5 Reasons Why Your CEO Should be Tweeting

By Saturday, January 31, 2015 0 Permalink 0

Does your business tweet? Great! But what about your business leaders?

If you’ve ever spoken to your leadership about using Twitter – or if you are that leadership – you’ve probably encountered any number of protestations and roadblocks. Twitter is a time-sink. It’s frivolous. There are too many complaining customers and not enough advocates. It can’t be measured, so it doesn’t matter to the bottom line.

But the benefits of CEOs and other executives using Twitter can far outweigh the downsides, if done properly. Twitter can connect businesses to their customers on a more personal level than any other digital tool – and it is that personal connection that builds trust and loyalty.

1. Meet the press

Speaking one-on-one to the press can be a great way to network and make product or partnership announcements. And if your CEO is on Twitter, this process becomes a lot easier.

Many journalists use their own Twitter accounts to source stories and conduct research. They are always on the lookout for a good scoop. By connecting to the journalists covering your industry, your CEO will be able to form positive relationships with them. He or she can compliment them on a recent article, point them to industry news, and even offer to conduct an interview as an expert.

2. Plug in to what matters

With even 10 minutes every morning, your company’s leadership can quickly scan the latest news and thought pieces in your industry. They can search out who’s vocal about various topics, what news pieces seem to be garnering attention, and what their customers are interested in. Of course, great marketing teams in larger companies are likely already intensively using Twitter to conduct research, but by setting up their own accounts, CEOs can take a quick peek into the real-time conversations surrounding topics they’re interested in.

3. Perform crisis management

CEOs like AirAsia’s Tony Fernandes have led the way in terms of social media crisis management.

Your CEO can address issues during key crisis moments in an effort to inform and connect with the public. Of course, any crisis management needs to be done with tact and an understanding of the medium – you don’t want your CEO “angry tweeting” against a dissatisfied customer! But by tweeting transparently during a crisis, your leadership can show that they are unafraid to face challenges head on, and may even stop a crisis before it gets out of hand.

4. Become a thought leader

By tweeting his or her thoughts about your industry, company news and other related topics, your CEO can quickly shoot up the influence ranks to become a thought leader.

Many CEOs have distinguished themselves as not only business leaders, but influential members of a community willing to share knowledge and grow ideas. They are looked up to by their customers, partners, and even competitors. By using Twitter as the medium through which to share their thoughts, CEOs can show that they understand, and can respond to, industry news in real time.

5. Raise your brand’s profile

Last but not least, your CEO’s Twitter presence will do wonders for raising your brand’s profile, both on an offline. The more he or she interacts with other leaders and your business’ customers, the more visible your entire company will become. By tweeting regularly, a CEO can effectively “speed up” the process of building brand recognition and loyalty.

(Businessman on tablet image via Shutterstock)

10 ways Facebook has ruined your life

Facebook has ruined your life. You might think it’s this awesome, free resource to keep you connected to your friends and family, but it’s slowly breaking you

We have a very important list of 10 ways the social networking site has crept up on you, killed your confidence and joy, and stolen small pleasures.

See also: 9 things you need to quit crowdsourcing on Facebook

Take a look through our reasons below. Did we skip a way in which Facebook has changed your life for the worse? Share it in the comments.

1. No one sends you birthday cards anymore.

Image: Facebook

How many actual, physical birthday cards did you get on your last special day? Even those aging relatives you used to rely on to hit you up with a Hallmark card every year — they’re now on Facebook, too Read more…

More about Facebook, Social Media, Features, and Humor

Social Media Jobs: Avion Tequila, Architizer

By Saturday, January 31, 2015 0 Permalink 0

This week, Avion Tequila is hiring a social media manager, while Architizer needs a social media coordinator. Wellesley College is seeking a social media director, and Newsday Media is looking for a social media moderator. Get the scoop on these openings below, and find additional social media jobs on Mediabistro.

Social Media Manager Avion Tequila (New York, NY)
Social Media Coordinator Architizer (New York, NY)
Social Media Director Wellesley College (Wellesley, MA)
Social Media Moderator Newsday Media (Melville, NY)
Social Media Strategist Market America (Miami Beach, FL)

Find more great social media jobs on our job board. Looking to hire? Tap into our network of talented SocialTimes pros and post a risk-free job listing. For real-time openings and employment news, follow @MBJobPost.

