Saturday, December 31, 2011

Pinterest: A Beginner’s Guide to the Hot New Social Network

You’ve probably heard a lot about Pinterest over the last few months. Not only has the company received $27 million in venture funds, but the site’s popularity has exploded from 1.2 million users in August to over 4 million today.


1. What is Pinterest?


Pinterest is a place to organize and share online images that you find interesting or inspiring. Once uploaded or shared on Pinterest, these images become known as Pins, which the user can place on customized, themed Boards. You can create Boards for any topic imaginable, from cats to classic cars to cats driving classic cars. The possibilities are endless.

If you want to check out Pinterest, though, you have to be invited. You can sign up for invites on the site (prepare for a wait), or chances are you already know a Pinner who will gladly send you an invite.

2. What is Pinterest For?




While there’s nothing wrong with just pinning pictures of cool stuff all day, Pinterest can be a really valuable tool for people with a specific purpose in mind.

For example, many brides-to-be have replaced bulky three-ring binder wedding planners with the simplicity and portability of a Pinterest account. Some people create a Board for each room in the house and then pin decorating ideas for that room. Artists use it to organize inspiring images for their work. Cooks keep an online recipe box. College students might create a shopping list of things they need to buy for school. DIY-ers can bookmark tutorials for those rainy day projects. Boards can have multiple contributors, so collaborating with co-workers on a project is easy with everyone’s ideas and inspiration in one place.

3. How Do I Pin Stuff?




Pinning is easy with the official Pin It Button, a simple drag-and-drop browser extension. When you come across an image you like, just click the button and select the corresponding picture. Assign the pin to a Board, add accompanying text, and you’re done. If the Pin is something you want to buy, include the price in the description and it will attach to the Pin for easy reference. If you find inspiration on the go, take a picture with your iPhone and add it to your Boards with the mobile app. (Sorry, no Android support at this time.) You can also Repin posts from other people.

4. What’s the Social Angle?






Pinning’s more fun when you do it together. To find other Pinners, access the Everything drop-down menu and filter Boards by category. When you see a good Pin, leave a comment, Like it, or Repin to one of your own Boards. If you find a Board that’s especially interesting, follow its updates, or head to the Pinner’s profile and follow all of her Boards. Like Twitter, it’s an open network, so follows don’t require permission, and you don’t have to follow anyone back.

You can tweet or share pins on Facebook to help expand your network across all three services.

Check out the Popular button to see what pins are trending at the moment. It’s a great way to find new content and to find Pinners who share your interests.
Your birthday’s coming up and you really like that necklace on Etsy, right? Hint, hint by sharing a Pin with another Pinner: Use an @mention in the description, just like you do on other social sites. They’ll get an email to let them know they’ve been mentioned.

5. Anything Else I Should Know?


Most Pins are photos, but you can pin videos, too. Hit the Videos button at the top of the page to see everything from movie trailers to sewing tutorials to the latest viral videos.

If you’re looking to buy a gift for someone, check out the Gifts menu to find Pins that have a price associated. With dollar values ranging from $1 to $500+, you can find something to fit any budget. And because Pins usually link back to the source website, buying something you like is easy.

Pinterest might seem like a natural place to promote your small business, but do so with caution. It’s frowned upon to spam your Boards with nothing but your own products or projects. That doesn’t mean it’s outright banned, but you need to contribute more to the community if you want to stay in its good graces. Use this opportunity to build your brand by linking and connecting to people who share the same style, or by pinning images that inspire your company’s work. You can use Pinterest for self-promotion, just do so creatively.

(source: mashable)

How to Increase Facebook Engagement Using Custom Page Tabs

The year 2011 brought exciting changes to social media marketing, especially when it came to Facebook. One such change is the ability to build customized landing tabs using iFrames, social plugins and geotargeting. These custom tabs open a world of opportunity for brands to increase Facebook engagement.

Brands that invest in building the right types of tabs on their Facebook Pages are more likely to increase Likes and achieve real engagement growth. However, simply throwing a tab up will not suffice. There are certain considerations and important steps to take in order to significantly increase engagement through a Facebook tab.

