Tag Archive | "language"

Follow the Millennials: The Driving Force Behind Changes to SMB Marketing

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Have you noticed a change in small and midsized business marketing? Did you feel the recent shift? It turns out that there is a pivotal transformation happening around word-of-mouth marketing with both video and social media at the core. An intriguing shift in the way SMBs are marketing themselves was revealed in recent report Unlocking the Most Powerful Shift in SMB Marketing.

If you’re wondering who caused this shift, the answer is millennials–a generation with an organic understanding of social media that is taking over the workforce. In 2015, millennials became the largest share of the American workforce, according to Pew Research, increasing adoption of social media marketing and online.

What does this mean for SMBs? This shift represents an enormous opportunity.

Large corporations have historically had an almost monopolistic hold on reaching mass audiences using media and video largely because of cost, but also due to the architecture of how the traditional media industry was constructed. SMBs with some forward-looking vision have a new way to compete, eliminating many of the costs of the middleman. This lets them go directly to their consumers by embracing new tools and tactics, utilizing video to its fullest potential and engaging across channels with an authentic voice.

Here’s how this can all be achieved:

The trade has changed and so have the tools

First and foremost, this shift means that the media mix and the tools and tactics of how SMB marketers accomplish goals are quickly changing. You should consider trying them out if you haven’t already.

Millennials are leveraging their understanding of a new media mix along with new tools to reach these goals. It is important to note, however, that the goals have not changed. SMB marketers consistently focus on building brand awareness, generating new customers and maintaining loyalty with existing customers.

It wasn’t too long ago that the only way to reach a mass audience was via TV and print. In the years to come, it will be nearly impossible to reach the masses through those channels.

Marketers have to embrace a new media mix and the tools and tactics that allow businesses to leverage that mix. Many of us are not comfortable exposing our professional personas publically. I’m not advocating for blind irreverence, but if you fall into that category, consider playing around in a way feels comfortable. Try it on for size by sharing an Instagram photo or retweeting. Most important, listen to your community and learn from them.

A lot of marketers that are new to a platform–myself included–sign-up, create an account and then proclaim, “I don’t get it.” That’s the point: You don’t get it. The only way to “get it” is watching what others are doing and learning the nuances of how social media works. Each channel has slightly different rules for engagement.

Millennials are all over it, leveraging their understanding of a new media mix and new tools to reach their personal and professional goals.

Native sophistication of social media channels and the understanding of powerful refinement is what drives millennials’ success. In turn, 92 percent of those at SMBs lead with social media in their marketing strategy.

Attention, marketers: Video has left the building

Video has always been incredibly powerful. It’s the medium that feels most lifelike. You can still watch dated Kodak moment commercials and feel a whimper and a sniffle.

What has changed is that video is no longer a medium reserved for Madison Avenue. Social video is exploding in the business world: Twitter has Periscope, Amazon has Twitch, Google has YouTube and Facebook has Facebook Live. In fact, 2 million SMBs posted videos on Facebook in March alone.

In other words, if you haven’t embraced video yet, the time is now. The key is using video correctly. We are at an inflection point in the adoption of video marketing driven by an understanding of the power of video, especially among the younger generation.

Two out of three SMBs create marketing videos at least four times per year, and 61 percent of baby boomers lead their marketing strategy with traditional product overview videos, versus millennials, who lead with branded lifestyle video.

There are many cases for SMB videos–how-tos, product demos, brand storytelling and customer testimonials. Millennials are 136 percent more likely than baby boomers to create video specifically for social media. They are serial storytellers across topics and platforms.

So what’s the rub? I think it all goes back to my previous point–that millennials simply have a native understanding of how to use social media channels, they understand the language, the complexity and the commitment it takes to do it well. Baby boomers are still pining for simpler days and struggling to learn a language that is deceptively difficult to master.

Authenticity is everything

Let’s assume you have the social profiles created, tools, people and resources allocated, the commitment and the will to embrace video. This next bit is the hardest part to figure out. It’s the subtlest piece of this nuanced puzzle, but it’s by far the most important.

Millennial SMB marketers understand the nuances of authenticity. They understand that social media has its own culture, and it is one that requires storytelling and a defined personalized voice in order to succeed. On the other hand, baby boomers assume that traditional marketing content pushed through social channels will be equally as effective and struggle to figure out why it is not.

