Archive for Others

New Year’s resolutions for your social media habits

new_years_resolutionWhen the clock strikes midnight, we all hope and wish that the New Year will bring us another chance to start fresh, but how many of us cave on our crash diet by the end of the first week? Or cut-out the cardio workouts by day three? Well, it’s now time to forget all those traditional resolutions and try a new one that works out those naughty social networking habits, that we all deny, but know we have!

How many times a day do you check you social networks? If you actually counted, then I think you would be a little surprised to say the least. The average person spends around 30 minutes a day on Facebook and everyday, Twitter averages at 190 million Tweets being posted. Those are some pretty extensive figures; so let’s make a change.

  1. Don’t stay signed in – I find that if I keep my social networks signed in on my laptop, tablet, etc. then I am more likely to just open them up the split-second my mind starts to wander away from the task in front of me. If you log out during your working time, you may find that when you open up the window, you don’t feel you have the effort to log in just to check your tedious newsfeed. To make this even more effective, change your password to something long, but of course, memorable. A longer password may mean you are even more less likely to bother logging in.
  2. Only post when necessary – You may think that your friends love to know about the fact you made your third cup of tea today, but in truth, they probably don’t. Try not to waste time finding insignificant things to take pictures of and Instagram, or using up five precious minutes of your lunch hour just trying to ‘check-in’ to the right location. The time you are spending posting irrelevant content to your timeline is most likely wasting, what adds up to, countless minutes better used catching up with work or something more important.
  3. If you’re using social networking, then use it wisely – By this I don’t mean stay away from the ‘catfish’ type characters, but I mean use it in ways that may benefit you in the future. Get social on LinkedIn and make sure to stay connected with people in powerful places. Make the most of free blogging sites and start a blog about something that really interests you. If you get enough footfall, it could mean potential help in bagging that dream job as it can show a dedication and passion for a particular subject.
  4. Don’t forget to keep in touch – Social media is called ‘social’ for a reason. Most people have forgotten why social media was created in the first place. It wasn’t a platform for celebrities to tweet and promote their next album, or for you to send requests to your mates for help to unlock the next level on Candy Crush. Maybe we could all spend a bit more time this year to contact the people we have forgotten to keep in touch with. Send a message to old school friends, arrange a gathering and catch up on some gossip, but don’t forget that a phone call can go a lot further then a lazy instant message; that’s right, smartphones aren’t just for texting, tweeting and tagging.
  5. There’s a whole world out there! – A short film entitled I Forgot my Phone, featured on YouTube back in August, shows how people are spending too much text refreshing feeds, checking emails and flicking through apps to notice the more important things happening around us. Despite only being 2 minutes 11 seconds long, the video speaks volumes, so maybe this new year you should spend less time snapping selfies and take more time to spend with friends and family. Just remember that social media will come and goes, things will trend, news is never ‘new’ for long, whereas the real world may pass you by in a split second if you aren’t paying attention.
By Content Manager - Astrid Hall - @AstridGiraffeSM

Social Networks Explained: Just Sayin’


Ever since the establishment of AOL’s instant messenger service people have become more and more distant from talking to each other. Why call a group of friends when you can quickly message them simultaneously on Facebook, Whatsapp or a group text? Why leave a voicemail when a simple text is much quicker? Even in the workplace colleagues are communicating via e-mail and Microsoft’s Lync Instant Messaging program. Just Sayin tries to combat this phenomenon by positioning voice at the centre of social media to get people talking.

The app, which launched last year, was developed by American voice technology firm, CloudTalk. When developing the app CloudTalk CEO, David Hayden, approached Ricky Gervais, British Comedian and creator of the popular TV series The Office, to come on board and assist with the development and promotion of the app. When interviewed about his involvement Gervais said,

"I embrace what's new. I got into podcasting, before I knew what it was, as an experiment, for a laugh. We don't know where Just Sayin' will go. It's exciting, because you don't know what will happen. It [the app] is another form of social networking. It will be to radio what Twitter was to newsprint. You can be the first to put your opinion out there."