1. Know Your Audience


Understanding your audience is key to building a tab that will increase both Likes and engagement. “You should think about your audience and what interests them, then figure out how to build a relationship around those things,” advises Victoria Ransom, founder and CEO of Wildfire, one of the most widely used tools to build and manage Facebook tabs.

Prior to building tabs, the Mexico Tourism Board (MTB) sought out audience input by launching a consumer survey on its primary website. The survey asked what types of information people would like to get from the MTB Facebook Page. “The over 15,000 responses contributed directly to the architecture of each of the four tabs: Highlights, Celebs, Attractions and Press,” says Lane Douglas, executive vice president of vantage strategy. MTB Page Likes increased from 6,000 to 70,000 within a three-week period, and its “People Talking About This” index raised to 14,000 daily.

Audience-relevant tabs allow for delivery of on-point content and rich engagement. The great part about social media is that it eliminates the middle man. Each company can directly target and communicate with its customer base for inspiration.

2. Define Your Goals




Not to overwhelm you, but there are limitless possibilities with tabs. With that in mind, it’s not recommended to have just one goal per tab. According to Stephanie Chaparro, senior account strategist for Wildfire, “Brands don’t want to use simple goals like ‘increase likes’ or ‘engage fans.’ Instead look into the strategy of the tabs and consider what audience to target and what end action is wanted, for example, Like the page, watch a video, share stories or leave a comment. Be as specific as possible in the goals you are setting.”

Webroot software hired Wildfire to build tabs for the company’s Facebook Page. Their goal was to deliver personalized content, build brand awareness and increase engagement on a Page that was, for the most part, stagnant and passive. Five months after launching Wildfire’s tabs, Webroot Software saw Likes increase by 40,906, a 523% improvement.

3. Build a Cool Tab


Once you’ve done the research and determined the optimal strategy, it’s time to build an effective tab. Focus on including these features: a hook, fresh content and a rich experience. “The best tabs are the ones that have a hook to get people to come back to the page on regular basis, but at the same time, provides a real opportunity for them to engage with the product and share,” says Ransom.

Blowfish Shoes implemented a Shoe-A-Day Giveaway tab, a year-long campaign in which the company gives away a different pair of shoes daily. At the end of the year, Blowfish found its Facebook Page Likes had increased by 2,488%. The giveaway tab was so successful, in part, because it contained all the key aspects of the most successful tabs. With a new pair of shoes to feature every day, Blowfish was able to constantly stream fresh content in the form of photos and videos.

And by announcing new winners every day, Blowfish gave people another reason to check back. Finally, through strategically placed links, the tab provided an opportunity for product engagement.

Sixty-four percent of entrants actually went on to browse the Blowfish Shoes website, and nearly half of all sales during the promotion came from contestants. Through a single tab, Blowfish was able to build brand awareness, grow its Facebook community and increase overall engagement and sales.

4. Manage Tabs




By implementing a clear strategy around tabs, organizations can benefit on an ongoing basis. But in order to sustain growth, there must be a strategic plan in place. “Companies that do the best are those who have a regular plan around their social media (including their Facebook tabs) and who take advantage of opportunities like holidays and events,” says Ransom.

Part of the strategic plan should include how to handle multiple tabs. “It’s important to be strategic in implementing and running multiple tabs simultaneously. We see a lot of brands put up multiple tabs, each requiring different actions. This can overwhelm the user, “ says Chapparo.

If you want to increase overall engagement, do not overwhelm users by requiring multiple actions on tabs. Instead, focus on keeping the wall engaging and fresh, while simultaneously providing tabs for a richer experience. Ideeli, a multi-retail channel, never runs multiple tabs that require actions. “We prioritize our tabs and realize we can only drive people away from our wall so many times,” Sarah Conley, social media manager at ideeli. Over the last year ideeli saw its Facebook Page Likes increase by 291%. The company also increased wall engagement by 48%.

5. Support Your Tabs


Facebook tabs cannot exist in a void. “Businesses need to realize the point is not to create a tab and expect to get tons of traffic spontaneously. Tabs can fail when businesses don’t have a plan for getting people to the tab,” says Ransom.

