Facebook has become a staple for both personal interests and business matters and is on point to reach 1 billion users by August—that’s 1/7 of the world’s population. Twitter, the other social media giant, has greater than 140 million active users.
Because there are so many users, and because we spend so much time on it (average of nearly 8 hours per month, per user for Facebook alone), social media has become a great channel for asking/giving help.
For years now, non-profits and charities have used social media to run campaigns, ask for donations/sponsorship, gain awareness and promote their causes, but just recently, people have started to take advantage of social media’s reach to distribute SOS messages.
In the past few years, there have been several instances where people have used social media to communicate with rescue crews or loved ones when they couldn’t get to a phone, or if phone lines were inaccessible. Missing person reports and important alerts and emergency response messages are also being delivered regularly through sites like Facebook and Twitter, simply because no other channel can reach so many people in such a short amount of time. The social space is the most saturated marketplace for dispersing and receiving messages and the public is finally starting to take advantage of this shift.
Below are a few local/national crisis’ with which people have used social media to let loved ones know they were okay, or to ask for medical assistance.
-In the Aftermath of the horrific tornado in Joplin, MO in May of 2011, the city’s newspaper, The Joplin Globe created a Facebook page that would help tornado survivors to locate missing family members, or to let loved ones know of their safety and location. For more information please click here.
-After and during the Mumbai Terrorist attacks, hospitals and volunteers were actively tweeting contact numbers, emergency response services, and requests for blood donors in nearby hospitals. Twitter users were also engaging in citizen journalism where they were reporting and uploading pictures as the events took place, and as a forum for getting in touch with displaced or missing family and friends.
Mashable did a survey asking people how likely they would be to use social media as a way to communicate their safety to loved ones…here are the results:
28% said they definitely would
21% said they probably would
22% said they may/may not
13% said they probably would not
16% said they definitely would not
Would you use social media to let your loved ones know your safety? Would you answer a tweet or Facebook post that asked for medical assistance? Please leave your comments below!
Though many believe content marketing to be a fairly new phenomenon, in actuality, the concept has been around for hundreds of years starting with the first bag of chocolate chips that gave its consumers a great recipe for baking chocolate chip cookies.
According to Susan Gunelius, author of Content Marketing for Dummies, content marketing is “the practice of developing awareness, recall, purchases and loyalty through the use of content published on or offline.”
Okay, that’s nice but how is this going to help my business to increase sales and awareness?
The fact of the matter is that content marketing is a KEY component to increasing your sales and your brand’s awareness.
1.Content Marketing shows your clients and potential clients that you are an authority for your subject matter. Giving unique and valuable information to your following, asking for nothing in return, is a great way to build trust and gain loyal brand ambassadors.
2.Content Marketing helps to drive traffic to your website. In creating more content in connection to your brand, you will increase your chances of showing up in a Google/Yahoo search. Well-written content also gets shared and linked to, and backlinks are one of the best ways with which to climb up the search rank ladder.
3.Content Marketing helps to build your marketing lists—a great technique in content marketing is to create fabulous content (which should always be your intent), and to ask your readers to enter their email addresses to receive your content for free. Both sides will mutually benefit from this scenario; your brand will have more email addresses to send sales collateral, newsletters and promotions, and your following will obtain valuable information free of charge.
4.Content Marketing strengthens your relationships with existing and potential clients and helps you to become a greater influence within your target market.
In the last few years, big brands like Coca-Cola and Amazon have spent nearly 26% of their marketing budget on content marketing—will you hop on the content marketing train, or are you already a frequent user? Leave your thoughts in the comment box below!
The average attention span for online readers is 2.6 seconds. This means that we, as the content distributors, have approximately 3 seconds to prove to our readers that our content is worth reading.
I started this blog post with the intention of writing about the shifting channels with which people gather information. As you know, the public is using traditional newspaper and news outlets less and less, and are beginning to turn toward internet sites, social media platforms, blogs and forums to retrieve their news and information.