The app will work similarly to the photo/video sharing app Instagram but will have the added element of voice to provide the users with an all-in-one social network that pushes the voice back into the equation. It aims to encourage people to talk to each other, at least that’s what the developers are hoping.

just sayinJust Sayin’ also caters for those users who are less outspoken. Just Sayin’ has the option to follow other users and hear what they have to say and what other media they have to share. Users can join the ever-growing Just Sayin’ community where they can connect with like-minded individuals and talk to each other. At first, I personally found this to be a bit strange but after some use it feels just as natural as any conversation you would have face-to-face.

The app is of value, in particular, to celebrities, politicians, sports stars and other public figures because it provides them with a personal and authentic way to engage with their fans that’s more intimate than anything Twitter has ever had to offer. In addition to Gervais, the app's celebrity users include rock stars Nikki Sixx, Tommy Lee and the band Crossfade, along with female football star Brandi Chastain and 2008 US Presidential candidate Mick Huckabee.

Another great feature is the ability to cross post updates from Just Sayin’ to Facebook and Twitter. Users of those popular social networks will find some of the other features of this app to be quite familiar, such as the real time updates, which is similar to Facebook’s newsfeed, and the option to view current trends on the app, which is something that Twitter users will be very comfortable with.

This is a great app for any who likes to communicate through voice technology. If CloudTalk CEO, David Hayden’s predictions are accurate, then there could be a lot more social media users than originally anticipated using voice technology by this time next year. We will have to wait and see if this prophecy is fulfilled.

The app is available to download on Android and iOS.

 Cian Egan - @NotTooCian

Ten Timeless Christmas Ad Campaigns

It would seem that there is more pressure than ever before on companies and retailers to produce the preeminent of Christmas promotion. We have scoured the years of Christmas adverts to bring you a list of our top ten favourites. Most of our choices seem obvious, but there are a few that have been gracefully forgotten over the years.


KFC’s “The Taste that Unites”, 2013

KFC are arguably known for their adverts that illustrate bringing people together over a bargain bucket fit for the family, but this time they have added a little humour to their normal routine and gone for a festive singsong with a twist.


Sainsbury’s, 2013

Back in the day, Jamie Oliver made himself the face of food for Sainbury’s, but this year, Sainbury’s have gone all out and made many faces the feature of their Christmas advert. It would seem that the idea of real people enjoying a Christmas of their own, brings us back to a time of traditional togetherness, and the excitement of Christmas.


M&S’s Christmas Fairytale, 2013

Bringing back the dreamy magic of Christmas, M&S explore a wonderland of fairytales in their most recent Christmas themed advert. There is almost an element of nostalgia as we try to decode the fairytale being presented, and then we feel the same rush of excitement as we get on Christmas day, as we realise it’s our favourite bedtime story being played out.


Kellogs, 1991

Fair enough, this one is a bit out-dated, but it’s a classic for adverts in general and has even been resurrected this year to promote Kellogs new Christmas packaging. It brings us back to the time we believed in Santa and only wanted the best for him, as it meant the best presents for us!


Tesco, 2013

Tesco aren’t normally known for Christmas advertising. Usually we will just get bombarded by cheap turkeys with all the trimmings, but this year it would seem Tesco has decided to up their game, and match up to the likes of more upper market brands such as Morrison’s and Sainsbury’s. Tesco’s 2013 Christmas advert is another display of personal touch, following the ‘home videos’ of a family at Christmas over the years.


John Lewis “The Bear and the Hare”, 2013

Now, most of you may disagree and wish for this advert to be number one on our list, but despite this advert touching our hearts, their seems to be a lot of fuss about not much at all. John Lewis have produced much more enchanting tales in the past, and it almost feels like they have made such a name for their Christmas adverts, that this one didn’t quite step up to the plate. Yes, it is magical and sweet but it is more beautiful and artistic than an advertisement as such.


M&S’s Celebrities Galore, 2009

Some of you may or may not remember this advert, but Marks and Spencers pulled out the big guns (of cash) with this Christmas advert that featured a glorious array of famous faces. It almost illustrated how even the big stars need somewhere to buy their gifts from, and that they are no different from us ‘normal folk’. Either way, this advert certainly had a touch of glamour and a little bit of humour that made it sit a little bit above the others.


Yellow Pages, 1992

Anyone and everyone should be able to remember back to a time before the Internet, where we actually had to look through phone directories to find the people and things we needed. Yellow Pages created an advert that I feel can be referenced to by generations, and has a sweet, Christmas warmth that will never stop lasting.


