tCloud’s Take

10 Things You Didn’t Know About Social Networking

We live in a world saturated in social media, so it’s easy to assume expertise in that realm. However, it’s probably safe to say you’re not familiar with these 10 facts about the world of social networking. (And if you do, you are truly awesome. Let’s be Facebook friends.)

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tCloud’s Take: Best 2014 April Fools Pranks on the Web

With the web a-twitter about the latest and greatest April Fools shenanigans, we decided to make a countdown list of our favorite internet-based April Fools pranks.

Here’s tCloud’s top five:

5. Samsung Fingers

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Forget smartwatches. Samsung is pioneering the technological joke world with a wearable smart phone in the form of a glove. The electronics company released the April Fools’ joke on their blog on Tuesday, highlighting the product’s laughable features, including gestures that make and ignore calls, awkward solar-powered charging, and style variations.

4. Think Geek’s Rosetta Stone: Learn to Speak Klingon

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Star Trek lovers rejoice! With the help of the newly-released Rosetta Stone program, learning Klinon is now as easy as A-B-C. Kidding, of course. Online retailer Think Geek featured this pretend language learning program on their site, much to the disappointment of sci-fi fans everywhere. Why Klingon? “Klingon may be a difficult language for humans to wrap their smooth heads around, but it’s made even more complicated by the constant threat that saying the wrong thing might accidentally land you in a battle to the death,” read the product description.

3. Google Maps Pokemon Challenge

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In the comical spirit of the April Fools’ holiday, Google released an interactive Pokemon Challenge on the newest version of Google Maps. The goal: leave no stone unturned, mountain un-climbed or city un-zoomed as you search for Pokemon on the loose.  “Dozens of wild Pokémon have taken up residence on streets, amidst forests and atop mountains throughout Google Maps. To find and catch ‘em all, you’ll need to tap into your inner Pokémon Master,” said Google.

2. Google +’s David Hasselhoff Photobomb 

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After you round up those flighty Pokemon, Google has yet another challenge for you. Upload your photos to your Google + page with the hashtag “Hoffsome” and the social network automatically Auto Awesomes your photos with a surprise appearance by David Hasselhoff. There’s nothing better than celebrity photobombs, right?

1. Netflix’s Sizzling Bacon and Rotisserie Chicken films

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Look out, Academy Awards, this one is an automatic Oscar. Today, online-streaming service Netflix released two lip-smacking features: Sizzling Bacon and Rotisserie Chicken. Both are rated G but may potentially cause viewers to drool on their keyboards or mobile devices.

What April Fools’ Day pranks were your favorite? Let us know your picks in the comments.

Weddings, Live-Tweeted: A New Social Media Service Takes the Cake

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The concept of “live-tweeting” is simple: you log on to your mobile Twitter account and describe via words, photos and hashtags what is happening before your eyes. Think of it like social media-driven journalism. Sure, live-tweeting is expected during sporting events and concerts, but what would you say if people are now paying for specialists to live-tweet their wedding?

It’s a service that’s catching on in New York, specifically at W Hotels, as reported by HLN TV. While the idea isn’t completely far-fetched due to the popularity of live-tweeting, it seems many aren’t so keen on the idea.

However, W Hotels believes this is the cutting edge in wedding services.

“We’ve been noticing a huge trend among our wedding clientele to integrate social media into the wedding experience,” said Alyssa Kiefer, the Global Social Media Strategist for W Hotels. “Think about it — every milestone event, whether it’s a wedding, engagement, graduation, etc., is documented through guests’ personal social channels. Instagram, Twitter and Facebook have become the status quo. So many of our couples are asking guests to use a specific hashtag when uploading photos and we even have guests update their Facebook status while standing at the altar! That got us thinking… we at W pride ourselves on our “Whatever/Whenever” service, so what better way to stay ahead of the curve than to offer social capabilities as part of a wedding package with W Hotels? It’s one less thing a bride or groom has to worry about.”

What do you think? Do you think brides and grooms will start paying to have their wedding live-tweeted by a professional service? Let us know in the comments.

Source article: http://www.hlntv.com/article/2014/03/26/social-media-wedding-concierge-w-hotels-new-york

 

tCloud’s Take: Things People Do For Five Dollars

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What would you do for $5?

While some would hardly consider that viable compensation to drive down the street, others have a much different idea.

Enter Fiverr®, a website full of content creators willing to do anything (design, advertising, interviews, promotional videos) for $5. No, we’re not joking. Yes, it actually exists.

Launched in 2010, Fiverr® has become a creative global marketplace for small businesses to take advantage of advertising solutions. Sure, you can set a budget of $5 a day for Facebook advertising, but you can also get video testimonials, blog posts, radio commercials, logos, funny Youtube videos and more for the same amount through Fiverr®. This begs the question: Is the website a good option for your small business’s online marketing needs?

Here’s the pros and cons we came up with:

Pros:

  • You receive buzz-worthy content for your social media or website platforms
  • You’re not spending the entirety of your marketing budget in one place
  • If you use it for buying content, you create important connections all over the world
  • If you are using the platform as a content creator through your business, you generate new client/customer leads

Cons:

  • The quality of work may not be what you expected
  • Some platforms charge extra for convenience
  • There’s always the chance you may not receive your product after paying for it (but keep in mind, you’d only be out about $5).

Overall, Fiverr® offers businesses with a small online marketing budget a unique alternative.  Where else will you find someone willing to hang up your flyer around London or write your message in the sand?

Do you use Fiverr®? Would you use it for your business needs or offer your services through the site? Let us know in the comments.

