Posts Tagged ‘Social Networking


And it Has Changed…Again.

Just when we all have gotten used to the “new” look of Facebook, the beast has evolved once again.

It seems that Facebook is trying to keep people on their toes with the endless face-lifts, and while most of us struggle to figure out how to simply maneuver to view photos, businesses are using the new Timeline to their full advantage.

How you ask? Here are a few perks of the new Timeline that will get your company ready for the switch:

  • Cover photo and profile image

Instead of just one small image to represent your brand, you can now also use another image as your cover photo. This photo spans the top of your page and is the background for your smaller profile image.

  • Large pinned posts

 Timeline will not allow you to create a default-landing page, however you can manage the posts that appear on your wall.  By moving a pinned post to the top of your wall, you can keep the most important and intriguing information and images in the forefront.

  • Ability to set company milestones

 The Milestone section of your Timeline can update your fans about big events in the life of your company.  People can visually see the history of your company and relate past experiences to themselves and other companies similar to you.

  • Facebook Offers

 Similar to the Facebook Deals seen on the old Facebook format, the Facebook Offers are sent out to your fans via the news feeds.  Not only is this more visible, but it is more personable when they click to claim the offer and it is sent directly to their email.

Whether you are a new company or a mature one, the new Timeline can help to increase awareness of your brand and expand your network.

Give it a go, and let us know how the re-facing of Facebook is working for you, or if you need help adjusting- give us a call!


Move over Facebook, there is a new social media channel in town

Pinterest has turned the act of “pinning” into a downright obsession among its 10 million users, providing never-ending pages of images that suck you in and leave you scrolling for more.  Needless to say, this site has taken procrastination to the next level.

Maybe it is the ease of pinning a variety of interests to your own boards that other people can “like” as well, or maybe it is just simply enticing because of the wealth of diverse images at your fingertips.  In any case, the female fan base has found reason to take up pinning as their new hobby.

Not only is Pinterest surpassing Facebook, Tumblr and the like in driving traffic to top websites such as,, and but according to The Week, it is doing so at an exponential rate unseen in other social media channels.

Once an image is repined, it is exposed to an entire new circle of people.  A cycle of advertising exposure that is essentially never-ending.

It makes sense, then, that businesses should jump on board this speed train.   And that, my friends, is exactly what is happening.  Because when it comes down to it, this is target marketing at its finest.

Businesses considering Pinterest can:

  1. Create their own pin boards that represent their company and their values. Think past and future designs, products, interesting product uses, ect.
  2. Smaller companies can even go as far as pinning interests that its employees have, making their company more personally relatable.
  3.  Add pin buttons (similar to the Facebook “like” button) to their website so people surfing their site can follow their boards on Pinterest.
  4. Feature new and upcoming products on these boards so the company can get a feel for the popularity based on the number of repins.  In short, it is test marketing without the legwork.

Obviously Pinterest is a great social media channel for any company who is advertising products that can be represented visually (food, magazines, fashion, automobiles, home improvement, art, etc.).   But it doesn’t have to stop there.  For instance, travel agencies can use visually enticing beaches or monuments to capture attention and fitness centers can use images of fit models to make people stop, think and click for more.

When it comes down to it, the basic psychology is this: people want to share their interests, but more importantly they want what everyone else has.  The higher the repin number, the more appealing that product becomes and the more attention it gets.

What do you think about Pinterest and how is your company including it in your social media efforts?  Have you pinned today?


Next Trend in Social Media – Editing Social History

Someone tags you in an unflattering picture on Facebook, you are incensed about something and you tweet a response, you answer a question on Quora without a critical piece of information, wouldn’t be great if there was a social media EDIT button?

Whether it is potentially personally embarrassing or taking an action to protect yourself from an employer, we expect to see a service in the near future for people who want to selectively edit their social history. A Silicon Valley smartie is undoubtedly working on a tool to delete photos from other people accounts, an automatic clean up of your Facebook wall and other actions to sanitize your social history.

With the controversy over Mark Zuckerberg and questionable privacy policies, we believe there will be a fundamental shift from hiding information to cleansing information. The interest in electronic brainwashing will increase and will have impact and influence for the foreseeable future.

For example, what politician would like that picture from the long, lost college days deleted from view and access well before they make the run for political office.  Wouldn’t President Obama like to have the famous picture of him smoking (right) when he was in college stricken from the public record.

