Current Trends in Social Media: Video and Images

Mar 18 2014

6718116-social-trends-concept-as-a-abstract-backgroundOne of the biggest trends in social media right now is using visual content to promote your brand through sites like Instagram, Vine, Pinterest and Tumblr. With the advent of Vine in early 2013 and the increasing brand adoption of Instagram and Tumblr, businesses have been leaning away from text and moving towards visual content. In fact, there is predicted to be a huge rise in visual content in 2014. Here are a few more reasons why you should incorporate visual content into your business’s social media marketing strategies!

Humanize the company – put a face to the name!
Sharing Instagram pictures or taking Vine videos of what your company and employees are really like will tell your audience more than any text posts ever will. They speak volumes about the character of the business and connect customers to the people that make up your company.

Visual content is another form of storytelling.
There’s a reason we don’t get up during the commercial breaks at the Super Bowl – the stories that the ads tell are so engaging that you form a connection to the brand. Visual content creates an opportunity for companies to bring their message to life in a whole new way. For example, your company could create a series of Vines about the fun things that go on in the office to keep customers engaged and coming back for more!

Show, don’t tell.
You can post and tweet about your new products all you want, but the customer can virtually experience the product’s awesome features if your next Instagram video shows it in use. Maybe you’ll have an exciting announcement to share with your audience. Instead of writing a long blog post, you could take a great shot and share it with little to no text – and still tell your audience just enough to keep their attention.

Shareability.
“If content is king, then distribution is queen,” says Jonathan Perelman of BuzzFeed. There’s an increasing call for brands to give consumers content to share. With high-quality content that tells a story, consumers will be more likely to share it, acting as digital word-of-mouth. When they press that “Share” button, they’re spreading your company’s story to new audiences and getting your name out there as a brand that person trusts.

Perfect for short attention spans.
These days, the average web user has such a short attention span that you need to produce something compelling and quick to process in order to catch their eye. Images are processed 60,000 times faster in the human brain than text, so users can quickly consume and recall your content as they’re scrolling through newsfeeds and timelines.

What are some great ways you’ve engaged your audience with visual content? Let us know in the comments below!

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Your Valentine’s Day Guide to Social Media Etiquette

Feb 11 2014

Thanks to social media, Valentine’s Day shines light on the love lives – or lack thereof- of ourselves and our peers. http://www.flickr.com/photos/pinksherbet/4351548677/Whether you’re in a happy relationship or newly single, learning the basic etiquette of how to take on social media on the day of love can save you from posting or commenting something you might regret.

Keep the Lovey-Dovey Stuff at a Minimum

Think about how much you love to see paragraphs about other peoples’ significant others and how in love they are. Probably not a whole lot, but you’re not alone. In reality, nobody really wants to see this. A short-and-sweet post is OK, but keep it to a minimum. There’s no need to prove the love you and your partner share to the world of social media. Telling your significant other how you feel in person? Now that’s the way to go.

Hold Off on Venting

On the other hand, if you are sick of seeing the long, mushy posts, feeling the aftermath of a heartbreak or wishing your spouse bought you something other than a new vacuum cleaner, ranting about your unfortunate situation is just as much a faux-pas as raving about your lover. Instead, talk it out with a friend, write in a journal, or even treat yourself to a pedicure. After all, you deserve it!

Turn off the Technology

If you do have a special night planned with your loved one, take the time to unplug. Don’t take a picture of your dinner and post it to Instagram. Don’t obsessively refresh your Twitter feed. Don’t comment back on your friend’s post on your Facebook wall. Enjoy your time together on this special day and truly be in the moment. It will remind you that you’re really not missing out on much in the social media world after all.

What other tips do you have to making sure your social media etiquette is on point this Valentine’s Day? 

Photo Credit: Pink Sherbet Photography via Photopin cc

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Social Media and Spamming 101

Jan 31 2014

We’ve all had our email inboxes flooded with unwanted messages telling us that we can “Make $50,000 in one day!” and “Lose 20 pounds in a week!”

a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/76969036@N02/9203013589/

Think twice about sharing your high score on Candy Crush with your social networks!

While these annoying messages can be sent directly to our “Spam” mailbox, these unsolicited messages can be found in a different form on social media, too. Here’s how to spot them and what you can do to stop them, too.

