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The Total Image Group   ...Business Alchemists

A regularly updated resource of information and news items.

Posts Tagged ‘Social Media’

How important is video content to a business in 2014?

Posted Friday, January 17th, 2014

For starters, all marketers know that they need to be present in the same places as their audience. And, if the rocketing numbers of users on these new social video sites are anything to go by, some of the hottest seats in town can be found there.

  • It expands your reach

Being visible on these channels opens your brand up to new audiences and, therefore, new potential customers. Platforms such as YouTube and Vimeo have a staggering amount of users (YouTube has over 1bn unique users and is the second biggest search engine in the world), too, and by not reaching out to them you are cutting yourself off from a huge portion of the internet. In fact, five tweets per second contain a Vine link. That’s hard to ignore.

  • It puts you in favour with Google

It’s not just your audience that will appreciate the implementation of video, Google will too. The number one search engine no longer favours static websites. Instead, it places more emphasis on sites that produce consistently fresh, quality content, particularly rich content like video.
These days, sites have to be dynamic and interactive to stand any chance of being heard above the noise.

  • It’s easily digestible

Content today needs to be quickly and easily digestible, where the consumer has to put in minimal effort. People are hungry for information, but they don’t want to have to work too hard to get it.

  • It’s being used by your competitors

This was a good year for video, but it’s set to get even bigger next year. The 2013 video marketing trends report found that 93% of marketing professionals used online video in their strategies this year, with even more implementing it in 2014.

  • It makes a positive impact on your brand

If the points above haven’t persuaded you to start playing with video, then this certainly will. The video marketing trends report states that 82% of the marketers surveyed said that implementing video content in their marketing strategy had a positive impact on their business or organisation.

  • Conclusion

So, it seems that whatever your business goal is, video can help you get there; it reaches new audiences, puts you on good terms with Google, and provides snippets of useful content to your audience.

Perhaps most importantly, though, it adds another dimension to your content strategy, keeping things fresh, interesting, and memorable so that people keep returning. Not to mention you don’t want to be left behind your competition.


5 social media metrics that your business should be tracking

Posted Friday, November 1st, 2013

1. Reach

Metric to track: Audience Growth Rate

Tracking benefit: Directly connect social media data with business’ profits

Related metrics: Audience Growth, Total Followers

One item you should pay attention to is your Audience Growth Rate. A refinement of New Followers or similar stats, expressed in percent-change over time, the growth rate of your audience depicts your social media momentum

2. Engagement

Metric to track: Average Engagement Rate

Tracking benefit: Make engagement numbers meaningful and actionable

Related metrics: Reach, Overall Engagement, Audience Growth Rate

As your Audience Growth Rate follows a positive level of growth, you also need to ensure that you’re speaking to the right people – and that those people are listening.

3. Acquisition

Metric to track: Visitor Frequency Rate

Tracking benefit: Optimize targeting of new and returning visitors

Related metrics: Click-Thru Rate, Impressions from Social Media

Although total acquisitions from Twitter and Facebook are far lower than from organic Google search, the Return Visit % demonstrates these network’s unique value to your business.

4. Conversion

Metric to track: Assisted Social Conversions

Tracking benefit: Directly connect social media data with business’ profits

Related metrics: Last Click (Direct) Conversions

Beyond getting visitors to your brand’s website and then getting them to return, you should clearly define goals for how you want these visitors to convert into sales or other desired actions.

5. Activity

Metric to track: Customer Service Savings

Tracking benefit: Show impact on business’ bottom line

Related Metrics: Customer Service Costs, Social Media Posts

Go beyond post counts and content types to connect social media activity with profits. Combine your social media data with other data related to your business, and derive information like Customer Service Savings. Your business’ savings from social media equal the average time to complete traditional customer service, multiplied by hourly cost of customer service. Repeated 100 or 1000 times over, this translates to significant savings for your business.

