Twitter Redesign: Who's Moaning About It?

twitterWith each new Facebook update, there’s a good, loud whining that comes along from people who proclaim they’re fixing something that ain’t broke. It’s not as if Twitter were exempt from that same outcry when they do an overhaul.

Trust us, we hear it firsthand.

Twitter CEO Dick Costolo went on NBC’s Today show to announce the changes: Profile pages on Twitter look different now. Twitter is also throwing its weight behind mobile (which is still Facebook’s weak spot, despite recent changes to its mobile apps). Of course, literally a few seconds later, the first wave of complaints started on social media.

The Twitter Re-Design is More Visual and Fast

Expansion of visuals is the main call of the day with the new Twitter redesign:

  • Huge header image (banner) across the top
  • User avatars getting pushed to prominence

It’s all part of what the company calls “our mobile-first strategy.” Costolo described the new mobile apps: “We rebuilt Twitter for iPad from the ground up to make it fast, beautiful and easy to use.”

Sizing Hints For Your New Header Image

  • Original image size cannot exceed 1252×626 pixels (with a max file size of 5MB)
  • Try to keep above 640 px
  • Call us to do it for you

Why They Need To Keep Updating, Despite Protests

For all the voices decrying the changes, there is a reality that the social media landscape is changing drastically and rapidly. It’s for the simple fact that technology changes the people who use it, drastically and rapidly. Moore’s Law applies to social media as well, folks.

The smartphones and tablets and getting more powerful and getting into the hands of more and more people, and the apps need to perform. Twitter needs to perform on these devices or they lose relevance (same goes for Facebook and other networks, of course).

And by this logic, more changes are coming. Those who are still moaning about it will, themselves, become irrelevant.

Clinton Speech And The Ridiculous Amount of Tweets That Accompanied It

clintonWhen news happens, tweets happen.

During the 48 minutes that Bill Clinton spoke during the DNC to nominate Pres. Obama for the running, there were a total of 496,222 tweets. All included the hashtag #DNC alone or in combo with other relevant hashtags.

Besides the (literally) hundreds of thousands of “regular” folk tweeting their feelings on President Clinton’s talking points, there were relevant tweets by the pundits, news personalities, journalists, members of fact-checking organizations, and others. It’s always an interesting to see what kind of material was most re-tweeted. The easily shared nature of tweets makes it a good barometer of real-time trends in a population. Check these out.

clinton

Don't Buy Followers on Facebook and Twitter

buy followersDon’t Buy Facebook Likes

The whole point of social networking is to be social. And to network. Buying Likes is neither. But it’s also more damaging than you might think.

Don’t Buy Twitter Followers Either

Sometimes, we’re hired to clean up an online reputation. And we admit that some messes are harder to clean up than others.

Can we tell you something, though? One of the messiest situations we are called to fix is so unnecessary. We understand the importance of having a good following on Facebook or Twitter so that anyone else who chances upon it gets the right impression. We also understand the pull to buy those Likes and followers.

But it’s just not a good idea.

Chances are, you will not be publicly ridiculed for buying followers (like Mr. Romney there). But just because you’re not getting the celebrity treatment when it comes to being outed for fake fans, it doesn’t mean that someone who matters won’t be coming to the same conclusion about you. And if that someone found out about fake followers while they were researching you and trying to decide if they wanted to do business with you, well, this could be a costly mess, indeed.

Seriously, Don’t Buy Followers, Likes, or Fans

Most companies purporting to selling fans are selling you fake or inactive accounts.

  1. Regular fans, potential booking agents or venues, etc. can see a spike in your analytics with a single click of their mouse.  Look at any Facebook page. Click on Likes, and a graph appears. Anyone can see this. A jump in the number of Likes is easy to spot – and can look mighty suspicious.
  2. Getting caught can make you look like a phony! Zero credibility.
  3. Your Most Popular City may turn out to be Pakistan. Which is great if you live and work in Pakistan. …Do you live and work in Pakistan?
  4. How will it look if your average follower is between the ages of 13 ~17? Or completely skewed on the side of one gender? This may work in your favor if you’re marketing, say, pre-teen apparel, but what if your target audience was high-end homeowners? You may be sending a vastly different message than you intend.
  5. The BIGGEST thing: “People Talking About This” vs. “Likes” will be horribly skewed. A huge number of followers is great! But if they’re silent, that can be more damaging to your reputation than not having them at all.

The point of social media is to engage. Buying followers shows a complete misunderstanding of this point – and power – of social networking.

The Bottom Line

It’s quality over quantity. Despite the growth of the Internet and the changing of the business landscape, the basics tenets of good business have not changed.

We know business. We know social networking. Ask us your questions here or on Facebook. iQuarius.

Google+ Hands Beats Down Facebook In Customer Satisfaction Scores

LikeThe American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) measures customer satisfaction across different industries and releases results monthly to bring stakeholders in-depth coverage of various sectors of the economy.