Mobile Game Roundup: Radiation Island, LuckyPop and More

By Friday, January 30, 2015 0 Permalink 0

This week was a big one for mobile game releases, with 2K releasing a companion game for its upcoming console title, Evolve, and Uken Studios releasing a twist on the traditional card battle genre with its game, Titans. Here’s a look at some of the other new mobile games, which hit app stores this week.

Radiation Island ($2.99 on iOS) – In this open-world survival adventure from Atypical Games, players find themselves stranded in an alternate reality, challenged with collecting anything they can to survive. Players will solve the island’s puzzles, and can explore seemingly abandoned villages and old military compounds while fighting off zombies and other enemies. Players can hunt or gather fruit to prevent starvation, will craft weapons and tools, and even have access to basic vehicles for easier transportation around the island. The download price of $2.99 is in celebration of the game’s launch, but this will increase to $4.99 at some point in the future.

Epic Racers ($1.99 on iOS) – This underwater racing game from Ukranian developer, Playfo, gives players an upgradeable submarine, and challenges them to win races against 25 AI-controlled opponents. As players complete races, they’ll earn gold used to upgrade their submarine with better armor, greater speed and more. Players receive additional free gold by completing in-game achievements and daily quests.

Jolly Join (Free on iOS) – Imperia Online’s level-based puzzle title is similar to games like Dots or Flow Free, as players are challenged with connecting alien creatures of the same color by drawing lines between them. Players can only create lines with up-to three straight segments and two turns, and additional challenge comes from level timers or move limits on some stages.

Exit Strategy (Free on iOS) – This puzzle title from Chillingo challenges players to help an orb reach each level’s exit using portals. Players swipe on a cube to create an entry portal, and swipe again to create an exit portal for the orb, making sure to avoid any obstacles in the path to the exit. As levels become more complicated, players will need to watch out for lasers and moving pieces, or collect stars before actually reaching the exit. While players can retry stages as many times as necessary, a power-up system allows them to progress more quickly by removing obstacles, slowing down the orb’s movement and more.

Top Eleven 2015 (Free on iOS, Android) – Nordeus has released the latest version of its football (soccer) management app on mobile. The game allows players to manage their own football club, controlling multiple aspects of its development, from their players’ tactics and transfers to club finances, stadium expansions and more. Various improvements are available in this newest version of the game, from new animations and 3D environments to a more difficult transfer negotiation system and faster team training and player selection.

Endless Balance (Free on iOS) – Tapinator’s newest game is a sequel to 2014’s Balance of the Shaolin. Endless Balance challenges players to remain balanced on top of a tree as it grows endlessly toward the sky, with balance being maintained by tapping and/or holding on either side of the screen to lean. Obstacles, like bees, will appear on the screen at times, so players may need to tap with both fingers to jump over them, still without falling. Players can unlock multiple characters for play, including ninjas, a superhero and an astronaut. Additional characters, obstacles and power-ups will be added in future updates.

LuckyPop (Free on iOS) – The latest game from SongPop creator, FreshPlanet, LuckyPop is a “clicker” title which encourages players to rapidly tap on a button to collect a currency called Luck. Players can spend Luck on gifts to send to their friends, which increase the other players’ passive Luck production. Players can receive their own gifts from friends, and will receive the occasional item from Botty, an AI friend, or from bonuses appearing on the screen every few moments. The ultimate goal of the game is to collect one of every gift, wonder and challenge item in the game, which is easier said than done. LuckyPop is also available to play for free on Facebook and Android.

Sons of Anarchy: The Prospect ($1.99 on iOS) – Orpheus Interactive, in partnership with Fox Digital Entertainment, has released the first episode (of ten) in this narrative-driven adventure game. The game stars new and familiar characters from the Sons of Anarchy television series, with this first episode setting the groundwork for the rest of the series. The game is described as offering content perfect for both diehard fans of the franchise, as well as newcomers. The game will be released separately on PC, Mac and Android later this year.

