Category: social media

10 Feb

The 5 social media mistakes most likely to cost you your job

Lauren Ashpole Facebook, social media 0 Comments

Over the years, social media has gone from a niche communications tool to a large part of many people’s, and businesses, daily routines. Even though Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc., are accessible to anyone who knows how to set up an account and use a smartphone, no professional should dive into the at times treacherous world social media without knowing basic survival skills. Here are a five social media tips (and cautionary tales)  from Smirk that can help you keep your job in the highly visible world of new media.

1. Don’t trash someone else on Twitter, especially the president’s son.

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Smirk Tip* Don’t post anything about current social issues without thinking carefully and if you do make this mistake be prepared to do more than just delete your tweet.  

2. Don’t let out company (or jury) secrets.

Live tweeting can be a great way to share a conference or event with your network. What’s not so good? Posting about your company’s proprietary information or jury duty. Recently, A juror who was sitting on rape and sexual assault court case learned this the hard way. According to her Facebook post, she was having a hard time deciding whether to rule guilty or not guilty, so she made a Facebook poll asking her followers for help. When word got out about her post, she was dismissed from the jury and potentially ruined the entire case.

Live tweeting can be a great way to share a conference or event with your network. What’s not so good? Posting about your company’s proprietary information or jury duty. Recently, A juror who was sitting on rape and sexual assault court case learned this the hard way. According to her Facebook post, she was having a hard time deciding whether to rule guilty or not guilty, so she made a Facebook poll asking her followers for help. When word got out about her post, she was dismissed from the jury and potentially ruined the entire case.

Smirk Tip* Don’t share private information online. Even if your boss doesn’t follow you, one of your friends could share the post to your boss. Remember, social media post are never secret, even if you have a private account. Everything is accessible at the touch of a button or a share from a “friend.”

3. Don’t ask for drugs at work (or anywhere else) by posting it on Twitter.

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Smirk Tip * Don’t think we need to explain this one. But kudos to the local police department for their great response.

4. Don’t post racial slurs. They’re not funny. Ever.

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Once America’s kitchen sweetheart, Paula Deen’s career has gone down the garbage disposal due to racism. Shortly after her frequent racial slurs were made public, Deen paid a heavy price, losing deals and contracts with the Food Network, Smithfield Foods, Walmart, Target, QVC, Caesars Entertainment, J.C. Penney, Sears, Kmart and her then-publisher Ballantine Books.

In an attempt to be funny, Paula Deen’s social media manager posted the above photo to her social media followers, but no one really got the joke. Needless to say, her social media manager was fired.

Smirk Tip* Racism, sexism (or any ism) don’t play well on social media. Just don’t.

 5. Don’t be stupid.

Always, think before posting. If you wouldn’t want your boss to see it, don’t post it. The same applies to co-workers, clients, colleagues or your grandmother.

For example, PR professional Justine Sacco posted the tweet below before flying to South Africa. Due to her large amount of followers (many of whom were journalists) the tweet quickly spread across the internet finally reaching her boss. By the time she landed, Sacco had been fired and had become an international example of what not to do online.

Smirk Tip* Always, always consider your words carefully before posting, as you never know how your audience will react. Unless you want to get fired, then feel free to tweet away.

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31 Jan

Update: Snapchat users aren’t loving the new update.

Lauren Ashpole Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Social, social media Tags: , 0 Comments

Snapchat is one of the most popular apps among teens and young adults. Their most recent update, with the addition of a new search bar, aims to help Snapchat be more accessible to all.

Katie Marshall, a Smirk strategist, has her own opinions about the Snapchat update.

“With Facebook testing stories, in addition to Instagram Stories, Snapchat is struggling to hang on to its users. Recent studies show Instagram Stories have as many viewers as Snapchat. I expect for Instagram and Facebook numbers to rise while Snapchat’s start to fall.”

The search bar gives users the accessibility to search any of their followers’ stories, any of Snapchat’s stories or to quickly send a private message to a friend.

“The new features, like the search bar, were introduced as an effort to make Snapchat more accessible to a wider range of users, but I think there is still confusion on what certain features, like Quick Chat, mean and how to use them,” said Marshall. “I do think the new update is more visually appealing, which is a bonus.”

