Social Media Marketing Blog

ALS Ice Bucket Challenge
By now, I’m sure many of you have seen several ALS Ice Bucket Challenge videos come across your Facebook News Feed. Check out these three must-reads to learn more about this social media phenomenon.
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snapchat360b / Shutterstock.com
The brilliance of Snapchat is its capability to be in a digital social space where one has no fears of being found out. Most popular amongst ages 13-25, Snapchat is an app only made for mobile phones, with bills paid by parents. But why is this app more valuable to the most connected facet of American culture?

If you happen to personally know any millennials, the fact that this app tops Twitter comes as no surprise. 18-34 year olds have proven to keep their mobile phones within arms reach at all times. They open their phones and their apps much like meth addicts scratch their noses.

snapchat teens

But more to the point, Snapchat has not only proven to provide a quick dose of attention, it has also proven to further the illusion that the user is the center of the world. Millennials like nothing more than thinking of their social appearances, and Snapchat is the technology that makes them feel as though they are the center of the universe.

Snapchat has a few features that distinguish it from Twitter—firstly it is ephemeral, allowing the impulsive and distracted minds of millennials to act without thought—the impermanence of the content they share exists consequences or records, allowing for that content to be any variable of something their mother would not wish to see.

The next advantage that Snapchat has over Twitter is that it allows you to choose your audience, your crush, or your clique, allowing you to entertain and be entertained in many social circles and to extend your local into the digital social. On Snapchat, you have to know exact user names in order to find users and in many cases have to actually know the people you are chatting with.

Twitter is also constant updates that evoke conversation, but users often follow people and celebrities who carry significant social clout, real authority or wit. Most Snapchats are 10 seconds of, at best, banal material. If you look at Google images of Snapchat, you start to get an idea of the raunchy content being shared (Naughties, Screenshot Leaked, etc.) Millennials aren’t looking for another platform to interact with real issues, they are looking to be constantly updated with bits of things they and their friends find funny, raunchy, or sexy.

 

Think about all the photos you take in a week, in a month, how about the last six months. Think about all of those pictures, not just of you, but of your friends. Places you’ve gone, things you’ve eaten, exercise routines you’ve started, ballgames, concerts, movies, vacations, on, and on, and on.
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Why does working in internet marketing sometimes seem to suck so much more than it really should have to?
Okay real quick so that you don’t get bored before I get to my point, here’s why:

1. Marketing professionals are perversely incentivized to focus on delivering services that are already declining in terms of their impact, and may already be obsolete. 
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pinterest profile image change
In case you missed it (ICYMI), Pinterest announced changes to how profile images appear this week—they’re now circular. To keep your profile image looking good, follow these recommendations from Pinterest’s blog post about the update:

  • Upload a square, 200X200 px image (JPG or PNG)
  • Keep your logo centered and inside the “safe area”
  • Avoid images with pre-cut corners shapes and any artwork that stretches to the edge

Happy pinning!

Firebelly blog posts
Facebook was a popular subject on our blog in July! All three of our most-read posts were about everyone’s favorite (or not-so-favorite) social network. In case you missed them, here they are.
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The idea of being on your phone is, these days, associated with waiting for your coffee, trying to look cool when your date is late, or using GPS maps to try and find a bar. But what if there was something that encouraged you to not only use your phone in public, but simultaneously connect you more deeply with your physical surrounding? What if your phone urged you to explore—to get out and see a city? Here in Indy, that idea is in full swing with The City of Forking Paths—the newest playable city game to hit town.

City of Forking Paths Indaianpolis

Vishant Shah, the man who made The City of Forking Paths a reality for Indianapolis, first saw the capabilities of a city adventure game while in London playing the Pan Studio game Hello Lamp Post. Shah found the game to be somewhat of a SMS guided walking tour, but also something that transformed the city into an adventure board—where local writers could host their own stories and people could pay to follow along.

Coming back to the states, Shah, a member of the crowd funding company Concept Catapult, thought to contact the developers for an Indianapolis version of the game. Today, City of Forking Paths is a reality.  It is a playable city game that will debut the weekend of August 14-17 on the streets of downtown Indianapolis. Players can choose to access different stories from the app that people can play, including a game targeted toward attendees of GenCon.

Boggstown version at GenCon

“Playable cities” are taking the gaming world and turning conventional physical stagnation of board games and computer games into a space where the city itself is the board and you are a piece of the puzzle. Playable cities also reach far beyond the convention of walking tours as far as getting to know a city because you are given the choice to go left or right, to see that monument or that library—you decide what you want to do.

And lastly, by choosing your game, you are deciding what story you want to hear from a local person who has a deep connection to their physical, local area. As you walk along the streets of Indianapolis getting text messages of your location and storyline—prompting you to change locations and answers—City of Forking Paths will blend fiction and truth, history and futurism, and you will enter a world that will make you remember the city in ways like never before.

If you’ve got 30 minutes around August 14-17, hand yourself over to the game, and let it take you wherever. Let your phone become your remote control for enjoying the city.

 photo twitter-growth_zps40430710.jpgAnthony Correia / Shutterstock.com

This week, Twitter follows Facebook in exceeding Wall Street’s expectations for quarterly and annual earnings. Contrary to the buzz of slowed earnings — see Mashable‘s “Twitter’s User Growth Is Tapering Off Very Quickly” article — the company is up 124% year-over-year.

This Business Insider Intelligence chart shows that, beyond earnings, there has also been significant growth in monthly users and Twitter timeline viewers.

 photo twitter-chart_zpse81685f0.png

According to Twitter CEO Dick Costolo, the increase in monthly use is due to feature updates on the platform—not just because of a global event like the World Cup.

Although Twitter is no Facebook, these earnings deepen the authority of Twitter as a leading digital sharing platform, a position that, just like Facebook, can only be further established by increased internet connectivity and increased access to wireless devices.

With continued development of user-friendly platforms and proof of increasing audience size, the social web of Twitter is thicker, stronger, and more intertwined than ever. Twitter is making the case that there is no time like the present to establish your brand in 140 characters or less!

 photo website-content-on-pinterest_zps717e3893.jpgPaul Stringer / Shutterstock.com

Pinterest web analytics will show you content being pinned from your own domain, but what if you’re curious about what’s being pinned from competitors’ websites?

There’s a quick and easy (and free) way to find out! Simply use this URL:

http://pinterest.com/source/CompetitorWebsite.com/

Enter your competitor’s domain in the appropriate spot and you are good to go.

Insights can always been gleaned from a competitive analysis. Happy hunting!

 photo facebook-world-growth_zps2ee7e946.jpgdolphfyn / Shutterstock.com

The recent report of Facebook’s third quarter growth, in addition to the company’s opportunities for further growth, proves that the social network is still the most predominant, dependable and versatile social media site for marketers throughout the world.

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