Posted by: Kerry Sheahan

Posted on: April 18, 2013 3:25 pm

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When we cast our minds back to 2005, Facebook was a very different scene. Little more than an upgrade from the likes of Bebo and Myspace, it was a basic platform where people could search for friends, upload pictures and reminisce from the night before. 8 years and one billion users later and Facebook has undergone a radical transformation, providing apps, games and even real time Bingo.

The most recent bow to its arrow comes in the form of Facebook Home. Described as a family of apps, it automatically shows updates on homescreen and lockscreen, allowing you to view a steady stream of posts and photos the second you turn on your phone. Put simply, it takes over your home screen.

Mark Zuckerburg’s multi-billion empire sums up the new systems when they say “everything on your phone gets friendlier.” With faster access to the essentials, as well as upfront notifications, users can even continue their conversations whilst using other apps, surfing the internet or watching videos. What’s more, the social media giant has introduced Chat Heads. Upon a friend starting a conversation, a message will pop up with a photo of that person, allowing users to tap to open or simply swipe to ignore.

A whole new meaning to the word convenience it would seem, however has this so called `convenience` gone a step too far for some people? As to be expected from any major update introduced by Facebook, the news has been met with a sense of controversy, if not hysteria. A simple internet search can take you directly to advice on how to install Facebook Home, and rumours have already begun circulation that Google tried to block it. Google’s Eric Schmidt has been quick to dispel the idea however, stating it would be “against our religion”.

Facebook Home became available from the Android Play Store in the UK April 12th on HTC One as well as the Samsung Galaxy S3. Whilst it is not currently available for tablets, the company has hinted that it would like to venture this way in the future. It appears unlikely that Facebook Home will launch on iPhone however.

With the news not having long broken, many are still in the dark as to what Facebook Home actually is, let alone installed it yet, but as more take the plunge it will be interesting to monitor the reaction it receives.

Posted by: Kerry Sheahan

Posted on: April 9, 2013 11:59 am

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You may be feeling that the one thing missing from your Facebook experience is the ability to accompany your status updates with an appropriate emoticon? No? It may not be amongst your top priorities, but like all of the social media giant’s additions and amendments, it will probably be hard to imagine life on the network without them given a week or two.

As of today, Facebook’s lucky users will be able to share how they’re feeling and what they’re up to through a drop down menu of emoticons and media, letting friends and acquaintances know precisely what they’re reading, watching or eating.

Put simply, it makes it easier to formally tag the places we attend, the TV shows we’re watching or the music we’re listening to, and so of course inviting our friends to get more involved in the things we love. For example, a person listening to an up and coming musician in their local area would be able to spread the word amongst friends, enabling them to click straight through to the Facebook profile and hit the “listen button”.

It’s all supposed to be part of Facebook’s plan to get users to open up more. But do a series of pre-formatted pictures really help us to express how we’re feeling? A more cynical approach would see this as an attempt to over simplify our moods and feelings? How often can we say we feel 100% sad, happy or confused? And more to the point why is Facebook asking us for such personal information?

Those who do try out the new drop down box will no doubt have noticed the pop-up notifying them that “details you add to posts also appear on your About page and other pages on Facebook.”

Now it is, the “other pages on Facebook that seems to be causing the biggest stir amongst critics and users. Facebook is essentially warning us that if we choose a particular pre-formatted emotion, TV programme or brand of coffee, Facebook could potentially use this data to target us with ads.

For example someone who reveals that they are listening to Beyonce could be targeted with ads for her new album or appearance. But is this all bad? If we’ve already stated an interest in the subject, is it not surely quite feasible that we should want to hear more about it?

Either way it will be interesting to hear feedback from Facebook’s one billion active users.

Posted by: Hannah

Posted on: January 22, 2013 11:44 am

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Last week saw the launch of the new Graph Search from Facebook – a function that allows users to socially search for common interests such as restaurants, music and movies. Although currently it doesn’t seem to rival Google (although Zuckerberg admitted it is work in progress) it does still raise some concerns for businesses and marketers.

Hailed as a ‘game changer’ by digital agency Revolution Digital and a ‘huge deal’ by SiteVisibility it is set to shake up social media. For example if you are looking for a Curryhouse in Chelmsford liked by people in Chelmsford, then Facebook Graph Search can help. Or if you met somebody at a party named Hannah, who attended Westminster University and is a friend of your Friend Stacey, then you can use Facebook Graph Search to track her down.

To put it simply – it allows you to search on a more detailed, in-depth scale – something that is alarming both users on a personal and business level.