Avg. Time x Costs Per Hour x Customer Service Inquiries Completed = Savings

(If you’d like to get even more precise, subtract out the costs of answering those inquiries through social media)


More Than Half Of Online Adults Watch Video On Social Media

Posted Friday, October 11th, 2013

 

Pew Internet Research published a new study on online video.  Some interesting findings:

  • 78% of adults internet users watch or download online videos, up from 69% who did so in 2009.
  • Comedy/Humor is the most popular genre of video content online
  • 57% of online adults (ages 18-49) watch videos on social media; 28% publish video to social media.
  • 41% of cell phone owners watch mobile video, compared to only 8% who check-in to locations using their phone.

 


Need a kidney? Please RT

Posted Friday, September 27th, 2013

Social media is changing organ donation

At any given time, upwards of 100,000 people across the US are awaiting an organ transplant — and now some of them have figured out how to jump to the front of the line. By launching online petitions or soliciting donors on Facebook, some patients are able to find an organ they desperately need faster than conventional means usually allow.

The phenomenon is raising new questions and concerns for doctors and bioethicists, some of whom worry that social media threatens to turn organ donation into “a popularity contest.” In the US, the distribution of organs from deceased individuals is carefully orchestrated in an effort to be as equitable as possible: recipients are selected based on factors like medical need and ability to withstand the procedure itself. But as The New Yorker points out, living donors can decide who gets their organ — and such decisions are increasingly influenced by online entreaties.

 


Google+ overtakes Twitter to become second biggest US social network

Posted Thursday, June 6th, 2013

Google+ has achieved attained a significant milestone in the US after it opened up a 10 per cent lead over the micro blogging service amongst both men and women with personal social media accounts.

The research, conducted by Burst Media, confirmed that women remain the most enthusiastic social media users being six per cent more likely to have a Facebook account than men with the biggest disparity being Pinterest where 22 per cent of women have an account versus just 5 per cent of men.

It was the strength of Google+ in the poll which grabbed attention with fully 24.5 per cent of men and 26.1 per cent of women holding an account, significantly more than the respective figures of 15.5 per cent and 16.9 per cent for Twitter.

 


25% Of People Say Birthday ‘Success’ Is Based On How Much Social Media Love You Get

Posted Thursday, May 23rd, 2013

A quarter of people say that the number of messages they receive is the main way they would measure the success of their birthday, research from gift card company One4All has found.

The research discovered that 76 per cent will post a greeting to friends on social media, but only 20 per cent said they expected to receive a birthday card through the post.

Declan Byrne, managing director UK of One4all, said: “Social media now plays a huge part in all of our lives and it’s interesting to see how it has impacted on the traditional birthday.

“It’s a social shift that is affecting many businesses who provide a service linked to birthday celebrations. For example, it’s led to us creating online group gifting, where friends can come together through social media to contribute to a joint gift.”

A third of people say that they find their own birthdays stressful and would rather celebrate someone else’s, while only 15 per cent say they would always have a birthday cake.


Apps to get excited about in 2013

Posted Friday, May 17th, 2013

With thousands of new apps being released daily, it takes a lot to stand out. We’ve downloaded and tried five apps that are creating a buzz and offered our thoughts. Lets us know if you agree….

1. Wanelo

The new… Pinterest
Pinterest allows you to drool over pretty things on a photo-bulletin style site that tells your followers what you’re drooling over. Wanelo (short for “Want Need Love”) takes the photo-bulletin style design that has made Pinterest so popular and made it more practical. Click on one of the freshly styled images and the site redirects you to an online shop, where you can purchase what you’ve just added to your wishlist.

Verdict: 2/5 but that’s only because it’s heavily biased to fashion that doesn’t suit me but may well appeal to younger people

2. Vine

The new… Instagram
The app encourages you not to just take a photo, but to film a three to six second clip, and posts it on a loop.  With GIF-based memes everywhere online, the app is a smart and user-friendly way to create your own; whether that’s for promoting a Hollywood blockbuster or just you taking a sip of your beer.