Pro Pinball (Free on iOS) – Barnstorm’s mobile pinball game is based on the classic Pro Pinball series from the nineties, and features one free table to start: Timeshock! Players can play on the table for free until they hit 30 million points in a single player game. Standard and Deluxe versions of the game are available for $2.99 and $6.99, respectively, and introduce additional functionality, including an Operator’s Menu and a Glass-Off Mode, both in the Deluxe edition of the game.

Yet It Moves ($2.99 on iOS) – This 2D puzzle platformer from DeNA and Broken Rules is based on the award-winning PC and Wii game, “And Yet It Moves.” In the game, players tilt the world around them, turning walls into floors in order to navigate each pathway. As players tilt the world, they may trigger the release of obstacles, like ordinary rocks which suddenly become projectiles. Players need to safely navigate each set of pathways to reach an exit point before moving onto the next stage. In addition to the level-based mode, players can compete for high scores in a different level each day in the “Daily Run” mode.

Ninja Strike (Free on iOS) – Ninja Strike is the second title in Natsume’s “Ninja” series, following the release of Ninja Climb in 2013. The game is an endless runner, which sees players running from left to right across the screen, tapping on a jump button to jump over enemies and obstacles. Players can double jump over tall obstacles, and tap and hold on the jump button to glide over long distances. Players collect currency as they run, which can be spent on upgrades for the player. A premium currency system allows players to purchase additional runners.

Epic War TD 2 ($2.99 on Android) – AMT Games’ sequel to Epic War TD has been in development for more than two years, with this newest title challenging players to complete 50 missions while fighting against 44 types of enemies. The tower defense game gives players access to nine types of regular towers and four mega towers. Once players purchase the game, they receive access to everything, with no in-app purchases or paywalls blocking player’s advancement. The $2.99 price is a special launch promotion, and will increase in the future.

Disney Infinity: Toy Box 2.0 (Free on iOS) – This companion app to the console title Disney Infinity: Marvel Super Heroes allows players to create their own worlds and games starring over 60 characters from the Marvel and Disney universes. In the app, players can try a rotating selection of three characters for free at any one time. For console/PC players, users can access their existing Toy Boxes (worlds) within the mobile app, continuing where they left off on any platform. Users can input the web code cards from their physical Disney Infinity figures to bring those characters to life within the iOS game.

8 Ways to Become a Better Storyteller Through Social Media

By Friday, January 30, 2015 0 Permalink 0

While social media platforms have afforded us convenience in the line of communication, storytelling remains one of the most powerful tools to engage your customers to know your brand.

Advertising innovator and iconoclast Howard Gossage said that people do not actually read ads, but rather what would pique their interests. This is very much true today. With the advent of the Digital Age— and the rise of popular sites such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter — it was only a matter of how you would be able to capture the interest of your prospective customers. And visual storytelling is one way to do it.

Proof? Visual storytelling has become a successful marketing trend being used by big businesses such as Starbucks and Dunkin Donuts. In a recent advertisement released by Starbucks, it revealed why its baristas intentionally made an error in spelling the name of its customers. This stratagem of Starbucks was to prompt its customers to share their experiences on social media, and in effect giving a boost on the promotion of the brand name. It was effective; baristas kept getting your name wrong, and you still kept posting it online.

Ed Woodcock, director of narrative at Aesop Agency, said that the Digital Age ushered in a year in which “brand storytelling joined the mainstream.”

The infographic above shows the consumption levels among users on a daily basis. This very well shows that social media platforms have indeed become viable media in which to promote your products.

So here are 8 different ways to deliver an effective storytelling that would boost your brand:

1. Personalize your stories

Often you are told in story telling that you must deliver it as truthfully and honestly as possible, without beating around the bush. You want to get to the heart of the matter. William Bernbach said it best when he said that the most powerful element in advertising is the truth.

The same is true for visual storytelling. People want to listen to stories that they could relate to, shared experiences that would tug the heartstrings of the customers. McDonalds, for example, is very successful in telling short but sweet stories that every time would catch the attention of the viewers.

Moreover, Apple has been commended many times over for its sensitivity towards its customers. One of its most-watched videos was an LGBT pride march where the company handed out shirts with a different-colored Apple logo on them. It had become part of its thrust and social responsibility to reach out to its customer of all political stripes and colors, and different orientations.

