10 Ways Businesses Can Earn Their First 100 Twitter Followers

By Saturday, February 28, 2015 0 Permalink 0

Starting a new Twitter account can be a daunting task. You have to consider branding, content, networking, campaigns, promotions, etiquette, management… not to mention building up an audience to actually see your tweets.

Here are 10 ways to grow your first 100 Twitter followers, so you’re tweets won’t fall on deaf ears.

1. Follow others. One of the quickest ways to get more Twitter followers is to actively seek out and follow others. The more accounts you follow, the more likely they will follow you back – so follow a few hundred, and 100 of them should follow you back within a few days!

2. Purchase ads. If you don’t have the time or patience to grow your first Twitter followers organically, you can purchase promoted account ads and get your account in front of thousands of targeted potential followers. This is a great option for businesses that need to grow quickly.

3. Use search. Search for your local connections, industry experts, business connections and more. If you find interesting accounts, give them a follow. Many will not follow you back, but if you do this consistently, you will start to see more and more following you back as your account grows.

4. Update your business cards. Add your Twitter handle to your business cards, and new connections will be likely to follow you. This can be a great way to increase targeted followers, since everyone you share your business card with is a potential prospect, partner or other business connection.

5. Tell everyone. Chances are, you know more than 100 people. So why not tell them that your business has a Twitter account? Leverage your existing network by asking them to follow you on Twitter. Send them an email, a text, a message on LinkedIn… however you normally converse with them, just send them a little note to let them know you’re on Twitter, and you’d like them to follow you.

6. Use hashtags. By using hashtags in your tweets, you will ensure they are seen by a wider audience than just your followers. This means that even if you have only a dozen or so followers, your tweet could be seen by hundreds if you use the right hashtags. And, while not all of those who see your tweets will follow you, a handful might each time.

7. Host a Twitter chat. By hosting a weekly or monthly chat on Twitter, you’ll quickly become a central node in your community. If you can advertise your chat to your target audience, you should see dozens or possibly hundreds of participants each week. As the host, participants will nearly always follow you at some point during the chat, and you should hit your 100 followers in no time.

8. Offer a giveaway. Want to incentivize people to follow you on Twitter? Give them something for free! A $5 gift card to your nth follower, or entering every follower’s name into a draw for a larger prize are both viable options for a Twitter follower giveaway.

9. Add a Twitter widget to your website. If you are tweeting regularly (which, of course, you are!), it is a great idea to add a Twitter widget displaying your latest tweets to the sidebar of your website. This will show visitors that you have a Twitter account and that it is active, and they can follow you with a single click.

10. Retweet others. It’s better to give than to receive. If you’re looking for more followers, reach out to others by retweeting their content. This interaction will show up in their notifications tab, and they might give you a quick follow.

(Growth chart image via Shutterstock)

Plan for futuristic Googleplex raises hopes, fears

By Saturday, February 28, 2015 0 Permalink 0

From search to mobile to self-driving cars, Google’s futuristic ambitions seem limitless — and that attitude now also applies to commercial real estate.

The tech giant on Friday unveiled an ambitious proposal ;that reimagines its Mountain View, Calif. headquarters, long known as the Googleplex, into a utopian sprawl across 500 acres north of Highway 101

According to the 225-page document, Google teamed up with Danish architect Bjarke Ingels for the new campus design, which groups Google employees into glass, canopy-like structures the size of a city block

The additional 2.5 million square feet of office space would be enough for 12,000 more Google employees. Read more…

More about Google, Facebook, Apple, Silicon Valley, and Commercial Real Estate

Social Media Jobs: Bose, Haute Living, NYC Dept of Health

By Saturday, February 28, 2015 0 Permalink 0

This week, Bose is hiring a global social media manager, while Haute Living needs a social media manager. The NYC Department of Health is seeking a social media specialist, and Skirt Public Relations is looking for a social media manager. Get the scoop on these openings below, and find additional social media jobs on Mediabistro.

Global Social Media Manager Bose (Boston, MA)
Social Media Manager Haute Living (New York, NY)
Social Media Specialist NYC Department of Health (New York, NY)
Social Media Manager Skirt Public Relations (Chicago, IL)
Manager, Digital Strategy/Social Media Verisk Analytics (Jersey City, NJ)

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.

Cute or Not: BuzzFeed Launches Animal Photo-Sharing App on iOS

By Friday, February 27, 2015 0 Permalink 0

BuzzFeed has announced the launch of its second app, Cute or Not, on iOS devices. The app allows users to swipe left or right on pictures of animals to rate them as cute or “not,” all with the goal of discovering the cutest animals on the Internet.

