Buy 99,000 twitter followers for $50

twitterSantiago

One of my connections from my Linkedin account posted an article by Kevin Ashton of Quartz about how Santiago Swallow is the most internet famous person that know one has heard of!  Mr. Ashton was right about one thing, I never heard of Santiago Swallow.  But being my usual curious self, I wanted to learn how to become internet famous for just $68.

If you can do math quickly in your head, the title of this post gives away the fact that $50 bucks went towards buying 99,000 Twitter followers.  The remaining $18 was to buy a website from WordPress.  What was really behind Santiago’s success was a good marketer – Mr. Ashton.  The most obscure part of the article was the fact that Santiago is not a real person, he doesn’t and has never existed!  He was nothing more than a fictional internet persona that was completely made up by Ashton!

I was kind of excited to hear that you can buy your followers for such a low price, for marketing purposes NOT personal!  Okay so the idea of improving my Twitter character in my infographic did cross my mind.

At Fiverr, not only can you buy twitter followers but it’s a place where you can buy small services at a low price.

You prank someone real good for $5.  A girl will make a personalized sexy video message to upset your girlfriend or trick a friend!

videoprank

I wish I read this before submitting my marketing report yesterday.  I called a local video producer that charges upwards of $3500 for a 60-90 second promotional video!  This guy will do it for $5!  Now if Bob, my teacher, questions where did I get this $5 budget for videos… HERE IT IS!

video$5

You can buy facebook likes:

facebook likes

YouTube unique video views:

Youtubeviews

This website is a cool place to pick up some fans, followers and viewers!  Think of all that time you could save from trying to grow your fans organically through multiple updates daily across all your social media channels.  Of course the connections you build through hard work will add more value to your business in the long run since they are truly  interested in your products or business.  But for $5 – that’s how much a pay to park for an hour in Vancouver!

Be sure to check out the article and Fiverr. Good luck!

Sources:

Ashton, K. 17 April 2013. How to become internet famous for $68. Quartz.Retrieved on April 19, 2013 from http://qz.com/74937/how-to-become-internet-famous-without-ever-existing/

http://fiverr.com/categories/online-marketing/website-traffic

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Work for Hootsuite or Facebook at new Vancity offices!

Image

Vancouver’s tech giant has recently moved into a former 33,000 sqft police department building located in Mount Pleasant area in Vancouver.  I’m going to assume you already know that Hootsuite is a social media management dashboard and I don’t have to describe anything more.

Other employers should worry because this new office has just set a new standard for coolest place to work!  This new office is loaded with not so standard office features such as a nap room, foosball table, gym, full kitchen stocked with beer and unique tent offices as reported by the Vancouver Sun.

Now you can seriously work hard and play hard all in one place.

hootsuite beer hootsuitegames

After all that drinking and playing, just head over the cozy napping area to rest up and recharge.

hootsuitesleep

Now I wonder how Facebook’s Vancouver office will measure up?  It’s probably not going to be as fancy because it is only temporary.  Facebook is looking to hire about 150 software engineers in May.  Scott Simpson, Vancouver Sun, reports that this new temporary office is suppose to serve as a bootcamp to train the hired software engineers to possibly become full-time employees.  Simpson suspects that FB will bring Vancouver’s talents to their headquarters in Menlo Park, California since it takes about a year to obtain a US work permit.

I couldn’t find any pictures on Facebook’s Vancouver office, so I thought it would be fair to post their headquarter pictures too.  Facebook’s headquarters is literally a campus with cafes, inspirational art work and creative spaces for employees to hang.

facebook-campus-view

facebook kitchen

I’m no software engineer so I my chances of getting a job with Facebook is slim to none.  As for Hootsuite, they hire 10 new people every week.  But to be one of them you have to stand out somehow from the 700+ resumes they receive every month.  If you’re interested in applying go to Hootsuite’s career section.

Good luck!

