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Archive for News

Is Shaq the Coolest Man Alive?

If you didn't know already, I'm a huge NBA fan and I'm an even bigger fan of ex-NBA superstar Shaquille O'Neal...

For those who are not familiar with the man mountain that is Shaq, he had an incredible basketball career winning championships and personal accolades, but he is equally known for his larger than life personality. He is now a pundit for TNT, analysing basketball games.

However, this year he attended SXSW as a keynote speaker, and we got to learn a little more about what gets the basketball legend excited. He met up with Brian Solis of briansolis.com (one of our favourite social media blogs) - to chat about his involvement in technology and start-ups. Little did we know that he is a self confessed geek who helps start ups get off the ground.

He has created a new platform called 'Pitch Shaq' - encouraging entrepreneurs to start their own businesses. Check out the interview with Brian below:

- Phil

What is the New Facebook Newsfeed Design?

March has been a month of Facebook design changes! On the 7th they made an announcement that they will be changing the news feed and then shortly after it was the profile timeline that would be getting a makeover also.

We're going to just run through the Newsfeed changes (if you haven't seen them already).

Newsfeed Redesign

Although this doesn't seem like a big change, it really is. It's the first big design overhaul since the timeline was introduced way back in 2011. Can you remember the outrage when timeline was introduced? People really hate change don't they! Mark Zuckerberg has always said that the newsfeed is one of the most important parts of Facebook, so it is not surprising to see it have an update. In his announcement he said, "How we're all sharing is changing and the news feed needs to evolve with those changes. This is the evolving face of news feed."

There are three main ways in which the newsfeed is changing. First of which is the higher level of importance being given to pictures. They have increased the size of images to make the newsfeed a more visual place. Apparently nearly 50% of news feed posts are now made up of photos. At Giraffe, we quite like this change, I think it is easy to see where trends are heading, and placing more importance on photos and giving them their place on the newsfeed seems like a great idea to us.

Secondly, there is a new feature that will give the user much more control of their newsfeed. Allowing users to select from several different feeds, including: all friends, close friends, photos, music, etc.

Lastly, there is a lot of emphasis on mobile consistency. The new news feed has been designed with mobile strongly in mind, making it more congruent with the app versions of the site and the messenger. This was an obvious change as mobile internet use just continues to increase.

Note to Self: Don’t Try and Sell the Kids on Facebook.

XL38kJ69Yeah, you did read that title correctly.  A woman has been trying to flog her children on Facebook.  The scary thing?  She actually had interest.  I'm one of those annoying people who insist that the world is a beautiful place and people are good.  But stuff like this makes my argument harder and harder to make.

Misty VanHorn, a mother from Oklahoma, was arrested after actively being involved in the illegal trafficking of her two children.  Offering a 'package deal' of $4,000 for the two of them.  Why did she need the money you ask? She wanted to bail her boyfriend of out jail.  Officially making her the world's worst person.  Made us all a bit sick here at Giraffe.

We wanted to share it to show that although we all love social media, there are people out there tainting it with their awful actions.  It is all of ours job to ensure that if we see anything like this, we report it.  Keep our social media awesome.

Hat tip to Mashable for breaking the news.

What is Facebook’s 20% Rule?

Did you know of this rule? No, I think a lot of people didn't - and a lot of people have been stung by it. The rule is buried in their advertising guidelines. Did you even know that Facebook had a section for advertising guidelines?

We've become a species of people who just tick those boxes at the bottom of the registration form for that thing that you think is worth registering for, but ultimately won't know existed a week later. I know this, because I am totally that person!

However, that is the purpose of this blog post. I want to warn you about this rule which can disrupt your Facebook advertising efforts. So here it is, as Facebook have worded it:

"Ads and sponsored stories in News Feed may not include images comprised of more than 20% text."

What this means is that within the image, only 20% of it can be text. Also, if your cover photo contains more than 20% text in it, then your ads will be pulled also. This is very counter-productive, so make sure to avoid making this mistake!

Gif Lovers Unite with this Amazing News

Sure this post probably doesn't hold much relevance for businesses, but still - we all love a .gif and that is why they have become widely popular. They have become a staple of Twitter, Tumblr and more. They often capture a moment perfectly, but finding the exact right .gif isn't easy.  Actually, let's just clear up what a .gif even is!

Ummm, Wikipedia - what is a .gif?

'The Graphics Interchange Format (GIF; /ˈdʒɪf/ or /ˈɡɪf/) is a bitmap image format that was introduced by CompuServe in 1987[1] and has since come into widespread usage on the World Wide Web due to its wide support and portability. The format supports up to 8 bits per pixel thus allowing a single image to reference a palette of up to 256 distinct colors. The colors are chosen from the 24-bit RGB color space. It also supports animations and allows a separate palette of 256 colors for each frame. The color limitation makes the GIF format unsuitable for reproducing color photographs and other images with continuous color, but it is well-suited for simpler images such as graphics or logos with solid areas of color.'