The app’s simple interface allows users to swipe right on pictures they think are cute, and swipe left on those that aren’t. The more content users rate, the more badges they’ll unlock, in a slight gamification of the app.

Users can upload their own pictures to the platform to be voted on by the community, and can keep track of their votes in the “My Pics” section of the app. A trending area is also available, to view the best of the best pet pictures, as rated by the community.

When users find a particularly adorable animal, they can share its photo to Facebook and Twitter, or through text message or email. The app’s top pets have a chance to be featured on BuzzFeed.com.

Cute or Not is now available to download for free in the iTunes App Store. BuzzFeed expects to have a busy 2015, as the company has announced plans to release a news app later this year, which will combine BuzzFeed pieces with curated stories from around the Web.

Millennials Love Snapchat Because It’s Not Facebook

By Friday, February 27, 2015 0 Permalink 0

Snapchat seems to have become one of the most important apps in the social market. The announcement of a recent drive for venture capital funding could make it the third-most valuable VC backed company in the world. The value of Snapchat is being driven by the users, and Business Insider surveyed some of them to see why millennials love Snapchat.

One of the big appeals for Snapchat users is the way they app deletes content. One users said:

I was drawn to the social engagement loop and ephemeral appeal of the network. I like a social network that treats content as disposable. Snapchat is in the head space of our generation.

Snapchat users also noted that the messaging service is often more personal than other social sites like Facebook, which makes them more inclined to share. According to another survey respondent:

Snapchat provides an easier answer to Facebook’s ‘What are you doing right now?’ I use it personally to stay in touch with friends and show people what I’m doing, but I’ve used it for just about everything.

Yet another stated:

Snapchat is a way of seeing the world through the eyes of other people that Facebook and Instagram just don’t offer, and I have no idea why that is.

One reason Snapchat users may feel different when using the service is because it doesn’t function as an archive, like other social sites. Facebook is especially archival, often functioning as a family photo album more than a “social network.” TechCrunch contributor Sarah Perez sees Snapchat as a response to Facebook’s ever shifting privacy policy.

She wrote:

It’s a reimagining of a social network for the generation who grew up chastised for over-sharing on Facebook and other social media platforms; for those who watched as Facebook shifted the ground underneath them, tricking users into public sharing with privacy policies that were moving targets.

Snapchat walks a fine line between intimacy and distance, because user posts can last no longer than 24 hours at the most. It doesn’t require users to polish themselves or their online personas, they can simply share pictures that give a short-term glimpse into their lives. And this is what has given the app its staying power and its value.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock.

Are Q&As the Future of Celebrity Social Media?

By Friday, February 27, 2015 0 Permalink 0

Your favorite actress has millions of fans on Facebook and has recently announced that she’ll do a Q&A session in advance of her upcoming blockbuster. She’s asking for fans to submit questions ahead of time, so you click to see what comments have already been made.

However, while many people would take this as a chance to find out what makes the actress tick or ask silly questions like what brand of peanut butter she prefers, many (many) others deluge Q&A posts with marriage proposals, personal attacks, spam and random comments about President Obama.

Ever wonder how the starlet cuts through the dreck? BumeBox works closely with celebrities for Twitter and Facebook Q&As to ensure that they see the relevant questions, ensuring a better experience for the star and the fans.

Here’s a look at some of the more prominent Q&A sessions BumeBox has coordinated:

Facebook Q&A with Ashley Young, Machester United/4,000 comment questions, 15,000 likes
Facebook Q&A with Nicki Minaj, Music Artist/9,000 comment questions, 7,000 likes
Facebook Q&A with William H. Macy, Actor in Shameless/4,000 comment questions, 10,000 likes
Twitter Q&A with Trey Songz, Music Artist/14,000 tweeted questions
Twitter Q&A with True Blood cast/5,000 tweeted questions

BumeBox CEO and Founder Jon Fahrner sat down with SocialTimes to talk about about what it’s like managing these Q&As. He talked about the session with Nicki Minaj, who has many fans (45.5 million on Facebook, 19 million on Twitter) and is a polarizing figure in the music business.

Minaj got plenty of marriage proposals, explicit comments and other acidic feedback, but BumeBox filters out these low-value submissions, so she saw the questions that were honest attempts at dialogue.

While it may seem like censorship, Fahrner pointed out that celebrities are still human beings. This kind of Q&A gets back to the heart of what a Facebook fanpage (or Twitter account) is supposed to be, Fahrner said, a way for people to connect. He said that “if you were a true fan,” you’d be able to learn more about your favorite actor, athlete or public figure through these behind the scenes looks.

