Forget about the Ice Bucket Challenge or the Harlem Shake, the Mannequin Challenge is the newest and hottest trend online. It started in late October with students in high schools across America, but since then, thousands of videos have been uploaded to Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Still wondering what it’s all about? The videos feature groups of people – including the occasional celebrity – freezing in formation while someone else films. Some videos are silent while others are set to music but many feature a specific soundtrack: Black Beatles by Rae Sremmurd and Gucci Mane.
Are you jumping on the bandwagon and filming your own video? Don’t forget to use the #MannequinChallenge hashtag!
Visual content is incredibly important in the digital realm but sometimes tracking down and updating image sizes for each social platform can be time consuming. We found this great infographic from Constant Contact that outlines image sizes for some of the most popular social platforms so the next time you need to create a branded graphic or refresh your current images, you can get it done in no time!
2012 has been a crazy year for social media! The London Olympics, war and conflict around the world, a record-breaking IPO, the introduction and growth of Pinterest, a presidential election and multiple natural disasters gave social media users plenty of opportunities to share their perspectives this year.
Believe it or not, the first day of 2013 is quickly approaching. As January looms ahead, we’ve started to think about the new year and some social media resolutions moving forward. We’re all about being realistic and setting ourselves up for success. Keeping that in mind, we’ve listed three resolutions that will help any business kickstart their social media strategy in 2013.
1. Go Mobile
Smartphones, tablets and e-readers will likely once again be the hottest holiday gifts. Whether you’re developing social media campaigns through mobile applications or adding social media integration to mobile sites, a social media strategy is incomplete if you’re ignoring mobile users. If you’ve never viewed your website on a tablet or smartphone, you’re in for a real surprise so get it over with at the beginning of the year so you can spend the rest of your time making the necessary changes. It has been predicted that 2013 is the year that mobile web browsing will likely surpass desktop browsing so don’t get left behind!
2. Explore Video
Producing and sharing more videos will open you up to a whole new world of viewers. There are more than 3 billion videos viewed each day on YouTube alone so take the time to really explore your options. If you can, hire a professional to write your copy, shoot the video and edit the final product. Just because video is a fun way of communicating doesn’t mean it deserves to look any less cohesive and polished than your other forms of branding. You can start by looking into your options with podcasts or creating a valuable video series for your customers and potential customers.
3. Get Your Learn On
Staying up to date and current with all things happening in the world of social media is essential for success and growth. In the same respect, improving your technical knowledge, equipment and software will also be greatly beneficial. There are plenty of ways you can expand your knowledge; subscribe to new RSS feeds, explore HTML coding, or sign up for Google alerts.
As a small business, we’re constantly looking for new gadgets and accessories for the office and at home. As official social media addicts, we’re always looking for objects that scream social. Usually we lean towards the super functional but sometimes it’s ok to break the mold! What follows is a list of some really cool social media related accessories that any addict would be proud to own!
Facebook Like And Dislike Stamps
It seems like there’s always documents to review, copy to edit and decisions to be made. Why not take some pressure off yourself and invest in these like and dislike stamps? There’s no doubt that they’ll change the way you revise just about anything. Be warned though, recipients may not be thrilled with a page that’s filled with dislikes. To Buy: Urban Outfitters $14
Custom Twitter Mug
Have you ever wished your Twitter followers were around 24/7? If so, this customized Twitter mug is your new best friend. Interested buyers can sign in using their Twitter account and then select up to 108 friends whose profile pictures will be plastered across the white china mug. Potential buyers should be aware that the photos on the mug are permanent, unlike most followers on Twitter. To Buy: Crowded Ink $15
You “Tube” Socks
If you love Youtube and you occasionally wear socks, this is your lucky day! Proclaim your passion for the video search engine behemoth by sporting these super nerdy tube socks. Wear them with capris or shorts to receive the best possible reaction. To Buy: Google Store $6
Android Cookie Cutter
Everyone loves cookies, especially when they’re shaped like the adorable Android mascot! Chocolate chip, shortbread, oatmeal raisin, peanut butter, the options are endless! There’s no guarantee that they won’t burn, but you can guarantee that your friends and family will appreciate the tasty Androids. If you’re Steve Jobs, you may want to bake the Android shaped cookies and then destroy them violently in a fit of rage. To Buy: Google Store $8.80
Social Media Clock
Being on time can be difficult, especially when you’re super busy catching up with all your friends on Facebook, followers on Twitter, blog posts on WordPress and videos on Youtube. With this social media clock, you’ll never miss a meeting or forget to check your social networks again! Stay prompt and keep your walls looking fabulous. To Buy: walldecoration shop on Etsy $30
It’s no secret that Youtube has become a seriously powerful online search engine when it comes to music videos, news stories, cute babies, funny cats and everything in between. We’ve compiled is a list of 10 tips for small businesses that are interested in utilizing Youtube as part of their social media strategy.