There are a variety of ways to drive traffic to tabs including Facebook ads, sponsored stories, Wall posts, email blasts, newsletters and share buttons. Webroot Software used video to drive traffic to its tabs. “With our marketplace in mind, we created three humorous videos that each ended with a promotional link to our Facebook Page. These videos have received over 32 million views and counting,” shares Chris Benham, chief demand officer at Webroot.

As traffic to the Facebook Page increases, so do Likes and community engagement. Community management will become ever-more important to handle the influx of Facebook activity. “Fans of Mexico came out of the woodwork. As the community began to grow and move through the tabs, they posted stories and photos of their best Mexico vacation experiences on the wall,” says Douglas of Mexico Tourism Board.

As Facebook’s popularity grows, it becomes more and more imperative to stand out from the crowds by offering valuable content and a thriving community. By executing on-point Facebook tabs, any organization, no matter its size, industry or age, can build a living, breathing Facebook community.

(source: mashable)

Hope you enjoyed this article.

Friday, December 30, 2011

7 Surefire Ways to Increase Your Klout Score

Aim high. It’s a worthy goal for credit scores, SATs and now, Klout scores. These days, more and more social networkers are looking to boost their Klout rating and show others the power of their social influence.

Klout — which provides social media analytics to measure a user’s influence across social networking sites such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn – has received much criticism since its inception in 2009 not only for its business model but also for its operating principle. However, more people are turning to the service to see where their influence stacks up against others.

The analysis is executed using data taken from sites such as Twitter and Facebook and measures the size of a person’s network, the content created and how other people interact with that content. Those who sign up for Klout or are connected to those who do are each given a “Klout score” that ranges from one to 100, with higher scores corresponding to a greater strength of their online influence.

“I wouldn’t say Klout is the ‘standard of influence’ as their tagline boldly proclaims, but they can measure one thing, and increasingly well: how content moves through an online network and how people react to it,” Mark W. Schaefer, the author of the upcoming book “Return On Influence: The Revolutionary Power of Klout, Social Scoring, and Influence Marketing” (McGraw Hill 2012), told Mashable. “That may seem simple but it’s extremely complex and is an indicator of influence.”

Schaefer — a marketing professor at Rutgers University — also noted that Klout is even becoming a measurement for job performance and status: “If you’re in that situation, most consider a score over 30 to be pretty reputable and a score over 50 to be elite.”

Are you below your target Klout score? Schaefer reveals seven simple ways to climb up the ranks:
  • 1. Build a network. The key to increasing a Klout score is similar to finding success on the social web in general: Build a targeted, engaged network of people who would be legitimately interested in you and your content.
  • 2. Create meaningful content. Adopt a strategy to create or aggregate meaningful content that your network loves to share with others. Provide links!
  • 3. Engage. Actively engage with others in a helpful and authentic way. Ask questions, answer questions and create a dialogue with your followers.
  • 4. Don’t scheme. Any gaming behaviors that fall outside the basic strategies will eventually catch up to you. For example, specifically targeting conversations with high Klout influencers will probably be more annoying than successful. If you keep focused on your network strategy and your content strategy, you’ll succeed.
  • 5. Interact with everyone. Don’t be afraid to interact with Klout users with lower scores – it won’t hurt your own score. In fact, it helps build their score and in turn makes you more of an influencer.
  • 6. Publish. Remember, you don’t have to make a movie or be elected to office to have power now. All you need to do is publish. Access to free publishing tools such as blogs, video and Twitter have provided users with an opportunity to have a real voice, so take advantage of these many platforms.
  • 7. Keep at it. Don’t be discouraged by your score. It’s more important to just enjoy your social media experience and let the chips fall where they may.
Do you think Klout scores really matter? Why or not?

(source: mashable)

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Top Twitter Desktop Clients for Mac

Twitter has proven itself to be a great tool for networking, keeping up to date with friends, and generally “stalking” unsuspecting folk. The Twitter website works remarkably well, but there are a variety of different desktop applications which integrate sending and receiving updates into your local environment.

