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How Can I Avoid TV Spoilers On Social Media?

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Avoiding TV spoilers on social media is, undoubtedly, one of the biggest issues of the modern age. Everybody uses catch-up and subscription services these days. However, a consequence of this is the fact that we have all, at one time or another, accidentally seen who wins Masterchef or The Great British Bake Off, or we find out who dies in Doctor Who, or the big reveal in Game of Thrones: the latter of which being the most downloaded programme of all time and, therefore, it’s also the worst for spoiler avoidance. Your friends are thoughtless and posting spoilers and plot reveals on Facebook and Twitter, Wikipedia is updated continuously to include new details, and the damn actors themselves are appearing on chat shows to discuss their character’s latest plot. What is wrong with everyone? Why can’t we just have surprises? If you’ve found yourself in this scenario then read on to discover how to avoid TV spoilers.

Twitter, arguably, is the worst for spoiler offenders. Often, people do it without thinking – they see something, they react to it, they tweet about it. We’ve all been guilty of this. However, the other side of Twitter is the trolls who spoil the fun for everyone and it’s these people who need to be unfollowed. Especially if they are repeat offenders; if they know what they’re doing and continue to do it then get rid. Furthermore, there are plenty of apps via Twitter, Chrome or other browsers which allow you to silence certain hash tags or buzzwords which can help to prevent spoilers too.

If you’re a Game of Thrones fan and are keen to avoid spoilers in the UK (the show airs on Sunday night in the US and Monday night in the UK), switching off your phone or putting your phone into airplane mode can eliminate any unexpected and unwanted spoilers. It’s a fairly temporary measure that gives you some extra control over what you’re seeing. In a similar vein, simply just avoiding Twitter or Facebook is another short-term measure that will definitely remove the problem.

Of course, reading the books before watching the TV show is potentially going to give you spoilers too. A lot of films and TV shows adapt the books but there’s still a lot of details that stay the same. Plus, there’s nothing worse than the smug friend who has read the entire series and just winks knowingly when you start asking questions or talking about a character you really like.

Ultimately, using your common sense and accepting that the reality is that you’re likely to see a spoiler or two at times are two ways to not get yourself too stressed about it all. Watch the TV show live if you’re really worried – the Masterchef finale, for example, is a good choice for doing this – or accept that life is going to happen around you and that some people will have watched it live and will want to discuss it. It is exciting after all!!

Photo Source: By Global Panorama [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Flickr.

The Best Apps And Tools For Giving Your Photos That Summer Feel

Best Apps

With the rise of social media came the love of sharing photos of everything and anything that we get up to. Some may call it vanity but, let’s face it, when we’ve got a bit of colour on our skin and our summer threads on, we all think we’re looking our best. So, it’s only natural that our photo sharing is set to increase now. However, with the best will in the world, the wrong filters and apps can make an adorable pink flush look like the reddest of lobsters, or it can wash out your carefully-cultivated tan altogether. Read on to avoid such disasters.

As of September 2013, Instagram reported that it had 150 million active users each month and it has surely only grown ever since. One of its main selling points is its ease of adding and adapting filters to suit your needs. The added joy of Instagram is the freedom it gives its users to fiddle with the usual photographic settings – most notably, contrast, which in the pursuit of a perfectly presented tan will be your friend, ditto to saturation – and it can mean that you can make the most of your photos. If you’re after an easy life and elect to just use Instagram’s built in filters than think carefully about which one accentuates what you want the world to see. For instance, the ‘Amaro’ filter will wash out a tan but it will calm down sunburn, whereas the ‘Mayfair’ filter will boost your natural colour and make even the palest of users look like they’ve at least spent an hour or two in the garden.

Another must-have app in the pursuit of picture-perfect summer photos is Hipstamatic. A long-standing favourite of the iphoneography crowd, this app allows you to purchase extra ‘kit’ so you can use different lenses, film, and flashes to create your photos. Known as ‘HipstaPaks’, one of the news additions is the Brisbane kit which could help to emphasise the blueness of the sea and the sky; the Jamaica kit is designed to deepen the shadows whilst still creating vibrant and beautiful colours; and there are other kits such as The Mission and Brussel ‘paks’ which can help to create that hazy summer evening vibe, perfect for barbeques and days on the beach.