(Source)

With us? No, me neither.  In a nutshell, it is basically a little graphic that is animated and usually only lasts a couple of seconds!

Anyway, back to the point!  A search engine has been produced that makes .gifs searchable - fantastic! We warn you though, it is extremely addictive - and you will inevitably find yourself falling into a spiral of .gif madness.

Here it is: Giphy

Let us know what you think!

 

The Sheer Power of Social Media in a Story

This story touched us so much that we felt the need to share it with all of our readers. It demonstrates the frightening power of social media and, to be honest, makes you fall in love with it all over again!

Jenessa Simons, a woman who had never met her own real birth parents decided at 18 that she was going to do all she could to find them. She began filing all of the necessary paper work needed to complete such an operation, but she'd have to wait 3 years to properly submit it all.

Deciding she was bored of waiting, she decided to try using Facebook to find her real Mum and Dad. She posted this photo:

woman-birth-mother-facebook

It took just two days for her birth mother to see the image and get in touch.  TWO DAYS.  When it was going to take 3 years to just file the necessary forms?  Two days.  It is truly amazing, and shows you how connected the world is these days.  I'd like to think it is also a little reminder that social media isn't just for pictures of dogs in hats (although that is a brilliant part of it), it is also a great tool that can be used to achieve outstanding things!

HMV: Social Media #FAIL.

Long-term music retailer HMV found its Twitter account ‘hijacked’, revealing to the world that 60 staff were being made redundant in a ‘#massexecution”.

HMV were embroiled in a social media fiasco when tweets were posted to its then, 65,000 strong followers, informing them of the happenings at HMV head quarters. Tweets included “We are live tweeting from HR, where we’re all being fired!” and “sorry we’ve been quiet for so long. Under contract we’ve been unable to say a word or – more importantly – tell the truth”.

HMV Firing Tweets

Using the hashtag #hmvXFactorFiring, the social media team at HMV, who was then revealed to be an intern, who set up the twitter page two years ago (obviously on the ball there) provided up-to-date events. The best one having to be:

HMV Firing Tweets

I think that shows the generational gap that exists between the, dare I say it, old dogs and the new digitally connected marketers.

Bad news travels faster than good news, so it’s vital for the reputation of a company, that social media is handled by those with the right etiquette. A big message that has comes out of this crisis is that social media is, hands down, an essential part of the communications mix in any organisation, and it cannot be ignored. Social media strategies should be discussed at the next meeting, not just flogged off to a junior or an intern to handle, because ‘they’re young and like that kind of stuff’.

The offending tweets on the verified page were hurriedly deleted by a member of staff but not before becoming viral with a swarm of re-tweets and favourites by thousands. The intern, who, hit’s it on the head with how big social media really is and that it’s not the ‘new kid’ anymore, took responsibility on their personal twitter.

HMV Firing Tweets

If an organisation is ever in a pickle where bad news is on the horizon, the best things to do are:

  1. Listen to the audience and measure their concerns – they are there for a reason.
  2. Be transparent in what is being said – don’t spin the truth.
  3. Public Relations are professionals with this – let them handle the social networks.

When are people finally going to realise that social media can make or break a company. It’s not just a way to creep on your ex!

Meera Patel – Social Media Content Assistant

Super Bowl 2013: The Top 3 Ads

Top 3 Superbowl Adverts of 2013

Every year, the Super Bowl proves yet again why it is one of the world's biggest spectacles. Even some English people pretend to be into the sport for a single night, much to the annoyance of all of the English people who really like it. As well as the actual game itself, there is the half time show which is usually more hyped than a new Tarantino movie - and on top of this it is the pinnacle of advertising...

When people compare the success of advertising, they often compare it to the results from a Super Bowl advert. However, it's not as easy as just placing up any old advert. It has to be awesome. People are expecting it to be awesome. Millions and millions of people are watching, ready to witness awesomeness. If it isn't awesome, it could actually prove detrimental. And that would be not awesome.

So, the 2013 Super Bowl has just passed, and the Ravens won it - along with setting a new touchdown distance record!  I didn't get to see the actual game, but I have managed to watch all of the adverts from the event (yeah I know, that makes me a loser) and there really were some good'uns! So we thought we'd show our favourite three of the year...

3. Best Buy

If you're a fan of Parks & Recreation - then you'll love this ad.  It basically has Amy Poehler walking around a Best Buy store asking every question you could possibly imagine about the products. But I'm under selling it, it's pretty funny...

2. Samsung

I had to battle with myself not to bring this in first position. I love Seth Rogen and Paul Rudd so much that it was a hard decision. The ad has Rudd and Rogen compete for the role of 'The Next Big Thing' - and it's hilarious. I've watched it like 5 times already. The only down side being that Lebron James makes an appearance (I'm just bitter as a Bulls fan, and jealous of his ability)...

