Category Archives: The Social (Media) Life

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Your Digital Guide to World Cup 2014

Fútbol fans from all over the world will have their eyes, ears and minds in Brazil for the next month during the 2014 World Cup. Thanks to the magic of social media, smart devices and the Internet, fans don’t have to miss any of the action on the field or be glued to the television.

We’ve scoured the web and put together this digital guide to help you find the best places to watch the matches no matter what country or city you’re in, must-have apps and all the hashtags you need.

World Cup Pup

Best Places to Watch the World Cup

Pinterest's Best places to watch the World CupThe folks over at Pinterest have been busy collecting data from ESPN, TripAdvisor, Conde Nast Traveler and regular citizens of the internet in order to offer up suggestions for the best places to watch the World Cup all around globe. If you’ve got a suggestion to add to their boards, there’s still time to let the world know about the Beckham of bars in your area.

DIY World Cup Party Planning

World Cup Gingerbread MenSpeaking of Pinterest, it’s the perfect social platform for quickly finding creative ideas to host your own World Cup-themed party. Whether your artistic expertise is good enough to build a gigantic meat stadium or your skills are limited to printing out flags to attach to toothpicks, there are ideas for everyone. We’ve even got our own World Cup Party Planning board to get you started!

World Cup Facebook Hub

Facebook Trending World CupThe party has already started on Facebook’s “Trending #WorldCup” hub. According to a recent internal report, there are 48.9 million soccer fans on Facebook in the US alone and they are almost twice as likely to share photos, updates and comments than the average Facebook user. Of course, it’s not just the fans sharing updates, the athletes have been busy updating their statuses, giving a behind-the-scenes look at what’s happening in Rio through pictures and videos, engaging with fans and even showing off some of the creative ways fans are cheering them on.

Tim Cahill World Cup Facebook Post

Twitter Brings Back #WorldCup HashFlags

Shakira shares Twitter's HashFlag updateTwitter users can add the flags of the world to their tweets by using the hashtag in front of the three letter country code of their choice. Add some red, white and blue to your posts simply by adding #USA to your tweet.

They’ve also made it easy to keep tabs on your favorite teams, players, coaches, news outlets and other fans with match timelines. Here’s what Twitter’s blog has to say:

The World Cup and match timelines make it easy to stay up to date with the World Cup –– search for or tap on #WorldCup or #WorldCup2014 to view them. In the World Cup timeline, you can view Tweets related to the World Cup from people in your network, along with relevant Tweets from teams, players, coaches, press, fans in the stadiums and celebrities.

The match timeline shows Tweets about specific matches that are happening in real time to help you keep up with the latest goals, saves, fouls and more — even if you’re not near a TV. And if you want to only view Tweets with photos and videos, just choose the photos-only view.

Here’s a quick list of the official hashtags and accounts to keep on hand:
#worldcup
#Brazil2014
#GoSocceroos
@FifaWorldCup
@Fifacom
@Brazuca
@Socceroos
@FFA
For more ways to follow the World Cup on Twitter, check out this post from the Twitter blog.

World Cup Apps, Calendars and Where to Stream

2014 World Cup Apps

Looking for the best World Cup apps to download? Mashable listed their top six apps with live updates, player profiles, match schedules and more.

Need an easy way to add all of the scheduled matches to your Google calendar? Nick Summers from The Next Web put together this quick guide for importing an existing World Cup schedule calendar into your account that will ensure you don’t miss any of the free kicks, red cards or goals.

If you don’t have a Google calendar or don’t feel like importing the one mentioned above, you can use this pocket World Cup schedule for all of the match-ups.

If you’ll be chained to your desk at game time, don’t want to share in the excitement with strangers or saved room in your apartment by getting rid of your TV set, U.S. fans can still live stream all 64 World Cup matches at ESPN and Univision Deportes. You can also download the ESPN Go app to stream gameplay on multiple devices including Android, Apple, Chromecast, Roku, Windows 8 and more. Canadian fans and those with Canadian VPN access will be able to stream all of the matches via the CBC website.

Now that you’ve got your digital & social guide to the World Cup, all that’s left to do is enjoy.

World Cup FlagsWorld Cup Excitement

Ronaldo Goal

All Work and No Play Makes Jack a Dull Brand

Make Me Social’s Phil Grech named his blog The Social Media Mullet because, like the hairstyle, it will discuss the fusion of “business” and “casual” under the banner of online communications.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! Guess what I’m going to write about?

That’s right: not Thanksgiving. Even better, I’m going to write about why we should not be afraid to be ourselves – even online – even if you are a business.

Defining and refining the voice of the brand begins in the onboarding process. The onboarding process involves a lot of information, but one of the more critical parts is defining the voice. Every brand should have their own unique voice. Depending on the client, we suggest a possible position on the sliding scale of how our tone should come across when writing content.

Let’s say that one side of the scale is professional and the opposite side is personal. You never want to be completely on one side or the other. Rather, you want to adjust to be somewhere in the middle, perhaps leaning more strongly on one side or the other. A financial corporation would do better leaning on the professional side, while a fun, hip restaurant would do better leaning on the personal side. In both situations however, neither lose touch with one side or the other.

This is what works. This is what we have seen work. This is what we have tried, tested, and proven to work. But sometimes, people feel that their voice should be “all professional, no personal.”

I understand the hesitation to relax and loosen up a bit. It’s your company in someone else’s hands.  And the people who want “all professional, no personal” have great intentions. But it doesn’t work. As an example, take a look at this clip from The Office.

Funny, right? But it also makes a point.

Social media is an ongoing conversation. Social media directly reflects how we communicate in person, as human beings. In fact, the success of a social media site will partially depend on how well it can best replicate the process of human interaction. Replicating this process online is a difficult endeavor considering scientists are still studying and trying to figure out the experience in and of itself.

