Category Archives: Digital Media

The What’s and How’s of Social Media #SAQ

FAQ-plugins

Image source: elegantthemes.comow.

Social media has been around for a while now. While some of us have mastered it, we still have some questions that we should know the answer to by now but are afraid to ask at this point. Do not fear, with this post I hope to answer some of these questions so you don’t even have to ask.

What is a hashtag?

A hashtag is a link that is instantly created when the prefix # is added to a word or sentence (withNoSpaces). Its purpose is to aggregate all conversations which mention that word on that social network in real time. It’s important to use hashtags sensibly; overusing them can be annoying and distracting.

Pro tip: Use relevant tags with maybe a location tag depending on the post and the audience you want to reach.

If you want to read more, here is a good article: How To Use Hashtags Effectively Without Being Annoying

Why don’t all my posts go viral?

You can’t “make” something viral. Instead of beginning with this question, you should be thinking about how to build a community around your topic or brand. Put out messages that resonate with them, inspire them, inform them, and help build a long-lasting relationship between your page and the community. Posts that do “break the internet”, however, generally have a few major features: they contain a powerful message, tie-in with a strong cause, touch viewers emotionally, are usually easy to understand, and often have huge budgets backing them up. 😉

How can I activate the blue verified tick on my page?

You actually can’t, it’s not something we have control over. The verified badge is awarded by Facebook brand pages (and Twitter) once they authenticate the page from their end. The whole purpose of verifying an account or page is to identify the official representation in a sea of fake accounts.

Why shouldn’t my brand be on every social media platform?

Each network caters to a difference audience with different interests, and how they express these interests can vary from platform to platform. So choose wisely.

Jumping aboard all possible SM platforms can do more harm than good. It’s much better to have a consistent, reliable, and engaging presence on a few key social media networks rather than trying to do the same thing on too many and failing. When choosing which networks to maintain your brand presence on, keep in mind what each one is best for.

Facebook is a staple. Most users spend at least 18 minutes actively logged in, and it’s a great place to put out content, connect with new and existing fans, and create an enjoyable brand experience for users. Twitter isn’t as much a lead generation platform as much as it is a brand loyalty platform, so it’s a good place to go to communicate with fans one-on-one. LinkedIn is mainly for B2B, not B2C marketing, and  both Instagram and Pinterest are image-centric – so only go there if you’re dedicated to providing quality, high-resolution images and videos.

Do my regular (engagement) posts clash with or clutter my campaign posts when they are running side by side?

No, it doesn’t matter. In fact the reach generated from the engagement posts will help your campaign post to get more organic reach. There is a misconception that the Facebook page timeline needs to kept clean and in chronological order. While this is true, we sometimes do this for the wrong reasons. See, your fans aren’t going to come to your page often to view your content – it’s important to remember that your post’s first contact point with them is on their newsfeed. So whether or not your engagement posts are on while your campaign is running is irrelevant to your fans.

Where on earth has my Ticker gone?

In the last few months, a lot of people have mentioned that their Ticker (the little bar that keeps you updated on what is happening on Facebook in real time) has disappeared. Well, all you have to do is click on the little cog at the bottom of your chat bar and select “Show Ticker” from the menu that appears. You should now be able to see it again!

I hope this has been a useful post and answered at least some of your questions. If you have more questions you would like answers to, do drop a comment. I will try my best to ask them so you don’t have to! 😉

Co-authored by Havish Sivananthan.

 

 

 

The Rise of the Geekdom in the Sri Lankan Social Media Sphere

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Image source: bridalmusing.com

If you have been on the internet within the last couple of years, then you have probably noticed that your news feeds and twitter feed are becoming more and more populated with  superhero movie related posts and tweets or Game of Thrones references. Even brands are getting in on the action.

Internationally, this has been a trend since the first Marvel movies debuted and movies in general have dominated the social media platforms. However here in Sri Lanka as always, the trends have taken their time to catch up… but at last they seem to have arrived! Or have they?

I can assume two reasons for the rise of branded superhero and geek related posts:

  1. Agencies are hiring millennials who would naturally be more inclined to get excited about superhero movies because they are geeks themselves?
  2. Brand managers are seeing the shift in the digital media environment and are asking their agencies to act on it.

Whatever the reason may be, the rise of the social media geekdom is imminent.

For instance, the latest release by Marvel, Captain America: Civil War, saw a number of related posts, and the global hype around Batman vs. Superman saw brands in Sri Lanka on tying in with it on social media in order to capitalize on it. Whether it was by awarding fans movie tickets in exchange for engagement or creatively placing their products to try and relate to the fandom, it was hard to miss.

