Tweet Lots of Links To Get Followers

t12 300x222 Tweet Lots of Links To Get FollowersTo get followers on Twitter isn’t about herding unicorns — that is, there’s nothing mythical about it.

Looking at the relationship between the number of followers a user has and the percentage of their Tweets that are “@” replies: Highly followed users are less conversational than those with few followers.

Looking at the relationship between follower count and the percentage of a user’s tweets that contain links and are not replies: Using a sample of random, recently active Twitter accounts, there is a strong correlation. As the amount of links a user tweets increases, the number of followers they have also increases. And users with more than 1,000 followers tend to tweet many more links than users with fewer than 1,000 followers.

The data is starting to mount to suggest that “engaging in the conversation” is a waste of time from a marketing and reach-building perspective, especially when compared to sharing content.

 

College Students Use Technology At A Frenzied Pace

160px Computer blue.svg  150x150 College Students Use Technology At A Frenzied PaceAdmit it, you’re on the computer and Internet every day.  Studies have found that 53% of people believe they would be upset if they couldn’t get online while 40% believe they would feel lonely.

The use of technology continues to be a growing trend as new gadgets pop up every few months and college students lead the way in gadget use.

According to the Pew Internet & American Life Project report College Students and Technology”, 98% of undergraduate students use the Internet. 93% use broadband and 92% connect wirelessly using a laptop or cell phone.

Undergraduate students make up the largest percentage of students who use social networks, followed closely by graduate and community college students. However, the largest percentage of social network users were adults ages 18-24 who were not in school. Someone has to keep up with Farmville right?

The use of different technological devices has grown throughout the years. Years ago, it was rare to find someone who had a cell phone and an mp3 player. Now everyone has cell phones that function as mp3 players along with e-readers, laptops, and gaming consoles. Undergraduate students lead the way in owning e-readers and tablets. Undergrads are also more likely to own a laptop than a desktop computer.

Another unsurprising statistic is that 63% of undergrads admit to using their cell phones for the internet or email.

Technology use continues to rise and many higher education institutions are integrating its use into learning whether it is using an iPad for taking notes and using a laptop for distance learning.

 

World.Edu  (Natasha Bright)

Alton Brown Twitter Meltdown

images Alton Brown Twitter MeltdownAh, the possibilities of social media are endless. So are the possibilities of abuse:

It’s easy to see why Twitter is so popular, if, for nothing else, the ability to follow and grief your favorite celebrity. Just ask Food Network personality, Alton Brown. Like most people with any kind of celebrity following, Brown had an active Twitter account, and because of some Internet impersonation, Brown’s previously-active Twitter account is now gone.

According to the Fancy Pants Foody blog, Brown abandoned his Twitter account because someone impersonated his wife, DeAnna.

Apparently, Brown’s Twitter account had only been active for two months.

Fancy Pants Foody has the details:

…AB got the mother of all stalker tweets from someone apparently pretending to be his wife, DeAnna. Details are sketchy (and the tweet and account were deleted before I knew about it), but it reportedly included a photo of his wife and child, Zoey.

Later in the day, his account was gone. This time, apparently, for good. And I can’t say I blame him.

Christie, the blog’s lead writer, goes on to say that it appeared as if Brown’s Twitter had been set to private, but now, when @altonbrown address is entered, the return response is “Sorry, that page doesn’t exist!” However, before Brown took his Twitter account down, he gave the impersonator a piece of mind–140 characters at a time. And while the account has been removed, Brown’s reaction was caught in screencaps:

brown tweets Alton Brown Twitter Meltdown


If the Internet griefer who started the fake account had kept his posts to simple mockery, Brown may have simply ignored it, but once images of Brown’s family were introduced into the situation, Brown understandably reacted with some venom.

And now, Brown’s Twitter account is no more. Brown did, however, address the issue at his blog:

I didn’t leave Twitter because my wife started tweeting. I left Twitter because a parasitic troll fraudulently posing as my wife started tweeting. It even used a photo of my family as its avatar.

The way I see it, Twitter is like a big cocktail party. If I was at a cocktail party and someone puked on my wife’s shoes, odds are excellent that we’d leave. Does that mean I won’t attend any more cocktail parties? Maybe not. Maybe I’ll just have to figure out a way to host my own cocktail parties where people have to actually be accountable for their behavior.

Did Brown overreact? Granted, when images of your family start showing up on other people’s profiles, that may be reason to take pause. That being said, a simple Google Image Search for “Alton Brown Family” reveals at least two images that fit the description. Granted, because the griefer account has been taken down as well, there’s no telling if the person was using Google Image Search to find pictures of the Brown family, or if the offending image was something not readily accessible from Google.

