Tag Archives: hashtags

#Infographic: What Your Life Might Look Like Without the Internet

Another infographic filled with amazing facts about the Internet is making the rounds. I was contacted by one of the creators from onlineeducation.net a couple days ago and I have started to see it posted on other sites since then (PR Daily for one).

This is an interesting infographic as it attempts to paint a picture of what life would be like without the Internet oppose to simply pointing out some key stats. Alas, there are plenty of stats that jump out at me such as the Internet directly and indirectly employing over three million people in the U.S. alone and the Internet reducing the degrees of separation down to only 3.74 people. The infographic ends with the fact that most modern day revolutions are not only aided by the Internet, but are actually started with simple Twitter hashtags such as #occupy.

Take a look below. What jumps out at you?

World without Internet
Via: OnlineEducation.net

And remember, sharing makes you smarter!

About these ads

Three Years on Twitter: I’ve Come a Long Way.

Twitter

Three years on Twitter and this is the best image I have in my archives. Lame.

According to Tweet Grader, I joined Twitter on Jan. 13, 2009 along with Ben & Jerry’s, Seth MacFarlane and the WNBA World Champion Minnesota Linx. I had heard of Twitter a few months prior to joining and was told  reporters were using it to “alert the news team when they arrived on scene and provide updates of news as it was happening.” Seeing as how I was working for my fraternity at the time that did not really interest me. In my eyes however, Twitter really started to take shape to its current state when 2009 rolled around. I started to notice more friends, news organizations and brands joining Twitter. So, on a slow day at Acacia HQ, I created my Twitter account and @eric_wheeler was hatched (pun intended).

I would love to see my first couple tweets, but I have apparently tweeted too many times and am unable to uncover them. I will be honest though, I think for the first few months or so I never really ‘got’ Twitter. I would occasionally log in and share an interesting article or interact with a few friends I was following, but I never really did much with it.

Things finally clicked for me when I was watching the OU vs. Texas football game in my first semester of grad school at St. Cloud State in Minnesota. Being away from my Oklahoma home and anyone who truly cared about the game I turned to Twitter to see what people were saying. Sure enough, there were several ‘trending topics’ regarding the game and I was able to weigh-in and be apart of an online community based around one of college football’s biggest rivalries.

I started checking Twitter more often to see what was trending. After a while, I realized most of the trending topics were worthless celebrity gossip and (somewhat) amusing hashtags. It was about this time though that I started to gain a personal interest in social media and the fascination behind bringing people from all around the world together through various topics or content. I started following some of the true social media rock stars such as Jeff Bullas, Brian Solis and Lee Odden. I began reading up on any credible articles I could find on social media and digital marketing.

Soon I was searching for articles on my own on sites like PR Daily, Mashable and HubSpot. I would find as many (and still do) articles as I could to share with my followers. My follower count started to rise and soon I had my own niche community of people interested in social media, PR or other creative disciplines. I started my own blog (thanks for reading) and started participating in discussions on other blogs or articles. Before long, I was totally immersed in social media.

Then one morning, I put my ‘slider’ phone through the wash and my life changed again:  I bought an iPhone 4. This allowed me to check updates at anytime. If I had a thought, I could share it. If someone mentioned me in a Tweet, I could reply instantly. I was now constantly connected to what’s happening on Twitter. I would occasionally participate in tweet chats to further educate myself. I began building meaningful relationships and used Twitter as a primary professional networking tool as I began seeking full time employment.

Three years is not really a long time, but I do feel it is with social media. Twitter helped me graduate from Facebook, MySpace and some of the other less professional social networking sites into a whole new world of meaningful online networking. After three years of self/formal education, using Twitter professionally and building a genuine  interest in ‘new’ media, I can now say Twitter has played a positive role in my life. Cheers to three years and another 6,753+ tweets!

How long have you been tweeting? Let me know below or send me a tweet! @eric_wheeler


Top 10 Reasons Why I Don’t Follow You on Twitter

There could be a hundred reasons why I don’t follow someone on Twitter; let’s try to narrow that down to 10…

Top 10 reasons why I don’t follow you on Twitter:

