Archive for ‘Google’

December 12, 2012

Social Media trends in 2012 by the numbers [Stats]

WhereWeConnect2012For those of us watching social media usage trends, last week was a good week as Nielsen published its annual State of the Media: Social Media Report. This document is a must read. It compares the 2011 and 2012 statistics about how we use our devices and social networks. Some of the findings seemed to be obvious. For example, each year, more people are connecting to the internet, and when they do, they spend more time on it. We already knew that.

Other findings, however, were much more intriguing: notably, the continued growth in the amount of users interacting with their social networking accounts using mobile web and mobile applications. People are slowly straying away from their PCs as the Nielson report shows that the use of both mobile web and mobile apps nearly doubled when compared to the 2011 figures:

SocialGoingMobile

I’ve written about the continued growth of the “second-screen” before, and the numbers from this report seem to support that trend. Personally, I always watch TV with my laptop or smartphone, and it looks like this behaviour is becoming more common-place. The Nielson report found that 41% of tablet owners and 38% of smartphone owners use their device daily while watching TV, and they are using this internet access to add to their TV watching experience. For example, viewers use their devices to look up product information after they’ve seen an advertisement, search for coupons or deals, look up information related to the program being watched, and (of course) use social media while watching the show. Twitter emerged as the social network of choice when interacting with TV shows – About 1/3 of active Twitter users tweet about the TV show they are watching.

SecondScreen2012

Another finding in this report that is close to my heart is that 47% of social media users engage companies to get customer service from brands with which they do business. About 30% of them (including myself) even prefer getting customer care using social media. This drives home the point that as each year passes, it becomes more and more imperative for companies to take a pro-active role in managing their reputation online.

SocialCare2012

Plenty more findings are available in this report, and it’s well worth the read, so be sure to check it out.  Special thanks to colleague @DanPihlainen for originally sharing this document.

August 15, 2012

I challenge you to Google yourself! [Infographic]

A simple Google search to see what results come up when your name is punched into the worlds biggest search engine – It’s just a smart thing to do. Feel free to head over to Google now to do a quick search…I’ll wait…Did you like what you found?

You may be surprised to know that you are not the only one searching for information about you online. It turns out that just about everybody wants to know more about you, and it’s not just your family and friends:

  • 79% of HR recruiters and hiring managers screen job candidates by reviewing online information about them.
  • 86% of hiring managers have told candidates that they were rejected based on what was found online about them.
  • Even 12% of College admissions officers said that posts which include photos of alcohol consumption, illegal activity, and the use of vulgar language have negatively impacted a potential student’s chances in being granted admission.

Sometimes I think that too much of the “Google yourself often” conversation is framed around the fear of having bad things appear online about you. This fear approach may motivate some, but I prefer to remind people of the opportunity angle. Yes, I firmly agree that it’s a good idea to keep your questionable behaviour offline as much as possible, but it’s also good to remember that hiring managers are looking to find out good things about you too…so they can hire you. This infographic from 2011 says that 68% of recruiters have hired a candidate because of what they saw about their potential hire on social media. Some of these reasons were because the candidates profile:

  • Gave a positive impression of their personality and organizational fit
  • Supported their professional qualifications
  • Showed the candidate was creative
  • Showed solid communications skills
  • Demonstrated the candidate’s awards and accolades
  • etc.

Googling yourself isn’t about vanity, egotism, or a sense of self-importance. It’s about ensuring your online presence is an accurate representation of who you are personally and professionally. You wouldn’t submit a resume without proofreading it, so it just makes sense to take a few moments each month to Google yourself and “proofread” the information available about you online. If you don’t like what you see, you can take steps to remove questionable posts/photos and change your online behaviour going forward. It’s better to start now than to wait until you are actively looking for a job.

For some additional facts, stats, and tips to help you find out what the internet is saying about you, check out the infographic below from www.backgroundcheck.org.

IMPORTANT NOTE: This infographic asks you to log out of Google to get “unbiased results”. It is true that this will disconnect the search results from any information Google has stored about your Google Account. But Google also uses third-party cookies that your browser has stored to customize your results as well. To turn off both of these customizations at the same time, all you have to do is add the simple “&pws=0” URL parameter to the end of your search URL, hit enter, and you will see the results most people on the web will see. The URL should then look something like this https://www.google.com/search?q=Your+Name&pws=0. Big thanks to colleague @erichollebone for sharing the URL parameter tip.

The Google Yourself Challenge
From: BackgroundCheck.org

…And, on a lighter note, a final thought on “Googling yourself” from 30 Rock’s Jack Donaghy and Tracy Jordan…

June 26, 2012

YouTube shares the secrets that could make you an online video star

I recently stumbled across the YouTube Creator Playbook – a 91-page guide to producing online videos. It provides a detailed breakdown of how to create, publish, and promote great content.

