Facebook Audio Recognition is here!
Facebook’s new update for its Android and iOS app has Shazam-like audio recognition. It can listen and identify the background music/TV show playing when users update status.
It’s great for Facebook’s data mining purposes because it can further improve its targeted ads campaign.
The more specific Facebook’s advertising platform is the more effective your ad dollars are.
Adding audio recognition to identify background media when users update their status using their phones or tablets, help Facebook’s data mining operations. Advertisers demand increasingly personalized data for their target demographics. Hollywood and music bigwigs want the Facebook Shazam-like feature to gain real-time or always-updated feedback on what TV shows, music, pop stars, and genres are hot.
Read the full post originally published HERE
On Wednesday, Facebook rolled out a new feature to its iOS app that encourages users to share more about what they are doing.
Now, Facebook users will start seeing “Context Cards,” which will appear over their News Feeds and provide detailed information after they check in or link to subjects such as movies or songs in status updates.
Here are some examples:
- If a user checks in to a location, the context cards will show friends who have recently checked in to the same location and when those check-ins occurred, as well as related photos they have posted.
- If a user posts a structured status update referencing listening to a musical artist or watching a movie, the context cards will show friends who have consumed the same media.
Facebook is hoping the cards will provide helpful information and encourage users to interact with their nearby friends.
Guy Kawasaki once defined the core values of five main social media services and we wanted to build on his ideas.
Facebook = People.
Facebook is mostly for communicating with those with whom you already have some connection. As a personal branding tool, you’re often posting about yourself, your achievements, and this is normal and acceptable. However, if you create a business page to endorse anything other than yourself, you need to consider other factors. Facebook is still all about people, but you must engage with your fans rather than simply promoting the business. Interesting articles, videos and images, tips and tricks – these are all ways to bring value to your business in the eyes of your fans.
Twitter = Perceptions.
Twitter can help you build your reputation and visibility. Increase your reach by interacting with others on Twitter: be generous with your “favorites”, retweet things you believe your followers will enjoy, and send at least two tweets a day. Consider the 5:1 ratio as a loose guideline for how often to tweet out relevant content via other reputable sources vs. tweeting about your business. Don’t feel pressure to come up with content and witty musings to gain followers who want to hear from you; do your research, read a lot, and find articles by other people who know what they’re talking about. Share their work! Not only does it create new relationships, it provides high-end content to your followers.
Google+ = Information.
Google+ is for sharing information. Google+ is not Facebook, it never will be, and that’s ok! Use it to connect with other people in your field; learn from them and offer your insights when it makes sense. Don’t consider Google+ a place to find new business so much as a place to cultivate relationships with your peers, and to constantly learn new things about your field.
Pinterest = Awareness.
Pinterest, when used as a branding tool, is all about pinning attractive images that stand out and get people to click. If you’re using Pinterest to drive people to your blog, your images need to have a CTA and be visually appealing at the same time. Be creative, keep it simple, and look at what the pros are doing. Pinterest is extremely valuable for driving traffic, so use it to create awareness for your business!
LinkedIn = Professionalism.
Kawasaki says to pimp yourself on LinkedIn! He clarifies that he means this in a good way: “LinkedIn can help you position yourself as a serious person and influencer.” You can implement this as a business as well, but LinkedIn really is more for an individual person. Consider it like this: Guy has pimped himself so successfully that people don’t need to follow his business on LinkedIn, they just follow him, and in turn, he can promote his businesses as needed.
In conclusion, representing yourself and/or your business on social media means using the platforms the best way possible. Tweak your content between platforms to get the most out of them!
Spring is such a wonderful time of year! The weather warms up, flowers start to bloom, and farmers markets are suddenly everywhere. To celebrate this awesome time of year, we put together some of the most beautiful springtime photos found on one of our favorite social platforms, Instagram!
And I just had to throw in my own springtime Instagram photo!
Twitter is currently testing a new feature that could be very popular for users following thousands of people.
