What do YOU think are some of the reasons to use social media? Follow us on Twitter
and let's us know.
By Shilpa Jacob
By Hannah Mathews
Twitter has proven to be a powerful social media tool for business. The platform works well across all businesses, from major national brands to mom & pop shops. Part of the Twitter success story comes from the various advertising options and price levels that make a wide variety audience demographics available. But, many businesses miss out on these opportunities because they don't understand Twitter and how it can be used to drive business. This blog is here to help- with the details to help you dive into a Twitter ad campaign.
Promoted Tweets and hashtags are Twitter’s main source of revenue, bringing in millions of dollars annually; in fact, the company is expected to exceed $400 million in ad revenue this year alone. Competition is coming on fast as Google and Facebook, are now replicating Twitter by featuring “Sponsored Stories” in a user’s news feed.
Promoted Tweets are actually ads, but instead of displaying on a webpage, they are integrated into tweets and trending topics within the Twitter feed. Businesses have the option of promoting specific tweets, trending hashtags, and individual accounts. Promoted Tweets were initially only offered in the US, but over the past few years Twitter has expanded the option to other countries.
If you are thinking about spending money on a Twitter ad campaign, here are four reasons why you will get more bang for your buck compared to other social media platforms:
1. Consumers engage with Promoted Tweets – deals and contests create the most value and incentive for a call to action.
2. Twitter followers are more loyal than Facebook fans – they buy more and refer more.
3. Twitter is more cost effective – minimum bid is $0.01 per engagement and competition is low.
4. Greater content value equals a larger audience.
So, now you might be wondering, what is the cost for your business? Twitter requires a minimum purchase of $5,000 per month with a three month minimum commitment. To gain Promoted Account status, you must bid to be listed under their “Who to Follow” list. Bidding begins at $1-$2 and increases depending on industry competition. Twitter then targets users by their posted content to determine 350 categories for marketers to use when implementing Promoted Tweets. Marketers can also target users by who they follow, geographic location, specific interests, keywords in both their tweets and Twitter feed, as well as their user name (with a limit of 100 users).
However, there is some fine print. In order to keep their users happy, Twitter maintains a conservative limit of Promoted Tweets that a user can see in their daily feed. Twitter also limits the frequency of a Promoted Tweet to one per user platform. This means that you won’t see the same ad unless you switch from using your mobile app to a different platform. Originally, Twitter required companies to post tweets to their followers before allowing them to pay to upgrade the tweet into a Promoted Tweet, which would then reach non-followers. This helped to ensure that the tweet content was more social, rather than promotional. Twitter no longer requires this initial first posting, which is beneficial for both the company and its followers since they want to attract new customers and refrain from annoying or even alienating current followers.
The most expensive advertising option on Twitter is a Promoted Trend, or hashtag. At $120,000 you get all users in the US, for one day, which equates to 25,000,000 daily impressions. This big- ticket is best for launching new products, television shows, movies, and national brands.
Sponsored Tweets are a pay-per-tweet service that was launched in 2009. As an advertiser, you can create your campaign, and then select, invite, or approve Twitter accounts to participate in the campaign. Advertisers can see the info that users provide, combined with metrics about their Twitter activity. This creates a profile of behavior that marketers use to determine who is invited and approved for Sponsored Tweets. This also gives more control to businesses by allowing them to set specific parameters regarding number of followers, follower ratio, and maximum cost. Once your campaign launches, Twitter tracks its performance and displays the results.
As a user participating in the Sponsored Tweet program, you can set your pay rate per tweet. After you have been invited to join a campaign, you will need to integrate the promotion into your daily tweets on behalf of the advertiser. Advertisers will either create content for you to tweet, or approve user tweets. Then, they pay you per tweet and/or per click. Marketers can also choose to purchase a celebrity endorsement or invite a celebrity to join the campaign to help promote their product.
As a user, you should consider some risks before committing to a marketing campaign. Here are some questions to consider. Are you compromising your credibility? Are your tweets cheapened when they are commissioned? Is objectivity on Twitter highly valued? Thinking about these ideas will help determine if Sponsored Tweets is a viable marketing option for your business, or your own personal use.
