Social Media

Facebook Fights Crime

assistant-us-attorney-mic-001It seems lately that Facebook has become more of a superhero, capturing criminals across the globe. The popular social networking site caught a burglar in September, after the thief, Jonathan G. Parker, 19, of Fort Loudoun, PA. decided to check his Facebook account while robbing a home, and then left it open after he had left with two diamond rings.

This week, another criminal has been captured, and it’s all thanks to who the fugitive was friends with on Facebook.  Maxi Sopo,26, had been living the last few months in Cancun, Mexico after he had fled from the US.  According to prosecutors, Sopo who arrived in the US in 2003 after moving from his native country of Cameroon, and worked in Seattle’s nightclubs selling roses until  he moved on to bank fraud.  In late February of this year, he allegedly drove a rented car to Mexico after learning that federal agents were investigating the fraud scheme. (more…)

Say What? There’s An App For That

saywhat-appGoing from Twitter to Digg to your best friend’s blog and searching for what’s happening and trying to keep up with the latest gossip can be quite challenging. Wouldn’t it be nice if there was some search tool that would search all the social media sites and let you know what’s happening with topics I was curious about? Well now there’s an app for that. iCrossing, a digital media agency released an application for iPhones on Monday called “Say What?.” The app is easiestly described as a search engine for social media sites and finds the most recent postings for that topic.

The app is actually very user friendly and simple to use. Let’s say you want to know the latest news or gossip on a certain celebrity. Let’s take Taylor Swift for example. You open the app, and up pop’s the search menu, where you’ll type in “Taylor Swift” and then hit search. Within a matter of a few seconds, a list of the latest tweets, diggs, blogs, and comments in forums that have Taylor Swift in their text appears. The app is broken down into the four social media categories where you can go further and not only read more of what that user or blog is saying but also find other tweets, diggs, etc on the same topic, Taylor Swift in our case. If you want to actually read the blog or see more tweets from a certain user that shows up on the search, Say What? actually links you to that person’s page. (more…)

Colorado Offers Free Vacation Through Social Media Contest

Snow At First SightIf you are in need a vacation and love to use social media sites, you maybe in luck. The Colorado Tourism Office is working it’s way into the social media world by getting tourists to post videos, write blogs and tweet for them. And what a better way to get people involved by handing out a three month all-expenses-paid vacation, three in fact, touring the state.  In addition to having food, lodging and transportation provided, winners will also be awarded $800 a month.  The catch, to enter the contest you must have never seen or touched snow before.

Starting in January, winners will be able to try true Colorado winter activities, including snowmobiling, skiing, snowshoeing, dog-sledding, and ice climbing just to name a few.  In addition to those activities a sample of five star restaurants, resort spas, and hot springs are also rumored to be indulged.  The winners will then be able to  share their experiences on Facebook, Twitter, & YouTube. (more…)

Social Media The New Search Engine?

It seems that social media sites have become a search engine of sorts. A recent report released by the Nielsen Group has search engines such as Google, wondering if their days maybe coming to an end. However search engines are still the favorite option when it comes to searching at 37 percent, but social media sites are climbing up the chart. 

Jon Gibs, VP Media Analytics for Nielsen, said, “roughly 18 percent of users see [social media] as core to finding new information. While still a smaller percentage than those who use search engines or portals like Yahoo! or MSN, it is a significant figure. And as social media usage continues to increase, I can only expect this figure to grow.” (more…)

Redefining Advertising through Social Media

social_mediaAdvertising is undoubtedly one of the primary ways that companies reach out to their customers, but the introduction of social media and online marketing has muddied these once-clear waters. After all, advertising used to be the representation of your company in the most positive light possible. It used to be gimmicks, catch phrases, and limited time promotions.

But with social media, the question becomes whether it’s even beneficial for companies to directly advertise through these venues. Essentially, people believe one of two things about social media advertising. On one side of the debate, people believe it’s beneficial for companies to present themselves through any available channels. And on the other side of this debate, people believe that social media venues are there primarily for people to be sociable. That is to say, they don’t want to be inundated with advertisements and promotions.

The people who take this latter position feel that coming into these new venues with advertisements blazing can actually harm a company image. They feel it alienates these companies from this core demographic, because the companies are simply not playing by the “social media rules.”
(more…)

Marketing in an Online Age

online-marketingIt’s becoming increasingly obvious that strategic online marketing is a vital part of successful businesses today. Whether it’s an interactive website, a viral campaign via YouTube, a Facebook page, or a Twitter account, companies are doing whatever it takes to keep up with the changing technology.

But it seems like many companies are falling into the trap of using the innovations of today with the mindset of yesterday. To that end, they might post regular updates to their Twitter account, but there is a line of red tape, approvals, and edits that are undertaken before any of that content hits the internet. Social media and online marketing, however, is all about instant communication. It’s about human interaction, which means for companies the ability to talk on a personal level with their customers.

But by closely censoring, monitoring, tweaking, and tailoring the content in these social venues, nothing appear genuine to the customer (or potential customer). Customers are savvy to when they are reading something that’s been worked over by a professional, and it puts them automatically on alert. We’re trained to basically dismiss anything we hear or see in more traditional forms of marketing such as television commercials, print ads, radio spots, or anything else. Through years of inundation, we’re trained to believe that an advertisement will say anything to get customers interested in the product, even if it’s not true.