The good news is that authenticity, in this case, has a broad definition. Your consumers want to see real people. They want real stories, real emotions and they want to know that you–the marketer–are genuinely empathetic to them and their environs. But there are lots of ways to signal that. You need to experiment with voice and production style and figure out what works for you and your team.

To some extent, this has always been the case. If you made a bad TV spot in 1996, no one watched it and it didn’t help grow your business. The difference now is that low-budget and even no-budget content can win on engagement and drive low cost distribution.

The bottom line is that you can probably still buy your way through this new world if you have a big enough budget, but you can also be certain that there will be competitors out there that don’t do it with sheer dollar volume. They create content people care about on a regular basis and they have a competitive advantage over you.

While a viral sensation would be great, you don’t need that, and you shouldn’t aim for it, either. You need stories that your audience finds authentic and engaging on a consistent and regular schedule.

On some days, I feel overwhelmed by it all–buzzwords flying around like horseflies, SMS alerts popping, applications beeping, videos playing in my pocket that I didn’t even realize I had opened.

What has worked for me is committing to one or two channels and tools in my personal life, and experimenting first before expanding on them.

There is a hint of irony in this approach, but the key to learning how to express your professional voice and to grow your business via social video is taking the time to organically become part of the social culture and the community you want to influence before your start jabbering.

Although these ideas and recommendations may seem overwhelming for small businesses, it is important to take the lead from millennials, embracing social platforms as the new mass media, utilizing the power of video and engaging on appropriate channels with an authentic voice.

Reid Genauer is the chief marketing officer of video editing app Magisto.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock.

Article courtesy of SocialTimes

App lets visually impaired in India hear books in their native language

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Invites sent out for Samsung’s August 2 Unpacked smartphone event

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Brands: Learn the Language to Get the Most Out of Social

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The rise of digital, and social media in particular, has opened loads of new pathways for brands and consumers to connect, with even more platforms continuing to emerge. But the nature of these new channels has changed the way brands and consumers connect and, therefore, it comes with a whole new set of rules.

Luckily, the common denominator is pretty simple: Be human. OK, to be fair, brands can’t really be human, and proposing that they could be shows no respect to humanity. So what’s a brand to do? Being self-aware enough to understand your role in the conversation is a good place to start. Here are some things to keep in mind:

It’s not about you

With social media in particular, people use it to escape, even if only for a few moments. They escape by connecting with their friends, or people they wish were their friends. They’re not here for you. It’s important to keep that in mind when you try to interject. We’ve all met some jerk at a party who keeps interrupting and trying to change the topic of conversation to themselves. No one likes that jerk, so don’t be that jerk.

Add something valuable

Ever been in a group conversation with someone who keeps chiming in, always a little off-topic, and it seems like they don’t quite get what’s going on, but they desperately want to be included? You don’t want to be that poor wretch, either. Spend some time listening to the conversations that are happening, and ask yourself honestly if you have something valuable to add. No, truly stop and ask yourself: If I were talking with my friend about x, and someone else interjected with y, would I appreciate it, or get annoyed? Now think about how you want users to feel about your brand.

Listen before speaking

Every digital channel, just like every conversation, has an underlying, often unspoken code of conduct. These customs are often fluid and may not be immediately apparent to an outsider. At first glance, Snapchat is all about video. So would a cut-down of a highly produced broadcast spot make sense there? No, it wouldn’t. Pay attention to the nuance of the language.

Another example: People are communicating with emojis everywhere, but does it make sense for your brand to use emojis? Does it come naturally? Do you know all of the double-entendres associated with your chosen emoji? Spend some time watching and listening to get to know the local customs before you inadvertently make a faux pas. Credibility is your brand’s backbone: Don’t risk it over something silly.

Mind your manners

If you’re noticing a pattern here, it’s that these are all basically ground rules for partaking in civilized conversation. This sometimes requires sensitivity. As much as a brand wants to find a relevant way to join conversations, it’s equally important to know when to shut up. No one wants to hear a brand weigh in on a celebrity’s passing or national disaster. Even if the sentiment is kind, too often it comes off as opportunistic and tacky. Sometimes the best way to show respect is by staying silent.