Now that you’re a Twitter advertising aficionado, you have the tools to select the best marketing options for your next social media campaign. Don’t miss out on this platform! When used to its potential, you might find yourself with incredible promotional power!
Hannah Mathews can be reached at email@example.com.
I was an unfortunate and unplanned witness to the bombing at the Boston Marathon. Friends of mine have a fantastic roof deck right on the finish line so naturally, it is an annual tradition to watch the race from there. This year, as a small group we were all at the ledge watching when we heard the first boom. I jumped when I heard it- was that a cannon? Like at the Patriot’s game? I was literally trying to rationalize the sound when the second bomb went off.
I’m not one to swear on twitter, but I tweeted this:
At that point, I was a witness to a terrible event. I tweeted this out of shock- but also so that it was clear what had happened. I was so close to the incident, I wanted people to know, it was a bomb.
You never know how you will act or re-act during times like this… and having an aerial view was a strange perspective, to say the least. With the first explosion, there was a lot of confusion and by the second, people screamed and ran for their lives. As the smoke cleared, I saw the victims on the sidewalk; from our vantage point, I could see the glass in front of the Lens Crafters and Marathon Sports stores. What had seemed like a movie scene to my stunned senses was now becoming a reality. Thankfully, the first responders—fortunate, actually, to have medical tents nearby and a street clear of cars and people-- could get to the injured as fast as possible. Within mere minutes, I could no longer see victims, just a swarm of yellow, black and orange coats. But, I still witnessed people with horrific injuries being whisked away- carried and wheeled toward the medical tents.
Police from the ground told us when to evacuate. When I left the building, I also immediately left the Back Bay (I basically did what I was told and got the hell out of there.) I did not mill about or take extra snaps of the ambulances and first responders, but many were doing just that. As I was walking home, with my cell not working, I was thinking about all the information likely being shared on social media- and praying nobody was tweeting photos of the victims like I had seen.
Unfortunately, that was exactly what was happening.
As you know, I’m deep into this social media thing. I think it’s a great way to share information- including breaking news. But, what I witnessed yesterday gave me great appreciation for the editors in this world- those who have the job and the sense to sort through horrible and inappropriate footage and know that it serves no use--and will often cause more harm. What happens in an accident and—in this case in a bombing—is not something that is easy to look at. I wish I could un-see it. And for my part, I’m very reluctant to even talk about it. I’m reluctant to share this account, because I do not want to feel that I am benefiting from a tragedy. But am I in the minority here? I was really shocked to see some of the images shared via social media. Graphic, uncensored images used without the permission of the victims and with total disregard to the feelings of those who might see the photo.
Case in point, I saw a young man who suffered terrible injuries. I did not take or post a photo. But someone did. And that unedited image was how his father learned what happened to his son. Is this ok? If so, for the sake of what? Is it breaking news to share someone’s devastating injuries or is that just a new media version of rubber necking?
This begs a very important question for us as we continue forward in these techy new media waters. We are all free to report and share exactly what we see- but is it really right to do so? Clearly people, including yours truly, are emotional when they share their own feelings. But what happens when you are sharing on behalf of someone else? And, perhaps worse, in our rush to share (because being first counts so much, you know) do we pause to consider the ramifications?
I know social media was incredibly useful for many at the race trying to find family and friends; as cell phone access was shut down, in some cases Twitter and Facebook were the only media that were operational. So, this is not an 'all-or-nothing' rant.
But as my heart breaks for the lives lost and for those injured yesterday, my heart also breaks for those who were featured in Twit Pics during an incredibly vulnerable time. Today has left me wishing that perhaps our technology didn't always enable such instant access.
let me know what you think- @twistimc
Voice inside my head:
“Mad Men on TV”- check
Two screens? No, I need three.
Exactly a year ago, I was in Nicole’s class, blessed with the topic of ‘Social TV” for my midterm project. Unknown to me, I wasn’t sure where to begin. Like all things new, I did my research. Read about it and thought, ‘Wow! This sounds interesting. It’s so new; it’s a trend that could fail or a trend that would help marketers.’ So, from then on, I continued to read any article that had the words ‘second screen’ in it and thus began my mild obsession with this burgeoning trend of multiple screen viewing.