Verdict: 3/5 I think it’s a great tool and could be very useful for lots of puposes but it hasn’t had the uptake you’d expect which suggests it’s not particuarly popular with tweeters

3. Snapchat

The new… Whatsapp
The photo messaging app is on almost every twenty-something’s smartphone and if not, then they’re all talking about it. The app lets you send photos with added captions and doodles – but the killer function is the ability to set a time limit of up to ten seconds for how long recipients can view their photos for, after which it is deleted from the recipient’s device and the company’s servers.

Verdict: 4/5 snapchat has grown quickly and whilst it took me some time to grow a fondness for it, the number of my contacts and facebook freinds who have joined in recent weeks has been huge. It’s a simple app, easy to use and a lot of fun- what more do you want from an app?

4. Tinder

The new… Chat Roulette
The app will show you people in your area which you can either anonymously like or pass on. It then lets the other person know and if your profile tickles their fancy, they’ll like you back and you can begin chatting within the app. You can take it from there…

Verdict: 4/5 I discovered this app in San Francisco when it had just been released and it had a huge immediate uptake. It’s been much slower in the UK but it’s a great app for people a little nervous about using sites like POF that throws you in the deep end

5. #music

The new… Spotify
After the launch of Vine, the second  new app from Twitter is generating a lot of excitement in the music industry.  The app has integrated recommendations that show which artists are trending as well as up and coming musicians.

Verdict: 3/5 potentially I think this app could be huge but right now it’s not quite there yet- maybe because I’m not willing to accept that that my suggested list includes Janet Jackson, Nelly Furtado and Emma Bunton (busted!). A great way to discover music and like you can preview music in the app. Definitely one for the future and it’s rating is likely to increase


What type of social media user are you?

Posted Friday, April 12th, 2013

New research shows heavy Facebook and Twitter users can suffer withdrawal symptoms when forced to go cold turkey. It also highlights 12 distinct types of social media users: which one are you?

1. The Ultras: For many habitual social media users, the networks are their primary communications link to family and friends, so the enforced changes did, in some cases, make them feel isolated. Some felt the feelings of isolation from the first few days, while for others those feelings were triggered later in the experiment by missing out on information, or a conversation, that had taken place on their networks.

2. The Deniers: ‘Deniers’ are those who maintain social media doesn’t control their lives. They reckon they can easily live without it. The reality, however, is very different. Whenever they can’t access their favourite network for an extended period, they become anxious and feel cut off from the rest of the world.

3. The Dippers: Although more than half the UK population is signed up to Facebook or Twitter, not all are regular users. ‘Dippers’ access their pages infrequently, often going days – or even weeks – without tweeting or posting an update.

4. The Virgins: Every day, new people are signing up to social networks. These ‘Virgins’ are taking their first tentative steps in social media. They can often struggle initially to get to grips with the workings of Facebook and Twitter, and until they build up their own networks of friends and followers they may question why they’ve joined. The first couple of months will determine whether they go on to become Ultras!

5. The Lurkers: Hiding in the shadows of cyberspace, they watch what others are saying on social networks but rarely (if ever) participate themselves. They will complain publicly about the ‘mundane drivel’ that is posted, and privately they worry they don’t have anything interesting to say, but they keep an eye on others’ conversations.

6. The Peacocks: A ‘Peacock’ can be easily recognised on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram because they see social networks as an opportunity to show everyone just how popular they are. They judge their social standing on how many followers or fans they have, and the aim of each post or tweet is to secure as many ‘likes’ or re-tweets as possible.

7. The Ranters: Often meek and mild in face-to-face conversations, ‘Ranters’ are highly opinionated online. Social media platforms allow them to articulate their strong opinions without having to worry about how others will react. They may be former bloggers, but Twitter gives them the opportunity to rant to a much larger audience.

8. The Ghosts: Some people on social networks like to participate in conversations but are worried about giving out personal information to strangers. On Twitter, these ‘Ghosts’ create usernames that allow them to remain largely anonymous, while on Facebook they have noticeably sparse profiles and timelines.

9. The Changelings: For some people, being anonymous online isn’t enough. They also adopt very different personalities, confident in the knowledge (or so they think) that no-one knows their real identity.

