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6 Innovative Twitter Campaigns

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#40dollars

December 2011, and February 2012, were when social media was used for the better. When the American people took to the Internet to tell Washington State that letting the payroll tax cut expire was not acceptable. Thousands of Americans tweeted and emailed to remind Washington that politics is not a game to be played with.

Using social media to voice their anger and opinions, on this hot topic. It was not all a waste of characters. Americans won a major victory that month when the American Congress passed another two-month tax cut extension in December that prevented the typical all American family, earning $50,000 a year, from losing $40 each pay cheque they receive.

Even though this was a major feat for normal families the extension had an expiry date and so as before people spoke out—and it made all the difference.

The White House, having no part in the tax cut, took to social media as well and created the #40dollars campaign with a question to the American people. “What can you buy with $40?”

@whitehouse Twitter account has over 2.5 million followers, and so launching the campaign with the above tweet gave this cause the platform it needed to reach millions.

The #40dollars hashtag has also been a trending topic on Twitter in Washington, D.C.

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#Getcovered

“If you have health insurance, tell your friends, family and co-workers why it's important to #GetCovered.”

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 Health insurance is something, in the UK, we don’t have to even imagine, but in the US it is a daily struggle for millions and has sparked some furious online campaigns.

#Getcovered was started by the white house in Washington, D.C. and has roped in 2 extremely talented and caring YouTube stars, Hannah Hart and Tyler Oakley who have previously been to the White House and are being used as innovative tools in spreading the word and educating a somewhat younger audience about health care. The online figures have big influential platforms and spoke directly to their audience about getting covered and the benefits of doing so.

The campaign influenced over 8 million American citizens who decided to play it safe and get health insurance due to the overwhelming results of the hashtag.

Other major celebrities such as, Amy Poehler, Kate Bosworth, Pharrell Williams and Connie Britton also went online and posted their own words of wisdom for the US people.

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#ALSicebucketchallenge

“The ALS Association is the only national non-profit organization fighting Lou Gehrig’s Disease on every front.  By leading the way in global research, providing assistance for people with ALS through a nationwide network of chapters, coordinating multidisciplinary care through certified clinical care centers, and fostering government partnerships, The Association builds hope and enhances quality of life while aggressively searching for new treatments and a cure.”

The worldwide phenomenon #ALSIceBucketChallenge invaded our computers and social media zones. Maybe one of the biggest campaigns of the time, they raised over $114m for the charity and that is just money from donations linked with the social media nomination success

Again, a lot of celebrities got involved with the ice bucket challenge, which fed the charities reach. But not all celebrities were as willing to donate and raise awareness for the causes. Grimes (Claire Elise Boucher) writes,

"I don’t feel great about wasting water in this California drought, but I will donate money. However I will not donate money to this foundation because of their record of testing on animals."

 

#NoMakeUpSelfie

“No-makeup selfies raise £8m for Cancer Research UK in six days”

In March 2014 the UK was gripped by the #nomakeupselfie. Cancer Research UK, which did not start the campaign, said the #nomakeupselfie trend had resulted in an unprecedented increase in donations. Women, and some men, all across the UK and US posted bare faced selfies to social media and, like the ALS campaign, they would nominate their other female friends to do the same. As all popular charity trends happen they have a flock of celebrities doing the same. Just like us! The list includes Lady GaGa, Holly Willoughby, Beyonce, Lorde and Cheryl Fernandez-Versini.

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 #Yesallwomen

#YesAllWomen is a hashtag and social media campaign in which users share examples of misogyny and domestic violence against women.Birthed from the 2014 Isla Vista killings, the hashtag was most popular in May of 2014, and was created as a response to the previous Twitter hashtag NotAllMen. #YesAllWomen reflected a grassroots campaign in which women shared their personal stories about harassment and discrimination. The campaign was to raise awareness of sexism that women experience, often from people they know.

