Monthly Archives: June 2012

How to get the best out of Google+

Eileen Brown ZDNet Magic wandI read an article the other day about the Financial Times which has over 1 million followers in its circle on Google+ 

Brand pages were introduced in November 2011, so to get to 1 million followers in this time is a really good achievement.

How did the FT manage to gather so many followers? Here are some tips gleaned from both the FT and Time magazine which has 1.2 million followers on Google+

 

  • Segment  your circles and post relevant content to each topic area so that users can get highly personalised content and not just information from the main feed
  • Search features enables content to be discovered more readily compared with Facebook. Make sure your post titles contain information that makes your post discoverable
  • Hangouts enable quick webcast type updates.  Connect with your audience with open forums, discussions and information
  • Give your users the ability to be able to read posts when and where they like.  they can do this via social reader apps such as flipboard which gets content to the reader wherever they happen to be, on whatever device they choose
  • Encourage sharing via the +1 button on posts, and embed the Google+ button onto blogs and websites
  • Ask the audience questions for better audience insight

Involving the audience gives much better participation and insight. Posting in depth articles as well as sharing lighter topics will enable you to gauge which resonates best.  Sharing links, images and videos works well in Google+ and brings a good vibrancy to the page.

You might not get to 1million followers, but by following interesting people and sharing stories with your audience – that get re-shared — you are adding to the big conversation and contributing socially.

Eileen is a social business strategist, ZDNet columnist and author of Working The Crowd: Social Media Marketing for Business. Contact her to find out how she can help your business extend its reach.

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Facebook changed your default email address without telling you

So Facebook decided which of my email addresses it was going to show on my timeline?

Facebook now shows everyone’s email address to be yourname@facebook.com – not the email address that you chose to display on your profile.

I’d prefer to choose my own email address thank you Facebook.  It is a simple matter to get it back however so that Facebook displays the email address you want – not the email address Facebook wants you to display.

1: Click on your username and click on the about link..

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2: Scroll down the the Contact info area and click on the edit button.  You will see a list of your email addresses.

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3: Select the email address that you want Facebook to display.  Select the arrow to the right of the name and click the ‘show on Timeline’ option. Select the Facebook.com address and select ‘hide from timeline’.

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4: Click on the save button at the bottom of the dialog box..

Now everything is back to the way you want it… Smile

Eileen is a social business strategist, ZDNet columnist and author of Working The Crowd: Social Media Marketing for Business. Contact her to find out how she can help your business extend its reach.

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Tesco starts joining the dots with a co-ordinated YouTube strategy

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The retail giant Tesco is tidying up its YouTube presence with a co-ordinated strategy across its social media channels. Tesco has several channels:

That’s a lot of fragmentation.  It is about time that Tesco co-ordinated its social activities. The plan is to integrate the content and re-launch the channel later this summer.  Tesco has hired digital agency Zone to work with it on the initiative.

Tesco already has a co-ordinated approach on Facebook with over 800,000 fans and 3.82 per cent engagement – a good level of engagement.  It runs games such as Delivery Dash and Speed Shopping, posts regular updates to encourage fan engagement. It has several Twitter accounts too  — although sometimes updates get hijacked by followers – such as the ‘slave labour claims’ earlier this year.

Perhaps Tesco could follow the example of the WWF, which has a great joined up social media story across its chosen channels, linking its world-wide subsidiaries together holistically.  It will be good to see whether Tesco manage to achieve something similar as it pulls its social strategy together.

Credit: FWI

Eileen is a social business strategist, ZDNet columnist and author of Working The Crowd: Social Media Marketing for Business. Contact her to find out how she can help your business extend its reach.

Sync your Amex card with Twitter for hashtag offers

This is a nice bit of innovation from American Express.  Now you can sync your American Express card with Twitter and receive offers when you Tweet or check in with Foursquare.

When you use Foursquare to check in to a location where an Offer exists, a message will be sent to your mobile device notifying you of an available offer (such as, by way of example, a statement credit or point of sale discount).

If you would like to take advantage of the offer, you must first activate certain offers by pressing the “Load to Card” or similar button. To redeem an offer, follow the instructions and use your Card for the purchase.