Avid Snapchat users seem to love the new Bitmoji editing capability within the app. Some edits might include facial features and outfits.

A Bitmoji is a cartoon you can design to look, dress and talk like you. Bitmojis can say anything from ‘hello’ to ‘nope’ to ‘are you there?’

Below is an example of a Bitmoji. They are supposed to look similar to the person they emulate, but you can be the judge of that.

   

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These new features come at a time when Instagram Stories, the mirror image of Snapchat Stories, are now reaching 150 million views. Snapchat has been the social leader for story type video — until now. Snapchat has yet to introduce live video streaming to the app, while Instagram already has live video and Facebook is testing out live video right now.

What does this update mean for Smirk?

“For businesses and brands, Snapchat still doesn’t make much sense because there is no analytics to ensure you’re actually reaching potential customers,” said Marshall. “For many, it’s still seen as a waste of time.”

24 Jan

Who should Market to Millennials?

Lauren Ashpole Business, digital advertising, Facebook, Instagram, Our Clients, Social, social media, social media strategy 0 Comments

The millennial generation is the largest in U.S. history, even bigger than baby boomers. For that reason, many of our new clients believe their brand should market to millennials.

Every client’s social media presence should be as unique as the products or services they provide. The answer to solving the millennial debate is knowing who you should reach.

“Some clients come to us wanting to appeal everyone, but I advise that their target audience should be much narrower,” said Allie Carrick, Smirk’s Managing Director. “Targeting the decision makers for your products or services impacts the bottom line.”

Your decision maker shouldn’t completely define your digital presence, but speaking their language will help you resonate. When speaking to older generations, avoid slang phrases (ex: FB/LB, respek, TD) and other passing trends (Pokémon GO, anyone?). Reduce your target audience down from generalizations to who they are, their decision-making process and what information is valuable to them.

If millennials are your decision makers, the perfect way to reach them — right from the source — is authenticity.

According to Forbes.com, millennials: value authenticity more than content, would rather buy a car and lease a house and read blogs before making purchases. This generation turns to their handheld devices to meet their needs. They value the convenience of asking a question via Facebook message to a brand’s page rather than making a call.

Millennials expect flexible technology and an easy customer experience as the norm. Brands must be able to maintain an active and authentic presence online to retain the millennial.

As a business owner, you may want more millennials to shop at your personalized paper store, but does this generation of shoppers see the value in your paper? Smirk has helped so many brands answer this fundamental question and many more like it. Starting the conversation is the first step to building an effective social media presence for your brand.

19 Jan

New updates to keep you LinkedIn

Lauren Ashpole Business, digital advertising, LinkedIn, Marketing, social media 0 Comments

470 million people have profiles on LinkedIn. LinkedIn was founded 15 years ago and has transformed as a company and platform through updates, CEO changes, Microsoft’s acquisition and transitioning from an all online website to an application.

Lennon Patton, Smirk’s director of sales, is an active LinkedIn user.

“As a digital marketer, I am excited about having a platform with a business focus that will be able to deliver better metrics. Some of the industries that Smirk creates strategies for are better served by the business focus that LinkedIn brings to the social media world,” said Patton. “Creating a better user experience should result in much better and more sophisticated ad delivery. This is a smart move by LinkedIn.”

LinkedIn introduced a new update for the desktop version of their site today. It will be more accessible with a straightforward layout. The features you know and love won’t change, but LinkedIn is adding some new user-friendly components to simplify their experience.

One of the more exciting new features is pop-up messaging boxes. Chatbots have been introduced, almost like a wingman, they will help you break the ice with whomever you are private messaging.  When you receive a message, on Facebook for example, the message sender and the message will show at the bottom of your screen and you can respond straight from the messaging box.

In addition to the new private messaging and design layout, LinkedIn updated their search bar and navigation. You’re now able to search by people, jobs, companies, groups and schools. Also, the platform’s navigation was reduced to seven areas: Home (Your Feed), Messaging, Jobs, Notifications, Me (your old profile page), My Network, and Search.

