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A Smorgasbord of Social Media: 7/25/14

Welcome back for another weekly roundup of all things social media! Today we’re honing in on all things Facebook. They have some great news and updates that we want to be sure to break down for you!


Saved By The…Facebook (Sort Of)!

In today’s day and age there’s so much going on around us. Staying on top of our favorite music and movies is a big task. Not to mention we’re also expected to remember all of our friends’ birthdays!

Fortunately, Facebook has swooped in and make life a little bit easier for our brains. The new Save feature keeps track of just about anything we’ve had to remember in life.  According to Facebook’s blog in which they released information on the update, “You can save items like links, places, movies, TV and music.”


But how helpful is this, really? We already have iCal, the reminder app, Evernote, and other great productivity apps. Additionally, these apps are easily accessible and typically already built into our computers and smartphones. So, this saving feature doesn’t seem like a necessary change to Facebook. The only real benefit to this is that saved items will show up in your news feed. Correction, it will sometimes show up in your news feed at the apparent discretion of Facebook. Thanks, Facebook?


Facebook Leads The Social Media Herd

Facebook continues to dominate the social media industry, still leading in social logins and driving referral traffic.

While their new saving feature may not be of the most benefit, Facebook has definitely come through in another way. If you make a new username and password that you end up forgetting, Facebook actually saves the day with social logins – and it shows.


Specifically, some data from Gigya shows that Facebook accounts for 55% of social logins, with Google+ tailing them at 27%. So it makes sense that Facebook is the “king of social media referral traffic.” Shareaholic notes that Facebook showed a 10.09% increase in referrals between March and June while everyone else was in the negative.


A bit ironic how Facebook is leading the pack by being the Internet’s #1 middle man.

Wall Street Called And Facebook Answered!

After Wall Street’s quarterly financial call, Facebook came away with $2.9 billion in revenue!sheryl-sandberg How did they do it? Metrics, of course! Sheryl Sandberg points out some success metrics for us to lean into, if you will.

First, Facebook increased their active advertisers from a mere one million to a million and a half. They also reaped many benefits from all the kicking and screaming of the recent World Cup games. One could argue that McDonald’s owes Sandberg and company after the success of their FryFutbol promotion. Three billion – that’s the number of interactions generated from only 350 million people taking part in the campaign.


In fact, the majority of Facebook’s reported revenue comes from advertising. Beneath all the fluff of Buying and Saving buttons on Facebook, the king of referral traffic has firmly established its foundation in social advertising. While other sites like Twitter are attempting to close that revenue gap, it’s clear that Facebook is sitting back on its laurels and enjoying little things in life. Specifically, buttons. Lots of buttons.


Viral Video Of The Week

All hail the return of the King! By now you surely have heard all the buzz about LeBron James announcing that he will be taking his talents up north to Cleveland.

It seems like it was just yesterday that all of Northeast Ohio was torching the jersey of their beloved savior. Even more entertaining than the absurdity of the whole fiasco is a recent video brought to us by ESPN. Watch the hilarious and unbelievably on-point reading of LeBron James’ letter discussing his return. Oh, did we mention that it’s Frank Caliendo reading this as Morgan Freeman? You’ll be glad you watched this!


Thanks for reading A Smorgasbord of Social Media – your weekly roundup of all things social. Check back each Friday for a fresh batch of updates. As always, feel free to share your opinions by tweeting us @Wpromote!

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A Smorgasbord of Social Media: 7/21/14

Welcome back for another weekly roundup of all things social media! Sorry we missed you on Friday, but we are here today, so get yourselves ready for all the great updates that we have coming your way. Let’s get to it!



Facebook Shopping

Zuckerberg and his army have expanded the social networking platform’s capabilities into the realm of eCommerce business. Now, shopping on Facebook is is as easy as a single click of the new Buy button. That’s right! Last week Facebook gave advertisers the ability to sell their products directly on Facebook with this new feature. So now we can basically live off of our newsfeeds and forget everything else.


But how does it work? When you click Buy, you’ll be prompted to enter your credit card information and make your purchase. You’ll then have the option of storing this information for future use. For those of us concerned about the security of these Facebook purchases, Facebook wrote a blog post stating, “None of the credit or debit card information people share with Facebook when completing a transaction will be shared with other advertisers.”

