Archive for the ‘Social Media’ Category

Talking Point: How TV brings us together

Television brings us together. Not just physically as we converge on the lounge room, hustling for space among family members and pets, but in a greater much more social way too.

It wasn’t so long ago that you couldn’t skip ahead of a channel’s programming and sneak a peak at yet unaired episodes on the Internet. Instead, we all waited for the same night next week, speculating in the mean time on what would happen. Not knowing gave us a conversation, and we shared in the anticipation.

Then we started to stream episodes online at our convenience and without the ads. We downloaded whole series ahead of time and watched them alone at home, regardless of commercial schedules. We went from sharing the chapters of each story, to racing to the end of the book, only to get there alone.

There is no doubt that the convenience and flexibility of watching our favourite shows in our own time, on our own schedule, is entirely more appealing than fitting our lives around the columns in the Greenguide. But somewhere along the way to streamlining our viewing, the social side of television got misplaced.

For a little while it just seemed to disappear, but upon closer inspection it seems it has found a new host in the form of live variety or panel shows which can’t be leaked ahead of time. And our conversations have become live too, conducted as we watch, and shared over social media.

Every week, millions of viewers tune into programs where panellists debate current affairs, contestants perform or cook to avoid elimination and celebrities give exclusive interviews with popular talk show hosts. These are now the timeslots we race home for, not wanting to miss what everyone else is seeing for the first time. Not wanting to be the only one not in the loop.

Like before, we want to be part of the conversation about what we’re watching, but unlike before, this now takes place as we watch. A 2009 Neilson pole revealed that 57% of TV viewers in the US simultaneously use the web. It is impossible to guess how high that number has risen in the last three years, suffice to say that while people’s attention may be split, they are far from disconnected with what’s going on around them.

Every week the ABC in Australia reports thousands of unique users engage with popular panel show Q & A via Twitter, tweeting questions and responses both to the panel and each other in a flurry of conversation and debate. Talent shows like channel nine’s The Voice encourage their viewers (often in excess of a million) to vote via Twitter and even iTunes. Putting your money where your mouth is has never been such a simple click away.

So while the forum may have moved, the conversation is very much still taking place and we’re clamouring to be involved. Live programming coupled with social media has proven to be the ultimate social occasion and there are more people at the party than ever before.

Facebook Changes: Scheduling and Multi Level Admin

Facebook pushed out another update to its service today allowing page owners to schedule posts and a more advanced multi-level administration.

Scheduling

Now when creating a new status, there is the option to set a post date in the future.

When selecting a date in the future, the default “Post” button changes from to say “Schedule”.
This ability to schedule posts has only been available previously through the use of third party applications such as tweetdeck or hootsuite.

Page Scheduling

Setting a date in the future

Multi Level Administration

Facebook has also introduced a more diverse control system for administrators.

Upon selecting the “admin” panel from page settings, there is now the option to change their role.

Source Facebook

With the addition of four new access levels, page owners can now spread the responsibility to multiple users without fearing losing the control of the page.
Also with the addition of the advertiser role, we may see new services pop up from advertising agencies offering to enhance your social media presence.

For more information check out the Facebook FAQs

This is great news for larger corporate pages, but what does it mean for you? Tell us in the comments below.

Facebook IPO

The Facts Behind the Sale

On the cusp of Facebook’s initial public offering (IPO), we take a look at just what’s on offer, and what that might mean for the social media giant’s more than one billion users.

Listed as a public company, Facebook is hoping to raise $5 billion from the sale of around 421 million shares, an ambitious goal which if achieved, would land them on the shortlist of largest IPOs of all time.

Next to CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s 28.4% majority share, the sale would see nearly 18% of the company become public, valuing it at around $100 billion and placing fourth on the list of the world’s biggest companies behind Apple, Google and McDonald’s.

Analysts have been quick to warn against investing, citing the notoriously volatile performance of .COMs on the share market, but there has been significant public interest in the shares which are set to debut on the market later this week.

A cause for concern for some is the last minute release of a further 84 million shares by early backers last week including PayPal founder Peter Thiel who increased his initial release from 7.7 million to 16.8 million.

Not everyone is selling though, Instagram founder Kevin Systrom will be watching the IPO closely following the sale of his App to Facebook earlier in the year for $1 billion, much of which it was later revealed came in the form of Facebook stock.

What It Means for Users

For Facebook’s 845 million active users who generate an average 2.7 billion daily likes and comments, the move to public company might see some unwelcome changes in daily functionality.

By law, when a company goes public they are obligated to continue creating increased value for their stakeholders, and while Facebook’s value has grown exponentially year to year, it has yet to keep up with the demands of a large public stakeholder base.

So far advertising has proven their single greatest source of revenue, bringing in $3.7 billion last year alone, but while user numbers continue to grow, reports show overall advertising revenue from the last six months is down.