Smirk had early access to the redesigned company page and we’re excited for the new, more accessible LinkedIn. The first image below is a preview of the updated LinkedIn company page, and the second image is the old company pages.

 

13 Jan

The Boomerang Theory

Lauren Ashpole digital advertising, Facebook, Instagram, Social, social media, social media strategy Tags: , , 0 Comments

A Boomerang. A toy we all wanted until we had it, sometimes it came back to us, but most of the time it didn’t.

The Boomerang of the digital age is an app accessible through Instagram, Snapchat and Facebook. It is a one-second video clip that loops back to the beginning after it reaches the end.

Here’s an example of how we’ve utilized Boomerang for one of our clients, Automobile Alley.

The graphic below, from Social Media Today, demonstrates most consumed type of content on Facebook in 2016. Boomerang could be a very useful visual tool to get your audience’s attention.

Video is just one of the latest trends fundamental to digital marketing success that Smirk’s founder and president, Mike Koehler, is currently traveling and speaking to companies about.

“Any brand interested in making a connection with its audience in 2017 needs to make video content a priority because it takes the transparency that people love to the next level,” said Koehler. “You can show the process of what makes your business great – your expertise and your behind-the-scenes.”

Smirk published our first Boomerang on our Instagram account this morning. Follow along as we share more insight into our content strategies.

On Friday we don't count calories.

A post shared by Smirk New Media (@smirknewmedia) on

10 Jan

Twitter to let users edit tweets, maybe. Finally.

Lauren Ashpole social media, Twitter Tags: ,

“You can only edit a tweet if you are a verified user, meaning you have a blue check mark next to your twitter handle,” said Jack Dorsey, CEO of Twitter, in response to another Twitter user.

For avid tweeters, tweet editing capabilities could be a game changer. On other major platforms, such as Facebook and Instagram, users are already able to edit a post after it goes live. Twitter hasn’t rolled out this feature for users yet.

Allowing original tweets to be altered would require a change log, so people can see all previous edits, as Dorsey would like to keep Twitter “a public record.”

“The change log is very necessary,” said Allie Carrick, Smirk’s Managing Director. “Editing would be beneficial for fixing small errors in your text, but not the entire tweet. Don’t rewrite history.”

Below are some examples why we believe tweets deserve to be edited. Enjoy.

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03 Nov

To OKC, from Burma: A Professional Fellow’s View

Mike Koehler social media 0 Comments

Editor’s note: Smirk New Media has had the privilege of hosting Aung Soe Win the past few week at our offices downtown. Aung Soe Win is a journalist from Burma, who is here in the USA as part of the Professional Fellows Program. We asked him to write up a blog post talking about his background, what it’s like to be in a country which just recently got press and social media freedom, as well as his thoughts on the Sooner State. Enjoy!

By Aung Soe Win

I was born in Lamaing, a small town in southern Mon State, and left my hometown to Thai-Burma Border in late 2006, and spent about 8 years for the searches of further education and job opportunity on the border and in Thailand.

In 2010, I worked at Human Rights Foundation of Mon-land (HUFROM) gathering data of human rights abuses and writing reports. In 2012, with a scholarship from Child’s Dream Association, I started my college at the Ramkhamhaeng University, studying for multimedia journalism and marketing. After finishing my study, I returned to Mon News Agency (MNA), which is under umbrella of HURFOM, working as marketing manager and news editor.

Apart from working for MNA, I recently started a new venture, which is running a restaurant, called Rasar Non, or the Royal Taste; the menu includes Thai and local Mon foods.

And, now, I am in Oklahoma and my placement is at Smirk New Media (http://smirknewmedia.com/ ) in the Oklahoma City. With the help from my placement, I have met several different people with different backgrounds, including web developers, journalists, NGO workers, and entrepreneurs. And, my colleague Lennon Patton from the Smirk New Media, who is taking me around the city and introducing me with different people, also has marketing and sale experiences and shared with me his experiences every day.

The Sooner State and its people

It is my first time in Oklahoma and the first time in the United States. What reminded me most on my first day in the state is about the article that talks about the tribe of people called “Asu” use an animal “rac” for their needs. Yes, cars are everywhere! And, people here do not seem to have or use public transportation. But, recently I learnt that the land is so massive in the state that it makes more convenient for the locals to travel with their own cars.