Coca-Cola “Holidays are coming”

Now, how daft would we be to not include the iconic Coca-Cola Christmas advert in our top ten? Coca-Cola has strategically set themselves up as the advert that signifies the beginning of Christmas. Despite other years presenting various different Christmas adverts, “Holidays are coming” seems to be the one that has stuck.


John Lewis “The long wait”, 2011

You may not all agree, but this advert has an endearing and heart-warming message that makes you feel like that is what Christmas is all about. John Lewis have set themselves the challenge to each year produce something great, and they really out-did themselves with this one. Featuring a young boy who is eager as any for the big day to arrive, only to wish more to give his parents their presents rather than open his own. This advert portrays a message of caring that has not been even remotely illustrated by other advertisers.

By Content Manager - Astrid Hall - @AstridGiraffeSM

10 Pictures That Let You Know Winter Is Here.

Winter has arrived! Forecasters predict that it will be Britain’s worst winter since 1947. So as the Arctic air starts to draw closer and snow starts to fall, let’s take a look at the most amazing winter photos so far.

1. The Phone Box - Thank you technology masters for portable telephones.

2. Gulfoss, Iceland - Yes, WOW indeed.

3. St. Johns, Newfoundland - Happy houses.

4. Antarctica - Penguins

5. Canary Wharf, London - New meaning to fog, huh?

6. Northern Lights, Alaska - Somehow baring the cold for that view seems do-able.

7. Snowmen - It wouldn't be winter without them.

8. Toronto, Canada - That skyline...

9. Northumbria, England. 

10. And well, it wouldn't be a complete list without the famous Giraffe!

Screen Shot 2013-12-15 at 13.22.45

So there are our top 10 winter photos. If you have taken any amazing winter photos then please share it and if not then now is your chance! - @BenHunt92


Features you didn’t know about in IOS7


Love it or hate it, IOS7 is here and we've all had a bit of time to adjust to it. You may think that you have it sussed, but there are a few surprise elements to apple's latest software update that you quite possibly haven't found yet. 

Using Safari to see tweets with URLs:

If you want to see all the tweets on your feed that have a URL included in them, simply open up Safari, touch the bookmark icon and you should see a tab with the '@' symbol. This tab will bring up a list of tweets with a URL so you don't have to keep accessing your twitter app to follow a link. It's a nice little time saver.


See your frequently visited places on a map:

A cool way to keep track of all the places you visit on a regular basis. Go to settings > privacy > Location services > Frequent locations. A nice way to see what your travelling habits are if you are single, a nice way to get your other half interrogating you if you're not.


Turn automatic app updates on or off:

Sick of manually going into the app store every time you have an update? Well now you can FINALLY have it done automatically in the background. Simply go in to the settings and touch the iTunes and app store section. There you can toggle automatic update on or off.


Change the gender of Siri:

If you have a preference of voices when it comes to having a conversation with a phone, this is the feature for you. You can now choose between a  soft spoken female Siri or a deeper voiced male one. To do this, head into the general section of your settings and there you can find a voice changer tab for Siri


Unlimited space in you App folders:

Apple has finally gotten around to creating a black hole singularity in your phone, now your folders can hold as many apps as you want. Perfect for the user who doesn’t like categorisation


By Content Assistant - Daniel Horton - @ItsDanielHorton

Who are the top 5 brands on YouTube?

For many, Youtube is the place to go when you want to watch a kitten or a puppy do something hilarious. You may even want to  watch a baby attempt to eat the finger of his older brother (this example the baby will be called Charlie).

For brands however, Youtube is a serious business and some have it nailed. Here is a look at the top 5 brands on Youtube:



The company that bought you Mickey Mouse, Goofy and Miley Cyrus (perhaps the less said about her the better), have worked their way into a good position on Youtube. Disney have over 40 different channels reflecting a different area of their business, whether that be Disney Music or Disney Shorts. With over 15,000 videos published across their channels, nobody can say that Disney have overlooked the social media revolution. Their relentless posting has brought them great success, at present, they have over 100,000 subscribers.



You could say that Google have an unfair advantage when it comes to Youtube, but the amount that they post suggests they are playing by the same rules as everyone else. Their main channel (simply named Google) has over 2.1 million subscribers. They use said channel for showing off their newest gadgets, the most recent example being Google Glass, whose video topped 22 million views.



