The Next Big Social Media Platforms: Business or Personal? Part 1

Sep 07 2014

 

You’ve heard millennials don’t care about Facebook anymore, but it’s still the most popular social networking site for Americans, even for users age 18-24. While Snapchat has risen to number three amongst millennials, there are still other networks to keep an eye on. Innovative business owners can use many of these platforms as marketing tools, while others are just for personal use.

We will be covering many of these networks over our next few blogs. Stay with us and find out what under appreciated social network is ready for your business.

Snapchat

undiscovered social networks for your business presented by Gibbons Digital ConsultantsArguably the fastest rising site in popularity, snapchat allows the user to share photos or videos with friends or other users.

What makes it different: There is a time limit on the photos or videos. Once they have been seen, they are gone forever. In a world where the next big thing is only a tweet away, embrace the impermanence.

Business Savvy: Early business adopters used Snapchat to send out coupons (that had to be opened at the register before they disappeared) or debut new fashion lines. Keep in mind, the tone of your Snapchat marketing should be casual – think the opposite of LinkedIN.

Medium

undiscovered social network medium for your business from Gibbons Digital ConsultantsMedium is a new kind of blogging platform. Take it at its name – it isn’t for long blog posts. Medium gives you a great cover photo spot (use it wisely) and space for a ‘medium’ length blog post. Posts are associated with your twitter handle, as are comments.

What makes it different: Users can comment on the post and create a sort of footnote that you can then click and expand to see what others had to say and how the original author responded to the comment. Comments are private until you publish them, but can lead to great discussions on a subject.

Business Savvy: Absolutely! Not only does Medium provide simple and clear statistics and graphs for you, it also makes it very easy for readers to share content on Facebook and Twitter. Because every user is associated with their twitter handle, you can also find your readers on other sites.

We Heart It

undiscovered social networks for your businessWe Heart It at first seems like another Pinterest knockoff – but it has actually been around longer. It is an image heavy site where users can curate collections of everything they, well, heart! Users can search existing content or add their own.

What makes it different: At first glance, it’s practically the same as Pinterest. However, the little differences make themselves clear the more you use it. A cleaner more minimal layout makes the images pop, without descriptions (or wordy space for advertising) in the search results. Taste makers are also important – when you hit the information button, the first person to ‘heart’ the image is named. It is also far more popular with the coveted 18-24 demographic who see Pinterest as a place for moms.

Business Savvy: Not only can business create their own profiles and collections, like Old Navy having spots for their season collections, We Heart It now uses native advertising with sponsored posts. We can see this being a great space for any business that makes, curates or sells beautiful things. We heart it definitely skews towards image heavy marketing.

Think one of these platforms might be right for you business, but are unsure how to get it started? Contact Gibbons Digital Consultants today for an in-depth analysis of the future of your business.

 

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Don’t Just Browse Facebook, Curate Your Timeline

Jul 23 2014

You don't have to unfriend

 

 

 

 

 

Tired of Candy Crush requests? Don’t want to miss an update from your cousin who just had an adorable baby? You don’t need to understand the inner workings of Facebook’s algorithm, just follow these easy steps to take control of your news feed and leave the unfriend button as a last resort.

Choose Your Order

What: There are 2 modes you can choose from Facebook to reorder your timeline. The default is ‘Top Stories,’ but you can change it to ‘Most Recent.

How: Click the small arrow next to the words ‘News Feed’ under your profile picture on the top left and choose how you want to see updates.

Top Stories vs Most Recent

 

 

 

Pick Your Favorites

What: You can assign a friend as a ‘Close Friend’ to get more of their news in your timeline. To go a step beyond this, choose to get phone or email notifications when these friends post to Facebook.

How: Go to your friend’s Facebook profile and click the drop down menu on their cover photo that says ‘Friends’. This will allow you to add them to the ‘Close Friends’ and make sure you see more updates from them.