In a world where perception is reality, former Iowa State head basketball coach Larry Eustachy lost his job over pictures (left) that surfaced about him drinking beer (well, Natural Light) with underage college coeds.  Some might argue that the choice of “Natty Lite” is the greater offense. Wouldn’t he like a social media cleanser?

According to the survey by Marist College in New York, half of all users on Facebook and Twitter polled say that verbal or photographic miscues lead them to believe social media does more harm than good.  We’re fairly confident that former New York Congressman Anthony Weiner agrees.

Let us know what you think will happen when someone from the ‘Millennial Generation’ runs for President. Without selectively editing social media history what do you think will happen to every tweet, Facebook status or blog post they ever wrote? Share your thoughts here or on Facebook at Weise Communications and follow us on Twitter at @Weise_Ideas.


Google+: New Social Media Platform or Massive Waste of Time?

Google+ launched this week as Google makes another attempt to gain traction in social media.  While Google is the top search engine and even surpasses Facebook on number of visits, it is still missing out on the thing people and businesses want most, which is social media.   David Goldman from CNN Money reported on Tuesday in his articled titled Google Launches Google+, a quasi-Facebook competitor, that with Google+, their new social media platform, Google is allowing users to “group their contacts into smaller categories, such as relatives, co-workers, or members of a yoga class.  Information can be shared selectively with each group.”

Google’s senior vice president of social media, Vic Gundotra, discussed that Google is trying to fix the “awkwardness and brokenness” between online sharing, meaning that human interaction is hard to imitate in an online generated arena.  Google+ wants to make online sharing more like a natural human experience.  This platform is also intended to be a part of your established Google experience by just branching off of the things you already do in Google.

Google is taking an approach similar to Gmail when it comes to rolling out Google+. When Gmail debuted, it was a closed field trial that required invitations. A Gmail invitation was like gold. Similarly, Google+ invitations are a hot commodity. An eBay search has more than 50 auctions for the invitations.

There are two features that gives Google+ an advantage over Facebook:

1)    Video conferencing is the most innovative aspect of Google+ (However, speculation over what Facebook is calling an ‘awesome announcement’ is integration with Skype, watch the announcement live on the FacebookLive channel – July 6, 11:00am mountain time)

2)    Google+ is paying closer attention to privacy concerns that has plagued Facebook, by basing the service on sharing information only with the people you invite.

So the real question here is, will Google+ be any kind of competition for Facebook?  Is it going to be the next big social media platform?  Or is it as the Miami Herald calls it, Social Media for Geeks.

A huge thank you to Natalie Kleopfer for her contributions to this story.

Tell us if you’ve received an invitation to Google+ and if you think it will be a Facebook killer. Share your thoughts with us on Facebook at Weise Communications and follow us on Twitter at @Weise_Ideas.





Health Care Marketing: Taking the Social Media Hippocratic Oath

Three key tips for physician-based social media

All physicians have a stake in their public perception; overlooking or minimizing the impact of social media in maintaining that presence is a recipe for disaster. With HIPAA regulations to consider, physicians are in a unique situation regarding their online persona. Here are a few tips designed to help physicians maintain a professional online presence and preserve the integrity of their relationship with patients. These tips are consistent with the American Medical Association social media policy released in November that highlight some of the things physicians should consider when focusing on their online presence.

Regularly monitor privacy settingsFacebook recently came under extreme scrutiny for unleashing face recognition software that provides identity suggestions for tagging people in photographs. A Los Angeles Times story describes the concerns which are part privacy and part the decision of Facebook to release the facial-recognition feature as an ‘opt-out’ feature. Massachusetts Rep. Edward J. Markey, co-chairman of the Congressional Privacy Caucus expressed his frustration, “Requiring users to disable this feature after they’ve already been included by Facebook is no substitute for an opt-in process.”  The only way to disable the feature is to update privacy settings.

Positioning information from a qualified source – The public needs information from the health care community. Providing information from a trusted, qualified health care professional will balance the misinformation gathered from outside sources including the Internet. The best way to do that is to be informative about medical conditions, research, and treatment options in general terms. It is much better to say ‘Adults with the ____ syndrome typically display ____ symptoms, ’ than it is to say, ‘I saw a patient today with _____ syndrome and he/she displayed ____symptoms.’ Even inadvertent disclosure of patient’s health information can be a violation of HIPAA.

Maintain separate personal and professional social media accounts – This tactic has the benefit of allowing for more candor in a personal account and information sharing that is more relevant to that specific account. The professional account will have more work-related messages, inquiries and information. One of the challenges is managing multiple accounts. The solution is to use a social media tool like TweetDeck or HootSuite. Just be sure you know which account you are using to send information at all times.