Facebook, Twitter and other social networks have embraced the celebrity user. Facebook has an app for public figures — Mentions — to make it easier to manage a page.

Through a Q&A, Fahrner notes, public figures can talk with fans directly and cut out the media middleman. While a celebrity might feel guarded in an interview with reporters, they have more control in a Q&A and give more candid answers. Fahrner said that he sees more popular figures going more toward Q&As through social media as a way to connect with their fanbase. He said that celebrities “are not limited to a soundbite answer,” and that “they can address fans in the way they want.”

The format also gives the public figure a little more freedom. Fahrner talked about athletes who have used the BumeBox app to answer questions while they’re sick in bed or just getting off an airplane. Celebrities have also had some fun with these sessions, in a way they can’t really do in traditional interviews. William H. Macy did his Q&A in character, answering questions as if he was Frank Gallagher.

Fahrner said this format is a way for public figures to relieve some of the pressures of a traditional interview and just be themselves. He sees Q&A sessions as a win for all parties involved: fans can get honest answers from their favorite celebrities and feel that their questions were answered, celebrities don’t have to read death threats when they start engaging with fans and the platform gets more public figure activity.

Readers: Have you asked a celebrity a question in a Q&A session?

Top image courtesy of Debby Wong / Shutterstock.com.

The Science of Posting on Social Media [INFOGRAPHIC]

By Friday, February 27, 2015 0 Permalink 0

Did you know that studies have shown that the optimum number of tweets to send per day is three, and that for maximum engagement you should aim to post between 9am and 3pm Monday through Thursday?

And the worst time to tweet? Every day after 8pm.

When you think about it, it kind of makes sense. Twitter users are just regular people, and people are far more likely to be active online earlier in the day (i.e., goofing around at work) and particularly lunchtime (1pm to 3pm is a great time to tweet) than they are late at night.

On Facebook, aim for two posts per day between 1pm and 4pm, while Instagram content generates maximum ROI between 2pm and 5pm.

Check out the visual below for more insights on a number of social media platforms, including Pinterest, Tumblr and LinkedIn, and comes courtesy of Setupablogtoday.com.

(Source: Setupablogtoday.com.)

Mobile Game Roundup: Age of Sparta, Under the Sun and More

By Friday, February 27, 2015 0 Permalink 0

Looking for a new mobile game to try this weekend? Here’s a look at some of the new games released on smartphones and tablets this week.

Age of Sparta (Free on iOS, Android, Windows Phone) – Gameloft’s newest title is a base-building combat game, challenging players to defend Greece from the invasion of Xerxes. Players construct a base using multiple resources, which are produced automatically over time, and can send their troops into split-screen battles, where each troop has a particular strength and disadvantage during combat (think “rock, paper, scissors”). The game offers both campaign-based single-player battles and multiplayer combat, as well as real-time chat among players.

Heavenstrike Rivals (Free on iOS, Android) – This RPG from Square Enix has globally launched on mobile, challenging players to defeat monsters known as the Fallen, as they attempt to bring prosperity back to their kingdom. The game features turn-based battles, which take place on a grid. Players have a limited number of mana crystals to spend on each turn, which are used to deploy varying units to the battlefield. On each turn, deployed units will attack the opposition automatically, until one captain remains. Outside of the campaign, Heavenstrike Rivals offers real-time player-vs-player battles, with more than two hundred characters to collect in all.

Thumb It (Free on iOS) – This observation and memory game from Some App Company resembles the classic Simon electronic memory game, as users are challenged to observe and repeat color and sound sequences associated with major color areas on the screen. Each round becomes more challenging as players progress, as the board’s colors or orientation may change from one round to the next. The free version of the game offers a single-player mode, as well as a challenge mode for two players. Meanwhile, a $0.99 in-app purchase unlocks the premium version of the game, which includes new sound schemes and the ability to dress one’s avatar (represented by the player’s thumb) in costumes, among other features.

Road Smash: Crazy Racing! (Free on iOS) – This high-speed racing game challenges players to speed down freeways, performing tricks without ruining their vehicle and/or getting caught by the police. Gamers change lanes using one of three control schemes (including an option for gyroscope controls), and may sometimes be challenged to bump into other vehicles (or take off their side mirrors). As players complete missions, they’ll earn cash used to change the look of their car(s). The game was previously released on Android.

Military Masters (Free on iOS, Android) – Following a soft-launch, this newest title from DeNA has officially launched on mobile. The game is similar to other DeNA titles, including Super Battle Tactics, as players build a team of units to dominate land, sea and air, and take them into battle against the computer or other players. On each turn of battle, units spin for an attack value, and players can spend action points to re-spin for a different number or trigger special attacks on the enemy. As players complete battles, they collect parts, which can be used to build new units. Players can also spend currency to upgrade the stats of their current units.