 

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#Cutcakenotwrists

Created by Irish YouTuber BriBryontour the site and campaign is dedicated to those who suffer with depression and self-harm, and to help fund for counselling with those who can't afford it.

By the simple task of purchasing some wristbands from BriBry.bigcartel.com you will be instantly donating and helping this awesome charity reach the people it needs to. Also by watching the link to his YouTube video you are also donating because 100% of BriBry's YouTube revenue goes towards his charity.

“Remember, life is a wonderful, wonderful thing.”

By Content Assistant Todd Lamming. @toddlamming

How Does Social Media Exploit Celebrities?

Twitter, Tumblr, YouTube, are just some of the most popular forms of social media and also the best platforms to voice your opinion on celebrities.

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King and legend of using this device to his advantage, on YouTube, is Michael Buckley (host and creator of popular channel "What The Buck") His, now coming on 8 year channel has had over 395,000,000 views since he created it on 1st May 2007 and his career is built on the exploitation of celebrities in the world media and he has a voice and he voices his opinion within the 6 minute videos he creates. But what does Michael Buckley have that teens all across the world don't have? An audience, a platform and a minor celebrity title.

Apps such as Twitter have given us 'common people' a place to vent, rant and use pop culture affairs to exploit celebrity's privacy, whenever we want to, and for free none the less. Anyone can be a blogger and anyone can review a Beyoncé performance, but when another celebrity uses this voice then we all pay attention.

Perez Hilton. As a "celebrity" himself, he uses his blog as a 'meta' tool to post undignified articles about other celebrities - who are on the other side of a clean cut icon - such as Lady GaGa, Amanda Bynes and most recently on Jennifer Lawrence and the private images that were stolen from her iCloud.

 

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Lawrence has still not emerged since the images were leaked and the only person to blame is the hacker and the users who spread the photos around using social media.

This exploitation of privacy would only make minor splashes if it was someone you knew but because Lawrence is willingly in the public eye, she has been objectified by millions with the theft of her private images that suddenly entitles people - who are wrong to view them - to an unwelcome opinion, they don't deserve, on negative body image and negative views towards Jennifer Lawrence directly. This is undeserved.

Celeb on celeb attacks is nothing new in social media land. Other acts of “shots being fired”, by passive aggressive celebrities, have come from Azealia Banks vs. Lily Allen and Rihanna vs. the late and great Joan Rivers but when two queens go against each other someone is bound to get burned.

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These online fights would be fine if either party didn't have over 39 million followers between them and a tiny percentage of that is celebrity peers. Sometimes exploitation of celebrities on social media can be self-executed.

Social media is one the 21st century's greatest tool and recently this has been used as a secret weapon for the recent Teen Choice Awards aired on the FOX network.

This is the first year that the Teen Choice Awards have dedicated votes and nominations for YouTube and social figures/icons such as Tyler Oakley and Bethany Mota. It wasn't all as kind-hearted as we first thought. Yes, this is a great step for team internet, but the Teen Choice Awards have always been in control of the votes and nominations. This is just how TV works, but with the new guests at the live event teenagers were told the, not so, hidden truth behind all the award show glamour.

This sparked a fire on social media and with the Youtubers themselves as they were used and exploited as trendy tools to help bring in viewer traffic by taking advantage of their millions of followers and subscribers to vote and create the buzz for the show. This birthed the worldwide trending hashtag #TeensDontHaveTheChoiceAward. Not such a scratch to Nickelodeon and Fox but the internet feelings were hurt by this infamous act.

As impersonal and transparent as Twitter etc. is I do feel that online society is in the apocalypse and the rules for being kind and thoughtful and our human rights of privacy have all been long forgotten just because we have a QWERTY keyboard.

Social media has a power socially and publicly and also a cultural impact upon society. Used as a healing tool this can clean the wounds of people in the spotlight but used as a weapon, And with only 140 characters, you can bring people down with the ability to reach a wide audience with a strong and influential message. Celebrities are not just people we see day to day they are victims of having their privacy stolen. Social media is the tank of the war but we do not have to be in the front line and exploit these artists and creators further with our, clueless and sometimes, reckless online actions.