Sources:

Facebook photos from: http://officesnapshots.com/2013/02/04/facebook-menlo-park-office-design/

Simpson, Scott. 15 March 2013. Facebook seeks workers for office in Vancouver. Vancouver Sun.  Retrieve on April 14, 2013 from http://www.vancouversun.com/business/technology/Facebook+seeks+workers+office+Vancouver/8106537/story.html

Mohamed, Farhan. 5 April 2013.  Tour New Hootsuite Office in Vancouver.  Vancity Buzz.  Retrieved on April 14, 2013 from http://www.vancitybuzz.com/2013/04/tour-new-hootsuite-office-vancouver/

Hootsuite office photos from:http://www.vancouversun.com/business/workplace/Photos+glimpse+inside+Hootsuite+office/8197540/story.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+canwest%2FF259+%28Vancouver+Sun+-+News+%2F+Vancouver%29

Video killed the radio star and more…

Psy became an international internet sensation from his hit music video Gangnam Style.  Today that same video continues to be viewed 76.4 times per second.  He currently holds the record for most views and was the first on you tube to reach one billion views in December 2012.  Could radio provide the same outcome as internet video?  I don’t think so.  Part of what makes this video interesting and funny is the outrageous dance moves and how unpredictable the video is.   Each scene takes you to a different place and you can’t help but laugh when the backup dancers are blasted in the face with fake snow.

Videos are dominating the web and even playing a big role in marketing.  Videos can be made with a webcam or camcorder and quickly edited with stock computer programs such as iMovie (Apple) and Movie Maker (Windows).  In otherwords, cheap!  Once videos are completed, they are uploaded on a media streaming website such as YouTube and Vimeo.  You can then quickly share the link to your friends on various social media sites or embedd them on webpages.  Robert Hof of Forbes reports that online ad revenue surpassed newspaper and magazine because people are spending more time online.

brainsharkinfographic

If done effectively, marketers can use video marketing to deliver a lot of information in a short amount of time while keeping the view’s attention.  A minute of video content is equal to 1.8 million written words.  Think about it, which way would you prefer to receive information.   If you need some more convincing then check out these facts about YouTube alone:

-YouTube is the third most popular website behind Google and Facebook (Alexa.com)

-4 billion videos are watched every day on YouTube (Tech Welkin)

-60 hours of video are uploaded every minute (Tech Welkin)

The online video audience is anticipated to grow from 2013 to 2016 by 25 million.   Now that I’ve convinced you that online video is popular and the audience is growing, how do you get the videos to go viral?  Social Media Guru Jeff Bullas posted about a Melbourne University Professor named Brent Coker who has come up with an algorithm, called Branded Viral Movie Predictor, to explain why people share some videos and ignore others.

According to this algorithm, the four key elements are:

  • Congruency (themes must be congruent with people’s exsisting knowledge, eg. Harley Davidson is associated with bikers, tattooes.  If something else is introduced as not being congruent then people feel tension and will most likely not share it.)
  • Emotive strength (create strong emotions)
    4 Levels of emotions are:1. Disgust (it is one of the strongest emotions and easily remembered)
    2. Fear (very powerful)
    3. Sentiment (powerful but depends on network attachment and involvements)
    4. Humor and Happiness are weaker
  • Network involvement (relevant to a large number of people)
  • “Paired meme synergy” (right combination of the following concepts):

According to Brent, classic movie production strategies are also important.

  • Make the video short (30 seconds or maximum 2 minutes)
  • Give the video an interesting title that draws attention
  • Share it with key influencers and with your networks
  • Optimize it for search with SEO techniques

I hope this has been helpful!  Good luck with your videos.

Sources:

Bullas, Jeff.  4 Key Elements for a Viral Video.  Jeff Bullas.com.  Retrieved on April 12, 2013  from http://www.jeffbullas.com/2011/11/24/4-key-elements-for-a-viral-video/#86G0VdfwBqyUikZA.99

Cournoyer, Brian. (10 December 2012). Content Marketing and the Power of Video [Infographic]. Brainshark.com.  Retrieved on April 12, 2013 from http://www.brainshark.com/ideas-blog/brainshark-articles/2012/December/infographic-content-marketing-power-of-video.aspx

Hof, Robert. (19 January 2013). Online Ad Revenues to Pass Print in 2012.  Forbes.com.  Retrieved on March 24, 2013 from     http://www.forbes.com/sites/roberthof/2012/01/19/online-ad-revenues-to-pass-print-in-2012/