In previous years, the ACSI has measured the customer satisfaction rates of Facebook and YouTube, but this year, it has added Facebook competitors for the first time, including Twitter, Pinterest, Linkedin, and Google+ (G+ or Google Plus).

So who came out on top for customer satisfaction? Did you say Google+? Because it most certainly was. With a score of 78 out of 100, it came up 17 points stronger than Facebook’s score of 61 (down 7.6% since last year). LinkedIn and Twitter were only a few points above Facebook with scores of 63 and 64, respectively.

The Big Winners For Google+

ACSI points out that some components of Google+ keep users incredibly faithful:

  • Protection of user privacy
  • Clean interface without ads in prime space
  • Superior mobile presence

There are still not nearly as many users on Google+ as there are on Facebook or Twitter, but those that are there seem to be happy there – a lot happier than the other social networks.

But Why Is Facebook Down There?

ACSI offers that privacy issues and a user interface overladen with ads is partly to blame for Facebook’s low score. It points out that the drop in Facebook’s score coincides with the introduction of the Timeline redesign:

Facebook’s drop coincides with the release of its Timeline profile, a significant change to the look and organization of its pages. Users complain that they cannot opt out of the new profile design. The big drop in user satisfaction—coming on the heels of Facebook’s somewhat disorderly IPO—doesn’t bode well for reversing the company’s sliding stock price.

Interesting. We’ve talking for the past year about the user experience, customer engagement, and the need for mobile strategy. Connect with us — we’ve got plenty more to say and want to hear your opinions as well. iQuarius on Google+  and Facebook.

Standing on The Shoulders of Giants: Backplane Builds on Social Networking

Social networkTitans of media are getting savvy with their celebrity. Nowadays, there’s a social network for everything from books to spelling errors. And now, there’s even one where music fans can follow their favorite celebrity exclusively.

Backplane, the celebrity-based social network, premiered with Lady Gaga’s “Little Monsters” last weekend. Gaga, known as a fashion icon and music sensation, totes 26, 860,068 followers on Twitter and now holds 20 percent stake in Backplane.

How is this Social Network Different?

Unlike other sites that aggregate fans with similar music interests, littlemonsters.com is a social media platform exclusively for Lady Gaga fans. Users can share Gaga’s music internally on the site as well as their “passion and creativity in a community full of art, acceptance, monsters and Gaga,” as the site proclaims.

This type of brand awareness is not limited to music, but it is instead a celebrity social network and a hub for their fans. Do celebrities need more attention? No. But, the loyal fans of celebrities can now enjoy this fusion of photo-editing tool Canvass, Pinterest, Tumblr, and Google Calendars.

Age of the Niche Market

Before, big name brands and businesses were the focal points for consumers, but this is the year of the niche market, and Backplane is its home.

As the future of the Web continues to evolve and forge new paths, iQuarius Media will be there to answer all of your questions.  From Internet marketing to website design, we’ve got you covered.

 

In Memoriam

We have a great thank-you in our hearts for those who gave their lives for our country. We don’t need to sprout off a long, elaborate speech about this. We offer a simple thank you, and that is all. Happy Memorial Day to everyone.

Facebook: Nearly Half of Americans Think It's A Passing Fad

FacebookThere is a new study out there that is suggesting that the all mighty Facebook is just another fad, at least according to half of Americans. Could it be another MySpace?

According to a poll conducted by the Associated Press and CNBC, an astonishing 46% of respondents think that Facebook will slowly fade away as new platforms are created in the future.

Picture-heavy communities like Pinterest and Instagram are on the rise. On the other hand, the other 43% of the responses may indicate that there is still faith in the ability of Facebook to stay relevant for a while longer.

This study was conducted among 1,000 Americans that were ages 18 and over, with a margin of error of 3.9%.

Respondents on the Facebook IPO

The survey was conducted partly in response to some of the frenzy surrounding the Facebook IPO. Before it went public, almost 50% of the respondents in the survey said they believed the expected stock market value was overvalued. About 51% believed it would be a good investment, while 31% disagreed and thought if they bought shares, it would not be a good investment that would outperform others.

Respondents Speak Out On Zuck’s Abilities To Lead

So what about the creator being a 28-year-old? Can Mark Zuckerberg run a large publicly traded company? 18% said they were “extremely confident” about that. Almost 40% said they were somewhat confident, and 20% said they weren’t confident at all. 21% of respondents cited age as helping his ability to run the company whereas 11% thought that it hurt his ability.

So what do you think? Is Facebook is just another passing fad? Leave your opinion below or on Facebook.com/iquariusmedia.

 

 

 

Google Penguin: Checklist for Businesses

Google PenguinSocial Media Soothes Where Google Hits You Hardest

For small- to medium-sized businesses who find their rankings adrift with every new wave of Google algorithm updates, finding a way to generate traffic without having to rely on Google might seem like a dream come true.

As with the latest Google Penguin algorithm update, designed to weed out Internet pollution and spam, Google is getting more specific about how websites are judged on quality. They want quality and relevancy at the top.