Most importantly, recognize that online actions and posted content can negatively affect physicians’ reputations and may have career consequences.

Tell us if you’ve implemented policies to guide physicians in their online reputation. Share your thoughts with us on Facebook at Weise Communications and follow us on Twitter at @Weise_Ideas.


You Are What You Tweet

In an unprecedented action, Twitter has handed over the confidential details of British users in a landmark legal case.

Attorneys for three South Tyneside (near Newcastle, England) councilors went to court in San Francisco, Twitter’s headquarters, in an attempt to reveal the identity of an anonymous whistle blower with the twitter handle tied to the Mr. Monkey blog. (This blog has since been taken down.) These three councilors complained they were libeled in the blog, which was subsequently tweeted to encourage readership.

The General Manager of TwitterUK, Tony Wang said people who do “bad things” needed to defend themselves. He also warned that Twitter would provide user information to official authorities when they are “legally required”.

Charles Glasser, global media legal counsel for Bloomberg News in the U.S., said South Tyneside’s victory “puts Twitter and social media users on notice that they may be held accountable for what they publish”.

For marketers, this could be a major concern regarding of freedom of speech. In the U.S. the right to freedom of speech is often debated and Twitter revealing the identity of a user could cause other users to stop airing questions, problems and concerns for fear of losing anonymity.

Tell us if you think that people being held legally accountable for what they publish will result in people using Twitter less than before. Share your thoughts with us on Facebook at Weise Communications and follow us for free on Twitter at @Weise_Ideas.


LinkedIn Today: Too Little, Too Late

LinkedIn is finally trying to capitalize on the positioning of social networking for business by releasing LinkedIn Today. LinkedIn Today is a news service designed to pick out the most relevant stories for business users. LinkedIn hopes the service will turn its site into a daily destination.

Unfortunately for LinkedIn, this service is coming along far too late to encourage people to change behaviors. Historically, LinkedIn didn’t offer enough information to warrant a daily check-in. The search isn’t as powerful at Twitter and the overwhelming majority of information updates are about new connections to others in your network. With products like Flipboard, there is already a personalized social magazine that incorporates the power of Twitter search, delivers industry news that your connections are recommending, tweeting or posting on Facebook.

Currently, LinkedIn Today only offers 22 industry news feeds. Eventually it will expand to include 115 LinkedIn industries, if new content merits expansion. For example, “The agriculture industry is not sharing enough content to build a compelling product, but we hope over time it will,” explains Liz Walker, product manager of LinkedIn Today.

However, LinkedIn Today may have a couple of advantages for marketers even if I don’t think I’ll personally use it.

  • LinkedIn Today is free to advertisers
  • The service has also launched a LinkedIn Today share button. Having this button on your content makes it much more convenient to share content with their LinkedIn network.
  • Can’t be on the sidelines. Now that news and blogs can more conveniently reach another social network, there is even more reason to be active on LinkedIn.

Tell us if you think LinkedIn Today will be successful or if it’s just another news aggregator – and you already have your favorites. Share your ideas with us on Facebook at Weise Communications and follow @Weise_Ideas on Twitter.




Social Media is the driving force behind online culture

One of the latest trends impacting social media is tagging an online status with a symbol. For example, the symbol to the right is the Super Mayor symbol for Foursquare, which is a special shout-out for holding down 10 mayorships at once. The symbol signifies to peers that someone made an online contribution or maintains a level of online popularity.  These online status symbols acknowledge actions and are becoming more desirable to achieve.

Initially, online status comes in the form of the number of LinkedIn connections, Facebook friends or Twitter followers. I’ll admit there is a little friendly competition among my friends to reach milestone numbers or connect with certain groups so their logo appears on the profile page.

But, Foursquare comes along and takes online status to the next level by tying it to achievement.  There is an establishment next door to our Denver offices where I am determined to be the mayor. I’m afraid that I might be spending a little too much time and money at that location to become the mayor, but that is the goal of location-based marketing.  If retail locations can encourage consumers to make every effort to obtain online status and tie status to transactions – it’s a win-win.  One retailer that understands the power of online status is Arby’s. Last November, Arby’s held a Foursquare promotion in which mayors of 37 locations from Evansville, Ind., to Huntsville, Ala., earned reserved seats at actual “Mayor’s tables.” The mayors received 50 percent off meals and Arby’s tested new products on this group.