1) Customize Your Channel
Having a channel on Youtube is like having a page on Facebook, it needs to be branded! Take the extra time to customize the colours so they compliment your brand, experiment with adding graphics and really make your channel stand out.
2) Utilize Subtitles
Since March 2010, Youtube has provided users with the option to add auto-captioning to their videos. By providing subtitles, you’re allowing the hearing impaired all around the world to engage with your content, something that most companies ignore.
3) Beware Of Annotations
Have you ever watched a video and been annoyed by text appearing over top of the footage? If you have, you’re definitely not alone. Don’t be tempted to go down this route as annotations are very unprofessional and tend to be a big distraction to viewers. You want to grab people’s attention and make a great impression but relying on irrelevant text to do that is not the best strategy.
4) Remove Offensive Comments
While everyone knows you should never delete negative comments from your social media pages, offensive comments can be a tough judgement call. You can’t actually stop people from leaving unfriendly comments on your videos or your channel but you do have the power to remove spammy or offensive remarks. If the comment is negative or critical in nature, it should be left alone, especially if it’s relevant. If the comment uses offensive language, racial slurs or is completely saturated in spam, removal is recommended. Keep in mind you always have the option to moderate comments before they are posted live so this may be a better solution in terms of managing your reputation.
5) Engage With The Youtube Community
Some people forget that Youtube is a social site so it’s important to explore other users’ channels and content. You can favourite videos that you like and are applicable to your business and even make suitable Youtube friends. If you’d prefer to stay away from associating with other individuals or companies, try searching for content or channels that are relative to your local area or a good cause that your company supports. Aside from being social, it’s also important to stay up to date on Youtube’s own news as the site goes though some fairly major changes from time to time and is always adding new features.
6) Organize Your Content
It’s tempting to avoid organization, especially on Youtube, but making sure your content is viewer friendly is the most important part. Group together related videos, or stash older content in time-related folders. It’s also important to keep in mind that Youtube offers the ability to embed entire playlists into external sites such as blogs or personal webpages so always keep that feature in mind when organizing content.
7) Don’t Ignore Tags
As well as many other social sites, Youtube’s content is organized on a tag word basis. This is an important facet that many users and businesses fail to recognize. A tag word system works on the basis of logic; what words will people type in to find your product? On the other hand, there are no limits as to how far you take the tag words so if you’re offering a cat food product you can use words like “kitty”, “cat” and “kitten” because you really never know for sure what people will type in. Youtube also offers about 15 categories to classify your content. Try to choose the most relevant but don’t be afraid to experiment if your content falls into more than one category.
8) Promote Your Channel
Don’t always assume that any interested viewers will come to you or automatically know you have a presence on Youtube. Utilize your other social media platforms as well as any external websites or blogs to promote and share your content. Keep in mind that linking social accounts can also help in terms of ensuring that your content is published across as many platforms as possible. There is also an embedding option that allows other users to showcase your video on their own external sites. This is always a benefit to you because the more views you get, the better!
9) Don’t Be Scared Of Analytics
There are many free analytic tools offered directly through Youtube. The information they provide should never be overlooked as they give valuable insight into view stats, demographics, community and most importantly, discovery data which shows you how users found your videos.
10) Stay Active
Don’t mindlessly create content for the sake of staying updated, but realize that its important to stay active. Even if you have no new content to post, continue to respond to comments or friend requests and work on building up a database of favourite videos. If Youtube is a platform you’re very interested in utilizing, don’t let your enthusiasm dwindle after the first few weeks because it’s important to remain active. Come up with a schedule that works best for you and try pre-planning your content for videos so it’s easier to stay organized and up-to date.
We’ve all been there, flipping through the high school yearbook, drawing devil horns, speech bubbles and hilarious things over the photos of our fellow classmates. Take a second and imagine if social media were a high school. Would Facebook be a jerk? Would Twitter ever stop talking? Luckily for us, the vast world of social media comes with it’s very own stereotypes and this entertaining info graphic reviews them all.
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The Christmas season always brings many different re-enactments of the birth of Jesus from nativity figurines to school plays. But what if the Nativity were to happen today in the age of technology?
Designed by Portugal-based media company ExcentricPT, The Digital Story of the Nativity is a viral video that answers that very question. It’s a seasonal video that tells the story of the nativity through Foursquare checkins, Facebook status’, Google searches, emails, and online shopping. It appears to be inspired by Google’s Parisian-based commercial that was launched in February during the Super Bowl and told the story of a courtship through Google searches. Just proof that viral ideas can stay ripe for parody months after they launch.
Get in the Christmas spirit and see what the immaculate conception would have been like if Mary had an iPhone.