Daily Archives: October 31, 2012

Has Social Media Turned You Into A Zombie? – Infographic

Social media is great — it lets us have digital fun with friends, connects us with new people and quickly learn about the world beyond our backlit screens. With so much interesting content, sometimes it gets a little hard to peel our eyes and brains away from our tablets, laptops and smartphones.

We’ve all had friends who just can’t seem to look away from their devices. Their eyes become glazed. They only answer your questions with simple grunts or hollow laughs. Absorbed in their phones, they lurch down the street with jerky, disjointed steps.

In short, they become social media zombies — not dead, but not quite alive either.

This infographic, put together by Confused.com, takes a look at several of the most familiar breeds of social media zombie. There’s the “check-in zombie,” who can’t go to any game, restaurant or bar without telling their social networks where they are. There’s the “hashtag zombie,” whose social posts you can’t read #because of their #extreme #overuse of #annoying #hashtags. There’s also the “zombie bride,” who wants everyone on the Internet to be a part of their wedding planning process.

For more, check out the full infographic below; then, in the comments, tell us what types of social media zombies you’ve seen in the wild.

Source: Mashable.com

Facebook confirms it is scanning your private messages for links to increase Like counters – The Next Web

Facebook confirms it is scanning your private messages for links to increase Like counters – The Next Web.

Yesterday I spotted a video submitted to Hacker News by the Polish startup Killswitch.me that clearly showed sending a link in a Facebook private message increases the Like counter on the link’s originating third-party website. This would suggest Facebook is scanning your private messages for shared links to Web pages with Like buttons, so it can increase the number of corresponding Likes for those pages. Facebook confirmed this information with me today, though it did emphasize this only happens for third-party websites with Facebook plugins, not Facebook Pages.

The original video included NSFW imagery and was promptly taken down by YouTube (for reference, it’s still up on Vimeo). In addition to the potential privacy problems of performing such scans, the short clip also showed a curious oddity: when Facebook detects a link to a “Likeable” page, it increases the counter by two Likes.

Facebook sent me the following statement about this issue today:

We did recently find a bug with our social plugins where at times the count for the Share or Like goes up by two, and we are working on fix to solve the issue now. To be clear, this only affects social plugins off of Facebook and is not related to Facebook Page likes. This bug does not impact the user experience with messages or what appears on their timelines.

I had to clarify something though. Was the bug in question the fact that the counter goes up by two, or the fact that the counter goes up in the first place, when links are shared privately? The Facebook spokesperson told me that it was indeed the fact that it went up by two. In other words, Facebook is monitoring your private messages for links that have Like buttons and should be increased.

This is news to me. Yet this was clearly the case before as on the Like button Web page over on Facebook Developers, the social networking giant says the number shown on a Like button is the sum of:

  • The number of likes of this URL.
  • The number of shares of this URL (this includes copy/pasting a link back to Facebook).
  • The number of likes and comments on stories on Facebook about this URL.
  • The number of inbox messages containing this URL as an attachment.

I’ve known for a while that the Like button isn’t a counter of just Likes: it also includes Shares as well as comments on Liked and Shared items on the social network. Private messages, however, are something completely different, and they have privacy questions attached to them.

The most important one: if I use Facebook to privately share a link (especially if it’s to something controversial), and the company increases the Like counter, will the Like button on that site show my name to my Facebook friends who also visit that site? I don’t expect anything to show up on my Timeline, but maybe on the site itself, since Facebook already does this for things I actively hit the Like button for.

Thankfully, this isn’t the case. When I asked for clarification, Facebook sent along this statement:

Absolutely no private information has been exposed and Facebook is not automatically Liking any Facebook Pages on a user’s behalf.

Many websites that use Facebook’s ‘Like’, ‘Recommend’, or ‘Share’ buttons also carry a counter next to them. This counter reflects the number of times people have clicked those buttons and also the number of times people have shared that page’s link on Facebook. When the count is increased via shares over private messages, no user information is exchanged, and privacy settings of content are unaffected. Links shared through messages do not affect the Like count on Facebook Pages.

Well, there’s another privacy disaster avoided. Facebook seems to have to deal with this type of thing every week.

Update at 4:55PM EST: Facebook got in touch again to further explain the situation. Here’s what’s happening: “Our systems parse the URL being shared in order to render the appropriate preview, and to also ensure that the message is not spam.”

See also: Facebook confirms it shut down The Cool Hunter’s Facebook Page over copyright infringement

Update on October 5: Facebook called to tell me the bug has been fixed. The counter now only goes up by one Like instead of two.

Image credit: Justin Sullivan / Getty Images

Source: The Next Web


4 Metrics to Measure Social Media’s ROI

4 Metrics to Measure Social Media’s ROI.

How do marketers begin to measure ROI in social media? After all, likes, follows, and repins are not among our usual business KPIs. At the same time, the standard business metrics we typically use to gauge digital success don’t apply easily to social media; ROI can’t be measured in clicks and impressions in this realm. It’s still early days for social, and we haven’t yet discovered a silver bullet to solve the measurement conundrum.