As social media evolves, the lines between ‘real world’ and online can get blurred.  One example is the website Nerd Merit Badges which offers Foursquare symbols as a round 1.5” patch. You’ll see this patches adorn purses, backpacks, hats, etc. Further evidence of this ‘real world’, ‘online world’ crossover includes Crowded Ink, users can create a coffee mug adorned with profile pictures of Facebook friends or Twitter followers.  These images are some of my Facebook friends.

For marketers, keeping up with the cultural, intellectual, ethical and spiritual climate within groups of influencers gives your product or service an opportunity to be cutting edge.  As a part of an integrated marketing plan, consider supplying your social network with an online status symbol that displays their achievements with your company.

Tell us if you think embracing online status symbols improves social media marketing or if you think it’s just a fad. Share your ideas with us on Facebook at Weise Communications and follow @Weise_Ideas on Twitter.



Eva Longoria available for the right price

The recently launched site TwitChange is taking social media in a new direction.  TwitChange gives people a chance to win a celebrity auction, but not your traditional celebrity auction.

You bid on a donation amount to the designated TwitChange charity and attempt to win the Twitter affection of your favorite celebrity. The largest bidder is declared the winner of the TwitChange auction and can win one of three valuable rewards:

  1. A follow from your favorite celebrity on Twitter
  2. A special tweet from your favorite celebrity
  3. Your favorite celebrity will re-tweet one of your tweets

Last September, Eva Longoria (who has more than 1,217,000 Twitter followers) led the effort to raise money in earthquake-ravaged Haiti. Leveraging the power of her celebrity, the TwitChange auction produced more than 30 million hits in 30 days, and raised $500,000 to build a home for disabled and special needs children in Haiti.

The latest auction started Jan. 29 and goes through Feb. 4. It benefits Operation Once in a Lifetime – the charity ensures soldiers’ homes aren’t foreclosed on, heat and electricity stays connected, and families are safe while soldiers are deployed.

As an added incentive for the current Operation Once in a Lifetime auction, the highest bidder on Pittsburgh Steeler Troy Polamalu (NFL defensive player of the year) will receive two Super Bowl tickets to this Sunday’s game between Pittsburgh and Green Bay.

A huge Side Note Blog congratulations to Eva Longoria and Troy Polamalu for using Twitter to bring awareness and financial support to these charitable causes.

This is the best example we’ve found of Twitter being used for social change that can change the world.

Let us know if you have found social media efforts that you believe deserve recognition. Share your thoughts with us right here on the Side Note Blog or on Facebook at Weise Communications and follow @Weise_Ideas on Twitter.


Size Does Matter, it’s Not Just About Quality

It’s a recurring debate in health care social media: Which do you prefer quality or quantity?

There are two health care marketing blogs that I routinely enjoy reading, Health is Social and The Healthcare Marketer.  Both recently weighed in on the topic.

Your Hospital Doesn’t Have to Be Internet Famous

Community Engagement Tops Internet Popularity

Both make great points, Phil Baumann (Health is Social) states, “very few hospitals will hit it ‘big’ in social media.” His recommendation is to use social media for market research. Dan Dunlop (The Healthcare Marketer) agrees with Phil and adds, “don’t worry about how many individuals are checking out your site, be more concerned with how you are giving back to your community.”

While both points of view are valid, and speak to engagement, which is a crucial element to social media, both blogs tend to support quality being more important than quantity. I think the underlying assumption in favor of “quality over quantity” is that they are mutually exclusive – more followers/fans/likes means lower quality. I don’t believe quality and quantity are mutually exclusive. The focus for health care organizations should be to engage more people in a more meaningful way.

Assuming the quality of engagement is the same, the chance of success is improved by reaching as many people as possible within budget constraints. Understanding that “few hospitals will hit it ‘big’ in social media”, what health care marketer is willing to gamble limited resources on creating and executing the perfect plan without a safety net?

Also, there is an element of any social media campaign out of the health care marketers control and it is critical in order to demonstrate business goals were met by reaching a smaller audience. Conversion rates must be very high to justify abandoning a program that has 10 or 20 times the reach.

This is not an indictment of target marketing, for some organizations engaging five to seven influencers is more valuable than reaching thousands of prospective customers. It is a plea to adopt a balanced and aggressive approach – engage more people in a more meaningful way.

Let us know if you take a quality over quantity approach for your social media efforts. Share your thoughts with us on Facebook at Weise Communications and follow @Weise_Ideas on Twitter.


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