Well, as businesspeople and marketers with real content to promote, we can’t complain about that, can we?

The Consumer Shift Away from Google

If we think of Google as a single marketing channel, albeit a big one, we are headed in the right direction — because there are other sources of traffic and link juice, and they are getting more and more powerful by the day. Why not go straight to the source? After all, consumer behavior has shifted towards reliance on social media, as opposed to Google. And Google may help them find specific products like no other source but, through social media, they are getting brand information, recommendations from friends, and reasons to buy.

The bottom line is that people – and by people, we mean 60 percent of the entire U.S. population – use the social networks. So dip in.

Google Penguin: Checklist for Businesses

1. Get people, as opposed to Google, to share your content.

Do you have gorgeous photo galleries, videos, infographics, and other visual content? Put them on Facebook ,Twitter, and Pinterest. Be funny. Be inspiring. Most importantly, be social and shareable.

2. BLOG

We can’t stress this one enough. Good, fresh content is something that both people and search engines look for. When you blog regularly, it helps build your brand and gives your readers a reason to come back, but it also forces search engine crawlers to continually index and rank your site.  And Google Penguin gives particular weight to fresh, original blog content.

Push out blog posts regularly. Hire an Internet marketing company with great writers to help. Get guest blogs, and guest blog on others’ sites to establish yourself and your blog. Blogging is a big part of how Internet marketing is done these days, and it is simply too big a deal to ignore.

3. Go visual with Pinterest and YouTube.

People latch on to visual content. Visuals, particularly video, can pack a whole lot of information into a short time frame. And visual content is infinitely shareable, made even more powerful by both Pinterest and YouTube – two sites that are GREAT sources of traffic.

4. Stay on top of Google+.

In an effort to push Google+ further into the social realm, Google Penguin is giving its content and users unnatural importance in search engine results pages. Take advantage.

5. Optimize your Facebook and other social network profiles.

  • Buy social ads
  • Interact with relevant businesses
  • Make sure people see your URLs
  • Fill out all your profile info
  • Pull in your blog stream
  • Link to your profile on important keywords on your site
  • Do newsworthy things and publish them

***

What To Do

Google Penguin cares about relevancy, quality, diversity, and freshness — because these are the things that will ultimately make for a better Google search experience. What may seem like an initial hit to some of your Internet marketing efforts may be the best thing that ever happened — because it can push down those that are gaming the system, and help you and your brand rise to the top for being the cream of the crop. Just don’t slack on Google Penguin and social media best practices, some of which we have outlined for you above.

If you haven’t started in social media, start yesterday. If you’re there, do more. Get help — dedicate a team to it. This is a full-time job. Hire a full-service Internet marketing team. Iquarius Media’s number is 407-362-6503. We can:

  • Stay on top of your social media profiles
  • Start your blog and do exhaustive research, then have dedicated writers create your blog content
  • Produce videos and motion graphics
  • Custom-fit these and other Internet marketing services to you and your company

If you have questions, ask them. Ask us. You can do that here, on Facebook, on Twitter, or on Google+, to name a few.

Pinterest Sets Its Sights on Twitter and Facebook

pinterestWe love Pinterest and can’t stop talking about it. But, then again, neither can the rest of the Internet.

And it’s no wonder. Traffic has SURGED for Pinterest lately, up 50 percent between January and February, according to a new report released by Experian (and supported by a range of other Internet and social media trend reporting agencies). Total U.S. visits in February were stellar – and it shot Pinterest past its closest competitor, LinkedIn.

It Goes Like This: Facebook – Twitter – Pinterest

Pinterest surprised everyone last year by getting in the Top 10 of social networks.

As it stands now, Pinterest is the third-largest social network behind Facebook and Twitter – leaving LinkedIn, Tumblr, and Google+ behind (and picking up users like President Obama).

  1. Facebook: 7 billion
  2. Twitter: 182 million
  3. Pinterest: 104 million
  4. LinkedIn: 86 million
  5. Tagged: 72 million
  6. Google+: 61 million

Now do you see why Facebook is trying to add more visual interest to its interface? Does it help explain their billion-dollar purchase of Instagram? In any case, traffic to Pinterst is still 10-fold over Instagram, who received 10.2 million visits last month.

What Are People Doing On Pinterest?

They’re staying. Engagement on Pinterest is enviable, with users spending an average of 89 minutes per month on site. Facebook is still king, though, with users spending an average of 405 minutes per month.

Users can add a bookmarklet in their web browser, allowing Pinterest to stay with them throughout their Internet travels. They can pin anything from any page they come across, including pics of products they love, designers they admire, and places they want to visit (just to name a few of the most popular categories). And, with each pin automatically sourced back to where it was found, Pinterest is a marketer’s dream tool.

Social media in general is reaching new highs: 91% of adults use social media regularly.

We bet you have some questions about Pinterest. If you want to ask them, come join us on Facebook or Twitter. We’ll start doing profiles on our clients’ Pinterest accounts soon, too. See you back here.

 

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