On Twitter you need to look our for special offer hashtags from American Express or the brands that are partnering for the offer. using the hashtags loads the offer onto your synced card. Once the offer is loaded onto your card, use the card to pay for the offer and the offer is applied as a statement credit on your account.

This is a great way for Amex to measure levels of engagement through hashtags and offers. The merchant bears the cost of the discount and pays Amex the transaction fee for each transaction.

Currently the brands offering discounts seem to be US based, but the offer conditions also apply in the UK according to the terms and conditions on the web  site.

How long will it be before other debit and credit cards follow the lead of Amex and connect their social activities together too?

This is a good initiative which ensures that future campaigns will be seen by as wide an audience as possible – for the minimum of investment.

Eileen is a social business strategist, ZDNet columnist and author of Working The Crowd: Social Media Marketing for Business. Contact her to find out how she can help your business extend its reach.

Hot and bothered about Lara Croft

Lara CroftLara Croft, every geeks first cyber girlfriend and female aspirational badass has a new changed image.  This new Lara, scruffy, less polished and smaller bosomed is also more vulnerable.

According to Kotaku, you’ll ‘want to protect’ the new Lara. Executive producer Ron Rosenberg reckons this new Lara will make you feel like you are her help her – to protect her through her challenges.

Rosenberg says:

“The ability to see her as a human is even more enticing to me than the more sexualized version of yesteryear,” he said. “She literally goes from zero to hero… we’re sort of building her up and just when she gets confident, we break her down again.”

And the term “break her down again has some awful consequences for the action girl.

She is taken prisoner.

Her best friend is captured

Her captors try to rape her

RAPE?

Come on…

“She is literally turned into a cornered animal,” Rosenberg said. “It’s a huge step in her evolution: she’s forced to either fight back or die.”

I’m staggered. What a weak and insensitive plot line.

Now, one of the greatest female icons for women characters in gaming is now going to be put through a ‘development phase’ in the game that includes attempted rape – something that only a tiny percentage of men will EVER experience, nor will most understand the impact on another human being.

And the actions are being glorified as part of the ‘New woman’ that is Lara Croft. There are so many ways to build a character.  It does not have to be through rape. Does she really have to be a survivor of a rape attempt?

Lara was the original sexy strong woman.  Now the makers have tried to weaken her by subjecting her to behaviour that will not resonate with male game players. Nor did it resonate with the (predominantly male) game designers – I bet a female was not in the lead developer team for this.

Until we get more women developers into gaming, this stereotyping will continue to occur – and the next generation of gamers will come to assume that this type of portrayal of women is the norm.

This weakening of strong female icons should end. right now.  Before we find we have none left to use as role models.

Eileen is a social business strategist, ZDNet columnist and author of Working The Crowd: Social Media Marketing for Business. Contact her to find out how she can help your business extend its reach.

Credit: CherryDarling_6

Social media parody

Heck. I spend a lot of time quoting stats from videos like these. Now I only hope that these new ‘fake’ stats don’t start to creep in to my presentations Smile

A great parody of the original social media revolution video and well worth watching…

Eileen is a social business strategist, ZDNet columnist and author of Working The Crowd: Social Media Marketing for Business. Contact her to find out how she can help your business extend its reach.

Facebook launches the app centre

Facebook has announced that it is rolling our the app centre in the US with access to 600 apps for web and mobile. It aims to add to the community feeling of Facebook by recommending apps for you that your friends already use.

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In addition to recommended apps, users can see top rated games and recommended games.  Trending games are highlighted as well as games played by your Facebook friends.

You can browse the apps that your friends use and shows feedback from people who are using the app.  There is also a ‘send to Mobile’ feature on your PC.  If the app needs a download, then you can download the software from either the Apple store or Google Play .

It is a good strategic move by Facebook.  Here they are trying to create the first cross platform app store for mobile devices.  Currently the store is limited to Android and iPhone only but I’m sure that plans are in place to extend the platform to BlackBerry and Windows phone.

With this, Facebook would be able to completely change the app store landscape.  A smart move Facebook.  It will be interesting to see how this develops as it rolls out in other countries.

Perhaps this is another way that Facebook can monetise its platform after its shaky IPO debacle last month…

Eileen is a social business strategist, ZDNet columnist and author of Working The Crowd: Social Media Marketing for Business. Contact her to find out how she can help your business extend its reach.