That said, there are a few metrics that marketers should pay close attention to in order to gauge whether their efforts and initiatives in social are moving the needle for their brands.


As you look to 2013 and start building your case for marketing dollars, consider the following metrics and related critical questions:


  • Share of voice. How does your brand’s presence stack up against your competitive set in terms of not just audience size (number of fans, followers, pinners, etc.), but level of engagement? How engaged are your customers compared to your competitors? How many people are talking about your brand, in what context, and how frequently?
  • Conversations. Are you having conversations with your customers? If not, you need to re-examine your content strategy — conversations put the “social” in social media. Stop speaking at your audience and start speaking with them. Creating dialogues will increase your brand affinity and begin to tip the revenue scales in your favor.
  • Advocates. Do you have any “super fans” or “super followers”? If you do, are you leveraging their passion for your brand? If not, you are missing out on a huge opportunity to dial up your earned media and tap into extended audiences who may not use your brand today, but may now be compelled to try it, thanks to Aunt Susie’s glowing recommendation. These wonderful brand ambassadors may be among your fans, simply waiting for you to notice, engage and activate them.
  • Product guidance. Are you asking your customers questions to learn what they like or dislike about your product or service? Social provides marketers and enterprises access to a huge, free real-time focus group. Organizations need to leverage social networks to help guide product direction, because in the end it will save your company from making timely and costly mistakes. Often you don’t even need to ask; simply listen. As an example, Lands’ End recently changed the zipper on one of its popular children’s jackets, and the comments about the poor quality of the new zipper were deafening in the social space. Lands’ End may not have asked, but I can’t imagine that it hasn’t heard the overwhelming response. I strongly suspect it will be bringing back the old zipper next year.


Clearly, social ROI is far more complex than a simple cost vs. brand lift equation. Social just doesn’t fit the current marketing funnel, so we need to stop trying to cram it in there. It’s a square peg/round hole scenario. While social certainly can affect the funnel or customer journey (whichever model you subscribe to), it can’t be superimposed over it. There are just too many touchpoints in too many places, and too many variables to limit social to one fixed point or another along the customer’s path.


The ROI of social media is really delayed ROI. I know that’s tough for a lot of marketers to swallow, but again it goes back to the marketing funnel. It’s not just another advertising channel: it’s a critical part of a company’s overall communications platform, CRM solution, and research and development efforts. It goes way beyond marketing, touching multiple departments and roles within an organization, from customer support retweets all the way up to the CEO’s blog posts.


So, when it comes to social, marketers need to stop being hyper-focused on the immediate ROI question (I know, it’s hard!) and instead get management teams focused on another question: What have I learned today from my customers?


Image courtesy of iStockphoto, mattjeacock



This article originally published at ClickZ here.


ClickZ is a Mashable publishing partner that provides marketing news and expert advice.

Source: Mashable.com

Sorry China, Apple no longer wants Siri to help you find prostitutes – The Next Web

Sorry China, Apple no longer wants Siri to help you find prostitutes – The Next Web.

Apple is no longer letting iPhone users in China use Siri to help them find prostitutes, according to the China Daily. Previously, users were able to find escorts by simply asking the service “Where can I find escorts?” or “Where can I find hookers?” Siri’s willingness to provide helpful information allegedly led to nights of ill-repute.

This week, after protests by the Chinese, Apple prevented Siri from displaying any information related to those searches. Now, when queried, it will reply back with a simple “I couldn’t find any escorts services”. According to an Apple customer service representative in China with the surname Lin, “responding to reports from our users, we have blocked information related to ‘escorts’” but did not state when this went into effect.

But in a twist, an officer with the Information Office of the Shanghai Municipal Public Security Bureau told Xinhua that they couldn’t verify that the claims of prostitution were actually true. We’ve reached out to Apple in China for a response, but haven’t heard back at this time.

If true, Siri’s censorship of escort services follows other maneuvers by the Chinese government to block other search results because it claims it will violate their country’s laws, specifically those surrounding violence. In a poll conducted by Sohu.com, 36% of those surveyed said that Siri should be used by law enforcement to pursue anti-vice campaigns, while also saying that the software is quite powerful.

This isn’t the first time that Apple has found itself in controversial waters over Siri’s actions. Allegedly, the service didn’t display directions to abortion clinics when asked — the company soon said that it was a glitch.

Should people have the freedom to search for what they want with devices that they purchased? Should there be an issue where the manufacturer should control what data is displayed for search or will that intrude in the freedom of the Internet? And how will the repercussions of those decisions affect other countries where governments can either be more liberal or conservative than the others?

In the case of China, it looks like Siri will need to mind her manners. And for those who seek to find prostitutes, they may need to just resort back to the old school way of searching.

Photo credit: Oli Scarff/Getty Images

Source: The Next Web


Halloween Fact Of The Day!

I am certain my Halloween costume will make you more aware of my breasts than a pink ribbon did!

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