As stated by Li Kim Goh, "Social Television is the modern term that replaces 'Interactive Television'" or even more simply put: Social Television is the state of the art and science of monitoring social-media chatter about television. Nearly 87 percent of television viewers use a second screen device while watching programs on television. Advertisers are trying to gauge how they can leverage the chatter and use this data as research but at the same time, how to prevent this new phenomenon from being a distraction during the ad slots.
So the question is, how can you keep the chatter about the product or the show? A recent article in The Australian stated that, learning about actors in a show (29.8 per cent) or seeking information about the program they were watching (23.1 per cent) were the most common types of interactions by second screen. This means that marketers need to step out of their comfort zone and incorporate new ways to interact with their audiences. For example, ads could include fun facts about the program or even on their own social media. Audiences check twitter and Facebook throughout shows so guiding them to the product fan page for an engaging conversation about the show they are watching could drive traffic and potentially increase purchase intent. Research shows that 30% of the respondents who engage in social interaction while watching television experience a more communal feeling; they are more excited about the show, and feel that it makes the viewing richer.
Social television systems are still at a conceptual stage, but are being tested as pilot versions. A prototype second screen system by Akamai Technologies presents complementary content on a smartphone or tablet that is synchronized with what’s happening on the main television screen. Users can sync their mobile devices using QR codes and view complementary content such as the price of a character’s dress almost in real time for the consumer. This is a true worth-while distraction!
A prototype of second screen concept that syncs up complimentary smartphone and tablet content with what’s happening on the main television screen by Akamai Technologies.
This new technology is predicted to be a big trend in 2013 and beyond. So while we await the next wave of hardware that will make Social TV more widespread, marketers need be creative ways to get people talking. Last year during the last episode of the popular show, Scandal the show’s creators created a hashtag for viewers to use for their chatting on twitter—resulting in 4-5 tweets per second of the episode. It was a great, measurable way to capture viewers’ responses in real time. More networks should follow suit- offering viewers unique opportunities via social, such as the opportunity to chat with cast members of popular shows like MadMen or Downton Abbey—this kind of access would not only to encourage social chatter and new engagement, but likely a deeper affinity to the products and brands affiliated with the show.
The truth is, second screen is here, but the revolution is yet to come. Wait for it… I have a feeling it’ll be big.
Let us know what you think about the second screen trend on our Facebook or Twitter.
Over last weekend I was offered the opportunity to switch to the new Facebook Timelime with News Feeds, and down the rabbit hole I went! The first thing you will notice about the new Timeline is the clean, crisp look of the page. Larger, better looking pictures are becoming prevalent on social networks, and Facebook was smart to make this change. Not only is this a good upgrade for your standard view, when you switch to just a "pictures-only" news feed, the results are outstanding as images are emphasized over words. With Facebook's ever-growing emphasis on ad dollars, the larger images will surely be a boon to brands looking to capitalize on that digital real estate.
The other major change is the new left-hand column Sidebar. This dark gray bar is in stark contrast to the old blue and white used on the rest of the site. Personally, I love the contrasting colors, but I can see how some people will find this off-putting. In addition, this sidebar pops out as needed and features a sliding function that is new to the user interface. But, I think, while this interaction may take some getting used to, overall it is a great way to keep track of your Pages, Groups, Apps and Chat menu. So, for example, to see your own Newsfeed, you just click on it at the top of the sidebar; to go home to your own Timeline, you can still click your own picture. And, for those of you who complained about too much clutter in your newsfeed, you will frankly LOVE the custom feeds. Not only do these custom feeds reduce clutter (you have more options about limiting what you see), but Facebook has taken a big step forward with privacy. These new custom feeds can be as open or as private as you choose. While the latter is not exactly new, Facebook is now actively encouraging this practice.
While the sidebar creates a more seamless experience for the average user, it will also be a big improvement for brands. Brand managers can better target users with custom groups of like-minded friends. This should result in better, more relevant ad serving.
And, if you are a Social Media Manager (and Facebook admin) in charge of many accounts and pages, the new Sidebar feature is a real plus for participation in your various groups.
