Social Networking

U.S. Armed Forces Uses Facebook and Twitter for Recruitment

thepentagonThe various branches of the armed forces have refined their recruitment tactics over the years, seeking out high school and college students at malls, career fairs, and now through the internet.  Lt. General Benjamin Freakley, the head of the Army command that oversees recruitment, believes that social networking websites offer a unique opportunity to reach the soldiers of tomorrow.  Freakley thinks Facebook could be an effective tool in communicating with 18-24 year-olds, the age range that the Army targets for potential recruits.  “You could friend your recruiter, and then he could talk to your friends,” Freakley states.  Utilizing Facebook, the Army could reach out to high school and college students on a much broader scale. 

In addition to a Facebook page, the Army also maintains a Twitter feed and blog which adds a new dimension to recruitment.  Instead of listening to recruiters drone on about the benefits of the Army, recruiters, soldiers, and civilians are welcome to contribute in an open forum.  Because of this open forum, people interested in a career in the Army can see comments from both sides of the fence, and determine whether Army culture is right for their lifestyle.  Online social media has revolutionized the manner in which armed forces recruitment takes place, and the Army isn’t the only branch of the military reaping the benefits. 
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Facebook Fails to Capitalize

03facebookxlarge2With users now in the range of 200 million, Facebook has become the stethoscope which monitors the pulse of the modern world.  But despite a near unlimited amount of potential, CEO Mark Zuckerberg and his board of directors refuse to tap into the potential revenues from their presiding ownership over a global online community.  Shiv Singh, VP of Razorfish, believes that Facebook is sitting on a gold mine of untapped potential. Singh’s advertising agency pays brand monitoring firms between $5,000 to $40,000 a year for insight into what online consumers are saying about their clients.  Singh also says he would pay Facebook twice as much for a similar service. 

Facebook has a free service called Lexicon which compiles and analyzes millions of Facebook Wall posts and provides a database of searchable trends.  However, people like Shiv Singh are looking for a Lexicon that does much more than just that.  Singh outlines a Lexicon that includes these features:
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Candidate “Tweets” Run for California Governorship

gavin-newsom-twitterIf you follow hot button political topics such as the legalization of gay marriage, it’s very likely that you know the name Gavin Newsom. Serving as the mayor of San Francisco, Newsom gained notoriety in 2004 when he directed the city-county clerk to begin issuing marriage licenses to same sex couples. The move was a controversial political statement, which, despite being repealed by the Supreme Court of California, helped place Newsom on the larger political radar.

Newsom’s time in office was also marked by a turbulent personal life. He not only admitted abuses of alcohol, but he also admitted an affair with the wife of his campaign manager (and personal friend).

Despite these personal difficulties, Newsom announced on April 21, 2009 that he was throwing his hat into the ring for the California governorship. And while no one was particularly surprised by the move—there were few to no attempts to hide his ambitions towards higher offices—people are abuzz about the method by which he announced this candidacy.
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MySpace Execs Could be Twittering from Unemployment Line

chris-dewolfeWhen social networking was first introduced into our everyday lives, it was little doubt that MySpace was king. Launched in 2003, MySpace was created in the wake of Friendster, and the popularity of the site was immediate. The novelty of social networking led to a huge rush of accounts being created, and by 2006, the site celebrated a noteworthy milestone—the 100 millionth MySpace account.

But for CEO Chris DeWolfe and the supporting team of executives, the heyday was relatively short-lived. Based on unique monthly visits, Facebook surpassed MySpace in popularity by mid-2008. And apparently, the boardroom has little patience for this kind of fall from grace. Rumors have begun to circulate that DeWolfe and other major MySpace players (like President Tom Anderson) will be terminated for their inability to keep the company fresh and relevant.

There has been no official word, however, on the employment status of MySpace’s higher ups. These rumors remain just that—rumors. But even if the claims are unsubstantiated, there’s little doubt that MySpace still has to take the company in a new direction. Despite being one of the most recognizable websites around, social networking is all about staying current with the demands of the youth. If you’re losing ground to the latest and greatest online tool, you’ll likely be left in the dust for good.