But there isn’t that associated jadedness with online marketing (as of yet, anyway). When done right, there is a ring of honesty, truth, humanity, and personality in the messages through these venues. And this is exactly what’s often lacking in much of the generic ad copy created through the more traditional (or “old”) means.
(more…)

Contested Iranian Election Prompts Information Lockdown

iranian-protestsAlthough the Iranian presidential election between Mir Hossein Moussavi and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad took place on June 12, unrest still rocks the city. Boasting an 85 percent voter turnout, Ahmadinejad was reelected to the surprise of the citizens and experts who predicted Moussavi would easily take the election. The unexpected outcome prompted protestors and outraged citizens to not only claim a rigged election but to also take to the streets in protest.

Calling for a reelection, the protestors grew simultaneously bolder and more frantic as the situation erupted into violence. Basij is believed to be responsible for the majority of this violence, including the deaths of seven protestors. Basij is a paramilitary force taking its order from the Revolutionary Guard, an enforcer of stringent Islamic codes.

News coverage of the protests, however, is limited and sketchy at best. This is primarily due to the statements of the Revolutionary Guard, who have threatened to prosecute any foreign media outlet reporting on the ongoing crisis.

They have also threatened any website reporting on the incident, claiming that the dissemination of this information will further incite riots—an argument utilized by many regimes trying to tightly control and spin the spread of information to their citizens and the world.
(more…)

Social Media Turns on Letterman

letterman-palinAs is so often the case with David Letterman, it all started with a stupid joke. While on air, Letterman made some comments regarding former vice presidential hopeful Sarah Palin and her daughter attending a New York Yankees baseball game. Palin and her 14-year-old daughter had attended the game, after which Letterman joked that Palin’s daughter was “knocked up” by baseball superstar Alex Rodriguez during the seventh inning stretch. Letterman was obviously referring to Palin’s 18-year-old daughter, who recently gave birth to a son.

But the joke was widely misinterpreted. As such, people thought that Letterman was referring to Palin’s younger daughter, and the backlash was swift. Many people were disappointed, outraged, or otherwise disgusted by Letterman’s joke. Michael Patrick Leahy was particularly upset, prompting him to tell FOXNews, “It is highly inappropriate for a 62-year-old man to make sexual insults about a 14-year-old girl.”

Utilizing the venues available to him, Leahy became a co-founder of FireDavidLetterman.com. The site provided a platform for similarly outraged viewers to connect and organize. In particular, they organized a rally calling for the termination of Letterman due to his “disgraceful statements.”

The site also offers a place to add your name and email address in order to let CBS know that you will not purchase any CBS sponsored product until Letterman gets the ax.
(more…)

Trent Reznor Lashes Out Against Twitter

trent-reznorWhile it’s been awhile since Nine Inch Nails was in the public consciousness, front man Trent Reznor has apparently been busy drumming up controversy in the social media arena. Most specifically, Reznor is less than enchanted with Twitter and has made that fact abundantly clear.

Reznor originally utilized his Twitter account to have a venue where he could be, “more off-the-cuff, honest and ‘human.’” But he was quickly inundated with comments and responses to his updates that he found distasteful. This applied particularly to the disclosure of his love life with fiancée Mariqueen Maandig. While Reznor gushed about his newfound love, fans that followed the NIN icon lashed out.

While Reznor used to be known as the out-of-control, counterculture icon, fans found this new, more socially acceptable persona distasteful. While this didn’t prompt Reznor to entirely shut down his Twitter account, he did switch the account to a one-way flow of information. In this way, people can still receive instant NIN-updates, but fans and followers will no longer be privy to the personal messages from Reznor. He has remained adamant that this status won’t change until Twitter changes its blocking policy.

While Reznor might have a valid argument that celebrities are unfairly judged, followed, poked, prodded, and put under a microscope, there’s something a bit unsettling about his particular rant against Twitter. After all, Reznor voluntarily offered personal information through a widely public channel like Twitter. You can’t complain, then, when you receive comments from people within that public channel.
(more…)

Quality Content Outside the Corporate Website

social-media-contentAlthough every company has a slightly different strategy and technique, one of the ultimate goals is always to engage and captivate users. Engaged and captivated users, after all, often translate into engaged and captivated consumers. It is with this in mind that so many companies spend time, effort, and money on creating high quality content.

But companies shouldn’t be short sighted about the value and power of this content. While many businesses are meticulous about what appears on the corporate website, they are less stringent about the entries into the corporate blog, Facebook page, or Twitter account.

This attitude, however, can result in some seriously squandered opportunities. After all, social media venues don’t magically attract, keep, and convert customers. Just like any aspect of your marketing campaign, the content that appears through social media or social networking venues must be carefully researched and created. Otherwise, you’re using the right channels with the wrong message.

This doesn’t mean, though, that the content has to be as formal in presentation. When it comes to your blog, a comma splice here or a split infinite there isn’t going to drive your customers away. It’s more about putting in the time and research to know what your audience wants to see in these interactive platforms.

Also, unlike the content for your official website, there must be a correlated call to action. It’s against the very principle of social media to simply preach at your audience. Ask customers their opinions via your blog. Inspire some conversation and encourage participation.
(more…)