Can’t Buy Me Love! Wait, Yes You Can. But DON’T.

Have you ever been following someone on Twitter or Instagram (who is NOT a celebrity) and noticed a huge spike in their number of followers from one day to the next?  I have.  It’s weird. Does such an increase make me, the follower, think that what you have to say suddenly got more interesting or credible?  Nope.  Do I suddenly find you to be more important?  Nope.  Especially when a quick check of who the influx of followers are provides all the evidence I need to see that most (if not all) of this newly found flock are fake accounts rather than real people.

Here’s a look at the follower numbers for an account that buys followers periodically.  You can clearly see the days that purchases were made and days that Twitter does massive fake account deletions.

Followers for Twitter account that purchases followers

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Let’s Get Visual! Let Me See Your Content Talk!

There’s a reason that popularity of social sites like Instagram and Pinterest have skyrocketed recently.  It is the same reason that you used to be drawn to the stories in the newspaper that had images associated with them (hey! remember when you actually held a newspaper in your hand and read it?).  By design, we’re visual beings.  We’re built to see a wide spectrum of colors, depth and texture.

But the reason we’re drawn to imagery goes beyond that – when we view imagery, we each see something unique and we connect emotionally to the visual by creating our meaning for it.  Visuals make more lasting impressions because we process them differently than we do text.  According to a recent LinkedIn blog post, when we process imagery we are using 75% of our sensory neurons.  Imagery has become the new headline.  In this new fast-paced world where we’re dealing with a barrage of messages and continuous noise via every social channel, imagery is what we (marketers) need to use to capture the attention of our audience.

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Samsung scored with Ellen’s Oscar selfie

By now we’ve all seen the best selfie ever. (See below in case you have been living under a proverbial rock.)  How could you not love this photo? The spontaneity, casualness and silliness of it made it go viral instantly.  So much so that it not only set the record for the highest number of retweets (more than 2.5 million right now and 700,000 in the first hour), which was Ellen’s goal, but it also crashed Twitter.


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Haters Gonna Hate: Dealing with Negativity in the Social Space

We’ve all encountered negativity in the social space.  It often comes in the form of nasty reviews, personal attacks, brand bashing, even bullying behavior.  But it can also come in the form of a frustrated customer seeking assistance for an issue or answer to a question.

First let’s address the haters, bashers, trolls and bullies…

A while back when I had more time on my hands, I used to blog about issues, often politically-charged ones, that were near and dear to my heart. One post that was inspired by several back-to-back incidents of horrible parenting I had witnessed garnered one response that crossed the line from critical comment to targeted personal attack.  Although the comment was posted anonymously, given the content of the attack and the poor grammar, which was a thinly-veiled attempt to disguise the commenter’s identity, I know exactly who authored the comment.  I did post a response, but what I realized afterward was that I didn’t need to.  Why? Because my supporters came out in full force to defend me.  Turns out there were many people who read my post and agreed with me and were more than happy to put my attacker in her place.

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Hello There, Social Platforms!

Do you remember how you were first introduced to social networking?

I do.

myspace-logoI joined MySpace when it first became popular (I think it was 2004).  I loved that I could reconnect with friends from high school and college, no matter where they were living.  Plus you could change the colors and backgrounds and add graphics and music to your profile. (By the way, have you seen it lately? WOW! It looks different.)

FB-f-Logo__blue_100When I first heard about Facebook in 2005 from some long-time friends who were still in college, I was too old and too far out of college to join, so I had to patiently wait until Facebook was opened up to the masses.  Even though I did join Facebook about a year after it finally opened to us older/non-collegiate folk, I remained loyal to my trusty MySpace because it was familiar and had lots of options for customization that Facebook didn’t offer.  Finally in late 2007, I decided to bite the bullet and join Facebook. In all honesty, it took me quite a while to ditch MySpace and become a full-on Facebooker.

Twitter_logo_blueThen in mid 2008, I joined Twitter to see what all the fuss was about… and was immediately hooked.  For me, Facebook has always been all about connecting with people already know, but Twitter in entirely different.  I loved being able to engage with people I didn’t know without having the concern of allowing them in to my personal life.

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