Each of these have different strengths and weaknesses, and I’m confident that you’ll be able to find a client which fits your need perfectly. In no particular order.

Twitteriffic

 

Undoubtedly the most obvious and famous Twitter client; Twitteriffic looks great, retains a small desktop footprint and is the tool of choice for many Twitter users. A huge number of keyboard shortcuts, support for multiple accounts and the cutest icon of all the apps in this list makes Twitteriffic a strong contender. A companion iPhone app is also available. Price: Free (Ad Supported)
Requires: Mac OSX 10.4 or later
Developer: IconFactory


Twhirl

 

Powered by Adobe Air, Twhirl is a multi-platform Twitter client with a host of useful features. It can connect to multiple accounts, automatically shorten URLs, cross post with other services (such as Pownce and Jaiku) and the color is customizable. It doesn’t look quite as pretty as Twitteriffic, but provides greater functionality.
Price: Free
Requires: Mac OSX 10.4.9 or later
Developer: Seesmic, Inc

Tweetr

 

Notable features include the ability to automatically upload and share files through drag and drop along with support for sharing photos taken with your iSight webcam. Tweetr doesn’t have the prettiest interface ever, but might be worth a look if you require specific features.
Price: Free
Requires: Mac OS X 10.4 or later
Developer: John Ballinger

While some of the best Twitter apps, in terms of power, are still the Adobe Air-based Seesmic Desktop and Tweetdeck, there are also some great, free native OS X clients (and one that runs on Mozilla’s XUL platform) worth checking out.


Itsy



Itsy is for the Twitter minimalist — someone who wants to have the ability to send a tweet, view @replies and maybe perform a search, but doesn’t want the app to take up tons of real-estate or attention. The app has a very small footprint, both in terms of memory and screen size, and offers up the basic Twitter features. Plus, it supports Growl notifications and keyboard shortcuts. If you want something simple and something that will stay out of your way, this just might be your app.
Itsy is free and requires Mac OS X 10.5 or higher.


Twitt



Twitt is a Twitter app for the Mac user who appreciates a good user interface and likes the ability to customize or theme his apps. Like Kiwi, Twitt supports HTML+CSS themes that are easy to install and change around. The app has the basic Twitter features covered, but adds a few things that power users should like too.
For instance, if you like to share photos via Twitter, you can use the built-in image uploader to send stuff to TwitPic or yFrog. It also supports multiple accounts, Growl, offline reading, the official Retweet button, plus you can set up notifications for certain content and create filters to prevent certain stuff from showing up in your timeline.
The only real feature that Twit lacks is Lists support, but as it stands, most native Mac apps don’t do that yet anyway. Twitt is free.

Echofon for Mac



Echofon for Mac is a desktop version of the popular iPhone app. The two apps share a lot of similarities, lots of features, and a clean, if not mindblowingly-awesome user interface. Echofon has a really nice browser drawer that can slide out of the side of the client, showing off conversation history or user information or user timelines, without obstructing your other screen. This is a great compromise between either having something always open in a browser, or the menu and column madness that some of the more powerful Twitter apps use.

Like Twitt, you can easily drag and drop to upload photos, a feature that’s a nice touch and something that many desktop clients ignore. You can also easily look at Twitter trending topics or view your saved searches from within the app, a feature that’s really handy.

If you use Echofon Pro for the iPhone, you can sync your unread tweets. And if you send an @reply or direct message to someone using Echofon for the iPhone, they can receive a push notification of your tweet instantly. Again, the only real feature that Echofon lacks is Lists support, but if that gets added, this will be a real competitor to the power-user apps. Update: Echofon for Mac just added list support, making it a very attractive option!

Echofon is still in beta and is free right now. Full pricing details will be announced in the future.

Yoono Desktop



Yoono Desktop is a desktop version of the popular Firefox add-on and it actually controls more than just Twitter. It also supports Facebook, LinkedIn, Flickr, AIM, Google Talk, Yahoo Messenger, MSN Messenger and MySpace IM. The nice thing about Yoono is that you can update your status across networks and connect to all networks at once. It also supports real-time search across your different networks.