Again, privacy controls are right there in the sidebar for ease of use and transparency. It seems that Facebook is finally getting wise to the concerns users have about privacy-- particularly for users who manage pages for a brand in conjunction to managing a personal account. So, this go-round rather than incur the typical backlash, Facebook preemptively put your privacy controls into the sidebar as a means to more easily opt in and out. And to give you more control over who can see what you do on Facebook.
While I believe these are all positive changes, as always, I advise our readers to re-check ALL of your privacy settings, everytime Facebook makes a major change. In the past default settings would revert to "public" which annoyed many users who had to recheck all of the photos uploaded into Facebook.
The middle layout is largely the same for individual profiles, with the cover photo and your main feed in the left-hand column. Your main “activities” feed (such as apps and other stuff you like or comment on) are in a feed in the right column. The new Graph Search Bar (coupled with the power of the new Entity Graph) is at the top, and if you don't like what is in your feed, you can search by interest for other news feeds. For the time being, the drop down menu next to your 'Home' button has the option to switch back to the old look if you don't love it. But expect that you will likely be forced to change to the new look eventually.
So, do you have the new timeline? Do you love or hate these new changes to Facebook? Give us a shout and let us know what you think!
Until next time!
If you use Pinterest, you might have noticed the changes lately that have marked the next chapter in that growing social network's life. It started with a very basic UX update at the end of last year, but make no mistake, Pinterest has it's eyes on a bigger prize than just building a better mousetrap of a site. They want to clock advertising dollars, and they are going all-out in their effort to achieve it in a way that will not drive away their loyal fans.
Pinning came into the lexicon nearly as fast as the site appeared in when it debuted 2010. New users flocked in droves, driven by the fun and immediate way the network captured the visceral sharing experience. However, in spite of the cool factor and the adoption numbers, the folks over at Pinterest knew that they had to make changes to outlive the hype. Brands were grumbling about a lack of functionality and measurement tools that are now the expected hallmarks of all social marketing.
At the end of last year, the early changes to Pinterest were eye opening, and just a hint of what was to come. Upgrading the look of the site, the quality of the image presentation and improved search functions was a bold first step. But the flurry of changes lately have definitely shaken up the status quo, and not just with the experience of the site, but marketers in particular. From a users perspective, the site is much more beautiful looking and feels immersive, not unlike the “scrapbook” concept that was first talked about when it first appeared. The dashboard and all of the key function buttons are now streamlined into one, simple dropdown box, rather than two different areas. Other new user friendly features are larger, better looking Pins, drop-down menus for categories, improved Pin - Like and Share buttons, and finally upgraded links to websites. Another feature that will please brands and fans both, is the new discovery features. By being able to see things such as other pins from a board you are Re-Pinning from, the user is more like to spend time on that board looking for other pins we like from that board. Not only does this make the experience deeper, but will keep you pinning longer and more frequently. As they say, they want to help the user "discover what you love". Mashable has a great infographic which explains this in more detail. This is a trend among social networks and you will see many form a line behind Pinterest in this way soon.
The improvement that most has marketers excited is the new array of web analytics now offered. Since Pinterest has been slow to roll out their API for developers (perhaps taking a cue from Twitter), there were not a lot of universal KPI's or even routine measurements for the site until now. Rolled out officially on March 12th, Pinterest Web Analytics will pave the way for the site to reap the monetary rewards from ad revenue, brands to better capitalize on their campaigns and average Joe and Jane users to understand their reach. To use the analytics with your personal or brand account, you have to Verify your site with Pinterest by implanting a small bug of code on your site. You can get that code and the instructions for how to go about it here. Among the crucial early KPI's available now, you can measure Pins Generated from your site, Re-pins, clicks and Reach from your boards, Recency numbers which helps monitor engagement success, Re-pins over time and unique users, and total number of clicks and pins over time by unique users. And this is only the beginning. Caveat: the new design roll out has yet to hit brand accounts and Pinboards yet, but they should get that straightened out soon. The ability to now have measurable results improves the value of Pinterest tremendously, and the ability of brands to understand the value of a Like, a Share and a Re-Pin, and what they can do differently to segment potential customers is a huge plus. Mobile users on phones and tablets will find new the new functionality nearly in sync with the desktop experience, which is also a great move.