Be yourself

Every other item on this list is about understanding others, but all is for naught if you don’t understand yourself. Every brand has something honest and valuable to offer, and that’s what you should be talking about. Because all of this is really about making connections based on common values, and if you’re true to yourself, the people who share your values will take notice.

When you’re planning a social campaign or any sort of communication on the web, keep these things in mind. Remember that your brand will never be human, but a little situational and self-awareness goes a long way toward ensuring that people can connect with you on a human level.

Ethan Martin is the director of user strategy at digital agency Bukwild.

Article courtesy of SocialTimes

Instagram Adding Translation Button

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Translation is coming to Instagram.

The Facebook-owned photo- and video-sharing network announced the impending new feature in a post (embedded below):

In the coming month, you’ll see a translation button on feed stories and profile bios written in languages different from your own. The Instagram community has grown faster and become more global than we ever imagined. And we’re excited that you’ll soon be able to understand the full story of a moment, no matter what language you speak.

To learn more about translation on Instagram, check out help.instagram.com.

That help page provided more information:

Captions and comments on posts in feed, as well as the bio you include on your profile, are translated automatically based on the language they’re written in and the language settings of the person viewing it. If translations aren’t showing up, it could be because we couldn’t detect or don’t currently support the language. Keep in mind that translations also may not show up for older posts and comments.

Readers: What are your thoughts on this upcoming addition to Instagram?

Article courtesy of SocialTimes

Google Translate Adds Tap to Translate on Android, Offline Mode on iOS

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Google released multiple updates for Google Translate on mobile.

The first, Tap to Translate, allows Android users to copy text within a chat message, internet comment and so on and receive a translation without switching applications. Tap to Translate can be used with all 103 languages supported by Google Translate, and the feature is available to users on Android phones running Jellybean (4.2) and above.

Google Translate Tap to Translate

Next, Google introduced Offline Mode for Google Translate users on iOS. To activate Offline Mode for a language, users can tap the arrow next to the language name to download the offline package for that language. Downloading a language package will allow users to translate text in the language whether they’re online or not.

In addition, Offline Mode in the iOS app uses the smaller offline packages originally implemented in Google Translate on Android. Specifically, Google said it decreased the size of each offline package by 90 percent, to 25 megabytes each, allowing users to save space on their devices and download content faster on slow data connections. Currently, 52 languages are available in Offline Mode.

Finally, the app now offers a Word Lens for instant visual translation of Chinese text. This allows users to point their device at printed text on menus, signs and more to translate to and from English, for both Simplified and Traditional Chinese.

These updates will roll out to Google Translate users on iOS and Android in the next few days.

Feature image courtesy Prathan Chorruangsak / Shutterstock.com.

Article courtesy of SocialTimes

March Madness: Big West Fans Most Positive on Twitter, Indiana Most Foul-Mouthed

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Though the Big West Conference teams may not have much success in the NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship, their fans are among the happiest on Twitter, according to new research by Travelmath.

Travelmath monitored sentiment from NCAA fans, finding that UC Irvine supporters are the happiest, while Indiana fans are the most vulgar.

Travelmath blogged about how fans from the Big West (who have one NCAA tourney entry this year — Hawaii) topped the positive sentiment list:

The Big West conference has the highest average sentiment score of all the NCAA conferences, with a ranking of about 0.60. This could have a lot to do with UC Irvine’s top position as the No. 1 “scorer” for positive feedback at both home and away games, since the school does play in the Big West conference during NCAA season play. America East and the Ivy League trail behind the Big West conference, demonstrating that you don’t have to be a top-seed school in a famous conference to earn a dedicated, supportive fan base.

Big West member UC Irvine, which received its only tournament bid last year, led the positive sentiment rankings for both home and away games. The Anteaters will compete in the 3rd-tier College Insider Tournament.


Power conference schools are more represented in TravelMath’s negative sentiment list, with Louisville and Indiana leading the way.


The Big West also had the most vocal fans on Twitter, as fans led the way in usage of team-related hashtags.


Indiana, which will face Chattanooga on Thursday, has the most foul-mouthed fans on Twitter, according to Travelmath:

All athletes know there are penalties for being foul-mouthed or provocative on the court, but fans don’t always play by the same rules. The use of vulgarity or profanity in team support can sometimes be symbolic of historic rivalry – or even a marker of hardcore competition. It is always hard to tell whether vulgar terms are being tweeted by supporters or detractors, which may be more a sign of the language of our times than a measure of basketball fandom.

