and effective like social media? Many global consumers and marketing experts feel that this is highly possible, what with social media taking the world by storm!

    The marketing research industry needs to finally break free of its conventional barriers and resort to using other, more groundbreaking means. Survey research is not a solution to every single thing. With the onset of social media, customers interact and engage with each other in a whole new way across the globe. Social media has indeed changed the way customers think and this is why they are less likely to get involved with research surveys.

    Most people in the research industry come in with a firm belief that representation is what it is all about. Yes, it is important to have samples that are representative of a population for some research, but it is important to break free from the notion that being representative is the only solution.

    Monday, March 21, 2011

    Facebook to help with Health Care Needs

    Facebook to help with Health Care Needs
    Facebook is no more only about interacting with friend, updating status messages and posting photos. Now, more and more users are taking to Facebook to gather more health information.

    Statistics have shown that 41 percent of the people, who use social media, use it as a healthcare resource. Many people confess to using Facebook for the medical content contained in it right from diet plans and exercise tips to the health education videos. The information gleaned from these social networking sites does have an impact on most people’s future health decisions. Yes, many responsible citizens are now turning to social networking sites for their health care decisions, thus ensuring that many hospitals and health care providers are also ramping up their social media presence.

    Patients use social media sites for a number of health care needs, including:

  • Watching health education videos.

  • Getting diet plans and exercise tips.

  • Learning about future health events.

  • Studying various diseases.

  • Health Statistics.

  • What’s more, thousands and thousands of patients are also flocking to health care agencies with social media pages because, unlike visiting traditional websites, these pages allow users to interact better with the staff and other patients. You can now watch videos of doctors giving health advice or you could read comments about the health agency right from your Facebook account!

    Sunday, March 20, 2011

    Go Sushi franchise harnesses the power of Social Media

    Go Sushi franchise harnesses the power of Social Media
    The latest in the fast food franchise network to use social media to grow is Go Sushi! Go Sushi is the latest store to harness the power of Facebook in order to build its business.

    The owners Angela Matthews and Jo Watt turned to Facebook to promote the brand. There are now around 273 fans who keep receiving special offers and updates from the store.

    The national marketing manager for the brand, Carly Taber has said that the growth of the customer base and popularity of the store has continuously been increasing since last year. The brand owes much of its success to social media sites like Facebook for building its online popularity.

    Friday, March 18, 2011

    Is Social Media good for the Fashion Industry

    Is Social Media good for the Fashion Industry
    You bet! It doesn’t matter whether you are into fashion or not! It is still very difficult to escape the clutches of social media, what the information on the latest fashion trends doing its rounds every day. From live streaming videos of catwalk shows to fashion blogs and social shopping sites where you get all sorts of tips and opinions, social media plays a very big role in the fashion industry. Facebook, Twitter and many other social networking sites have made a very big impact on the fashion industry, and why not?

    Yes, with the Internet, the fashion industry has definitely become a lot more accessible to the general public. Brands and retailers are now resorting to using social media in order to communicate with customers and listen to them. The Shopping Forecast is a new social site that provides fashion enthusiasts and bloggers with a platform on which to vote and participate in fashion competitions. The fashion voter’s opinion does really count in this site! The information that is collected goes a long way in helping the fashion industry.

    Social Media and Art? The next big Thing

    Social Media and Art? The next big Thing
    Many art shows and museums have taken to using social media to talk about art. But for many, social media is a lot more than that! Many people feel that the photos and videos shared online are works of art themselves!

    The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art has recently created a work of art from anonymous Flickr photos, the 4 Guggenheim Museums recently displayed 25 YouTube video that were selected by esteemed judges, and the Volta art fair at New York exhibited videos that were uploaded to Vimeo.

    Many art collectors and curators feel that the whole concept of posting on various social media sites has led to a logical reflection of art in our times. Art basically characterizes its time and explains what life is all about now. The art of today is all about the Internet and is longer about being in galleries and museums.

    But for many others, the very concept of art is hazy. What after all qualifies as art? Computer and video art made by artists have found places in museums for years now. But the whole concept of photos, videos and even Twitter posting on the Internet being art can be a very controversial one.

    As artists utilize social media to create their works, the role of museums and art shows could change for good, as these works can now be viewed and accessed by anyone and everyone right from their computers and mobile phones.

    Such art that forms a direct link between the audience and viewers can be nothing but radical and necessary!

    Tuesday, March 15, 2011

    Should schools regulate Teachers’ use of Social Media

    Should schools regulate Teachers’ use of Social Media
    In a recent occurrence, a teacher from Central Bucks East High School has been reprimanded and might even lose her job for blogging about her students. This is the latest news of a teacher having to bear the consequences of social media.

