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Browsing "social media"

Blocking Social Media at the Workplace

Jan 2, 2010   //   by FreshTraffic   //   facebook, linux, myspace, social media, twitter  //  6 Comments

You hear all the time about employees using social media websites while at work, well if you haven’t already blocked them, here’s a simple trick.

In Linux, you can type “sudo vi /etc/hosts” and add the following lines:

127.0.0.1 twitter.com
127.0.0.1 www.twitter.com
127.0.0.1 facebook.com
127.0.0.1 www.facebook.com
127.0.0.1 myspace.com
127.0.0.1 www.myspace.com

What these lines say is “Computer, when you try to use the domain name system (DNS) to resolve twitter.com to an IP address, hard-code the IP address to be 127.0.0.1.” Note that 127.0.0.1 is a special IP address that corresponds to your own computer. In essence, these entries make it impossible to browse to Twitter, Facebook, or Myspace. You might need to reboot your computer too for the settings to take effect.

Thanks to Matt for the tip.

Social Media in Politics

Nov 16, 2009   //   by FreshTraffic   //   media technology, obama, social media  //  320 Comments

Sometimes the most important revolutions are the quiet ones. This is especially true in the case of technology, which has a way of sneaking up on us.

Take cell phones, for example. A decade ago, they were a luxury item. Suddenly, everyone seemed to have one. What had once been a sign of status became commonplace, all with hardly anybody noticing — and without any central direction.

Such is the case with new media. Back in 2004, when Howard Dean launched his run for the presidency, his campaign’s revolutionary use of the Internet to raise funds and organize was considered novel.

Political writers spilled gallons of ink trying to understand the Dean campaign’s youth-oriented, technological approach to American politics. Then Dean let out his famous scream. John Kerry won the Democratic nomination. Dean’s campaign innovations faded in the background.

Dean took the Democratic Party to the new-media frontier. But it was Barack Obama who settled there. The Obama campaign’s use of technology was groundbreaking.

The campaign brass knew that Obama had a special appeal to young voters. They knew that young people communicate through media — Facebook, MySpace, SMS Text messaging, YouTube, Twitter, podcasts and so on — that leave the old fogies who typically run campaigns scratching their heads. So they recruited a bunch of tech-savvy youngsters to run Internet operations.

The Obama campaign blog was packed with content. The campaign updated it regularly. One of Obama’s top advisers was Google CEO Eric Schmidt.

The Obama team announced Joe Biden’s selection as vice presidential nominee through a text message. When he became president, Obama didn’t end his embrace of technology. The White House has a blog. Obama records a video edition of his weekly presidential message and posts it on YouTube.

Social Media by the Numbers

Oct 30, 2009   //   by FreshTraffic   //   internet news, social media, social networking  //  Comments Off

It’s everywhere, on cabs, on bus stops, in the papers, on the radio.. social media. “Find us on Facebook! Twitter with us!” etcetera, but really, how prevalent is this lucrative advertising medium?

Interaction with larger companies, brand names, was up to 78% of all social media activists; an overall increase of 32% from 2008. And of all users, 95% believe that not only should big brands have a social media presence of some sort, and 89% of all users believe that active interaction should be taking place in this manner.

As for customer experience tieing into social networking (a survey conducted by Tealeaf via Econsultancy), 75% or respondants ahve said their choice of retailer was influenced by what was read on social media sites, while 56% admitted to avoiding a company after a bad review had been posted. In total, 51% of respondents came about as being influenced by what they have seen on social media sites.

All business can benefit by exploring, and taking advantage of all advertising opportunities available to them, but small business owners tend to benefit most as the ROI (return on investment), most often only your time, is greatest. And yet, only 9% of small business owners take advantage of Twitter as a means to market themselves. 32% of small business owners intend to use social media networking within the next year however, and 39% plan to include customer reviews and ratings on their site.

