The 2012 Olympics in London are being touted by some as the world’s “first social Games.” While some question just how social they’ll actually be, there’s no doubt that networks such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube will play an unprecedented role in how information is disseminated from London, and how the global sports conversation is driven during July and August.
Why the big shift? It’s simple: Four years is an eternity in Internet time and since the last Summer Olympics in 2008, social media has exploded.
Web use in general has grown rapidly, too. In 2008, there were about 1.5 billion Internet users globally, according to the International Telecommunications Union, making up about 23% of the world’s total population. By this summer’s games, that number will have swelled to about 2.3 billion users making up about a third of the world’s total population.
Summer Olympics feature some of the most popular international sports — including soccer, basketball, swimming, and track and field — so that’s sure to fuel the global buzz as well. For more context on just how and why social media will reshape this year’s Olympics in relation to 2008, we thought it’d be interesting to take a quick look at a few of the world’s most popular networks and how they compare then and now.
2008: A tweet in August of 2008 from then-Facebook executive and eventual Path co-founder Dave Morin gleefully celebrated Facebook breaking the 100 million-user threshold. 2008 was also marked by reports around the web of Facebook — gasp! — passing MySpace in popularity. The social network debuted its now omnipresent chat feature that year as well.
Today: Facebook claims more than 900 million users, is fast becoming a portal to the web at large for many and is a publicly traded company. Its founder Mark Zuckerberg is a global celebrity.
2008: 2008 saw explosive growth for Twitter, and it still finished the year with about 6 million registered users who sent about 300,000 tweets per day. The social network and its users were still very much finding their way, as evidenced by this official blog post explaining @replies. In 2009, Minnesota Timberwolves forward Kevin Love would tweet that the team’s coach had been let go, breaking the story and causing some in the sports world to speculate that maybe, just maybe, the service could change how news was delivered and consumed.
Today: Twitter currently claims more than 500 million users who collectively send some 400 million tweets each and every day. Sports news regularly breaks on the network, it’s become a prime marketing channel for athletes and much of the London 2012 conversation among media and fans is sure to take place there.
2008: By fall of 2008, YouTube users were uploading 10 hours of video to the site per minute. The site had emerged as the go-to destination for web video and had been acquired by Google two years prior. It also launched its mobile site, pre-roll ads and 720p HD option in 2008. But that success was nothing compared to what the site would look like four years later.
Today: Iconic Olympic moments are sure to go viral and become immortalized on YouTube seemingly as they happen this summer, and it’s easy to see why. The company says it receives over 800 million unique visits per month. Those visitors watch more than 3 billion hours of video per month and upload 72 hours of new video content per minute. Five hundred years’ worth of YouTube video are watched on Facebook every day and more than 700 YouTube videos get shared on Twitter each minute.
What It All Means
Just looking at the the three most ubiquitous social networks reveals a sporting scene and world at large that have been transformed by social media since the last Summer Olympics. And that doesn’t take into account services like Pinterest, Foursquare and Google+ — none of which even existed in 2008. This summer, expect news to break, social sharing records to fall and moments to live on as never possible before thanks to social media. And to think — this will all pale in comparison to what 2016 has in store.
How will you use social media during the 2012 Olympics? Share with us in the comments
Original Article here.
We came across this article by Marcus Sheridan: http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/how-to-create-content-that-sells/
The four tips are ones you should definitely use in your social media campaigns! For more detailed descriptions of each tip, click the link above to read more!
#1: Teach With Story and Sell With Subtleness
#2: Teach With Video (and a personal touch)
#3: Teach With Urgency (and a call to action)
#4: Teach Through Comparison
While there are numerous layers to SEO practices, you don’t have to drive yourself crazy learning every single detail and implementing every tactic. Good news is that there are several online services that can help minimize the effort you put into SEO while improving your website rankings on search engine results pages and amplifying your traffic.
Here are five tools to consider for taking your SEO to the next level, with minimal effort:
SEOProfiler provides a single platform to organize keyword research activities, link-building promotions, competitive intelligence research and more — all of which can substantially improve a company’s SEO campaigns. In addition, the program offers detailed, aesthetically pleasing reporting features that are useful for displaying data generated by this software suite.
The program offers a free 30-day trial for users to explore its features. After the trial, monthly membership fees will be assessed, ranging from $29 for beginner-level accounts to $249 for professional SEO agencies.