While it’s safe to say advertising revenue is unlikely to dry up any time soon, there are concerns from users that options to minimise advertising on your page will disappear in the fight for advertising real estate to keep its value.

In an initial step, Facebook has announced the introduction of advertising on their mobile platform, currently an ad free space. Whether this is enough to combat the dip in ad space value however remains to be seen.

Facebook Timeline – Maximising Business Potential

Having introduced their new timeline format to business pages just over a month ago in a soft launch, Facebook has now officially made the switch to all pages in a mandatory update. Similar to the new format for personal profiles, the timeline for pages offers a host of new features and ditches a few of the old, in some cases dividing opinion. To help point the way, WhiteRhino’s web developer and resident wizard Jason sat down to give us the rundown on the pros and cons of the social media giant’s latest facelift, providing a few useful hints along the way on how to optimise the benefits for social savvy businesses.

As with previous Facebook revamps, improvements in functionality, accessibility and user interactivity have been driving factors in the redesign. To this means, several major changes including the introduction of the cover photo (banner image) and larger photo display have been introduced.

“The cover photo is one of the biggest benefits to businesses as that banner space provides much bigger promo capacity than previously available,” says Jason. In addition, the ability to highlight specific stories allows businesses to control what gets priority on their page, pointing visitors to important news and positive feedback over other news.

The improved accessibility of the data and analysis information is also a major bonus for businesses wanting to track customer engagement through their page. The analysis tool is much more akin to that of a blog, says Jason, adding that “while it’s not much different to before in terms of actual tools, it’s much easier to find and use now, saving time and effort when collecting this data.”

Next the newly introduced capacity to direct message (DM) business pages serves to further encourage customer feedback and interactivity between consumers and businesses. In terms of using social media as a tool for genuine feedback and interaction says Jason, this is a big step but one that requires proper handling. “It’s important to acknowledge messages from clients or consumers, whether positive or negative as it can both cut down formal correspondences to help lines and encourage more genial resolutions to potential problems.

Businesses and consumers alike however should be aware of the cons of the new design as there are potential pitfalls for both parties. “The loss of the conversation tracking or wall-to-wall feature is a big one,” says Jason, highlighting how it is now virtually impossible to track interactions between two parties chronologically anymore. This means all wall-to-wall conversation history has been virtually eradicated so there is no paper trail to track interactions that have taken place publicly.

As well as this, apps (e.g. pages like forms or booking info etc.) have now been limited on the home page, making them harder to find and access and in some cases reducing the functionality of the page for some business interactions. Posts in the no longer static timeline design are also now subject to moving around the page, meaning posts not highlighted (including negative comments or feedback) are quickly lost. It’s also now harder to follow a page’s interactions as events are categorised under ‘Activity’ and ‘Likes’ boxes rather than chronologically. This is not necessarily a bad thing for businesses but consumers should be aware of this when posting complaints or feedback.

“Basically, businesses will need to adapt their approach to using Facebook as a tool,” says Jason of the update, recommending all businesses take the time to learn their way around the new features and design, familiarising themselves to avoid unnecessary gaffes and improve the usability of their page.

The Safari Guide to Business Tweetiquette

“What I hate most about Twitter: finishing a good tweet, having -1 characters left, and then having to decide which grammar crime to commit.” @heathtessman

This tweet from Melbourne Rebels hooker Heath Tessman sparked some interesting conversation around the office about Twitter etiquette, revealing our collective pet hates and highlighting the need for a clear definition between personal and company tweets.

It’s a bit of a grey area just where to draw the line between relaxed and just lax when it comes to tweeting for business, so after serious discussion we narrowed our combined Twitter peeves and pointers, compiling our Safari Guide to Business ‘Tweetiquette’:

Just as you wouldn’t on your website, don’t let typos go<br /> on Twitter. Check everything<br /> and if necessary delete<br /> misspelled tweets.<br /> Abbreviate rather than intentionally misspell. This way at least it’s obvious you’re saving space and not short a copywriter.<br /> Grammatical symbols are your best friend! So don’t forget to use them, an ampersand saves you two characters every time…<br /> Don’t give a running commentary over multiple tweets (oh hey, Kanye). It’s hard to follow and make sense of. Bear in mind, you’re micro blogging.<br /> If you want to be retweeted, keep it short. Retweeters need enough spare characters to include your name and their addition without cutting your original tweet short or they<br /> won’t bother.<br /> Twitter isn’t about broadcasting commercial messages.<br /> It’s about thoughtfully<br /> engaging with others in conversation, contributing meaningfully and building real contacts and connections.<br /> Following too many people<br /> (an amount disproportionate to those following you) makes you look like a spam account.<br /> Know the difference between hashtags and tweeting at people.<br /> Hashtags are a way to label tweets so that other users can see tweets on the same topic.<br /> Tweeting at someone directs your public tweet at that person/account, so make sure the content is something you both want to be publicly affiliated with.<br /> And finally… our web developer @jason_oz’s biggest hate of all: beware of hashtag overload. Resist temptation and don’t load your tweets with hashtags to make them appear on trending pages. It significantly reduces<br /> the credibility of your tweets<br /> (to approximately nil),<br /> making them hard to read and understand and throwing them in the general category of spam.<br />

So there you have it, our first basic pointers to successful business tweeting. We’re sure the list will grow and change and we welcome any contributions, so if you have a handy hint or point to contest – tweet us!