Just in the US, Facebook popularity increased by 194% through to September 2009, launching it into the number 1 social network spot, with 59% of all US visitors to social networking sites. Myspace, came in at the number 2 spot with 30% of market share, a drop of 55% from September 2008. Bringing up the back end was Tagged at 2% and Twitter with 1.9% of the market visits. Twitter, being the newest player to the field should definitely not be discounted however. Getting Mom and dad online has helped, as usage of social networking rose by 77% by users over 55.

Another SEO Tip

Sep 9, 2009   //   by FreshTraffic   //   internet advertising, seo techniques, social media  //  12 Comments

Social media, is it right for your business? Could it be a free substitute for a traditional (read: expensive) advertising plan? How much time should you spend in the care and feeding of all those profiles? The answers may surprise you.

Twitter grew 3,000 percent in April. Facebook hosted 61.2 million visitors in March. LinkedIn counts 20 million users worldwide.

With a potential audience that big, it’s no wonder savvy marketers are looking to unlock the secrets of social media as another way to get the word out about their businesses. Free access to many social media accounts (and potential clients) just adds to the allure.

Though the platforms will differ based on the type of business, with the accessability of the internet, all small organizations should have a solid Web site, e-mail list, and a contact database before venturing into social media.

Blogs: Write Your Way to Success
If you want to build customer loyalty, start blogging now. It takes minutes to setup, and can be the beginning of branding your business. Blogging takes disseminating information about a company a step beyond formal press releases, ads, marketing brochures and Web sites.

That attachment doesn’t have to equal a huge time commitment, but expect to spend an hour or two to knock out a post. The rewards are can be seen immediately: Blogs that are refreshed regularly get a boost in search engine rankings. In addition, it also helps to establish you as an authority in your field.

Twitter: Tweet Tweet
To Tweet or not to Tweet, that is the question. The answer? Yes, and ideally as soon as possible! Twitter, with it’s constant communication, and somewhat instant answer sessions, provides an immediate interactivity for your company. If a customer has a question about a product or service, they can simply Tweet your page for the answer. It provides the “hands on” feel to the internet, which appeals to consumers.

YouTube: Be a Star
With a little creativity and relatively low overhead (Flip video cameras can be had for as little as $100) uploading a short clip can be a rapid way to test the market, another way to capitalize on the fast pace of social media is by posting videos on YouTube. Attach your blog, twitter, and website address in your channel info, and watch your traffic bloom as you gain subscribers.

To learn how to create good content, just pick out some viral videos and take note of their methods. The payoff? There are more computers in homes in this day and age, that’s a massive potential audience.

LinkedIn: Business Networking Made Easier
Creating a profile allows an entrepreneur to create an online career history, then to connect with others they’ve worked with. Obtaining a recommendation from a former colleague or existing client may help sway a potential investor or customer. A glowing recommendation is a gold star for any type of business, so why not collect and post them for all to see? It’s easily done on LinkedIn.

Time is money, it’s all about how you manage it. “Previously wasted down time like sitting in taxis for 20 minutes or standing in a bank line for 10 minutes is now spent on my mobile phone, bouncing between Twitter and Facebook. It’s getting easier and easier, and for branding an entrepreneur, I think it’s golden.”

No matter what the platform, Blanchard says the true value of social media is found in the conversation. “You are not necessarily going to get 150 comments per day, but you are engaging a potential customer or client in the way you wouldn’t in an ordinary day.”

Retailer ‘turns to internet marketing over TV’

Aug 19, 2009   //   by FreshTraffic   //   gap, internet marketing, social media  //  132 Comments


The Gap has chosen to forgo traditional television advertising for its new fashion line, instead opting for social media as its marketing channel.

Born to Fit, a new line of denim wear, will be using Facebook as its main advertising channel in order to reach consumers.

Created by AKQA, the campaign will feature banner ads placed on blogs to state what each page is there to do. The banners on popsugar.com – a lifestyle and entertainment site – state the journal is ‘born to strategise’.