As a desktop app, Yoono includes most of the big features that came in the Firefox add-on. Unlike the other apps in this round-up, Yoono is not written using Cocoa — it’s based on Mozilla’s XUL-runner framework. That’s the same base that Firefox and Thunderbird use. I mention this because some of the interface features are going to differ — similar to what happens when you run Adobe Air apps.

However, while XUL still tends to be poor with memory management in Mac OS X, it’s nowhere near as bad as Adobe Air. Users who want a powerful client that isn’t Air-based, this might be fore you.
Yoono can be run in a more compact space, but it really likes to take over as much of your screen real-estate as you can give it. Depending on what you like to monitor, that may or may not suit your needs. Still, for a power Twitter client that isn’t based on Adobe Air, Yoono is a great option. Mac users should also check out the Firefox add-on if you want a slightly more integrated approach.

HelTweetica

HelTweetica is another barebones Mac Twitter client, but it has a few extra features that aren’t found in Itsy. You can access your home feed, replies, messages and favourites from the menu. In addition, you should also be able to access your lists, although in our experience, they didn’t load. When you’ve received a new reply or message, the relevant feed will be marked with a red dot.

simple twitter client

Images from various services including Instagram and Twitpic can be viewed in-line in your home feed.

simple twitter client

To create a new tweet, click the compose button and a new window will open in which you can add an image, shorten your URL, and geotag your tweet. When sharing images you can choose to do through a variety of services including Twitpic, YFrog and Posterous. URL Shortening can be done using is.gd, TinyUrl or Linky.



You can interact with other tweeps by replying and retweeting, as well as adding tweets to your favourites. A nice touch they’ve added is giving users the choice between using the “Old” retweet method where you can add your thoughts to a tweet, or the “New” retweet method which retweets the entire message to your timeline as is.

Another way in which HelTweetica offers more options than Itsy is the ability to view a users profile within the app. Clicking on a username will open a window with the user’s bio, location, number of friends and followers, Twitter join date and their latest tweets. From here you can also follow or unfollow users.



HelTweetica supports multiple accounts, but lacks basic growl notifications. Other features include threaded conversations, which also open in a separate window, and the ability to delete your tweets. HelTweetica requires Mac OS X 10.6, and is also available as a free iPad app.

Ambientweet

Ambientweet takes a very different approach to other Twitter clients and is not in any means meant to replace your main Twitter client. If you prefer to access Twitter using your browser, Ambientweet may serve as an interesting accompaniment. With Ambientweet you can’t really follow your timeline.

Instead, the window floats on top of all other windows displaying only one tweet at a time as your feed refreshes itself. At any given time, you can glance over and see what the latest tweet in your feed is. From there you can also reply, retweet or add it to your favorites.



Ambientweet also gives you a quick and easy way to update your status without any extra bells and whistles.

minimalist twitter client

Ambientweet is not without it’s glitches. If you keep a close eye on the app you might see several tweets are sometimes repeated. That said, you can control the speed at which the app refreshes, anywhere from between 1 to 600 seconds.


Wednesday, December 28, 2011

How Facebook Conquered the Social Web in 2011

1. New Facebook Profile
 
Jan. 10: Facebook pushes a new profile design to users that featured a visual photo concept, friend categories and a new "about me" section.


2. Facbook Banned in Egypt
 
Jan. 26: When Egyptians protested President Hosni Mubarak's regime, the country shut down Facebook access. However, many people found their way around the block by accessing proxy servers and third-party apps.


3. Launches Deals
 
Feb. 1: The social networking service launched Facebook Deals, a Groupon-like local deals service. However, the project folded on Aug. 26, 2011.


4. Pages Redesign
 
Feb. 10: This redesign made Pages appear more like user Profiles.


5. Like Button Acts Like a Share
 
Feb. 27: Facebook decided that when users clicked a Like button, they would be prompted to share their activity to their Profiles, hoping to increase traffic to publishers' websites.


6. Valued at $65 Billion
 
Mar. 3: CNBC reported that Facebook's new market valuation reached $65 billion.