Gruger, William. (21 January 2013).  Psy’s ‘Gangnam Style’ Hits 1 Billion Views on YouTube.  Billboard.com.  Retrieved on April 12, 2013 from http://www.billboard.com/articles/columns/k-town/1481275/psys-gangnam-style-hits-1-billion-views-on-youtube

 

Create FREE Infographics!

easelly_visual

When I started researching into social media information, I came across so many cool-looking infographics that were able to explain all the data I was looking for in an interesting way.  I was captivated by the eye-catching graphics and visually appealing layout.  I was in awe of the sheer talent of the creative genius who put everything thoughtfully together.  I can imagine it takes a lot of time to think of  how to place the graphics strategically, create each graphic, summarize the data,  design the layout, and choose appropriate colors to tie everything together.

TJ McCue, Forbes Magazine, describes infographics as, “… cool poster-like images you see floating around the web… It is usually a collection of data presented in visual form. Think of an infographic asMicrosoft PowerPoint on steroids, but without the constant droning of a speaker who doesn’t know you’ve tuned out of his or her slide presentation.  I completely agree with TJ McCue that infographics are like posters of data on steroids!

I looked into what it takes to create an infographic.  I was quickly discouraged because it required having programs such as Adobe Illustrator and InDesign and then you have to know how to use them.  So I gave up and decided to just leave it to the pros.  One day I was surfing the net on my phone and randomly googled “free infographics”.  I was surprised to see that there were tons of free, easy to use progams to create my own infographics.

Here are the some of the most popular mentioned on several blogs:

  1. Easel.ly.  Powered by WordPress has several visual themes (called vhemes) like templates that you can customize to the way you like.  This is the one I used to create the  infographic about me.  It was super easy to use, you just simply drag and drop the elements you want from the menu to your canvas.  The best part is that it is FREE!vhemes
  2. Visual.ly.  You can quickly create infographics about your twitter or facebook account.  It was easy and fun to “Twitterize” myself, which you can see in the center of my information graphic.  I didn’t want to keep the infographic that it created for me because it was very sad to see that I have nothing worth mentioning from my Twitter account.  I’m sure if someone had a very active profile, it would be more fascinating to see.  I was able to customize my character’s hair style, color and eye color.  That was a free service too but you can submit a request for an infographic to the company and an employee will call you back within a day to discuss it with you.twittersize
  3. Picktochart.  This program seems to be the top of every blogger’s list of do-it-yourself infographic but since I have invested so much time playing around with the other two applications, I will give this a try another time.  McCue reports that this service works well for his needs and thinks this service is brillant.  He has saved a lot of time and money using this service instead of contracting out this work to graphic artists.  It could costs thousands to produce one graphic.

There are so many programs out there and Mastermind blogger lists 17 resources out there to create killer infographics.

The best thing to do is just give them a try.  I’m so glad I did and now I can create my very own infographics!

Good luck!

Sources:

McCue, TJ. 2013 January 08. Why Infographics Rule. Forbes.  Retrieved on April 1, 2013 from http://www.forbes.com/sites/tjmccue/2013/01/08/what-is-an-infographic-and-ways-to-make-it-go-viral/

Ahsan, Salman. 17 Resources to Help Create Killer Infographics.  Mastermind Blogger.com.  Retrieved on April 1, 2013 from http://www.mastermindblogger.com/2012/17-resources-to-help-you-create-killer-infographics/

http://www.easel.ly

http://create.visual.ly/

http://piktochart.com/

Follow your competitors [stealth mode]

Part of your marketing strategy should include following what your competitors are doing.  Why?  Because they might be doing something worth looking into and putting your own spin to it or making it even better!

Jeremy Victor of Smart Blog on Social Media gives us three reasons why we should follow competitors online:

  1. Improve your content strategy.  Sometimes coming up with your own fresh content could be challenging.  By following your competitors you are aware of the trends and what their customers are talking about.
  2. Track sentiment.  Consumers are using social media more to connect with their brands to complain or give kudos.  By following the response and interaction between the customer and company, you can gain valuable knowledge about how to deal with similar situations in your own organization.  This can help companies develop their social care strategies or get ideas on how to improve their own products, brand or service.
  3. Be the news.  Just by being updated with what your competitors are up to, it gives companies an opportunity to respond or prepare to compete.  It’s better to be prepared and understand how it will affect your sales and develop a plan if necessary to protect your market share.