    She however, is not likely to be the last teacher to be out of a job because of social media. There are plenty of teachers and aspiring teachers who grew up in the first generation using social media for their entertainment. Last year, at the Academy of Notre Dame de Namur in Villanova, a teacher was dismissed for blogging about a student’s classroom presentation. These two examples are just a few in a list of teachers and professors who have found themselves in deep trouble for just expressing their views about their students through social media.

    Educators on the other hand, who use social media, argue that if done right, it can provide immense benefits. Students, they say, should learn to use such tools proficiently and responsibly. Some districts have maintained guidelines for social media usage and this includes allowing teachers to make friends with students on Facebook. But school boards could also ban the use of social media as it breaches school regulations or confidential obligations.

    Use Social Media to Donate for Japan Rescue Efforts

    Use Social Media to Donate for Japan Rescue Efforts
    Yes, cash is the best way to donate and it is precisely what all the relief agencies need in Japan right now. Organizations are requesting people to focus on monetary donations after the earthquake and tsunami hit Japan on Friday last week.

    With more than 430,000 people displaced and around 24,000 literally stranded, disaster response is of utmost priority right now, with all the necessities such as food, water and medical attention topping the list. But collecting donation, bottled water or canned food in your locality isn’t really the best way to help.

    It is extremely time consuming and expensive to ship donations overseas to Japan at the moment. It is more useful for relief agencies to use money to purchase resources locally instead.

    Taking this into account, the American Red Cross and The Salvation Army are groups that are now accepting donations via text messages. But text donations also have their own set of limitations. Organizations do not receive the donation money from the phone company until you have paid your bills. This can also be very time consuming.

    If you’re looking for immediate impact, then visit a charity-based website. You could also use social media posts and blogs to provide updates and to solicit donations. Doctors Without Borders has been constantly posting details on its Facebook page about its relief efforts in Japan. Click on a post to get to the group’s website and donate.

    Online donation do indeed reach groups faster than checks being dropped in the mail, but it is important to be careful when entering your debit or credit card information. This is especially true if you are donating via a social media site.

    Monday, March 14, 2011

    Social media becomes the preferred form of communication after the Japan Earthquake

    Social media becomes the preferred form of communication after the Japan Earthquake
    Sitting here in the comfort of our homes, we cannot even begin to imagine the extent to the damage that the recent earthquake has caused in Japan. The devastation has not stopped though; it continues to occur as we sit this minute, and reports of new death tolls keep coming in with more and more people on the missing persons list. The scariest part about all this is that all lines of communication has been shut down, making it very difficult for people to contact their loved ones.

    Telephone lines have been down since Friday and getting in touch with loved ones has become a very difficult task to undertake. Owing to this, Facebook messages and Twitter Tweets have helped the locals keep in touch with their near and dear ones.

    Yes, research has shown that the human spirit can indeed be found with these social media platforms. Kotaku is a Japanese video game site that has even posted various articles from Japanese video game developers who have tweeted about their experiences. A famous Japanese actor has also been tweeting non-stop in an attempt to inspire more and more people to donate to the Red Cross.

    Thursday, March 10, 2011

    Social Media helps Increase Jobs in Silicon Valley

    Social Media helps Increase Jobs in Silicon Valley
    Today, many people are being employed in companies as community managers. You may ask what a community manager is. Community managers are basically the social media voice of the specific company on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and other such social networking sites.

    Jobs like this were practically nonexistent a decade ago, but are now helping to fuel a company’s popularity. Just last week, California reported in spite of the job losses taking place, the San Jose metropolitan area had at least 8,000 tech-related jobs in IT and manufacturing.

    Reports show that nearly 40 percent of the 130,000 job openings in Silicon Valley are for engineering positions. But there are many types of positions in social media, mobile applications and cloud computing that are now becoming key job drivers.

    Company takes a Social Media lesson from College Kids

    Company takes a Social Media lesson from College Kids
    As far as social media is concerned, Sprint is one company that you wouldn’t consider backward or lacking in knowledge. Yes, many consumer brands and sports have now started taking to social media and social networking in an attempt to get noticed, and this is the same case with Sprint as well.

    Sprint was recently given a valuable lesson in social media by a group of college kids. Here’s how the story goes! Sprint, the cellular giant, recently gave a marketing class about 10 Smartphone’s with unlimited wireless access. And, in return, Sprint wanted free marketing tips for their 4G network from the students who were able to show them in a very hands-on way, the benefits of social media.

    This is a great way to learning more, as most companies prefer to do their market research through surveys. But Sprint on the other hand, have taken it a step further by interacting with the very people who will actually be using their products.