Whatever the case, because of the nature of the Internet anonymity–that is, to give people a hard time under an anonymous guise–Alton Brown’s Twitter account is no more.

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Managing social media is a full-time job. Call us.

Using Humor in Social Media

Laughing Hysterically1 300x247 Using Humor in Social MediaCan you remember something funny? Better than something dry and technical, we bet. Humor in social media can go a long way. Are you considering using humor with your social media activities? If not, here is some assistance to get you on the path to humorous interaction.

It’s no surprise that using humor in advertising is an effective way to connect with your audience and humanize your company or brand. What about using humor in social media?

  • Adding humor to your social media strategy can be an excellent way to get people’s attention.
  • If you appeal to your audience emotionally, you’ll increase your chances that they will further engage with your brand or product.
  • Using humor to your advantage will help your clients remember you. This will naturally lead to the sharing of your content and let others have a better understanding of what you represent.
  • An emotional appeal separates you from the thousands of other companies out there saturating their social channels with self-promotion. If you’re not “humorizing” your brand, product or business, your exit from the  social media arena may not seem so funny.

Don’t Forget To Keep Your Audience In Mind When Using Humor in Social Media.

Not all humor lands right. Edgy humor may be the hardest to gauge, because one person’s “edge” is another person’s “too far.” Slapstick humor tends to work best with young or old audiences, politically-charged humor should be used sparingly if at all, and religion-based humor should probably not be used at all. Cleverness and wit work in any arena, as long as it’s not sarcastic – sarcasm doesn’t translate well to text.

Employers Use Social Networks to Screen Employees

556px Social media count 150x150 Employers Use Social Networks to Screen EmployeesIn an increasingly digitized world, roughly 45 percent of employers now reportedly use social media sites like Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter to screen potential employees, according to Mindflash.com.

Not all Facebook-related employment decisions are necessarily negative, as Mindflash.com depicts in the below infographic. Indeed, 18 percent of employers have found information that has actually facilitated their decision to hire a job applicant.

Still, finding something unsettling is more common, as more employers used what they found on social networking sites to bar applicants from employment. Of those surveyed, 35 percent of employers were reported to have found content that cause them not to hire a candidate for an open position.

More than ever, already-hired employees are paying careful attention to what is on their Facebook. That would seem appropriate, seeing as the National Labor Relations Board recently decided to give employers a free hand in firing employees for inappropriate material found on social networks, as reported by the The Huffington Post.

Beyond the more obvious red flags of inappropriate photographs and comments, Mindflash also says a prime reason for potential employees being denied a job is their digitally badmouthing of ex-employers and patrons.

courtesy: Mindflash.com via Huffington Post

Turn Social Media Addiction Into Results

Mediassociaux 300x224 Turn Social Media Addiction Into ResultsEver had the feeling that the Web can be a waste of time? We start by reading some relevant information on a social media site. An hour later we are still on that site, but in our tenth different place. In fact, 65 percent of all streaming content is watched during the work day. YouTube reports that 2 billion videos are watched during this period of time. Black Monday started because of the faster Internet connections. A lot of the consumer buying on the Web happens at work.

Are you afflicted with a social media addiction? While it may not be contagious, is it affecting your work productivity. Do you feel any of these symptoms?

  • You spend too many hours using social media tools with no measurable results. Sure it’s fun, but from a business standard, what do you have to show for all of your valuable time?
  • Your day is filled with distractions from constant alerts. There is constant fear that you will miss something so you need to react right now. In fact, you work on a stimulus response model waiting for interruptions to delay business decisions or progress.
  • You are always looking at numbers as a reward: You need more followers, tweets, friends and views. You review these metrics more than your company’s financial statements.

Don’t despair. Here are five steps to the cure:

1. Learn that social media is promotion

What social media achieves best through its conversational style is making it easy to form trusting relationships over a long period of time. In the past, we may have done this over three martini lunches or trade shows, but these online tools really make it efficient. Focus on maintaining these relationships through online conversations with prospects, customers, and connectors.

2. Define how your social media activities assist in accomplishing your company’s critical success factor this month

Pick your area of expertise that addresses the pain your company solves and join the conversation on that subject. Identify the connectors and influencers in those conversations. Find your key prospects on social media and begin to follow them. Limit your time based on the ROI your company receives over the next three months.

3. Limit your focus to one just tool

It is impossible to be successful at connecting through all of the social media tools. They all fit just a bit differently. Find which tool your community uses and focus on becoming consistently effective at building relationships with that one. This will enable your company to build their social media expertise slowly instead of burning through a lot of resources that may not be a good investment.