As an example, Clogard:

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I feel like it’s accurate that Cap would be a mouthwash because you know… “Language!” He’s going to clean your dirty mouth with Clogard mouthwash.

What does the future of the social media landscape in Sri Lanka look like? Is it ready to let out its inner geek?

More importantly, what are we as marketers going to do?

Let me know what you think.

 

 

 

 

 

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Facebook Live API: What does this mean to Marketers?

thecountrycaller.com

Image source: thecountrycaller.com 

Facebook live was first introduces the public first via only iOS, then gradually to Android and eventually to Pages. We saw various individuals, celebrities and brand getting on board the bandwagon and trying out the new feature that Facebook introduced.

Cleary Facebook Inc. has big plans for this new feature, which I should probably refer to as a platform since that is where this is eventually heading. This was further proven at this year’s Facebook F8 conference with the introduction of the Facebook Live API.

With the Facebook Live API publishers can get started with the Live API by contacting one of their Media Solutions partners. These partners have built video production, editing, and streaming products that publish directly to Facebook Live and bring live video to life with features like camera switching,

What can we do with the Facebook Live API?

1) Stream video from more than just your smartphone
The Live API lets you build video streams that mix multiple video and audio sources and introduce special effects. These can also include programmatic sources like games or screencasts.

2) Create new ways to interact with viewers
When you combine the Live API with Facebook’s Graph API, you gain access to your live video’s comments, reactions, and mentions. You can use this information to reflect viewer engagement in real time and create on-screen graphics that show live poll results, analyze comments, and enable comment moderation.

3) Go live from a standalone camera, or even a drone
The Live API can enable spectacular live videos through seamless hardware integrations. Hardware manufacturers can integrate with the Live API to let people go live directly from their devices.

A few  specs:

  • Video in maximum 720p (1280 x 720) resolution, at 30 frames per second.
  • You must send an I-frame (keyframe) at least once every two seconds throughout the stream.
  • Recommended max bit rate is 2500Kbps.
  • Video Length is 90 minute maximum length.

What is your opinion about Facebook Live? Is it the future of live streaming or is it just a farce that will fade away?

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Must Have Apps for a Social Media Community Manager

The world of social media, as you would know if you are a social media account manager is forever active. It never sleeps, I have had my phone buzz with inquiries pass midnight from some of the accounts I handle. Smartphone and mobile application have made our job a 24/7 one, and that’s good. We need to be on the ball at all times. In which case these apps are making our lives much easier.

So if you are new to the social media profession here are a few apps that will make your life easier and most probably keep you a wake at night:

[Please note: This list is not in any particulate order or ranked, also I’m not going to touch on the basic apps like the Facebook, twitter, Instagram app that are pretty much a given].

     1. Facebook Pages Manager

facebook-pages-manager-10-535x535Thisis an absolute life saver. I’m sure most you are already using this but I’m going touch on this because it’s a very important one. This app lets you do pretty much everything you need to do with your pages; update posts, reply to comments and inbox, etc… The only drawback I’ve come across in this app is the inability to hide comments. You’re are going to have to permanently delete those nasty once, so take a screen shot before you do.

You can download Facebook Pages Manager from the Google Play Store  or the Apple App Store.

 

2. Facebook Groups

facebook-shareThis is nifty little app that isn’t talked about enough.  This app gives you a dedicated space for you and your groups. Especially your client related groups. It’s a common and recommended practice now days to create secret Facebook groups which in to communicate with the client side team and to share information or social monitoring.

This app gives you a little bit more freedom with groups than on the Facebook app. I highly recommend having this app installed.

 

 3. Facebook Ad Manager

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Ad Manager is still in its early days. What you can do with the app is limited to viewing/pausing ads that are currently running and creating new ads on the go, which given an urgent situation or when you don’t have access to a computer.

 

 

 

 

    4. Helakuru Sinhala Keyboard 

unnamedIf you are a community manager in Sri Lanka you would have noticed by now users are responding more and more to localized content. Meaning Sinhala content. Assuming your clients allow you to use Sinhala on their accounts you’ll be typing Sinhala content a lot. With the helakuru Sinhala keyboard you can use the Wijesekara keyboard that makes typing so much easier once you get used to it.

 

 

These four app should get you started on the Social Media on the go pack. If you know any other helpful apps that I have (definitely) missed, do comment below and let me know.

 

Facebook is Mobilizing

  • In established markets 90% of its users access Facebook through mobile.
  • 47% of its users access Facebook only through mobile.
  • The majority of advertising revenue (51%) continues to come from outside USA.
  • org aims to provide internet access to third world countries.