Watch out, Amazon! Zuckerberg’s coming for you!


Tweet ‘N Shop

However, Facebook wasn’t the first to implement the Buy button. Twitter beat them to it by adding this feature earlier in the month. However, the mircroblogging service didn’t stop there. According to recent news reports, Twitter has been strategically integrating eCommerce for some time in an attempt to establish themselves as the leading force within the social media industry.

So what’s the big news? Twitter recently acquired CardSpring. For those that don’t know about this startup company, CardSpring allows businesses to link credit card purchases to digital coupons. Additionally, they are known for specializing in linking and tracking offline purchases.


For Twitter’s business, this means that they will have the ability to offer card-linked deals. After recognizing your card number a discount will be applied. Great news for bargain shoppers, but how secure is all of this? Facebook has assured the world that they wouldn’t share credit card info, but we have yet to know about the safety of online purchases with Twitter. In the midst of all this conversation about big data, maybe we should be a bit wary of such technology within the social media realm.


Facebook Mentions

Back to more Facebook news! Did you hear about the new Facebook Mentions iOS app? This new app improves the interaction between public figures and their followers. How does it work? It surfaces public posts made by followers that mention these figures. Celebrities can then jump into these posts and reach out to their fans and followers.


Who knows, you may be lucky enough to get a comment from your favorite celeb like this guy did from Tyrese Gibson. Just keep posting and you’re bound to end up in the limelight in no time!


Viral Video Of The Week

Earlier last week,one of Toronto’s very own hosted the 2014 ESPY awards show. No, I don’t mean J Biebs. I mean Drake. The actor-turned-rapper performed a great opening act, giving shout-outs to his athlete friends and poking fun at a couple of their reputations.

But what was really special about the ESPYs was Stuart Scott’s acceptance speech. Scott received the Jimmy V Perseverance Award and delivered a heartwarming speech about his battle with cancer. Don’t be surprised if his speech completely changes your perspective on life.


“When you die, that does not mean that you lose to cancer. You beat cancer by how you live, why you live, and in the manner in which you live.”


Thanks for reading A Smorgasbord of Social Media – your weekly roundup of all things social. Check back each Friday for a fresh batch of updates. As always, feel free to share your opinions by tweeting us @Wpromote!

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A Smorgasbord of Social Media: 7/11/14

Welcome back for another weekly roundup of all things social media! We missed last week, so we have some important updates to catch up on. Let’s get right to it!




Huffington Boast

It seems as though a congratulations is in order for The Huffington Post. It turns out that the top-performing publisher on Facebook last month was Arianna Huffington and the rest of her Internet subscribers.

According to NewsWhip, The Huffington Post had the highest amount of shares and interactions in June. This means that they beat out the likes of CNN, ESPN, NBC, EliteDaily, and even our ever-so-loved provider of absurdly addicting online quizzes, BuzzFeed.


For those of us that are number-oriented, THP published 26,264 articles in June. To put this into perspective, the lowest number of articles published was 89 (, and the highest number of articles published was 122,186 (Yahoo!). So it just comes to show that it truly is about quality and not quantity.



Germany destroyed the World Cup host country, Brazil, seven to one in their semi-final match.


Of course, there was a lot of civil unrest amongst the Brazilians and the Twitter-sphere became the showcase for the day of reckoning. When Toni Kroos scored, there were 497,425 tweets per minute (TPM). But this number rose to 508,601 TPM with Kroos’ second goal and reached 580,660 TPM with Sami Khedira’s goal.

In fact, this match was the most-tweeted about sporting event in the history of the 140-character limit.


Facebook Discrepancy

The leading social media platform recently filled the world in on a little issue with their analytic system. It was recently discovered by some Facebook page administrators that there was a discrepancy between their reach and engagement metrics.


Facebook has come forward and admitted that this discrepancy has affected all Page Posts and Boosted Posts between May 30th and June 30th.

Bloggers and administrators have reached out to Facebook for help resolving this issue. Unfortunately, we are stuck in a bit of a limbo at the moment because there is no set date on when this problem will be fixed.