Up until now Facebook has allowed marketers information that most common users of the social media platform have no idea exists. As Graph Search launches more and more information will be freely available to all, including typical users and skilled marketers which will result in some rethinking the amount of information they share with Facebook. This is of course something that the site and marketers do not want to occur.

Obviously there have been various calls of Facebook dying out over the last decade, of which none have been fully correct. Today there are over 1 billion active users on the site, a figure that regularly increases.

Only time will tell of the effect that Facebook Graph Search will have on both searching – and the amount of information that users will share with the social networking site.

Posted by: Kerry Sheahan

Posted on: January 14, 2013 2:06 pm

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It appears as though internet giants like Facebook and Google may be forced in future to ask permission to use personal data.

The news comes just as uproar following the recent Instagram controversy has died down. The company dropped a decision to sell their users’ photos to advertisers after losing more than a quarter of its customers in one week alone.

Now it appears as though Facebook and Google may find themselves backed into a similar corner. As two firms that profit particularly well from user data, the new EU proposal for tougher consumer protection must have come as something of a shock. Particularly so for Facebook, which has come under close scrutiny for some of its slightly disappointing revenue reports of late.

EU lawmakers are planning to limit companies’ ability to use and sell data to advertisers by stating that users must have the opportunity to consciously agree to data processing, or reject it. This kind of data can include internet browsing habits. Those who use Facebook regularly may have noticed adverts tailored to their individual interests or general internet activity.

Needless to say, Facebook and Google are planning to fight back against the curbs. The story is likely to be more popular amongst consumers however, with online forums becoming increasingly filled with people irritated by this kind of behaviour.

However, before panic sets in, it is worth noting that there are exceptions to the new proposed rules. For example, a firm would still be allowed to send junk mail to a user based on data it had gathered itself.

On Wednesday, a plan is expected to be announced to ensure that search engines and social network users are in control of how much of their data is sold to advertisers.

Posted by: Hannah

Posted on: January 8, 2013 4:25 pm

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Televisions and mobile phones have become an integral part of everybody’s lives. We spend hours each day making calls, interacting online, sending text messages and browsing the web all on our mobiles. The other screen we spend a lot of time looking at is that of the television. Whether it is unwinding after work, embracing sport or catching up with the latest popular programs, the television makes up a large proportion of the UK’s popular culture.

So what happens when the two collide? The merging of social media and television is a phenomenon that has occurred over the last few years. Until recently the use of hashtags and trending was not commonly connected with television programs, yet now it is a regular, mundane feature. Television programs even create and visibly display them throughout the show encouraging the use and discussion of the show on social media sites like Twitter.

This type of ‘social TV’ also exists on Facebook where it is possible to view opinions and remarks about shows that are commonly watched such as the likes of X Factor, Strictly Come Dancing and Big Brother. This means that if the user logs on at a certain time whilst the program is on television it is highly likely that they will see many related posts. Sean W. Bohan Co-Founder of Decahedralist Strategic Consulting explained, ‘The user doesn’t call this social TV – they call it their normal behavior  Apps that create more enhanced experiences like syncing to the audio from the TV, timed with the show, encouraging interaction etc…will create new opportunities for sponsorship and revenue. ‘

Mike Knowlton, from Murmur added, ‘I expect to see a continued growth in ‘Second Screen Viewing’, we’ll see a new move to better integration social activity into TV content.’

So what does this mean for TV in the future? Many feel a large emphasis will be placed on the encouragement of social interaction and creating a buzz about a television program through the use of social media platforms.

Overall, the move towards social media and the acceptance of it in everyday life displays how it is a platform that will not be going away.

The emergence of social media has truly revolutionised the way internet marketers do in their respective businesses. If we are to rewind to the time when facebook and twitter were not yet in existence, small and large businesses were actually doing the traditional advertising campaigns. It might be a lot slower compared to the present advertising capabilities brought by social media, but that was fair one and the public receive information without having them fooled or manipulated.

 Social Media as Form of Advertising

Today, most business owners are beginning to utilise the power of social media in making their businesses put into the limelight. It is even safe to deduce that all existing companies who know how social media work to their benefits made fan pages where people can like or follow. The potentials for companies to earn a wide audience have pushed business owners to incorporate facebook and twitter badges on their sites.   At first, we can say that these actions of marketers point to a single purpose and that is to shape public opinion. With their respective fan pages where they gained thousand likes and thousand followers, it would appear that many people trust their companies or the brands they are trying to market.