By Content Assistant, Todd Lamming @toddlamming

Smartphones Are Controlling Our Shopping!

 

Can you remember the days when you actually visited the high-street? You know the days where towns had something worth visiting for? Be it the much loved Woolworths’ stores or the happiness you got when getting your sweets for being good throughout the week? I remember those days like they were only yesterday, but something has changed and it isn’t just the towns, it is our attitudes and behaviours to shopping.

Smartphone Shopping

Shopping online offers convenience and ease, not only can we access the internet 24/7, but now we can do all of our food shopping, clothes shopping and even banking online, so why bother visiting the high-street and do what we all once did? Many food retailers, to include Tesco offers an ‘app’ where their customers can conveniently shop online and select a deliver date and time to suit their lifestyles, what a perfect way to meet the needs of every person possible! Smart Phones have helped businesses grow through awareness and popularity. How many times do you check yourself checking your phone in a single day? Don’t you know? Maybe it is because it is a lot of times and you cannot keep track. What you might not know is that smartphones are more popular than computers now! Really? Wow! It just goes to show how many people are getting one and using it for the internet. Smart Phones sure are easier to use to shop and communicate with your friends on, you can do this all in one place. Whereas turning the computer on, takes effort, time and isn’t always convenience as you may not be at home to use it, but a smartphone you can.

According to the Telegraph, “Shoppers are spending more time checking out shopping websites on their mobile phones and tablets than on desktop computers for the first time ever, according to new research.

The IMRG Capgemini Quarterly Benchmarking Report also found that more than one in three sales are now completed on smartphones and tablets, with clothes shoppers particularly keen to spend on the go.”

This just goes to show us all how popular smart-phones are and the number of users on them is growing quickly. Shopping on this gadget is quicker and saves you a great deal of cash too! The shopper can access all of their favourite brands and businesses online without leaving their house; it couldn’t be simpler. Accessing your favourite shops from home, as long as they are online of course, can be seen as heaven to shopaholics and why shouldn’t it be?  Supermarkets and other businesses, especially clothing retailers have exploited our weaknesses for a great bargain and once you have signed up to their emails, sometimes you cannot be stopped from shopping when they come through to you each week. Only £10 or half price flashing before our eyes, it is hardly surprising why online presence for businesses is a good thing.

So what other ways have smart-phones changed our shopping habits? Is convenience and choice the only things? No, they are not. The marketing mix is a great addition to the smart-phones attracting us to shop. Price, Place, Product and Promotion all are motivating us to shop and it is easier just having a few clicks online then getting in the car, paying for parking and walking, isn’t it? Finding the right product is also easier online, so if the product is for you, then the price likely will be and the promotion may be free delivery or a discount and the place, well that’s your house! Sounds like a perfect calculation!

Did you know that more of us are leaving the high-street now and it isn’t all good, what would we do if the high-street disappeared forever? It is urgent that action is taken to increase our high-streets and that the online retailers return to the high-street, especially if they have left. John Lewis are both online and in the high-street, this is what they think:

“John Lewis online director Mark Lewis said: "We called John Lewis's first ever 'mobile Christmas' in 2013 and we have continued to see customers shop via this channel during the first half of this year. Today, over half of the traffic to johnlewis.com comes from mobile and tablet devices and we've also seen an increase in the conversion rate of traffic to sales.

"We've placed a significant focus on developing our mobile strategy and have more enhancements planned for our app later this year. Customers want to be able to shop seamlessly across all channels and mobile is now the go-to choice alongside visiting our shops."  Impressive stuff here! It seems that smart-phones also are helping revenue and profit streams.

So, not only have smart-phones made it easier for us to spend our money, get our groceries without going out, they have made it easier to stay indoors and have a convenient life, one that doesn’t involve running around the supermarket or dodging people who do not look where they are going… so what is best? Going to the supermarkets or shopping online with them? You can decide!