Viral Video Of The Week

While there’s not much substance to this clip, it’s definitely a video and it has definitely gone viral. It’s only fitting that we end this week’s Smorgasbord with a quick Vine video showing a visual analogy of Germany’s win over Brazil.


Thanks for reading A Smorgasbord of Social Media – your weekly roundup of all things social. Check back each Friday for a fresh batch of updates. As always, fee free to share your opinions by tweeting us @Wpromote!

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A Smorgasbord of Social Media: 6/27/14

Welcome back for another weekly roundup of all things social media! We have some important updates for you so let’s get right to it.


Help Me Help You

Are you one of the many people that immediately hits “0” on the dial pad when dealing with automated customer service systems? We do this because people want to deal with an actual person when seeking customer service assistance. Whether it’s via phone or email, it gives us peace of mind to deal with an actual human being rather than some lifeless program that continually makes you repeat your last response.

How does this relate to social media, you ask? Well, with the rise of various networkinghelp-button-keyboard sites, many companies have started utilizing social media for customer service purposes. A recent study by Forrester and Conversocial, which surveyed 159 senior contact center executives, revealed a key aspect regarding the needs of customers. The study found that while social media customer service is on the rise, it might not be the best route to customer satisfaction. For example, even though the use of Twitter for customer service needs doubled to 22%, customers still expressed a desire for good old human interaction.

Joshua March, Conversocial Founder and CEO, expands on this revelation by explaining, “Businesses need to realize that social doesn’t just sit with your marketing team anymore. Social media is a primary customer service channel alongside email, phone and chat.”

So, instead of “Press one for English,” it should really be “Hello! How may I help you?”


Facebook Ads Expanding Reach

If you already thought there was no escaping Facebook ads, wait until you get a load of this! Effective immediately: Facebook is expanding the capabilities of its customer audience ad-targeting options that were formerly exclusive via FBX and other third party apps like AdRoll.


These updates have been proven to expand the success of campaigns. Nomorerack, an eCommerce company, implemented these new advertising tactics and saw a 42% increase in their clickthrough rates and a 42-45% decrease in their costs-per-acquisition. Such remarkable turnaround is made possible by these ads being significantly better targeted to specific audiences. Furthermore, these new ad features allow for promoting multiple products in the same ad.


So, if you wanted to reach people who browsed your website but didn’t make a purchase, you can retarget them on Facebook with multiple products at the same time.


Facebook Editing On-The-Go

Have you ever had the frustrating experience of realizing you made a mistake in a Facebook post while you were away from your desktop? It’s especially bad when it’s for a Facebook page that you manage, huh?

Fortunately, you will never experience that feeling ever again! Facebook has released an update that allows users to edit pages on their mobile devices.



Viral Video Of The Week!

Samuel L. Jackson lays his vengeance upon us once again. Jackson was recently on The Graham Norton Show for an interview in which he recited his infamous Ezekiel 25:17 speech from Pulp Fiction. Take a look at his flawless delivery nearly two decades after it first graced us with its presence!


Thanks for reading A Smorgasbord of Social Media – your weekly roundup of all things social. Check back each Friday for a fresh batch of updates. As always, fee free to share your opinions by tweeting us @Wpromote!

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A Smorgasbord of Social Media: 6/20/14

Happy Friday and welcome back for another weekly roundup of all things social media! Today we have a lot of exciting news regarding the world of mobile apps and GIFs. So what’re we waiting for? Let’s get right to it!



Undercover Job Seeking

We recently discussed some new design changes coming to LinkedIn profiles. In addition to cover photos and larger profile pictures, LinkedIn created a mobile app to let you use the networking site while on the go. Now, they’re taking that initiative a step further by rolling out a second mobile app for iOS specifically for job searching.

You may initially be thinking that this seems a bit unnecessary for LinkedIn. But, this new job search app provides you with one key benefit that surely makes it worthwhile: job seekers can now be on the search and have it kept private. Furthermore, the app will also provide users with recommendations and notifications based on your profile, previous searches, and personalized search criteria.

