Category Archives: Social Media

Facebook and Twitter make you Happy!

Social Media

Well you heard it here first. Despite what the techno-naysayers would have you believe, Facebook might actually bring a smile to your face.

According to research by BCS – The Chartered Institute for IT – social networking and Instant Messaging make us feel both happier and less isolated.

Access to Technology

There is apparently a clear link between well being and access to technology, with social networking providing the largest emotional benefit. It’s all down to the additional level of contact that Facebook and the like give you with your friends and family.

It doesn’t replace traditional stuff

The fear cited by many is that these new ways of interacting are replacing the traditional face to face stuff. This research indicates that it augments rather than replaces it.

“Social networking makes us happier.” was how Paul Flatters from Trajectory Partnership, which worked with BCS on the research, summed up.

“Given the immediate uplift in life satisfaction that people experience when using these sites, teaching people about how to use services like Facebook could be a more effective way of bridging the digital divide and getting people online.”

In response to the research The Chartered Institute for IT is planning to launch a getting-started guide to social networking as just one part of its Savvy Citizens campaign, encouraging people to get online.

Does Facebook make you happy? Is Twitter leaving you satisfied? Does Messenger bring a smile to your lips? Leave us a comment below.

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Facebook is now the most used website

Social Media

The results are in, the numbers have been counted and verified. And the news? Well don’t hold your breath: according to online measurement firm ComScore, Facebook is where we all hang out. It racks up more time-spent than any other site, including all Google’s sites.

In August we spent 41.1m minutes on Facebook. which is 9.9% of total time online. That compares to 39.8m minutes on Google sites (which of course include YouTube).

Yahoo sites got up to 37.7m minutes of dwell time, which is down 12% on August 2009.

Both Facebook and Google are up massively -the pair received just 5% each in Auust 2009.

Both Google and Facebook have made a big effort to boost user time in the last year. Lots of businesses now use Facebook pages as a key way to interact with customers. It’s also a lot easier to share content on Facebook than a year ago.

Google for its part has broker deals with film studios, record labels, sporting bodies and broadcasters to show more long-form content on YouTube.

So is this a victory for great, engaging websites? Or a poor sign for the diversity of our interests in the web? are you using Facebook and YouTube more than you were a year ago? Leave us a comment below.

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How to put a value on your Facebook page

Social Media

We’re often going on (and on) about using social media to help market your website.

We’ve integrated the WebEden Website Builder with Facebook and Twitter. It’s possible to put a Twitter feed on your website. Thanks to some handy tricks you can put a Facebook ‘Like’ button on your website. We’ve even developed our own Facebook application so you can build a website from within Facebook.

As opposed to Pay per click or other traditional marketing methods, its hard to put a value on your social media efforts. Social media for brands and websites is about engaging with your audience in an environment that suits them.

But now there’s a handy little tool that attempts to do put a ‘value’ on your actual Facebook page.

SocialPageEvaluator tries to come up with a notional ‘value’ of your Facebook page by looking at factors such as the number of Fans; the frequency with which you update your page; the number of visits your fan page has; and the number of times your fans interact with your fan page content.

All you need to do is enter the URL of any Facebook page and SocialPageEvaluator does the rest.

So to test it out, how does it get on with the WebEden Facebok page?

Here goes… and the result?

Social Page Evaluator is saying that the current ‘value’ of the WebEden facebook page is $418, but with improved social media techniques it could reach a value of $3,132. Interestingly enough, it has come up with the advice that we’re not posting enough to our Facebook Page.

It’s important to remember that this is just one system’s attempt to assess value, and is therefore more useful as a comparison tool to find out how you’re doing against competitors.

Try it out and let us know how your Facebook Page gets on!

http://evaluator.vitrue.com

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Facebook asks ‘where are you?’

Social Media

Recent months have seen an explosion of location based social networking services, such as Foursquare, Gowalla and MyTown. More popular in the US than the UK, these services let you share where you are and what you’re.

As we mentioned previously, Twitter has updated their location settings to allow you to say where you are.

Facebook Places

Facebook has eyed this growth with envy, and have now jumped into location based services with ‘Facebook Places’.

Available initially just in the US, the service allows you to check into places in a similar way to Foursquare. Places can be created by anyone, but are often cafes, shops, restaurants, parks or tourist attractions.