There are some down-sides to the changes too. In order to improve the functionality of other areas, Pinterest has taken away some features, historical pinners really liked. For instance, taking away searchable Hashtags may prove to be a big mistake. Especially with Instagram being “the new Pinterest”, and the word that Facebook will be incorporating them soon. If you are sharing your pins on Twitter, you should still hashtag away, but they won't be searchable on the site anymore. Also, by limiting URL links in the description area and forcing you to only link off each pin and back to one site only, may be seen as a hindrance in time. This might change the way some smaller businesses to promote themselves on the network. For instance, the many Etsy store owners that capitalized on Pinterest's explosive rise, might need to reign in their wordy writing styles and link happy posts. The social sharing experience is also different now, without the instantaneous share to Twitter and Facebook as you add each new pin. True, it is only one extra step after pinning to share with your other networks, but this move strikes me as odd. On the other hand, reducing the character sizes in the description box, was much needed too.
Historically users hate it when radical changes come to their favorite social network, but it seems as though fans and brands a like are really in tune with the new features on Pinterest. This bodes well for future of the site. Perhaps learning the lessons from the mistakes of Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and others will help Pinterest avoid some pitfalls. Driving revenue will only help the networks' valuation, should they decide to follow Facebook and go public someday soon.
What do you think of the new Pinterest? Join in the conversation and let us know!
Until next time!
By Yeva Kulidzhanova
In the marketing world, Facebook is a delicate beast to tame - especially when it comes to engaging customers. On Facebook, there is no character limit to prevent you from spattering irrelevance and no emphasis on visuals to generate interest. But it’s crucial to remember that Facebook is arguably the most personal space amongst all the social networks. The majority of users log on to connect with friends and family--or perhaps casually stalk their acquaintances--to feel involved with their social circles. Businesses should feel grateful for getting a piece of a person's newsfeed. So don’t abuse the chance to connect with your fans! Clicking “Unlike” is just as easy as clicking “Like.” Brands have to keep fans interested and irrelevant Facebook posts, can increase the churn rate of your fans...who, are your real and potential customers.)
Here are 4 tactics to remember for your company's Facebook strategy:
1) Stick to Real Holidays & Events: Maybe there’s a secret creative content creation contest going on amongst brands or maybe they are really starting to get bored, but posts like fake holidays have got to stop! It’s hard to not to be annoyed by posts wishing us a “Happy Public Sleeping Day” or “Happy Buy a Musical Instrument Day.” This is a tactic employed by many reputable brands in the hopes of increasing engagement. The only silver lining of this is slightly reminiscent of a disruption technique – as your fans stare at the screen wondering why you’re messing with them. Fake "holidays" can make a brand look a little desperate.. as if your company's strategy is to post something for the sake of posting. Ultimately, this can damage the reputation your brand has worked hard to maintain. There are better and more useful ways to have fun with your audience – such as posing a question or staging a contest. If you want to keep your fans, avoid the following pleas for attention:
I’m pretty sure fast food chains are supposed to be fighting diabetes, not encouraging it.
Thanks for reminding us that moms are perfect robots who aren’t allowed to be late for anything. Tip: Try to play devil’s advocate with your content and make sure you aren’t accidentally insulting your audience.
This post is off-brand and clearly a symptom of “Quick! Make up a weird 'holiday' and post about it.” Tip: If you are going to go off-brand, think of a way to bring it back to the purpose of your Facebook page.
Whoever made this up likely hates their first name. Tip: If you want to gather data about your fans – just be honest about it. They’ll be more willing to participate than if you hide behind a made up holiday.
2) Facebook is not Twitter: You might think this is obvious... but why do major brands re-post their Tweets to Facebook? Instead of mindlessly posting a Tweet, take a minute to make the most of Facebook’s generous character limit and expand your message. Your Facebook posts should be different from your Twitter content, otherwise there’s no incentive for fans to follow you on both platforms. Users engage differently on the platforms so you need to have a separate content strategy for each. Furthermore, brand evangelists (who are social media friendly) are likely following you on both platforms – don’t abuse their love with recycled Tweets.
