So where is Google+ really headed? Is it a success, or is it a failure? Statistics usually tell a pretty accurate story; however, with Google+ it’s kind of hard to establish an opinion. It’s on the edge of both, and I could call it either one actually. The service is growing, but maybe not at the rate that Pinterest is. But at any time this could change, depending on what gets implemented and how they decide to play their cards. It is a new service that I know a lot of people are still acclimating themselves to. Just because Pinterest is gaining users faster than any socialnetworking service ever before doesn’t mean that comparing it to Google+ (since they have pretty much the same amount of pageviews now) makes the latter a failure.
Excerpted from the article:
During the past six months there have been some major changes in the way audiences consume information. These changes are happening simultaneously on two fronts, one in the form of content curation and the other in content shifting.
While content curation is nothing new, the rise in the use of mobile devices is changing when, where, and how we read internet content.
Mobile devices are allowing people to break free from the computer desk and shift both the physical environment and the time in which they read or consume content.
This content shifting can be as simple as using tools like Evernote’s Clearly on a web browser.
Apps such as Pocket and Instapaper allow us to save articles discovered on a desktop computer to read later on any internet-connected device.
Sifting through the glut of information:
Many social media platforms have taken on the role of content curators, developing algorithms in an attempt to help us weed out the information we don’t want and present us with the information we do. This has been evidenced through a variety of changes in the Facebook Timeline, the #Discover tab on Twitter, and social search results in Google.
The latest wave of content shifting applications also curate and reformat articles to gear them toward our personal interests, fundamentally changing the reading experience as they do so. Programs such as Flipboard and Zite gather content from RSS feeds, Twitter, and Facebook streams and present it in a mobile-friendly magazine format.
Tips to optimize for content shifting and content curation:
1. Incorporate calls to action directly into the text…
2. Optimize for mobile…
3. Capitalize on compelling images…
4. Write strong headlines, lead paragraphs, and meta descriptions…
5. Maximize social media sharing…
6. Publish and promote quality content…
Each element and tip is analyzed with more information. Read full article here: http://j.mp/LmZpjT
Being a digital agency and existing pretty much entirely online, social media is obviously important to us. We use it regularly not only for marketing/PR purposes but also to keep up to date with latest developments in the industry and chatting to our fellow digital peers.
So we thought we would share our 10 most used tools that help us manage the ever expanding social media world.
- Hootsuite (www.hootsuite.com) - A fantastic tool (available as an online dashboard and an app) for managing Twitter, Facebook and linkedIn. There is also support for tumblr, YouTube and Flickr but the functionality is not quite there compared to it’s use of Twitter. Hootsuite is fantastic for scheduling posts, keeping an eye on multiple lists/streams and discovering content.
- Follow Friday Helper (www.followfridayhelper.com) - This provides an at a glance view of who has been actively engaged with your Twitter content and who you have found most helpful that week. It’s an easy and simple way of seeing who you might want to thank or recommend on Twitter.
- Bit.ly (www.bit.ly) - Just about everyone knows of this little URL shortener, but bit.ly can be so much more. It is a great tool for tracking and analysing URL clicks. This can aid you with content performance indicators. It enables users to see which source (eg Facebook, LinkiedIn, direct) is most effective in engaging others. You can also analyse the times your content is viewed and adapt accordingly.
- BufferApp (www.bufferapp.com) - This clever app, which is installed as a browser plugin, makes it easier to share content found whilst on your daily surfing of the net to Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook through just a few clicks. You can pick times for when this content will be shared. This allows the user to queue up as many articles as they like, knowing they will be spread out evenly across the day based on the timings they chose.
- Social Oomph (www.socialoomph.com) - There are many things you can use Social Oomph for but one of the most useful functions is the automated DM’s. If you are finding keeping on top of new followers and trying to make sure you contact each one when they start following you, then this is the tool you need.
- Tweepi (www.tweepi.com) - Great for managing Twitter followers and followed lists. Enables users to clean up your following list with ease based on whatever criteria you deem important (e.g. Klout score, follwing back, regularity of tweets etc.). It can also be extremely useful for finding new and interesting people to follow.
- Scoop.it (www.scoop.it) - Not so much a tool but more a social network of it’s own. However, I have included it for a couple of reasons. First, it is great for finding content and building specific content curated topics. Second, it allows you to easily share articles to twitter, facebook, linkedIn and tumblr. The posting to tumblr functionality is my favourite aspect.