We all know it’s a bit awkward to search for jobs knowing that others have the ability to see what you are up to. Thanks to this new app that’s no longer the case. The best part about this is that you can also apply for positions using your LinkedIn profile. It’s now easier than ever for you to stay on top of the job search game!


The Clash Of News And Social Media

The growth of social media networks has replaced many aspects of our lives. They serve as online photo albums, marketing platforms, and even the tinder for sparking the flames of your next romance.

NewsWhip, an online news blog, has released a new mobile app that will consolidate thousands of global sources from the likes of Facebook and Twitter into one newsfeed.


Users will be able to narrow news searches to 10 different regions or countries as well as up to 50 different topics. Chief Technology Officer Andrew Mullaney states, “It makes for a stream of news that’s sometimes silly, sometimes dead serious, sometimes emotional, but always engaging.” With the ability to share stories directly to Facebook and Twitter, this new app provides users with a balance of relevance and social engagement. It looks as though Reddit may have finally found its match!


Get Strapped Up For Boot Camp

In just a few short days, MediaBistro will launch its Social Media Strategy Boot Camp. This interactive online event will provide you with the proper training for executing your next social media mission.

Why should you attend? Because, 93% of marketers use social media for business, but not all of them are using it to its highest potential. Whether you select the day pass, week pass, or all-access course pass, you;ll be able to launch your knowledge to the next level. The courses combine excellent curriculum with interactive learning and participation. If that’s not enough for you, you will also get to tap into the insights of 11 guest speakers, including executive director of Verizon Wireless, Jason Moriber.


As marketing efforts are increasingly shifting towards this trend of human-to-human interaction, attending this boot camp may provide the key to your career’s success.


The GIFt of Giving

If you thought you were limited to 140 characters and six-second Vine videos, you thought wrong! You now have a new avenue that awaits you with Twitter. Users can now tweet their favorite animated GIFs for both Android and iOS platforms.


However, Twitter isn’t the only one taking adopting this new format. GIFs are now supported on Google+ and Pinterest as well. Deadspin and Bleacher Report have mastered the art of sports GIFs, as you may have seen with the recent NBA playoffs this month.

While these sites have already capitalized on the GIFt of giving, GIFs will now also serve as a great tool for marketers, creating quick and easy branding platforms for all to see.


Viral Video Of The Week

We previously showed you a five minute video, Beats by Dre, and its many celebrity cameos. This week we provide you with another video that captivates the excitement of the World Cup games.

Nike has released “The Last Game”, an animated commercial featuring the ultimate showdown between cloned soccer players and the human players we all love. Featuring Ronaldo, Rooney, and Brazil’s superstar, Neymar, this video has been an instant hit.


With 51.6 million views, 92,000 tweets, and 673,000 social interactions, this video has proven to be another success for Nike’s “Risk Everything” campaign. Take a look for yourself and watch the intense superstar-loaded match.

Thanks for reading A Smorgasbord of Social Media – your weekly roundup of all things social. Check back each Friday for a fresh batch of updates. As always, feel free to share your opinions by tweeting us @Wpromote.


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A Smorgasbord of Social Media: 6/13/14

Welcome back to another weekly roundup of all things social media. We have some important updates for you so let’s get right to it.



Facebook Using More Outside Data To Improve Quality Of Ads Delivered

Facebook collects all of its individual data from your actions on the social networking site, mostly from the pages you like. To take their advertising to the next level, they are using your off-Facebook data. When you search for an item on the web, Facebook will start showing you ads that are relevant to that search. For example, if they think you’re interested in electronics, they may show you ads for other electronics or devices that are often purchased. The social networking giant is also giving users more control of the ads they see with ‘Ad Preferences’. It’s a new tool that will be on the drop down of every ad explaining why you are seeing that ad, and lets you remove interests that they may have attributed to you. Overall, Facebook is using more data to help refine ad user visibility, draw a better response, and provide additional tools to help understand audiences better.

ad-preferences-screenshot (1)


Google+ Analytics Are Finally A Reality

When Google+ started as a social site, the only analytical tool they provided was a very basic ‘Ripples’, which displayed post shares. For page managers, this was the biggest letdown of the platform, and limited its use a marketing tool. That all changes with the introduction of Google+ Insights, which provides information in three different areas: Visibility, Engagement and Audience.