Peter Shankman, VP of Vocus and founder of helpareporter.com, attributes the shift from traditional mediums like newspapers to online platforms not to the lack of news, but to our inability to set aside the time and energy that it would take to read longer articles.
Perhaps Twitter had it right with the 140 character limit? Is this where our society is going? Should all online, and perhaps offline content have a 140 character limit to ensure its readability for America’s dwindling attention spans?
Have no fear; here are a few tips to make sure that your content demands the attention of your reader:
1.HAVE A KILLER HEADLINE.
80% of people will read your title, while a mere 20% will go on to read your whole post. This may seem silly, but if you’re having a hard time formatting your headline, borrow a Cosmopolitan magazine from your mom/sister/significant other and learn a few things about writing a great title. Here are a few examples of a great header
- What everyone should know about…
- Little known ways to…
- How to solve [problem] in 3 simple steps
- 5 ways to eliminate [problem]
Socialmediaexaminer.com suggests that 50% of your emphasis when writing an article should be focused on the quality of your headline.
2.USE A LOT OF PICTURES.
This is pretty obvious but breaking up words with pictures helps the reader to not become overwhelmed by rows and rows of words that they feel they don’t have time to read. Be sure to use a thumbnail picture whenever you share your post to your varying social media platforms.
3.BREAK UP YOUR WRITTEN CONTENT WITH BULLETS, NUMBERS AND/OR LIST FORMAT.
This is another great way to help your reader to realize the most important aspects of your blog. Being that most of your audience will simply scan your post looking for the information that they’ve set out to find, using bullet points to outline the main points of your blog will help your audience locate the meat of your article.
4.GET STRAIGHT TO THE POINT.
Tell your audience what you’re going to be writing about and a brief explanation of why, and then get right into it!
5.DON’T WRITE TRADITIONAL ENGLISH101 PARAGRAPHS.
People don’t want to focus on reading 5-6 sentences in each paragraph. It honestly is daunting for many people including myself. In breaking up your paragraphs with 1-3 sentences instead of 5-6, you will better engage your reader.
6.WRITE AS IF YOU WERE HAVING A CONVERSATION WITH YOUR BEST FRIEND.
As you know social media, including blogs, is all about engagement and REAL human interaction. Just because you are distributing your content online doesn’t mean that your posts should be condescending, patronizing, or robotic. Have a regular conversation and I promise your blogs will be easier and more enjoyable for your audience to invest their time and short attention spans on.
This past Sunday, Facebook released yet another application; this one was deemed solely as “a test,” and for mobile use. Though somewhat “creepy” in nature, Facebook’s “Find Friends Nearby” feature was created to help the user to literally locate friends who may physically be nearby. Using a GPS add-on, the Facebook user can see whenever one of their Facebook friends (who also must have the feature) is nearby, hopefully prompting a spontaneous hangout.
Apparently many people on the social web felt as though the application was a bit invasive.
From June 25-June 27th, in relation to “Find Friends Nearby,” the word “creepy” was mentioned 1,194 times on the social web. The word “stalkers” was mentioned 456 times, and 1,130 posts asked or answered questions on how to remove the feature.
On Twitter alone “Find Friends Nearby” was mentioned 16,293 times out of a total 19,325 total social web mentions.
As quickly as the feature became available, it was taken down. “Find Friends Nearby” was removed the day after it was made public (Monday) due to concerns that it breached the privacy of its users, and that the feature’s power could be abused becoming dangerous for users. Facebook spokespeople told the public that this was simply a test at how consumers would take to the application. Charles Sankowich, CEO of Friendthem however, believed that Facebook took down said feature due to his threats of a copyright infringement lawsuit.
Sankowich said that he had told one of Facebook’s employees of his copyrighted Friendthem feature, and months later, a similar product with similar functions was released by Facebook.
Whatever the reason for taking it down, it seems as though Facebook did the right thing according to the response of the public. Would you consider using this feature? Do you too think that it poses a threat to the safety of Facebook users? Are there any perks to the feature?