It has been two weeks already in the States, and so far, I love it! The people here are generous, friendly and helpful. They like to share about their work and ideas, invite you over dinners.

Although I did not really like “American Football”, now I start liking it. And, oh, keep in mind that people here do not like to see you being late.

What is Professional Fellows Program?

It is a five-week program and hosted by the University of Oklahoma’s Gaylord College of Journalism and Mass Communication, partnered with the U.S. Department of State, the Center for Entrepreneurship Development at BRAC University in Bangladesh, BRAC Myanmar in Burma and Entrepreneurship Development Institute of India.

The objective of the program is to inject the Bangladeshi, Burmese and Indian participants, who are mid-level emerging leaders in different working fields, including small business ventures, government, NGOs and social entrepreneurship, into working small businesses in Oklahoma and associate them with one of the America’s leading universities. It also aims to provide the participants with professional experience and training that will foster their talents and prepare them for more responsible leadership positions in their businesses, communities and society, enabling them to apply back in their countries.

What do I want to get?

During my Professional Fellows Program, my first priority is to acquire the skills and knowledge of writing a business plan, along with marketing and sale strategies. Second priority is to meet different people with different backgrounds but mainly in media sector, startups and social entrepreneurship.

Independent Mon News Agency or Mon News Agency

The company I work for, the Mon News Agency (MNA) (www.monnews.org) , founded as Independent Mon News Agency (IMNA) in 2000, is a multimedia agency. With its coverage on largely southern Burma, its media products include online news, weekly newspaper, radio [broadcasting] and video clips for TV news.

Since its inception, I had operated on Thai-Burma Border, but after the country has been reformed, the agency decided to move in the country in 2015. And, now registered as Mon News Agency, it is based in Mon State’s Capital Mawlamyine.

MNA, which has been running over the past 15 years as a non-profit, is now in transition to full profit agency. To be able to stand on its own feet and to generate regular revenues for the long term sustainability, it is now working hard and hopes for the best for this new adventure.

Media reforms and social media spotlights

Following a new government in 2010, the country unblocked international news websites, exiled news websites and YouTube.

In 2012, it lifted pre-publication censorship for the press and gave green lights to privately-owned daily newspapers and ethnic group-run newspapers to publish.

According to Reporters Without Borders, Burma was ranked at 174 out of 178 for press freedom in 2010. But, the results of political change have moved the country up to 144th place.

The number of internet users grew to 625,000 in 2014 but reached up to 11,000,000 in 2016 (according to InternetLiveStats.com and internetworldstats). At first there was only a state-run telecom, the Myanmar Post and Telecommunications (MPT), but two additional telecom companies, Telenor and Ooredoo, started in 2013, have been around the country ever since.

3G networks arrived in the country as early as 2008, under MPT operation, and there came 4G networks first by Ooredoo in May, 2016, followed by Telenor in July.

When it comes to social media platforms, Facebook reigns. In 2015, the Facebook had 4 million users in the country. But, mid-May 2016, Facebook had 9.7 million monthly active users (Amara Digital Marketing Agency), while the number of Facebook subscribers hit 11,000,000 in June 2016.

The number of mobile penetration and internet users is on the rise and in fact, the mobile penetration is expected to hit 100 percent within the next five years (according to lamplight.me).

About the Mon people and Mon State

One of the earliest peoples to reside in Southeast Asia, responsible for the spread of Theravada Buddhism in Indochina, and a major source of influence on the culture of Burma, the Mon people now mostly live in Mon State, Bago Region, Irrawaddy Delta, and along the southern border of Thailand and Burma.

The Mon language is part of the Monic group of the Mon-Khmer family, and believed to be source script of writing systems of Burmese. The national symbol is the Hongsa, Sheldrake or mythological water bird or Swan and known as Hintha in Burmese.

The culture and traditional heritages includes spiritual dances and Hongsa dance, and the musical instruments include crocodile xylophone, flute, harp, drums and gongs.