Visibility: Google+’s most recent update, which changed +1’s to views. It gives a breakdown of how many times your content has been viewed across Google’s network of tools.

Engagement: A breakdown of the total number of views, shares and comments for all your content. For the first 72 hours of a new post, the activity will be displayed hour by hour, which will help determine the lifetime of your posts.

Audience: A very general breakdown of demographic data that includes gender, age and geographic locations of your followers.

Overall, this is a step in the right direction for Google+ to become an effective marketing tool for brands to use, especially as more and more are looking for a Facebook replacement.



Twitter Gears Up For World Cup Mania

During the 2010 World Cup, Twitter released hashflags to get users talking about their favorite teams. The site is bringing them back for World Cup 2014. Hashflags are emoji flags attached when using the country’s shortened hashtag. For example, if you use the United States abbreviated hashtag “#USA” an American Flag will automatically be attached. As Facebook tries to fight to get in on the conversation, Twitter believes real time tweets along with hashflags will encourage users to keep the World Cup conversation on their platform.



Viral Video Of The Week – Guy Jumps In With A Great White

What starts off as a casual cliff jump with friends turns scary…fast! After this guy jumps into the waters of the Australian coast and comes back to the surface, his friend spots a great white shark nearby. Panic ensues when he gets a close up of the shark underwater. Check out this frightening but awesome clip that is boasting over 6 million views.


Thanks for tuning into another Smorgasbord of Social Media – your weekly roundup of all things social. Check back each Friday for a fresh batch of updates. In the meantime, check out @Wpromote!

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A Smorgasbord of Social Media: 6/6/14

Welcome back to another Smorgasbord of Social Media, your weekly roundup of all things social! We’ve got some insightful updates to bring to you, so let’s get down to business.


Pinterest Meets Advertising!

The 70 million users of Pinterest will witness the power of Promoted Pins. Initially launched in a small-scale release last fall, Promoted Pins now allows businesses to advertise to those who use the platform as a shopping discovery tool. Organic Pins and Promoted Pins will only have one distinction: those that are promoted will show up show up in search and category feeds, but will have a “Promoted Pin” tag at the bottom.


Additionally, Pinterest brings us another surprise: the platform has announced its new and improved analytics dashboard. More detailed information, such as which Pins are driving engagement, will be a click away!


Major Design Changes For LinkedIn

LinkedIn has followed in the footsteps of Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ by implementing large cover photos and user profile pictures. This long-overdue update will be made available exclusively to premium users for now. Free users, do not fret! In just a few short months all users profiles will have the same capability.


More changes are headed toward premium user profiles. With rates starting at ten dollars per month, these changes include the option of making your profile open to all users. People are sure to welcome such customization options considering that many use the site as an online resume for potential employers.


One Size Does Not Fit All

140 Proof and IPG Media came together to determine the effectiveness of using the same copy for engagement across multiple social media platforms. Unsurprisingly, they report that about 60% of users agreed they engage with different platforms in different ways. For example, Facebook is preferred for engaging with family and friends, while LinkedIn provides users with networking capabilities.

The report adds other bits of useful user insight. The study also finds that marketers must step up their game when it comes to creating content. A reported 61% of users have unfollowed/unliked a brand while 29% have never unliked a brand. The moral of the story: keep content engaging. But also make sure to tailor your content to the primary use of the various social media platforms.


Viral Video Of The Week

Dr. Dre’s Beats by Dre has recently made headlines for its acquisition by Apple for $3 billion. As the first billionaire of the hip-hop industry, the doctor hasn’t stopped there. His audio engineering company recently launched its “The Game Before the Game” campaign in light of the much-anticipated World Cup. The video highlights Neymar Jr. and a touching phone conversation with his father before his big game. Showcasing the new Beats SOLO2 headphones, the video also includes cameos by Jozy Altidore, Thierry Henry, LeBron James, Stuart Scott and even Nicky Minaj.


As always, thanks for reading! Check back each week for a fresh batch of updates!

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A Smattering of SEO News: 6/4/14

Hello friends, and happy June! Can you believe we’re halfway through 2014 already? What a year it’s been for SEO, and heck, what a week, as we have a lot of news to look at! So let’s dive in!