Tweets on Facebook make your company seem like you don’t know what you’re doing– and there’s nothing good about that. Tip: If you want your Facebook audience to know what you’re doing on Twitter, an easy solution is to add a Twitter app to your page. This way fans can effortlessly see your Twitter stream without leaving Facebook – and your page.
3) Facebook and Hashtags don’t mix: Despite the claims that hashtags might be coming to Facebook, for now, there’s nothing more irritating than seeing a hashtag on Facebook. Hastags on Facebook look sad and empty because they are not automatically hyperlinked to the conversations around them. More importantly, they stand out like an eyesore because people on Facebook aren’t expecting to see your hashtag...making your company appear like you don’t care enough about your customers to separate your messages between social networks or do the extra work to fill in the details around the hashtag.
Tip: If you insist on using a hashtag, then consider hyperlinking it (to Twitter or Instagram). It’s the least you can do to make your poor decision seem less obvious.
4) Don’t beg for likes: Ok people, this is important! If you take away anything from this post, please remember this: if the consumer has a reaction to your post, they will surely give it a thumbs up without your begging. Asking for likes is as annoying as those low-budget commercials that scream at you about a Labor Day sale. In fact, it may deter your consumer user from wanting to like or share the post all together. Believe it or not, people are not stupid and they can see through your attempts to turn fans into "liking" zombies. Many brands believe that the number of likes speaks to how engaged their fans are with their brand. That’s a superficial way to analyze data. The best value your brand will get from Facebook is consumer insight – create opportunities to get to know your audience better and your marketing strategy will benefit.
Do you really need to know how many people are using your product today? How can this post lead to better insights about your audience?
Ask why fans use your product on cold winter days, because if the product is typically used in the winter, chances are they are already using it.
Don’t use Facebook as a place to barter and trade for likes.
Engagement Tip: If you want to know if your fan base enjoys your jingle, ask them why? You’ll get much better insight and experience real engagement.
So if you don’t click like, you are planning to have an ordinary October? Engagement Tip: Ask what your fans will do to make it an extraordinary month.
A missed opportunity to bring up something more meaningful than your hunger for likes. Engagement Tip: Ask what MLK did to improve the value of their lives.
Actually, I’m striving for complete failure and I don’t care at all about my success nor my future – that’s why I am a fan of Kaplan on Facebook. (??!!)
Engagement Tip: Start a conversation with your fans by asking how they define greatness or how do they plan to succeed.
Everyone likes the weekend... so don’t piggyback on labor laws to get likes. Likes to these posts are meaningless, a waste of opportunity to have a conversation and does not measure true engagement.
There are two major things wrong with this post: 1) it’s off brand and doesn’t even try to relate back to the product 2) fans can’t like with a distinction.
Engagement Tip: Learn and understand how the platform works. A better approach would be to ask for a Like for Thanksgiving and a Share for Halloween.
Really??!! No one like’s to have his or her intelligence insulted.
Engagement Tip: Don’t ask for a like if someone has a mother, knows how to read, showered this morning or wants to save money. You look stupid and likes of this caliber do not qualify as real user engagement.
Before you even think of a cover photo, take the time to create and fine-tune your Facebook strategy. It’s the first step in avoiding these kinds of mistakes. If you wouldn’t like seeing a weird and irrelevant post from a brand you follow, then don’t put it up for your fans. To paraphrase Leo Burnett: if you can’t turn yourself into your Facebook fan, you shouldn’t be interrupting their newsfeed.
I hope these tips were helpful. Facebook offers a lot of opportunity to connect customers with brands. But don't waste that opportunity with irrelevent posts that can clutter the medium. Remember the tenets of social media is really connecting people to people. Posts should be more about stimulating the conversation around your brand and your customers than just creating random 'likes' that do not drive business, loyalty or connections.
Twitter: https://twitter.com/iamyevak ; Handle- @iamyevak
by Vance Lyles
In 2007, for the first time ever, I Googled myself. I was a bit surprised by the results! So, I quickly learned it is important to know what information Google has to say about you--good or bad. Google, depending on what the search results yield, could cost you future opportunities.
In 2010, Microsoft released a study, that revealed the ways human resource professionals used information found online to screen candidates. For this study, 1,200 interviews were conducted in the United States, United Kingdom, Germany, and France. A few notable results from the US include:
79% of HR professionals surveyed in the U.S. reported reviewing information found on the Internet when examining job candidates.