Social Media Versus Search

It seems like it’s impossible to get away from articles nowadays that start with the phrase “In these hard economic times…” But gear up for another, because in these hard economic times, companies are looking for any excuse to yield revenue and cut costs. Perhaps that accounts for part of the reason social media tactics are so very popular right now.

After all, sites like Facebook, Twitter, and MySpace can disseminate information about your company’s products and services in a quick and (most importantly) free way. And this ability has many touting this means of marketing as the next best thing.

But there’s also something to be said for holding off on any fad that simply seems too good to be true. After all, any new marketing efforts require time and energy. Even if there isn’t any money required upfront, there is still the necessary dedication of manpower. And this can be viewed as tantamount to expense, because time is most certainly money. As such, before you or your company launches an organized social media effort, make sure it’s right for your business and make sure your business is ready for that kind of campaign.
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I Love You Less Than Beef

It is becoming an increasing trend for established businesses to utilize social networking sites in order to promote themselves, but Burger King has taken that trend and put a slightly different spin on it. Rather than promoting positive discussion on forums like MySpace or Facebook, Burger King has officially launched the “Whopper Sacrifice.”

This new campaign has Whopper-crazed Facebookers install the Whopper Sacrifice application to their Facebook profiles. Then all you have to do is de-friend 10 people, enter your email address, and a coupon for a free Whopper will be sent your way. The campaign was initially launched in order to promote BK’s latest beef concoction, the “Angry Whopper.”
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Social Media Charm School

There’s no reason to talk to anyone anymore. Seriously, why would anyone want to risk calling someone and having an awkward conversation, or (gasp), talking to them face-to-face? I know I don’t. It started with texting a few years ago and then led to social networking sites and Apple’s iChat app. The advent of all these services has made it possible for me to quit talking (with my voice) to most people, except of course my coworkers (who I have to look at and talk to at the same time!) and my family.

In any event, I talk much less than I used to but communicate with many more people than I thought possible. If I am not messaging them on iChat or commenting on something they posted on Facebook, then I am reminded frequently of their status updates or blog posts. But this doesn’t mean I am a social butterfly. I am a reserved type of personality, and social networking has allowed me to become more so. I just maintain a lot of vague conversations while staying within my comfort zone.
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Know When To Say When To Social Media

It’s Time To Clean Up Your Social Media Clutter
Out with the old and in with the new. Why wait around until spring time to start organizing your life, your home and, more importantly, your social media portfolio? With 2009 sprawling ahead of you it’s time sort the social clutter that’s been piling up around on your computer desk and in your inbox.

One way to start this process is to take inventory of the social networking and bookmarking sites you subscribe to, and decide which services you like best in each category. After all, everyone wants to save time and spending hours a day on multiple services isn’t nearly as efficient as getting extra quality time on the best services.
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Modern Old-fashioned Networking

There are very few situations where a social media profile will not be of use to your professional or private life. These days more and more people are jumping on the social media networking bandwagon. In fact, many teenagers who have grown up in the advent of social media don’t know any other form of networking. If you own a small business that’s kicking off a social media marketing campaign you shouldn’t underestimate the importance incorporating some old-fashioned, face-to-face networking. There are dozens of ways to connect that are just as good as “Social Media” on the web.

Here are some suggestions:
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Search News Recap 12.5

In keeping with my post last week about recapping the latest news in search, here’s some search engine stories of interest from around the web. This week, we’ll be talking about the recent releases of the data on the search trends of 2008, Google’s beta release of the social networking tool Friend Connect, and the on and off again drama of the Google / Yahoo search deal that has dominated headlines recently.

Search Trends 2008
It’s the time of year when the search giants like Google, Yahoo! and Ask.com give us some insight into the behavior of searchers. Some trends have remained consistent from 2007, but 2008 saw some interesting new topics rise and fall in the search box, most notably in American politics, natural disasters, the 2008 Olympics, and celebrity gossip. Search Engine Land has summarized the information quite nicely for us, highlighting the most important trends across all the engines that provided info. Here’s an overview:
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