Mon State is located in southern Burma and is one of the seven states, along with the seven regions across the country. The state lies between Andaman Sea to west and Karen State to east, having a short border with Thailand to southeast.

The capital of the state is Mawlamyine, formerly known as Moulmein, and it is the sister city of Fort Wayne, Indiana, in the United States.

The State’s major products include rice, rubbers, betel nuts, and fishes, while there are also industries of paper, sugar and mining.

There are several tourist spots, while the beaches are yet exploited. Kyaiktiyo Pagoda, better known as the Golden Rock, is one of the most attractions in the state, and the visitors will be soon able to use cable cars going up to the pagoda’s compound from the bottom of the Kyaiktiyo Mount. Another popular destination is the Win Sein Tawya, which has the world’s largest reclining Buddha.  

Since Mon State lies on the coast of Andaman Sea, there are beaches – yet to be exploited. One of the “fresh beaches” in the state is Kabyar Wa Beach, and located in Ye Township, in the south.

After decades of isolation, Myanmar, formerly known as Burma, has now introduced significant political and economic reforms since the quasi-civilian government took the office in 2010.

Many foreign investments projects are flowing into my country, with over 50 million people and located in Southeast Asia, while construction can be seen at every corner in major cities, especially the country’s former capital Yangon, or Rangoon.

30 Sep

Take a Minute for Twitter Moments

Harrison Maud social media, Twitter 0 Comments

There are hundreds of millions of tweets that happen every day.  Twitter wants you to be able to find the best ones with Moments.

Twitter announced that Moments is now available to users. The company tweeted, “Creators everywhere can now tell stories with tweets.”

Users can view organized, compelling tweets that have been grouped together based on where they are have been sent from or what they are about. Whether it is “sitting” on the front row of the Grammy’s, being up close at your favorite sporting event, to political rallies or debates, Moments can bring the action to your hand.

From yesterday’s funniest viral story to tomorrow’s big game, keep up in the social world with Moments. Get the whole picture of a trending topic through highlights, pictures and headlines that come directly from the event you are interested in.

Engaging with a Moment:

  • • When you click into a Moment, you’re taken to an introduction with a title and description.
  • •Start swiping to dive right into the story, with immersive full-bleed images and auto-playing videos, Vines, and GIFs.
  • •A single tap gives you a fuller view of the Tweet, which you can favorite, Retweet, and more. A double tap lets you instantly favorite the Tweet.
  • •The progress bar at the bottom indicates how much more each Moment has to offer.
  • •Swiping up or down dismisses the Moment and takes you back to the guide.
  • •At the end of a Moment, click the share button to Tweet your thoughts, and send it out to your followers.

Don’t know who to follow during these events? Follow the actual event. The best tweets from that event will be delivered to your timeline. This will eliminate any garbage and let you focus on the good stuff.

What if you don’t want to keep following an account after the event? When the event is done, you will automatically unfollow them. If users don’t care to follow an organization forever, but can stay in the loop during a special event.

Twitter users who aren’t huge sports fans can still keep up with the playoffs, big games, or just want to keep track of a certain game. Political debates are a great example as well. During debates, you can follow the event and after it has concluded, you will not have to deal with the aftermath.

Moments offers the ability to see things quicker, more efficiently. From personal use to big organizations, utilizing Moments can help in more ways than one.

“Many people turn to social media for their news — whether that be local, national or international. Twitter Moments fulfills that need for immediate news,” said Smirk Strategist Liz Ramirez. “If something happens in another state or around the world, we turn to the digital world to give us more info about whatever is happening.”

15 Sep

Brands Going Live

Harrison Maud social media Tags: , ,

Imagine holding a meeting without setting up chairs, pouring coffee or making nametags—and still getting immediate feedback. Think of the benefits of giving potential customers an inside look at your kitchen or your new office space. What if you could show donors in real time the difference you are making with their investment? You can. Other companies and organizations are doing these things, and many more, with Facebook Live.

From the local museum and a coffee shop around the corner to national giants, companies of all sizes are using Facebook Live, a free tool, to enhance their brands and literally show and tell their stories in real time. Owners, social media specialists, entertainers, entrepreneurs and politicians are jumping at the chance to discuss, showcase, highlight, entertain and inspire through this new feature. Anyone with a Facebook account can create a status and be live in seconds—having a reliable signal may be your only limitation.

