Many businesses are discovering the huge value and potential of social media for engaging with customers and creating awareness around their brand. We have had the great joy and privilege of working with many such organisations and individuals. Often we will work with a business to educate, inform and ensure their knowledge is up to date on all things social. However, as we are all aware social media and social networks are always evolving and it can be hard to keep up with all the activity and changes.
Realising this, we wanted to create a service for our clients that would offer them the opportunity to stay up to date with relevant and applicable changes whilst also providing an opportunity to ask questions about their own social media presence. Since September we have been running bi-monthly Social-ize sessions for this very purpose. We have alternated between morning and evening events and have had some really enjoyable and productive sessions at both The Cosy Club and Society Cafe. You may have seen our balloons out and about around Bath!
We want to evolve the way Social-ize works. We are finding that more and more it is the strategy of social media that can cause our clients the greatest challenge. So Social-ize is shifting to become a six weekly hourly event held at our offices in Queen Square, Bath. The time will be broken down between functionality, updates, strategy and questions. Our first new look Social-ize will happen on Wednesday 20th February 9.30-10.30, you can book your space here. So if you need to be re-inspired for the year ahead with your social media we would love to see you. Although we instigated this service for our clients, everyone is welcome.
It does seem that this past fortnight has brought with it a whole new season of “sharing the love”, LinkedIn have launched a new feature to endorse your colleagues and business contacts and Facebook have taken some serious steps towards improving the support they offer us, it’s all a bit warm and fluffy around here! All this consideration and support is almost like a gentle squeezey hug as the weather cools off, but if it’s squeezey hugs you’re after then go straight to item number 10! So, lets have a look at what this fortnight has presented us with.
1. Facebook Hits 1 Billion Active Users
It has been predicted for a while, and some thought it would happen back in August but on the 4th Ocotber 2012 Mark Zuckerberg announced on the Facebook newsroom that this incredible milestone had been reached. To try and put this number into perspective Free Virtual Servers posted:
If Facebook was a country, it would be the world’s third most populous country in the world, trailing only by a couple hundred of million behind China and India. If the social media juggernaut existed back in 1804 when the world’s population first hit 1 billion, that would mean that everyone on the planet have an active Facebook account.
All Facebook also shared some further statistics behind these numbers, for example; 1.13 trillion likes since launching the feature in February 2009, 140.3 billion friend connections, the list goes on. I think the word Prolific doesn’t come close to defining what is happening with Facebook.
You can watch the video below to get a flavour of the excitement surrounding this announcement:
2. LinkedIn Endorsements
Last week LinkedIn introduced a new feature – LinkedIn Endorements. This new addition has been compared to a “Like” on Facebook, but essentially what you are doing is endorsing the skills of your LinkedIn connections. On your LinkedIn profile there is a section where you can list your skills, with one click your connections can verify that you have that skill. You can read all about this new feature and how you can use it at the Social Media Examiner Blog. For a more contemplative piece on this new feature you can have a look at the Social Media Today Blog.
3. Facebook Improves Help Center
If you have ever tried to contact Facebook for any kind of support or help you will probably be aware that it can be a very frustrating process. So I was particularly thrilled to read the news earlier this month that Facebook have addressed this issue. The new revamped Help Center was launched earlier this month and is available via the Facebook Website, you can read about it at ABC News, or visit the new Help Center.
4. LinkedIn Provides Help for New Home
I don’t know how you are getting on with the new look LinkedIn Home Page, if you are a little bit lost and need a bit of guidance then this post on the LinkedIn Blog is well worth 5 minutes of your time.
5. Facebook Phone Number Palava
The question about whether our information is safe on Facebook was raised once again this week as a researcher was able to access users phone numbers via the social networking site. You can read the full account at The Next Web, if you want to ensure your phone number is safe read this post. According to All Faceboook the issue is now resolved but I would still take a look at your security features to ensure your own peace of mind.
6. Klout Now takes Account of Facebook Pages
If you are a fan of Klout you will be pleased to hear that all activity and interactions on your Facebook page will now be taken into account in working out your influence. This is a long awaited amendment and has made many very happy. To find out more read this post.
7. Standardising the Web
The web has been likened to the wild west, with no fixed rules or standardisation, this week that all changed according to Web Pro News with the arrival of Web Platform Docs. For a quick snapshot of what this is all about watch the video below.
