A Social Media Wave: The Super Bowl

 

Football Win_Feb14_Post 1People talk about anything and everything via social media. You can see that from your own newsfeed, I’m sure, but you can also check what people are talking about on social media by looking at hashtags and trending news. And of course, the past few weeks and particularly this past Sunday, the Super Bowl was a big topic of conversation.

Facebook

I’m sure that it doesn’t come as any surprise that the Super Bowl was a huge topic on social media the day it aired. But you may be surprised at the sheer volume of discussion on social media. Mashable is reporting that as many as 50 million people were talking about the Super Bowl on Facebook during the big game.  I think anyone who watched the game can agree that there were lots of discussion-worthy moments, and people definitely took to social media to be heard.

Twitter 

How about Twitter? Were fans and non-fans talking about the Super Bowl as much on Twitter as they were on Facebook? Mashable also tells us that 24.9 million people were tweeting about the Super Bowl, slightly up from last year’s 24.1 million tweets. Last year, Super Bowl tweeting set a record for Twitter, at 24.1 people talking about the big game. In another interesting development, Twitter reported that a whopping 58% of ads seen during the game featured a hashtag for viewers to use on Twitter or other social networks. That’s pretty impressive, considering that the hashtag has only been a “thing” for a few years. Now, more than half of the most expensive and highly-viewed commercials featured one.

The Halftime Show

The Super Bowl halftime show has been a must-watch for many years now. Ever since Janet Jackson’s infamous wardrobe malfunction, the halftime show has been talked about at least as much as the game itself. This year, the halftime show featured Bruno Mars and the Red Hot Chili Peppers. Mars, the youngest performer to ever grace the halftime stage, put on a great show that people are calling one of the best in recent history. Mars also used Twitter to get his fans to watch the halftime show – he tweeted before the show that if they used the Shazam app during the show, they could get access to an exclusive video of him performing at a concert overseas. Stars that know how to use social media well are proving to be that much more successful.

So what was your favorite part of the game? The halftime show? A particular commercial? Let us know!

(Photo Source)

Megan Totka is the Chief Editor for ChamberofCommerce.com. She specializes on the topic of small business tips and resources. ChamberofCommerce.com helps small businesses grow their business on the web and facilitates connectivity between local businesses and more than 7,000 Chambers of Commerce worldwide.

How Do You “Talk” Online?

 

How Do You “Talk” Online?

I have to admit – I’m a Gchat junkie. Gchat, the nickname for Google’s popular Google Talk platform, is used relatively widely. So when the company updated to Google+ Hangouts many people either refused to make the change or didn’t realize that they were able to update (and some would say upgrade) to Hangouts.

Gchat and Hangouts are just the most recent incarnation of chat applications that are offered. There’s AOL Instant Messenger, which is one of the very first chat clients; Microsoft, who offers a chat through its Hotmail client; Jabber, which many big companies use as an internal chat option; and of course, Facebook chat, which continues to grow in popularity. With so many people using the Internet as a primary communication tool, it’s no wonder that there are a plethora of chat options to choose from.

Let’s explore some chat options:

Google+ Hangouts (formerly known as Gchat or Google Talk)

I have to admit that after reading this article I made the switch from Gchat to Hangouts. Google+ Hangouts now offers you the option to share photos and emoticons through the chat client. It now also offers an app for Hangouts, while before you had to resort to aftermarket apps to get mobile access to the Google chat client.

Facebook Chat

While the ability to chat within Facebook still has a bit of a rudimentary look, it’s very popular with Facebook users. Personally, I don’t like that it treats chat messages like actual private messages. You can also get caught up in a chat/message chain that seems to go on forever. But having the ability to talk with people that you normally communicate with through status updates is nice. You can keep some conversations off of your Facebook page and not in the so-called public record.

Windows Live Messenger

I think that Windows messenger looks like a hybrid of Google Talk and what AIM used to look like. It has many of the same capabilities. If you have contacts who primarily use Hotmail or Outlook, choosing to use Windows messenger regularly may be a good thing for you.

Jabber

Many companies use this free chat client to connect people within their office and improve their business communication. It’s a pretty basic chat but it does have many, many emoticons to choose from, which is fun.

So how do you talk online? I’m curious to hear which of the chat clients that I’ve listed is the most popular. Any pros and cons for each on that I didn’t list?

(Photo Source)

Megan Totka is the Chief Editor for ChamberofCommerce.com. She specializes on the topic of small business tips and resources. ChamberofCommerce.com helps small businesses grow their business on the web and facilitates connectivity between local businesses and more than 7,000 Chambers of Commerce worldwide.

4 Specific Results Social Media Isn’t Built to Get You

 

If it’s big, it ought to be important. If it’s so important, then it ought to fetch us something for our money and/or efforts. Or so the general thought goes.

