There were some interesting developments and milestones reached in social media this week.
Facebook is expected to announce plans to change its large, single column news feed. This would be the first major change to the news feed design in seven years. Rumor has it Facebook will expand to multiple feeds and feature some sort of Instagram and Spotify integration. The new design could feature a feed for photo, music, and another feed featuring only news, videos and app sharing.
We’ll know more about this development tomorrow after Facebook’s big planned press event. Stay tuned for more information. One billion is the magic number this week.
LinkedIn reached one billion Endorsements this week.
The feature was launched in September 2012. Users can vouch for other user’s specific skills with only the click of a button. It was created to encourage more profile interaction and it’s accomplished that. However, it remains to be determined if these quick Endorsements have any positive impact on your digital professional presence. Personally, I’m not convinced a classmate vouching for your public speaking skills, without a formal recommendation, will result in your speedy employment.
Sesame Street’s latest video starring Count von Count, posted today, is titled “Counting the ‘You’s in YouTube.” One of the channel’s most popular videos, “Elmo’s Song,” has over 87 million views. YouTube is frequently banned in school environments, but this milestone makes a significant statement about YouTube’s educational possibilities.
Twitter announced it will discontinue its mobile apps, discontinue Facebook integration in May and focus more on its web-based version.
The Twitter-owned TweetDeck will be removed from app stores by early May and will stop functioning shortly after that. TweetDeck’s team say the decision reflects where the majority of their users are using their product. Recently, Twitter’s mobile app added major features including photo filters, revamped user profiles and an advanced search. TweetDeck’s features fill some users needs and if the mobile app isn’t cutting it, why not redesign for better functionality? Instead, Twitter’s content to forfeit those users who will either go to their Twitter app or one of their competitors. Tumblr mobile users will see ads soon.
Companies will be able to promote their posts to mobile app users within the next three months. The ads will mirror ones added to the website format months ago. Users and advertisers can promote content for as little as $1 a post.
Tumblr’s mobile users have quadrupled in the past six months and are closely approaching the amount of users on its website. Tumblr has a monthly audience of more than 170 million. With this new development, Tumblr hopes to turn its first annual profit in 2013.
Google+ launched a redesign of profiles and pages today in attempt to steal some of Facebook’s thunder. New feature include a “Local Reviews” tab, larger cover photos with a better aspect ratio and an easier way to edit information in the “About” tab. We’re expecting more features to be unveiled in coming weeks.
Stay tuned on this development. To summarize this week’s developments, social media continues its massive growth and platforms strive to stay relevant and exciting as they grow. What do you think about these developments? Do you think these redesigns are exciting or unneccessary?
Design a policy on acceptable use of social media during work hours and open social media up company-wide. There’s untapped value in these tools and your team can benefit from using them to collaborate and to help in identifying potential customers. Social media has streamlined the hiring process and can do the same in a lot of different areas. Your sales team can use social media to generate leads and easily communicate with customers. Research and development teams can use it to brainstorm new ideas by seeing what is popular and what people are asking for. Design teams can derive inspiration for the next big idea from pins on Pinterest. The possibilities are endless for productive activity on social media.
According to comScore’s 2012 U.S. Digital Future in Focus, the time spent on webmail by 18-24 year olds decreased by 50% since 2010. Email is ceasing to be the only and best way to accomplish team tasks. Google made functionality strides when it converted traditional emails to long-running conversations in Gmail, but things are changing and Gen Y will operate differently than any other generation. More than 200,000 companies worldwide are using Yammer, a social site designed to streamline team collaboration. With both free and paid features, it operates similar to Facebook and Twitter, but exists only for company collaboration, file sharing and knowledge exchange. It’s a web-based and mobile capable platform to encourage productivity wherever your team is working from.
A big mistake businesses often make is allowing one person sole access to all the company’s social profiles. This is setting you up for disaster. I’m not saying you can’t designate one person to be in charge, but other staff members need to have access as well. If someone leaves the company, you could before forced to start over if you don’t have the account information and passwords. Also, if that individual is employed elsewhere, it could also lead to another company receiving your followers. In your social media policy, it should be clear the company owns social each social profile and can revoke an individual’s access at any time.
Especially if you work for a company with more than 10 employees, monitor what’s being said publicly about your company by potential customers and employees. Don’t be caught by a surprise social media scandal. Searching the different platforms occasionally for public mentions of your brand will help you stay ahead of negative attention.
More and more companies are having branded social media training programs created for their employees. Sprint employees complete a two-hour workshop called the Sprint Social Media Ninjas. After becoming certified ninjas, Sprint employees are continuously asked to contribute ideas for new ideas for the company’s social profiles. Doing nothing is not option. Blaming an employee for a social media regulation that didn’t exist, after an embarrassment, helps neither party. Designing programs specific to each business or organization is a Smirk specialty. Contact us for more information on social media company policies, monitoring or training your staff.
So Google has taken the world by storm. Google says it already has about 10 million people signed up, sharing a billion of pieces of information in just a couple of weeks.
My thoughts on the new platform.
- I like the idea of dividing your contact into circles, based on your relationship with them. But many of the relationships I have developed online (which make up a big number of the first adapter crowd on G ) have undefined roles. Friends, business associates, Twitterati? I”ve been throwing a lot of people in friends. Basically, anyone I”ve ever had lunch with.