See more from your friends on your facebook timeline

 

 

 

List Them

What: By adding friends to certain lists (anything from coworkers to workout buddies) you can choose to check on their updates separately from your timeline.

How: On the left side of Facebook select the ‘Friends’ heading and start making lists. Once your lists are created (you can edit them anytime) you will be able to select that list anytime to see updates from that group of people. If you hover over a list you will see a settings wheel, click the wheel and add a list to ‘Favorites’ to easily access this list anytime from the top of your newsfeed.

Get Rid of Them

What: You can easily hide a post or unfollow someone without unfriending them.

How: When you see a post on your timeline, click the little grey arrow at the top right and choose ‘I don’t want to see this’ to get rid of a certain kind of post or ‘Unfollow Friend’ to keep a friend’s post out of your timeline. This also works to block game apps and certain advertisers.

Stop seeing updates from someone on facebook

 

 

 

 

 

 

Take the Survey

What: Tell Facebook what you do and don’t want to see by taking a quick survey.

How: Click that little grey arrow again (on any post) and choose ‘Make News Feed Better’. There are 15 posts you will be shown and you have to rate how much you agree with the statement provided. It only takes a few minutes to use this Facebook provided system.

You can take the survey multiple times, but the best way to tell Facebook what you want to see on your timeline is by engaging with the content in your News Feed. The more you like, comment and share – the more Facebook knows what you want to see.

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To Boost, or not to Boost, that is the Question – Facebook Advertising 101

Jun 23 2014

Gibbons Digital Facebook Boost Westchester Social MediaIf you Google how to use Facebook post Booster you will find half the blogs will be a how-to and the other half will be write-ups on why you should never, ever Boost posts on Facebook. We’re here to tell you when Boosting can work for you.

The Facebook algorithm (that math and science behind what shows up on your News Feed and what doesn’t) may be considered the mystery of our generation to some, but with enough research and common sense you can start to see patterns emerge.

Facebook has revealed that any update posted by your page will only reach 3-5% of your fans. This means if you have 5000 fans, you will only reach 150 to 250 of them through organic (not paid for) reach.

Facebook gives you two options to expand the reach of that post – Promoted Posts or Ads and the Boost.

What are the Limitations of a Boosted Post?

Only target limited interests
Cannot target a device (desktop or mobile)
Only target by interests, or ‘fans plus friends of fans’ (instead of just fans)
Cannot use custom audience or conversion tracking
Only Boost one ad at a time

What Can I do with a Boosted Post?

Target location
Target gender
Target age
Target up to 10 interests
Target your fans and their friends
Choose your budget
Choose the duration
Access all this right on your Timeline

So why would you use Boost over Promoted Posts or Ads?

If you are targeting your existing fanbase, and you want to reach more than the 3-5%, then Boosting can be the perfect option. Say you are an author who has released a new book, or a store that is having a sale, or a software company who has released a new product – these are all things you want all your fans to know about. This can be a simple Boost to reach past organic limitations.

If you are a brick and mortar store or a company that offers services to a particular area, Boosting is a quick and easy way to promote yourself. You can choose local towns or cities and specific interests to Boost. If you are Boosting to increase your fanbase, targeting through Facebook’s more detailed post promotion is a better way to track your objective.

What does this mean for me?

If you are a newbie to Facebook paid advertising and have an update you want to go to fans and their friends, specific interests, or specific locations, Boosting is a quick and easy way to get the word out.

If you’re still unsure what is the right option for you, contact us today to learn how we can help you reach your Facebook goals.

 

Facebook’s FAQ on Boosting

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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!

Photo Credit: David Guo’s Master via Photopin cc

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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?

Photo Credit: marsmet522 via Photopin cc

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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.

Photo Credit: ryan.nagelmann via Photopin cc

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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!

Photo Credit: slightly everything via Photopin cc

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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!

Photo Credit: Sonya via Photopin cc

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