Tweets about Indiana included the most vulgar terms out of all game-day posts – 18.91% of tweets included vulgarity. Indiana is joined by Ohio State, the other Big Ten school that made the list of top 10 most profane tweets with 6.27% of tweets including vulgar terms. Two Big 12 schools made the vulgarity list: University of Texas at Austin with 13.81% tweets including vulgar terms and West Virginia with 6.18% vulgar tweets. UCLA plays in the PAC-12 conference and earned 7.1% of tweets with vulgarity, rounding out a top-seed-studded list of foul-mouthed tweeters.

vulgar-rateReaders: Did you use Twitter to react to Selection Sunday?

Image courtesy of the University of Hawaii Men’s Basketball on Facebook.

Article courtesy of SocialTimes | RSS Feed

Cognitive correction and creating better human-to-machine interaction

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5 Annoying Direct Messages on Twitter (And Why You Should Stop Using All of Them)

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When was the last time you checked your Direct Message inbox on Twitter, and actually found an important, worthwhile, or interesting message? Sure, Twitter is doing its best to improve how DMs work, by enabling group messaging and allowing anyone to receive DMs from anyone else, regardless of whether the two are following each other… but the day-to-day DM experience remains frustrating for most Twitter users. And these are some of the main culprits:

Annoying DM #1: Welcome!

These DMs welcome you as a new follower of that account. As if you had forgotten that you followed that account in the 30 seconds between pushing “follow” and receiving the DM.

Example: “Wow, thanks for the follow! We really hope you like our Twitter community and can’t wait to read your tweets!”

Annoying DM #2: Download now!

The “Download now” DMs appear, at first glance, to offer up useful content. However, since the DMs are sent to anyone and everyone who follows the account, that content definitely won’t appeal to the majority of followers. Plus, they’re usually trying to sell you something.

Example: Hey! If you’re into [topic of account], why not check out our free [whitepaper/ebook/blog post/podcast/cupcakes-with-cute-flowers-on-them fan site]: [link]?”

Annoying DM #3: Follow us everywhere!

OK so you’ve followed them on Twitter… but now they want you to follow them everywhere they have even the smallest web presence. Ready to spend the next hour filling in forms and signing up for networks you’ve never heard of to support this Twitter account in need?

Example: “We’re so glad you followed us on Twitter… so why not Like us on Facebook, Pin some of our blog posts, join our community on MyOtherSpace, give us a five-star rating on Yelp, and subscribe to our seven-times-daily email list?”

Annoying DM #4: We’re adding value!

These DMs are similar to the Download Now messages, in that they are offering something “free” as a thank you for following. But, just like gated content, consultations and appraisals are rarely free in the long-term (and if they are, they probably won’t be of much value to your business).

Example: “Thanks for the follow! Want a free consultation? Send us an email and we’ll set one up!”

Annoying DM #5: We’re blatantly selling to you!

At least these DMs are honest about what they’re trying to do – take your money. With not even as much as a “thanks for following,” these guys go right into the sales pitch.

Example: “We’re the number one [type of business] in the country! Our product has a gold star rating. Buy our product today! [link]”

The reason these DMs don’t work is simple: they come off as spam. Plus, most are trying (usually with little to no subtlety) to sell you something.

Any user that sees one of these DMs is going to know that they are built off a template, and not targeted to their Twitter profile. Regardless of how casual the language, the content simply cannot be effectively positioned so that it feels “personal” to each user. And so, ultimately, these types of DMs will, at best, be ignored, or used as a reason for a quick unfollow.

Keep your eyes peeled for next week’s post about the right ways to use DMs to improve your brand awareness, marketing efforts and more.

Article courtesy of SocialTimes | RSS Feed

Can Facebook Keep Muslims Comfortable While Taking On ISIS?

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Facebook co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg stressed that Muslims are “always welcome” on the social network, while head of global product policy Monika Bickert discussed terrorist content.

Zuckerberg said in a post Wednesday:

I want to add my voice in support of Muslims in our community and around the world.

After the Paris attacks and hate this week, I can only imagine the fear Muslims feel that they will be persecuted for the actions of others.