10. The Quizzers: ‘Quizzers’ like to ask questions on Facebook and Twitter – not because they actually want to know the answers, but because asking questions allows them to start conversations. They may fear being “left out” by not having anything interesting to say, so asking questions gives them the opportunity to contribute and be involved.

11. The Informers: Information is currency in social media. Being the first to spot something interesting and pass it on earns you kudos and – just as importantly – more followers and fans. ‘Informers’ scan social media and news sites, looking for any new stories, offers, videos etc they can share with their audience.

12. The Approval-seekers: This group worry about how many likes/comments/re-tweets they get when they post a message or update, because they link that endorsement to their popularity. After posting a message they will constantly check their feeds and timelines, and will fret until people start to respond.


Will giving up social media for a week cleanse your soul?

Posted Monday, March 18th, 2013

Russian Orthodox church advises people to avoid Instagram and Twitter when annual period of self-denial begins next week

The Russian Orthodox Church has long told its followers to give up milk and meat for Lent but when the annual period of self-denial begins on Monday its leaders want the flock to go one stage further.

There should be no tweeting or instagramming of the experience – and no social media at all, in order to better cleanse the soul, according to church spokesman, Vsevolod Chaplin.

Interestingly, Maureen Henderson did exactly that last September for a month and documented it in her article 3 Reasons you Should Quit Social Media in 2013. She claimed the 3 main reasons people should reconsider devoting so much time to social networking were: 1) it harms your self-esteem 2) your blood pressure will thank you and 3) online is no substiture for offline.

It’s an interesting thought and I’m beginning to see and hear more people who are threatening to leave social networks, particualry Facebook, but very few following through for any length as after all, it’s the centre of keeping up to date with the people, businesses and interests they enjoy staying up to date with.
So did we adopt social media too quickly and are the cracks now appearing? It’s quite possible that activity is just levelling out as it was never going to be possible to maintain the explosive rates of growth. As a business, there’s still no choice but to join social networks and have your business represented to the highest standard with significant activity. So why the call for people to leave social media when it’s so important?
It has to surely be assessed as to how people use the various platforms and with what motives. I know of people who reguarly remove posts if it has not received as many likes or comments as they would like. This type of use is a far cry from the hugely beneficial attributes social networking has to offer, such as keeping up with breaking news and engaging with our sporting heroes, it’s a darker side to social media use. It’s no wonder then that social media is critisized and people threaten to adandon the platforms. But with everything used correctly, social media is an indespensible tool for personal and business use.
We should remember that causes like red nose day was undoubtedly helped by Facebook and Twitter as people spread messages and encouraged people to donate.  It is the ideal way to keep up to date with your industryand talk to the brands you are buying from. Yes it can be misused, like everything else but that shouldn’t threaten why it is such an important part of our lives now and how with the right balance, social media can improve, not distrupt our lives.

Looking for love this Valentine’s Day? Buy a Facebook girlfriend for only $5

Posted Thursday, February 14th, 2013

Forget wasting £5, or even £15, on an oversized novelty stuffed teddy this Valentine’s Day, even if it sings Unchained Melody when you push its paw. Dave Lee, of the BBC, found that for only $5 you can buy make-believe online love.

While conducting research, Lee came across a number of sites offering varying degrees off fake girlfriend services. After discovering Namoro Fake and Cloud Girlfriend couldn’t offer him the fabricated social media solicitude he was seeking, he turned to Google and happened upon Fiverr.

Fiverr is a US-based site-come-forum where people list things they are willing to do for $5 and after a quick search for “fake girlfriend”, Lee laid eyes on Sophia and the rest is history. Well, a whole week’s worth of history because that’s all the $5 gets you.

In addition, an organisation called ‘Cloud Girlfriend’ can provide lonely souls with the ‘change in relationship status’ that they so badly need and want during this difficult time of year. Cloud Girlfriend allows you to pick your ideal date from a list of possibilities – and then give them the dream-selection of attributes that would make any of your friends jealous.

Would you go to these lengths?

 

 

 


 
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