84% of HR professionals surveyed in the U.S. categorized online reputation information as one of the top two factors they considered when reviewing a comprehensive set of candidate information.
70% of HR professionals surveyed in the U.S. had rejected a candidate based on online information, with the top factor for rejection being unsuitable photos and videos online. The study revealed that HR professionals are regularly using information about candidates found on the Internet, which could have significant repercussions.
So, Google is just the beginning. Your overall online presence is being evaluated by future hiring managers.
If I had to take a bet, I would bet the $117 in my bank account that more than 50% of 18-34 year olds have active social media profiles (I’m a conservative gambler) so it is important that this group of job seekers understand that your personal brand is an important asset to protect.
In 2009, Careerbuilder.com conducted a survey of more than 2,600 hiring managers; 45% of them research candidates using social media. Out of the 45% who used social media to research candidates, 35% of hiring managers rejected applicants based on their findings.
53% cited provocative or inappropriate photographs or information.
44% cited content about drinking or using drugs.
35% cited bad-mouthing of previous employers, co-workers or clients.
29% cited poor communication skills.
26% cited discriminatory comments.
24% cited misrepresentation of qualifications.
20% cited sharing confidential information from a previous employer.
Your behavior on social media sites can be used against you. Be aware of of what comes up when you are searched.
After performing a search on myself back in 2007, I was stunned when I discovered my name and profile were linked to unfavorable websites across the internet. My results weren’t flattering, but I as they say, information is power. I managed to clean up my image and that act alone likely kept me out of the 'recycle' bin.
What Google has to say about you isn’t only important for job seekers. And, online searches are not just about celebrities anymore. This issue is important for anyone who has a presence online. Have you searched yourself lately? What does your social media use say about you? And what's more...what does Google have to say about you?
Vance Lyles | Master’s in Advertising Candidate at Boston University
Follow Vance on Twitter: @vizjer
by: Jonathan Rodriguez, The JParker Group
The recent trend of data-mining, also known as “big data” is making its way to Massachusetts. Companies such as Boston Decision, Boston Data, and Owner IQ Inc are seeking and hiring talented data-mining engineers by the droves. Social data-mining is changing the way companies target consumers and Boston is in the forefront of the industry.
The practice of data mining has been around for a very long time and has evolved substantially with the birth of the super computer and super processor. Not only can data now be extracted and analyzed, it can also be cleaned, adjusted and customized for a particular focus or industry. Database systems and analysis are essential to market predictions, crime prevention, investment scenarios and understanding consumer spending habits. The data that fuels these systems derives from data mining.
Database systems have become extremely advanced and can now analyze data from just about any source in order to get a general understanding of a group or an individuals habits, desires, motivations, and outlooks on just about everything.
Some of these sources include:
•Phone Calls by using: Phone Bills and Statements
•Purchases by using: Credit Card Statements, Credit Reports, Vendor’s Customer Databases and Tax Returns
•Places you go and spend time and/or money by using: Hotel Reservations, Online Site Data, Airline Information, and Rewards Programs
•People you interact with by using: Group Registration Data, Gym Memberships, Voter Registration, Alumni Participation and Sporting Event Participation.
Until now, there has never been a source that is as easily obtainable and effective as social media data. We have come to a point where we are simply feeding these database systems information on our interests, likes, family values, political party affiliations and general sentiment toward a group, company, candidate, nation, religion, issue, or product. This has become one of the latest, and very effective, trends for database system developers.
Companies like Rapleaf Inc. will collate information about individuals and sell it to companies that want to learn about those customers and what they do online. If there is a value to understanding these trends or behaviors then they will sell the data to a respective organization.
Entities such as airlines, politicians, and even non-profits can use this data for finding new customers or targeting products to existing ones. Financial services companies such as banks and lenders are also using the same data mining services for marketing purposes and to make lending decisions. For instance, certain types of credit products, which fit your personality, could be marketed specifically to you.