As a Jew, my parents taught me that we must stand up against attacks on all communities. Even if an attack isn’t against you today, in time, attacks on freedom for anyone will hurt everyone.

If you’re a Muslim in this community, as the leader of Facebook, I want you to know that you are always welcome here and that we will fight to protect your rights and create a peaceful and safe environment for you.

Having a child has given us so much hope, but the hate of some can make it easy to succumb to cynicism. We must not lose hope. As long as we stand together and see the good in each other, we can build a better world for all people.

However, Zuckerberg’s words were not enough for Australian charity the Online Hate Prevention Institute, which found in a new report that anti-Muslim hate on Facebook “accelerated sharply” in 2015.

OHPI CEO Andre Oboler said in a release introducing the report:

There is clearly a long way to go between the sort of environment Mark Zuckerberg says he wants Facebook to be and the reality we see online today. Part of the problem is the abuse of Facebook by those spreading hate, but the failure of Facebook to properly respond to users’ reports is also part of the problem. When people feel unwelcome, excluded and vilified, when they feel their dignity as a person is under attack, a reply from Facebook that the abusive content they reported does not violate Facebook’s community standards is just rubbing salt into an open wound. Our data shows that Facebook needs to improve the way it responds to reports of anti-Muslim hate–indeed to reports of all kinds of hate. We hope Facebook will work with us so we can help them make this happen. Grand words are welcome, but the proof is in the hard data, and right now Facebook is coming up short.

Meanwhile, earlier this week, Bickert responded to a petition on Change.org chiding the social network for not doing enough to fight ISIS.

She wrote in a message on the Change.org petition:

The best tool we have to keep terrorist content off Facebook is our vigilant community of more than 1.5 billion people who are very good at letting us know when something is not right. There are billions of new posts on Facebook every day, so we make it easy for people to flag content for us, and they do. Every piece of content on Facebook can be reported to our teams directly through the site.

When content is reported to us, it is reviewed by a highly trained global team with expertise in dozens of languages. The team reviews reports around the clock, and prioritizes any terrorism-related reports for immediate review.

We remove anyone or any group who has a violent mission or who has engaged in acts of terrorism. We also remove any content that expresses support for these groups or their actions. And we don’t stop there. When we find terrorist-related material, we look for and remove associated violating content, as well.

This is not an easy job, and we know we can make mistakes and are always working to improve our responsiveness and accuracy. We have expanded our team and increased our language capabilities so that we can respond to crises around the world faster and more effectively. As part of this effort, we have expanded our engagement with experts and follow world events closely. We remain in close contact with NGOs (non-governmental organizations), industry partners, academics and government officials about the best ways to keep Facebook free of terrorists and terror-promoting content. As governments and academics have pointed out, it is often hard to identify new terror groups and individuals because the landscape is constantly changing. We do our best to monitor emerging groups or trends by maintaining relationships with experts in the field and listening closely to our community.

Every time there is a terror attack, people come to Facebook to share their reactions. These posts from people around the world often express frustration and despair, but also empathy and a desire to help. Our community uses Facebook to share devastating news, but also to console one another, express solidarity and mobilize support for victims and other vulnerable people. For instance, after the Charlie Hebdo attacks in Paris, we saw many people use Facebook to plan offline events to stand in solidarity against terrorism.

Of course, when people talk about these events for good reasons, they sometimes share upsetting content. It is horrifying to see a photograph of a refugee child lying lifeless on a beach. At the same time, that image may mobilize people to take action to help other refugees. Many people in volatile regions are suffering unspeakable horrors that fall outside the reach of media cameras. Facebook provides these people a voice, and we want to protect that voice.

If Facebook blocked all upsetting content, we would inevitably block the media, charities and others from reporting on what is happening in the world. We would also inevitably interfere with calls for positive change and support for victims. For this reason, we allow people to discuss these events and share some types of violent images, but only if they are clearly doing so to raise awareness or condemn violence. However, we remove any graphic images shared to promote or glorify violence or the perpetrators of violence.

Readers: How can Facebook walk the line between censorship and protecting its user base?

The illustration above was created by Matthieu Méron for rue89 and taken from the Change.org petition.

Article courtesy of SocialTimes | RSS Feed

August 2016
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