Of course there are loads of other apps that can help you to create the best possible summer snaps. One of the more prominent of these is ‘Afterlight’ which offers users seventy-four filters and various other tools such as textures, frames, and adjustment tools. Another app is ‘Enlight’ which claims to be “every photo app you’ve ever needed”, offering tools such as intelligent photo correction and the ability to save photos mid-edit to finish off later so as to avoid missing any of those magical summer moments. At the cheaper end of the budget (i.e. free!) is ‘Retrica’ which offers much of the same things as many other current apps – filters and the ability to create collages and watermarks, for instance – and has a simple design.

Put simply: you need never regret that sunburn ever again!!

How Can Social Media Managers Win At Wimbledon?

WimbledonIt's strawberry season again which is great news for tennis players and social media managers alike.

Since the introduction in 1877 of a male-only amateur tennis tournament at The All England Croquet and Lawn Tennis Club, Wimbledon has become an international phenomenon. Remaining one of the world's premier tennis tournaments, every year around this time many of us are reminded how we'd love to engage with the sport but that we know so little about it - and that we really fancy strawberries. 

When it comes to social media, sports tournaments are great news. As the games unfold so does professional comment and personal opinion. So if you are looking to boost your Social Media you should love Wimbledon - even if you haven't a shred of athleticism in your body. As with many a Digital Marketing effort, you will see ROI in increased brand awareness as more people interact with you. Wimbledon is great because it happens throughout the working week when your potential clients are in their office and there is bound to be a tennis fan there whose trying to keep up to date on the daily goings-on.

Below are a few good things to consider if you are getting going with centre court social media...

Live matches

One of the easiest ways to get interacting is to search for whoever is currently playing. You are sure to find a multitude of people who are tweeting about them.

Hawk eye humour

Having a bit of fun on a topical subject is a great way to increase your posts' chances of virality. There is a good reason that Clare Balding is the perfect host for the BBC's Wimbledon 2day - she is knowledgeable and entertaining. Entertaining posts in the spirit of fun and games will get you noticed.

Keep interactions about the sport

When you are interacting, remember that it's not about you. It can be difficult, especially if you smell the potential for custom, to resist the temptation to go for a sale. The last thing you want is to put anyone off by peddling your wares where they're not welcome.

Don't leave your Wimbledon potential untapped - get engaging today and who knows who might discover your "service". #servingupsometennispuns

Photo Source: By Bo Mertz (originally posted to Flickr as IMG_3538.jpg) [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

The Shocking Story Of Thomas Cook And Its Belated Apology

Thomas Cook

Thomas Cook is one of the world’s most well-known names in travel, but in May they faced a mass consumer backlash which threatens the very core of the company after they refused to apologise for the deaths of two children on one if its holidays.

Bobby and Christi Shepherd, aged 6 and 7, died as a result of carbon monoxide poisoning while on holiday in 2006 with their father and stepmother. An inquest found that the children had been 'unlawfully killed' when they were overcome by fumes because of a faulty boiler at the hotel in which they were staying.

A jury decided Thomas Cook - the company that the family bought the holiday from - had ‘breached its duty of care’ and it has since emerged that the firm had not even apologised to the parents of the victims since the tragic accident took place. As a result, outrage over the deaths has mounted on social media.

A subsequent campaign to boycott the company was launched online after unbelievably, it was also revealed that the travel agency had received £3million in compensation from the owner of the hotel following the children’s deaths, while the parents only received £350,000 each.

Consumers were calling for holidaymakers to choose alternative holiday brands and the ‘Boycott Thomas Cook’ Facebook page now has over 10,000 likes. In an effort to quell the anger felt by many, Thomas Cook said it would donate £1.5m – the damages it received from the insurers - to the children’s charity Unicef. However, this move is being dubbed as a reactive ploy and was met with cynicism because they only did this after the truth was revealed.

We are deeply saddened to hear about this story and we can’t begin to imagine the upset the family is going through. There are many lessons we can learn here with regards to social media and how a company should act when confronted with a mistake of this magnitude. Mr Fankhauser, current CEO of Thomas Cook, has come out and said that he’d personally like to get in touch with the family and apologise personally, but is this only because he know of the damaging affects this is having on the company’s reputation?