Is Social Media Here To Stay: A Mozzarella Memoir.

A real pet-hate of mine is restaurants whose chosen table layout leaves you with no choice but to sit within food-pinching distance of other guests. Not that I’m paranoid about random members of the public stealing one of my mozzarella in carrozza when I look the other way, but rather I prefer a certain level of conversational privacy when dining out. One such restaurant is our local Prezzo, the location of the meal that I took my girlfriend for earlier last month, in celebration of her birthday. We deliberately elected for a table in the corner that had a vacant table for two to the left and a wall to the right. Inevitably, within minutes of ordering some drinks we had new table neighbours; a charming elderly couple. We smiled and politely acknowledged each other, then sat in awkward silence for a few moments as if the four of us were now on a double-date that Prezzo had clandestinely organised.

It was what happened next that spurred me into penning this article. The elderly man reached for his pocket and rather than a handkerchief, he pulled out an iPhone 5s. Without skipping a beat, his wife broke the silence by saying; “What are you doing?” I already knew what he was doing. With a stealthy glance towards his phone, I could see he was checking in on Facebook. I don’t think it is unfair to say that this man was at least 70 years old. Suddenly a smile spread across my face. It was at this point that cemented the concept that Social Media is here to stay. Here was a man who is old enough to remember the Second World War and he is checking in on Facebook. Sadly for his wife, he spent the rest of his meal browsing Facebook and the BBC Sport app, occasionally nodding and providing the bare minimum acknowledgements to appease his wife’s conversation. But regardless, this small act provided conclusive evidence of what many already know – social media isn’t going anywhere. In fact, it’s only just beginning. The first wave of its dominance is ensuring that everyone is using it. As a previous film student, I liken this stage to the scene in Independence Day, where the alien spacecrafts begin to hover over all of the major cities. Social Media is in position and ready to take over, just like those aliens, but with fewer aliens. An estimated 1.73 billion people are already using Social Networks.

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Several years ago, Erik Qualman said that infamous phrase that everyone who works in social media is bored of hearing, ‘The ROI of social media is that your business will still exist in 5 years’. He said that on the first day of 2013. So technically, if you haven’t already commenced your social media marketing, you have 3 years, 3 months and 24 days from the day this article goes live, to do so. I think a lot of people probably scoffed at this idea when Erik first verbalised it, but as I sat with my girlfriend in Prezzo, watching a 70 year old man check-in on Facebook – it is hard to deny it. No industry can accurately say that their target audience isn’t on social media. Unless your target audience is the Jawara tribe of the Andaman Islands; they’re not on social media; yet.

Social media can be daunting to those who are unfamiliar with it. But that is why Kane and I started our company, to help the 70 year old guy in Prezzo who may run his own company. The countdown has begun to the decimation of businesses who fail to adapt to the new omnipresent digital environment we all live in. I beg you to not be left behind. Giraffe Social Media is the Will Smith and Jeff Goldblum of social media, and we’re ready to save the world’s businesses from extinction.

By Phil Treagus, Managing Director

Rest In Peace MSN, You Will Be Missed!

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Remembering my childhood a few years ago, I recalled using Bebo and MSN. Bebo isn’t the same as what it was when I first signed up, now called ‘A company that dreams up ideas for fun social apps’, Bebo was all about sharing the love and encouraging random conversations on your friend’s or random people’s walls. MSN was another social media tool I used to communicate, now both have changed and are not the same. I was saddened to see that the once widely used and popular chatting website, MSN is now closing its doors and resting in peace. It really reminded me of how many hours I used to sit on it talking to former friends and total strangers, something that I was constantly disciplined not to do, but fortunately they turned out to be genuine people my age, rather than any different.