According to a counter on their website, Rapleaf Inc. has mined social data about more than 389 million customers. They do that by crawling the Internet just like Google or Bing does, said CEO Auren Hoffman, but they only crawl sites such as forums, social networks, review sites, newsgroups, and blogs — where information is publicly available. (I really don’t buy)
Facebook and Google both allow companies to create very targeting marketing campaigns using databases they have acquired from personal information we have voluntarily supplied as users. Every interest or like you share online is now another piece of information organizations can use to predict your next move.
Social data mining comes with a new onslaught of issues. On one side you have organizations that include policing agencies and governments that use the data to prevent or halt crime and acts of destruction. On the other side you have the data mining organizations that now have access to databases with information that many do not want and never expected to be in some database available to the highest bidder.
Recently a social data mining campaign was used to monitor chatter amongst occupy wall street protestors. A campaign that was very successful according to a report in the Philadelphia Inquirer.
The U.S. government is formally seeking software that can mine social media to predict everything from future terrorist attacks to foreign uprisings, according to requests posted online by federal law enforcement and intelligence agencies.
The New York Times reported on how both the Obama and Romney campaigns are turning to market research and data mining in an effort to boost voter turnout in their favor.
Social data mining is a another evolution in data mining and database systems development. With the record growth of social media platforms comes a growth of consumer insight and information. It is imperative that consumers know that what they display on their social media channels is now considered “Fair Game” by companies, governments, and organizations trying to get into their decision-making processes.
Whether it be a purchase, vote, crime, or home loan application, companies are getting into our minds like never before. This industry is too big to slow down and far from containable. As social media users we all need to be very aware of what we want people to know about us when we go online and share our thoughts with the world.
Author: Jonathan Rodriguez
Jonathan Rodriguez is the Owner of The J. Parker Group
Lots of big activities and announcments about social media in the past few days. Just a quick rundown of some of the updates you may have missed:
SM Throwdown: LinkedIn Surpasses Facebook and the Fans Go Wild!
This week a new study by Center for Marketing Research at UMass Dartmouth, revealed a lot of new insights about the changing social media landscape. Of note, was that LinkedIn has surpassed Facebook as the most used social media tool. It's unclear if this activity pertains to more users feeling uncomfortable by Facebook's ever-changing policies and privacy issues, or if it's more about some of the less business-friendly moves Facebook has implemented in the past year (making it harder for businesses to engage via brand pages.) This shift may also be related to difficult economic times; as more people use LinkedIn to search for new jobs.
But, any time we hear about changes in the social media landscape our ears perk up. So many people are waiting for Facebook to go the way of MySpace (It won't. And what is MySpace?)
Bird Fight: Is Twitter is Killing Tweetdeck?
According to Gizmodo Tweetdeck will be phasing out several of its popular features such as the iphone and Android apps. As well, the desktop version of Tweetdeck also seems to be going the way of the Dodo and Tweetdeck will instead shift solely to a web-based format. It is unclear at this time why Tweetdeck is making such a dramatic change, but as the company is owned by Twitter, it's likely an indication that there is more to come on this issue. As a avid fan of Tweetdeck, it's a little sad over here today. I will now be actively be searching for a new social media management platform.
Harlem Shake. Yea, it's Still a Thing...
Did you ever see the original Harlem Shake? It's basically just 4 guys dressed up as Power Ranger/Teletubbies(I mean, what's with that pink suit?) dancing in their very messy dorm room. But alas, this has caught on, and with more than 30 million views on YouTube, the original is now running ads before their video (nice work guys, pay off that tuition!)
As we've seen in the past with Call me Maybe and Gangnam Style, people love to re-make these kinds of videos. Filming themselves dancing and then posting online has become a digital one-upsmanship as to who can create the funniest scenario that will capture a piece of that social media 'insta-fame.'
Well, that's all well and good until law enforcement is involved! Last week a group of college students who are part of an "Ultimate Frisbee Team" (draw your own conclusions) decided to Harlem Shake on a Frontier flight. Despite claiming that the flight attendants gave them permission, the FAA is now investigating. That's the bummer about video- it can also be used as evidence.
The video is posted on the Today Show website. Incidentally, have they made Matt Lauer do the Harlem Shake yet? I would totally tune in for that.
Happy Tuesday- you are now caught up!