The truth is it might or it might not. Social Media isn't Built to Get You

For social media, however, size has nothing to do with what you’ll get from it. Just like you get answers from people depending on the way you ask questions, social media does and does not achieve certain kind of results. It’s not really about the medium then; it’s more about what you expect from it and what you pour into it

Here are 4 specific kinds of results that social media isn’t meant to get for you:

$X Spent on Advertising = $Y in Total Sales

Social media is designed to be more like a huge, passive party – a humongous congregation of humanity on another medium almost as if it’s an alternative to living on our own planet. Ideas can spread and thoughts can resonate. You (along with millions of others) can share content, support causes, keep in touch with others, connect with many more, and advocate everyone’s little version of the truth (or lies).

Social media is all that and much more. Yet, it’s not like traditional media in the revenue sense. It just won’t fetch you sales in spades. It won’t make your cash register wail like a siren. It might never get you a single “buy” transaction, ever.

You just have to go the proverbial Edison way and fail 10,000 times before you hit on what works for you. Take a shot at social media in whichever way that you deem appropriate: do it yourself, recruit in-house social media experts, outsource it, or bring in highly skilled social media consultants.

Social media wasn’t formed to be a marketplace; it was built to connect people, with all their needs, wants, information requirements, craving for support, and hungry demand for social proof. Revenue is something you attempt to dig out from the midst of all these. So don’t go betting on it.

Buying Love

You can’t buy love. We knew it long before but social media just blew that concept into a massive size and then forced us to pin that into our heads. Thousands of businesses to date love taking the “buy likes and followers” approach by hiring “specialists” who claim to be able to bring in 3,000 likes in 30 days or 20,000 followers in 3 months.

Think about this for a second: if your business deals with great products and services and if you stand behind your offering while contributing value to your customers, why would you ever need the all-too-tempting “buy 1000 likes” to work social media into your marketing strategy?

If you are good, the world will know. People will take notice. They will spread the word for you. Your brand will go viral if you give people enough reason.

Buying your way in is way too easy. Even if you did achieve to herald masses of people to like your Facebook Fan page and to follow you across your social media channels, do you really think they’d pay attention to your incessant interruptive marketing? You did buy your way in but how long does it take for them to chuck you out with an “Unlike” or “Unfollow?”

If the number of fans and followers were the measure of success, 80% of all social media accounts would have no use whatsoever. You’d be surprised at what some really small businesses with a tiny string of likes and followers have managed to do.

Orchestrating the PR Circus

It takes only one visit to Quora or a discussion-heavy LinkedIn group to make you realize that Internet users have worked to build passionate communities around products, services, ideas, brands, and tools.

If you read popular online publications such as Read Write Web, Mashable, Inc., or Fast Company, you know that if there’s a mention of a business, a web-based tool, a piece of code, a mobile app, or a service, that website gets server-killing traffic within the hour. The basic reason for this is that these sites have gained the trust of millions and a collective agreement from the community of being a reliable source of industry information.

Type in a query of your choice in Quora and see users pitching in their “opinion” on what these popular tools are. Project collaboration tools such as Basecamp have upstaged mighty and established programs such as Microsoft Project. Large online retailers and established bloggers rely on provider reviews from WhoIsHostingThis? before they choose a web host. Savvy travelers make it a point to check out Oyster Fakeouts before they book a hotel, and Oyster now has as much pull as TripAdvisor or any travel publication.

What’s the difference between an orchestrated PR effort and a natural mention on any of the websites alluded to earlier?

Press releases and paying publications (including blogs) is the traditional form of spreading the word. It still works, but it’s easy for readers to see through. How much value would you place on a blog posts that starts with “Sponsored Post?”

Natural mentions on popular publications, forums, communities, review sites, and Q & A sites are a whole new level of PR altogether. For once, there’s a real sense of “newsworthy” in the press!

Social media won’t budge to your PR bullying—it has the potential to bring media companies to their knees!

Swiping Your Card and Cashing In

Finally, social media is the exact opposite of traditional marketing channels when it comes to timeframes. Place an advertisement on your local paper today and you might just get some calls. Run a prolonged mass media campaign across print and television and you’ll get noticed. Lump together an offer that expires in a week and you’ll get a few visits to your store.

Social media is the last place you should be if you want anything “instant.” That’s not to say social media is a sloth bear. Nothing matches the viral blowout of a social share, but this “spread” is organic—no one individual, company or campaign controls it. No amount of money can buy that kind of influence.

If you are intent on social media, nurture it like a child. Do what you have to and do it for a long time. Social media begins to work for you when you’ve worked long enough and consistently enough.

If you’re looking for a shortcut, look somewhere else.

(Photo Source)

Rohan works at E2M Solutions, India’s fastest growing online marketing agency, where he puts together digital master plans for premium brands. He also helps create remarkable user experiences at OnlyDesign.org for startups. Hit him up on Twitter for a chat.