social media

Twitter highlights websites that embed tweets

Twitter is rolling out a new display feature that highlights websites that have embedded tweets.

Quick revision here, if you’ve never embedded a tweet before it’s really simple. Just head to Twitter.com, find the tweet you want to embed, click “…more” at the end there and select “Embed Tweet” to get the code:

Now once you’ve done that, whenever people view the Tweet that you’ve embedded in their Twitter feed they’re going to start seeing this:

Why do I like this? Firstly because I hope this will encourage people to actually start using the proper “Embed Tweet” feature rather than screengrabbing a Tweet to appear in their articles. This is better for download speeds, rendering on mobile and is just the right way to do it. Then secondly, and more importantly, it’s going to help give kudos to certain Tweets as the more trusted and relevant sites are that have embedded it, the more likely you will be to read it.

This is rolling out now, so you may not see it right away but start thinking about how you can use this feature to you and your customer’s benefit.

Oh and as a test, here’s an embedded Tweet about this article about embedding Tweets that links to this article about embedding Tweets (makes me want to watch ‘Inception’…).

Paper Plane Crash – Social Media Tip : Research your hashtags

Here’s a quick tip if you’re setting up a social media campaign that relies on a hashtag:

“Do Your Research”

A PR company in Australia have launched a campaign for a Japanese restaurant in Bondi called “Paper Planes” encouraging users to repost a flyer on Instagram and tag with the hashtag #paperplanes.

Innocent enough you would think.

However the hashtag #paperplanes is already in use to tag images on Instagram with an altogether different meaning – most commonly relating to the practise of smoking marijuana.

The two screenshots here show the original post from the company (top) and some images that a search for #paperplanes reveals.

Now this could be a really clever way to get publicity for the client, or potentially a case of creating a hashtag without researching its existing uses.

Either way it’s a good reminder to always do your research before embarking on a social media campaign.

It really is a “hash” tag.

Save Our Spoons social media campaign from wahaca Mexican restaurants in London

wahaca – the Mexican Market Eating chain in the UK – have created a fun social media campaign based around their specially designed spoons.

Over the years it seems that customers have taken quite a liking to wahaca’s spoons with no less than 25,000 walking out the door during 5 years of trading.

To encourage a safe return home for their lost cutlery (and to generate some clever social media buzz) wahaca created the “save our spoons” campaign. Customers who have previously “borrowed” a spoon are encouraged to hand them in to their waiter next time they dine and in return for their new found honesty will be rewarded with the cheapest dish from their order for free.

Additionally, to help combat future cutlery crime, wahaca are encouraging customers who witness their friends trying to escape with a spoon to dob them in by posting a photo of their crime to their Facebook page (http://www.facebook.com/wahaca) or Twitter using the hashtag #spoonamnesty. The most creative photo wins a meal for 2 each week.

You can find out more about the campaign and watch as photos are posted on wahaca’s Facebook page here: http://www.facebook.com/wahaca

Why Facebook will fail within 5 years

Earlier in the year I read a very interesting article by Ross Dawson giving his thoughts on scenarios for the downfall of Facebook.

He stated that in 5 years time “the most likely outcome is that Facebook will still dominate” but gave 4 key reasons how, should that not be the case, Facebook could potentially fail, they were:

  1. issues relating to privacy and overcommercialisation
  2. an alternative becomes more popular (eg: Google+ or Socl)
  3. an alternative non-commercial social network becomes more popular (eg: http://diasporaproject.org/)
  4. a shift towards a mobile targeted social network

I wanted to add three more ways in which I see Facebook could potentially fall off the top spot:

a) Over-controlling the newsfeed

The primary way that users browse Facebook content – the newsfeed – has changed a lot over the years, and we’re now in a phase where Facebook have a lot more control over it than many people realise. Originally it was a chronological list of ‘events’ – ie: who did what, who said that, who liked something, etc. Basically a window into the lives of your friends, exactly what made Facebook popular in the first place. Today by default your newsfeed is set to show “Top Stories” which Facebook say are “the most interesting stories at the top of your news feed”. But how “most interesting” is determined is largely out of your control.

Some of the “most interesting stories” are in fact sponsored posts from companies that your friends like which raises the question of relevance. For example, as a vegetarian do you really want to see posts from McDonald’s in your news feed just because someone you went to school with ‘likes’ them on Facebook. Or when a friend ‘likes’ a political activist group that you don’t agree with do you really want to know about their rally in the local park this weekend?

