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Google’s Social Media Definitions

If search engines were given earthly authority, Google would be king.  However, even with that impressive standing, Google isn’t the dictionary. A king aspiring to be a comedian? Yes. An engine of accurate descriptions? No.

Here are some of the best auto-fill descriptions for popular social networking sites. Enjoy!

FACEBOOK

fbdef

Quick! Somebody call the paramedics. The most popular social network seems to be losing consciousness. That, or it’s possessed…we can’t tell.

LINKEDIN

indef

Wow, such pessimism over the world’s only professional social network. If only they knew how much this platform is growing and thriving, especially in the world of online marketing.

 

 INSTAGRAM

instadef

Don’t believe anything Instagram says. Our guess is that it’s probably a bold-faced lie.

 

 PINTEREST

pinterestdef

Just because you can’t log into Pinterest doesn’t mean it’s stupid. That’s not nice.

 

YOUTUBE

ytdef

Houston, we seem to have a problem with the YouTube.

 

TWITTER

twitterdef

Oh, poor stupid, useless Twitter. #LifeIsMeaningless #TwitterProblems

 

FOURSQUARE

4squaredef

We refuse to believe Foursquare is dead. Especially in Istanbul.

 

SOCIAL MEDIA

smbizdef

Such bitterness and angst. Are we sure Google auto-fill search isn’t run by teenagers?

 

GOOGLE

googdef

Here’s what we know: 1) Google is your friend with evil tendencies that 2) may or may not be Skynet and 3) is looking for minions. Sounds legit.

 

Have you experienced any Google Auto-Fill Awesomeness? Share it in the comments!

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Have selfies gone too far?

Blue Swimsuit self portrait

Selfies are everywhere: from our social media news feeds to television to songs celebrating them on Top 40 radio stations. With stories like suicide attempts and plastic surgery inspired by selfie-taking, do you think the fad has gone too far? Read the Social Media Today exclusive here: Invasion of the Selfies

What are your thoughts on selfies? Leave a comment below or on Social Media Today.

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

canstockphoto18980420

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

 

The Best (and Worst) Times to Update Your Social Networks

Hello digital astronauts,

Check out this helpful infographic we found on Fannit.com. Go ahead, print this out for your office or cubicle to serve as a guideline for the best times to update your social media for increased audience engagement.

Courtesy Fannit.com

Courtesy Fannit.com

Social Media Boot Camp: Deciding which account needs help

socialmediabootcamp new

All right, social media users, it’s time to get down to business. Welcome to tCloud Social Media Boot Camp, where inadequate social accounts are whipped into shape by our experts and molded into the best possible platform for your business.

In our first installment of the tCloud Social Media Boot Camp blog series, we’ll show you how to determine which of your social media sites need to shape up. After all, your social networks are meant to extend the voice of your brand to consumers and if your pages don’t even show up in search results, something needs to change.

So, how does one know which social network is under-performing? The answer lies within Google’s search algorithms.

According to HootSuite, one of the easiest ways to figure out which of your platforms isn’t up to snuff is by typing your name or business’ name into Google and taking note of where your social platforms rank.

Taking that into account, we did a Google search for tCloud Solutions, and this is what appeared on the first page:

google search resultsSo, using these listings as a basis for how our social sites are performing, we see that:

  1. Our LinkedIn profile has the highest search ranking, followed by our Twitter page, FourSquare and Facebook.
  2. We also have a Google + and YouTube account, but our Google profile isn’t shown until the second page (if you disregard the link under our main website entry) and our YouTube account is buried in the search results.
  3. This blog is also on the second page of Google search results.

What does this really mean?

While the exact algorithm is somewhat of a secret, we do know Google ranks search listings by a variety of criteria, the most common being:

  • Recently updated content
  • Keyword location on the site (SEO)
  • Hyperlinks to and from your website
  • How long the site has been in operation

Theoretically, social media sites that take these aspects into consideration will have a higher ranking. From our previous Google search, it’s safe to say our LinkedIn page and Twitter account are doing well. We post content on those sites nearly every day and make sure they have links to our main site as well as other social media sites. On the other end of the spectrum, our YouTube page is lost in the mix partly because we just created the account and don’t have any videos up just yet. It also has the lowest amount of traffic and no referral traffic to our main webpage, because we haven’t started publicizing it. Therefore, the account we’re checking into Boot Camp is YouTube.

Which one of your social media accounts is last on Google search? That site is boot camp material. Go ahead, take ’em to Boot Camp by leaving the URL in the comments.

Be sure to follow our weekly web series for tips on how to improve your Boot Camp social site so it moves on up in the digital world.

Which Social Network are You?

newsocialquestin

Let’s pretend for a moment that social networking sites had the ability to transform themselves into people. Which one would resemble you the most?

Our Social Media Specialist at tCloud Solutions came up with a fun, sharable quiz that detects your personality and pairs it with your ideal social network.