Because there’s so many social media tools out there, following, tracking and getting the information can get overwhelming if you are not taking advantage of the tools out there.  Here’s a list of cool websites and tools definitely worth checking out!

Tool #1 – Google Think Insight

Google just launched a powerful new marketing tool called Think Insights.  Mike Allton from Socialmediatoday.com defines Think Insights as, “a massive resource of information for marketers, providing the “latest research in digital marketing” as well as “industry-leading case studies and Google’s latest research, strategic perspectives, interviews with innovators and experts and more.”

There are various menu items  where you can select marketing insights on industries, marketing objectives, and much more.  The “Creative Sandbox” menu show cases various campaigns that Google describes as a “blend creative genius with digital innovation.”  The best part is you can actually learn how it was done.

Tool #2 – Hootsuite

If your social media only includes Twitter and Facebook, Tweetdeck is sufficient enough to manage your accounts and updates.  However Hootsuite is the ultimate powerhouse for social listening as it connects to eight different social media applications where you can narrow your streams of stories and updates by searches, keywords, filters and lists.

Tool #3 – Addictomatic

Addictomatic allows you to search any topic, company, products and brands, and it returns the latest updates in a dashboard view of the following channels:

  • Twitter
  • WordPress
  • Friendfeed
  • Bing
  • YouTube
  • Flickr
  • Delicious Tag, and much more!

Tool #4 – Social Blade

Where can you get statistics on YouTube channels?  Here it is.  It is so simple, you just simply type in the channel name you are interested in and it returns the number of subscribers, video views, and estimated earnings for that video!

Tool #5 – Alexa

This website estimates web traffic, pageviews, top search queries, audience demographics and more.  According to Alexa’s website, Google, Facebook and Youtube are the top three most popular websites.

I hope this helps you in your future endeavours!  Good luck.

Sources:

Miller, M. (2011).  The Ulimate Web Marketing Guide.  Indiana: Que Publishing.

Allton, M. (2013 March 13). Google’s Powerful New Markeing Tool: Think Insights. Social Media Today. Retrieved March 16, 2013 from http://socialmediatoday.com/mike-allton/1307296/google-marketing-tool-think-insights

Victor, J. (2012 April 11). Top 3 reasons you must follow your competitors on social media. Smart Blog on Social Media.  Retrieved March 16, 2013 from http://smartblogs.com/social-media/2012/04/11/top-3-reasons-you-must-follow-your-competitors-on-social-media/

Pump up your blogs with Storify

Our class instructor Bob @theBasil was super enthusiastic about sharing with us this wonderful social media tool called Storify.  He thought it would be a useful tool to have in our social media toolbox.  He was so convinced that we would like it that he made us form groups and  put together a story using this platform.  Bob was right.  The tool was so easy to use and made our short blogs more interesting by integrating third party articles, pictures and video to support whatever story you are creating.

Storify was recently being integrated with Hootsuite therefore @theBasil shared video from Hootsuite University about How to Amplify your Paid and Earn Social Media with Storify.  Allie Russell of Hootsuite explains, “Social media is noisy and it moves fast. If you’re lucky, your tweets get retweeted and your messages get shared, but sometimes social moves so fast, it’s forgotten.”  Storify solves that problem by providing users with a visual platform to curate topics, stories, articles, pictures from various social media networks.

Storify gets the 19th spot for Top 22 Blogging Tools from Social Media Examiner.  Ben Pickering @bpicks, tells us why, “Storify can help illustrate a point with third-party content and comments or help bring to life an event by pulling in activity from the news stream or Twitterverse.”  The best thing about Storify is that whatever tidbit you take and put in your storyboard, the original source automatically gets referenced.  At the end when you publish your story, Storify automatically generates a Twitter message to notify original authors that you are using their message.  That way you are giving props and credit to those people who deserve it.