Businesses can claim their locations, and reward users for visiting. This might take the form of badges, points, or mayor-ships; or could even be discounts on products.

Users can also tag others that are in the location too, and others in that location can be viewed using ‘People here now’.

Initially your location can only be view by your friends; and you’re able to easily disable the feature.


From the horses mouth

The Facebook product manager responsible said “You may want to share your check-in information with third-party applications that build interesting experiences around location, such as travel planning. Applications you use must receive your permission before getting this information. Your friends will be able to share your check-ins with the applications they use to help create new social experiences based on location. If you don’t want to share your check-ins with your friends’ applications, just uncheck the box in your Privacy Settings under Applications and Websites.”

What about you?

Have you tried Foursquare or other location based social media? Are you concerned about the privacy issues of revealing where you are (so a burglar knows you’re away from home)? Leave us a comment below.

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How to get 1,000s of followers on Twitter: Befriend Kanye West

Archive Social Media

A Twitter user experienced Twitter meltdown last month as a result of being followed by rap star Kanye West.


Kanye only decided to join Twitter last month, and has already amassed over a million followers. Getting to grips with the service, he posted a Twitpic of his diamond tooth. In response, Coventry Based Steven Holmes – who tweets as ste_101 – asked him whether he used Colgate or polish to clean them.

Kanye immediately followed Steven back – the only person at that point that Kanye decided to follow.

From that point, Mr Holmes has been swamped with messages to such an extent that his Twitter account went into ‘melt down’.

Commenting on how he had managed to catch the attention of Kanye, Mr Holmes tweeted

“I just told a joke. Humour is the key” and “I guess a witty joke was all it took”.

Apparently Holmes has had a lot of abuse from others, which he has then tweeted about. Kanye urged him to “Tweet strong young man, tweet strong”.

For his part Kanye described Holmes as “the chosen one”.

And what is Kanye up to on Twitter? Well here’s something he posted last Saturday:  “Being nice is the s**t … working on being a doper person #ITSAPROCESS”.

Pearls of wisdom there.

So now you. Forget all the advice we give you about marketing your site online. All you need to do to boost your follower numbers is to catch the attention of a celebrity…

Had any success hob-nobbing with the stars? Leave us a comment below.

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MySpace users move on

Social Media

It was the original Social Network, one that many believe spawned the genre. A new breed of Internet startup, it was snapped up by Rupert Murdoch for $850m back in 2005. But now it seems that users have had enough of MySpace. Users fell by a whopping 49% in the last year.

Users leaving & so are the staff

Figures released by online traffic monitoring firm ComScore show that the MySpace total audience dropped from 6.5m in May 2009 to 3.3m in May 2010. This period has also seen the departure of high-profile staff including CEO Owen Van Natta.

Good for Musicians

Having launched as a place where anyone could have a free homepage, to which they could add content such as chat, images, text, MySpace was rapidly adopted by young people as a place to showcase their interests. Bands too were quick to set up MySpace pages, and more recently the brand has been trying to position itself as a music specialist: MySpace music launched in December of last year.

Another win for Facebook

So where are the users going? I’ll give you one guess… The UK has around 38m Internet users. 9 out of 10 of those use Social Media. Facebook of course tops the chart, with 30.4m users – 79% of the UK online population. It’s up 28% in the last year along.

And Twitter?

Despite its media coverage, Twitter is used by just 4.3m, but the rate of growth is fast –  up 69% in the last year.

Not only are more of us using social media, we’re spending more time on it too. In May 2009 we spent 4.6 hours per month, and that’s now up to 7.1 hours.

What about you?

Are you, or were you ever a MySpace fan? Have you moved on? As a website builder are you managing to get more users to your site by engaging people on Social Media? Leave us a comment below.

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The New Twitter: have you got it yet?

Social Media

Control your heartbeat. Calm yourself. Retain some self awareness: there’s a new Twitter!

It’s got a brand new User Interface (UI) which allows you to embed photos and videos a bit like… well a bit like Facebook really.

The new UI is gradually rolling out today one account at the time. For a time you’ll be able to switch between the old and new versions.
Twitter describes the new layout as being “an easier, faster and richer experience”.

“You will now find @mentions, retweets, searches, and lists just above your timeline – creating a single, streamlined view on the left of the screen. On the right, you can see the features you’re familiar with, including whom you recently followed and who recently followed you, favorites, and Trending Topics,” they went on.