MSN used to be part of my life as a teen, I enjoyed the fun range of emoticons that they had as well as nudging girls trying to get their attention, yes things really were that hard back then, I daren’t do the cinema date. And, I also remember the webcam chats I had and spent hours using, just babbling on about random stuff with people I cared for at the time, so many memories of MSN, but over recent years I haven’t been using it and instead have just relied on Facebook to message, although the messenger update quite annoys me; I hate clicking on my messages on my iPad and being diverted to a different app, if only it was all one thing that would be much easier for me. However, you may like it and I cannot say I blame you. It is easier and better than Facebook’s former way of messaging and I would like it, if it had the app on Facebook without the diversion.  I haven’t used MSN for a few years now and I guess it shows because until this week, I hadn’t heard of Microsoft’s plans to close it down, it came as bit of a shock if I am honest.

So, after fifteen years of having MSN, what has made Microsoft decide to end the much-loved and popular chat tool? I think the real answer is Skype. Skype has considerably grown in users over the last few years and has become the new MSN for people to communicate effectively over their computers, laptops and tablets. According to BBC News, “Windows Live still had as many as 330 million users as recently as 2009. But those numbers later declined, while users of Skype rose to nearly 300 million by 2012.” So why did they decline? Was it because Skype is easier to use and has an app that users can use on their hand-held devices? Or was it because of the popular increase in users of Facebook, Twitter and My Space? One can debate whether many people prefer these social media websites to MSN and the decline in users for MSN was really down to the increasing growth in their popularity.

I am not sure what everyone else thinks about MSN dying or if anyone will even miss MSN, but I for sure will remember the part of my teenage years that I spent talking to friends over the internet and even looking back and remembering how weird and fun those chats were, MSN will always be remembered. I wonder why Microsoft is just pulling the switch rather than selling MSN? Maybe a rebrand or new direction can help save and increase users and popularity again? I know that there are a great deal of chat apps like: Meow, BBM, Facebook Messenger and FaceTime, so maybe nobody would buy it?

I leave you with an obituary from the BBC:

MSN Messenger was a hard-working internet visionary which taught a generation to touch-type and lol, writes BBC technology reporter Dave Lee.

It touched the lives of millions of teenagers who, in an age before real social networking, were just getting accustomed to what it was like to live on the internet.

MSN Messenger heralded a new era: a time when chatting up a classmate no longer meant the terrifying prospect of actually having tosay something to them.

It meant no longer would young teens have to endure the torture of ringing the landline number of their newest crush - knowing there was a high probability that dad would pick up.

But after all the "ASL?"s and "u there?"s, Messenger's loyal subjects became less dependent. "I'll brb", people said... but they never did.

Other sites, smarter and better looking, would see Messenger cast aside. In an age of exciting digital discovery, Messenger became the web's wooden toy.

After a long career, it spent its final year enjoying a comfortable retirement in China. Its less well-regarded relative, Windows Messenger, still battles on on work computers the world over.

"It's like MSN," office workers say, "…just not as fun."

MSN Messenger is survived by Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, Snapchat, Skype, Google+ and Instagram.”

I guess what I am trying to say is REST IN PEACE MSN!

By Matt Clifton, Content Manager

How Will Yahoo’s Purchase Of Tumblr Really Have Affected the Blogging Platform?

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Yahoo is well known to many of us. Be it for their success in making revenue from advertisements, email service, news reports, videos, games or Flickr. So when the company’s chief executive purchased the company for £723 million pounds back in 2013, it may have not seemed like such a bad move to some, but for regular users of Tumblr, there was a worry. One of these worries was that Tumblr and Yahoo were very different and that the ownership may affect the microblogging platform significantly. But one thing showed, Yahoo had the money to improve and develop Tumblr and this was needed, especially as the fast-growing user base did not help Tumblr make enough money to stand alone.

Marissa Mayer: the name that may take the ‘cool’ out of the Tumblr game.

 

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Could this user be aiming his comment at Mayer and Yahoo?