Facebook Inc - A Summery 09.11.2015 v2

Facebook Inc. released their quarterly earnings last week along with a snapshot of the progress of the Facebook community.

Facebook now has close to 1.55 billion Facebook accounts with 1 billion daily active users, and 3.4 million of these users are from Sri Lanka. 900 million people use their newly-acquired messaging platform, WhatsApp, while 700 million people use their native messaging app, Messenger. 400 million (and counting) users upload images onto Instagram, and according to the latest stats made available, there are 160,000 Instagram users in Sri Lanka. Moreover 925+ million people use Facebook Groups and 8+ billion videos are viewed daily on Facebook (doubling from 4 billion in Q2).

All these statistics indicate that Facebook is one of the fastest growing social media platforms currently on the internet.

Some interesting statistics show that Facebook continues to attract new teens and seniors to its growing user base. In established markets, 90% of its users access Facebook through mobile (up from 88% in Q2) while 47% of its users access Facebook only through mobile (up from 44% in Q2). When it comes to advertising, revenue from ads served on desktop had declined from 8% YoY whereas revenue from ads served on mobile increased 73% YoY. The majority of advertising revenue (51%) continues to come from outside the USA.

Facebook is just getting started on developing their portfolio and changing how digital media is progressing with development projects such as internet.org, which aims to provide internet access to third world countries, and innovations such as beaming internet from an unmanned aircraft. The future looks bright for Facebook Inc., with announcements like the consumer release for Oculus VR gear, and introducing M, an AI-powered digital assistant. In addition to these, there are many more projects in the pipeline.

All these announcements and advancements have us all excited and looking forward to what Facebook has to offer. We will be keeping an eye out for the latest news.

Sources: Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook Inc.

Fighting Facebook Stupidity With Silence

When you see an inappropriate or misleading post by a parody/troll page that is taking advantage of a tragedy please refrain from venting your frustration as comments on the post, in fact refrain from any interaction with such pages. This is exactly what they want.

The more people interact with such pages and post the more organic reach the page and post will get, exposing the content of those pages to more people, who in turn will comment their frustration.

This is how Facebook’s EdgeRank algorithm works.

“EdgeRank is the Facebook algorithm that decides which stories appear in each user’s newsfeed. The algorithm hides boring stories, so if your story doesn’t score well, no one will see it.” – edgerank.net

If a post gets more interaction Facebook will identify it as an interesting story and show it to more people.

So lets make social media a safer and more respectful place by removing the power we ourselves give the trolls and  parodies by interacting with their content.

Comment wisely.

Social Media Vacancy

No we are not hiring, but for those who are, I’d like to give out a few pointers.

I’ve seen that most employers today have one primary question that lands any individual a job, “Have you handled a Facebook page?” That’s equal to deciding your brands Facebook page is success based on how many likes it’s accumulated. While experience is important it shouldn’t the deciding factor when hiring a social media executive.

If I was hiring the first thing I would look in to is how passionate the candidate is about social media. From the few years of working in the field, I’ve realised that unless you are truly passionate about social media, you really wouldn’t last three months in the industry. It’s the same fact to building a career in any field.

There are a few ways to understand someone’s passion and enthusiasm towards social media and a few (practical) unorthodox questions I think you can ask to see how passionate the candidate is:

What would you do if something you posted doesn’t get any likes or comments?”

“What would you do if your Instagram doesn’t get enough likes or comments?”

“If you see a discussion or even an argument on Twitter what would you do?”

If answers to these questions are something close to:

I’d delete it! I’d be embarrassed to not get any likes.”

“I’d quickly add some hashtag (even irrelevant) and gain some more likes.”

“I’d find a way to jump in and insert myself to that conversation.

How would you judge this person? Clearly, this is your candidate who is a social media addict and assesses his their self-worth from likes and comments. Am I right? That would our natural assessment. While in everyday life this assessment can be justified, at an interview for a social media executive vacancy, this candidate deserves the second interview.

Why? Because a social media addict is exactly who you need to handle your social media!

If someone one has trouble staying away from social media for more than a few hours, or can’t wait to find out what the world is talking about, has enough passion to stay excited about working in social media and is curious enough to keep discovering social media all the time, this is exactly whom you should get on board.

Someone who is excited about a UI change on a social network, or immediately downloads the latest Android/iOS/Windows update for the mobile app is your candidate who will take your social media marketing strategy to the next level.

Social media has come along way. From being a social platform to a media entity of its own. Not long from now social media is going to be the primary channel of communication for brands and companies. It’s a fast paced industry and your social media executive has to be someone who is excited and aware about the revolution that’s about to take over.

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