Spotting a Spammer

By definition, spam is simply disruptive messages that are sent through a computer network. Your definition of spam can be completely different from your coworker’s, but it is safe to say that the majority of people do not want to receive countless requests for another Candy Crush life or see the 7th status update of the day from the same user. Figure out what really grinds your gears on your social media feed. In addition, if you have a social media account for your business, keep this in mind: Updating your Facebook status a couple times a day is fine, but make sure they are within at least a few hours of each other. The same goes for a LinkedIn status and Instagram photos. Twitter is much more fast-paced, but don’t send out 10 tweets in a row unless you’re talking to someone.

Put a Stop to Spam

Now that you’ve spotted your spam, stopping it entails different options. If you’re on Facebook, you can click on the arrow button in the top right corner that is found on every Facebook post, and click “I don’t want to see this.” You can then decide which updates you want to see from a person or fan page, or choose to stop following their updates altogether. On LinkedIn, you can click the button in the top right of a post where it says “Hide,” allowing you to stop receiving updates from that person.  Instagram and Twitter require you to stop following or block the person who is spamming you.

What are your top tips for “Spam Etiquette?” Let us know!

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Staying Social on Superbowl Sunday

Jan 27 2014

This upcoming weekend is one most Americans are looking forward to for one reason or another. http://www.flickr.com/photos/64472342@N05/12103395923

Whether you’re a die-hard fan of football or the food and epic commercials that accompany the Superbowl, you can turn your “Sunday Funday” up a notch by adding social media to the mix. Here’s how you can “stay social” during Superbowl Sunday.

  • Want to get the in on what’s going on behind the scenes with the SuperBowl? Follow @SuperBowl on Twitter for up-to-the-minute coverage on everything from the Seahawks and Broncos team members to play recaps to Superbowl-related events in the area. You can also follow @nfl to get the scoop on both teams, and of course @Seahawks and @Broncos if you like to keep a close watch on the game day all-stars.
  • Keep your eye on all things Superbowl-related by following @MLStadium  on Twitter, and using the hashtag #Road2MetLifeStadium to see what your favorite NFL players, professionals and fans are chatting about before, during and after the big game.
  • Keep track of everything you need to know about the beloved halftime show from its sponsor, Pepsi, by “Liking” their Facebook page and following @Pepsi on Twitter for fun facts, trivia, contests and more!
  • Keep track of your Trending Topics on Twitter to see what people are talking about on game day, and use these hashtags to search your favorite social media sites to stay in the know. #SuperbowlSunday and #Superbowl2014 are already buzzing!
  • @NYNJSuperbowl is the official Twitter handle of the Superbowl’s host committee. Follow them for updates on everything from FAQs to locations of the hottest Superbowl parties in the tri-state area.

Don’t forget that social media is a two-way street! If you want to chat with your favorite sports team or find out where you can meet and greet some of your favorite football players, ask away! Will you be “staying social” during the Superbowl?

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How to Use Snapchat for Business

Jan 20 2014

If you haven’t yet heard of the hot mobile app Snapchat, listen up. Notoriously known for turning down a $3 billion dollar deal with Facebook, Snapchat is a mobile app that allows users to send photos and videos to one another that self-destruct in a matter of seconds.

snapchat tips for small business from westchester social media experts

Not sure how to start “Snapping” for your small business? Read on!

If that’s not cool enough, there are over 60 million messages sent per day over Snapchat, a number that continues to climb. While Snapchat is great for sending quick updates on your personal life, it can also be a tremendous asset for businesses. Here are just a few ideas to adding Snapchat into the mix of your business marketing strategy.

  • Spread the word using your existing social media accounts. What better way to build your Snapchat following than to tell your current fans and followers you’ve started Snapping?
  • Create contests. Send your Snapchat followers a Snap with incentive by telling them that the first person to respond with a Snap back will receive a prize.
  • Offer exclusive deals. Send your followers a Snap with information on a flash sale or deal.
  • Give your followers a quick peek at what’s going on “behind the scenes” with your business. Maybe your ice cream shop is releasing a new flavor, or your women’s clothing boutique has a limited number of items from this season’s hottest designer. Let your Snapchat followers be the first to know.
  • Send your followers on a Scavenger hunt by asking them to send specific Snaps back to you. The first follower to get through your list wins a prize!
  • Showcase special events. Is your business sponsoring, hosting or attending a special event? Let your followers in on the fun by sharing highlights of your day.
  • Share your secrets. Pick a day to create a “one time only” offer, whether it’s a special dish at your restaurant or drink at your coffee shop. Send out a Snap to your followers to fill them in on your “secret” offer.