Google News:

  • Theory: eBay Penalized For Dropping Google AdWords – There’s an interestinggoogle-penalty-card-ebay-1401712949 theory put out by WebmasterWorld founder Brett Tabke: he postulates that one year after eBay dropped AdWords ads on their site, Google penalized the site as a signal to others not to do the same. Tabke thinks that one year went by before the penalty took hold in order to allow plausible deniability on Google’s part. While neither Google nor eBay have commented on the penalty, it’ll be interesting to see what the actual reason is for eBay’s drop in rankings.
  • Google Launches EU Search Removal Form, Thousands Of Requests Flow In – Late last week, in keeping with a recent EU ruling, Google launched a form allowing European users to submit removal requests, Over 12,000 came that day alone. As of yesterday, the requests have passed 41,000, so it will be interesting to see how many of those are granted.
  • Google+ Business Page Can Now Connect To Google Maps Listing – When you read the title to this one, you might wonder, “They couldn’t do that already?” Nope. Google has now added the feature allowing Google+ business page owners to connect to their Maps listing, making things much more interconnected and usable.


  • Study: More Syndicated Content = Deeper Panda 4.0 Penalty – G-Squared Interactive’s Glenn Gabe posted a fascinating study covering Panda 4.0 over on Search Engine Watch. In this study he analyzed nearly thirty websites and found that those with the most syndicated content suffered the worst penalties, while those who scraped content found themselves in even worse positions than before. A lack of user engagement also doesn’t help. It’s a fascinating study I suggest you read.
  • Google Analytics Adds Enhanced eCommerce Features – Google has announcedgoogle-analytics-ecommerce the launch of Enhanced eCommerce, which will help business owners track shoppers through more steps of the buying process than ever before. New analytic tools will allow webmasters to study content engagement, more detailed customer overview reports, and other types of analysis. You can read how to add these features on Google’s help pages.

Other News

  • Redesigned Facebook Pages Launch For Everyone – This week, Facebook launched the newly redesigned Pages for their users. The new page is similar to the older-style Facebook pages with a single content column and a larger sidebar, which should hopefully help with clarity and engagement.


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A Smorgasbord of Social Media: 5/30/14

Welcome back to another round of social media updates. We skipped last week to bring you a post on The Value of News in Social Media, but we’re back this week and have some great updates for you.

Ready For The New Facebook?

Whether you like it or not, all brand pages will be forced onto the new profile design sometime during June. We say sometime during June because there are reports with conflicting dates (June 6  and June 13). Most likely this switch will be coming faster than you think. If you are unaware, the new design will have posts in a single column rather than a staggered layout. The left-hand column will soon have all of your business information, photos, events, and other tabs. Some basic engagement insights will be available on the right-hand side, next to your cover photo. The last change will be to the top bar, where there will be simpler navigation buttons.


Twitter Testing An Easy Video Sharing Feature

It has been well-reported that tweets incorporated with visual media get more engagement than those without. Because of this, Twitter is testing a new way to easily share videos in tweets. When you use a hashtag from a movie, for example #AMillionWaysToDieIntheWest, a menu will drop down to give you the option of attaching a video clip. So far this seems to be a free feature, but could easily transfer into a new Twitter ad unit. They also seem to be working towards online video streaming rather than taking users to the browser view. For now, both are limited to the Twitter IOS app, but expect to start seeing these new features released more widely soon.


Pinterest Releases API To Third-Party Tools

Now you can get a deeper insight into your Pinterest marketing efforts through some third-party marketing tools. The Pinterest blog mentions, “Insights help businesses engage better with Pinners. This could be which boards and Pins are getting the most engagement, which downstream actions Pins are driving or what products are most popular with Pinners.” Previously, analytics were only accessible on the platform itself. By utilizing third-party tools, developers have the opportunity to pull data onto a customized dashboard. This is a step in the right direction for Pinterest to become a leader in the social marketing atmosphere. Overall, this means is you can finally integrate Pinterest data with other community data using one of the developer platforms.  