1. Budweiser

Every now and then someone creates a video that evokes so much emotion in such a short period of time. How do they do it? I'm not sure, I can only imagine some form of wizardry. This video speaks for itself. Grab the tissues, watch it and embrace the tears.

Facebook Introduces ‘Graph Search’

Facebook likes with blog title

Last week Facebook unveiled a new feature called 'Graph Search' to help boost users' search experience on the Social Network...

Facebook Graph Search is a new facility to help users search connections and more on Facebook. Although Mark Zuckerberg has denied this being a step towards competing with Google (a step we're all kind of inevitably waiting for). Facebook basically has a huge amount of social data that we are all adding on a daily basis, all of which is stored in what they refer to as a social map or graph.

This new search facility basically allows you to tap into it and search for specific search terms. For example, you can search photos, statuses, pages, videos, etc.

Here are a few examples of the sort of things you could search using the new 'Graph Search':

  • Photos of Me in 2010
  • Hotels in Barcelona, Spain.
  • Friends who play the piano.
  • Friends who are single, and live in Manchester.

You get the idea. A lot of people who have had the chance to try out the search tool say that it very much feels like work in progress. Mark Zuckerberg himself said that this is the starting point, and the tool will evolve over the next few years.

Graph Search for Business

Although this could have some cool and fun uses for individuals, it is also good news for businesses - so long as you have a good social media presence. Social search is well under way, and this is a massive step for that. People will begin to search for businesses on Facebook when they need them. If they need a plumber, they can now search 'Plumbers recommended by friends' or 'Plumbers near Waterlooville' - and you're going to want your business to come up in that search.

We are excited to see what comes of Graph Search. It has the potential to be an extremely useful tool. For more information, check out Facebook's announcement here.

What is Klout and is it really useful?

is klout really useful

 

What is Klout?

Klout is a website that supposedly measures the influence you have on social media. It was launched in September 2009, and modestly refers to itself as 'the standard for influence'. It has been met with very mixed opinions. A lot of people have jumped on the bandwagon and now have become hooked on the idea of boosting their Klout score up each day. Others label Klout as an inaccurate form of measurement which is about as much use as a chocolate teapot. So to get to the bottom of whether it is really useful, we have split the arguments into positive and negatives...

Positives - Important & Useful

Klout measures your influence on social media in the following ways:

  • 'True Reach' - A measure of the size of your engaged audience, excluding inactive and spam accounts.
  • 'Amplification Probability' - A measure of how likely your content is to be shared.
  • 'Network Influence' - A measure of how influential the people who follow you are.
On paper, that seems like a relatively appropriate list of criteria for measuring your social media influence. It is also important to note the true difficulty of actually measuring accurately how influential someone is on social media. The measure of social media success has long been a topic of debate, one that continues regardless of Klout's presence.It is undeniable that they have deciphered a pretty good algorithm for defining social media influence - but is it enough?
What is good about Klout is that it is presented beautifully and simply, and in the industry of marketing, people want measurements. They want to be able to see success and failures in front of them, so that they can learn and evolve continuously.

Negatives - Inaccurate & Pointless

The website has encountered a lot of criticism, and unfortunately it would seem that most of it is justified. There is a strong argument that it doesn't really offer a fair representation of a person's influence on social media, and that it just encourages people who want to 'level up' - as if they are in a game. Here are the reasons that suggest that Klout is an inaccurate and perhaps pointless tool:

  • It is easy to 'cheat the system' - and get yourself a high score. Go to Google and search 'how to cheat Klout' - and see how long it takes you to get through all the tricks. How can we take scores seriously if people can just cheat themselves to a higher score.
  • It is often inaccurate with it's information on you; claiming you are an expert of something you mentioned once perchance.
  • Klout takes absolutely no notice of your offline activities. You could be a world famous A-List star who models the latest ranges of Armani suits on billboards, but if you don't have a Twitter account, then Klout thinks you don't exist.
  • There is absolutely no evidence that supports that these people with high influence, are actually influencing anyone. In fact, as an article on Technology Spectator points out, experts suggest that real influence is created by easily influenced people, influencing other easily influenced people.  Wow, that's a lot of influence.
  • Experts show that influence isn't as simple as people with high influence telling people with no influence to buy things. In reality, influence is far more complicated and can involve lots of different people of varying influence levels.

The Final Word 

Klout have made a good effort at measuring social influence, but in reality it is basically a tool for narcissistic attention seekers who want to hit that perfect hundred. We wouldn't suggest paying too much attention to your Klout score, or anybody else's for that matter. Focus on getting actual results - trust us that when you get there you won't need clarification of your success from a website.

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