7. Convert Profile to Page
 
Mar. 31: Facebook briefly allowed users to convert their Profiles to Pages, but due to system bugs and confusion, many users appealed their decisions.


8. Osama bin Laden Page Goes Viral
 
May 2: A Facebook Page entitled "Osama bin Laden Is DEAD" quickly went viral after reports surfaced that the Al-Qaeda leader was killed.

9. Facebook Growth Slows
 
June 13: Compared to a typical 2010 monthly growth of 20 million users, reports showed that Facebook only grew by 11.8 million new users in May 2011.


10. Skype for Facebook
 
July 6: Facebook and Skype partnered up to offer live video service on the social network.


11. Dedicated Mobile Messenger
 
Aug. 9: Facebook introduced Facebook Messenger, an Android and iPhone app that allows users to send messages and texts through the service.


12. Men Arrested for Inciting Riots on Facebook
 
Aug 16: Jordan Blackshaw, 20, and Perry Sutcliffe-Keenan, 22, were arrested and sentenced to four years in prison after inciting the London riots on Facebook.


13. Major Privacy Rollout
 
Aug. 23: The largest privacy initiative of the year, Facebook changed some settings so that users can choose with whom to share updates.


14. One Trillion Pageviews Per Month
 
Aug. 24: Studies showed that Facebook receives one trillion pageviews per month and 870 million unique visitors in June.


15. Subscribe Button Launches
 
Sept. 14: Facebook introduced the Subscribe feature, which allows users to follow the public Timelines of others, without friend requests.


16. Ticker, Chat, Top Stories
 
Sept. 21: The social network launched a live Ticker activity feed and revamped Chat and Top Stories in the News Feed.


17. 800 Million Users
 
Sept. 22: The social network reaches 800 million registered users.


18. Introducing Timeline
 
Sept. 22: Facebook announces Timeline, a huge Profile redesign that features a cover photo, searchable user history and revamped organization.


19. Spotify Comes to Facebook
 
Sept. 22: Spotify and Facebook team up to bring the music subscription service to the social realm. Spotify updates post directly to the Facebook Ticker in real time.


20. Social Advertising
 
Oct. 3: Facebook's newest advertising strategy promotes ad sharing and Brand Page interaction.


21. Facebook for iPad
 
Oct. 10: After months of speculation, Facebook launches its official iPad app.


22. Proposed Facebook IPO in 2012
 
Nov. 28: Reports predict that Facebook's rumored $10 billion IPO will surface as soon as April 2012.


23. Official Timeline Rollout
 
Dec. 6: Since introducing Timeline to opt-in developers in September, Facebook officially rolls out the Timeline to its broader user base.


Already a social networking giant, Facebook still managed to have its biggest year in history. The company set unprecedented records in terms of valuation, user base and pageviews. Plus, it integrated with web, mobile and desktop platforms galore. Yes indeed, Facebook has managed to influence nearly every modern digital industry out there.

Do you think Facebook will be able to sustain or even improve its track record next year?

(source: mashable)

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

5 Tips for Becoming a Successful Guest Blogger

Guest blogging has emerged as a powerful technique to drive traffic to blogs and improve search engine rankings. If you have been in the online world for some time now you sure would have heard the phrase “content is king.” This phrase is not always true as search engine only like well written and unique content.


It is also important to know how to best utilize your content to get maximum results. A few years back the best way to promote your content was to write articles and submit them to article directories and ezines. This technique is no longer the best way to promote your content.  Today one the most powerful ways to promote your content is to do guest blogging for other bloggers.

Here are a few tips to help you become a successful guest blogger:

1) Quality content
Quality content is the key to being successful as a guest blogger. You have to write effective guest posts for other bloggers to reap the benefits of guest blogging.

You should write a guest posts which adds value and is beneficial to the visitors of the blog where you post your content. If you post badly written content in your guest posts it will ruin your reputation as a guest blogger. Try and provide valuable and helpful information in your guest posts which will entice visitors to check out your blog.