Do you have an awesome idea for using Snapchat for business? Tell us about it at www.facebook.com/gibbonsdigital, or tweet us at @GibbonsDigital.

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Smart Ways to Use Social Media to Find a Job

Jan 13 2014

Years ago, finding a job often entailed scouring “Help Wanted” ads in the local newspaper and snail-mailing your resume to a potential employer. Thanks to the Internet and social media, finding a job has taken on a whole new meaning, and with that means a whole new set of “rules” to follow when doing so.

job search and social media from westchester social media experts

Thanks to social media, afternoons of this are no longer needed!

Get started on the path to landing your dream job with these smart solutions.

  1. Clean up your profiles. Before using your social media profiles to search for a job, be sure to “tidy up.” Go through each of your social media pages and make sure your information is up to date. Delete any pictures or posts you wouldn’t want a potential employer to see. Keep in mind that the persona you project on social media is the persona potential employers will assume you have.
  2. Start networking. A strong network is by far one of the most powerful assets one can have when searching for a new job, and the wonderful part about social media is that you can build this network from home! Get started by joining LinkedIn groups in the industry you would like to work in. Since social media is about socializing, don’t just join LinkedIn groups and start asking around for potential employers. Instead, join the conversations and build relationships with your fellow group members before asking around for any positions needing to be filled. Otherwise, you risk the chance of being seen as just another jobseeker, rather than an individual with great ideas and discussion contributions.
  3. Spread the word. Let your friends know you’re in the market for a new job with a short-and-sweet social media update. Keep it simple and to the point, and make sure to indicate the position and industry you’re looking for. Chances are, someone will know someone who can point you in the right direction!
  4. “Socialize” your resume. Give your resume a quick update by adding your Twitter and LinkedIn profile information, which demonstrates your ability to use social media to potential employers.
  5. Use hashtags. Search Facebook (and especially Twitter) for hashtags that might indicate a new job opening. For example, searching Twitter with hashtags such as #hiring, #hiring #NY, etc., will bring up a large list of job opportunities to start your search.
  6. Do your research. If you have a potential employer in mind, research the company and try to find out who you might need to connect with (such as the company’s hiring manager). Check out their LinkedIn profile, see what groups they’re in and join them. This is a great way to get a feel for their personality and ideas, and what they might be looking for in a potential employee.

Did you land your job with the help of social media? Do you have any other tips for a successful job search? Let us know!

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There’s an App for That: The Top Apps to Make Your Life Easier

Jan 06 2014

 We live in a time where an “on the go” lifestyle is considered the norm for many people, which of course means that our dependence on our handy smartphones to point us in the right direction when it comes to finding information- and fast- is ever-increasing.

Best-Apps-to-Make-Life-Easier-from-Westchester-social-media-experts

A traffic jam can’t stop these handy apps from helping you out!

 Get started with making your life as stress-free as possible with these handy apps that are guaranteed to making your life easier. Oh, and did we mention? They’re all free!

  1. Evernote. This app is your one-stop shop for keeping your life organized. Are you planning a trip? Evernote allows you to store all your itineraries, confirmations, and important travel documents in one place. Did you find a cool new product while out shopping? Record a voice reminder and snap a quick picture. Do you need to collaborate with coworkers on that big project? Evernote allows you to share your stuff in just seconds with other users. With Evernote, all your notes, web clips, files and images are available on every device and computer you use.
  2. Genius Scan. Turn your phone into an instant pocket-scanner with this awesome app. Genius Scan enables you to quickly scan documents on the go and email the scans as a JPEG or PDF. Genius Scan is also well-deserving of its name, with features that detect the page frame of your document to correct its perspective, and offers exporting to iBooks or any app able to read PDF files. In addition, you can instantly share your scans to Twitter!
  3. Mint.com Personal Finance. Manage your money to the last cent with this personal finance app. Mint.com allows you to track, budget and manage your money in one place, so you can see exactly where you’re spending and where you can save. That $20-a-day lunch habit might just come to a screeching halt once you see that a Caribbean vacation is worth brown-bagging it for.
  4. Calorie Counter & Diet Tracker by MyFitnessPal. Keep your health in check with this diet app. With over 3,000,000 foods in its database, keeping track of your daily calories and exercise can be done in just a matter of minutes.
  5.  RetailMeNot Coupons. This money-saving app allows you to save big while you’re on the go. With thousands of coupons and deals to your favorite places, forgetting your coupons at home isn’t the end of the world. Plus, it certainly beats sore fingers from hours of snipping paper!
  6. GrubHub. Feeling hungry? GrubHub is here to save the day. Enter your address or search your current location and find a list of all your nearby delivery or pickup options from a list of thousands of eateries across the country. You can even search for that specific type of food you’re fancying, and order it right from your phone. Awesome!
  7. Remote Mouse. Watching an online movie or giving a presentation? The Remote Mouse app turns your device into an instant wireless remote control for your Mac or PC and is complete with a fully simulated touchpad, keyboard and featured remote panels.