‘Each too their own…’

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I recently saw a tattoo emblazoned across a bare chest that read ‘Each too their own.’ In ink. PERMANENTLY.

The obvious solution to this is to wear a shirt at all times. Some grammatical disasters are however less easily fixed or covered up.

If you’re a writer, or in any line of work where you get published (and I mean anywhere – emails, social media, web content, corporate literature, ads… employees of the world, ahoy), then that extra ‘o’ is a blunder almost tooo big to fathom.

Overlook a typo on your corporate website and all of a sudden your business is more whiner than winner and expat than expert. It’s a problem.

This is bad and not just because it looks like you didn’t pass primary school English. All of a sudden your carefully thought out work looks hurried and uncared for. Best case – you just look dumb.

The other major problem with mistakes like these is permanence. It might not be inked on but a typo on a towering billboard is as good as. Consider every eye that sees it adds a month to its longevity in the public mind, and published media gone viral tends to adopt an indeterminate lifespan of its own.

Also, internet content is permanent so mistakes published online are too. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t bother deleting them. You should. At speed. If you’re lucky, your copy errors don’t get too many hits before you get to them, because they are metaphorical blemishes on the rosy face of your business. And they scar.

Consider, if it’s in the ether it’s there forever.

Prevention is better than treatment, so before you publish, send or print ANYTHING that can be cached, stored, copied or forwarded, check it says what you think it does. Then do it again for good measure.

Of course typos and editorial disasters happen to all of us and mistakes often prompt the quickest learning curves, but one bad one should be enough to ensure you never have another.

Make mistakes, learn from them, then never make the same ones again. (Instead, make different ones. Jam the printer, or lose a brief. Pretty soon you’ll learn not to do that again either…)

Spelling and grammar matter, so if you’re the kind of person who bothers to put a shirt on every day because you care what people think (even if you have nothing too hide), then bother to check your copy and show you care about your work. That’s something they’ll remember.

QR Codes becoming ubiquitous


Found this interesting video about the latest use for QR Codes on headstones in cemeteries. The QR Codes link to a page (similar to a Facebook page) about the deceased person, thus creating ‘living headstones’. Is this the future of memorialisation, or is social media for the deceased just taking it one step too far?

Social Media Icons

socialmediaicons

Social Media and File Sharing websites are increasingly being integrated with corporate websites to the point where custom-made icons for some of the world’s most recognised websites are being re-styled and crafted to suit the design of the corporate website. And what a great thing that is!

Not only do they look cool, but the best thing is that these companies don’t seem to mind – and so they shouldn’t, because their brand is being spread around the world at a ridiculously fast rate. Imagine if a brand like Apple or Microsoft suddenly had corporate websites displaying their icon or brandmark redrawn in sketchy pen or all teched-up and glossy. I don’t reckon they would approve, do you?

Anyway I’m really getting into this small detail that websites are putting in and thought I’d share a couple of reference sites with you:

Enjoy!

Facebook to offer ‘F-mail’

On the 15th November 2010 the future of email was set to change forever, or so Facebook say.

At the annual Web 2.0 Summit, Facebook announced the launch of its new email system and how it will revolutionise email in the future;

Messaging is growing faster and faster, so we’re talking about what the next version of this is. Here’s the “problem space.” Modern messaging is not email — it will have seamless integration. It will be informal, rather than formal. Formal adds a cognitive load so people wont share as much. It should be immediate.
Mark Zuckerberg – 15th Nov 2010

Facebook has a user base of approximately 500 million users, where as the highest current email provider, Windows Live (Hotmail) has only around 315 million.
It will be interesting to see how the social environment changes in the following months.

iTunes Ping

Just updated to iTunes 10 the other day, and noticed a new area in my left-hand navigation - iTunes Ping.

Apple have just launched Ping, their new social network for music. Taking cues from Facebook and Twitter, on Ping, you can ‘follow’ your favourite artists to receive updates, and can also ‘follow’ friends to see what they’re up to musically (i.e.: what they’ve purchased, who they follow, etc.). Ping feels like the natural extension of the now flagging MySpace, but with a more direct way for musicians (and Apple) to see how and whether a person’s support for an act actually translates into a sale (on iTunes).

It will be interesting to see how this plays out.