Nike are another company that have had a lot of success on Youtube, with many of their videos reaching over a million views. A number of their videos however, aren't focused on Nike products themselves, but feature more of an emphasis on the image of the brand, a brand that 'helps' people achieve greatness. One of their videos called “Just do it – possibilities” tallied up over 10 million views. This a fantastic example of how an artistic edge can give you just as much success as any other video.



Despite not boasting amazing figures in terms of Subscribers, Sony have demonstrated how to display technical brilliance when it comes to their product. Many of their videos include fantastic pieces of hardware in action, which gives the viewer a real in-depth look at how their products at work. However, the main page is not even their greatest asset. That comes in the form of VEVO. A channel that has most of the rights to share the newest music videos, first. 


Much like Sony, Samsung pride themselves on demonstrating their products at work and appealing to the tech geek within us. Where they differ from Sony is when it comes to the amount of videos that they upload. With over 12,000 videos, they are a brilliant example of how consistency can be key to attracting subscribers, customers and even advocates of your brand. 

By Content Assistant - Daniel Horton - @ItsDanielHorton

Do ‘iWant’ iOS7?

After much excitement, Apple has finally released its brand-spanking new iOS7 software. But how does it compare to its IOS predecessors on both iPhones and iPads?

The first and most striking difference is the design of the home screen. Taking on a more minimalistic feel, the software features new, pastel like, ‘flat’ images for its apps and more shortcuts. However, this thorough design change may not be seen as a winning favourite for all consumers.

2013-10-02 19.53.05

The most useful shortcut to note is the simple swipe upwards which allows you access to the most commonly used settings. From this menu you can turn on flight mode, change the brightness, switch on the torch and adjust your Wi-fi and Bluetooth settings. This new shortcut has certainly made it easier for individuals, but there are still numerous other settings that people need to access just as easily. What if you are a user that constantly changes the phones wallpaper? You're probably going to head into settings to do that, so you are quite likely to change the rest of your settings there too.

Another minor but helpful change is the way in which you close your apps. Most people don’t realise that their apps are running constantly unless closed properly which consequently, can have a significant impact on your phones battery life. Previously, buttons had to be pressed, apps had to be tapped and in truth, it was a bit confusing. On IOS7 all you need to do is double click the home button and swipe upwards to close an app. In addition to this, content within the apps will refresh even if you are not using it, eliminating the need for a refresh once it's opened, a handy feature for those times when you need to access information quickly.

The design of the calendar app has also changed significantly. If like myself, you use your iPad and iPhone as your diary for personal appointments and events, you may appreciate the new scroll design. Rather than flicking through like a real calendar, you can now scroll down the page and view throughout the months rather than just month-by-month.

2013-09-20 16.55.07All of the standard apps that come included with Apple products have all undergone major design changes. Simplicity seems to be the new theme, with apps taking on a more refreshing style, similar to (may i say), Samsung's app icons.

One of the more long-awaited features is the new photo and video view. Not only have the two been segregated which can make it easier to find an old video. But iOS7 now gives your photos a date and location (at last), which is great for those times when you want to find a picture quickly.

Another main feature is the ‘zoom out’ effect that takes over every time you unlock the screen or open and close apps. Although this feature is quite aesthetically pleasing and appears rather futuristic, it can make you feel a bit queasy if you are quickly opening and closing different applications. Other minor features include the fading in of the screen when accessing your phone and when you unlock the screen, the screen moves across to the keypad in a smoother, flowing motion as opposed to a sudden swipe. There also 2013-09-20 16.02.39appears to be a more ‘bubble-like’ aspect to IOS7, with the keypad and contact images circular and not square. In IOS6 and other previous softwares the dial screen consisted of numbers in a grid. Now however, Apple has implemented a vintage design of each number being encased in a circle, much like a traditional telephone.

Siri has also undergone a slight cosmetic change, a dynamic sound wave responds to the sound of your voice, and Siri has a far more natural sounding tone. Siri can do practically anything and everything now, without you having to lift a finger. Search Twitter, send messages, schedule appointments or even help you find your way home. Who needs a PA anymore?

iTunes Radio, or iRadio, is one of the aspects of the iOS7 that got most people excited, but unfortunately, it is currently only available in the US. This has stunted some excitement for the new software as it was set to be an innovative idea that recaptured one of the original concepts of Apple products, music.