8. LinkedIn Talent Connect in London
If you are a big fan of LinkedIn then pay attention – LinkedIn Talent Connect, a major conference for users of the network will be coming to London this month, you can read all about it at the LinkedIn Blog or watch the video below.
9. Infographic of the Fortnight
This infographic is all about Facebook’s great achievement and is courtesy of All Faceboook.
10. The Huggable Facebook Vest
Earlier this week everyone was talking about the Like-A-Hug project. The basic premise is that the vest is connected to your Facebook profile and when someone interacts with you on Facebook the vest inflates, thus giving you the equivalent feeling of a hug. Although it has caused a few smirks and laughs it was actually born out of a serious conversation between MIT students. You can read all about it over at the Guardian website.
I seem to have spent a significant amount of time over the last couple of weeks waiting, scratching my head and asking “Is it just me?” It turns out it wasn’t just me! LinkedIn has been removing some of my favourite features without any communication or reasoning, parts of pages have been disappearing on Facebook and Twitter completely collapsed for a while last week. This is when the social media community really come into their own and I am so grateful for all the blog posts others write to keep us informed and up to speed with all these updates and changes. I also met The LinkedIn Man this week which was a wonderful treat but more of that in another post at another time! Here we are 10 pieces of news worthy of your attention:
1. Naughty Facebook!
Do you remember back in April Facebook shared the news that they would be replacing all email addresses on users accounts with an @facebook email? No? Judging by the response of Facebook users this week, when the change was actioned, not many users remember this news and they are not happy about it to say the very least. Facebook have defended their decision using the word “consistent” a lot, whilst information is spreading across the web on how to put your email back to what it was. Read more over at the BBC where you can find out how to revert your email address and for further commentary and thoughts you can visit All Facebook.
2. Google+ Celebrates First Birthday
This week Google has been marking its first anniversary. Congratualtions Google+! This has triggered a series of thought provoking posts about Google+ most of which are positive and commend Google+ as a social network that it is definitely worth joining: Jeff Bullas, whereas others are still waiting for something to happen: marketing pilgrim and Mashable. What are your thoughts on Google+ a year on? If I’m really honest, I’m still a bit lonely there, it’s very quiet and although I recognise it’s brilliant for search and SEO I still want to have a bit more fun and interaction, so if you are on Google+ please come and introduce yourself and say “Hi”.
3. Twitter Goes Down and Leaves a Hole
Last Thursday Twitter went down for over an hour, this is the first time in over 6 months that the social network has had an outage like this. You can read about the technical details at Mashable. What has really surprised me is the reaction of users, I thought I was a pretty prolific user of Twitter but there are clearly many more who completely rely on it and they found themselves completely lost when it went down. I mean completely lost! Fear not, if it should happen again Lauren at All Twitter has written a handy list of 25 things you can do if Twitter goes down.
4. Facebook does a Uturn
Last weekend there was a lot of chat about a new Facebook feature called “Find Friends Nearby” which quickly became known at the “Stalking App!” Just as interest was mounting about this new functionality it was removed from Facebook. You can read about it at the Daily Mail. All you need to know really is that it came, there was major panic, and it went.
5. Google tries to save languages
This is happily becoming a regular spot, looking at social media for social good. So this fortnight the focus is on the Endangered Languages Project which Google is taking a significant role in. Watch the video below to find out more or visit Mashable.
6. LinkedIn Faces a Lawsuit
You will remember in my last round up of news that I told you LinkedIn had encountered a serious security breach, fortunately everyone scrambled on to change their password and there seemed to be no major ill effects. However Katie Szpyrka from Illinois feels that what happened at the beginning of this month was not acceptable and as such is bringing a $5 million lawsuit against LinkedIn. Read more over at Digital Trends.
7. Youtube joins Pinterest
Every now and then I give you an update on what’s happening over on Pinterest, last week they had a new business sign up – YouTube. Their boards are brilliant I recommend you go and check them out, read all about it on the YouTube blog.
8. Facebook allows Edits to Comments and I get Excited!
Imagine being able to edit a status update on Facebook after you have posted it! Oh wonder, oh joy, how incredible that would be. Unfortunately that hasn’t happened YET but I feel that we are now one step nearer as you can now edit comments you make on other peoples posts. Inch by inch, bit by bit we are getting nearer, read all about it at Mashable.