2) Form Partnerships
Guest blogging can be a great way to form partnerships with other bloggers in your niche. You can work with them in coordination to promote your guest posts to bring in more traffic to their blog. This will be beneficial for both of you with increase in traffic and potential revenue.

3) Search engine optimization
Search engine optimization is important for the success of any online content. Take some time do search engine optimization for your guest posts. This will ensure that both you as well as the blogger on whose blog you are posting get traffic from search engines for a long time.

4) Original Content
Most blog owners will request original content which you have not posted elsewhere on the internet. You should always follow the guidelines of the blog owner and only post quality and original content in your guest posts.

5) Respond to Comments
You should always respond to comments on your guest posts. When you post a guest post on another blog you may get a few comments. Try and be interactive and respond to the comments which enhance your image as a guest blogger.

Being a successful guest blogger take time and effort on your part but it will be worth it I the long run both for the blog owner as well as you resulting in an increase your traffic and sales.

Monday, December 26, 2011

4 Tips for Landing a Job in Social Media

Whitney Parker is vice president for user experience at Brazen Careerist, where she co-hosts a bootcamp on how to create and implement a social media strategy.

It’s no secret that jobs in social media are becoming more prevalent in nearly every industry nationwide and even globally. A quick search on Indeed returns nearly 30,000 openings in the United States alone. 

But what might not be obvious is what, exactly, young professionals should do to position themselves for these emerging roles. And no, it’s not enough just to have a Facebook Page. 

1. Quantify Your Prior Results


If you really want to land an emerging role as a social media strategist at an established company, you need to demonstrate an active interest in the tools of the trade — as a business, not as a socialite.

“While it’s true that a best social media practice is to be focused on community and engagement, that alone won’t pay the bills for a brand unless activities are focused on a measurable outcome,” says Tracy Brisson, who has hired several social media consultants as founder of One2Many Consulting and the Opportunities Project. That’s why having an internship where you gain these tangible skills is essential.

Brisson says that when reviewing a resume, she starts by asking, “How did the social media community grow during their tenure at their previous jobs or organizations they worked with?”

“Any participation in an organization’s social media goals demonstrates that the person has the potential to do this work professionally,” Brisson explains. “In an interview, I’ll follow up on strategies and approaches used, but without numbers on a resume or LinkedIn profile, it would be hard for me to take an applicant seriously.”

So how can you put your best foot forward? Make sure you quantify the impact you had during your prior internships. Your resume or cover letter could read, for example, “Increased engagement from an average of 24 comments per week to an average of 75 in a three-month period on our Facebook Page,” or “Helped establish a two-fold increase in Twitter traffic to our product page, resulting in a quarterly revenue increase of 50%.”

Your actual impact may vary, but get used to presenting it in the form of quantifiable data.

2. Walk the Talk


You should have a well-optimized Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter or YouTube account, says Amy Porterfield, co-author of Facebook Marketing All-in-One for Dummies: “When hiring for social media positions, businesses will want to see if you know your stuff and will first search for you online.” She recommends pointing potential employers in the right direction by listing all of your social networks on your resume and in your cover letter. She adds that social media that works hand-in-hand with a distinct set of personal interests is a way to highlight both your skills and personality.

“For example, if you are an avid runner, set up a Facebook Page to give advice and create a community around the best runs in your local area,” Porterfield suggests. “Another idea is to set up a YouTube channel that is optimized with keywords to attract other avid runners and post your videos and others’ videos spotlighting topics related to running.”

In short, you don’t necessarily need to have a prior job managing social media channels professionally, as long as you can prove you’ve mastered the skills on your own.


3. Take an Online Course





Few applicants applying for entry-level social media positions have any direct experience at the business level in social media management, and there’s not much that hiring managers can do about that in the short term. University marketing classes generally spend more time on the concepts and less on the newest online tools.

“I don’t believe this is something that can be taught in school, so I don’t look for any specific educational backgrounds,” says Tracy Terry, president and founder of Trust eMedia.

One way to set yourself apart is to enroll in a professional training program that gives you a tangible skill to add to your resume and career portfolio. If you don’t live in New York or San Francisco, chances are in-person training is hard to come by, so check out online opportunities like MediaBistro‘s online classes or HubSpot’s Inbound Marketing University. Adding professional training to your resume will truly set you apart and give you a leg up once you get hired.