    Tuesday, March 8, 2011

    U.S. Embassies find it hard to Establish Social Media in Host Countries

    U.S. Embassies find it hard to Establish Social Media in Host Countries
    U.S. embassies have said that they find it extremely hard to establish a social media presence in most of their host countries. They feel that it is a labor-intensive practice that is ridden with many probable pitfalls.

    Embassies regard social media as a great way to reach out to a younger audience. But they all say that for a U.S. mission social media site to be successful, it is important to have original content, high levels of audience interaction and serious staff commitment. Most embassies however, tend to lack the latter factor.

    57 missions have been examined by the inspector general, out of which 42 have active Facebook sites. The public affairs section says that it is very difficult to get the other sections to contribute. Only a quarter of these 42 missions update their Facebook pages daily. What’s more, embassies also have had to deal with users adding unnecessary and unquestionable material on the U.S. social media sites.

    Monday, March 7, 2011

    Social Media Sneakers: Are they the new Fashion Trend

    Social Media Sneakers: Are they the new Fashion Trend
    Has your love for social media finally become a fashion trend? Brass Monki, fashion shoe designer, typically displays everything on his custom shoes – from Mario to Bob Marley. But his latest fashion collection includes bringing the best of social media to your shoes!

    The latest social media Nike shoes have hit the fashion scene – and how! Now with these shoes, you can prove to your competitors that you’re not only a great player, but you also spend hour’s online networking and tweeting. What’s more, they’ll probably think that you spend hours tweeting about your every dribble and dunk.

    Adidas has also sparked rumors by releasing their own line of Twitter and Facebook sneakers. Keeping with the latest in terms of fashion trends, pretty soon there will be Friendster jackets and MySpace hoodies that will be doing their rounds!

    Talk about the popularity of social networking!

    Friday, March 4, 2011

    Student launches a new Social Media Site

    Student launches a new Social Media Site
    Social networking sites have taken the world by storm! Most people will confess that they cannot even go a day without accessing their Facebook or Twitter accounts. Most people prefer socializing and networking over the Internet than in reality. And like most things, this can pose as a problem as it tends to take away the sense of privacy that is shared by people. And secondly, social networks are not as safe and secure as they claim to be.

    For Matthew Foster, a Junior Computer Science major, these are precisely the same reasons for why he created worlpal.com. The site comes as a pleasant surprise to those who wish to communicate in a more private way online. Foster says that he wanted to create a full private platform where students can meet one another from anywhere in the world. The whole idea was to sort of meet someone at random, like at a store or a mall, and become friends.

    Worlpal.com is similar to other social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter, but a lot more private. When you update your status, one unknown person will be randomly selected to appear under your update. You can then view his or her profile and decide whether you want to become friends. If you decline the person, then you will never be able to see their profile again. If you choose to become friends, then you will be able to message each other, and comment on one another’s updates.

    Tuesday, March 1, 2011

    Facebook helps to Boost Self-Esteem

    Facebook helps to Boost Self-Esteem
    If you spend hours on end logged into Facebook, just updating your profile, making new contacts or fussing over your status updates – there’s news for you now! This is no longer considered to be a waste of time! Recent studies have shown that the time you spend on social networks may not be as detrimental as you thought it would be; or as you’ve been led to believe.

    Spending time online and trying to perfect your online identity by making changes to your profile can go a long way in boosting your self-esteem. As opposed to how a mirror keeps reminding us of our flaws, Facebook on the other hand helps by showing us a positive version of ourselves. A mirror just reminds us of who we really are; which in most cases can’t be perfect right?

    Facebook does a whole lot of good for us, but this doesn’t mean it deceives of us of who we really are. It just gives us a positive portrayal of ourselves. When you post anything on any social media site, you will be able to filter out all the negative and unflattering details about yourself. As far as contacts are concerned, Facebook allows us to present our photos in a more presentable way, which further goes to boost our esteem.

    Studies have shown that social networking sites can help people with low psychological well beings and can bring them out of their shells.

    Health Care Fraud Investigators use Social Media

    Health Care Fraud Investigators use Social Media
    Everybody knows how important social media sites have become; so much so that even insurance companies have started taking to social media sites to find out more about the people they insure. Medical liability, disability and workers’ compensation insurers have now started using Facebook and Twitter to check for potential frauds.

    What’s more, health insurers have also begun to use online profiling for the underwriting process. This includes the Twitter and Facebook posts to check where current and prospective members go and what they do.

    Yes, insurance companies have started using social media to outdo their competition when it comes to understanding the profile of the insured. This practice also includes underwriting, like using tweets or posts to find out whether a person’s hobbies are risky – like skydiving or running - and then using this to investigate disability claims.

