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Social

  • Lady Gaga mobilises her social network for political change

    Lady Gaga is using YouTube and her huge following on Twitter and Facebook to mobilise a groundswell of support for the repeal of the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" legislation which is prejudicial to gay and lesbian members of the military. Fresh from her outrageous appearance at the VMA Music Awards where she accepted her award for Music Video of the Year wearing a dress made of meat, Lady Gaga has made another swift u-turn and uploaded a direct, heartfelt message on YouTube that speaks directly to the United States government. Shot in black and white, Lady Gaga is refreshingly...

  • Is your social network making you stupid?

    Ever heard of homophily? If not, there’s a good chance that you’re in a social network where more of the same isn’t exactly sparking your neural pathways or making you smarter. In fact famed internet intellectual Ethan Zuckerman, with tongue firmly in cheek, would go as far as to say that homophily is making you dumber. “I’m over-simplifying and being a bit cheeky when I say that the internet is making us stupid. However what I mean by it, in a serious way, is that homophily has a tendency to isolate us from certain pieces of information. At the same...

  • ‘Retweet to win’ contests damage a brand

    The local social media scene is awash with companies, brands and personalities diving in and trying their hand at this new "engagement" thing. And while there's nothing wrong with that -- the age-old strategic (nay, common sense) principles will always stand. People commit to something based on shared value. People are people, they have emotions and don't react the way you think they might. People don't always want to engage with you. People need you to understand that there's a time, a place and a medium. People want better products over more prizes, deeper engagement or clever communication - always. It's...

  • Twitter.com unveils a new, richer interface

    During a major press event at its San Francisco headquarters yesterday, Twitter unveiled a new version of Twitter.com. The refresh will be immediately available to only one percent of its 160-million registered users at first, but will roll out to everyone during the coming weeks. The biggest notable difference is in the manner that user feeds are presented. A new two pane approach sees the old timeline and tweets presented in the left-hand column, with details about a specific tweet presented in the right. You could, for instance, see if a tweet is part of a thread, the profile of...

  • Five simple ways to add value on Facebook

    With Facebook’s stringent rules regarding contests and competitions on its site, you need a lot more than free giveaways to build your Facebook community. You need to be interesting and relevant to your target market. Content is king, as the saying goes, and that has never been truer than when dealing with Facebook in a marketing context. Here are a few helpful, common-sense ideas that will assist you in growing your business fan base. 1. Add Value You need to think about yourself as an online brand ambassador aka content builder aka conversation shepherd... whatever the buzz words might be, the principle remains...

  • 80+ SA bands, singers to follow: Memeburn’s ultimate Twitter guide

    The South African music industry has grown exponentially during the last few years. Bands, DJ's, soloists, record labels have all taken to the web to promote themselves, and what better way to spread your message than Twitter? Using the micro-blogging platform, artists share their vision, announce gigs and interact with their fans. We've set ourselves the ambitious task of hosting the definitive guide to SA music on Twitter. Please comment and let's grow it into a powerful resource. Freshlyground, the seven-piece band consisting of members from South Africa, Mozambique and Zimbabwe, is arguably the biggest Afro-pop act South Africa has...

  • 10 social media etiquette tips for businesses

    Embracing social media requires fresh thinking from companies wishing to promote their brand successfully. But when using these channels improperly, things can go horribly wrong very quickly. Conversation and interaction is at the very core of social media, so just pushing sales and marketing messages onto users doesn’t work. It’s a two-way dialogue and businesses must be prepared to commit to the conversation. Social networks are successful because they bind people together through (often anonymous) interaction, stimulating a sense of personal belonging within a community, where speech, debate and opinion are free. Facebook has more than 500 million active users, and users...

  • Should you be using ‘official’ or ‘community’ Facebook Pages?

