Managing social media for a brand can often be a daunting task. You are dealing with a large public, informal, anonomous and maybe even potentially hostile audience. It is a tricky act and corporates often do not take social media seriously.
Social media can have a pronounced impact on business and their influence can echo far beyond a simple post or retweet.
Should you be looking into enhancing your social efforts to connect with customers or fans, here are a few (actually 10) simple guidelines to follow to max out the online value of your brands presence.
Pinterest is on the move. Fresh from landing a $200 million investment round only a few weeks ago, Pinterest is laying the ground work to begin to monetize its popular ‘pinboard’-like service for Internet users after revealing plans to launch an analytics service.
In a statement to Reuters a spokesperson for Pinterest said that it will introduce an analytics service to help publishers and content owners identify which ‘pins’ on the service have come from their website. Pinterest Web Analytics, as it is called, will initially be free but industry watchers have called it a logical first step to drawing revenue since it could expand to offer premium features in the future.
Pinterest would not be the first company to provide a premium analytics service, and the move has plenty of foundation.
Twitter on Wednesday opened the floodgates to a torrent of new advertising. While that's going to be great for future revenues, there's a risk of an oversaturation of ads. Balancing user experience with monetization needs is a delicate task for any media company, but Twitter is uniquely vulnerable.
As Clark Fredricksen, VP at eMarketer, points out, Twitter does not have a right column for direct-response ads the way Facebook does. The only real estate for sale on Twitter is that company's equivalent of the News Feed. Facebook introduced its advertising API in 2009 in limited private beta and by 2011 and 2012 was making 60% of its revenues from API-created ads, Fredricksen says.
Considering Facebook made about $800 million in revenues in 2009 and $3.71 billion in 2012, it is logical to assume that an ad API will have a dramatic effect on Twitter's revenues as well.
Twitter’s advertising business is an ongoing work in progress project, but here’s one positive sign: The costs for the company’s "promoted trends" have been steadily rising, and are now at the $200,000 a day mark in the U.S. Twitter's latest price hike went into effect earlier this year, and represents a 33 percent increase over the $150,000 rate the company was asking and getting for in 2012.
And it's up 150 percent from the $80,000 a day it was getting for the ads back when it launched them in 2010. The promoted trend lets an advertiser, normally large corporates, insert its own message at the top of the "trends" list on Twitter.com home pages and on Twitter apps; Twitter sells a single message a day, per territory.
Within a period of 5-8 years social media has evolved from a sideline story to an integral piece of business strategy.
Within a short time frame companies, small and large have brought on whole teams of specialists to craft effective social media strategies and manage multiplying numbers of social media accounts. The truth is that you can build an efficient and valuable social media strategy by following a few simple best practices.
Successful businesses start by identifying the social networks they really need to be active on and the tactics they need to use on each network. A good strategy will discuss the type of content to be posted — including a discussion of "Voice" and "Tone."
Checking up on the social activities of others is useful to come up with your own "style." When you find a brand whose approach you like, spend some time studying what they do with their followers. Watch for several weeks and get a sense of direction of their social activities.
According to latest report from the Wall Street Journal, the popular online bookmarking and scrapbooking service Pinterest is reportedly in talks with investors to raise a new round of funding. It is rumoured that the potential round has the company valued at between $2 billion and $2.5 billion.
Pinterest is one of many billion-dollar San Francisco start-ups. It raised $100 million in May last year on a valuation of $1.5 billion, which raised countless eyebrows as the company still has not been able to convince with revenue model. Nonetheless, other investors have decided they'd like to try a "Pin It" button, too.
Facebook's rocky reception on Wall Street has not cooled demand from investors for social media starlets. Valuations for many Internet companies have declined as a result of Facebook's initial public stock offering. But the brightest prospects are still seeing their valuations soar sky high.
This week, Silicon Valley-based social commerce site Polyvore — the addictive fashion community that’s billed as the web’s largest — announced an initiative that aims to increase "the democratization of fashion" by helping new designers and brands reach a larger audience.
Called the Designer Collective, the project will help "up-and-coming brands, who may not have huge ad budgets, gain exposure," according to CEO Jess Lee.
With more than 20 million monthly visitors, Polyvore users have created 44 million sets (and counting) and have contributed to increasing user engagement, raising brand awareness and driving web traffic for companies like H&M, Net-a-Porter, American Eagle and Mercedes Benz.
Twitter has just overtaken everyone in the mobile, social video space with Vine, a nifty video-sharing app that's actually quite easy to use.
As if it wasn't enough for Twitter to limit our bursts of inspiration to 140 written characters, it has now rolled out a this app that limits your videos to just six seconds which you can share with your friends on social networks. Instead of the standard video-sharing experience, you record videos by holding your finger on the screen.
The results often end up looking more like an animated GIF with audio than traditional, single-shot videos you see shared on apps like Viddy or Socialcam. With the six-second limit and stop-and-go recording, Vine is the closest thing to an "Instagram for video".
Swipp, a recently launched a “social intelligence platform,” is trying to bridge the gap between useless social data and more lasting, but less personal, knowledge, like the Wikipedia entry on New York.
"We want to create a smarter, wiser planet," co-founder Don Thorson said. "It's like the Borg Collective, with a more compassionate bent." The combination depends on an ambitious play: Getting people to share updates with their friends that include a unique 11-point rating, from -5 to +5, through Swipp's iOS app and website, both of which launch today.
Witnessing friends' vacations, love lives and work successes on Facebook can cause envy and trigger feelings of misery and loneliness, according to German researchers. A study conducted jointly by two German universities found rampant envy on Facebook, the world's largest social network that now has over one billion users and has produced an unprecedented platform for social comparison.
"We were surprised by how many people have a negative experience from Facebook with envy leaving them feeling lonely, frustrated or angry," researcher Hanna Krasnova from the Institute of Information Systems at Berlin's Humboldt University told Reuters.