9. Infographic of the Fortnight
This is one of those jaw-dropping infographics, when you just have to poke someone nearby and share it with them as you exclaim – really! All that is really happening every 60 seconds on line? Yes, apparently so. This infographic comes via Mashable and is pretty impressive!
10. Matt’s Back
I loved him the first time, but now he’s back again the sequel is even more sublime! You may remember Matt Harding from 2008 when he literally danced his way around the world. He’s back again and even more brilliant, I think you’ll agree that this is video that can’t help but make you smile on a Friday afternoon! Read more at Mashable.
Another fortnight has sped by and so it is time to have a look at what is going on in the world of social media. Now this day has been much anticipated, I can’t think why, something to do with Facebook I think, you can find out more below. Facebook will feature a lot in this post, however there is other news to share.
1. Facebook Shares Now Available
Yes, it’s true, the day has finally arrived when you can buy your Facebook shares. The much discussed figure placed on the value of Facebook has settled at over $100 billion. That’s a huge amount of money but you can have a slice of that for just £24 a share.You can read more on the BBC Site. This story has hit all the main news channels so I would be very surprised if you hadn’t heard anything about this. You can watch a live stream from Reuters to see how the day progresses.
The bigger questions are really probing what does this mean for Facebook and how do you place such a large value on such a business?
2. Twitter says No to Tracking
How would you like it if Twitter pre empted what and who you might like to connect up with based on your online behaviour? It sounds quite appealing until you think a little deeper into it and really think about what this may entail. On Thursday Twitter made the promise that, unlike other major social networks, they will be supporting the “Do Not Track” standardised privacy initiative. You can read all about it on the Guardian site.
3.Olympic Social Media Guidelines
Have you heard? London is hosting the Olympics this year! I’m sure you’re vaguely aware of this news, you may have caught a whiff of it as you go about your daily business. The more important question is do you know what you are permitted to tweet and what you mustn’t share? I suggest you read these guidelines so you are up to speed. You will also be aware that the torch is about to set off on the relay around the UK, you can keep up with its progress here or follow @TheTorch2012 on Twitter.
4. Google Launches Hangouts On Air
Have you been hanging out on Google+ yet? It’s a great feature that enables you to talk live through video link up. Well it all just got a lot better as you can now broadcast your hangouts live and record them at the same time as YouTube videos. Fantastic! To make sense of what this all means read the post on the Google blog or watch the video below.
5. LinkedIn Redesign their News Sharing Facility
LinkedIn functions brilliantly as a networking space and a tool for maintaining professional connections, but few users rarely go beyond the surface and discover the many other features that are available. On their blog, earlier this week, LinkedIn shared the news that they have been redesigning the “Today” feature which is their social news product. Make time to read this post and get to grips with all that LinkedIn has for you as a user.
6. Facebook Policy Hub
Wouldn’t it be useful if Facebook had all their terms and policies in one place? Good news – they now have! In an attempt to remove some of the confusion from the constantly updating policies Facebook have launched a new hub with the strap line “Everything you need to know all in one place!” You can read about it at All Facebook.
7. Congratulations to Twitter, the social networking site has recently hit 10 million Uk users. What a immense achievement. You can read all about it over at the Guardian.
8. Google Offers Free for a Limited Time
WebProNews shared news last week of what Goggle has been up to with Offers on Google Maps.
The updated version of Google Maps now contains Google Offers that can be redeemed by customers at the retail locations they search for. What was not made totally clear at the time is that Google is now allowing business owners to create Google Offers for Free, during a limited-time trial period.
Google offers are apparently similar to Facebook offers but you can view the process involved on the video below:
9. The Infographic of the Week
Every now and then a real gem of an infographic comes along and you know it’s going to be figuring very substantially in every talk and training session you run for the next couple of months. This is such an infographic as it provides an up to date look at the numbers and demographics of the major social networks. I love it!
10. Too Much Information
Now here is a modern day tale which provides us all with a lesson in over sharing on Twitter and the consequences of such behaviour! All Twitter brought this story to my attention, it’s all about a CFO – Gene Morphis who was removed from his position because his tweets were deemed improper!
On Monday, Morphis was unceremoniously let go of his position – which had netted him $1.2 million in 2010 and $566,000 in 2011 – because he “improperly communicated company information through social media” while sending out his 140-character thoughts.