We all joined Facebook because we love seeing what everyone else is up to. If that’s taken  away from us and Facebook start to make the call on what they think we want to see then that could start to drive people away.

b) Visual social networks – people love pictures

So I know Facebook own Instagram, but what’s been interesting is watching the growth of Instagram not just as a post-processing photo filter app but as a social network in its own right. The cameras on smartphones are so good these days that nobody really buys compact cameras anymore and having a place to quickly share snaps from your phone with your social network is going to become more and more important.

Facebook launched Instagram style photo filters in the new Facebook app recently but is this enough to stop a migration from Facebook to Instagram and other similar niche photo sharing networks? Uploading a photo to Facebook on your mobile is still a relatively clunky experience, it’s simple on Instagram.

Photo sharing is one of the most popular aspects of social media, so a network that provides a simple & easy to use way of doing this could well pull market share away from Facebook.

 c) Overly complex layouts

Take a look at your Facebook news feed page. There’s a lot going on. Links down the left, your apps, the news feed itself, birthdays & events, ads down the right, the live ticker, chat application, search, and a lot more.

What killed MySpace? Ok a few things, but it has a reputation for becoming way too cluttered and hard to use before everyone jumped ship.

Could Facebook’s need for driving revenue since the IPO mean the introduction of sponsored custom layouts, more integrated advertising such as over-the-page (OTP) rich-media ads or banners in the news feed? And if so, would updates like this eventually drive people away to simpler niche social networks to get away from all the noise?

Whatever happens, I don’t think you can say with any certainty whether Facebook will still be number one in 5 years time. However this is no time for them to rest on their laurels as like we all know things can (and do) change very quickly in the Digital space…

Ross Dawson’s original article can be seen here: http://rossdawsonblog.com/weblog/archives/2012/07/scenarios-for-the-downfall-of-facebook-and-a-new-landscape-for-social-networks.html

 

‘Hey someone is making up shocking posts…’ Twitter spam

If you receive a Direct Message on Twitter saying “hey someone is making up shocking posts that are about you…” (or similar) it’s SPAM and you shouldn’t click on the link.

It looks like this, I’ve received 2 instances from seperate accounts in the last 12 hours:

On both occasions the message was sent as a Direct Message not a @mention and the link is a bit.ly style link that doesn’t reveal its source until clicked.

The best course of action, as is always the case if you’re not sure, is to DELETE the DM and politely inform the holder of the account that they should update their password.

UPDATE: It appears once the account has been compromised the bot sends out tweets from it like this:

Best course of action in this case is simply to ignore that Tweet.

Find available screen names and how to update your twitter username

Sometimes you just need to change your online identity. Maybe you’ve recently changed your real name, or you’re being hounded by spam, or perhaps you’re just after fresh start. Whatever the reason, here are 3 tips for how to find that perfect new handle:

1) Twitter > Edit your account

Twitter allows you to check availability of a username in your account settings on its own website.

Click to your profile page, click the “Edit your profile” button then the “Account” link from the left and you’ll see the “Username” box above. Here you can type in new usernames and Twitter will instantly tell you if it’s available.

2) Name generator sites

Stuck for what to call yourself though? No problem – name generator sites can help. SpinXO (pictured left) is one of the best that I’ve found as it allows you to type in your interests, keywords and “must have” words and then generates options based on that.

You can then click on the name(s) that interest you and check their availability.

3) Name checker websites

But what happens if you’re after the same username that you can use across multiple sites? It can be cumbersome to go to each social media site individually and check using their own tools.

A better way is to use a site like namechk.com or checkusernames.com which let you type in your username and search availability across every social media site you can think of in one go.

Good luck with updating your identity online, let us know in the comments if you have any tips of your own.

Fashion with Digital Passion – Vogue Australia’s ‘Online Shopping Night’ Is Back

Vogue Australia’s ‘Online Shopping Night’ (VOSN) is on again today. This is the third #VOSN event I can recall, once again bringing online retailers together under the umbrella of one of fashion’s best known names and executing it in a very clever, interactive and social way.

For some time now the primary vogue.com.au website has featured a countdown to the start of the event (midday today). This has been complimented with a strong social media campaign across Facebook and Twitter steadily providing updates on retailers who have come on board, special offers, staff picks and so on – all very shareable content and all presented in the perfect place for the target market.