There is one thing we can easily extract from human interaction however. It’s that we want to know that the people we are talking to are people. We want to know that the people we are interacting with have a voice. No one wants to communicate with talking heads (except for The Talking Heads). We want personality. We want charm. We want a little style and flavor.

The people are asking for it, so don’t be afraid. Give it to them. If you’re going to have a brand, you’re going to have a voice. Let that voice be heard.

——–

Phil Grech is a Content Manager for Make Me Social. He published his first book, “Don’t Waste Your Hands”, in 2009. He studied English and Philosophy at Flagler College. In his spare time, he reads, works out, drinks an unhealthy amount of coffee, and searches for good conversation.

The Social (Media) Life: Where were you?

Fill in the blank. Where were you when  _________?

Most people pose this question in relationship to “9/11′ or ‘when Kennedy was shot’, but here’s what I want to know: Where were you when you first heard about Facebook?  Before you answer (preferably in the comments section below), I know you weren’t glued to the TV that day and you probably didn’t call your friends and family to share the news. However, while in no way do I mean irreverence to the two tragedies previously mentioned, you must admit, in the past seven years, Facebook has truly changed the way people view communications.

Oh yes, you read that correctly…FACEBOOK HAS BEEN AROUND FOR SEVEN YEARS!  Can you believe it? I feel old! I remember I was sitting in French class my senior year of high school when my friend told me about Facebook. She said it was a little like MySpace…but cooler. It was exclusively for college students, so to join you had to be invited by someone you knew. She said she would send an invite that night when she got home. So that was the day I joined. Not very spectacular, I know, but 6 years later, Facebook has come a long way and so has my use of it. It has proven to be not just a fad and that it is willing to adapt and change as it continues to grow.

Back then, Facebook was called The Facebook (something that I had completely forgotten about until I was reminiscing for this post). Here’s a look at how the website has grown from social media concept to to social media giant.

  • February 4, 2004 – TheFacebook.com launches at Harvard University.
  • June 2004 – The Facebook moves to Palo Alto, California
  • September 2004 – The “Groups” application is added and the “Wall” makes its debut.
  • December 2004 – Facebook reaches 1 million users.

  • August 2005 – TheFacebook becomes Facebook.com.
  • September 2005 – Facebook expands to high school students.
  • October 2005 – The Photos application makes its debut.
  • December 2005 – Facebook reaches 5.5 million users.

Source: Mashable

Because I joined Facebook so early on this timeline, I understand that I am in an age bracket that some consider historic. My peers and I grew up alongside (and with) social media, and we helped it mature just as it helped us mature. Being part of this demographic truly gives me a unique perspective on the evolution of the medium, and as I have transitioned from using it solely for personal reasons to now using it as a business tool, my perspective has evolved as well.

Chances are, somewhere on this timeline, you created a profile and started connecting to people, but do you remember when? This brings me back to my original question: Where were YOU when you first heard about Facebook?

______________________________________________________________

Gerrilyn Koontz became a full time content manager for Make Me Social after graduating from The Pennsylvania State University in 2009.  Originally from Birmingham, Alabama, she is happy to be back in the South living in Anderson, South Carolina with her husband Erick.

The Social (Media) Life: Where were you?

Fill in the blank. Where were you when  _________?

Most people pose this question in relationship to “9/11′ or ‘when Kennedy was shot’, but here’s what I want to know: Where were you when you first heard about Facebook?  Before you answer (preferably in the comments section below), I know you weren’t glued to the TV that day and you probably didn’t call your friends and family to share the news. However, while in no way do I mean irreverence to the two tragedies previously mentioned, you must admit, in the past seven years, Facebook has truly changed the way people view communications.

Oh yes, you read that correctly…FACEBOOK HAS BEEN AROUND FOR SEVEN YEARS!  Can you believe it? I feel old! I remember I was sitting in French class my senior year of high school when my friend told me about Facebook. She said it was a little like MySpace…but cooler. It was exclusively for college students, so to join you had to be invited by someone you knew. She said she would send an invite that night when she got home. So that was the day I joined. Not very spectacular, I know, but 6 years later, Facebook has come a long way and so has my use of it. It has proven to be not just a fad and that it is willing to adapt and change as it continues to grow.

Back then, Facebook was called The Facebook (something that I had completely forgotten about until I was reminiscing for this post). Here’s a look at how the website has grown from social media concept to to social media giant.

  • February 4, 2004 – TheFacebook.com launches at Harvard University.
  • June 2004 – The Facebook moves to Palo Alto, California
  • September 2004 – The “Groups” application is added and the “Wall” makes its debut.
  • December 2004 – Facebook reaches 1 million users.

  • August 2005 – TheFacebook becomes Facebook.com.
  • September 2005 – Facebook expands to high school students.
  • October 2005 – The Photos application makes its debut.
  • December 2005 – Facebook reaches 5.5 million users.

Source: Mashable

Because I joined Facebook so early on this timeline, I understand that I am in an age bracket that some consider historic. My peers and I grew up alongside (and with) social media, and we helped it mature just as it helped us mature. Being part of this demographic truly gives me a unique perspective on the evolution of the medium, and as I have transitioned from using it solely for personal reasons to now using it as a business tool, my perspective has evolved as well.

Chances are, somewhere on this timeline, you created a profile and started connecting to people, but do you remember when? This brings me back to my original question: Where were YOU when you first heard about Facebook?

______________________________________________________________

Gerrilyn Koontz became a full time content manager for Make Me Social after graduating from The Pennsylvania State University in 2009.  Originally from Birmingham, Alabama, she is happy to be back in the South living in Anderson, South Carolina with her husband Erick.