 The Dark Side of Social Media

But here is the other side of the coin, some business owners are now resorting to fool the public by manipulating the number of likes and followers for their brands or companies. This is done by sponsoring people to create different social media accounts such as in facebook or twitter and make them like or follow the page. The controversial part is these facebook like or twitter follow stuffs have been made job posts in various online job freelancing platforms. If we are to analyse these moves, these guys are simply making fun of the credibility of the social media by trying to manipulate their company’s credibility.

 What Matters Most

Basically, there is more about the social media than just relying in the number of likes or followers you get to your page. And it’s one of the things that are overlooked by these business owners. They think that by getting thousands and thousands of likes or followers, they will gain the trust of the public just like every business marketer wishes to. But, they are wrong. Though the number of likes or followers can be a factor to build confidence among the public, the best weapon to win the heart of the public is through content sharing through posts, discussions, and forums where close interactions between the company and the clients are empowered. If business owners only invest in the quantity of likes and followers without building an interactive environment with their clients, then their efforts to pay for people to like and follow their pages will only be futile.

Until there has not been proof that the number of likes and followers has a value to search engine optimisation, then it would be better if these business owners would implement the proven SEO techniques to gain a broad audience where their products or services can be seen to the maximum.

 

Posted by: Ben Austin

Posted on: May 9, 2012 4:05 am

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Facebook is said to be the number one social media platform worldwide, this is not a surprise considering the fact that Facebook has a close to one billion members. This is why Facebook has become a popular choice in terms of social media marketing. Apart from having a lot of members, Facebook offers a lot of features that will help their users depending on their chosen feature. Facebook indeed has captured a lot of users, and because of its member verification system in place a lot of business owners have been using Facebook not only to connect with their friends and families but also to advertise their business, products and services. With Facebook a lot of opportunities as well as requirements have emerged such as Facebook management.

The Change in Facebook

So many Facebook users including those who have used such social media platform to engage or gain clients for their business have grown used to using its social media interface. However, recent announcements done by the Social Media giant is going to change all that with its introduction of the Facebook timeline. Many people using Facebook have been reacting negatively to the introduction of the Facebook timeline including those who have been using Facebook for their business. This reaction may be due to the fact that people are afraid of change however in terms of business the new Facebook timeline will be able to bring a lot of benefits. Such benefits are the following:

1. Timeline Views – Through the timeline view branding could be incorporated, well timeline view is actually not new in Facebook, these are the text tabs found at the left side of the page it was redeveloped to display thumbnails rather that texts, allowing you to incorporate your company logo perhaps?

2. The Cover Photo – Facebook has incorporated a new feature in their interface and this is the cover photo, where you could use a unique photo as your profile’s header. Again another chance for branding as you could your company logo to be your Facebook pages’ cover photo.

3. Post Control – because of timeline you can now manage the different posts in your own timeline. You can highlight a post which you would like to be seen among your other posts. So if you have an important announcement it will not be pushed down by recent posts.

4. Easy Multimedia Inclusion – with the old Facebook interface incorporating multimedia in your post requires the use of your knowledge in HTML specifically that of the iFrame. In the new Facebook Timeline interface embedding multimedia is as easy as posting a message.

Conclusion

Change as they say is inevitable especially in the case of implementing the Facebook Timeline. The new features of Facebook Timeline introduced more opportunities for those who would like to utilise Facebook for business another alternative traffic source for SEO companies and SEO consultants.

Posted by: Ben Austin

Posted on: May 7, 2012 3:49 pm

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Many SEO companies and SEO consultants knows that every algorithm change in the search engine might cause the de-ranking of their target website, what is worst is that when the site is actually lost the revenue goes with it. This is the reason why many SEO Companies and SEO consultants are looking for other sources for site traffic. One of the most popular alternative site traffic sources is the use of social media. With the popularity of Facebook and Twitter and its ability to make a post viral became the focus of such SEO companies and SEO consultants looking for alternative traffic sources for their website. However, similar to search engine optimisation, social media marketing also requires considerable amount of work. The nature of social media is to create a community and to produce interaction between and among the members of the community.

The Power of Social Media

The fact that social media allows you to interact with a lot of people and the accounts of such people are readily verified, meaning they are actual people and promoting products and services online to actual people is faster and cheaper and with a high success rate. After building a social media community around your brand or product you will be able to easily inform your members about any promotions or updates about your products and services. Not only that, information can easily be shared by anyone in the community to his or her list of friends.

Harnessing the Power of Social Media

Social media could only become an effective tool if used properly this is why it is important to take the following in consideration:

1. Spark conversations – most of the time members of your community are just lurking around your page, this is why it is important to start a conversation. Creating a spark of conversation can be done by giving your community something interesting to talk about however it should be factual and within your pages’ niche.