I hope that the last two weeks have been kind to you all, I know the rain has got us all a bit fed up at times but the world of social media is always sunny and bright – well mostly! Here is our fortnightly frolic through all things social- it’s been a busy time for Facebook but other networks have had their fair share of activity. Oh and don’t forget Social Media Day 2012 is coming up soon – Saturday 30th June, you might want to think about how you can join. I will leave you to ponder on that as I update you on ten news items that I think you should know about:
1. Facebook Organ Donation
Earlier this week Facebook announced a new feature on the Timeline. You are now able to share with all your friends that you are an organ donor. This option has arisen out of a conversation Zuckerberg had with his girlfriend, who happens to be a medical student. The idea is of course that we share so many details of our life on Facebook and it is a great place to raise awareness of different campaigns. There have been many discussions on certain sites exploring the notion that this is a step too far and Facebook really are collecting too much information about us. You can make your own mind up about that dilemma, in the meantime below is a video showing you how to add this information to your timeline.
2. LinkedIn buys Slideshare
Slideshare is a fantastic site for sharing any sort of slideshow and has become known as the YouTube for slideshows. The news broke this week that LinkedIn have now acquired Slideshare for $119 million you can read the full story at Mashable or get the news straight from the horses mouth over at the LinkedIn blog or in the spirit of the occasion you can watch a Slideshare presentation.
3. Live Twitter Advertisment
Breaking new ground on Twitter last weekend was a movie trailer for Promethus. All Twitter reported that for the first time tweets would be aired as part of the advertising campaign, Lauren Dugan shared the following information:
According to MediaWeek, Channel 4 will air the Prometheus trailer during the first commercial break of “Homeland” on Sunday April 29th.
Between the airing of the trailer and the second commercial break, viewers will be asked to share their thoughts on Twitter using the hashtag #areyouseeingthis.
During the second commercial break, select tweets will be aired live in a 40 second spot to support the trailer.
4. Facebook Real-Time Page Insights
Back in February Facebook announced that we could expect to see further enhancements and developments to Page Insights, well now they have taken effect we are in a better position to try and make sense of all the data we now have available as page administrators. Read this post by All Facebook to work it all out.
5. Twitter Update the Discover Tab
When in Twitter you probably spend the majority of your time on the Home tab reading tweets but then you probably wander over to the Connect tab to see what activity is going on but have you ever fully explored the Discover tab? If not, I suggest you have a look. This is the place to discover what is going on around Twitter and has recently undergone redevelopment to make it more relevant and personal to your interests, just like Google. read more over at All Twitter. Social Media Today looks more closely into this customisation and what it means.
6. Pinterest goes Pinternational
You know me by now, and how much I adore Pinterest, yes I really, really, really do, along with a large percentage of the female population. The company is now changing gear as it prepares to go global. Sonia Paul reported over at Mashable how Pinterest could be available in a number of different languages in the near future:
The photo-centric website announced in a blog post that it’s looking for translators in French, German, Japanese, Portuguese and Spanish. Though Pinterest a visual-based site, the company said translators are now necessary to make the website truly global:
“At Pinterest, we’ve always wanted to make it easy for people all over the world to organize and share all the beautiful things they find on the web. We want to take another step towards making this vision a reality by translating Pinterest into other languages.”
7. Google launch Automatic Message Translation and Google Drive
So what has Google been up to recently? Automatic translation apparently for your email. You can read all about it over at Mashable. There’s also Google Drive which you can read about at the Google blog or watch the video below.
8. Free Virus Software from Facebook
Just over ten days ago I read a very interesting post over on Security News Daily all about Facebook emerging as a Knight in shinning armour in the anti virus arena. We all need to be protected and it can get expensive keeping ourselves safe online so apparently the altruistic Facebook is prepared to help out.
9. Social Media for Marketers Infographic
The Infographic of the fortnight is one you need to print out and paper your office walls with – it is a one stop reference point for social media tools and their function within the marketing realm. I cannot recommend it enough.
10. A Tweet too far
Twitter has great worth for spreading good news and inspiring stories but what happens when news leaks out that quite frankly has no place on Twitter. I am thinking particularly of a rather important visit that happened this week – Obama’s visit to Afghanistan – not something you really want announced. However twitter eyes were watching and his cover came very close to being blown! Read all about it at Mashable.