It’s called ‘Fave People’, and it allows you to easily build a separate timeline for your favorite Twitter users. Building your ‘Fave People’ timeline is pretty simple – just tap on the star icon in the profile of the user you want to add.
It’s also possible to choose to receive notifications every time someone in your ‘Fave People’ timeline tweets. This concept is similar to Twitter’s existing “Lists,” which lets you organize users into labeled groups such as “reporters” or “celebrities.”
But don’t get too excited yet…
As we mentioned before, this concept is in the testing process! Tell us, would you like to see a feature like this on Twitter?
All social media professionals strive to create an impression on their viewers. One of the most powerful ways to do this is through images. Users are able to feel and experience the emotions of an image, whereas it’s much harder to communicate something and gain emotional attachment using words. Emotion drives user-generated content and opinion.
Your job is to grab the attention of your fans, and you only have one chance to do it. To create images that attract your reader’s eye, check out our social media design tips:
Before you start creating a social media graphic from scratch, set up several templates for future use. Add a border or a simple background. Include your logo or web address. It is important to draw the eye to your company logo. Be sure to use existing brand colors, themes, or images.
Choosing the right image size and color is important. The quickest way to lose your audience is with a blurry, unfocused image. RGB images display better on screens, as opposed to CMYK, which is meant for ink printing.
Examiner.com points out that, “Your posts should have a call to action; this prompts consumers to purchase or at least interact with your company on some level. A call to action with a link should be in your post, but including this call to action should be in the graphic as well. For example, ‘click the link in the description for details’ would be appropriate for posts featuring products, sales, or contests.”
Last but most definitely not least, PROOF READ!
You may have heard of these two new socially driven platforms, Flawk and Yik Yak.
They are completely different, but they are both getting a lot of buzz, so let’s talk about them. One is good, and one is…well, not so good.
Flawk describes themselves as “a real-time platform for engaging with your twitter followers. Host a Q&A, share media, and interact with your followers like never before.” and their service promotes a more streamlined version of AMA’s (ask me anything) and Twitter Q&A’s. Flawk offers a host the ability to “chat” with their guests in real time. This is a much more engaging communication model because it offers one-to-one interaction – exactly what every fan is hoping for.
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On top of the chat window feature, you can watch the other flawker’s conversations at the bottom of the screen. Everything is run using twitter, so you don’t need a separate log in/password to remember. Check out their video, it’s short and sweet:
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This relatively new app has gotten a ton of attention recently because of the trouble it is causing. Now – we’re logical people here – we aren’t saying the creators of the app are bad people so let’s get that straight. What we are saying is that the basis of the app (anonymously saying whatever the heck you want) is a recipe for disaster.
Yik Yak is a free app that allows users to send comments anonymously. It uses geo-tracking to share those comments with any user who is nearby (the closest 500 users). Users don’t have to be logged in to see comments from other local users.
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This app has already been associated with instances of bullying, and TWO students have already been arrested for using it to make school-shooting threats.
Yik Yak makes money by charging you to send your message out to more than 500 users. Here’s how it all looks:
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If you’re wondering, yes I downloaded it to get those images, and yes, I have already deleted it from my phone!
So overall – Flawk…expecting it to gain some traction for all the right reasons; Yik Yak…expecting it to become even more infamous. Let us know if you use either of these already and what you think!
Blogging used to be online “diaries” – remember that?
Now we have a gaggle of social media platforms that provide us with at least 140 characters worth of constant diary entries…and blogging has become a way to make money. Even the people who are still using a blog as a “diary” have turned it into a business! This means if your business has a website, you should be blogging. Let’s talk about why:
Why Blog for Your Business? To Drive Traffic
Bringing people to your website is the point of all your online efforts (social media, etc.). You want your business to show up in searches when people are looking for you even if they haven’t typed in your exact business name. For example, if you own the “Spine and Orthopedic Center” office in Boca Raton, Florida, you want your website to show up when people search “spine doctor boca raton”. In order for a search engine to find your site relevant enough to show in those search results, your website must be doing lots of things! One of the most important things is consistently adding new, key-word rich content to the site. That brings us to the next point!