Is there another app that you can’t live without? Tell us about it!

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New Year’s Resolutions: Social Media Edition

Dec 30 2013

For many of us, a brand-new year is a way to hit “refresh” on our lives and start anew. Whether you vow to cut out sweets or to climb Mount Everest, making New Year’s Resolutions can be a great way to prioritize your goals and dreams, as well as to thoroughly examine the accomplishments you’ve achieved so far and how you got there.

social media tips for 2014 from westchester social media experts

Start 2014 off on the right foot with these social media New Year’s resolutions!

While making improvements in the world of social media may not be at the top of your list, it’s important to remember that who you are in real life and who you are in the online world can be completely different if you don’t keep the two aligned. Help your “social self” start 2014 off on the right foot with our top 5 New Year’s resolutions, social media-style.

  1. Numbers are just numbers. How many times have you heard, “OMG! Her engagement picture only got 117 likes! How embarrassing!” “I can’t believe only 2 people commented on his status,” “She only has 78 Twitter followers!” Believe it or not, these are actual statements from actual people. Measuring your self-worth – or that of other people- by numbers on social media is, well, pretty lame. Of course, if your business is active on social media, the name of the game is to have a strong level of interaction, but numbers don’t necessarily mean much. Would you rather have a super active and enthusiastic but small group of Twitter followers who interact with you daily, or a massive amount of followers, but no interactions? Social media is about being social, not competing for the most “Likes” or followers.
  2. Be a resource. One of the best ways to boost levels of interaction on any social media platforms (especially for a business or organization) is to constantly put yourself in the shoes of your audience. Share cool, interesting content, ask thought-provoking questions and answer questions and concerns in a timely manner. If your audience knows they can count on you to be a reliable resource for valuable information, they’ll  be sure to stick around!
  3. Keep the TMI at a minimum. As interesting as your life may be, every single one of your fans/followers/friends do not want a play-by-play of your daily activities. We promise!
  4. Stop complaining. Did you start the day by locking your keys in your car? Was your phone bill higher than you anticipated this month? Was the mailman late yesterday? Believe it or not, these little life annoyances happen to just about everyone at some point, and you’re certainly not the first person to experience them. Broadcasting them on social media is like announcing to the world you’re throwing a pity party.
  5. Tidy up. It’s a good practice to go through your social media pages at least once a year and “clean up.” Go through users you’re following on Twitter and make sure they’re there for a good reason. The same goes for your Facebook friends.

What social media resolutions do you plan on sticking with for the New Year? Let us know, and cheers to 2014!

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How to Stay Social with Santa

Dec 24 2013

On Christmas Eve, thousands of children around the world will eagerly await the arrival of Santa. social media and christmas tips from westchester ny social media expertsWhile laying out treats for the jolly old elf and listening for the jingle of his sleigh bells on the roof are some of our favorite holiday activities, we’ve also discovered a couple other ways to zero in on Santa’s activities and whereabouts using social media. Here’s how you can “socialize” with Santa this Christmas.

NORAD Tracks Santa

 Every year since 1958, the North American Aerospace Defense Command kicks off their “NORAD Tracks Santa” program during the holiday season. Found at www.noradsanta.org, the program offers great games and activities for children until December 24, when the Santa tracking kicks off and Santa’s progress around the world can be viewed on a live map. In addition, children can call in to the program’s call center to voice any questions or concerns about Santa, and get the latest updates on Santa’s big night on the program’s Facebook and Twitter pages.

