In just a few short years, Twitter has grown from the indulgent preserve of ego-maniacal celebrities, into a core means of communication with customers and clients at the heart of a business. It allows interaction and feedback in a similar way that Facebook does but with a more casual, free-flowing method in a more openly public way. Continue reading »
Category: Social Media
Towards the end of last year Google launched a ‘recommendation engine’ called ‘Hotpot’.
Hotpot collects ratings and reviews about places, and ties them to your social circle. When you search for a local business such as a restaurant, Hotpot surfaces those results that have been recommended by your friends. The idea is that if they liked a place, then you’ll probably like it too.
Hotpot is integrated with Google Maps for Mobile. Users can leave ratings and reviews using their phone. And if they’re on an Android device then opinions can be expressed using a widget, with just a few taps of the screen.
Each time you give a rating, that rating is used to judge what you or your friends might like in the future.
This is an exciting development for local businesses looking to boost custom. The idea is that if you look after your customers, they’ll leave you positive feedback, which their friends will take into account when buying your type of service.
We’ve spoken previously about getting good reviews and Hotpot takes this to a whole new level.
Have you tried Hotpot? Leave us a comment below.
Last year we brought you news of Google’s plans in Social Search. Take a look at that post to see Google’s Matt Cutts talk all about what it actually is.
Finding out what your friends think
For example, lets says you’re searching for an ‘Italian Restaurant in Reading’. It might be that recently a friend of yours has visited an Italian Restaurant in Reading and has made a comment about it on Facebook. Social Search would return a set of results that included the comments made by your friend, since they are relevant to the search results.
All of us are more likely to follow the recommendation of a friend than someone we don’t know, so social search is also about making search more relevant to each one of us.
Facebook and Bing in on the act
Now its the turn of Facebook and Microsoft’s Bing to socialise search. In the US they have just completed a tie up to make search “more social”,
What they plan is that when a user searches for something on Bing or using the web results in Facebook, if any friends have ‘liked’ an item related to that search that person’s image will appear alongside the search results.
Bing has added more depth to its people search too, by making the results based on the user’s Facebook contacts. So when a user searches for an individual, friends or mutual friends get shown higher in the search results.
In a blog post Facebook commented “Everyday most of us make decisions with the input from people we trust and this is a way to bring friends’ recommendations to online search.”
At the moment the change is just in the US – we’re yet to see plans for the UK.
Try it out!
Try switching your settings on Bing to US and trying out social search. Do you think there’s a future in it, something genuinely useful to people? Or is this just another search gimmick? Leave us a comment below.
Well you heard it here first. Despite what the techno-naysayers would have you believe, Facebook might actually bring a smile to your face.
According to research by BCS – The Chartered Institute for IT – social networking and Instant Messaging make us feel both happier and less isolated.
Access to Technology
There is apparently a clear link between well being and access to technology, with social networking providing the largest emotional benefit. It’s all down to the additional level of contact that Facebook and the like give you with your friends and family.
It doesn’t replace traditional stuff
The fear cited by many is that these new ways of interacting are replacing the traditional face to face stuff. This research indicates that it augments rather than replaces it.
“Social networking makes us happier.” was how Paul Flatters from Trajectory Partnership, which worked with BCS on the research, summed up.
“Given the immediate uplift in life satisfaction that people experience when using these sites, teaching people about how to use services like Facebook could be a more effective way of bridging the digital divide and getting people online.”
In response to the research The Chartered Institute for IT is planning to launch a getting-started guide to social networking as just one part of its Savvy Citizens campaign, encouraging people to get online.
Does Facebook make you happy? Is Twitter leaving you satisfied? Does Messenger bring a smile to your lips? Leave us a comment below.
We’re often going on (and on) about using social media to help market your website.
We’ve integrated the WebEden Website Builder with Facebook and Twitter. It’s possible to put a Twitter feed on your website. Thanks to some handy tricks you can put a Facebook ‘Like’ button on your website. We’ve even developed our own Facebook application so you can build a website from within Facebook.
As opposed to Pay per click or other traditional marketing methods, its hard to put a value on your social media efforts. Social media for brands and websites is about engaging with your audience in an environment that suits them.
But now there’s a handy little tool that attempts to do put a ‘value’ on your actual Facebook page.
SocialPageEvaluator tries to come up with a notional ‘value’ of your Facebook page by looking at factors such as the number of Fans; the frequency with which you update your page; the number of visits your fan page has; and the number of times your fans interact with your fan page content.
All you need to do is enter the URL of any Facebook page and SocialPageEvaluator does the rest.
So to test it out, how does it get on with the WebEden Facebok page?
Here goes… and the result?
Social Page Evaluator is saying that the current ‘value’ of the WebEden facebook page is $418, but with improved social media techniques it could reach a value of $3,132. Interestingly enough, it has come up with the advice that we’re not posting enough to our Facebook Page.
It’s important to remember that this is just one system’s attempt to assess value, and is therefore more useful as a comparison tool to find out how you’re doing against competitors.
Try it out and let us know how your Facebook Page gets on!
Recent months have seen an explosion of location based social networking services, such as Foursquare, Gowalla and MyTown. More popular in the US than the UK, these services let you share where you are and what you’re.
As we mentioned previously, Twitter has updated their location settings to allow you to say where you are.
Facebook has eyed this growth with envy, and have now jumped into location based services with ‘Facebook Places’.