2. Set your stories apart from others

To help your brand stand out and reach its shore to different people, you must offer engaging stories that would make them feel at ease and your brand accessible to them. Of course, you want the stories you tell to stand out from others. You must challenge conventional thinking. One way to do this is to know how your brand would pique the interests of your customers, and address their concerns, if there are any.

If need be, you could cater to a particular niche whose interests fit your brand’s traditional values. Or, in a larger scale, you must step outside of the box to capture a wider audience; if you are brave enough, go against the grain. This is why giant brands such as Apple are successful in what they do because they always push the envelope, and always remembers to include what had always been ignored. One of its taglines, “Inclusion Inspires Innovation,” worked effective on many levels.

3. Do it subtly, but effectively

The interface of social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter allows many posts to flood its news feed, creating clutter on your screen. It is hard to weed out from the stories uploaded every minute to find out those which were worth seeing, and those better left in the trash bin.

David Oglivy said that a good advertisement is one which sells the products without drawing attention to itself. You do not want to slap your products on the faces of your customers. This is what you would call a hard sell. And besides, people might not be interested in what you have to offer. So present your products in subtle way that it would not come off a nuisance to your customers. Your story must speak for itself. If it is done wonderfully, it would work its way to the screen of your target market.

4. Be a friend to your customers

One way to connect with your customers is to create a lasting relationship with them. This means accommodating their needs, without compromising your products’ quality. Possibly, the reason why many restaurants closed shop was because they had not been consistent with the quality of their food and their service, and thus driving their customers away. You are their friend; you must invite your customers to your home with warm milk and some cookies. If they have any comments and suggestions on your products, let their voices be heard. If they have scathing remarks on a post you made online, accept their feedback with an open mind. This way, they will be more forgiving to you.

5. Be consistent, but learn to push the envelope

The reason your customers are patronizing your products is primarily because of the quality of your products. Should the quality waver, your customers might opt to look elsewhere. But also, you must keep in mind that in the fast-paced, ever-changing Digital World we live in, cutthroat companies are everywhere with a breakthrough innovation. You must learn to keep up with the changes, and at the same time, not compromise the quality of your services.

6. Make your old stories new; avoid cliches

By now, you know that all stories have already been told, that there is nothing new anymore. Everything is a copy of a copy. While you could not contend with this fact, what you could do is to present stories in a fresh perspective, in a new light. Writer-artist John Cage said that there was nothing creative in the materials we do, the stories we tell, and the poems we write. You perform things on the traditions of those who have come before you. But with all the information available, and the anxiety of influence (as what critic Harold Bloom coined) you are working under, the advantage of this is that you could always mix and match different styles that would generate something new. For the new is always ready to be born.

7. Don’t sell yourself short

In this day and age, competition is cutthroat and marketing teams are cunning and sly. You must be ahead of them and yourself to step up your game. While this is an important component in advertising strategy, you must remember that what remains important is how you craft your content for social media.

What are you really trying to sell? What medium are you using? Are you communicating? You must highlight on this, and remember not to lose sight on the vision and thrust of your brand. Strategies to boost your brand must only come after you have perfected your brand. Over and above everything, your communication strategies are much more important than your advertising strategies.

8. Inspire innovation

Apple has a very inspiring message that goes: “Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels… They push the human race forward. And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.” This could not be more agreeable. Innovation starts from those who wish to start it. You have the power to create and inspire innovation with the products you sell and the stories you tell. And storytelling is one such powerful tool to act this out. As American writer Joan Didion said it, we live in order to tell stories.

Kimberly Grimms is a Social Media Today writer. Follow her @KimberlyGrimms.

Top image courtesy of Shutterstock.

French President Wants to Hold Social Networks Accountable for Hate Speech

By Friday, January 30, 2015 0 Permalink 0

Social networks are probably the most powerful communication tools of the modern age. But at what point do they stop being platforms for communication, and become the tools of hatred? And if they do become platforms for the likes of terrorists, are the networks themselves accountable? French President Francois Hollande has proposed legislation that would declare social networks “accomplices” if they do not block messages from extremists.

President Hollande spoke on this issue on earlier this week saying:

[Social networks] can no longer close their eyes if they are considered accomplices of what they host. We must act at the European and international level to define a legal framework so that Internet platforms which manage social media be considered responsible, and that sanctions can be taken.