2. Engage Bloggers – bloggers are gaining popularity worldwide because of their skill in writing and their ability to engage their readers. Blogging is considered as the fourth media and it is considered as one of the most reliable form of information because it comes from the actual experience of the person writing about the product or services.

3. Factual Social Media Profile – you should be factual when creating your account in the social media network, this is because of the fact that you would like to show that you are promoting an honest business. Therefore, showing your actual photo would be one of the best way to start gaining the trust of your community members.

Conclusion

There is a need to look for other sources of traffic just in case your search engine optimisation methods would falter due to algorithm changes. One of the best alternative traffic source is social media as it allows you to build a community around your brand and engage your members regarding the different products and services that your business is offering.

It is with no doubt that social media is fast becoming popular not only among users but also among online marketers particularly SEO Companies and SEO Consultants. This is because of the fact that social media is a very effective tool in order for your website to gain popularity as well as gain targeted traffic. Social media like Facebook is now used not only as an avenue to connect to friends, families and acquaintances but also to connect with potential clients.

Why Use Social Media?

It is because of the fact that social media verifies the validity of the account that there are lesser possibilities that you are talking to a bot which means you are actually promoting your business to actual users or persons. Further, social media has the ability to make a post or promotion viral, since it is easy to share information through the social media one post could reach thousands of users.

How to Effectively Use Social Media?

Creating a Fan Page or a Social media account doesn’t mean that you already have the advantage and could gain immediate traffic. In order to gain traffic from your social media page you will have to need one more ingredient and that is engagement. You need to engage your potential clients in order to have a successful social media campaign. The following are some steps on how you can effectively use social media to engage or to gain traffic:

1. Invest Time – since social media is in real time you need to invest in time, the time is used to answer the queries of those who are members of your communities, also you would need time to gather members to your social media community. Either way investing on time is essential and should not be taken for granted.

2. Set your Goal – it is very important that you make your goals for setting a social media account clear. A clear goal would help you decide on what course of actions to take and how to go about in engaging your potential clients or community members.

3. Do not Post Your Sales Pitch – you might not like this idea especially if you are trying to use social media to sell, however you have to understand that the community in social media could outright determine whether or not you are just using the account to sell. Instead your post should engage the members of your community to visit your website where your sales pitch are located, but never post any sales pitch in your status updates  or profiles.

4. Keep Calm – there will be instances where members of your community will be throwing rude comments or questions, in this case you have to keep calm because a violent reaction might have dire consequences later on especially that posting violent reactions will just give a negative impression on your company.

5. Post your Community Guidelines – when building you have to indicate your guidelines, this way you will be able to show your community that despite you allow the exercise of freedom of speech you still have control over those who abuse such right in your community.

Conclusion on How To Use Social Media

Social media could be a powerful online marketing tools for SEO Companies and SEO consultants, with the changes in the algorithm of the different search engines having a different source of traffic will help in your online marketing campaign especially if you have lost your rankings in different search engines. One thing that you have to remember though is that you are building a community where members can freely interact thus maintaining rules as well as following the different guidelines as stated above will help ensure the success of your social media campaign.

Posted by: Ben Austin

Posted on: April 15, 2012 1:23 am

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It is very obvious that the popularity of many social media sites is increasing. More and more SEO consultants or SEO companies are recognising the importance of these social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter. But how exactly Facebook management help you with your SEO Campaign?

The main reason why many SEO consultants and SEO companies are working on implementing a good Facebook management is the fact that Facebook is known to carry lots and lots of traffic to any website. It is even considered now as a big part of SEO. The success of Facebook to reach a lot of audience is undeniable. It does make a real sense why renowned SEO Consultants and SEO Companies have already integrated Facebook management in their search engine optimisation campaigns.

A good Facebook management strategy will obviously bring the rankings and SERP as well as traffic to where your goal is. The fact that Facebook is even considered best in the field of online marketing, SEO companies and SEO consultants have actually devised ways and means in order to turn Facebook users to leads. Any SEO company should never make Facebook management less important if they wanted to become successful online.

The question of why Facebook is very effective for SEO marketing can be answered by many of the benefits it offers. The platform that is being used in Facebook allows great interactions between people. Thus, marketing is never a problem when it comes to this social networking site.

All SEO consultants and SEO companies should do is to be creative in engaging Facebook users to click the link to their target website or to be converted in to potential clients or customers, making Facebook is one of the best ways to bring more traffic to a site. Having a good SEO campaign, plus a good Facebook management strategy will definitely bring you where you want. Getting more traffic means a higher rank, in which in return will guarantee good end result and of course high return of investment.

 

 

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