Available initially just in the US, the service allows you to check into places in a similar way to Foursquare. Places can be created by anyone, but are often cafes, shops, restaurants, parks or tourist attractions.
Businesses can claim their locations, and reward users for visiting. This might take the form of badges, points, or mayor-ships; or could even be discounts on products.
Users can also tag others that are in the location too, and others in that location can be viewed using ‘People here now’.
Initially your location can only be view by your friends; and you’re able to easily disable the feature.
From the horses mouth
The Facebook product manager responsible said “You may want to share your check-in information with third-party applications that build interesting experiences around location, such as travel planning. Applications you use must receive your permission before getting this information. Your friends will be able to share your check-ins with the applications they use to help create new social experiences based on location. If you don’t want to share your check-ins with your friends’ applications, just uncheck the box in your Privacy Settings under Applications and Websites.”
What about you?
Have you tried Foursquare or other location based social media? Are you concerned about the privacy issues of revealing where you are (so a burglar knows you’re away from home)? Leave us a comment below.
A Twitter user experienced Twitter meltdown last month as a result of being followed by rap star Kanye West.
Kanye only decided to join Twitter last month, and has already amassed over a million followers. Getting to grips with the service, he posted a Twitpic of his diamond tooth. In response, Coventry Based Steven Holmes – who tweets as ste_101 – asked him whether he used Colgate or polish to clean them.
Kanye immediately followed Steven back – the only person at that point that Kanye decided to follow.
From that point, Mr Holmes has been swamped with messages to such an extent that his Twitter account went into ‘melt down’.
Commenting on how he had managed to catch the attention of Kanye, Mr Holmes tweeted
“I just told a joke. Humour is the key” and “I guess a witty joke was all it took”.
Apparently Holmes has had a lot of abuse from others, which he has then tweeted about. Kanye urged him to “Tweet strong young man, tweet strong”.
For his part Kanye described Holmes as “the chosen one”.
And what is Kanye up to on Twitter? Well here’s something he posted last Saturday: “Being nice is the s**t … working on being a doper person #ITSAPROCESS”.
Pearls of wisdom there.
So now you. Forget all the advice we give you about marketing your site online. All you need to do to boost your follower numbers is to catch the attention of a celebrity…
Had any success hob-nobbing with the stars? Leave us a comment below.
A few weeks ago Twitter saw its 20 billionth Tweet. The micro blogging service took almost four years to reach its 10 billionth – in March this year – and just 5 months to double it.
Twitter marked the occasion by highlighting the 20 billionth tweet to the world. It was sent at 3.45pm on Saturday the 31st by GGGGGGo_Lets_Go, a graphic designer for an advertising agency in Tokyo.
The tweet was apparently part of a larger conversation which, roughly translated means “So that means the barrage might come back later all at once.”
Having been highlighted by Twitter, the user was then swamped by a Twitterverse of congratulations.
He responded with “Looks like I posted the 20 billionth tweet. I’m getting replies from people all over the world. It’s scary. What are the chances? Maybe I’m going to die.
“Is it more amazing than winning the lottery? I thought it was a joke.”
Japan is the second biggest market for Twitter (behind just the US), representing 12% of all Tweets.
So, anyone want to lay bets on how fast the next 10bn will be racked up? Are you following WebEden on Twitter (shameless plug…).
It was the original Social Network, one that many believe spawned the genre. A new breed of Internet startup, it was snapped up by Rupert Murdoch for $850m back in 2005. But now it seems that users have had enough of MySpace. Users fell by a whopping 49% in the last year.
Users leaving & so are the staff
Figures released by online traffic monitoring firm ComScore show that the MySpace total audience dropped from 6.5m in May 2009 to 3.3m in May 2010. This period has also seen the departure of high-profile staff including CEO Owen Van Natta.
Good for Musicians
Having launched as a place where anyone could have a free homepage, to which they could add content such as chat, images, text, MySpace was rapidly adopted by young people as a place to showcase their interests. Bands too were quick to set up MySpace pages, and more recently the brand has been trying to position itself as a music specialist: MySpace music launched in December of last year.
Another win for Facebook
So where are the users going? I’ll give you one guess… The UK has around 38m Internet users. 9 out of 10 of those use Social Media. Facebook of course tops the chart, with 30.4m users – 79% of the UK online population. It’s up 28% in the last year along.
Despite its media coverage, Twitter is used by just 4.3m, but the rate of growth is fast - up 69% in the last year.
Not only are more of us using social media, we’re spending more time on it too. In May 2009 we spent 4.6 hours per month, and that’s now up to 7.1 hours.
What about you?
Are you, or were you ever a MySpace fan? Have you moved on? As a website builder are you managing to get more users to your site by engaging people on Social Media? Leave us a comment below.
Control your heartbeat. Calm yourself. Retain some self awareness: there’s a new Twitter!
It’s got a brand new User Interface (UI) which allows you to embed photos and videos a bit like… well a bit like Facebook really.
The new UI is gradually rolling out today one account at the time. For a time you’ll be able to switch between the old and new versions.
Twitter describes the new layout as being “an easier, faster and richer experience”.
“You will now find @mentions, retweets, searches, and lists just above your timeline – creating a single, streamlined view on the left of the screen. On the right, you can see the features you’re familiar with, including whom you recently followed and who recently followed you, favorites, and Trending Topics,” they went on.
Here’s some marketing hot air from Twitter:
Have you got it yet? Are you liking what you find? Leave us a comment below