Thomas Cook admitted to holding on to the compensation money when they should have donated it immediately, which in many people’s eyes is unforgiveable. It’s because of how poorly the firm have dealt with the situation and how this has played out in the media, that the world is aware of the huge error the tour operator made and their subsequent unapologetic behaviour.

Thomas Cook is renowned for its family friendly holidays, which is why this story is deeply concerning. The company could lose much of its credibility and the trust of many of its customers as a result of the huge weight of public disgust, especially on social media.

The value you place on a holiday amounts to more than the actual cost of it. The fact that you effectively put your trust in a travel company of this size and reputation to make your holiday dreams come true means that tour operators have to show they care, engage and respond regularly. When something goes wrong, you expect them to be there too.

A big problem the company now faces is the ever-increasing disconnection they have with consumers. Although they have said bookings are unaffected by this incident, at its half-year results, they reported an underlying loss of £173m from £187m a year earlier. Revenues fell to £2.7bn from £3bn as well as shares falling by 3%.

Will we forgive and forget? It depends on what Thomas Cook does now and whether they can act sensitively and show a human side in the face of adversity. But if the company acts moving forward as they have done in the past, you can expect its market share to significantly decrease as the Boycott Thomas Cook campaign gains further momentum.

Four Funny Twitter Accounts You Need To Follow

Funny Twitter Accounts

Since we love to laugh here at Giraffe Social Media, we thought it would be a good idea to create a list of funny Twitter accounts to read through when you need a little pick-me-up! Just don’t spend all day reading them at work, okay?

Enjoy!

@KimKierkegaard

Wonder what Kim Kardashian would be like if she were a philosophical, well-educated individual? Using Kim K’s original tweets, @KimKierkegaad  jazzes them up and adds a philosophical twist – and the result is pretty hilarious. Sure, people might see it as a little cruel, but laughter makes the world go around, afterall.

@SeinfeldToday

If you loved Seinfeld, follow this account. This account predicts plotlines of what the show would be like if it was still running today and they’ve hit the nail right on the head.  It just makes us miss Seinfeld more - maybe they’ll eventually make the film?

@HonestToddler

Being a toddler is hard work, and @HonestToddler tells us how hard it really is. It’s funny to see how a toddler questions what adults are doing and why they’re taking care of them.  Give them a follow! #toddlerproblems.

@thewordoftheday

Now, this might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but give this account a chance. @thewordoftheday tweets a new word a day, educating and entertaining us as they go along. Where were they when we were in school?

Photo Source: By David Shankbone (David Shankbone) [CC BY 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

How To Write The Best Tweet Ever

Twitter and tweets

It may only contain 140 characters, but mastering the art of writing epic tweets is not to be sniffed at. Visualise this; over 500 million tweets are sent every single day - that’s 200 billion per year! So it’s fair to say at this point, that Twitter is a rather effective channel for communication.

Now you could be tweeting from your account all day long, all night too in fact, but if what you’re posting is not engaging a desired target audience, it is an exercise of futility. The power of Twitter as a marketing tool has now been realised by the masses, which is why it’s so important now to write better tweets than ever before.

So what we’re after is maximum readability, with maximum retweetability. These are the factors that count, which give you the best opportunity to go viral. That means the potential to get your business name in front of the eyes of millions of people from all around the world.

Here are 5 things to remember when crafting that oh so important tweet:

Keep it snappy
Twitter has mastered the stream of consciousness style. It has no use for long sentences. It’s quick, immediate and reactionary. If it’s not concise and easy to read, people won’t read - it’s as simple as that. When you do have lots to say, break it down in to separate tweets make sure you ignore all the guff.

STAND OUT
What Twitter accounts do you enjoy the most? What are they doing differently to their competitors? Why this is important to understand is because they are clearly doing something right to make you sit up and take notice. Subconsciously, we remember that person or company in future and this level of interest will only rise if their tweets maintain a consistent quality.

Absolutely no sales talk
The tweets you create should tell a story. Who are you? What do you do? And why do you do it? Write like you’re telling this story to a friend. Keep it conversational and leave the jargon at the door. You’ll soon learn that the posts that achieve the most engagement are informal yet genuine.