Although the campaign will also use more traditional marketing methods such as cinema, print and outdoor ads, their purpose is to send more consumers to the Facebook page. Once there, users will find a video of Rada Shadick – Gap’s fit engineer – explaining the inspiration behind the new line.

Experts in the online marketing sphere recently suggested that it was necessary for digital advertisers to harness the power of social networking as it offered good campaign opportunities.

Brought to you by FreshTraffic – experts in Search Engine Marketing & Internet Marketing.

Work Together to Build Strong Links

Aug 10, 2009   //   by FreshTraffic   //   linking, online marketing, seo, social media  //  61 Comments

To make the most of out your SEO linking strategy, make sure that the rest of your marketing team understands what keywords and pages you’re targeting.

Some of the best natural links come from work you’re already doing elsewhere, from press releases to social media.

To build an efficient and successful marketing campaign, be sure to cross reference your marketing efforts with every other member of your team.

Profiting from social media

Aug 8, 2009   //   by FreshTraffic   //   social media, twitter, web marketing  //  9 Comments

It seems like a long time since Internet startups thought they could offer a free product and make a living selling ads. That would be in 2004, during the birth of Web 2.0.

Suggested is the incredible pace of change in the Internet’s evolution. In its own historical scale, that moment would be equivalent to the Renaissance: the Dark Ages of the dot-com bubble was past, but superstition still at times superseded reason.

To wit, the mantra was: “Build a community of users first, monetize later.” How far we’ve come.

“This is very clear now. It wasn’t clear until a while ago.” Though the Web is filled with free tools that let people talk, share content, and offer advice, few of them make money. Twitter, the social network where people communicate in 140-character bursts, is the most famous among them. Though it boasts millions of users and continues to grow at a cheek-rippling rate, it has yet to make a dime.

Its leaders said they won’t display ads on the service, and they won’t ask its users to start paying for it.

But they’ve hinted at a revenue model that is becoming increasingly popular with new startups in social media: Charge the companies that use it as a marketing tool.

Helping businesses harness social media

Aug 7, 2009   //   by FreshTraffic   //   social media, social networking  //  138 Comments

Tweets got you down? Blue about your blog? Friendless on Facebook?

No clue what all this means?

It’s OK. There’s help out there, at least for business owners.

Social media is the new communications frontier; and while some are reaping the benefits of these modern customer channels, others are still stuck trying to figure out what it all means.

When we talk about social media, it is different from traditional marketing methods. In the past all we’ve always done is talked at our clients, told them what we wanted, enticed them to use our product,”

Social media is different in that we aren’t talking at our people anymore, we are having conversations with them. They get to have an opinion now.

Treat your computer as you would treat a business networking event, the only difference is you would spend 30 minutes getting there, an hour there and 30 minutes back and how many contacts have you made? “You’ve made maybe three to five good contacts. But you are so busy, you didn’t return the call, you didn’t put the business card in your database.”

Compare that with the millions of potential contacts that could be made on social networking sites. Get Blogging, Tweeting & Linking In today

Run If You Hear These Five SEO Marketing Statements

Aug 6, 2009   //   by FreshTraffic   //   online advertising, online marketing, search marketing, seo, social media  //  3 Comments

If you hear your agency, consultant or service provider make any of these five statements, consider running.

1.) Hi, I’m Mike from XXX National Directory/Search/Ad Network Company, and I am a Marketing Consultant with the company. I am here to help you build your marketing plan.

RUN! FAST! Nothing against these folks (really), but selling Yellow Pages or even a “boxed” pay-per-click solution does not make you a marketing consultant. It makes you someone that is trying to sell Yellow Pages or a “boxed” pay-per-click solution. There’s nothing wrong with selling. God knows we all do it in some form or fashion, but please don’t try to mislead people by calling yourself a marketing consultant.

Clarification: If you are in fact interesting in purchasing what essentially amounts to an advertising package, by all means engage with these folks. Just don’t expect to get any marketing strategy advice out of them.