4. Don’t Be Boring


When you apply for an open position, do more than just the minimum. Especially in the online world, it’s all about your first impression, says Sarah Rapp, community manager at Behance Network. “Social media is all about personality, and if real passion for the field comes across, this is much more valuable in a candidate than relevant experience,” she adds.

This is a common theme among hiring managers looking to grow their social media team. Dave Brown, director of digital strategy for MKG, says that when he hired a new social media coordinator for his advertising agency, his first concern was personality: The right candidate would have a sense of humor, be supremely creative, passionate and a great communicator.

“Yes, we know you’re a ninja on Twitter, Facebook and Foursquare, and Mashable is your homepage — but tell us something we don’t know,” he says. “Impress us.”
The opportunity for job seekers is clear: Social media is trending as a career path for the next several years, and employers are ready to hire. Will your application make it to the top of the pile?

(source: mashable)

Hope you enjoyed this article!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Facebook Names Top Games of 2011

Social gaming was a big trend in 2011 and we expect the market to continue to grow in 2012. Facebook, the biggest platform for social games, released its list of the most popular games of 2011.

Unlike most year-end lists, this one actually has quite a few surprises. I fully expected CityVille, Zynga’s hit social game, to top the list. Nope. According to Facebook’s measurements, that honor belongs to Gardens of Time.

In the update announcing the list, Facebook does say it is basing its ranking on “games that drew the most active users and received the highest user recommendations.”

That probably accounts for some of the discrepancies we found against other Facebook app data sources, like AppData.com. According to AppData, CityVille is the most popular game with 48.8 million monthly active users. Conversely, Gardens of Time ranks much further down the list with 8.5 million monthly active users.

Accounting questions aside, here are Facebook’s ten most popular games of 2011:

  1. Gardens of Time (by Playdom)
  2. The Sims Social (by EA)
  3. Cityville (by Zynga)
  4. DoubleDown Casino (by DoubleDown Entertainment)
  5. Indiana Jones Adventure World (by Zynga)
  6. Words With Friends (by Zynga)
  7. Bingo Blitz (by Buffalo Studios)
  8. Empires & Allies (by Zynga)
  9. Slotomania-Slot Machines (by Playtika)
  10. Diamond Dash (by wooga)
What Facebook game got your attention this year? Let me know.

(source: mashable)

Between: A social network just for you and your significant other

As social networking has becoming a key part of our lives, we are often faced with sensitive privacy issues, mainly concerned around who we share our, often revealing, content with. Well, how about a place where you can share items with your significant other? That’s right, no exes, no future employees, no grandparents, just you and your beau.

VCNC, a Korean company founded by five ambitious developers in their twenties, is catering for that very niche with its latest app Between, which provides a private sharing space for couples.

The company is mainly targeting Asian users, generally known to be reluctant to share private memories with strangers and even with their friends. Reducing the networking aspect of existing social services but introducing the interaction to a mobile plaform, Between allows users to build a private archive of content just by entering the phone number of their significant other into the app. Once the relationship is established, users of Between can chat, share photo albums and store memories with their loved one.

With the aim of stepping out of its home market in Korea, the company released the app in English, Chinese, Japanese and Korean in November. Just two weeks after launch, the service had drawn more than 45,000 users worldwide.


 
VCNC not only identifies couples as users with great demand for an intimate sharing space, it also sees them as a customer base with strong purchasing power, which will attract advertisers of products and services for couples.
Jaeuk Park, the CEO of VCNC explains how the service can be of interest to advertisers:
We will aim to connect couples in need of better weekend date ideas with advertisers who want to directly target them.
The app currently has 62,000 users which has seen it reached the number two spot for social networking apps on Korea’s App Store. Between is not VCNC’s first product, and the company previously a developed number of apps that include News GallerySongs for Kids and an app dedicated to Steve Jobs, Keynotes of Steve Jobs.

Download: Between | App Store | Android Market