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Maximize Your Social Media Presence

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Here are some great tip sheets for companies looking to maximize their social media presence and use these tools more effectively.  The information comes courtesy of New York based public relations firm, Affect Strategies.  Click through to download the individual PDFs.  Some of the tips are obvious and something all companies should be doing such as constantly updating their page with relevant information and some of the advice not so obvious.  Overall, everyone who works or are interested in social media should print these handy sheets out and hang them in their cubicle walls.

Written by Atique Ullah

February 25, 2010 at 8:55 PM

A First Look At Windows Phone 7

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I saw the new Microsoft phone a few days ago and and have meaning to write something about it.  As an iPhone user there hasn’t been anything to date that has caught my interest, not even the new Google phone, but I am intrigued by what Microsoft unveiled recently at the World Mobile Congress in Barecelona.  Microsoft is finally showing us Windows Phone 7 and it looks like it will give the iPhone a run for its money.  What’s puzzling is what took Microsoft so long and why they’ve hung on to Windows Mobile as long as they have.  After all, it’s been 3 years since the debut of the iPhone.  The new Microsoft phone is pretty much a Zune phone in the way that the iPhone is similar to the iPod Touch but with phone capabilities.

The phone looks sleek, uses large icons for frequently used apps and is highly customizable.  The phone integrates numerous social networking sites and can stream in real time.  A nifty feature is that you can choose someone that you like to follow on a particular social network and their updates will stream on your home screen.  The phone as I mentioned has all the features of the Zune such as music and video capabilities.  A feature that I wish the iPhone had is over the air syncing for contacts, calendar and other info and Microsoft delivers this in spades.

And last but not least, there is Xbox Live integration.  You will be able to play certain Xbox games on the new phone and all your gamer info is portable.

All of these features could make the new Microsoft phone the ultimate social networking device.

Gizmodo has a great hands on look at the new phone including a video:

Written by Atique Ullah

February 18, 2010 at 6:57 PM

iPad Only One Day Away

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Hi folks, sorry for being MIA for the last couple of months.  I’m back and writing about none other than Apple’s highly anticipated tablet, possibly to be named the iPad.  Steve Jobs is expected to introduce the tablet at an event tomorrow.  The tablet has by far and away generated more buzz than anything else in the industry.  The CES ended earlier this month with major manufacturers showcasing the hottest gadgets and yet all anyone could talk about was the Apple tablet.  Steve Jobs has said that the tablet, “will be the most important thing I’ve ever done.”  There is a lot riding on this tablet besides Steve Jobs and Apple’s reputation.  The print industry apparently feels that this device could rescue their industry from the funk that they find themselves in in the age of the Internet where content is free.  They feel that they will be able to charge for content on the Apple tablet.  There’s a great piece on this in today’s NY Times:

For those of you who like a good rumor and who doesn’t, here’s a round-up of the top five rumors regarding the new tablet:

And finally here’s a commercial from a French site, most likely fake, for the iPad.

Written by Atique Ullah

January 26, 2010 at 2:43 PM

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Social Stratification Among Users Of Social Networking Sites

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It seems that the Brahmins of cyberspace congregate on Facebook and LinkedIn and the folks that fall into the lower strata of society congregate on MySpace.  A recent article in CNN based on a study by market research firm Nielsen Claritas seems to point in the direction that our socio-economic status is reflected in our favorite social networking site.

Here are some highlights:

People in more affluent demographics are 25 percent more likely to be found friending on Facebook, while the less affluent are 37 percent more likely to connect on MySpace.

Almost 23 percent of Facebook users earn more than $100,000 a year, compared to slightly more than 16 percent of MySpace users.  And 37 percent of MySpace members earn less than $50,000 annually, compared with about 28 percent of Facebook users.

Even more affluent are users of Twitter, the microblogging site, and LinkedIn, a networking site geared to white-collar professionals.  Almost 38 percent of LinkedIn users earn more than $100,000 a year.

It’s too early to tell if these trends will hold and what it will mean for advertisers and brands.  MySpace has been hemorrhaging users and Facebook is growing exponentially.  If Facebook releases more robust music apps, they could siphon off the segment of MySpace’s community that are there because of music.  Also, LinkedIn is a very specific networking site and very unlike the general networking sites like Facebook and MySpace, so it stands to reason that the user base is more affluent.  Someone on LinkedIn could very well be on a general networking site like Facebook and someone who tweets could be on MySpace.  While the study provides valuable insight, the world of social media is not so cut and dry at this point and is constantly evolving.