  1. You direct message me with spam. No explanation needed here (though, you could read my previous blog on the manner here). Unless you have something to ask me that you wish to be kept private, don’t DM me. I probably will not click your link; and when I reply back to your “hello, thanks for following” message and don’t get a response in return, I get annoyed and might even stop following you.
  2. All of your tweets are actually just Foursquare “checkins.” Don’t get me wrong, I’m a Foursquare geek, but I usually turn the Twitter/Facebook syncs off. If I really cared where you are all the time, I would follow you on Foursquare…
  3. You have nothing but @mentions in your Twitter feed. If I check your Twitter feed and you’re just talking to your friends back and forth, I usually don’t follow back. I mostly use Twitter to find content/people I can learn from.
  4. Your tweets are just sent from your Facebook page.
  5. It’s obvious you are just trying to get more followers. The biggest red flag here is using hashtags such as #followback or #500aday. Twitter should not be a popularity contest. Grow up.
  6. Your profile tells me nothing about you. I typically follow like-minded Twitter users–people in PR, marketing, social media, advertising, photography or related fields. So if your profile says something like “Hello world,” I probably won’t follow you. Use your profile as an introduction and sincerely express your interests. Oh, and post an actual website.
  7. Non of your links contain hashtags or otherwise appears you have no idea how to use Twitter.
  8. You have poor grammar. Social media is not an excuse for bad writing.
  9. You do not have an avatar. This is a big one. That default image of an egg is annoying to look at for a reason. People like to follow real people/companies. Take the time to put a profile picture up and I might think you’re a real person.
  10. You follow more than 1,000 users, but have zero tweets. Why are you even on Twitter?

Basically, I am on Twitter to meet people who share similar interests as I do and who I feel I can learn from. Networking is also a major reason I am on Twitter. My ultimate goal of following people who live near me and share similar interests is to eventually meet them in person. Lastly, I don’t really see the point in trying to gain 100,000 followers just to have 100,000 followers. Whether you are an individual or a company, you will benefit from Twitter more from having a tight group of followers who share similar interests than a bunch of random people who are just on Twitter to gain followers.

If you are still confused why you only have 10 people following you on Twitter, here are some great resources:


iPhone App Review: Instagram

Great Wall of China taken this summer and edited with Instagram.

Great Wall of China taken this summer with a Nikon D90 and edited with Instagram.

Let’s call this my first iPhone app review. In my very first blog entry I promised to throw in some posts on photography. Living up to that promise, I want to talk about one of my favorite iPhone apps: Instagram. This is the perfect iPhone application for someone who’s into art and wants to share his/her world with others through photos.

Taken from the Instagram website, Instagram is “a fast, beautiful and fun way to share your life with friends through a series of pictures.” The app definitely lives up to its motto and it is super easy to use. All you do is choose a photo (either by taking one using the app itself or by choosing from your iPhone’s camera roll), apply one of the filters, name the image and you’re done! The app even has the option to apply tilt-shift to make your pictures look miniature or more mysterious by blurring the edges. In short, Instagram is a great way to make otherwise boring or uninspiring photos come to life with simple filters. The photo in my Gravatar at right was manipulated using Instagram and I now use that same image across all my social media platforms (this might be a good time to attribute the photographer: Danielle Morris).

Photo of a bar in Rapid City, S.D. with tilt-shift applied.

Photo of a bar in Rapid City, S.D. with tilt-shift applied.

The Instagram iPhone app also is very much a social media application and even mimics some of the same features as Twitter. Users can create hashtags, use @mentions, add a location and follow other users. With photos of people you follow showing up in a photostream, Instagram is essentially Twitter, but with photos. Another fun aspect of this iPhone app is that you can send your creations out across a number of sites supporting photos. I typically add a location via Foursquare and send the photo to Facebook or Twitter (sometimes both). The photos you see in the sidebar at right are Instagram photos synced to my Flikr photostream.

The one drawback of Instagram is that the actual website is worthless from a user standpoint. Although every Instagram photo published on another site has its own URL, the site contains no way to share the image, comment or rate the photo nor does the site contain links to any other photos. Basically, the site does not support user profiles. This is a little frustrating and disappointing all at the same time. However, I’m sure the developers chose to keep the website simple and maybe they are still laking the infrastructure needed to host the nearly 300,000 photos uploaded each day. This means Instagram is limited only to iPhone users (as well as  iPad and iPod Touch users).

I found a donut shop that had bacon on their donuts!

I found a donut shop that had bacon on their donuts!

Many organizations are using Instagram already and it will be interesting to see what type of marketing campaigns will be launched using the app. I currently follow NPR, the Boston Celtics and MTV just to see what type of images they come up with and to see how they are using Instagram to connect with their audience. Although KVSC-FM does not have an Instagram account set up, I have used the app to create interesting photos to post on the station’s Facebook wall. Organizations with a larger following could easily conduct contests or use the app for awareness efforts of national or worldwide events. How do you see Instagram being used as a marketing tool?


Tutorial: The Social Media Contest

How would you do a social media dance contest? I would use YouTube of course!