- The photo feature looks great, but as an iPhone user, it”s not a perfect solution for me until there is an easy upload app. Maybe I should just buy an Android and sell myself totally out to Google.
- I do like the idea of only sharing certain content with certain followers. A great strategy for someone who is still on the fence about social media or has a big distinction between their work and home life. Again, a skill I haven”t developed.
- The more I think about it, the more G would have been good as one of the first social networks instead of coming after Twitter and Facebook. Would have made us all more disciplined.
- So, obviously that means they are developing a Google time machine.
- Love the hangout group online casino video chat. This I think has the most application for businesses. Easy for staff meetings, brainstorming sessions, so you can be sharing content, docs and links with at the same time. The future of web collaboration.
- Sparks? Kinda meh.
- The bottom line, of course, is adoption. We are still living with a zero-sum game when it comes to time online. What Google has going for it is that is already my primary home for my browser, documents, calendar and email. If there is a great coming together that allows we to socialize all of those things into one mother-of-all-dashboards, then I will be very interested. As a consultant though, it”s hard for me to dissuade clients from adopting something new when Facebook has a 700 million user lead.
When you sit down to write your blog, think short. This is not the final book of the Harry Potter saga, this is a touchpoint between your brain, your tribe and potential customers.
Think Seth Godin’s blog. A few hundred words of wisdom.
Think the Gettysburg Address. Just 272 words.
Think your elevator pitch. Next floor! Ding!
Think whisper in a crowded room.
Think Twitter’s 140 characters.
Think Fortune Cookie.
Think bullet points.
Throwing out the word “community during talks about social media is pretty easy.
You want to go online and “build a community” around yourself, your brands or your interests. Easy as that, right?
It”s not. You can read Seth Godin”s “Tribes” until you have it memorized or you can tattoo it on your back and that won”t make a community grow over night. It takes work. It takes hustle. It takes @garyvee style intensity.
Building a community is not a passive activity. “If you build it, they will come,” is a rare happening online. Those things happen virally, sure, but on the web there is NO Viral Button.
Want to build a community? Provide good conversation and content, share, help and listen. If you online pokies want a community, it has to be a place that people want to live in for a little part of their lives. If it”s scary or not well-maintained, then it won”t be much of a neighborhood.
Lucky for us, we see great online communities all around us in Oklahoma City: Thunder fans; LifeChurch members; severe weather wonks; Midtown, Downtown and Plaza District loyalists; Big Truck Taco flag-wavers and non-profit cause heroes.
Look around. What are those communities doing right? See it and do it.
Long-time, no blog.
It”s been a crazy end of 2010, dawn of 2011 here at Smirk New Media.
But now we”ve launched into this month with a couple of big events on the horizon.
ME AND OC
The first is an opportunity I”ve been given to teach a two-day at Oklahoma Christian, explaining to the students about the intersection of new media, journalism, marketing and public relations. I”m as excited to hear what they have to say about where all of this is headed as I am to talk to them about how it all works on the professional end.
Whenever I talk to students I talk to them about their media diets. How they get information and from what sources is often so eye-opening! Printed newspapers have lost almost all of the generation younger than me, best online pokies but local news websites have get loyalty in this group. Can”t wait to see what they have to say today.
I applaud the folks at Oklahoma Christian for being open to a seminar like this. College and universities are going to have to catch up in presenting how the communications world is changing. Oklahoma State is doing a great job in that through what Bill Handy is offering. Having Oklahoma Christian right here to experiment, brainstorm and collaborate with is a thrill.
Lawyers: Beyond the Yellow Pages
I”m also happy to report that local legal eagle Shawn Roberts and I will be hosting a seminar teaching legal professionals about how to use social media to promote themselves, leverage their expertise and stay in contact with clients.
Some of you might know about my opinion about phonebooks. Not a fan. So when I saw that that yellow pages were stocked with lawyers, it compelled me to reach out to that community and teach them how they can effectively use the web to communicate.
One of the interesting things that effects these professionals is that while folks have abandoned their phone books, they haven”t abandoned their phones. The mobile web is key for reaching across demographics, especially in bridging the digital divide, so those in the legal community must have a mobile and social media strategy!
Here”s hoping that we can fill the 50 seats available at the event.
RSVP and register here: http://smirknewmedia.ticketleap.com/law/
Tom Peters, the Godfather of leadership and innovation, has been dishing out some great advice to go along with the release of his new book, “Big Little Things.” Some of them are common sense, some of them will blow your mind. This one, explaining the power of one great lunch meeting a day, is one of my faves.
A long layoff comes to an end.
What did I learn?
* Blogging is an outlet often without filter. Be wary.
* Blogging is best kept short, especially if you don’t know exactly what you are talking about.
* Blogging is best kept very long, especially if you know exactly what you are talking about.
* Political blogs are the Hostess snack cakes of the blogosphere.
* Social media blogs sometimes, but rarely, have great gems of interestingness.
* It’s OK to make up words.
* It’s still OK to be nice.
* It’s OK to ask questions.
* It’s OK to answer them.
* When in doubt, bullet points.