A few notable successes:

Dunkin’ Donuts used Facebook Live for the first time as they showed millions of viewers the process of creating a Valentine’s Day cake from their corporate kitchen. After realizing the potential, they created a Valentines Day contest for most creative marriage proposal. This has now become a key component of their marketing efforts.

Chevrolet teased viewers with glimpses of their much-anticipated electric car, the Spark, prior to its release via Facebook Live, allowing super fans an early look at this product before its official launch.

Martha Stewart gives cooking lessons real time to promote her brand.

How could you use Facebook Live? Five ideas for you to consider:

1. Discuss a topic your viewers or customers are interested in—if you were to post a few days in advance to gain insight into some ideas or suggestions customers have, a Facebook Live session gives you the opportunity to address these in real time. Being able to talk to them shows the “human” in the business, which is something the viewers can relate to.

2. Give an inside look at your business. Literally, give a glimpse behind closed doors. Capitalize on the cool factor with certain areas, such as entertainment companies or sporting teams. An exclusive locker room tour, a chic company rec center, or showing the inside of a tour bus could really get a lot of views from many demographic groups.

3. Promote or broadcast your event—a concert, celebrity appearance, political rally, clothing sale, or sporting event could all benefit from the addition of Facebook Live to your media mix.

4. “Tease” a new product or idea—whether it’s a tech company showing off new toys or Air Jordan sharing glimpses of a new sneaker, fans and viewers would even more eagerly anticipate the arrival of the actual product.

5. Answer FAQs—getting the same questions over and over? Answer them “in person” and then save the video so others can view it later.

13 Sep

The Lost Link: LinkedIn Brings Back Hashtags

Harrison Maud LinkedIn, social media Tags: , , , 0 Comments

Even if you are an occasional user of social media, you have witnessed countless #hashtags. In the past, hashtags included in LinkedIn posts did nothing more than demonstrate the user didn’t fully understand the capabilities of the platform. That’s about to change.

LinkedIn has brought back the use of hashtags to enhance the experience of all 450 million users that use the social platform dubbed the “business-oriented” social networking service.

“Welcome to the Internet, LinkedIn. It’s about time,” said Smirk strategist Michaela Brandt. “Long past are the days since hashtags were reserved only for Twitter.”

As a LinkedIn user, you can include hashtags in anything you write. Whether that is an advertisement a brand sends out, an article you write, or a simple message to a friend congratulating them on a new job — adding a hashtag to your post creates conversation for brands and people. Hashtags organize similar content, which lets any of LinkedIn’s 450 million users find your articles quicker. Using hashtags in a clever way can really skyrocket your following. At any time you may modify your privacy settings in order to monitor who may read your articles.

On the opposite end, when searching for articles, ideas, jobs, or people, hashtags make it easy.  With the ability to tap these hashtags, you can find specific needs or explore related information. After finding search results, you can pick other related posts or use that hashtag to participate in the conversation. Like other social platforms, only public posts using the hashtag will be shown in search.

“Frankly, tracking conversations and topics through hashtags just makes sense, especially on a professional platform where topics often revolve around industry and trades,” said Brandt. “Whether or not they’ll be used often or well is still up in the air, but it’s one of the platforms where hashtags make sense for the benefit of the user and publisher alike.”

Although accessible on the desktop version, hashtag use was designed for its iOS & Android apps. LinkedIn knows that the majority of its users are strictly mobile and the small percentage of users who use the desktop version are generally people who are not using hashtags in the first place.

Before this upgrade, searching for content was difficult. When looking for an article, you had to go to the author’s individual profile and swipe through before finding the content. Now, hashtags cut down on search time, making it easier for users to find what they are interested in.

LinkedIn says this update is just the beginning. This is an important step to make sure that its entire library of resources is being utilized and made available to more users. Although 450 million people call themselves LinkedIn users, only a quarter of them visit the site on a monthly basis and this is just one of the ways this platform is trying to re-engage its user base on a more regular basis.

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