Month: March, 2013

28 Mar

Social Influencers: An Undervalued Resource for Advertisers

Allie Carrick Content, social media, the internet is great Tags: , , , 0 Comments

Connecting with your audience has evolved so much over the past decade. When the right people promote posts and they go viral, they can circulate across the world in minutes. Advertisers are still struggling to invest in word of mouth advertising and harness the power of influential community members.

With digital marketing budgets on the rise, it’s more important than ever to use every resource to reach as many people as possible.

Compliments of MBA in Marketing, a new info graphic may provide the insight advertisers need to finally get onboard with social influencers. This info graphic shows how social media influencers impact purchasing behaviors amongst peers.


07 Mar

Facebook Announces News Feed Redesign

Allie Carrick Facebook, Marketing, Presentations, Small Business, SmallBiz, social media 0 Comments


News Feed Redesign

According to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, when Facebook first started, the news feed was filled with mostly text and now it’s nearly 50% photos and visual content.

Today reporters and social media fans around the world got a glimpse of Facebook’s updated news feed design at a press conference at Facebook headquarters in Menlo Park, California. The new design has bigger images and places more emphasis on visual content, which is what Facebook thinks users want their profiles to center around.

Limited rollout starts on the web today. Users can join a wait list here and could be selected to try the changes before they’re launched for the masses. A broader audience may see the changes in the next few weeks.

A Personalized Newspaper

Zuckerberg described the new design as a personal newspaper. Users will now have a Photos Feed showing every single photo friends are posting in chronological order. Another feed addition is the Following Feed. On the Following Feed users will see all the posts from pages and public figures they like on Facebook in chronological order. Local businesses, large brands and celebrities will be included on this feed.

Links will change to make articles and attachments more prominent and noticeable on profiles. Publishers logos will be visibly included on posted links. When someone become friends with someone else, the new design will show a bigger profile photo and show the friends users have in common included on their feed.

Site navigation will change in this redesign. Calling it Global Navigation, they’ll allow users to go through one page to another without having to go back to the homepage. Also, users can choose the feed they want to view from a drop down switcher menu at the top of the page.

Goodbye Clutter

Facebook product design manager Julie Zhou emphasized the need to rid the news feed of clutter. Depending on the things and pages you’ve liked on Facebook in the past, they want to show you trending articles that are most relevant to you.

Zuckerberg told reporters in a Q&A session after the presentation, “I think it’s almost 60 percent of people who use Facebook come back every day.” Facebook wants to build on these stellar numbers because the result is more monetary value for the company.

Mobile Consistency

Another big focus of the presentation was mobile consistency. The company is finally combating that users want Facebook to look and feel the same on every format: PC, tablet and mobile. It’s important for Facebook designers to provide a platform that publishers and brands can know how their content will look across all screens.

Tablet and phone navigation won’t change much, but instead the desktop version was designed with mobile in mind. Facebook knows the numbers. Web traffic is moving to mobile. Mobile traffic is predicted to beat desktop traffic in a few years. This design seems to have been created with that prediction in mind.

The Questions and Concerns

Quite a few questions remain after this announcement.

What about Edgerank?  Edgerank is the ranking algorithm Facebook used to determine what updates users would see in the past. Facebook said they aren’t changing anything about the ranking algorithm. From the presentation, the new feeds will feature posts in chronological order. So, at this point there’s a disconnect.

How will the new design impact ads? Zhou said the redesign will make ads richer like everything else. There has to be a monetary incentive  to this redesign. The new news feed will allow for larger, more visual brand advertsing that companies should enjoy. Also, users should be able to see all your brand’s updates in the Following Feed, if they choose to look at it… I’m concerned this change could negatively impact how brand’s interact with customers on Facebook, but we’ll only know for sure after we can experiment with it ourselves.

Check back with Smirk in the coming weeks for more information on how Facebook’s news feed redesign might impact how your brand reaches its audience.


06 Mar

Social media shakeups: Changes hit Facebook, Tumblr grows, Google+ goes on…

Allie Carrick Facebook, Google Plus, Google+, LinkedIn, social media, Twitter, Uncategorized, YouTube 4 Comments

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 became the first nonprofit and US children’s company YouTube channel to reach one billion views.

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?



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