Here’s some marketing hot air from Twitter:

Have you got it yet? Are you liking what you find? Leave us a comment below

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And then there was Ping

Social Media

The Internet has been abuzz; the twitterati are foaming at the mouth; they even featured it on News at Ten: Apple has launch a brand new Social Network called Ping.

Automatically built into Apple’s latest version of its ubiquitous desktop music client ‘iTunes’, Ping is described by Steve Jobs as “Facebook meets Twitter meets music”.

Using iTunes, Ping share your music tastes with friends, and lets you know what your favourite artists are doing. It revolves around a status update or timeline in a similar way to Facebook and Twitter.

The great advantage that Apple has is that if you’re into music then you probably are already using iTunes – no need to sign up to something new. The functions and process are very similar to other networks, so there’s nothing new to learn.

But a social network based solely around music? Is that too niche, bearing in mind the recent fortunes of Myspace (which is going South rapidly by the way).

Have you had a look at Ping? Any impact on us Website builders? Any thoughts or feedback? Leave us a comment below.

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Do you want to pay by cash, card, or Facebook Credits?

Social Media

You may have noticed a new item in the main ‘account’ menu in Facebook. It looks like this:

This is Facebook’s attempt to launch its own virtual currency. To start with Facebook credits are targeted at virtual goods such as games, but Facebook hope that it will eventually be used to buy anything online.

Good for Website Builders

For those with a Facebook page AND a physical website elsewhere, this is a potentially exciting opportunity to offer transactions within the actual Facebook environment.

And it has even bigger implications: Thanks to Facebook connect – which lets you log into other sites using your Facebook login – and Facebook open graph – which allows any site to be ‘liked’, the online currency could eventually flourish not just within Facebook but on the wide web too.

How much?

The potential downside for retailers and consumers is that Facebook plan to take a whopping 30% of every transaction. That goes way beyond the 2% that most credit card companies take.

Beanz

This isn’t the first time an online currency has been tried. Those of us who remember the heady days of the web in the 90s will recall a startup currency called ‘beanz’, which was the first play for a universal way to pay online. Beanz – like so many early dotcoms – foundered because it wasn’t widely adopted. But with 500m global users Facebook definitely has the reach to make this work.

Frictionless transactcions

Experts are saying that despite the healthy commissions, Facebook credits could provide a very easy and frictionless way to pay online. And when friction goes down, sales go up.

What do you think?

Do you think that a Facebook currency could work? How would you feel about buying – or selling – for Facebook credits rather than hard cash? Has Facebook overstepped the mark, is it becoming too big, too much a part of everyone’s lives?

Leave us a comment below.

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Getting ready for the Online Privacy Code

Social Media Softwate Update

I’ve written quite a bit on this blog about online privacy. When it comes to advertising, last year there was a lot of media attention given to behavioural targeting – where advertisers reach you based on your online behaviour. Advertising firm Phorm was at the centre of that furor, and they exited the UK late last year.

Then of course there was Google Street View, and the fear that it was invading personal privacies (and helping thieves to boot!). Last year we advised you all to add a privacy policy to your website, to make it clear what information you were collecting about visitors.

New Code of Practice

Well now it looks like Websites will have to stick to a new code of practice put in place by the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO). The whole point is to make sure that your website visitor’s information is kept secure and private.

The Personal Information Online Code of Practice simply firms up the advice we gave with regard to having privacy policy. Websites need to make their privacy settings clear and store data securely. There are 8 principles for looking after personal information, but what it boils down to is that only specific, relevant data can be gathered, if a website doesn’t needs the personal information, then it must not hold onto it longer than necessary.

For example, if a company no longer needs your email address or credit card details, they’re obliged to delete them.

If you have a log in to your site, the privacy settings must be well highlighted.

A representative of the ICO said: “Organisations must be transparent so that consumers can make online privacy choices and see how their information will be used.”

“Individuals can take control by checking their privacy settings and being careful about the amount of personal details they post to social-networking sites and elsewhere online,” he continued.

If websites fail to abide by the code, they could be forced to do so by the ICO.

What about you?

Have you put a privacy policy on your site? Do you think that fears over online privacy are overblown? Leave us a comment below.

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