I signed up for Storified and created by own story.  Here it is and I hope you enjoy:

http://storify.com/KwantlenNina/my-spiritual-journey-storified

 

Sources:

Russel, A. (2013 February 5). How to Make Your Stories Last Online ~ Hootsuite University Lecture Series.  Retrieved on 2013 March 8 at http://blog.hootsuite.com/amplify-social-with-storify/

King, C. (2012 July 31). 22 Top Blogging Tools Loved by the Pros. Social Media Examiner.  Retrieved on 2013 March 8 at http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/22-top-blogging-tools/#more-21762

Social Media 101

I’ve been learning a lot over the past several weeks about social media.  Sometimes too much for my good I suppose, such as reading and following “streams” of bitter conversations between famous celebrities cursing it out with each other on Twitter.  That was an hour of my life this morning that I will never get back but it was hard not to get sucked into the celebrity drama with them.  It started with a strange tweet that seemed out of place and next thing you know I’m digging in the history of short messages trying to piece it all together.

Maybe that’s why social media such as Twitter and Facebook are so powerful, it allows for the general public to “follow” whichever celebrities or businesses they want and connect with them instantly.  You no longer have to be “approved” to “follow” or “like” them.  The power has shifted to the public and it’s up to you whether you want to follow them.  Even if a celebrity wanted message or tweet their friends, the conversation becomes public for everyone to see.  Therefore anyone following that celebrity can share that personal/public space with them.  With facebook, it was personal at first because you had to be approved and added to be “friends” with them but now users get to choose who they want to “follow” in Twitter or “like” in Facebook.

With the number of people who follows or likes a person or brand, it is displayed near the top where you can easily access how popular they are.  To me it’s almost like a popularity contest.

So which social media tools are most popular and which one should you be using?  It depends on what you are trying to achieve.  I love these infographics that display all the information you want in a picture form.  Instead of just displaying everything in plain old words, the information is graphically displayed in a clever way where the information gets your attention and goes straight to the point.

Infographic provided by Chris Taylor from Mashable

Image

Here’s a brief summary of the top five social networks available:

Facebook:  A social networking platform that allows people and businesses to create a webpage within the network.  Once you create your page, then you start creating ads where you want to try and get people to “like” you.  If they really like you then they will share your posts with their friends.  If this is for personal use then you can allow Facebook to access your email address book and quickly connect you with your contacts that are already on facebook.  Once you have friends, facebook will even “suggest” people you may know.  Next thing you know, you have hundreds of friends.  The average facebook user has

Linked In: Many people don’t want to mix business and pleasure so Linked In would be a more appropriate choice where you can create a professional profile to connect and network with people on a more professional level.

Pinterest:  A virtual pin board where you can collect pictures or topics that interest you and that can be shared with whomever you like.  I know a lot of people who are into cooking, baking or do-it-yourself projects like to collect their favorite recipes and tips and puts it all together with pinterest.  A great way to share what your interests are and what inspires you.

Twitter:   A micro blogging service where you can “tweet” (send a brief message, limited to 140 characters) in to this website.  This allows for quick, straight to the point updates.  I had to learn a lot of twitter terminology that I wasn’t familiar with before.  Here is a brief of what I have learned so far:

Hashtag “#” – put this symbol in front of the subject you are talking about.  This allows members to easily do a search under that topic.

Connect “@” – put this symbol in front of member(s) you are sending a message to.  This message isn’t private but it will be directed at them and they will be notified.

Retweet – Use this when you come across a tweet that you like and you want to share it with everyone who’s following you.

Direct message “DM” – put this in front of the @username to send them a direct, private message.  The person must be following you too.

Tagged: According to wikipedia, this site is described as “social discovery website,  allowing members to openly browse the profiles of other members and interact with them by playing games, making friends, flirting, sharing tags and virtual gifts.”

I believe social media has become so popular because connecting with people has never been easier.  It also allows for people to have web presence, a form of social expression and to feel part of something.  It allows for people to be heard and a medium to express their opinion in a safe way.  I say safe because you are not physically standing in front of people asserting your opinions on others.  You are behind a computer, maybe miles away, being connected through internet infrastructure and media platforms.  You can choose who you want to associate with and block those who you don’t.

The BEST thing about these networking site is they are FREE to join!  However you want to connect with the public, just remember to choose your words wisely because once you put it out there it becomes public!  I wish you all good luck on your social media endeavours!

Sources:

http://mashable.com/2012/06/01/social-media-ranking/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tagged