4. Measure your social media results

It’s not just about followers, friends, or views. Track your company’s growing social media influence with such tools as Klout. Think of it as your social media balance sheet.

5. Separate out social media for business vs. just for fun

There is nothing wrong with surfing social media for fun for hours. It’s great connecting with people that you don’t often see in person. But never call that work or a “marketing investment.”

source: Open Forum/Barry Multz

Facebook Profiles and Face Recognition Help Identify People on The Street

facebook facial recognition 300x187 150x150 Facebook Profiles and Face Recognition Help Identify People on The Street

The power of the Internet to disseminate information is awe-inspiring and frightening at the same time. And nowhere is this inertia felt the strongest than in the social media networks.

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Social Media Is The New Way of Life

power button 300x197 Social Media Is The New Way of LifeSocial media is the new mantra of life, irrespective of sex or age group. Throw a stone and you’ll hit someone on a popular social networking website like Facebook or LinkedIn, and so on. If the sweet memory of your lost school or college friend is haunting you, then become a part of social networking sites and you may find your lost friends.

The front runners among these social networking sites are the Facebook and newly added Google Plus.

Facebook is being called a giant in the kingdom of social networking; however, Google Plus joined the global collection last month with a big bang. In no time, a battle has started between the two, one being a giant and other being a social networking Titan.

Privacy is the biggest challenge of social networking sites. While sites such as Facebook have tons of tools to manage, it still faces allegations of abusing the private lives of its users. Google Plus promises more privacy by default, which users will certainly find attractive. However, Google is not immune to accusations of maligning the privacy of their users.

Google Plus seems to have an edge over Facebook

It’s been several weeks since Google Plus has launched, and the fanfare over its features has been loud and plentiful. Features such as Circles, where you can choose which friends hear what, and Hangouts, where you can video chat together are a significant advance. Google Plus has more features big and small than its rival Facebook; it also seems to have successfully played to the gallery with more privacy options, biting its rival where it hurts the most. Google Plus has emerged with better and more privacy controls and other features, even though it still resembles its rival in look and feel. There are plenty of studies and surveys that have assembled comparisons and are calling Google Plus better than its rival. In order to compete with the new features of Google Plus, Facebook has produced its own chat application in association with Skype.

Dual platform users

Google Plus claims to have crossed the ten million figure of users, which is still a small figure compared with Facebook’s 750 million. But then again, Plus’s numbers happened in the span of just one month. Nevertheless, the interesting aspect, which the analysts seems to be ignoring, is how almost all the Google Plus users are still on Facebook and are active there even though they like Google Plus. It will take some time for a complete paradigm shift.

33% of Facebook Posting is Mobile

mobile fb1 280x300 33% of Facebook Posting is Mobile

It’s easy, speedy, and convenient to use the Internet on our increasingly powerful smartphones. Mobile is where it’s at right now, particularly with the rise of tablet PCs.

Facebook itself reports that:

  • There are more than 250 million active users currently accessing Facebook through their mobile devices.
  • People that use Facebook on their mobile devices are twice as active on Facebook than non-mobile users.
  • There are more than 200 mobile operators in 60 countries working to deploy and promote Facebook mobile products.

This activity includes creating updates, posting original content, and sharing content found elsewhere on the Web. The pie chart breaks down the most commonly-used mobile clients (the “Other” slice includes less common clients such as Samsung, HP, and Windows clients).

 

This is Why Social Media Etiquette is Important

surprised guy1 236x300 This is Why Social Media Etiquette is Important

Companies have long used criminal background checks and credit reports and even searches on Google and LinkedIn to explore the previous lives of potential  employees. Now, some companies are requiring job candidates to also pass a social media background check.

A year-old start-up, Social Intelligence scrapes the Internet for everything prospective employees may have said or done online in the past seven years.

Then they build  a dossier with examples of professional honors and charitable work, along with negative information that meets specific criteria: online evidence of racist remarks; references to drugs; sexually explicit photos, text messages or videos; flagrant displays of weapons or bombs and clearly violent activity.”We are not detectives,” said Max Drucker, chief executive of the company, which is based in Santa Barbara, Calif. “All we assemble is what is publicly available on the web today.The Federal Trade Commission, after initially raising concerns last fall about Social Intelligence’s business, determined the company is in compliance with the Fair Credit Reporting Act, but the service still alarms privacy advocates who say that it invites employers to look at information that may not be relevant to job performance.