Hootsuite’s “Santa Command Center”

 Tied in with NORAD’s Santa Tracker, Hootsuite’s “Santa Command Center” features a dashboard display of live updates of Santa’s most important information. What might this be? The dashboard includes a “Sentiment” chart, measuring the feelings of children around the world, a “Top Gifts for 2013” graph, showcasing the most popular gifts for the holiday season, a “Favorite Holiday Flicks” graph, showing off the top picks for festive flicks this year, and a “Cookies or Milk” comparison graph, comparing the popularity of Santa’s two favorite treats. (SPOILER ALERT: Cookies are in the lead)! The Command Center also features Santa’s live Twitter feed as well as statistics on his social media popularity.

Google’s Santa Tracker

 If tracking Santa through NORAD just isn’t enough, check out Google’s very own Santa Tracker. Powered through Google maps, the Santa Tracker will display a live tracking map starting on Christmas Eve to follow Santa’s every move. Until then, explore Santa’s interactive village on display in the meantime. There, you’ll learn about different Christmas traditions of children around the world, get a sneak peek into the elves’ workshop, have access to awesome holiday games, and more!

Santa’s Facebook Page

Take a peek at Santa Claus’ personal Facebook fan page, where he keeps his fans up to date with his latest activities and even offers printable coloring pages and “Good List” certificates!

With these top-notch activities, staying social with Santa has never been easier. Just be sure to get a good night’s sleep on Christmas Eve. After all, he knows when you’re awake! How will you be “socializing” with Santa this Christmas?

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Mind Your Manners: Social Media Etiquette 101

Dec 16 2013

We were taught to say “please,” “thank you,” and to keep our elbows off the table since what seems like taking our very first steps. While minding our p’s and q’s has been ingrained into our memories for years, the rise of social media has brought a brand-new set of faux pas that can make all the difference between positioning yourself in a positive, respectful light versus being seen as a social ignoramus. tips for social media manners from westchester social media expertsBrush up on your “social skills” and get to know these basic social media manners.

  1. Don’t use social media to share private information. Your Facebook profile may be considered “private,” but that doesn’t mean that other people aren’t able to see what you post onto other people’s pages. If you absolutely must share personal information on social media and want to be sure no one else will see it aside from the recipient, send them a private message.
  2. Don’t automate your social media accounts. It’s safe to say that nearly everyone reading this has been subject to never-ending invites to play Farmville. If you use an app that allows you to sign in using a social media account, make sure you are not allowing it to invite friends/post on your behalf.
  3. Don’t post spoilers. Imagine your all-time favorite TV show’s season finale was last night, and you’ve been revved up all day to get home to find out what happened. You check your Twitter feed, only to find a 140-character summary of the entire episode, which is now completely ruined for you. Be considerate of other viewers: Always write SPOILER ALERT if you are so inclined to share your thoughts.
  4. Don’t “Like” your own photos. Liking your own photos on any social media account is like giving yourself a high five or sending yourself flowers. Just don’t do it.
  5. Don’t overshare. Everyone has seen a social media post that goes along the lines of, “Eating breakfast, getting some coffee, shower, running errands,  visiting Grandma, going to lunch…” You get it. As exciting as your life may be, no one really cares. It’s also not smart to let the world of social media know the exact hours you won’t be home. Leave your life to the imagination.
  6. Don’t be a complainer. Like the Oversharer, everyone knows someone who uses social media as a personal diary and/or therapist. While it’s perfectly acceptable to have a complaint once every so often (hey, we’re only human)! It is not OK to post lengthy rants on a daily basis.
  7. Proceed with caution when it comes to sensitive topics. If one of your followers posts about a family member falling ill or passing away, think very hard how (and if) you are going to respond before issuing an immediate reply. This is one area that you do not want your comments to be taken out of context. And please: Never, ever “LIKE” a post with this kind of information attached. Sometimes it’s simply better to give a good, old-fashioned phone call.
  8. Be considerate of others. While you may look fabulous in last night’s holiday party photos, your friend may be a completely different story. Spare them the embarrassment and avoid posting photos that you wouldn’t want people to post of you.

Do you have any other top-notch social media etiquette tips?  Share them with us!

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