Yesterday the recently appointed new Editor of Vogue Australia Edwina McCann held a live Q&A on Facebook started simply with the post “Hi here to discuss #VOSN ! Tell me what you plan to buy?”. A neat way to introduce her to the new audience and stimulate interest in the campaign at the same time.

The company uses Twitter extensively to promote the evening and encourage retailers and customers to adopt the #VOSN hashtag during the day.

For the last two events #VOSN has trended consistently in the Top 10 in Australia, something I expect will be happening again today.

Last time the company also were one of the first to trial a ‘Google Hangout’ via Google Plus.

Good to see what may be conceived by some as a fairly traditional offline brand adopting digital media so effectively to promote retail sales. Best of luck to Vogue Australia and all the eTailers tonight and let’s hope it serves as inspiration for other companies to try equally innovative digital strategies in the current economic climate.

Complimentary Spam – Spotting Spam Comments

As with most blogs this one gets its fair share of spam in the comments. Usually a spam comment is easy to spot – they’re the ones that are excessively complimentary but in a very generic way, frequently misspelled and aimed at trying to trick the publisher into thinking “wow, this user really liked my post, I’ll put this comment live”.

But if the spam comment also has a weblink or email address and you were to publish it you’ve just given the spammer a nice backlink from your site to theirs.

So to help you spot what I mean by ‘excessively complimentary but in a very generic way’ (and to share some feelgood words) here are some of the spam comments that I’ve received recently (spelling mistakes belong to the original creators, not us!):

  • Right on-this helepd me sort things right out.
  • Grade A stuff. I’m uqneustionably in your debt.
  • Hey what a great list of videos. Thanks for sharing your information.
  • What’s Happening i am new to this, I stumbled upon this I’ve discovered It absolutely useful and it has helped me out loads. I’m hoping to contribute & aid different users like its helped me. Good job.
  • Well put, sir, well put. I’ll ceritanly make note of that.
  • I’m not eailsy impressed. . . but that’s impressing me!
  • This is way bteter than a brick & mortar establishment.
  • How could any of this be bteetr stated? It couldn’t.

…and my favourite:

  • Of the panoply of website I’ve pored over this has the most vearicty.

My ‘mark as spam’ button is certainly getting a workout. Happy Blogging!

Top 10 Viral Emails of 2011

It’s the end of another year and time for that December tradition that we all enjoy – reading ‘top 10′ lists of stuff.

One that caught my eye was Time magazine’s ‘Top 10 Viral Videos’ list. However, I must have been living in a box for some of the year because I swear I’ve never seen some of the clips they deem top 10 worthy.

I’m not sure how the ranking was determined but (as you’d expect) the clips are fairly US Centric. However it’s a fun list to browse and a short walk down YouTube memory lane to kill a few minutes.

From a viral point of view I probably received more links/status updates about the Volkswagen Darth Vader commercial than any other clip this year, but one of my favourites was the Michael Bolton “Jack Sparrow” video. Both feature in the top 10 but it was the Internet’s most infamous teenager Rebecca Black who scored top slot with her song about the third best day of the week.

Here’s the full list, and you can read the Time Magazine article here:

  1. Rebecca Black, “Friday”
  2. The Homeless Man with the Golden Voice
  3. Volkswagen’s Darth Vader Commercial
  4. Michael Bolton, Lonely Island — “Jack Sparrow”
  5. Father-Daughter Duet
  6. Webcam 101 for Seniors
  7. My Drunk Kitchen
  8. Anderson Cooper Cracks Up
  9. Dancing Thom Yorke
  10. Honey Badger

Google’s black top bar gets replaced as the redesign continues

Regular users of Google’s cloud-based services such as GMail, Calendar, Documents and of course Google Search itself may have noticed the black navigation strip across the top of the page is being phased out.

The links to these services can now be accessed by rolling over the main Google logo which reveals the pop-up list shown below:

The official Google blog states: “We’re now ready for the next stage of our redesign—a new Google bar that will enable you to navigate quickly between our services, as well as share the right stuff with the right people easily on Google+.”

The black strip across the top of the page where the temporary Welcome to the new way to navigate Google eventually disappears as well.

This change gives Google’s pages a cleaner look, it certainly is less harsh to have the solid black strip across the top of the page and does save a small amount of screen real estate.

What do you think about the new design? Do you like the cleaner style with all those links taken off the top of the screen, or are you not a fan of the new pop-up and preferred it how it was? Let us know.