Airdrop is another new feature to the iOS7 software, although I am still struggling to understand how to use it, it allows you to send pictures, videos and other media to nearby iOS7 users, even if they aren't on your contacts. Similarly, Airplay is another futuristic-like feature that allows you to play or show whatever is on your device through your Apple TV - should you have it. It eliminates the need for HDMI cables and all the hassle that comes with them. You can even play slideshows of photos and videos instead of having to transfer them to a DVD before viewing.

iCloud has undergone developments to make it even easier to use than before. Applications have been adapted to make opening your files from different locations much easier. For example, the Pages app now allows you to edit documents on a Mac and registers when a file has been edited on a different piece of software. It will then ask you which version you would like to keep, or whether you would like to keep both.

The location of certain aspects to the iPhone has also changed. Although minor, it can be frustrating just trying to find where things are. The search bar is a prime example of this,  where rather than swiping to the right, you now swipe in a downward motion anywhere on the home screen. The iOS7 software has also placed more focus on 'gestures', which are already heavily used on iPad and Mac devices. You can now swipe to the right instead of using the back button when you are checking mail, messages, or would like to go back a page on Safari.

IOS7 brings about a quite astonishing change where certain features are more simplistic and easy to use. Only time will tell if people decide to make the change or not.  As the saying goes, why fix something that isn't broken?

By Content Manager - Astrid Hall - @AstridGiraffeSM

Our Top 10 Twitter Parody Accounts


When @Tim_Cook (CEO of Apple Inc) recently joined Twitter, many suspected it to be another parody account that makes witty comments about Apple’s recent struggle to innovate. It got us thinking about our favourite parody accounts, so here is Giraffe’s top 10!

1)   Elizabeth Windsor (@Queen_uk):

Twitter to float on the stock market. Have enquired if one can do a straight swap for Royal Mail. Waiting on a reply.”

2)   Mrs Stephen Fry (@MrsStephenFry ):

“Stephen just checked ‘twerking’ in the Oxford English Dictionary. It doesn't mean working on Twitter. He'd better change his passport details.”

3)   Mark Zuckerberg (@NotZuckerberg):

“Take a look, and you'll agree that our new Instagram video service is looking mighty Vine.”

4)   The Batman (@TheBatman):

From this point forward, I declare popcorn flavoured jelly beans an enemy of Gotham.”

5)   Prince Charles (@Charles_HRH):

Push, Kate, push! #royalbaby”

6)   The Dark Lord (@Lord_Voldemort7):

“If you don’t get my Harry Potter references then there is something Siriusly Ron with you.”

7)   Big Ben (@Big_Ben_Clock):

“Bong Bong Bong Bong Bong Bong Bong”

8) BBC Sporf (@BBCSporf):

“BREAKING: Arsenal confirm the fee for Mesut Ozil is £42.5m, including a trophy bonus add-on of £10m, bringing the overall fee to £42.5m.”

9) Alan Garner (@AlanHangover):

I won't be happy unless Apple replaces Siri's voice with Morgan Freeman's.”

10) Will Smith (@Willl_Smith):

“No matter how hard things may seem, don't get down, and don't give up. The clouds will clear, and there are brighter days ahead.”

So they are our top 10 parody accounts. Follow them to keep updated with some of the best banter on Twitter and let us know if you think we missed any out. - @GiraffeSocialMedia

(If you are thinking of creating a parody account; click here to check out Twitter’s guidelines)

Content Assistant - Ben Hunt

iOS7 – How does it look?

iOS7 is due to be released on the 18th September 2013. There's been a lot of build up to what could be a make or break moment for Apple, with other operating systems catching up, or perhaps in some cases over taking their much praised OS. In essence, they really can't afford to fall at this hurdle.

This blog post will look at just some of the aspects of the new operating system from Apple.



Lets start with the home screen. This is what you'll be seeing the most of when you finally get iOS7.  

You'll notice quite a radical change to the home screen, not so much with the layout, but with the design of the app icons. Gone are the more familiar 3-D style icons and in are refreshing, sleek icons that are completely flat design. Rather pleasingly, they are more vibrant and almost look like small squares of coloured card. The colours have a more clean pastel look them too, following on with current fashion trends. 