Wit is a sword, use it
What wit brings with it is emotion and that’s exactly what we want. This is a chance to demonstrate expertise, industry know-how as well as to inject your brand with some much-needed humour. Twitter is the perfect place to provide this.

What would your followers like to see?
It’s important to think like your desired readers if you want to capture their imaginations. Take the time to use the correct language, hashtags and craft it accurately to ensure it appeals to those you want to see it. Remember, you are creating this post for the benefit of your customers, not yourself.
Think you’ve posted the best tweet ever? Send it our way and we’ll put it to the test for you.

The Facebook Post That Saved A Woman’s Life

Facebook Like

The information age gets a lot of bad press. As a social media-marketing agency, we know this better than most. In an era of email, text messages, Facebook and Twitter, this addiction to technology is supposedly making us less efficient, and less intelligent.

Many have stated that this quick and easy way of learning about everything from our friends’ whereabouts to current affairs may be eroding our ability to think, which is why when a positive news story concerning social media appears, it’s worth remembering just what an important tool this plays in modern life.

Her name is Laura Everley and she was suffering from bloating, lower back pain and constipation for three months as well needing to urinate very regularly.

Laura had previously suffered from IBS and endometriosis so had attributed these symptoms down to those conditions. But it was only after seeing a Facebook post on her timeline that she decided to explore further.

‘A friend had shared a post from a friend of theirs about her experiences of cancer and what she’d been through. There was a list of symptoms and I realised I had them all,’ said the mother of one.

Laura’s premonitions were confirmed in October 2014 after doctors at East Surrey hospital diagnosed her with cell carcinoma (a type of ovarian cancer) not long after reading the post.

After multiple tests, doctors performed a hysterectomy to remove the young mums uterus and ovaries, in which Laura describes a heart-breaking decision to make.

‘It was difficult but I decided on the full hysterectomy – I didn’t want my cancer coming back. I already had Harry, but I would have liked to have had more children,’ she said.

Laura is now nearing the end of chemotherapy and is hoping this story raises awareness about the symptoms of this disease in order to help those suffering from the same symptoms.

Why Twitter’s New Search Experience Is Great News For Businesses

Twitter Buttons

If you’re not already using Twitter in order to market your business because you’re unaware of its potential benefits, shame on us. If you still aren’t going to use Twitter in order to market your business after reading this blog, then shame on you.

As businesses all over the world try to reap the rewards that social media has to offer, the online networking service is currently experimenting with a new search interface that makes things that much more simpler.

The new look Twitter has tabs for top, live, accounts, photos and videos. It also features tweets according to popularity, while ‘all tweets’ are done chronologically.

As well as this, it’s showcasing trending topics under the search page on its mobile apps. This means you’ll be able to see all your ‘Tailored Trends’ alongside a short description of each, so you're more engaged with what’s happening right now.

The new layout gives the user much more control in terms of who you want to target or see information from. This is perfect for businesses because every market has a demographic of customers it want to reach and these new updates will allow you connect with big influencers – those who carry weight in your industry and your target audience that much more effectively.

Networking is without doubt Twitter’s biggest asset. It’s a gigantic community of ideas and information, as well as it being a fabulous place to show off what makes your business different and stand out from the rest.

These new features that enable a greater level of search experience are being rolled out gradually and the company is working in partnership with Google to incorporate the full Twitter firehose in Google’s search results.

Twitter only recently updated its new Advanced Search in 2014, which meant finely tuning results by factors such as location, sentiment and specific time periods and words. So you can see why everybody is telling you to ‘get on Twitter’.

Make sure you have a presence on this popular social network!

Photo Source: By Garrett Heath (Twitter Buttons at OSCON) [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

5 Telling Signs Your Client Relationship Is In Trouble

Client Relationship

In the world of social media management, when day-to-day delivery means you are forever fighting the clock, client management can be a part of the job that is often overlooked. Neglecting this relationship ultimately ends one way, the client losing their passion for social media and looking for alternative means, methods or companies to market their service or product instead of you. Therefore, the value of nurturing this dynamic is absolutely pivotal to ensure a client receives a rewarding experience. Here are 5 telling signs that your client relationship is on the rocks, and how to go about fixing these problems:

1. Avoids your emails

If you have something important to say to your client, nothing beats the personal touch of a phone call. Despite its prevalence today in communication, you want to be more than just an email address. The phone is great for delivering good news and is a proven method to build a better relationship with your client. If they are avoiding your calls, email first and arrange a scheduled time to talk.