- Listorious (www.listorious) - A simple site that helps you find relevant lists for you/your industry.
- Google Alerts (www.google.com/alerts) - Fantastic and easy way to track/find content based on keywords you set. You can use it to find articles relating to specific subjects or to keep an eye out on any mentions across the web of you/your company.
- Trap.it (www.trap.it) - Not a fan of google alerts? Then maybe you’d prefer this site. You can set-up ‘trap.it’ topics based on keywords. Trap.it will then crawl the web for articles relating to those topics. A great way of finding up to date and relevant content to share.
That’s it. Matmi’s favourite 10 social media tools. It’s by far not the be all and end all of tools out there but they are the ones we most regularly use. If you use a social media tool you think is the best thing since sliced bread, let us know.
How will social media impact our lives in 2012/2013?
Here are the top predictions on where social media is heading in the next 12 months!
1. The rise of social TV
2012 will see the rise of the social TV. Social networking is now transforming the way we watch TV. Yahoo and Razorfish surveyed a number of U.S adults and found that 80% of people mobile multi-task whilst watching TV. In addition to this a further 50% said that social media enhances their TV viewing experience. With this in mind , and the development of apps such as Zeebox ( which allows users to participate in real-time social network discussions whilst they watch shows) and with TV’s with built in social networking tools becoming ever more popular , it is inevitable that social TV will have a huge impact in the next 12 months.
2: Facebook’s growth will inspire unique Facebook marketing experiences
Late in 2012 Facebook will hit ONE BILLION users. Because of this you certainly cannot deny the power that Facebook has as a marketing tool. Reaching one billion users will only draw more attention/users to Facebook. It is predicted that there will be an explosion of small businesses setting up shop on it and existing businesses already on Facebook will have to get more creative with their social activities because of the increased competition. However, it will also be interesting to see how Facebook adapt to the increase in mobile usage regarding monetising their advertising opportunities (particularly since their IPO).
3: YouTube will begin to provide a social experience
YouTube will get recognition and significant use as a major social network (yay!)
Google’s new social focus will demand tighter integration between YouTube and Google+. Google wants to change YouTube consumption from a passive experience to a social one and is primed to do so.
4: Photo and video social networks will blossom
The next 12 months will see social networks becoming multimedia platforms.
Photo- and video-based social interaction will grow due to the rise of new multimedia social networking tools such as Instagram. These services are not expected to dethrone Facebook, as many people simply are not as comfortable with shiny new multimedia technology as they are with Facebook. Despite this a number of Facebook/ Twitter users are turning to multimedia platforms where a picture can speak louder than 140 characters (Pinterest for one).
5: Businesses will fall in love with email marketing again
In 2012 it is predicted that all the savvy marketers in the business world will fall back in love with email marketing. This is because email response rates from email marketing campaigns tend to be greater than most other social media tools. In addition to this email is considered low-tech, and is understood by almost everyone allowing business people to reach more of their customer base with greater ease.
6: Brands will fully embrace social media.
Gone are the days when it took 6 months to develop and launch a campaign or 5 days to answer a disgruntled customer. Brands will begin to accept social media as a valid marketing tool. In order to have effective online marketing brands need to stand out with their creative thinking and capitalize on current trends.
7: Competition on Google+ will rise dramatically
Google + will become ever more competitive and will try to dominate the social media market in 2012/2013. The other top networks like Twitter/Facebook will be looking to compete by adding more new features and content to their sites.
9: The social media gap will widen.
In 2012, the gap between businesses that perform fantastically on social media and those that fail miserably will widen dramatically.
The novelty of social media has worn off, and businesses will need to be ever more creative and on-the-ball with their use of it if they are to succeed. They will need to decide where to focus their social media activities, to make sure that their efforts are focused where it matters to their audience.
10: 2012 will see the rise of the QR code.
QR codes are now being used more and more widely, and in 2012, thanks to smart phones, consumers will start using them more also.
Big brands including Starbucks and Ralph Lauren are now using QR codes as a way of letting customers now about in-store promotions and competitions.
And more recently of course the town of Monmouth in Wales, put over 1000 QR codes all over the town on landmarks as a way of providing locals and tourists with more information.
Will other towns follow suit? Only time will tell.
References and more information…
It’s pretty much on every single website these days. Pinterest is taking over the world at a pace that has never been seen before.