Why Blog for Your Business? To Add Key Words to Your Site
Blogging allows you to add new pages to your site on a regular basis, which tells search engines that your site isn’t stagnant. Within those blogs, you can (and should!) include specific key words you know your target audience will be searching for. In the case of the spine office, words to include would be, “spine”, “doctor”, “surgeon”, “boca”, “boca raton”, and on and on. Without utilizing a blog, there are only so many times you can include those key words throughout your website. The more you can utilize relevant words, the better chances you have at a search engine raking your site higher.
Why Blog for Your Business? To Gain Credibility
We know blogging isn’t just for personal use anymore; taking the time to research and write a professional, informative blog for your website tells your customers that you are passionate about your business. It showcases your knowledge as well as your commitment to providing the best information possible. Your online branding is essentially your “first impression”, new customers will look you up before hiring you, that’s a given! Blogging consistently says, “I make time to stay relevant in my field by reading about it and writing about it.”
I hope I have answered your question, “Why Blog for Your Business?” in a way that helps you understand it’s importance for your overall digital presence. If you have writer’s block, you can always reach out to us at Belle Strategies – if you couldn’t tell – we love blogging!
LinkedIn is endeavoring to become more like Facebook by encouraging all members to generate a steady stream of shareable articles. SAN FRANCISCO (AP)- A new feature rolling out Wednesday will free LinkedIn users from restrictions that have limited posts to a maximum of 300 characters. LinkedIn users will now be able to share essay-length musings about their industries or jobs. The lengthier posts will only be displayed within the author’s network of LinkedIn connections, but could be distributed to a broader audience if the content is popular among its initial audience.
Ryan Roslansky, director of product management at LinkedIn, said the goal was to get people to share their great professional insights, benefiting their network of contacts while also building their own reputations as experts in their field.
“Sharing this knowledge on LinkedIn is important because it becomes part of your professional identity,” he said.
The addition of longer posts could make LinkedIn more valuable to everyone. And it could give talented, thoughtful writers a way to break into the service’s Influencers program, which broadcasts posts by business leaders like Bill Gates.
Stay tuned for more LinkedIn news and tips~
Love is in the air this week with Valentine’s Day falling on a Friday.
You can take advantage of the Valentines Day social media flurry over #love and #vday by creating some images that just scream “Pin ME! Share ME! Retweet ME!…etc.” It’s important to brand your images/designs even when it’s on more “generic” posts like the ones you see a lot on big holidays.
I’ve compiled a list of free Valentines Day or Love Inspired design elements that are 100% free!
I really love the luxurious feel of these:
This is just a treasure trove of Valentine’s Day goodness:
I can’t get enough of these fun, free fonts:
Here are some “younger” looking heart designs for the young’uns in your life:
Be sure to capitalize on the Valentines Day social media love! I hope you enjoy these freebies.
In a world increasingly filtered through Instagram, a carefully crafted photo shoot starts to look dated. That’s why retailers are rushing to crowdsource their product shots — harvesting a stream of photos from social platforms to help sell everything from West Elm couches to Coach handbags.
The photos are typically curated in galleries, where each picture is linked to a page selling the product. Increasingly, the amateur images are also showing up directly on product pages, next to professionally styled pictures. “The path to purchase has evolved tremendously, and consumers are much more likely to trust their peers than a brand,” said Mimi Banks, director of social media at L’Oreal’s Lancome brand.
The team at Lancome recently goaded women into posting portraits of themselves sans makeup for a project coded “#bareselfie.” The campaign urged women to “be proud of the skin you’re in,” but it also tied in nicely with one of Lancome’s newest products: a cosmetic called Dreamtone that promises to correct blemishes and weird skin tones without blush and powder.