And what unsuitable  information has led to job offers being withdrawn or not made? Mr. Drucker said that one prospective employee was found using Craigslist to look for OxyContin. A woman posing nude in pictures she put up on an image-sharing site didn’t get the job offer she was seeking at a hospital.

Other background reports have turned up examples of people making anti-Semitic comments and racist remarks, he said. Then there was the job applicant who belonged to a Facebook group, This Is America. I Shouldn’t Have to Press 1 for English.” This raises a question. “Does that mean you don’t like people who don’t speak English?” asked Mr. Drucker rhetorically. Mr. Drucker said his goal was to conduct pre-employment screenings that would help companies meet their obligation to conduct fair and consistent hiring practices while protecting the privacy of job candidates.

For example, he said the reports remove references to a person’s religion, race, marital status, sexual orientation, disability and other information protected under federal employment laws, which companies are not supposed to ask about during interviews. Also, job seekers must first consent to the background check, and they are notified of any negative information uncovered.

He argues the search reduces the risk that employers may confuse the job candidate with someone else or expose the company to information that is not legally allowable or relevant. “Googling someone is ridiculously unfair,” he said. “An employer could discriminate against someone inadvertently. Or worse, they are exposing themselves to all kinds of allegations about discrimination.”

Marc S. Rotenberg, president of the Electronic Privacy Information Center, based in Washington, said that employers were entitled to gather information to make a determination about job-related expertise, but he expressed concern that “employers should not be judging what people in their private lives do away from the workplace.”

Less than a third of the data surfaced by Mr. Drucker’s firm comes from such major social platforms as Facebook, Twitter and MySpace. He said much of the negative information about job candidates comes from deep Web searches that find comments on blogs and posts on smaller social sites, like Tumblr, the blogging site, as well as Yahoo user groups, e-commerce sites, bulletin boards and even Craigslist.

Then there are the photos and videos that people post — or find themselves tagged in — on Facebook and YouTube and other sharing sites like Flickr, Picasa, Yfrog and Photobucket.

And it is photos and videos that seem to get most people in trouble. “Sexually explicit photos and videos are beyond comprehension,” Mr. Drucker said. “We also see flagrant displays of weapons. And we see a lot of illegal activity. Lots and lots of pictures of drug use.”

He recalled one man who had 15 pages of photos showing himself with various guns, including an assault rifle. Another man included pictures of himself standing in a greenhouse with large marijuana plants.

Given complex “terms of service” agreements on most sites and Web applications, Mr. Rotenberg said people do not always realize that comments or content they generate are publicly available.

“People are led to believe that there is more limited disclosure than there actually is, in many cases,” he said, pointing out that Facebook’s frequent changes to its privacy settings in recent years may have put some people at risk in getting a job now because of personal information they might have inadvertently made public.

“What Facebook was doing was taking people’s personal information that they made available to family and friends and make that information available more widely to prospective employers,” said Mr. Rotenberg, whose organization has several pending complaints at the Federal Trade Commission about Facebook’s privacy settings.

Joe Bontke, a manager for the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s office in Houston, said that he regularly reminds employers and human resource managers about the risks of violating federal antidiscrimination employment rules and laws by using online research in hiring decisions.

“Things that you can’t ask in an interview are the same things you can’t research,” he said, which includes the gamut of information covering a person’s age, gender, religion, disability, national origin and race.

That said, he added that 75 percent of recruiters are required by their companies to do online research of candidates. And 70 percent of recruiters in the United States report that they have rejected candidates because of information online, he said.

Dave Clark, owner of Impulse Advanced Communications, a telecommunications company in Southern California, began relying on Social Intelligence for background screening because he said the company needed a formal strategy and standards before assembling online information about job candidates. “They provided us with a standardized, arm’s-length way of using this additional information to make better hiring decisions,” he said.

About half of all companies, based on government and private surveys, now use credit reports as part of the hiring process, except in those states that limit or restrict their use. As with social media background checks, there are concerns about information that is surfaced. The equal employment agency filed a lawsuit last December against the Kaplan Higher Education Corporation, accusing it of discriminating against black job applicants in the way it used credit histories in its hiring process.

But it is not unusual for senior-level executives in many companies to undergo even more complete background checks by a private investigating firm.

“We are living in a world where you have an amazing amount of information and data on every executive,” said Ann Bilkhorn  an executive recruiter in the converging technology, media and communications industry. “I think that puts the burden on the recruiter and the hiring manager to be really thoughtful about what is important and not important when making the hiring decision.”

Alas, be careful whether you use social media for entertainment or for work purposes because people are or will be paying attention. Words of wisdom.

Thanks to The New York Times

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