Businesses: It’s Time to Get a Social Strategy Plan B

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By now, you have probably heard about Facebook’s plan to decrease how many of your business page’s updates post to your follower’s news feeds. If not…we’re sorry we had to break the news to you.

According to a ValleyWag report, a source says the social media giant is “in the process of slashing organic page reach down to 1 to 2 percent.” What does this mean for your business page? In short, you will need to “pay-to-play”. Consider this: if you have 1,000 fans, only 10 of them would see your post. If you only have 100 likes, only 1 fan is seeing your latest post. The only way to guarantee views and engagement is with paid advertisements.

No matter how large or small your business, the Great News Feed Depression will affect all company pages.

So, what’s happens next? You have a few options:

  1.  Pay for advertising through Facebook
  2.  Educate followers on the “Get Notifications” option
  3.  Come up with a social media Plan B…It’s time to start using other networks

Let’s pretend that paying for advertising is out of the question at the moment. If option #2 sounds like a good solution, you may wish to educate your followers as soon as possible before Facebook drops the hammer. Here’s how:

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Use a screenshot similar to the one above to illustrate the “Get Notifications” option. This choice is found in a drop-down menu in the navigation bar on your business’ Facebook page. All followers need to do is select “Get Notifications” to receive your status updates. Encourage your customers to use this option by posting this graphic on Facebook, your website, blog or any network you can. (Go ahead, you can take our screenshot if you need.)

Tip: If your followers don’t see that red notification box over their globe icon, encourage them to check out their news feed’s left hand module. Facebook users have an option that says “Page Feed” with a little orange flag beside it. That is where all liked pages’ latest posts are. 

However, Facebook is conducting a business page layout redesign, so it is unclear if the “Get Notifications” button will even exist in the near future.

In that case, option #3 may be your best bet. In that situation, what should you do if Facebook is no longer a viable option for generating organic views and engagement with your brand? Here’s our tips:

  • Evaluate your strongest social networks: Besides Facebook, what other social sites are driving traffic to your website? Is your Twitter account thriving? Do you have thousands of subscribers on YouTube? Or maybe your LinkedIn profile is generating the highest click-through rate. Find out which sites are booming and use them to engage your target audience.
  • Build your own online community: Perhaps launching your own social network is the key to gathering your online audience and keeping them engaged. This could be a subsection of your website or if you have the resources, your company can have its own social platform built and customized to your specific needs.
  • Promote your presence on another up-and-coming social network:  There are literally hundreds of social media sites out there for your use. (Here’s a list of just a few of them) Analyze your target audience’s demographics and promote your message through other platforms.

What do you think of the new stipulations for business pages on Facebook? Leave your thoughts in the comments.

tCloud’s Take: Facebook Prepares to Launch Multi-Million Dollar Video Ads

Courtesy PR Web

Courtesy PR Web

Look out, mobile Facebook users, video advertisements are coming your way.

The situation: Within the next several months, Facebook says it will roll out 15-second video ads on mobile sites. Just like videos shared by friends or sponsored pages on your news feed, these premium ads will play automatically without sound and stop if you scroll past. However, if you tap on them, the screen expands and you can watch the full commercial with sound. (Here’s what they’ll look like.)

The price tag: If you’re a business owner thinking about possibly promoting your company through these video ads, get ready to dig deep into those pockets. Way deep. Facebook says the average price for premium video ads is anywhere from $1 million to $2.5 million per day.

The result: While this sounds like an enticing way for profitable businesses to gain more exposure, there is a fear that the videos will be a turn-off to mobile internet users and cause backlash instead of a positive experience. However, many analysts don’t think so. In fact, they believe it will be great for Facebook’s stock.

Analyst Victor Anthony told MarketWatch he believes Facebook’s delay in video ads has been very strategic.

“Rollout was/is slow because Facebook wants to ensure that the user experience will not be disrupted,” Anthony said. “With this launch they are communicating that they now feel comfortable that the user experience will not be compromised.”

And, Facebook is planning on taking only the highest quality advertisements for its premium video ad program.

“To make sure Premium Video Ads are as good as other content people see in their News Feeds, we’re working with a company called Ace Metrix to help us review and assess how engaging the creative is for each ad — before it appears on Facebook,” said Facebook. “Ace Metrix will allow us to objectively measure the creative quality of the video in the Facebook environment, and highlight performance indicators for advertisers such as watchability, meaningfulness and emotional resonance. We’re taking this step in order to maintain high-quality ads on Facebook and help advertisers understand what’s working to maximize their return on investment.”

Here’s what we think: First of all, video advertising is not a new venture. Google’s been on the video ad train since 2006. Online viewers have watched promotional ads before streaming videos on YouTube and Hulu for years. However, what is new is the notion of video advertising through a widely-used social network like Facebook.

The fact is online video advertisements work. A 2010 Nielson study shows viewers had much greater brand and message recall and greater likability for online video ads as opposed to their traditional television counterparts.  Of course, the more interactive these video ads are, the better click-through and conversion rates for the represented company.

Katie Parr, Social Media Specialist here at tCloud Solutions, says she doesn’t believe these video ads will annoy Facebook users in the long run.

“I think at the beginning users won’t necessarily care for them, but they’ll adjust to the changes very quickly, just like they do for layout changes and other Facebook fixes,” she said. “As long as Facebook keeps the video ads to a minimum, which they are already planning on doing, I don’t think it’d be a problem at all.”

What do you think? We want to know. Leave your thoughts in the comments below. (Yes, that rhymed. We like to pretend we’re poets once in a while.)