Go ahead, take a break from work and give it a try:

http://www.playbuzz.com/katiep10/which-social-network-is-your-bff

 

How Your Digital Marketing Strategy is Like a Pulsar

Credit: David A. Aguilar / NASA / ESA

Credit: David A. Aguilar / NASA / ESA

As Astronauts of the Digital Universe, we’re constantly exploring new (and sometimes daunting) terrain, taking notes on our observations and using those notes to prepare  innovative marketing game plans for our clients. Sometimes, we come across interesting comparisons to our own amazing universe that are too cool not to share.

Take pulsars, for example. They’re easily one of the most intriguing stars in the galaxy. Pulsars are extremely dense, rapidly rotating stars that emit periodic beams of radiation into the universe. Some of these neuron stars spin several hundred times per second. Astronomers have noted one of the most powerful pulsars exists in the Crab Nebula (pictured above). The Crab Nebula Pulsar spins only about 30 times per second (which is relatively slow for pulsars), but emits gamma-ray beams that are a million times stronger than medical X-Ray machines.

Now, let’s pretend pulsars are like your company’s digital marketing strategy. You’ve got a lot going on: social media, content marketing in the form of blogs, YouTube videos or eBooks, online contests, email campaigns, and digital ad space.  Every time you post something online, it’s like a pulsar’s radiation beam sweeping across the universe. If your company releases a timely beam once in a while, it’s a really cool optical illusion (aka your fans and followers are poked and prodded just enough to result in intrigue). But if your strategy consists of rotating 1,328,971 times per second, you can bet your public will be turned off by your relentless social media posts (not to mention they’re probably shielding their eyes by now since they were staring at an out-of-control disco ball.)

No matter how intriguing your campaigns are, too many in a short span of time will get annoying very quickly.

So, how do you avoid spamming your customer base and stop sending out so much radiation that they cease to exist? (Yeah, that’s no fun.) We’ve gathered the following observations for your business to put into practice:

  • Create a digital marketing campaign calendar: Everything you do on the digital front should be thoroughly planned in advance. Using whatever type of calendar you prefer, write out the times you’ll be sending email campaigns, posting on social media and actively targeting users through digital advertising. Make sure it’s frequent enough to keep customers in the loop but not often enough that it will create negative emotions or bad feedback toward your brand. Balance the campaigns out so that it has even coverage throughout your platforms. Planning your content several months in advance is a great way to keep your digital marketing goals alive and well.
  • Schedule your social media posts: Most social media networks have an option for scheduling content for a later time. If the content is not incredibly newsworthy and doesn’t need to be sent out into the digital universe immediately, hold back and schedule the content for later. You can even set up your whole week’s content in one setting. Using a social media management system like HootSuite is also a big help when it comes to scheduling your social media posts across a variety of platforms.
  • Understand social media content timing: Not every time is the optimal moment to post on social media or promote your blog. Research which times have the most successful engagement rate depending on what network you’re using and put it into practice. (hint: it’s probably not the day and time you think).   

Bottom Line: While pulsars are fascinating, they’re also incredibly strange and potentially dangerous. So it is with digital marketing campaigns. Exercise caution when embarking on your latest strategy and understand that timing is everything.

5 Things You’re Not Doing on Social Media

In a world that’s becoming increasingly more digital, many individuals claim they’re experts when it comes to social media. However, not everyone is following the rules when it comes to posting engaging, award-winning content. Well, of course I am! you may be thinking. I know how to use social media; I use it all the time for personal use. That must make me an expert.

Not exactly.

What some companies don’t realize is that engagement from posts, videos or blogs doesn’t come automatically.  Inspiring meaningful conversation in your customer-base doesn’t magically happen the moment you sign up for a social network. It takes time, creativity and a dose of patience.  However, if you’ve been working hard at driving interest through your social platforms for months and nothing is happening, there could be other issues at play.

Here are five major things you’re probably not doing in your business’ social strategy:

1. You’re not using social media as a two-way conversation tool

Image by © Royalty-Free/Corbis

Image by © Royalty-Free/Corbis

It’s sounds silly but really, it’s an easy mistake. For centuries, media outlets and marketers relied on the one-way broadcast model to get the word out in the form of newspapers, posters, billboards, mailers, you name it. It’s a bit of an understatement to say things have changed. We now live in a world where online marketing takes on the two-way conversation model as our audiences are now talking back. If you’re talking at your customers rather than with them, they will ultimately be turned off by your message. Change up your strategy by sponsoring user-submitted contests (Pinterest, Instagram, or YouTube are great channels for this) or by simply asking questions of your audience on topics relating to your business.

2. You aren’t visual enough

nonvisualpost

Consider this: you’re working diligently on an informative Facebook status such as the one above and you’re about ready to hit “post”. No matter what words you choose or how witty you are, no one is going to give it a second look in their news feeds. Not even a plethora of hashtags could save this status. Why? It’s boring. It’s not eye-catching enough for a visually oriented online world. Instead, spice up your posts with links (make sure they have the thumbnail included with them), photos or videos. Online posts are more likely to be read or shared when visual material is included, like the example below:

visualfbpost

3.  You’re not taking advantage of analytics.

Courtesy govloop.com

Courtesy govloop.com

Your company could have great content on your social media sites right now, but all those bells and whistles won’t matter if you’re not targeting that content for the right demographics. How do you know who your audience is? Check out your analytics. Networks like YouTube and Facebook have their own built-in analytics platforms, and utilizing these tools could be the breath of fresh air your online marketing needs.  For instance, do your posts generally reach more men or women? What age group interacts with your page? What time of day is your audience tuning in? The answers to all these questions could greatly help your social media strategy.  