Feel free to consider this part three of my Twitter tutorial. In this entry however, I will walk you through the steps of a social media contest at KVSC 88.1FM where we incorporate both Facebook and Twitter. So far at KVSC, we have only done concert ticket giveaways as a social media contest. We are planning to do a costume contest during Trivia Weekend to coincide with the theme Superheroes of Trivia. That contest will be on Facebook only and participants will post photos of themselves in their superhero costume on our wall and winners will be chosen by number of likes and comments. That should be fun.

The process is really pretty simple and it gets even easier when you limit the contest to just Twitter (Mashable has a great “how to” on Twitter contests). First, decide what your marketing goals are–create brand awareness, find out more about your customers, increase engagement, etc. Once you decide why you are doing a social media contest, figure out how you want to achieve your goals. At KVSC, our main focus is to increase engagement with our listeners and hopefully drive traffic to our website and to increase overall listenership.

Second, you need a game plan. Now that you know your marketing goals, it’s time to lay down some rules. This is almost too simple for something such as a concert ticket giveaway. For Facebook, just state the rules in a status update. That’s basically it. Remember to tag appropriate pages (in this case KVSC and First Avenue) and provide any additional links. Here’s an example:

KVSC – 88.1FM is giving away ONE pass to ALL CONCERTS at First Avenue & 7th Street Entry for the remainder of 2010! Simply hit the “Like” button at the bottom of this message to win! For and additional entry, visit http://twitter.com/kvsc881fm and retweet the contest message. Visit http://www.kvsc.org/ for full details.

Then do the same on Twitter, only now, you are restricted to 140 characters or less. Also, you may want to add a unique hashtag to monitor and help in promoting some aspect of the contest (or your company, cause, etc). Remember to use @mentions where appropriate:

@kvsc881fm – giving away ONE 40th Anniv. Pass to ALL concerts @Firstavenue for ALL OF 2010! Retweet to win! http://kvsc.org/ #KVSC1st_ave

Be sure to have information on your website with full details and promote in anyway possible. For KVSC, we usually make an on-air push and promote in our monthly e-newsletter. Once you have made your posts and promoted the contest a little bit, sit back and watch. When the deadline comes, compile all the valid entries and draw a winner (or winners) from a hat. Notify the winners and do a simple follow-up to everyone else via another post, and you’re done!

The best thing about social media contests is it’s very easy to measure your success. For Facebook, look at the number of likes, comments and any increase in new people who like your page. For Twitter, count the number of retweets and any other interactions.


Twitter Tutorial: Using #Hashtags

Using Twitter #HashtagsIn my previous post, I discussed using @mentions by explaining what they are, how they are used and how to effectively use them. Now it’s time to do the same for hashtags.

Hashtags are way to add metadata to your tweet. As such, they are typically used in an effort to get your tweet more views. A tweet with a hashtag basically creates a hyper link to search results of tweets containing the same hashtag. Hashtags are created by adding the hash or pound symbol (#) in front of a word: #hashtag. The main purpose behind a hashtag is to help identify a topic and spread the information on Twitter. There are several ways in which people can use a hashtag.

Many conferences are using hashtags as a way for conference attendees to discuss what they are learning and engage with other participants or directors. They do this by choosing a hashtag related to the conference theme or topic and making sure everyone knows about the hashtag. Then, everyone at the conference uses the hashtag throughout the event.

Online contests are another way to effectively use a hashtag. The object here is to identify users who are entering the contest by using the hashtag. I have conducted several social media concert ticket giveaways for KVSC 88.1FM and I always try to find a unique hashtag for the contest. Another reason for using a hashtag for a Twitter contest is to hopefully generate a trending topic. This is usually only achievable with a company with lots of followers using the hashtag or one that can afford to use Twitter’s promoted tweets.

Another popular way to use a hashtag is to hold “tweetchats” for users with similar interests. For instance, PRSA uses the hashtag “#prstudchat” for public relations student to engage in conversation with one another and with potential employers. To hold a tweetchat, a hashtag related to the subject is chosen and a time is set for the chat to happen. With a little help from a moderator, all Twitter users need to do is search for the hashtag, tweet their thoughts or questions and hit refresh every now and then to join in the conversation.

If for nothing else, Twitter users like to use hashtags in a comical sense such as “#icanttakeyouseriously if you wear crocs” (by @loreeeeos). There are a number of other ways in which you can use hashtags such as introducing a new product or during a crisis situation. Whatever your reason, just make sure you use hashtags wherever relavent to help organize your tweets and provide your followers with media-rich updates to increase interaction.


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 2,385 other followers

%d bloggers like this: