Wednesday, March 20, 2013

The 10 Commandments of Social Media for Brands

Fleeting as social media exchanges may seem, they can have a pronounced impact on business and their influence can echoe far beyond a simple post or retweet.

While the anonymous, public and often informal nature of Internet dialogue often leads corporations to relax their guard, it’s important to note: Managing a brand’s social media presence is a tricky balancing act. The key to being successful? Keeping things polite and professional, and constantly acknowledging your audience’s voice, while adding value or insight to customer exchanges.

Looking to enhance your corporate social media efforts? Here are 10 simple rules every corporate social networking team should follow to better connect with fans and maximize the value of their online presences.

1. Thou shalt be patient and considerate.
While many campaigns seem to go viral overnight, it’s important to remember that businesses rarely experience instant breakthroughs or meteoric audience growth on social media. More important than chasing huge follower or subscriber counts is to consistently and meaningfully engage an audience by creating helpful and insightful content that addresses key concerns or speaks to consumer needs.

Over time, through constant two-way dialogue with users, this commitment will help your business build a loyal and involved following, the influence of which may far outstrip that of larger, less engaged audiences.

Be relevant, generous and sincere. While doing so may not seem as sexy or instantly gratifying as posting a viral video or infographic, it will help you build trust, empathy and, most importantly, relationships, the currency of the modern social realm.

2. Thou shalt not be indifferent to the voice of thy customer.
When you engage in social media, you commit to playing a role in very public customer conversations. This entails consistently having to acknowledge other parties’ opinions, and embracing both the good and the bad, including harsh or critical feedback.

Instead of looking the other way when someone posts something unflattering, take a moment to objectively assess the feedback. Constructive criticism not only presents opportunities to improve our efforts to serve end-users; it also presents a chance to engage in human exchanges, and apologize and appease the situation.

In other words, the goal is to create conversations, not critiques, and optimize the level of customer support and service provided to your audience. Sometimes, simply taking a moment to acknowledge others’ voices, or answer questions directly can bridge gaps that threaten to build a gulf between you and end-users.

3. Thou shalt be true to thyself.
You've spent ample time crafting your brand’s mission and values across your website, marketing materials and advertising efforts. Now is not the time to abandon the positive image you've worked so hard to cultivate, or forsake professionalism or propriety in the name of popularity.

Given the medium’s more personable nature, social media exchanges should certainly be more human than formal. But all should be respectful of customers, audience needs and the positive image you've worked so hard to cultivate. It’s important not only to respect followers’ time and intelligence, but also to be consistent with your branding and messaging across all platforms. That way, fans and followers know both who you are and the values that your business stands for.

4. Thou shalt think before you post.
Trade secret: Every post or status update you share should add value for your audience, regardless whether that value comes in the form of enlightenment, entertainment or an uplifting exchange.

Therefore, make every share unique, and think about how to ensure it counts – i.e., what can you add to the conversation that others can’t? As a simple example, retweeting posts of note is an excellent way to share information, but adding your own opinion or links to further resources is an even better use of time. Likewise, if you post every single little detail or update about your brand, industry and products, fans may become fatigued. Respect your audience and think about how to make posts superlative, singular and of notable worth before sharing.

The key question to ask yourself: What’s in it for them?

5. Thou shalt be brief.
Remember to keep it short and sweet on social media. You have only a few seconds to catch someone’s attention, and even less time to keep it. Therefore, make sure your posts have an immediate impact and utilize concise language, links, references or (better yet) visual assets, such as photos, videos and inforgraphics. These quickly convey key information at a glance.

Look for ways to distill an idea down to a single statement or elevator pitch that clearly and quickly communicates subject matter, tone and target audience, and provides further points of reference should audiences wish to dive deeper into the topic.

6. Thou shalt not hog the conversation.
In many ways, social networks serve as the world’s largest cocktail party. But no one wants to be stuck with a self-centered conversation hog.

The same rule applies to your social media presence, where it’s important to listen before speaking – doubly so, as the dynamics of conversation and rules of online behavior differ depending on context and parties in attendance. Dedicate the majority of your time proactively engaging your audience, then split the remaining time between content your audience will care about and promoting your brand.

7. Thou shalt do good.
Think of social media as the world’s largest megaphone or amplifier – it can project your online voice louder, farther and faster than ever before.

Always be engaging and upbeat (negativity never reflects well on the poster, especially online, where conversational subtlety and nuance are often lost in translation), and take advantage of the opportunities presented to promote positivity. Material you post online should be less promotional than beneficial in nature, designed to help viewers save time or money, enhance learning and awareness, or offer key opinions and insights. From securing support for charitable ventures to offering deeper looks at evolving trends to helping fans and followers make valuable connections, consistently look for ways to aid, assist and uplift your audience.

8. Thou shalt keep it strictly business.
While color and personality are always welcome online, business and pleasure seldom mix well in social media contexts – personal and corporate accounts are best kept separated. Remember: Users following business accounts do so because they identify with the brand, and expect content in keeping with its core image and focus. Posting anything outside of this realm may prompt confusion, surprise or indifference, and has the potential to reflect poorly on your brand.

Communications should universally be polite, professional and on-topic. Where the risk of misinterpretation or controversy exists, play it safe and skip posting. Keep your tone and voice upbeat and respectful – avoid complaints, negative comments and stabs at the competition at all costs.

9. Thou shalt respect the hashtag.
Twitter hashtags are great vehicles for highlighting topics of relevance, drawing audience’s attention and fostering fan engagement. However, they can also be dangerous when used incorrectly – i.e., too frequently or in inappropriate contexts.

Oftentimes, brands overuse hashtags or place them in unrelated posts to drive added visibility. But doing so may leave viewers feeling cheated, especially if those hashtags add no relevant context to conversations or potentially alienate readers. This can cause a negative reaction to your online voice and ultimately your business, which will not only hinder fan acquisition but potentially detract from your brand.

10. Thou shalt not lie.
Skip the temptation to embellish, fib or inflate the truth online, especially since it can easily backfire or even lead to potential legal repercussions. Likewise, be honest with your audience. If fans and followers have questions about an evolving scenario – e.g., a potential PR crisis -– sometimes, the best answer is simply a prompt: “Apologies, but we don’t know. However, rest assured we’re working on it, and will let you know as soon as possible.”

Trust is the foundation of any relationship – real or online, and its loss can have a marked impact on both your brand and customer perception. As Benjamin Franklin once pointed out, it takes many exchanges to build a positive reputation, but only one mistake to undo it.

Images courtesy of iStockphoto, tanukiphoto, IlonaBudzbon and Maravic

Scott Steinberg, a top-ranked international event speaker on the lecture circuit, is a bestselling expert on leadership and innovation, and the head of strategic consultancy TechSavvy Global

5 New social networks that brands are embracing

There always seems to be some hot, new social network on the block, gaining popularity among consumers and media. With each, marketers ask how the platform will benefit their businesses — and whether they should even be on it at all?

When brands create presences on new social platforms, what’s important isn't registering an account, but rather, the innovative ways they choose to use the tools. Here are five new social platforms gaining traction with consumers. Learn how your brand can best leverage them.

1. Vine
Last month, Twitter launched new mobile app Vine, which allows users to record six-second clips of looped video. The app quickly became popular with consumers, rising to the top of the iTunes App Store, and brands didn't hesitate to jump on board.

Urban Outfitters was the first brand to create a vine, a video of puppies. MSNBC revealed what goes down in its newsroom; a local coffee shop showed how to make a latte; and Wheat Thins used Vine to interact with fans during the Super Bowl.

Vine presents new opportunities for unique visual content and storytelling — the time constraints require marketers to expand their imaginations. Rather than investing in a longer form commercial or YouTube video, with Vine, your brand can easily humanize itself, by giving an insider’s look into the company, while providing value.

2. The (New) Myspace
Last year, Myspace was resuscitated and transformed into a hub for creative content, specifically for music. With an extensive library of songs, the new site is a platform for consumers to connect with artists and brands, to discover and share music, photos and videos.

It’s an obvious fit for brands in the music industry, but for many brands, the new Myspace provides an opportunity to delve deeper and create greater personality, connect with consumers on a more personal and relevant level with easily shareable content.

For example, marketers can create brand-related playlists, give users a behind-the-scenes look with photos and videos, and share exclusive content with fans that interact the most. Myspace is currently integrated with Facebook and Twitter, with plans to integrate Pinterest and Instagram soon. With those kinds of expanding ecommerce opportunities, Myspace potential is truly exciting for brands.

3. Pheed

This pay-as-you-go social network is quickly gaining traction among consumers. Launched in the fall of 2012, Pheed has well over a million users, popular among artists, photographers, filmmakers, actors and teens.

Pheed asks users to create their own channels, from which they can share text, photos, videos, audio and live broadcasts. The network gives influencers the option to charge for content, with the theory that this allows for higher quality content. Celebrities like Miley Cyrus are already on board, but some companies are hesitant to jump in quite yet.

But Pheed offers the “bonus features” of social media, permitting loyal consumers the chance to get inside, with exclusive access to beloved brands.

4. Snapchat
Mobile app Snapchat blew up during the beginning of 2013. The app, which allows users to send photo messages that self-destruct after several seconds, proved incredibly popular with consumers, but didn’t seem to provide an opportunity for marketers.

One brand, however, decided to test the waters. Frozen yogurt company 16 Handles experimented with Snapchat as a promotional tool with its “Snappy New Year” campaign. The campaign, modeled after scratch-off discount cards, encouraged the company’s Facebook fans to send “snaps” of their froyo purchases to the 16 Handles Snapchat account. Customers then received a coupon via Snapchat to be redeemed at the register. The campaign was originally planned for Twitter, but 16 Handles community manager Adam Britten deemed Snapchat more fitting; this way, the coupons couldn’t be copied and circulated.

While some marketers hesitate to jump quickly into brand new platforms, Snapchat provides the perfect example that taking a risk in the spirit of innovative solutions can really pay off.

5. Thumb

Mobile app Thumb is crowdsourcing at its best. Users simply upload a photo and ask fellow users to share their opinions on a specific topic — with a thumbs up or thumbs down.

Thumb is generating serious engagement among consumers, who are clocking in around four hours a month, second only to Facebook. While consumers use the app to get feedback on things like shoes, Thumb offers opportunities for marketers, too. Gain customer feedback by posing a question to users, or demonstrate thought leadership by offering your company’s expertise, then ask customers' thumbs up or down.

While every social platform isn’t necessarily a fit for every brand, keeping tabs on consumer trends allows marketers to constantly consider how to best engage with their audiences and provide more valuable content. Remember to experiment and don’t be afraid to jump in. Put your customers first, offer them value on whatever platforms you choose — and your brand will benefit.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Social Lip Service vs. Social Customer Service: AT&T Wireless Case Study

Many organizations claim to “be social.”

They claim they have social media integrated with sales, marketing, and even customer service.

They may even tout that their customer service teams are using Twitter to communicate and help customers.

The real question is… are they providing social lip service or social customer service?

Social Lip Service: 
The company assigned tweeter pretends to want to solve my problem. They reply quickly to my tweet. However, they rarely do more than point me back to a customer service department via 1-800 phone number that I probably already spent 2 hours working with.

Social Customer Service:
The key difference is that the assigned tweeter sees my problem through to resolution even if it takes more than one day! They provide relevant value in taking my time to read, respond and act on the suggestions they recommend.

The problem:
A couple weeks ago I attempted to upgrade my iPhone on the AT&T Wireless Premier Business website. It still shocks me how companies as big and powerful as AT&T can still have such a terrible user experience on their own website. However, I digress and that’s not the point of this post, although it is very much a part of it.

I was unable to upgrade my iPhone on the AT&T business website using my account. For some reason the iPhone 4G didn’t appear as an option for upgrade.

Social customer (me) tweets opinion

It was after 10 pm et and I was of course multi-tasking tweeting, watching the news & trying to take care of my dying iPhone 3G.

I sent one tweet to politely vent in 140 characters that I wasn’t having fun on the AT&T premier site. I got a few responses with others stating their same frustration. I didn’t encourage the conversation to go into a bashing of AT&T because that’s not how I roll.

Here’s the fun part…

AT&T customer service responds via Twitter:
The next day I woke up to a friendly tweet from the assigned AT&T customer service tweeter. The tweeter had a real face on the Twitter avatar, though I don’t know if that’s who was really responding. Not sure if they have numerous customer service representatives who tweet from the twitter account and assign to customer service as necessary?

I saw the tweet and replied. The AT&T tweeter asked me to follow her so she could provide me directions.

She immediately sent me a DM offering to help. She asked for my email address and phone number.

Social customer (me) doubts AT&T’s ability & commitment to solve problem
I pretty much laughed it off. I had dealt with Verizon on issues with their FIOS performance and never received more than a push back to their 1-800 line which I had unfortunately had already spent the morning on with no resolution.

However, the AT&T tweeter had such a friendly, smiling face I thought “what the heck, I’ll give this a try.”

AT&T solves my problem!
The AT&T tweeter sent me a couple DMs and an email even though I had not yet responded back to her.  It was a very busy week for me as we were out of town negotiating some major business deals.

Several days passed and she was still following up.

By the end of the week I had an email and a DM stating my problem was solved! Even better she left a voice mail on business phone stating the same thing.

I thought “Yowza! Are you serious, my problem is solved and I didn’t have to call the 1-800 number and be transferred to 3 more people, hung up on twice & still not get a resolution?”

I couldn’t believe it! I logged into the AT&T premier business website and you guessed it… it was fixed. I could now upgrade my iPhone immediately. Problem sovled!

Thank you AT&T!

What did AT&T Wireless do right?
1. They were doing social listening (they knew about my tweet)
2. They had a policy for how to respond.
3. They responded in a timely manner.
4. They were genuine in their communication.
5. They were consistent even though I got busy & didn’t respond back to them in a timely manner.
6. They followed through on what they said they would do.
7. They resolved the issue.
8. They respected my time. I didn’t have to do anything besides reply to a DM with my cell phone number and email address.
9. They provided value to me as a customer during a very hectic and busy week.
10. They inspired me enough to write this post about their excellent social customer service.
11. They kept me as a customer.

Why has the social customer service bar been set so low?
If you really think about this scenario it is quite disappointing.  It is unfortunate that we are accustomed to terrible quality of customer service from most companies. The fact that I am ecstatic about a quick response to a problem stopping me from spending $400 with a company is sad.

There is tremendous opportunties for organizations to raise the bar in their level of customer service and customer satisfaction by properly implementing and integrating social media into their business. Responding via Twitter telling customers to call the 1-800 which takes me to the same broken customer service department that I started with is not a solution. Such a scenario only makes it worse and more frustrating for the customer.

Organizations must take the time to look at the end to end process and how you can leverage communication mediums such as Twitter to drive efficiencies and improve key performance metrics. There are no more excuses. Sending a tweet as a band-aid to a broken customer service department is only going to highlight your core issues. Take the time to do it right and you just might wind up with a blog post written just like this one!

Don’t do social. Be social!
Don’t just do social media. Be a social business!  I am a social customer. If you want to communicate with me on the social turf then you need to behave like a social business! Your chosen method and quality of response on the social networks has immediate and lasting impact to your company reputation, brand and bottom line.

Your Turn:
Do you know a business that is successfully integrating or has integrated social media into the DNA of their customer service? What are they doing right?  Have you had negative experiences as well? What happened? What recommendations do you have for organizations to improve customer relations by leveraging social media?

Pam Moore
Half marketing, half geek, social media addict, CEO & Founder of Marketing Nutz @MktgNutz, entrepreneur, speaker, trainer, coach. Lover of strategy, ROI, Brand, God, Family, Friends, Beach & Life! 15+ years of experience helping small startups to Fortune 100 companies, budgets teeny tiny to big in both B2B and B2C markets build brand awareness, grow new markets, develop communities.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

In Social Media, Top of the Funnel is About Lead Introduction – Not Creation

Yesterday I gave a presentation to a field sales team at Pitney Bowes Software about how we can work collaboratively on our Engage Today social media marketing program to support their tactical success.

I focused the discussion on the four high-value sales outcomes we have been able to consistently deliver:

  1. Lead introduction
  2. Lead nurturing
  3. Deal capture
  4. Competitive intelligence
This was the first time I swapped out lead generation for lead introduction in a presentation.

Why the change?

As Strategic Communications Group (Strategic) has matured its business-to-business and public sector focused  “social media for sales” programs on behalf of clients like Pitney Bowes, Polycom, British Telecom (BT), Intelsat, Blue Coat Systems, Mandiant and others, we have recognized that a lead generation expectation simply isn’t realistic.

Companies place considerable weight on quantity when evaluating the effectiveness of a tactical approach for lead creation.  It’s understandable because corporate marketers can model top of the funnel leads to an anticipated revenue output.

While our programs have demonstrated the ability to produce new leads through premium content offers, they are not at a level that survives a cost per lead analysis.  It’s because of this that my recent pitch to two exceptionally qualified and interesting prospects fell short.

Lead introduction though is achievable and, in my opinion, of equal (if not greater) value in a business-to-business and public sector context.  That’s because the majority of vendors sell multimillion dollar, enterprise solutions to executive level decision-makers.

Whether a company is pushing product, service or a combination of the two, it is a consultative sell.  Executive buyers have to be educated and, equally critical, a relationship defined by trust must be established.

Education via thought leadership content and customer or prospect intimacy – those are the core tenets of an effective social media initiative.

A wonderfully composed guest post on Marketo’s blog by Andrew Gaffney of DemandGen Report validates my view on lead introduction as a realistic social media for sales outcome.  Gaffney presents three key points:
  1. Executives play a prominent role in the buying process;
  2. These executive rely heavily upon peer reviews, feedback and content-sharing to inform their buying decisions; and
  3. Social media even more popular among executives than it is among their subordinates.
Marc Hausman
Hi! I am the president/CEO of Strategic Communications Group, a social media marketing consultancy based outside of Washington, DC. Read more at:

Friday, March 15, 2013

Hashtags May Be Coming to Facebook!

Facebook is reportedly working on incorporating the hashtag into the social network.

A Twitter staple, the Wall Street Journal reports that Facebook has plans to bring the hashtag to its service, offering users the ability to index conversations around a particular topic, just as they currently do on Twitter. Sources ”familiar with the matter” told the Journal that while Facebook is working on the feature, it wouldn’t necessarily be released anytime soon.

Hashtags are already incorporated into Facebook-owned Instagram.

Hashtags seem like the natural evolution of Facebook’s newly-released Graph Search. The search is currently limited to information input by users on their location, friends, and Likes. Adding hashtag support would enable an expansion of that search functionality, letting users tune into public posts based around certain topics such as #Elections or #HarlemShake as well.

For now, the social network is remaining mum on when or if it will be adding hashtags. A company spokesperson telling us simply, “We do not comment on rumor or speculation.”

Would you like to see hashtags comes to Facebook? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.


Thursday, March 14, 2013

Dirty Facebook? Now you have an App to Clean it Up!

Did you have a wild weekend or are there photos of you tagged doing things you might not want everyone to see?  Are you just about the head out to a job interview and you’re not sure about some of the old content on your  Facebook page?  Some people, including potential employers might think it’s inappropriate.

But, there’s an app for that. It’s called “Simple Wash” and it can help you clean up your Facebook profile.

A few simple clicks of the mouse will wash your social network's mouth out with soap via FaceWash's precompiled list of "dirty" words (sex, drugs, cursing), or a personalized word list into which users have full range over what terms they'd like to eliminate.

The app will search through comments posted on your wall or remarks left on photos you've been tagged in, as well as photos you've posted, links and pictures you've liked, status updates, and pages of which you are a "fan."
Results are returned in conceptual chunks, highlighting specific terms and providing a direct link to the post, where users can delete or privatize the message.

Not every post SimpleWash picks up will be something you want to remove (i.e., when I ran it, "crack me up" often got picked up as a potential drug reference), but it's a good way to quickly review the messages you're sending to the world.

Oh, but SimpleWash only detects words. So for now, you'll still have to filter out those old college party photos on your own.

Get SimpleWash for Facebook and Twitter. The Twitter version is currently in Beta, but if you're desperate to clean up your feed, just shoot the company a tweet.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

7 Pinterest Boards to Follow for jobs and opportunities

Is it possible to get anything but hours of casual fun out of the popular pinboard site, Pinterest? As it turns out, yes. A number of great websites and organizations take to Pinterest to share their advice, ideas and insights related to careers, job searching and professional development, while managing to turn this often cumbersome activity into a more enjoyable, visual experience.

Pinterest already is a way for professionals to organize their career plans, get job search tips, and showcase their work in an interesting, visual way to employers. To jump-start your use of Pinterest for your career, here are seven of the best Pinterest boards to follow related to employment.


This organization uses Pinterest to help people with career exploration and inspiration, including career ideas, education, career coaching and career change. With only eight boards, InsideJobs updates regularly and provides insightful, useful info for professionals, much like a pinboard career coach.


Self-described as a “community dedicated to finding you a happier job,” CareerBliss offers a variety of useful pinboards on Pinterest. Their boards include articles related to bosses, coworkers, employers, employee benefits, company culture, work options and having fun at work.


If you’re looking to become a more savvy job seeker, follow BrazenCareerist on Pinterest to find advice and tips on job searching, as well as a compilation of online job fairs, career courses you can take, and specific advice for Gen Y.


Their motto couldn’t be more true (“Because every job is temporary.”) and their Pinterest boards are a bit like job search boot camp with fun visuals. You’ll find tips for resumes, job interviews, networking, cover letters and work attire. They’ve also got recommendations for career books, work lunch ideas, office decor, vacation destinations and more.

Splash Resumes

Of course, this organization posts resume tips and tricks, but they also include a healthy dose of work wardrobe suggestions, job search tips and personal branding ideas. If you’re looking for ways to make yourself more unique and creative in your job search, these are great boards to follow.

Working Mother

The Pinterest board of Working Mother Magazine showcases the top companies for working moms, career advice, tips for multitasking, financial advice, info for new moms and a host of other mom-and-parent-specific topics. They even have an "LOL" board for when you need a good, career-related laugh.


Dedicated to helping professionals work from anywhere, the Pinterest board of Workshifting offers home office tips, coworking space suggestions, and technology updates and advice. Great pinboards for digital nomads.

If you’re already spending untold amounts of time pinning to your heart’s content, why not use Pinterest to advance your career, too? If nothing else, it makes job searching a bit more fun and it gives you a solid excuse for spending so much time on Pinterest.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Now a Facebook app that lets you... well BandWithFriends!!

Before it even dropped its “The” prefix, Facebook was a dating site. It could never have been anything else: It was targeting college kids, it encouraged you to not only upload but tag photos, and lead to us spending more hours than we care to admit clicking through picture after picture after picture after picture. If you were bold enough, this turned into a friend request – bolder yet, a Wall Post, or even a message. And so on and so forth… whatever that “so forth” turned out to be (you sly dog, you).

It’s not like it was all that subtle, but we’re leaving behind any trace of coyness considering the blatancy of BangWithFriends, the just-launched, insanely-popular new Facebook app. The fairly unsophisticated app launched last week and seemed to be little more than fodder for a slow news day – at least, that’s what it was for us a couple weeks ago (photo proof below). But according to the developers, who remain anonymous, it’s getting real results.

The creators of BangWithFriends are grad students, who describe themselves as “badass dudes happy to play wingman to over 10,000 couples and counting now,” created the app as a more honest approach to the dating and hookup Facebook game (they’ve created other apps but wouldn’t release details as to remain anonymous – all I can find is that the site’s server is located in Ashburn, Virginia). In case curiosity hasn’t compelled you to install and try out the app for yourself, here’s how it works.

First, you install. Exercise caution in granting permissions and making information viewable.
Then, you’re launched into the app, where if you’re a lady, you’ll see all your male friends, and vice versa. Simply choose who you want to bang (I'm being dumb enough to use my account to act as guinea pig).
If that person also installs the app and picks you, you’re both notified of the mutual interest with this email:
The app was built in 72 hours, and Doe says there’s been no comment from LinkedIn on the use of its API. “In our opinion a network such as LinkedIn might be a good place to look when trying to hook up with someone. After all, you spend most of your time at work, so chances are finding someone to hook up with based on your LinkedIn profile might be a good start.”

BangWithProfessionals functions the same way BangWithFriends does: Install, select who you’d like to bang, once they do the same, you’re alerted. Across the pond, Would Love 2 was just launched for iOS, although it’s a bit tamer and simply wants to find you someone to date – whether or not you bang is entirely in your hands.

All of these apps come with privacy problems. A simple Graph Search revealed who’s using BangWithFriends, and while seeing what LinkedIn-based apps someone is using isn’t all that easy, you will absolutely find yourself in an awkward situation if you install it “just to see” and then have to explain to your co-worker you don’t actually want to hook up with them. There are an endless amount of really uncomfortable ways this could go.

The biggest issue of course is people using BangWithFriends (or Professionals for that matter) with ill intentions, either just to see what the app does or, more underhandedly, to find out which of your friends wants to bang you. “My only concern is girls who install and add all their guy friends just to find out who’s perving on them,” one Redditor responded, adding that men are equally capable of the same thing.

Clearly it’s too soon to tell, but early reaction seems to be that the lowest common denominator may actually be a fairly effective way to find Internet love (or lovin’).

What Happens to Social Media After a Twitter Revolution?

Two years after the Arab Spring, questions still remain as to how much social media actually helped fuel and drive the uprisings that arose in Tunisia and swept across the region. But regardless of what happened during those Twitter-fueled revolutions, what's happened afterward?

That's what social media analytics firm Crimson Hexagon and Sanitas International wanted to find out when it decided to analyze tweets coming out of Egypt, Libya and even Syria, where there still is a war going on. The results of its 3-month study, which will be discussed in a panel at SXSW on Sunday, underscore the changes these countries are undergoing.

Nobody has really talked about what happens when people put their flags away and go home.

Crimson Hexagon turned to Twitter and crafted specific keywords to analyze the tweets. That's how the authors of the study were able to have an idea about what the population of these countries we're talking about online, according to Elizabeth Breese, an analyst at Crimson Hexagon.

The main discovery of the study is that after the uprisings brought down decades-old regimes, "citizens in Egypt and Libya use social media to talk about revolution and state-building in two distinct registers: instrumental and interpretative," the study's abstract says.

In Egypt, that means that citizens are both expressing their opinions and views of the current political atmosphere and talking about the new institutions and how to build a new government. Spanning from February 2011 to June 2012, the study analyzed around 12 million tweets in Arabic and more than one million in English. The results underline how the population shifted its focus from looking back and reflecting on the revolution, to looking forward and focusing on new state institutions and the elections.

Before the election period, from February 2011 until November of the same year, 54% of the tweets analyzed were "reflections on the revolution." After that, and until mid-January 2012, only 26% of tweets were about the uprising, and the rest were about the elections and state institutions. From February until June, tweets about revolutionary activities dropped to 10%, according to the study abstract.

The picture in Libya is significantly different, according to the data. After the death of Gaddafi, in October 2011 and until December of the same year, depending on the language of the tweets, the people were talking about different things. In English more tweets were about military clashes, while in Arabic most of the conversations were about state-building.

Most interestingly, Libyan people seemed to struggle to move on more than Egyptians. Even months after Gaddafi's death, more than one-third of of conversation in both languages were about "the punishment and fate of Gaddafi's family," and "the crimes of the Gaddafi era," according to the abstract.

Sanitas and Crimson Hexagon decided to analyze tweets from Syria too, even though the country is still at war. Unsurprisingly, most tweets (more than 60% in both Arabic and English) in Syria are about war clashes, violence and coping with death. Perhaps unexpectedly, only 7% of tweets in English and 4% in Arabic criticize the U.N. and call for international intervention.

Check out the Infographic below to see some of the results of the study:

Monday, March 11, 2013

Facebook Acquires Storytelling Site Storylane in Talent Grab

Facebook is buying Palo Alto, Calif.-based startup Storylane in what is a talent-oriented acquisition. Storylane wanted to become a new kind of story-telling platform much like Evan Williams’s Medium and Rebel Mouse. “We’re trying to build this library of human experience,” said founder Jonathan Gheller in an interview with my colleague Eliza Kern, when the service launched in October 2012.

It caught the eye of Internet giants and entered acquisitions talks with the likes of Yahoo and Facebook. Facebook clearly values the team and founder Gheller who is known for his ability to correlate data, identity and growth. The company had raised $2.8 million dollars from the likes of Balderton Capital, Sigma Partners, Ariel Poler, Mark Goines and bunch of other angel investors.

On his Storylane page, founder Gheller shared this note:
After a lot of discussions with Facebook about how our teams might work together to have even greater impact, we are announcing today that the Storylane team will be joining Facebook. 
This is an exciting opportunity. Facebook’s mission of connecting the world has always been at the center of our work, and like our friends at Facebook, meaningful connections are what our team is most passionate about. 
The beautiful stories you have decided to share with us are yours to keep and share in however way you want. We are building tools that will help you migrate the content to other services if you so desire. I will be in touch with you about those specific tools later, but I can confirm that Facebook is not acquiring any of your data; and we’re working to make sure you can migrate your content in a manageable way. 
I want to thank our users. Your passion, sincerity and willingness to share, has made Storylane the incredible experience that exists today. We have learned so much from you. Your ideas and creativity will stay with us and inspire us on the next stage of our journey.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Now a Social App that can manage Your Entire Home From a Phone.

A new app aims to reassure absent homeowners by letting them manage and monitor household items, straight from their phone or tablet.

Prizm is a 5-inch touchscreen controller that uses Z-Wave, a wireless system designed to help users communicate with home appliances. Combined with the Prizm Manager mobile app, they can turn light switches on and off, lock and unlock doors, raise and lower shades, and adjust the thermostat. Users are also notified when a door or window is opened, or when someone leaves or enters the house.

The product's creators say they have developed a cloud platform that makes it possible for users to "stay connected to your home from anywhere in the world."

So far, Prizm has raised a little over $6,000 of its $200,000 goal on Kickstarter. Would you use it? Tell us in the comments, below.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Pepsi India Reveals New Brand Ambassador Through Social Media

Creating a buzz about new brand ambassadors on social media is another trend that is catching up from 2012. The latest to follow the trend is Pepsi India for its ongoing campaign “Oh Yes Abhi”. According to Best Media Info, Pepsi has brought on board the U-19 cricket captain, Unmukt Chand, as its new brand ambassador to its “Oh Yes Abhi” campaign. The latest TVC which has been created by JWT India introduces Unmukt along with the captain of the Indian cricket team, MS Dhoni, Virat and Suresh Raina. The entertaining TVC that focuses on the impertinence of the young star to join the Indian team went on air from 1st of March.

The video in a weeks time, has already got more than 175K views. One of the reasons for the growing views could be attributed to the pre-launch buzz created on social media. The Facebook page that caters to more than 3.6M fans, created some thrill for them before revealing the video. The page moderators shared some interesting visual content that not only revealed that there is someone coming pretty soon but it also got the people talking. For example the below screen grab gives the kind of the content shared to create the initial excitement. The numbers depict the excitement too – 178 Shares and more than 1K comments.

Along with Facebook, the brand that has an amazing presence on Twitter with more than 6K followers, was not left out. The tweets focused on the new member joining and sharing the video. In addition to this, the brand created a hashtag #SeniorVsJunior and tried creating a conversation around it.

Pepsi India has launched the commercial a month before the IPL which is not surprising. Unmukt Chand, who truly reflects Pepsi’s ‘Oh Yes Abhi!’ attitude in the TVC, has been used smartly on social media too. Not that it is the first time since last year we saw FashionAndYou and Myntra launch full fledged campaigns on social media for the launch of their brand ambassadors. A trend which is going to be explored in the near future by more brands.

Prasant Naidu
About Author 
Founder and Blogger at Lighthouse Insights. Loves to experiment in social media and believes social media is a game changer for SME's. A diehard Royal Enfield fan,a voracious reader. I believe that knowledge should be shared so I often do it via training and speaking assignments on social media...

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Rebecca Marino Quits Tennis Following Attacks on Social Media

Canadian tennis professional Rebecca Marino announced she is quitting the sport, following a bout with depression that has been exacerbated by cyberbullying on social media sites.

Marino — the 22-year-old who was once in the top 40 players in the world — told reporters on a conference call she had received hateful messages such as "go die" and "burn in hell," according to Canadian publication The Star. Others berated her for costing them money while betting on her tennis performance.

Although Marino said she has "thick skin," the "really hurtful" words were compounded by the fact she has suffered from depression for the past six years.

“My depression had come way before the so-called cyberbullying,” said Marino. “Social media has also taken its toll on me.”

Following her announcement, she deleted her Twitter and Facebook accounts.

“Social media is actually a really important part of our society and there can be a lot of good that comes out of it,” said Marino, before adding it became too distracting. It's unknown if she will return to those sites in the future.

Last year, Marino took seven months off from tennis, but had recently resumed competing. Social media and depression aren't the only reasons she is leaving the sport, she said.

“I don’t think that I’m willing to sacrifice my happiness and other parts of my life for tennis,” she said. "There’s more to life than just tennis."