In discussing the $1.1bn purchase, Mayer promised not to “screw it up,” but the word of Mayer has reached the soft-grunge-pale-gothika-punk blogs and they are not pleased with the changes to their beloved sanctum.

Yahoo’s best asset is that they are one of the world leaders in creating advertising and revenue opportunities and so for a microblogging site such as Tumblr – which creates only a small amount of revenue – on the surface, this is a perfect match. David Karp CEO of Tumblr also was expected to stay on which could have furthered Yahoo’s and Mayer’s understanding in developing the well-used and accessed microblogging network. Tumblr users have only seen a small amount of on-site advertising, since it launched in 2007, but this atom bomb sized deal could easily destroy the cool factor that Tumblr holds against other new media and social media platforms.

As a user of Tumblr, who has his own blog, and a reader/viewer of a lot of rapid content from the site. I am sceptical how much resistance Karp – Founder/CEO of Tumblr – will be able to uphold his to allowing ads on the platform.

From Marissa Mayer’s Tumblr page she started her blog post, about the announcement, with this.

“We promise not to screw it up. Tumblr is incredibly special and has a great thing going. We will operate Tumblr independently. David Karp will remain CEO. The product roadmap, their team, their wit and irreverence will all remain the same as will their mission to empower creators to make their best work and get it in front of the audience they deserve. Yahoo! will help Tumblr get even better, faster.”

If the Tumblr clan except what Mayer has to offer then this could mean great things or it could mean a disaster for the leading fashion blogs as what is expected from the buyout is ads tagged to photos and that is not going to fly with hipsters of the web.

“Both Tumblr and Yahoo! share a vision to make the Internet the ultimate creative canvas by focusing on users, design — and building experiences that delight and inspire the world every day.”

Mayer seems incredibly keen on keeping her threatening hands off the in-vogue, super chic, blogging site. Although, bold moves are Marissa Mayer’s key business attack. Is a $1.1bn body slam an over shot when she has promised to uphold a distant approach, whilst also creating a significant and worthwhile ad platform, that doesn’t ruin the holy grail of online diversity and cultural content for the 200.7 million blogs on the site?

Another key question here is whether Mayer has just purchased Tumblr for increasing web traffic to Yahoo and other sites such as their photo website, Flickr. This would seem like a good move that Marissa has kept quiet and a very good tactic too. Imagine developing Tumblr and having a success due to increased awareness and interest in other Yahoo owned services, it sure would help the company.

Since the acquisition of Tumblr, Mashable.com reported a backlash among Tumblr’s user base in reaction to the new ownership, did users feel affected by the change or did they not trust Yahoo and Mayer’s visions for the takeover?

 

By Content Assistant- Todd Lamming @toddlamming

Can What You Post Send You To Prison?

In recent years we’ve seen an increase in the number of news stories which address the growing number of people who are being prosecuted for what they have posted online. Perhaps the biggest news story of this nature was that of the London Riots which saw Twitter thrust into the frame for allowing users to incite violence and spread the message. It is also Twitter that, perhaps, has the highest profile amongst accusations of social media’s negative influence. It is, after all, a fast-paced whirlwind of events and happenings around the world and, in this day and age, often it presents news faster than the more traditional media.

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Furthermore, it is Twitter that has found itself at the heart of a number of legal rumblings about the privacy of celebrities. The high profile case of Ryan Giggs taking out a super injunction to prevent the reporting of his affair in 2011 was one such case. It was alleged that a Twitter user posted the details online and the leak then spread wildly across with hundreds of other users posting it, making it very hard to pinpoint the original tweet and user. Nevertheless, Giggs sought out legal action against Twitter in a bid to discover who it was. The combination of the site’s freedom of speech, the potential anonymity of users, and its ‘retweet’ culture makes Twitter an extremely difficult platform to police.

