Category Archives: Uncategorized

Cyber Monday… Extended!

Cyber Monday, online shopping the Monday following Thanksgiving and Black Friday has been noted as the biggest shopping day of the entire year for 2013. Many stores reported numbers doubling from 2012 as users headed to their computers Monday morning to score the best deal from clothing to tech toys and everywhere in between. Don’t be bummed if you missed your favorite shopping specials yesterday, as many major retailers have extended their sales to cyber Tuesday and even cyber week. These stores are offering discounts on big ticket items and small purchase throughout the store. Check out the link below and learn where you can get the best holiday deals online and in-store throughout this week. Happy Shopping!

http://www.usatoday.com/videos/news/2013/12/03/3851029/

The Internet is No Longer “Completely Over”

Back in 2010, a man declared that, “The internet’s completely over.” Ordinarily this would not have been newsworthy but the man was Prince, he was wearing white silk trousers, and he backed up his words with actions.

He shut down his website, refused to distribute his music through digital platforms like iTunes, and became involved in multiple lawsuits against YouTube, eBay and the Pirate Bay because he felt that they promoted piracy.

This past March his record label filed a copyright complaint against Twitter under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, over eight Vine clips that featured his music.

And within the past two weeks? Prince sent his first tweet, then his second, and then his third:

He then sent a tweet that combined a few of his least favorite things: online music downloads, YouTube, and his own website. Oh, and he also released the cover art for his new single, which looked like this:

Back in 2010 when he declared his dislike for the internet and all things digital, Prince was quoted as saying, “Anyway, all these computers and digital gadgets are no good. They just fill your head with numbers and that can’t be good for you.”

While some are hailing Prince’s appearance on Twitter as proof that Hell has frozen over, it may be as simple as those numbers. When you make a living on the number of records, tickets and merch sold, numbers can be very important. Some numbers to consider:

$16.5 Billion

Global music sales rose by 0.3% to $16.5 billion in 2012, driven in part by digital downloads. This is the first time the industry has grown since 1999.

70%

Download sales represent around 70% of overall digital music revenues.

20 Million

The number of times PSY’s Gangnam Style video has been viewed on YouTube, helping make it the 3rd best-selling single in the world, in 2012.

A man can buy a lot of pancakes with those kind of sales.

Top 5 Tips for a Professional Video Chat Experience

As a company we often find ourselves moving at the speed of technology. When we’re not beta testing a new posting and analytics tool, we’re figuring out how to automate data collection and comparison for analysis. All of that testing and figuring requires a lot of collaboration and idea sharing. One of the best ways that we’ve found to do that has been to use video chats. They’ve been a great way for everyone to get “face to face” without getting on a plane, train or elephant.

Like any tool, video chats are only effective when they’re used properly. We’ve put together five tips to help you have a professional and business appropriate video chat experience.

1. Remove Distractions
Video chats are the halfway point between phone calls and in-person meetings. Find a place that is quiet, without people walking in and out of the frame. The focus should be on the conversation, not the background noise. To that point – know when to mute your microphone or put on a headset.

2. Look into the Camera
Eye contact is just as important in a video chat as it is in person. Don’t fiddle at your desk, pace, or browse the web. Try and sit still and maintain eye contact – even if you’re on a device that allows you to move around. Just because technology allows you to host a video chat from the elliptical, does not mean that you should.

3. Frame Yourself
Think in terms of in-person conversations. You would not sit so close to someone that your face would be the only thing that they see or so far away that they would need to strain to see you. Think about how newscasters are framed when they’re sitting at their desks – your head, shoulders and the top of your torso should be visible on the screen. The lighting should be clear (don’t lurk in the shadows) and the background should be simple, without anything inappropriate creeping into the frame.

4. Dress Appropriately
Your outfit should be something that you would wear if the meeting were to take place in person.

5. Understand the Platform
Keep in mind that when you reference something on your screen, the person you’re speaking to may not be able to see it. Most video chat services allow for screen sharing, making it easy to reference something in front of the group as a whole.

Bonus Tip: if you’re using a video chat tool for the first time, test it with a friend and work out the bugs before using it in a business setting.

With Chromecast, Will Google Own the Second-Screen?

People are hungry for flexibility in the way that they consume media.