Here is the CNN article:

Users with household income above $75,000

Facebook — 41.74 percent
MySpace — 32.38 percent
LinkedIn — 58.35 percent
Twitter — 43.34 percent

Users with household income under $50,000

Facebook — 28.42 percent
MySpace — 37.13 percent
LinkedIn — 17.34 percent
Twitter — 28.36 percent

Female users

Facebook — 56.33 percent
MySpace — 56.69 percent
LinkedIn — 48.11percent
Twitter — 53.59 percent

Users aged 18 to 24

Facebook — 10.27 percent
MySpace — 15.46 percent
LinkedIn — 3.99 percent
Twitter — 9.51percent

Users aged 35 to 49

Facebook — 31.54 percent
MySpace — 29.09 percent
LinkedIn — 43.64 percent
Twitter — 34.02 percent

Source: The Nielsen Co.

Written by Atique Ullah

October 14, 2009 at 9:02 PM

Facebook, Twitter And Coming To Xbox 360 Next Month

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Back in June, Microsoft announced that 360 owners will be able to access their Facebook, Twitter and accounts through the Xbox dashboard.  Microsoft indicated that the new features will debut sometime in the fall.  True to form, Microsoft will enter beta testing in the next couple of weeks and end users should see an update that will add these features in the next month or so.  Microsoft developers have been playing around with these features for some time now and have even posted status updates to Facebook (“…via Facebook for Xbox Live”).  You will be able to update your Facebook status and view your feeds and browse photo albums.  Unfortunately, video and game apps will not be supported.  The Twitter app will let you post updates as well as view updates from those that you follow.  The app will allow you to access existing stations and create new ones.  Unfortunately you will not be able to listen to your music while playing games.  It should be interesting to see how Microsoft integrates these services and also what type of navigation system they will implement.  Without a keyboard, navigating Facebook and Twitter could become cumbersome.  In one of my earlier entries, I posted my thoughts on Facebook and Twitter on my Verizon FiOS cable.  Typing on a virtual keyboard on the TV screen is a frustrating experience to say the least.  Let’s hope Microsoft does a better job than Verizon.

Here are a couple of videos from Microsoft’s 2009 E3 briefing taking us through these new features:

Written by Atique Ullah

October 8, 2009 at 7:54 PM

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Social Networking Use Triples In Just One Year And Companies Take Notice

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If you find yourself spending more and more time on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and other social networking sites, you’re not alone.  According to The Nielsen Company, Americans are now spending three times as much time on social networking sites than they did a year ago.  This is a significant shift in what people are doing on the internet.  Time spent on social networking sites now account for 17% of total time spent online.

Of course advertisers are starting to take notice.  In this recession companies have dramatically reduced their advertising and marketing budgets, but they’ve increased spend on social networks and blogs.  Spend is up 119% from last year. ($108 million in August 2009 up from $49 million in August 2008).  It’s interesting to note that while spending is up across across all industries, the change is quite dramatic in entertainment (up 812%) and travel (up 364%).  I expected the consumer goods industry to spend more than they’re currently spending as social media can be a perfect vehicle for branding and loyalty for quite a few consumer goods brands.

Year-over-Year Percent Change in Online Ad Spend by Industry (U.S., August 2009)

Estimated Spend on Top Social Network Sites Year-over-Year Percent Growth
Industry Aug-08 Aug-09 On Social Network Sites* On All Sites
Entertainment $1,097,700 $10,012,800 812% 40%
Travel $473,700 $2,198,200 364% -11%
Business to Business $683,400 $1,941,700 184% -8%
Automotive $1,110,200 $3,085,800 178% -26%
Health $1,131,500 $2,754,900 143% 8%
Web Media $11,231,800 $26,855,700 139% 30%
Software $526,400 $1,202,500 128% -29%
Financial Services $3,233,900 $6,415,900 98% -10%
Public Services $6,836,500 $13,203,100 93% 13%
Telecommunications $12,449,500 $23,550,300 89% -1%
Consumer Goods $1,913,400 $3,349,200 75% 8%
Hardware & Electronics $654,000 $1,022,900 56% -47%
Retail Goods & Services $8,101,400 $12,556,800 55% -12%
Source: The Nielsen Company

Written by Atique Ullah

October 6, 2009 at 4:17 PM

Ad Agencies And Social Media

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Most advertising agencies have been slow to embrace social media as a tool for their clients to reach their target audience.  Advertising has traditionally been a one way communication stream intended to capture a large audience whereas social media is a a two way dialogue between the brand and the consumer.  This is one of the reasons why ad agencies are having a hard time figuring out how to take advantage of social media.  There are also other more practical problems that advertising agencies face when it comes to social media such as the constant updating and creation of content and the billing issues that arise from this.  This article from Social Media Explorer delves into some of steps that ad agencies can take to resolve issues surrounding social media.

Written by Atique Ullah

September 21, 2009 at 5:09 PM

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