Another modern issue is that of cyberbullying which plagues everyone from celebrities to ten-year-olds. Currently, police are unable to tackle this as directly as is perhaps necessary due to outdated laws and social media’s evolving landscape. Whilst cyberbullying is not explicitly illegal, it can be prosecuted for in extreme cases. Terms such as ‘trolling’ have become commonplace following successful arrests. Trolling is where someone behaves abusively online. In February 2014, the UK government were reported as saying that the simple rule of what is unacceptable offline is equally so online. Allegedly, in 2013, some 2000 people were prosecuted for behaving in such a way demonstrating that your posts online can, very easily, get you into trouble with the law. Sadly, this does not deter some people and high profile cases such as the 62-year old man who pretended to be the ghost of murdered toddler, James Bulger; or the 24-year old woman who bombarded herself with messages of abuse in a bid to incriminate her family, demonstrate that the law is in full operation and that it is not just petty playground squabbles that are spilling over into an online forum.

Whilst the law is struggling to keep up with humanity’s new-found ways to be horrible to each other, the internet is a quickly-growing area of legal ramifications and limits. As the stories of successful prosecutions grow in number, as does the urgency with which users must remedy their posts. Crossing the wrong person can lead you down a very sticky path and, whilst police are still finding ways to capture online criminals, their methods are clearly improving. The safest bet is the same as it has always been though: just try being nice to one another!!

Should You Be Allowed To Go On Social Media At Work?

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Whilst sites such as Facebook and Twitter (amongst others) have allowed us to connect with our friends, families and peers faster and more constantly than ever before, it has also raised the issue of whether we should be permitted to access these sites at work. In short, the answer is yes! These sites offer up a huge array of possibilities if embraced properly in businesses.

Arguably, social media, much like the use of mobile phones, is something which should be left to the discretion of the employee. Understandably, companies are concerned about the content of these sites; it is often unpredictable and whilst an employee might be conscientious about the type of thing he or she posts online, her friends might be less so. However, images and links are often branded as ‘NSFW’ allowing the user to see exactly what they should and shouldn’t be clicking whilst on the company’s time. That said, employees are mature and sensible adults, meaning that, in theory, they should be capable of assessing the relevance and suitability of social media whilst at work. Isn’t it time we trusted employees as such? Companies who fail to extend this courtesy to staff will start to see a depletion of fresh, young minds joining them.

Social media can also have a beneficial effect in the workplace. If your company or organisation does not have a Twitter account, then you are missing out on a huge and influential market. Likewise, companies who do use social media to reach out to customers, do so in a better way when they are personably, friendly and even humorous in their approach. Social media should be seen as the modern alternative to spending hours on hold to a customer service phone line. Encouraging an ethos of this in the workplace is encouraging a more contemporary approach to handling customer issues and concerns, whilst also extending a friendly hand out to new people.

Social media can also be an alternative way of sharing ideas and messages amongst staff. Sites such as Edmodo allow schools to setup private social networks where only staff with the school’s e-mail address can join and get involved. This enables them to share resources, ideas, requests without clogging up the school email system. If embraced, allowing social media at work can actively encourage staff to be more interactive with one another leading to a more unified and generally happier workforce.

The bottom line is this: social media is here to stay. It must be embraced as being a fundamental part of both the personal and professional aspects of working life. Staff, in this day and age, expect to be treated respectfully and equally and, as such, expect to be able to manage their own internet usage. Not only that but with the current generation of graduates and those to come, social media is only ever going to become more significant meaning that companies need to get involved or start to fail.

Social Media And The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge.

Bill Gates

You’ve probably noticed a lot of celebrities who have been drenching themselves with buckets of ice cold water and been wondering what it’s all about. The basic idea is that you endure the challenge, nominate your friends to do the same, raise awareness for a good cause and donate to the charity with what you can. ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis) is also known as Lou Gherig’s Disease or Motor Neurone Disease and it is the condition that Stephen Hawking suffers from – it causes muscle atrophy; difficulty breathing, speaking and swallowing; and is characterised by erratic muscle movement. It is a nasty disease and very deserving of awareness being raised.