“It’s a challenging ask,” Banks said of getting strangers to share stripped-down selfies. “But people love social clout — to be acknowledged by the brand.”
Coach, meanwhile, is burnishing its brand with a website that collects photos from women wearing its shoes all over the world. The pictures — routed to the company via the hashtag #coachfromabove — aren’t a far cry from what one would find in a professional lookbook.
Both strategies constitute more than branding, according to Olapic, a New York-based startup that helps retail companies collect, curate, and display social content. Photo tie-ins from Facebook and Instagram increase the odds of a purchase by from 5 percent to 12 percent on average, according to co-founder Luis Sanz. What’s more, there is plenty of material: Olapic’s clients feature only about 4 percent of the photos they capture.
“The structure of an e-commerce site has basically been the same since the beginning of the Internet,” Sanz said. “But as soon as we started doing this, the results were really good.” Olapic, which launched in 2010, closed a $5 million round of funding in July. It also won the backing of Scott Galloway, a New York University marketing professor known for founding Red Envelope.
Galloway said Olapic is hitting a sweet spot in e-commerce: High-quality cameras are now standard in new smartphones, and consumers are searching for a sense of authenticity that’s lacking in traditional advertising. “If I can show a Coach bag looking great on me, it carries more credibility than if Annie Leibowitz makes it look great,” Galloway said.
The photos also prime purchases by addressing what might best be called a failure of imagination. For instance, consumers who like a throw pillow from West Elm, a Williams-Sonoma home-goods brand, might be more eager to buy if they see it paired with a particular couch or carpet. That’s one of the main strategies behind the company’s #myWestElm campaign, which went up in September.
“We don’t want to be style dictators,” said Abigail Jacobs, West Elm’s vice president of brand marketing. “And there’s this age-old thing that we love seeing inside other peoples’ homes. […] The goal really is for them to inspire each other.”
An “inspired” customer is often a spendthrift customer. What’s more, social media lets retailers engage in an incessant exercise in AB testing. Coach, for example, might decide to make more of a particular shoe in red if photos of that color appear more often and get more positive feedback.
The practice isn’t entirely new, but it is spreading through the retail industry at a rapid pace. Web marketers are starting to develop best practices. Just this week, two marketing professors at the University of Wisconsin unveiled an algorithm that promises to help retailers select the best photos to drive sales. The researchers found that increased purchasing activity comes from unfiltered photos without long captions, question marks, or exclamation points. In short, authenticity is all.
West Elm, meanwhile, has found another surefire attention-getter: pets. Everything gets more “likes” when it has an adorable animal on it. That’s just a law of the Internet — no research required.
This article originally published at Businessweek here
Photo by Coach
Chris Turitzin, Facebook’s product manager for News Feed ranking says that, “Page admins can expect a decrease in distribution of their text status updates, but they may see some increases in engagement and distribution for other story types.”
Facebook’s complicated ranking algorithm is not new, but it is consistently revised to make the user experience as enjoyable as possible. The revisions require social media administrators to stay in loop…what used to rank well in the past might not have staying power as changes to the algorithm affect each post differently. The newest revision comes after testing that showed people are inclined to interact with different types of content (opposed to text-only status updates) on Pages.
Social media admins are advised to use what Facebook calls a link-share: a link in a status update that generates a preview of the website you are linking to. In other words, do not embed the URL by closing out the preview. The first example shows an embedded link, while the second one shows a link-share.
Basically, Facebook wants you to stop clicking the “X” that removes the link-share feature. By clicking the “X”, you embed the link and turn the post into a plain text post.
Facebook is making it clear that plain text posts will not rank as high as posts using the link-share feature. If you’re a social media manager, this knowledge should help!
You don’t always need graphics, photos, or images to make your design pop — sometimes the right font does the trick. But scouring the internet for hours on end can be very frustrating! So, we’ve made it easy for you…
We have compiled 5 of the most beautiful fonts we could find. Here’s the best part… they are FREE!