2.) If you choose us for your SEO project, we can guarantee multiple top 10 rankings on your targeted keywords.

I thought these people had gone away, but it appears they’re back in full force. And I can’t blame clients for listening. When someone tells you they can guarantee results, it’s hard to ignore.

That being said, let’s all say this together: SEO is not a quick fix, set it and forget it solution for driving traffic . The best SEO strategies I’ve seen involve a long-term commitment to the creation of relevant content, building that content in multiple formats, and finding multiple distribution channels for that content.

I am guessing there are companies that make an SEO guarantee and do follow through on it. I am also guessing that those guarantees are made on keywords like “patent attorneys that also handle divorce cases in reston virginia”.

3.) You really can’t afford to wait on addressing social media. We should build out your presence on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter right away.

Stop. Please. We all realize that social media is important, even though it’s getting a bit crowded. Like anything else though, you shouldn’t build anything if it doesn’t fit into a more strategic plan.

Some of these groups will bait you with the promise of thousands of Twitter followers, Facebook friends, or LinkedIn connections overnight. Great. Go ahead and recruit thousands of followers, all of whom could care less about your message. They’re following you because they’re trolling for followers as well. And the followers/friends/connections you do want? You’ll turn them off quick with the hundreds of meaningless updates you’ll have to post to accumulate all the meaningless followers.

Build a social media strategy. Make sure it ties back to your overall marketing strategy. Then join, listen, learn, and eventually execute. It’s that simple.

And one more thing, and I know this will be painful for some “social media gurus” to hear. Social media is NOT a necessity, nor is it necessarily effective, for every business and business category.

4.) We know you think of us as a print design shop, but just last week we added capabilities in web design and development, search engine optimization, pay-per-click management, email marketing, social media…oh, and we can also handle your dry cleaning if necessary.

Wow, just last week huh? So you must have hired an entire new team right? Nope. Acquired a company that specializes in those areas? Nope. Formed a joint venture with a web marketing agency? Not so much.

There’s absolutely nothing wrong with trusting a marketing service provider that has done you right over the years and who is now claiming to offer new services. Just make sure you probe a bit or execute a small trial project before diving in head first.

5.) You shouldn’t cut back on your marketing/advertising spend in a recession. As a matter of fact, I was reading in Business Week (or insert another referenced publication) that the companies that spend MORE during a recession end up as the top brands years later.

So your client just laid off half his/her staff, notified remaining staff that salaries and bonus levels have been frozen for the time being, cancelled plans to open the new office in the commuter-friendly downtown location…and you’re going to bring the “increase your marketing spend” message?

Don’t get me wrong. Increasing marketing spending may be right for certain companies; we’ve even seen a few of those up close and personal in the last few months. But the first move – as an agency, consultant or service provider – should be to figure out how to spend your client’s marketing dollars more efficiently.

Social Media can open our eyes to the value of physical life

Aug 4, 2009   //   by FreshTraffic   //   social media, social networking  //  1 Comment

The culture war over social media is raging out of control. In the latest conflagration, Vincent Nichols, the new Archbishop of Westminster, launched a vitriolic attack on the unnaturalness of social media.

In America, critics of the social media revolution are also growing in strength. One of the most popular books of the summer is Matthew B. Crawford’s Shop Class as Soulcraft, a gently defiant defense of physical labour in the age of the digital social network. Much less gentle, but equally defiant is Digital Barbarism, a spirited polemic by the American novelist Mark Helprin, which accuses social media of everything from wrecking the physical economy of culture to destroying human literacy and personal conversation.

Unfortunately, many social media evangelists don’t seem to listening to these critics. For all the manifold warnings about the impact of social media, there is still a common belief amongst social media utopians that network communities are uniting rather than dividing human beings. Take, for example, the forthcoming new book (to be published in the US on September 3 by Portfolio) by Shel Israel, appropriately entitled Twitterville, which claims the “conversational era” puts an end to the constraint of geography and enables the flowering of “global neighborhoods.”

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