Here is the team video for #NTFM on AIB and SEO.



Does social media go too far?

Ah, the question of the moment, one that has been bandied around by friends, colleagues and the media: when does social media go too far? For me, this is a two-fold question: is this a case of people using social media for all the wrong reasons, inappropriate Tweets and posts, or is this a deeper, more disturbing issue, of membership to social media sites now allowing for exploitation of the user by these juggernauts of the web?

Firstly, the inappropriate posting; this is a much harder factor to analyse, as everyone’s view on what is and isn’t appropriate varies. One man’s lunch post is another man’s loathsome clogging of their precious Newsfeed. Social media photo site Flickr even has an entire page dedicated to food posts and pictures!

I think one thing we can all agree on being inappropriate is posting pictures and posts from funerals, but how about Death in general? Is it right to post R.I.P statuses on Facebook? Personally, I always feel that doing so trivialises the person in question’s death to just another post, but I can understand the reasoning behind it.  A more appropriate action is a simple thank you to anyone who has helped the family and friends of the deceased.

Grandpa died,lol

However, one thing that can surely never be right is telling someone about a death over a social media site.

Such a  personal message should always be delivered in person, and Social Media is one of the least personal and private mediums, where everyone can see your business.

Now, as for the “Big Brother” issue of Social Media(and in particular Facebook), having looked at Facebook’s Data Use Policy, it is very clear to see exactly how Facebook will use your data to target ads according to your interests and denographics at you, however, it does not appear to be the Boogeyman that the media has sometimes made out. That is not to say Facebook is not guilty of slowly fading out privacy on their site, which can be seen from this series of screencaptures. This practice has earned Facebook some flak in the past, but if anyone was really that bothered about the issue, they simply would have disconnected. Instead, they have been growing over the past 7 years.

Facebook: everyone complains about it, yet nobody quits…

On a very serious note, Facebook has been responsible for a number of major world events. Protesters in Egypt organising their rallies over Facebook would likely have had no other method in getting in touch with so many similar minded people, and the philanthropic potential has been shown, albeit slightly misguidedly, with the 2012 “Kony”” campaign.

However, Facebook also has the potential to be a dangerous weapon for those who choose to use it for ill means, such as this horrific tale in Mexico.

Basically, the bottom line is this: social media is what you make of it. I personally don’t think Social Media has gone too far, as it has fantastic benefits available to people. However, I feel the people using Social Media have gone too far, posting very intimate details and using it as a validation tool for their latest break-up or personal problem. The technology is only what you as a person choose to make of it, on its own it sits idle, but the medium is given life by its users, be they food posting socialites, drug dealers, protesters or simply Average Joe.

Social Media has not gone too far, we as a people have.

Twitter: successful operation or future cadaver?


So, it’s another social media site being thrown to the wolves of C.I.T’s New Tech class huh? Facebook and YouTube have been poked and prodded, and now it’s Twitter’s turn on the operating table of Dr Thomas Elliot.

First, a little background information: Twitter is what’s known as a micro-blogging site, where posts are restricted to 140 characters each. In theory, this is supposed to be a headline-style site, where “followers” of a person/organisation can get bite sized updates on their friends, favourite companies or celebs, and are sometimes left links to articles further developing the point.

In other words, consider Twitter the digital equivalent of a Post-It® note.

But the question at hand is this: is Twitter a realistically maintainable, and most importantly, profitable, business model?

Well, there are a number of articles supporting Twitter’s business model, and saying it is ALREADY a profit-making business. O.k, it’s not on the levels of the juggernaut that is Facebook, but Facebook had been established since Feb 4 2004, whilst Twitter is a younger venture at a public launch of July 2006.

Also, on a personal note, I have found myself growing more and more weary of Facebook’s constant advertising and changing of their user interface, making it more difficult to enjoy the site. Twitter has now replaced Facebook as my go-to site when checking my social media sites, however there is one HUGE issue with Twitter:

It doesn’t hold a persons interest for as long.

Don’t believe me, check this graph on social media usage out, which shows that although Twitter is growing its membership, 49% of people don’t bother to check it regularly. This is a huge problem for Twitter if they decide to move into full-fledged advertising, rather than just selling Promoted Accounts.

Overall, whilst I do feel Twitter can be a sustainable business model with a few tweaks to improve retention and up the regular checking rate of accounts (such as the introduction of linking to YouTube à la Facebook), it has work to do before it can maximise its profit-making ventures

Youtube is an important tool for marketers…

Apologies for the lateness of this post everyone, swamped with work over the week.

Everyone knows YouTube as a place people go for videos of dogs running into walls, babies laughing, and outrageous stunts. But what about advertising, viral marketing and creating a buzz about a company and it’s offerings through Youtube?

For starters, videos placed by companies can be seen internationally by many potential customers outside the video’s country of origin. This can spread awareness and lay the groundwork for potential moves into new markets.

But, more importantly, putting videos on YouTube is free, apart from the time costs and how much it cost to make the video originally.Some, such as The Natural Confectionary’s “Bring On The Trumpets” ad, is shot using only still shots from a regular camera, meaning it is relatively low cost, but also low involvement. Interactive YouTube videos are becoming more popular now, such as this Pizza ad from New Zealand chain Hell Pizzas. The ad allows for different endings based on choices made by interacting with the video, and viewers are hooked and want to know what happens, meaning thaty are engaging longer with the brand.

But what makes a viral video, a video that is seen and forwarded by many, something which every firm advertising on YouTube through videos should be aiming? These guys seem to know.

Of course, viral videos need to be seen first, and many of the non-interactive videos started as limited exposure ads on television. This first exposes people to the ad, and makes them aware such a thing exist. Ideally, the television ad should show a search term somewhere on the screen, so interested viewers can find the ad easily.

So, whilst traditional advertising methods may be on the decline, YouTube(and digital media as a whole) are not yet in a position to fully replace the traditional mediums.

Whilst YouTube is the second most popular search engine (next to Google), without traditional media, how will you know what to search for?

R.I.P Facebook?

What started as a small news story by a coroner sparked a Twitter trending topic, and now a NTFM assignment. R.I.P Facebook. Is the social media giant on life support, or is it in rude health?

First, a few stats and figures:

In 2011, over 0.5 Billion people had an active Facebook account, with half of these logging in everyday, and was the most popular search term in the U.S.A in 2011  (Video about Facebook)

Facebook themselves claim to have .845 Billion users as of December 2011.

Somehow, I don’t see Mark Zuckerberg being too worried, these are astronomical membership figures, and Facebook has no true competitors in the social media marketplace at this time. Twitter serves a different purpose, and with its 140 character limits and lack of social gaming or app fweatures doews not offer anywhere near the interactivity that Facebook does. Google+ has not been adopted by anywhere near the numbers expected.

Plus, Facebook has beaten Bebo, Myspace, Friendster, Hi-Five and numerous others that attempted to compete with it. It is a juggernaut of social media.

Facebook is in a position where it can extend it’s brand into other areas, which will guard against future competitors and creat new revenue streams( possibly a synchronised YouTube style video site?)

But social media users are a fickle bunch, and our loyalty can be bought and sold for less than a Farmville micro-transaction. Facebook will need to continuously improve and stay fresh if it wants to avoid becoming just another tombstone in the graveyard of social media.