2. There’s a leadership change

You could be getting on just fine with a client and then bam! Your point of contact changes for one reason or another and your new client wants a complete overhaul of direction and strategy. While this may be no fault of your own, it’s important to be as helpful as possible to facilitate this change, while demonstrating your expertise along the way ensuring the value of a social media marketing service.

3. The client doesn’t feel valued

We’ve all been there. You have a lot on your plate at a particular time and your communication to a particular client is – lets say – less than prompt. This can make that business feel undervalued and overlooked. Consequently, treating every client like it’s your most important is a must. Client management is even more important that your actual delivery, so this should be number 1 in your list of priorities.

4. They fail to see a ROI

Every client wants to see a return of investment on social media, as it’s proof that the service is working. So you need to demonstrate that the strategy you have implemented is hitting the desired marketplace and that a client is getting the most with their money. Setting realistic objectives, determining effective platforms, creating valuable campaigns and recording results is a sure fire way to convey what you’re doing has real merit and is contributing to the bigger picture of achieving the clients’ aims.

5. You fail to manage expectations

Many social media managers have learned this the hard way. It’s always exciting times when a new client comes on board, as a result, it’s easy to get carried away with what you promise and what in fact you can deliver. Expectation management is a big part of the job and quality social media management takes time. You need to make sure your client understands this from the go, not 2/3 months down the line when disappointment may have already set in.
While dealing with tricky clients can be tough and not without its fair share of challenges, building a rapport with clients that is based on mutual understanding and trust, goes a long way to establishing a long term working relationship. How do you make clients feel valued? We’d love to hear answers from fellow social media managers.

Who Coined The Term ‘Social Media’ First?

AOL

The term ‘Social Media’ is very much the buzz phrase of a generation: it is used millions of times a day, generates nearly 1.5 billion hits on Google, and has completely altered the way that we market products, communicate, and share our experiences. The rise of brands such as Facebook and Twitter has taken social media to heady new heights that nobody could have possibly conceived at its inception. But who coined the term ‘Social Media’ first? This is a question that is hotly contested and there a number of people who lay claim to it meaning that nobody is completely sure.

A former executive at AOL believes that she coined the phrase first. Tina Sharkey is on record as stating that she created it when a new phrase was required for describing iVillage, whom she also worked for. However, the URL socialmedia.com, which is registered to Sharkey, first appeared in 1999 making it a late contender by all accounts.

In 1997, Ted Leonsis, was discussing the need to offer a platform through which users can communicate and be entertained online. He claims that the phrase almost certainly came out of AOL in the 1990s whilst he and other executives were beginning to develop the ideas being AOL Instant Messenger.

Going back even further to 1994, we find Darrell Berry who claims to have coined the term whilst he was developing Matisse, an online media environment. In 1995, he wrote an article about ‘social media spaces’ and how the internet, if it were to survive, would need to grow from being just simply a selection of pages into a space within which users could interact and communicate with one another. Berry points out that since the web was lacking in development, unlike nowadays, it is unlikely that he would have heard the phrase elsewhere before using it in his own work. It is a fair point but it would be nearly a decade until social media was really coming into its own online.

Another contestant is the technology expert, Chris Shipley, who many believe coined the phrase long ago. However, she herself states that she merely popularised the term although she was unaware of the phrase being used prior to then.

In short, the term ‘social media’ and its origins will perhaps never be known for certain. It is understandable why it is such a point of discussion though since it is one of the most important phrases used in the world today. Forbes magazine reported that Tina Sharkey has said that “Successful memes have many mothers, and I’m happy to simply be one of them here.” These are true words indeed and perhaps this leads us to the conclusion that it doesn’t really matter who, specifically, coined the phrase since social media, by its very nature, is designed to be the combined efforts of many different people – all of whom bring something new and interesting to the fore so that the idea can evolve and grow. It seems fitting, then, that the term ‘Social Media’ has a convoluted and interactional backstory.

Photo Source: Coolcaesar at en.wikipedia [CC BY-SA 3.0 or GFDL], via Wikimedia Commons

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