As of yet, no legislation has been drafted, but holding social networks to account for the activities of users could be problematic. As we’ve seen with Reddit’s r/guns board public anger doesn’t necessarily institute change, and Reddit doesn’t want to give private data to outside sources.

When there is no impetus on the part of the social network to clamp down on otherwise legal behavior, forcing the removal of content can be difficult. However, there is evidence that terrorists are using social networks to further their aims. Networks can take down certain posts for violating the terms of service — graphic images, specifically threatening posts — but site wide policing is problematic at best.

Governments are quick to blame social media for its part in the proliferation of hate speech — and in some cases they’re right to. France has stricter hate speech laws than the U.S., and after the attacks on Charlie Hebdo’s offices, the police made 54 arrests related to statements made about the attacks. Some of these arrests were made as a result of social media posts.

Still, there’s some irony in the French government championing free speech, while arresting social media users, and calling for laws that would force social networks to do more to remove and block inflammatory postings. The issue of the accountability of social networks comes up time and again, and the current state of U.S. law seems to indicate that holding the social media companies responsible for third-party statements is impossible.

Police around the world can and have arrested suspects for their social network activity, but holding networks accountable for unremoved posts seems like an unenforceable law. That said, Twitter already removed more than 45,000 Isis related accounts during the latter part of 2014 of its own volition, so the proposed law might not be unworkable after all.

Image courtesy of Frederic Legrand – COMEO / Shutterstock.com.

Facebook Makes It Easier for iOS Game Developers to Add App Events

By Friday, January 30, 2015 0 Permalink 0

Facebook announced a move aimed at helping developers of iOS games keep game players engaged, as the social network took steps to make it easier for those developers to add app events to their games.

App events allow developers to analyze how users are engaging with their applications and adjust their ad campaigns accordingly.

Software engineer Ramkumar Natarajan provided more details in a post on the Facebook developer blog:

We’re now making it even easier for iOS developers to implement app events in their apps. With the newest version of the iOS SDK (software-development kit), it’s now possible to automatically collect app events for in-app purchases. Developers can choose to enable the “automatic purchase logging” switch in their app dashboard. Without writing any additional code, developers will be able to measure when people initiate a checkout, make a purchase or cancel their in-app purchase. This is an existing feature we’ve already offered to developers, but the update will now make it easier for them to implement.

Developers can then view this purchase data through app insights and analyze it to answer questions like:

Which items are being purchased most frequently?
What countries or devices are driving the greatest amount of revenue?
What percentage of people come back and make purchases in the app after installing it?
How can I bring back people who started a purchase but didn’t complete it?

Natarajan also used The Tribez from Game Insight to illustrate how developers can successfully use Facebook’s features:

Game Insight, known for developing hit games including Dragon Warlords and The Tribez, used app events to re-engage more than 200,000 former players of its popular game, The Tribez, back into the app. Leveraging app events, Game Insight generated dynamic custom audiences of people who had made a purchase in the app in the past, but who hadn’t opened the game recently. Using these audiences and mobile app engagement ads, they were able to successfully re-engage players, resulting in a 5 percent increase of daily active users and an 800 percent return on investment. Game Insight has also used app events to cross-promote its mobile games to people playing the desktop versions.

To read more about how Game Insight used app events, check out the case study here. To learn more about how to enable in-app purchase events for iOS, check out the iOS app event docs. Also check out our app events guide for suggestions on what type of events to log based on your category of app.

Developers: Have you ever used Facebook’s app events in your games?

Social Media Usage in the Asia Pacific: Statistics & Trends [INFOGRAPHIC]

By Friday, January 30, 2015 0 Permalink 0

Did you know that the Asia Pacific region accounts for more than half of all social media users worldwide?

Indeed, Asia has become critical to Facebook’s growth, boasting more than 426 million monthly active users.

Additionally, around one-third of all Twitter users can be found in countries within the Asia Pacific.

A staggering 97.3 percent of social network users in the region have accessed social media sites on their mobile devices, spending between two and four hours each and every day on these platforms.

Check the visual below for a wealth of statistics, facts and figures regarding social media usage in the Asia Pacific, which comes courtesy of Go-Globe.com.

(Source: Go-Globe.com.)