Optify.net offers a number of web data tools, but the two most useful for webmasters are the search engine optimization and social media optimization programs.
The SEO program offers many of the same functions as SEOProfiler, but its link-building module suffers from one weakness in that it only tracks created links, instead of providing opportunities to uncover new potential back-linking partners.
Optify.net’s social media optimization suite, however, provides more features than SEOProfiler and most other SEO programs. You can monitor social media traffic in real time, as well as gather the data needed to increase conversions from these traffic sources and determine social media ROI.
With more features comes a higher price tag. After a 30-day free trial option, monthly fees range from $250 to $500.
While most SEO tools focus on traditional tasks to improve a website’s showing in search results, small-business owners should also consider local SEO to target customers in their area.
In addition to keyword research and back-link building, practitioners of local SEO also spend time connecting with followers on social media, optimizing local “place listing” websites including Google Places and Yelp, and monitoring customer review sites for feedback.
But for many small-business owners, the demands of both traditional and local SEO can be overwhelming. That’s why some people turn to services such as LocalVOX, which automate the process of local website optimization. LocalVOX offers users a number of local SEO services, including automatic social networking site updates, “daily deal” style services, and place listing management.
But keep in mind the added services come at a price: Monthly charges range from $199 to $749, plus setup fees.
4. Raven Tools
Like Optify.net, Raven Tools offers both SEO and social media measurement programs. What’s most notable is that it provides tools that can be of interest Google Adwords pay-per-click advertisers. Raven’s “Google Adwords + Google Analytics” tool easily merges data from these two accounts, providing a simple way to determine PPC campaign effectiveness.
After a 30-day free trial for its complete web advertising and analytics package, monthly rates jump to $99 for a personal account and $249 for larger, agency-oriented packages.
5. Traffic Travis
If the fees charged by SEO management companies fall outside your price range, take a look at the free version of the Traffic Travis software program.
The free version contains many of the same features as the programs above, including optimization analysis, back-link prospecting and competitive research that “spies” on your competitors’ PPC ads.
While Traffic Travis can be attractive for some cash-strapped startups, the no-cost option has some limitations. It is missing some features provided by the other SEO tool suites listed above, and doesn’t provide the same depth of data in terms of results reported within many of its market research features. Still, Traffic Travis can help beginning webmasters make progress on their sites before upgrading to a full-featured SEO tool.
It’s getting more difficult to get into inboxes, as the battle between spammers and Internet service providers rages on. Nearly one in four commercial emails doesn’t make it to the inbox and is either shunted to spam folders or blocked altogether, according to a March report by Return Path, a New York email deliverability monitoring firm. Six months earlier, that figure was one in five.
Small companies often run afoul of spam filters, even if they have opt-in email lists of supposedly willing recipients. Many who are new to email marketing start off on the wrong foot, says Dennis Dayman, chief security and privacy officer at Eloqua, a Vienna, Va., marketing software and services company. “They ‘spray and pray’ and hope that someone will click and buy,” but are hit with angry complaints and find their emails blocked as spam, he says. Ironically, many companies send too few messages to have their way smoothed by Internet Service Providers (ISPs) as known commercial email senders.
But you can significantly improve your odds of reaching customers and prospects by taking the right steps. Here are some essentials to keep in mind:
Polish your reputation.
Spam filters used to look closely at email content and punish spammy messages (i.e. Viagra! FREE!!). But experts say sender reputation is by far more important now.
In the same way a bad credit score can freeze you out of the lending market, a bad sender score for your domain name or IP addresses can keep your emails out of inboxes. ISPs, including Hotmail, Gmail and Yahoo Mail, use a number of tools to determine sender reputation. Key among them is the number of user complaints, which are made by clicking a report spam button. If more than one in a thousand email recipients complain, your messages will be blocked altogether, says Tom Sather, senior director of email research at Return Path. Messages that fail to engage recipients can also hurt you.
Once you start being relegated to the spam folder, it can be difficult to get out. “People have to report that you’re not spam,” Sather says.
Your first task is to find out just how liked or disliked you are. Return Path offers a free online service, senderscore.org, where you can plug in your IP address, see your score and find out the underlying causes of a bad one so you know what to fix.
Use clean lists.