You'll also notice from a few hands-on review videos on YouTube that the background of the home screen somewhat 'floats' behind your apps. Dubbed as 'panoramic wallpapers', it is a feature powered by the phones gyroscope and accelerometer. Take a look at this short video to see exactly what i am referring too. 




A new 'Control Centre' function:

A common annoyance with the current iPhone OS is the inability to quickly change settings, more specifically Wifi toggles and screen brightness. Previous and current software on the iPhone has meant that in order to change these settings you have to unlock your phone, head into the settings app, open the wifi tab before finally switching it off. It doesn't sound like much but it does gets tedious after a while. The new feature in iOS7 lets you swipe from the bottom up from any app, home screen or lock screen and all these settings are there to change right away. From here you can also control your music and activate a new feature to iPhones – Airdrop


Airdrop has been available on other Apple devices for a significant period of time. It has been largely used for moving video and images from a Mac to a TV screen, but is also used for moving various files across shared networks on Mac computers. It's a quick, simple way to share things across phones that you could probably not fit into a text! It's now been integrated into iOS7 and looks like a really useful tool. You can share images, videos, contacts and more with other iPhone users in the vicinity. They'll pop up in the Airdrop app and you just choose what you want to send them. Away it goes!


Multitasking looks much better this time around. Instead of just a list of open apps appearing at the bottom of your screen, you now get to see each app that is open in detail, showing you exactly what you were doing inside that app whilst it was in use. A feature that is more commonly found on computers and many rival phones. It's a nice time saving feature that means you wont have to open the app and wait for it to load just to see what you were last doing. 


There are numerous other changes to iOS7, including a nice photo app which sorts your pictures into location, a new live photo filter, a newly designed safari app and a refreshed notification centre. 

What seems apparent is that Apple are arguably playing catch up to other OS's and the world of Jailbreaking. On the whole however, i think Apple users will be pleased. It essentially enhances everything that was great about the old OS, as well as adding a lot of cool new features that will save people time. 

By Content Assistant - Sean Haydock - @Bseanty


Is Google+ Update Awesome Yet?

Since its launch in 2011, Google+ has been attempting to loosen the iron grip that Facebook and Twitter have had in the social networking scene. Despite statistics showing that it's beginning to claw back that #2 spot from Twitter, it is still some way behind Facebook. It's by no means unsuccessful, amassing over 500 million registered users in its short existence. Many social media experts have put that down to the fact that Google automatically creates a Google+ account for anybody that registers when using another of their services. It’s even been suggested by some that Google+ has not added to the social media experience. With criticism still coming from both recreational users and social media marketers alike, you might expect a response from the mighty Google. You would be right… Kind of.

It’s been a while since Google+ has seen any significant changes, they are however, starting to come along. The first one is right from the playbook of Facebook and Twitter. Google+ has now updated its +1 feature to have the same sort of impact as a  Facebook ‘like’. Now when someone in your circle +1s a page, it’s likely to appear in your news feed. A fantastic result for social media marketers pondering whether there Google+ existence is worthwhile, it truly represents an opportunity for businesses to reach beyond their customers.

Another update that has got people talking is the auto-awesome photo generation. It allows you to select photos for Google to make a fun composite photo for you. There is no need for user intervention and it notifies you when the optimisation has been done. This update has been angled more towards the casual users who upload photos more regularly and has received rather positive reviews.

Along with these updates they have also begun the development of enabling HD video in Google hangouts and improving user friendliness with Android systems.

So when it comes to updates, Google+ has tried to play it safe and tinker with its setup to provide an enhanced service. The question remains however. Has it worked? Well………… it’s getting there.

Google+ has always been a fairly good site and In terms of social media marketing, many people actually think it is one of the best in the B2B format. (Fact of the day: Google+ is the best site to use if you’re a plumber). As an all-rounder however, it’s not quite there. Something feels like its lacking and it may require a big update with some radical changes to achieve that. With that being said, Google+ should not go risking what they already have. A solid social networking site that is perhaps the most aesthetically pleasing and one where business can benefit.

By Content Assistant - Daniel Horton - @ItsDanielHorton 
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