The potential reach of online mobile video has created significant marketplace opportunities, with companies like Facebook and Twitter trying to get into the video realm with apps like Vine and Instagram video. The “want it now” generation, wants it now, and they want it to be big. So when streaming videos and movies onto a computer, phone or tablet isn’t enough, people look to streaming to the old living room standby – the television.

 

Chromecast connects mobile devices to televisions, bringing the mobile video experience to the living room. Google is not the first to create a tool that allows users to connect their smartphones, tablets and laptops to their television sets. While the idea of streaming online video to your television via mobile devices isn’t groundbreaking, Google’s approach may just make them the masters of the Second Screen experience.

From a pricing perspective, at $35 the Google Chromecast is the cheapest option on the market. Apple TV, which at $99 is still a relatively affordable piece of technology, is significantly more expensive than the new alternative. Google has also made Chromecast compatible with multiple devices, whether Android or iOS.

 

With the potential to capitalize on major revenue and advertisement, there is a mutually beneficial outcome for companies and brands that support Chromecast integration. The benefit to Google is a more desirable product and the benefit to the publishers and rights holders is an expanded audience. More content is a benefit for consumers who have come to expect integration and flexibility between devices, and have a growing appetite for mobile video content. Consumers seem to have a strong appetite for Chromecast, which has already sold out on Amazon.com and BestBuy.com.

Though this may sound like a dream come true for consumers, there are some legal obstacles that need to be worked through. Gaining rights from networks and other apps to allow integration and broadcast with Chromecast is not a guarantee.

While YouTube is a powerhouse of online video content and is heavily consumed on mobile, Google is looking beyond the content that they own. Chromecast launched with access to both YouTube and Netflix, and rumors have been swirling about which publishers will join them next. They are reportedly in talks with HBO about providing access to HBO Go and are said to be adding Redbox Instant in addition to Hulu, Blip, Vevo and Devour.

Chromecast will be a point of long-term growth for Google, and for anyone who partners up and agrees to utilize the advertising potential. Consumers will become promoters for their favorite shows, songs and videos by sharing them on the big screen in their homes. Interestingly, as much as the integration of mobile and television will mean more opportunities for second-screen engagement, it may also mean more offline sharing in social settings. The reach of a television screen in a crowded room is greater than that of a 4 inch screen.

Facebook Finally Features Hashtags

Ready for some #awesome #Facebook #news?

Starting June 12, hashtags became clickable on Facebook.

Facebook is unrolling a series of features that allow users to engage with the interesting discussions people are having about public events, people, and topics. The spearheading feature is, of course, hashtags. Continue reading

Censorship is not a social media marketing strategy

What can brands learn from the recent outbreak of violence in Turkey?

You can’t control what people put on the internet.

If you’ve been paying attention to world news at all, then you probably know about the peaceful protest turned violent in Turkey. The Turkish government has censored it from the media but scores of first-hand accounts turned up on social media. Continue reading

Google is pushing Google+ and marketers are listening.

Thanks to the massive emphasis on Author Rank and Authorship, Google+ was hailed by many experts as one of the biggest content marketing trends to watch in 2013.

A cursory search on Alexa reveals that Google is #1 in traffic with Google+ comprising more than 8% of their total traffic.

To put that into perspective, Facebook ranks #2. YouTube ranks #3. Twitter ranks #12. LinkedIn ranks #14. Instagram ranks #60.

According to Business Insider May 1, 2013, Google + has now surpassed Twitter, in terms of active users. They report that Google+ now boasts 359 million active users, up 33 percent from 269 million users at the end of June 2012, according to GlobalWebIndex.

Google+, while significantly younger than Facebook, still lags behind the social media giant, which boasts more than one billion monthly active users. Continue reading

Social Media Lessons from Amy’s Baking Company Bakery Boutique & Bistro

How you behave in response to stress is a great indicator of your true character. This applies to social media as much as it does offline.

You may remember our blog post from the beginning of April on The Top 5 Ways Brands Can Annoy Customers. Continue reading

Handling Social Media in the Wake of a Crisis

In the wake of horrific national disasters that have struck our country from 9/11 to Sandy Hook, and most recently, the Boston Marathon bombings, brands across the globe now understand that how they handle their social media efforts in response to national tragedies is critical.

Discussing a tragedy while the smoke is still in the air can often come across as callous, and mishandling the situation can ruin a brand image. Should brands go silent? Should they directly address or reference the tragedy? If so, how should they do so? Continue reading