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social media

Facebook Aims to Build Back Trust with Drop of Sponsored Posts as Twitter Pats Users on the Back

Posted by Sheila Shayon on January 10, 2014 05:33 PM

Twitter and Facebook are taking divergent paths—the former adding a feature and the latter subtracting one, but users won't likely be complaining about the changes.

Twitter is testing a new feature in which 'power users' will now be rewarded with direct messages when their tweets achieve major reach. Facebook, on the other hand, will officially kill-off controversial "Sponsored Stories" as of April 9. 

According to TechCrunch, Twitter’s new feature is based out of the handle @AchievementBird, which will send DMs of kudos and encouragement for tweets that see a lot of retweets, comments and favorites. “Sending alerts to users notifying them that people are actually reading and even using their tweets in articles seems to be a good way to encourage those users to tweet more. And converting users from lurkers to active tweeters is important for retention and growth," the site notes.

Previous Twitter experiments in this vein include @MagicRecs, which suggested who to follow and what tweets to read, and @eventparrot, which sent messages containing links to tweets on breaking news.Continue reading...

tech in the spotlight

Google+ Looks to Build Consumer Base with Helpouts

Posted by Mark J. Miller on December 23, 2013 07:37 PM

Everybody needs a helping hand at one time or another, and Google is hoping to extend its own. 

One of its latest ventures, Google Helpout, allows Google+ users to find one-on-one help via Google Hangout thanks to more than 1,000 specialists that have been vetted by Google. The service, which ranges from free to up to $1 per minute, gives Google a 20 percent cut of the Helpout fees. 

The program’s first ad features a lonely Santa who needs sewing and baking help as he prepares for his responsibilities without Mrs. Claus or any elves aiding him.Continue reading...

social commerce

Best Buy Engages with Last-Minute Holiday Shoppers Via Google Hangout

Posted by Sheila Shayon on December 18, 2013 11:52 AM

In the race for last-minute holiday retails sales, Best Buy took the social route, teaming up with Google to host a Google+ hangout Tuesday night. The effort came just one week after the retailer launched its +Post Ads.  

The Hangout, which included tech gurus from YouTube, Machinima.com and Best Buy manager Dan Duvalian—the guy in the blue employee shirt in the company's commercial—offered a menu of products that correlated with the ongoing conversation. Users that RSVP'd for the Hangout were able to comment and ask the panel questions via the #UltimateShowroom hashtag. 

"It’s a fun, new and creative way for us to interact with our customers," said Best Buy spokeswoman Carly Morris. "We know tech products are on so many wish lists this year, and by working with Google, we get to literally 'hang out' with our customers to talk about these products and give advice on what tech gifts to give this year."Continue reading...

web watch

Corporate Websites: Dead or Alive?

Posted by Sheila Shayon on December 9, 2013 04:03 PM

“The corporate website is dead and 'press release PR' is on its way out,” proclaimed Coca-Cola last month, as they unleashed their story-driven new website, Coca-Cola Unbottled, that mirrors “a modern election campaign…Every day you have a choice of what to read and what to drink. Every day is election day, and our team will be here - working hard to get your vote.”

As content once again surfaces as king in the battle for audience and ad dollars in the digital cornucopia of Facebook, Google+, Twitter or Flipboard, brands are jockeying for position and advantage with increased social across the Internet landscape – and corporate websites are the new calling card.

Story + search + syndication is the latest Holy Grail as brands strive to deliver currency, entertainment and connection and the best websites are evolving to ersatz publishing models more akin to The New York Times, USA Today or the Huffington Post than traditional push, PR engines. Continue reading...

digital moves

Flickr Takes a Step Back to Offer Users a More Tangible Photo Experience

Posted by Sheila Shayon on November 20, 2013 02:52 PM

Flickr, a pioneer in photo sharing, is taking a step backwards from its digital-only existence and introducing physical Flickr photo books, which consumers can create on the site. 

Acquired by Yahoo in 2005, the service languished as competition to be the repository of users’ online photos heated up with Facebook, Google+ and Dropbox entering the fray. “Flickr was once awesome,... now we want it to be awesome again," Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer said after assuming the role last year. 

Earlier this year, Mayer instituted a visual overhaul of the site, and now the addition of photo books will allow Flickr, which reaches 89 million people that have contributed over 8 billion photos, to better compete with multi-faceted platforms like Shutterfly. “We’re working hard to make Flickr great again,” Flickr VP Tom Hughes assured.Continue reading...


NESCAFE Refreshes Dolce Gusto Brand With "Live With Gusto" Campaign

Posted by Sheila Shayon on November 11, 2013 11:26 AM

Celebrating its 75th anniversary this year, NESCAFÉ has something to crow about indeed as it’s the most popular coffee brand in the world, with more than 4,500 cups consumed every second.

The Nestle-owned brand has "regained momentum" this year and in Europe is outperforming the market, according to CEO Paul Bulcke, commenting on on sales over the last nine months. It's now turning to NESCAFÉ Dolce Gusto with a refreshed visual identity and new tagline, “Live With Gusto,” to celebrate its line of single-serve coffee machines now sold in more than 60 countries.

The multimillion-dollar campaign includes print and online ads, an infomercial with new ambassador, Mario Lopez, a website refresh, and social media engagement on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and Google Plus, all showcasing "#DolceGusto" as a lifestyle choice.Continue reading...

media brands

Fusion Woos Millennial Latinos Through Their First Language: Social Media

Posted by Sheila Shayon on November 4, 2013 11:02 AM

Spanish-language media giant Univision and Disney/ABC Television launched their joint venture, Fusion, last week—an English language cable channel that targets Millennial Latinos. 

Univision has traditionally eschewed English-language programming, but as demographics shift from an aging population of foreign-born, Spanish-dominant Hispanics to US-born Latinos that have grown up speaking English, traditional Spanish programming fails to resonate, especially with younger viewers. That group, which watches over 26 hours of linear TV weekly and is very active on social media is Fusion's bread and butter. 

"We are winking at Hispanic, it is not overtly Hispanic," Catherine Sullivan, SVP of ad sales for ABC News, told Ad Age. "If you are not Hispanic, you won't feel like the network isn't for me."

It’s a crowded field already, with El Rey launching soon, Mun2, which was acquired by Telemundo in 2001, and Nuvo TV. And marketers that have struck out trying to target younger age groups through traditional Spanish-language networks are salivating at the new opportunities that Fusion and others are creating. "The millennial Latino is not being served by telenovelas, soccer—this isn't relevant to most millennials," Nuvo TV CEO Michael Schwimmer said.Continue reading...

social media

Twitter Pumps Up In-Stream Media for More Engaging Feed, Ad Dollars

Posted by Sheila Shayon on October 30, 2013 08:02 PM

Prepping for its IPO, and staying abreast of competitors Facebook and Google+, Twitter debuted a new feed chock-full of media with click-less previews of photos and video, broadening the appeal of the microblogger—especially for advertisers.

It’s the biggest change to Twitter since its 2011 overhaul. Tweets still show up chronologically, most recent first, but those containing photos or Vine videos will be automatically previewed.

“Starting today, timelines on Twitter will be more visual and more engaging: previews of Twitter photos and videos from Vine will be front and center in tweets,” blogged Michael Sippey, Twitter’s VP product. “To see more of the photo or play the video, just tap.”

If this change goes over well with users, automatic previews of other links including articles, web pages or images and videos from outside sites (Google’s YouTube) could follow soon.Continue reading...

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