So far, fans have been able to see the likes of Robert Downey Jr, Bill Gates, Taylor Swift, Chris Pratt, and Tom Hiddleston undertake the challenge, amongst many others. Since it all started, the challenge has raised $15.6 million with that total rising all the time. All in all, it’s a clever scheme which manages to successfully raise awareness and money for a very good cause.

Social media often comes under criticism for promoting silliness and following the ridiculous ‘Neknominate’ fiasco earlier this year, in which young people nominated one another to quickly drink alcohol and perform dangerous stunts, and the death of some participants, many may have misconstrued this latest craze as being yet another example of the same. However, the ALS bucket challenge is harmless and fun whilst also being extremely successful. Social media has played a huge part in this with videos being shared, liked, and retweeted across dozens of networks – ensuring the success of the challenge in raising as much money as it already has. Equally, the challenge and social media has provided fans with yet another opportunity to seek out and enjoy their favourite celebrity being a ‘normal’ person.

So, has your favourite celebrity taken up the call of the ice bucket yet? Why not start it up with your friends and raise some money too!

10 Online Celebrities You Should Be Following On Twitter And Why.

Ricky Gervais

Upon its inception, Twitter became a popular place for celebrities to hang out and so millions of people signed up with the intention of following them and feeling that little bit closer to their favourite star. However, a lot of celebrity accounts are either boring, monotonous reminders of when and where to buy their work; or they’re run by a team of people who have no more met that person than you or I. Some even veer into being sanctimonious ‘moral compass’ voices of reason that nobody ever asked for. That said, there are a select few who really see Twitter’s possibility for connecting with fans or even just for having some fun! So, who should you follow?

1. Patton Oswalt (@pattonoswalt)

The Entourage star and comedian provides one of the funniest accounts on Twitter with a constant supply of hilarious comments on the day’s news and events. Satire and biting wit at its finest.

2. David Lynch (@DAVID_LYNCH)

Fans of this master of the surreal should follow him for more of the same in his tweets. His idiosyncratic view of the world is both interesting and bizarre.

3. Aaron Paul (@aaronpaul_8)

The lovable rogue of Breaking Bad fame is notoriously ‘game’ when it comes to his fans and his Twitter feed reflects this perfectly: enthusiastic, earnest and not a trace of egotism anywhere.

4. Ellen DeGeneres (@TheEllenShow)

Ellen has long been considered to be one of the funniest women alive and her US chat show has only served to seal that deal. She caught the world’s attention with her now-infamous Oscars selfie and her tweets are fun, celebrity-laden, and feature lots of photos.

5. Russell Brand (@rustyrockets)

Brand has found fame for his observational comedy and verbose speech. More recently, he has become the political voice of a despondent generation and his Twitter feed has plenty of commentary and humorous takes on important events in the news.

6. Lily Allen (@lilyallen)

Whilst she isn’t everybody’s cup of tea, the singer presents her daily life in a simple and mundane way. If it’s a real, human connection to a celebrity that you want – Lily is just the ticket.

7. Ricky Gervais (@rickygervais)

Gervais is widely considered to be one of the funniest men in the world and his Twitter feed does not disappoint. It is filled with funny comments, silly selfies, and interesting updates.

8. Zooey Deschanel (@zooeydeschanel)

Observational comedy that’s anything but humdrum from the queen of the ‘every woman’ character. Zooey has made a career out of being very likeable and her Twitter feed reinforces this in spades.

9. Caitlin Moran (@caitlinmoran)

Celebrated journalist and author, Caitlin Moran offers up ‘angry-woman’ style tweets about everything from feminism to fish fingers. Often political and dry.

10. Edna Fry (aka. Stephen Fry) (@mrsstephenfry)

Fry’s hilarious alter-ego/long-suffering ‘wife’ is, in my opinion, better than Fry’s actual Twitter feed as it allows him to get back to his comedy roots and offers up what he does best: self-deprecating wit.

 

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