ISPs punish senders with shoddy email lists. Avoid buying lists as they typically include spam traps, which are fake addresses used only to catch spam, and addresses of people who haven’t given permission to receive marketing messages, Dayman says. These people are more likely to complain and less likely to buy anything.
It can be time consuming, but you’re probably better off building a list of real customers and prospects who have agreed to receive email from you. When you ask customers for email addresses, have them specify the types of email they want to receive. If they agree to a newsletter but not marketing messages, honor the request — or risk dinging your reputation. Also consider segmenting your list by type of customer to make it easier to send relevant messages.
Also, maintain good list hygiene by regularly removing addresses that bounce or opt-out. If necessary, thoroughly cull your list by sending a message asking for permission to continue sending email and keeping only the addresses that respond.
“It’s not about having the biggest email list,” Dayman says. “Move yourself over to a quality-over-quantity mentality.”
Hone your content.
Spammy content triggers spam filters only 17 percent of the time, Sather says. But if you are new to email marketing or too small to have built a reputation, that rate could be higher.
London-based fundraising website Go Get Funding had problems with email delivery when it was launched in December. “Our welcome email mentioned the words ‘raise money.’ We changed that to ‘raise funds.’ We removed exclamation marks when they probably weren’t needed, and overall, toned down emails,” says founder Sandip Singh. The delivery rate improved significantly.
Moreover, annoying and irrelevant messages can lead some recipients to click the “report spam” button. Avoid trouble by targeting messages, clearly identifying yourself in the “from” address, crafting an engaging subject line and making sure messages appear correctly on PCs and mobile devices.
When it comes to sending commercial email, there’s strength in numbers. Consistent volumes of 30,000 emails a month or more enable ISPs to recognize legitimate senders, Dayman says. If you don’t send that much email, consider teaming up with other small and responsible senders by sharing servers or using a recognized emailing service such as Constant Contact, iContact, Mailchimp or VerticalResponse. Using marketing tools can boost your sender score and firms such as these can help you manage your lists and otherwise stay on the straight and narrow.
Plans are often free to start but can grow to hundreds of dollars a month, depending on email list size and volume.
I thought this was funny and interesting!
We’ve already gotten a detailed look into Google’s response to government requests for personal data — but it turns out the search-engine giant spends a lot of time protecting intellectual property, as well. Each month, Google removes more than 1 million links to content that infringes on copyright, including music, movies, and software. That’s just one of the surprises from the data Google released on Thursday, which details the copyright notices it receives via its online takedown request form.
Since 1998, the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) has required search engines to remove links to infringing content at the request of the copyright holder; if the search engine refuses, they may themselves be liable for the copyright infringement.
This is the first time a major search engine has made public the data on its response to takedown notices, and the data could have a big impact on the political scene. As politicans debate Internet legislation such as the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act — a kind of cousin to last year’s twin SOPA and PIPA online piracy bills — they’ll have the benefit of a clearer picture of how existing copyright protection measures are being implemented.
For its part, Google says it complies with 97 percent of the DMCA takedown requests it receives, and boasts an average turnaround time of 10 hours between the submission of a valid takedown notice and removal of the offending link. (Google’s FAQ notes that it does receive clearly frivolous takedown requests from time to time — such as a movie studio requesting the removal of a movie review from a major newspaper’s web site).
It turns out that Microsoft is, by far, the copyright owner most keen to protect its intellectual property. Redmond targeted nearly 550,000 links last month (out of a total of about 1.24 million), followed by the British Recorded Music Industry and NBC/Universal with about 150,000 takedown requests each.
And the infringers? The most targeted domain last month was filestube.com, a Polish search engine that itself searches file-sharing and -uploading sites, with more than 43,000 links removed. In second and third place were the Finnish torrent site Torrentz.eu and file-sharing site 4shared. Strangely absent from the list of top offenders? The Pirate Bay, perhaps the most conspicuous — and certainly the most widely publicized — online repository of pirated material. The Pirate Bay came in 13th place last month.
It’s worth pointing out that this isn’t a complete historical record. The data only covers takedown requests that Google receives through its online form, not those received by mail or fax. It excludes requests aimed at YouTube and other Google subsidiaries, and it only goes back to July 2011, near the time when Google first began automating the takedown request process. But still, Google says the public data covers more than 95% of the copyright removal requests it’s received for search, meaning it gives a pretty accurate picture of Google’s compliance with the DMCA.