    You can call Facebook many things, but “simple” is no longer one of them. In the last three years they have piled on the features and, in doing so, cranked up the confusion. If you’re an online marketer you probably already know to avoid the most common mistakes when adding your brand presence to Facebook. For 90% of marketing initiatives, an “official” Facebook Page (aka fan pages or brand pages) is the best choice. But be aware that official pages are actually quite limited in scope. They are only for use by “official representatives” of one of three narrow categories of...

  • Why companies crave your social networking data

    Breanna Hughes, a prolific blogger and product manager at Artez Interactive in Toronto was surprised to receive an offer from Virgin America for free round-trip airfare between Toronto and San Francisco or Los Angeles. She hadn't entered any competitions recently. The reason she got the offer? She was categorised as influential in her social network and had authority on topics related to travel. Companies are utilising new developments in predictive analysis to make startlingly accurate assumptions about their customers. Beyond using customer's personal information for targeted online advertising, organisations are utilising data about our social network interactions to make predictions...

  • Pic-Nic Village, a new social network with a conscience

    Are you tired of the bland catch-all nature of Facebook? Confounded by the sheer scale and volume of Twitter? Then Pic-Nic Village, a brand new social network, might be just what you're looking for. Wearing its new-age, alternative colours proudly on its sleeve, Pic-Nic Village aims to be "the first social networking community that targets people who are passionate about creativity, innovation, ideas generation and seeking positive solutions to everyday problems." This is a network with a firm, strong social ethos. It is spurning any advertising-driven support, and seeks finance through "a relatively new concept called crowd-funding through the sale of...

  • Five arguments you can use to convert Twitter sceptics

    We’ve all met the type. They use the Web all the time but they shun Twitter. They’re willing to try new sites and applications, but each time the topic of Twitter comes up, they make a little clicking sound or make a snarky comment.  Something like: “I don’t need to know what kind of sandwich everybody had for lunch today.” The Twitter faithful know better. For all the random junk on Twitter, and the obnoxious downtime, the application’s utility far outweighs its drawbacks. So here’s a guide to showing your friends and colleagues the light. And if they still don’t get...

  • New Tippex “Hunter shoots a bear” campaign goes viral

    Tippex has barreled into the viral media fray with an impeccably executed YouTube campaign, titled “NSFW. A hunter shoots a bear!”, created by Parisian agency Buzzman. The video creates an interactive choice at the end where you decide what the hunter should do to the bear. Your choice then redirects you to their campaign microsite, and you can interact even further. The campaign message is "Help me rewrite this story” and you can type in how you want the hunter to interact with the bear. Timed to coincide with the back to school rush in the USA, these sorts of...

  • The 100 most influential news media Twitter accounts

    Undoubtedly, the nature of news is changing with the advent and immense popularity of social media. Media is painfully aware it needs to be involved with the new social order to keep audiences engaged. Social media channels like Twitter, Facebook and YouTube, provide people with additional channels to not only get news about the world, but to involve their community and immediate sphere of influence. So social media enhances mainstream news by...

  • Zuma, Malema and the curious art of twitter-jacking

    Do you have a bone to pick with those in power? Are you funny and tech-savvy with too much time on your hands? If so, then you’re in the prime demographic to do some Twitterjacking, a passive form of identity theft on Twitter. All you need to do is pick a politician or a person in power, then sign up for a Twitter account in their name and begin to tweet away in a defamatory, but hilarious, way. It’s happening right now to South Africa's President Jacob Zuma. "The president" sent this tweet from @jacobzuma a few days ago. “Back...

  • Five ways to successfully promote an event using social media

    When you are promoting an event or function, social media is one of the most valuable, inexpensive and creative platforms that you have at your disposal. But there is a right way and a wrong to go about it. You need to intrigue and entice your potential audience, without irritating them and turning them off. Here are five tips on using Facebook and Twitter to successfully promote your event: 1. Choose your audience, know your platform Facebook and Twitter may both be social networks but that doesn’t mean they have the same audience. When promoting an event make sure you know who...