Fisk (Free on iOS) – This puzzle game from Games by Mee and publisher BulkyPix was inspired by 2048, and challenges players to “eat or be eaten” as they combine small fish to form larger fish. The goal of each of the game’s 200 levels is to help the red fish eat everything else on the screen, with fish eating other fish in relation to their numbers. That is, a fish with the number five would eat a fish with the number four, and so on. Gamers can retry stages if they fail, and are encouraged to complete each in the lowest number of possible moves.

Brain Builder Picture Wise ($2.99 on iOS) – This picture-guessing game from Javira challenges players to identify images by dragging a pencil over a piece of paper to slowly reveal each image sketch. Images are identified using multiple choice options, and players earn points depending on how quickly they can correctly identify each picture. Conversely, players lose points if they choose an incorrect response from the multiple options. As players complete groups of images, their brain chart is updated as a way to track their progress.

Magic Touch: Wizard for Hire (Free on iOS, Android, Amazon) – This newest game from Nitrome is an endless survival experience, asking players to draw lines on the screen to match the symbols on balloons floating down from the top of the screen. These balloons are carrying enemies, so drawing the matching symbol(s) eliminates the attached enemy and gives players coins. These coins are spent on power-ups, including one that slows down time, giving players more time to draw the necessary symbols on multiple balloons.

Tap Heroes (Free on iOS) – A new title in the growing “clicker” genre, Tap Heroes asks players to tap on enemies as quickly as they can to attack them, or tap on their hero to heal them. As players defeat enemies, they’ll earn coins which are used to upgrade the hero’s speed or attack stats, or increase the player’s healing ability over time (as examples). Tap Heroes features over 70 different enemies and bosses to defeat, which are split into 10 increasingly challenging lands. Gamers can purchase additional heroes with premium currency, including a healing mage, a rogue and a dragon pet.

Under the Sun (Free on iOS) – Stegabyte’s Under the Sun is described as a 4D puzzle game, which challenges players to lead an island castaway to a campfire before running out of time in each stage. Each move advances time through the castaway’s life, and sees things change in the world. Trees may grow, ladders and other structures may crumble, and so on. When players discover they’ve made a mistake, they can rewind both time and their actions to a point before the mistake, allowing them to try again. If players take too many turns, the castaway will pass, so players must complete stages in as few moves as possible.

Wooga Launches Hidden Object Game Agent Alice on iOS, Android

By Friday, February 27, 2015 0 Permalink 0

Pearl’s Peril developer Wooga has announced the release of its latest hidden object game, Agent Alice, on mobile devices. The game takes players to the 1960s, as they solve a series of supernatural crimes, starting with a murder at the Oberon Theatre in New York City. The game has been designed specifically for mobile devices, and will see players completing hidden object scenes as they search for clues, followed by completing puzzles to analyze the evidence.

In Agent Alice, players take on the role of Alice Wallace, a detective in The Agency, assigned to solve cases taking her around the world, meeting new and colorful characters along the way, including a hard-hitting journalist, a Korean War veteran and even a “scoundrel-turned-love-interest.”

The game’s story is split into episodes, with each episode offering different locations to explore and hidden object scenes to complete. Players spend rechargeable energy to access scenes, and are challenged to tap on the required items on each scene’s list as quickly as possible.

The faster players find these items, the more combo points they’ll earn. In turn, these points help players earn mastery stars on each stage, with stars serving as a kind of currency to help Alice solve each case. It’s worth noting, a hint system is also available to instantly point out objects players can’t find.

Stars can be used to trigger timed actions, like tracking down a suspect, or to complete mini-games, including jigsaw puzzles. For timed actions, players can spend premium currency to skip the waiting time and move on instantly.

Since stars are required for each case’s completion, gamers will need to play the same hidden object scenes multiple times to earn additional stars. To keep things fresh, the scenes change over time, offering new items to find as players master the previous star levels.

In a statement, Sebastian Nussbaum, head of Adventure Studio at Wooga, commented on the game:

We are delighted to finally be able to introduce Agent Alice to our players. Our first hidden object game, Pearl’s Peril, resonated incredibly well with our audience and we have been working hard on creating an adventure that surpasses that. Agent Alice promises exciting mysteries and an even better player experience. We’re convinced that our fans will fall in love with Alice and her friends.

Agent Alice is available to download for free on the iTunes App Store and Google Play. The game will be supported with weekly content updates going forward, including new environments and story-related content.