    So, patients are advised to stay away from social media sites if they are at home recovering from an illness or injury, in order to avoid being suspected of fraud. Even an innocent social media update might be misconstrued by the insurers.

    Monday, February 28, 2011

    China to ban LinkedIn

    China to ban LinkedIn
    Recent reports have shown that the latest social media site to be banned in China is none other than LinkedIn. This has come about after the network became a hugely popular platform for organizing certain anti-government protests.

    The website has recently grown very popular in China and was holding its own against competitors like Tianji and Ushi. Twitter has already been blocked and according to recent reports, LinkedIn has also been targeted.

    Anti-government protesters have begun using social networks to organize demonstrations and events, and to engage other. But the Chinese government has started blocking sites in an attempt to combat these protests.

    The Chinese government has blocked Facebook and Twitter, forcing users to turn to LinkedIn to coordinate protests and share information. What’s more, the Chonese government has also cracked down on some local sites like Renen by blocking specific search queries and preventing users from updating or posting status updates containing sensitive terms.

    Friday, February 25, 2011

    Disney buys Social Networking Site for Kids

    Disney buys Social Networking Site for Kids
    Togetherville, the social network site for kids between the ages of 6-10 is very Facebook-like. Developed by Mandeep Singh Dhillon, an Indian-origin entrepreneur, the site was recently bought by Walt Disney for an undisclosed amount. According to the agreement, Togetherville will now solely be owned by Disney. However, Disney did not disclose the financial figures of the deal.

    Mr. Dhillon first launched the kiddy-version of Facebook last year, and termed it as a safe online community where kids could go play, learn things and mingle with friend under, of course, parental supervision. Excited over this acquisition, Dhillon has called Disney as “one of the most amazing family brands on Earth”.

    This deal is the latest acquisition by Walt Disney, which is now looking to invest more time and money on social media and mobile companies, and less time in creating console-based video games. The free site allows children to connect with friends in something akin to a virtual neighborhood. However, the site required for adults to log in through their existing Facebook accounts, and requires them to build their kids’ networks through their Facebook accounts. The children’s profile pages will be closed to outsiders, unless approved by parents. In this way, no one unknown to child can ever interact with him or her.

    The site is extremely focused on building a real online experience that kids can enjoy under the supervision of their parents, making it extremely safe.

    Thursday, February 24, 2011

    JPMorgan raises $1.22 Billion for Social Media Fund

    JPMorgan raises $1.22 Billion for Social Media Fund
    JPMorgan Chase & Co. has reportedly raised a whopping $1.22billion for a new fund that will invest in social media. This comes as a shock, as the company was expected to raise anywhere between $500 million to $750 million. Talk about exceeding expectations!

    The $1.22 billion figure was released on Wednesday in a regulatory filing for the J.P. Morgan Digital Growth Fund LP. This represented the total amount sold. This Digital Growth Fund has been described in the regulatory filing as a Venture Capital Fund that offers only pooled investment fund interests, and no sales will be made after December 31st, 2011.

    The Digital growth Fund is basically the company’s social media fund. The launch of this social media fund follows the January $1.5 billion fundraising attempts of Facebook, the biggest social networking site in the world. These attempts were mainly made by Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and its clients.

    Wednesday, February 23, 2011

    Break ups won’t ever be the same again with Facebook

    Break ups won’t ever be the same again with Facebook
    Break ups are just never going to be the same again! How so?

    Every ardent Facebook fan will tell you that your Facebook profile speaks volumes about you and your Facebook status is everything! Looks like Facebook agrees with this!

    The latest application to hit all Facebook users is the new “Break up notifier” applications, which announces to everyone when couples break up. This application will allow users to create a list of friends who they are interested in, and whose status they wish to be notified about. So, in case of a change in relationship status or if there has been a break up, they will receive a notifier email.

    So if you like someone who is already in a relationship with someone else, you can now be the first to find out if they break up. It’s just as simple as that. You can also track your friends’ every move and with the help of the “Check in” service, you can now know where exactly they are.

    Tuesday, February 22, 2011

    Media Broadcasters take to Social Media

    Media Broadcasters take to Social Media
    Media Broadcasters CBS and Viacom have now started using social media as a way to promote their TV shows. CBS recently broadcasted the first episode of its famous reality show Survivor, and Jeff Probst, its host participated in a Twitter discussion about the program. Probst has revealed that he will now be using this approach more regularly to give the show’s viewers that added touch.

    CBS boasts of having nearly 50 million Facebook fans for its shows. This company believes that content is extremely important, and writing about the major events is equally important. Every major event from the Academy Awards to the Grammy’s have all done much better than the previous year’s owing to social media. Today, American Idol is not on its way out as people thought it would. Network television is still going strong and will never go away because of social media. Social media helps to enhance broadcast.