4. You don’t have a plan

Courtesy of hongkiat.com

Courtesy of hongkiat.com

Quite simply, many companies on social media don’t have followers because they don’t have a strategic plan to get those followers. If you’re blindly posting links and sharing content through a variety of social media networks, you won’t get very far. What are your social media goals? Do you plan on having any contests? Will  you start a blog? How often will you advertise your page or promote your posts? What is your social media budget? What are some new and innovative ways to capture your audience? Brainstorm as much as possible and use this as the basis for your online marketing plan.

5. You’re not promoting your social networks outside the internet

20-social-media-icons

Let’s imagine that you have a solid strategy for using Facebook, YouTube and Twitter and you use them exceptionally well to promote your products and services. How will your customers know about those platforms if you don’t spread the word that you even utilize them? While it’s a good idea to have social follow buttons as a part of your website header or footer, you should also have some in-person, non-internet advertising in the mix. This means putting up vinyl stickers in your storefront windows, placing signs near the registers, and putting them on your business cards. It also means integrating them as a part of your print and television advertising. Assure them that amazing content is only a click or tap away.

Navigating the Vast Social Media Galaxy

Hand holding a Social Media 3d Sphere

Courtesy Google Images

Like our own universe, the social media universe can seem never-ending and just as mind-boggling.  It’s easy to become flustered when using the different channels for your company’s online marketing strategy, especially when the rules of social media are constantly changing. Think of it this way: just as scientists are discovering more about the galaxy we live in, social media marketing gurus are always learning more about how to effectively capture the attention of your target audience through these channels.

Thankfully, our astronauts have navigated this territory before. Here are a few tips on what to look for in some of the most popular social networking accounts and which ones can be best utilized for your business:

  • Facebook: Facebook is the king of social media. With 1.31 billion users, it has the most reach for potential customers to see your brand. No matter what industry you’re in (whether it’s food service, cosmetics, manufacturing, etc.), having a presence on Facebook is a necessary addition to your company’s website. Not only that, but it is the perfect outlet for updates, a place to share articles and visual material, hold contests, and engage your customers in meaningful conversation.
  • TwitterWhile Twitter currently comes in second for amount of users, it’s probably the most misused social media network out there. Sure, it’s a challenge to fit everything in a 140-character description, but that’s the beauty of it. The equation for Twitter is simple: one- to two-line creative teaser + a link + #hashtag = engagement. Twitter works best for news organizations and/or companies who use it as a public relations “news feed”, because that is essentially what Twitter is: a stream of intriguing updates. Many Twitter users utilize the site as the source of their daily news consumption. It’s not a blog and it’s not a place for wordy ranting. However, Twitter is apparently effective for fighting over customers, as dueling dining chains Applebees and Outback Steakhouse recently found out.
  • LinkedInThis growing social network is important to any company’s digital strategy, especially for the human resources side of things. Polish your online presence by creating a sleek LinkedIn profile with information about your company, photos and service or product offerings. Frequently post your blog links on LinkedIn to establish your voice of authority to potential customers, employees and network connections.  This network is also a great way to advertise job openings and get the most out of recruiting.
  • YouTubeYouTube is one of the most important social networks to help your SEO strategy as well as connecting to the 18-34-year-old audience. Check out what we have to say about YouTube here.
  • PinterestIf your marketing strategy has a lot to say via photos, Pinterest is a perfect network for your company. Whether you’re in the business of baking, interior design, photography, or basically anything that sparks inspiration, taking advantage of this social network is ideal. Pinterest is also a great platform on which to host contests. (PS. we can help you with your next “Pin-to-Win” contest) It’s also a great way to connect to women, as the majority of Pinterest users are female.
  • FourSquare: Interact with local customers by taking advantage of FourSquare. This network is most often used in its mobile app form, as users “check-in” via FourSquare to various restaurants, shops, and other points of interest. The network gives points for visiting different types of businesses and also provides users the ability to take photos and leave tips for future visitors. FourSquare is also unique in that it uses GPS signals to detect when a user is in your store, which gives you the perfect opportunity to talk about daily specials or other events.
  • Instagram: Like Pinterest, Instagram is a way to share your message through photos and visual material. Unlike other networks that encourage broadcasting a message, Instagram is a great method to open up that two-way conversation by engaging your followers and encouraging them to share photos. Instagram is perfect for clothing companies like H&M and Aeropostale, both of which encourage their brand’s wearers to post photos of themselves while wearing or even trying on the company’s clothing in stores.

Bottom line: You do not need to sign up for every social networking site that exists. That’s like posting a flag with your business’ logo on every planet you land on but not spending enough time to build an outpost to attract the locals’ interest.  Instead, pick three channels that magnify your company’s marketing goals the most and build these networks before expanding your reach with other social media sites.

Need further advice on deciding which channels can promote your message the strongest? Let us help.