As social media continues to grow, marketing and communications professionals struggle to keep up with how these various platforms can benefit them. Pinterest has recently made some changes to their website that aim to make it a more useful business tool. The most significant change is that Pinterest now includes web analytics for those who have a verified business account. This addition should “help website owners understand what’s working for them and what’s not so that they can create even better pins in the future,” says Tao Tao, a software engineer for Pinterest. (more…)
Archive for the ‘Social Media’ Category
Yesterday, Facebook announced a soon-to-come re-design of their social network interface, specifically intended to please both users and advertisers, a delicate balance that the company has become all too familiar with ever since going public less than a year ago.
Many have been quick to point out that the updates reflect a social network layout that is strikingly similar to the Google+ layout, with large images appearing in users’ news feed (from both people and pages they follow) designed to more effectively showcase content and draw in users and specialized sections that let users choose exactly what kind of content they want to see. Google+ actually made a dig at Facebook calling them out for being a copy cat. But let’s be real: nothing is original. The entire premise of Facebook is stolen from those hardcopy college Facebooks that had pictures and bios of people that you’d be attending college with. (I’ve never actually seen one of these in real life but I have heard legends of its existence.)
Lately it seems as though the online advertising trend is to be as targeted as possible. Marketers are constantly trying to find out key information about their potential consumers in order to target them better. After all, the more an advertisement relates to your life, the more inclined you are to click on it!
Facebook realizes that they are sitting on a mountain of demographic and psychographic information. Facebook users post everything from where they attended school to birthdays to favorite brands. This information is a goldmine when it comes to marketers looking to sell products.
Late last summer, Facebook launched Custom Audiences, a program that allows marketers to send target ads to existing customers who are on Facebook. Now Facebook is updating the program (don’t they always?!) to include ads going to customer lists from third-party companies. Companies like Datalogix, Acxiom, Epsilon and BlueKai are among the first who will receive this privilege. (more…)
This time of year, Twitter and Google searches capture innumerable complaints and questions about the flu. Luckily, new research established by Google and Johns Hopkins University claim this online buzz is a good thing. By using aggregate flu-related terms, you can now analyze social media trends to track and predict flu outbreaks. (more…)
There was a time when clients were attracted to telemarketing and media ads, or outbound marketing. Like banging heads against a wall, merchants paid big money to disseminate product and service information, shouting from the rooftops, with hopes that customers and investors soon would respond. The “if you build it, they will come” attitude. To marketers who are still banging away, this is a wake-up call.
We are increasingly inundated with messaging, causing information overload and the “tune out effect.” That’s why, moving forward into 2013, inbound marketing is the hot strategy for garnering attention. Likely a familiar practice for PR pros, this means spending less money on pay-per-clicks and more time creating engaging online content and conversations. The idea is to draw customers to your virtual doorstep without directly spending money or being pushy with your message. (more...)
By this point, we’re all used to Facebook changing things on us. But recently, a lot of those changes have gone beyond moving tabs around and adding or removing features in an effort to improve the user’s experience. Now just a 6-month old baby tech company trading on the NASDAQ, most of the changes Facebook has been making lately have been directly related to improving their bottom line. With a $50 billion market capitalization, Facebook has an audience of investors saying, “show me the money.”
Right now, the undisputed champion of the online advertising world is Google. In 2011, Google took in $37.9 billion in advertising revenue from a variety of industries, while Facebook took in a mere $4 billion. But what Facebook has that Google only dreams of having is actually incredibly valuable, and that’s social currency. Facebook has a ton of rich information about its 800 million users, and that information can help to make an ad campaign much more appealing. Google, on the other hand, simply uses a complex algorithm driven by your traffic surfing history to determine which ads you are most likely to click. The more a company knows about their audience, the more targeted they can make their ads and the more likely users will be to click on those ads, the more money they will spend on the ads.
Facebook’s testing a new system that will force 99% of companies to pay to show up on users’ timelines. The new system’s two features could change the way public relations pros use Facebook very soon:
The first change is similar to Reddit’s Upvote/Downvote system. People will still be able to ‘like’ a post or comment, but they will also be able to vote on the comment. The more votes a comment gets, the better chance it will have to show up on someone’s timeline.
The second change will allow you to reply to individual comments that have been made under a post. This will create separate conversation threads, each with its own ranking and re-post ability.
Both of these changes are due in part to two discouraging facts about Facebook:
- It’s widely known that Facebook ads are not working. Since few people click on these ads, Facebook has been losing money. If Facebook isn’t hitting projections, it needs to find other ways to make money. (more…)
With all the redesign going on this year, it’s as if the social media community has had an identity crisis. Like a domino effect, following updates on other social media sites like Facebook’s Timeline and LinkedIn’s company page updates, YouTube is gradually rolling out a new look and some substantial changes to the site’s functionality.
Shifting focus toward spreading new content
YouTube’s appearance has changed, and not only because of the new white color scheme, seemingly adopted from Google +. With these changes, YouTube’s pages will be more focused on recommending new content:
- Suggested Channels are displayed on the homepage sidebar.
- Channel, Video, and Playlist Recommendations are found throughout the site, along with prominent “Subscribe” buttons.
- The homepage navigation bar will now be on video pages, too.
So, what’s the consensus?
Overall, we like the new YouTube. With suggested channels and subscriptions becoming more prominent, YouTube is helping video authors reach a wider audience that is still targeted and likely interested in that sort of content. Our only concern is that the Subscribe button – relocated to join the Like and Dislike features and Comments section – could end up getting lost in the clutter of other buttons.
To read more about differences between the old and new YouTube, check this out.
What do you think of YouTube's changes?
I’m from a small town in Maryland. My house is part of a development sandwiched between a pig farm and dairy farm, and I live twenty miles from the nearest doctor. Luckily for me, the world’s gone mobile… and so has healthcare.
Healthy Living Promoted by Apps.
Did you know there’s a term for mobile healthcare? According to National Institutes of Health (NIH), the official definition of mHealth is “the use of mobile and wireless devices to improve health outcomes, healthcare services and health research.”
Millenials, including me, are absolutely obsessed with mHealth. Reinforced by companies like FourSquare and Zynga, gamification – using game mechanics in non-game situations – is helping people adopt healthier behavior. Setting goals, challenging friends, tracking progress, earning “rewards” and sharing results via social media all promote healthy choices – from downsizing meal portions to walking to work.
Healthcare Gone Mobile.
It’s not all about game-based health applications. mHealth now encompasses actual medical evaluation, from lung capacity to cancer screening. Mobile health app downloads nearly doubled from 2011 to 2012, and it’s estimated that by 2015 there will be 500 million smartphone users with healthcare applications. There are now over 40,000 medical applications available for smartphones. According to this infographic by Allied Health World:
- 80% of doctors use smartphones and medical apps;
- 40% of doctors believe that mobile health technologies can reduce office visits; and
- mHealth has an estimated growth of 22% in the next three years.
So what does all this mean?
With so much mobile healthcare, it seems like individualized medical attention knows no bounds. mHealth helps people like me and can help people who live two hundred or two thousand miles away from healthcare facilities.
Mobile technology can do so much for the world. We’ve gone far beyond phone calls and text messages – what will they think of next?