Viral Twitter Account Of The Week – Random Act of Cash

Instead of the viral video of the week, I want to showcase a Twitter account that is going viral. A mystery benefactor running an account that goes by @HiddenCash is hiding money all over the California Coast and leaving clues on where to find it. The envelopes that enclose the cash often give instructions to tweet @HiddenCash a photo in recognition. Sometimes they ask what the recipients are going to do with the cash, but in most cases they don’t. I started following the account after hearing a local news station mention that a person was leaving cash around San Francisco, CA and had plans to come down to Los Angeles. When I followed the account earlier this week it had just over 90K followers. HiddenCash tweeted about a special reward upon reaching 100k followers, but when the follower count rapidly breezed past that benchmark, a follow-up tweet stated he wasn’t ready that quickly and he would be still doing something special very soon. As of Thursday, HiddenCash had over 280k followers after a news story about the phenomenon was published, the account has reached over 350k followers. The anonymous account-runner also released a statement Friday morning, saying this is all nothing more than acts of altruism. Follow @HiddenCash and read the post explaining why he does it.

Thanks for keeping up with the Smorgasbord – your weekly round up of all things social. Check back each Friday for a fresh batch!


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The Value Of News In Social Media

Katerina Eva Matsa and Amy Mitchell of the PewResearch Journalism Project wrote a very interesting piece on the news in social media. In “8 Key Takeaways About Social Media and News” Matsa and Mitchell begin by explaining that most social media users get their news from reddit and Facebook, respectively. Contrarily, users receive very little newssocial-media-news from Instagram and Pinterest. Interestingly enough, the article also explains that users receive this news incidentally. Only “34% of Facebook news consumers ‘like’ a news organization or individual journalist” and this means that most news actually comes from users’ friends. As another result of friends as a news source, most news topics from our social networks have to do with entertainment, our respective communities, and sports.

Engagement also stands as another noteworthy point about news in social media. While most people share news with their network through some form of reposting and commenting, they have also taken on the role of newscaster. User postings of photos and videos at a news event provide over a quarter of social network news sharing.

It should be noted, however, that social media news engagement might not necessarily provide the best source of news. Research shows that conversation regarding a news topic on Twitter does not necessarily coincide with the conversation within the general public sphere. For example, the study examined the shootings in Newton, Connecticut. Following the unfortunate events of the tragedy, 64% of Twitter users called for stricter gun control while only 49% of public opinion followed suit. Even then, this statistic only provides some insight into the sentiment of Twitter users. The study goes on and explains that Twitter sentiment expressed can change over time. Matsa and Mitchell provide another example regarding same-sex marriage. On April 1st, 2013, 55% of Twitter users opposed same-sex marriage and by May 12th of that year this percentage significantly reduced to 26% opposition. As important as this may be, we should take these statistics with a grain of salt. Public opinion always changes. We see these changes through legal amendments, fashion trends, and more recently with the public opinion of Justin Bieber. Change happens. Everything is contextual. Everything evolves.

social_icons2As technology and the flow of information advance, change will occur a lot more rapidly and this is exactly what the study’s findings about opinion on Twitter communicate. The seventh takeaway of the article begins hinting at the relevance of context. We are provided with various statistics about the demographics of Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, and YouTube. In general, they are all relatively close to one another, with a few exceptions. For example, the percentage of males is 42%, 50%, 48%, 67%, and 57%, respectively. But more variance occurs with the percentage of users with Bachelor’s degrees (or higher), which ranges from 23% (YouTube) to 64% (LinkedIn). Any competent communicator understands that one must always consider their audience. Framing and context play major roles in how messages either reinforce or combat our attitudes and beliefs. Lastly, the journalists reinforce my point as they indicate that visitors who were directed to a news outlet via Facebook will display less engagement than those who directly targeted the news outlet. Facebook may increase reach for an outlet, but we must also consider the quality of the reach as well.

These eight takeaways provide great insight into the role of news in social media. The increase in social media news exposes an increasing subjectivity of news. It also illustrates a decline in traditional and objective news sources. As journalists such as Matsa and Mitchell aim for objectivity, our incredibly integrated world continues to stray further from such neutrality. Consequently, this challenges the integrity of the once thriving industry of journalism.