Each section has an overview, details, examples, and a how-to-guide to help all of us amateur YouTubers become a little more professional. It’s quite thorough, and contains sections covering:

  • YouTube Analytics
  • Grabbing your audience with a 15-second hook
  • Calls to action
  • The importance of consistency: Releasing content at scheduled intervals
  • Tent-pole programming
  • Optimization (metadata, thumbnail, channel page, publishing, etc.)
  • Involving your audiences
  • Spreading your videos onto other social netowrks
  • Video annotations
  • Playlists and video responses
  • Video production and publishing checklists
  • And more

If you’re in the online video business, I strongly recommend this read.

BUT…If you’re in the Ottawa area this week (Wednesday, June 27th), you could also drop in on the YouTube Workshop – Create, Engage, Monetize to get some first-hand instruction directly from two senior YouTubers. This FREE event bills itself as “an informative hands-on session to understand what it takes to ‘go viral,’ reach the right audience, and ultimately monetize your content!” During the YouTube Workshop, attendees will hear personal experiences from presenters about how they were able to engage with their audience and make their channel a success. Basically, the whole event is about learning how some content creators are doing gangbusters online, and how to follow in their success.

As an added teaser, there will be a “special guest appearance” from a popular YouTube star. I asked the event organizer if they could share more details and was told “It’s someone with incredible experience using YouTube, Google+ and Google hangouts as a way to expand and monetize their brands.”

I’m definitely looking forward to this event.

More about the speakers:

Andres Palmiter, Audience Development Strategist for YouTube, who previously worked for comScore where he managed the global sales of their video measurement service, Video Metrix. Before joining comScore, Andres worked at Next New Networks (NNN) where he went from intern, to executive producer, to partner manager. He’s most proud of recording the NNN chime that ends every NNN-distributed video (ding). Over 1 billion views and counting! Andres’s current YouTube subscriptions include ZeFrank1, Numberphile, Vsauce, and AgentXPQ.

Brandon Gross, Sr. Strategist with YouTube’s Next Lab, where he works with funded partners and identifies new talent to grow on the platform. Prior to joining YouTube, Brandon founded and was a Managing Partner at Urgent Content, the agency responsible for the award-winning Flip Video broadcast and online campaign. Prior to forming Urgent Content, Brandon was a Creative Executive and then Director of Brand Engagement at Current TV. He has produced hours of non-fiction broadcast and online television and co-created the G4 TV series, “2 Months, $2 Million.”

June 14, 2012

Father’s Day and your Digital Dad

When I was a boy (way back in the 1900s), Father’s Day and Mother’s Day were easy. You got together with family, ate a lot of food, and gave mom and dad cards and gifts. Simple, easy, done. But earlier this week, I started thinking about all the other bases I have to cover because my dad is on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and of course email. I figured that this now means a wall post, tweet, G+ hangout, and possibly a lame animated eCard. But after a little bit of my daily internet rummaging, I realized that the wonderful world wide web has a lot to offer if you’re looking online for Father’s Day ideas…Here’s what I found:

Social Coupons. Groupon, and other community buying services, are tailoring their offers this week for dad. You can get a great deal for dad on: 5-hour competition BBQ cooking classes, exotic car racing laps at race tracks, $150 worth of golf equipment, photo mugs,  6-hour charter salmon fishing trip, etc.

As a mild warning, I bought a Groupon from FTD florists this past Mother’s Day and was seriously disappointed. The flowers never showed up. So I tweeted about  the issue, and within 24 hours I was refunded in full and a great bouquet arrived for my mother. Good customer service from FTD and Groupon to make this right.

Father’s Day Gift Ideas. Sure, there are plenty of retailers and other websites offering their ideas for dad, but my favourite has to be the 10 Best Father’s Day Gifts for Geeky Dads from @Mashable. Here you’ll find binary code t-shirts, lego tie clips, Moleskine notebook shell cases, and more.

iPhone Apps. Appadvice.com curated a list of iPhone apps dad might like. With offerings of primarily sports games and reading apps, this list left me scratching my head a bit; perhaps it is designed for the teen-dad in your family.

Google Doodle. Google has showcased a Father’s Day Google Doodle (log0) every year for over a decade, so watch for a new one this Sunday. I anticipate they will use the one below originally posted March 19, 2012 when Father’s Day is celebrated in some European and Central American countries.

And, of course, if you were out late on Saturday night and you’re due at the pulpit in 15 minutes but forgot your sermon at the pub, don’t worry: pull out your smart phone and check out these Father’s Day sermons from preaching.com.

Hope everyone has a great Father’s Day full of red meat, relaxation, and good beer!

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