How Does Online Media Consumption Affect Our Lives?

Social media is used for work and personal matters and even for fun. Have you ever wondered how it’s affected your everyday life?

Foursquare mayors: If you’ve been in a battle for a mayorship or know of anyone, it’s a BIG deal. People often change their daily routines to make an extra check-in to keep the Mayor title of… let’s say Hooters? Battles have gotten so intense that Foursquare has had to change its rules to compensate for cheaters. Businesses can also now oust these cheaters.

Shopping on Facebook: Businesses like Threadless now give customers the option to shop straight from Facebook. This is pretty cool since you can also update your Facebook status about a product and share it with all your friends.

Working during the holidays: Despite stress and other complaints, a study shows that 59% of people will check their work email over the holidays. I guess feeling interrupted on your break is better than feeling left behind and having to catch up – 42% of the people in that study feel the same way.

Reacting on Twitter: Here’s a story from last week about Bill Nye the Science Guy and his speech at USC. Bill apparently fainted several times during his speech and experienced slurred speech. Even after a fainting spell that lasted at least 10 seconds, no one came to his help. A Trojan senior had this to say, “Instead, I saw students texting and updating their Twitter statuses. It was just all a very bizarre evening.” REALLY, now? This is disgusting, that people could be more connected to their Twitter accounts than to actually helping a human being. I really hate to think it but sometimes, I’m afraid that Idiocracy has foreshadowed our future…

Late night usage: And of course, there’s those late night texts that we can’t avoid. Texting and video games not only affect teen’s sleeping cycles but can also cause more serious problems such as depression and  anxiety.

In many ways, online media enriches our everyday routines but this doesn’t come without negative consequences. How has it affected you?

Matt Ramage is founder of Emarketed a web marketing agency located in Los Angeles. He loves coffee, good design, and helping businesses improve their look and getting found on the Internet.

Retailers Use Social Media to Promote Black Friday Sales

Many experts predict that consumer spending will rise this holiday season. As if email promotions weren’t enough, retailers are now using social media to push their Black Friday ads.

On Monday, the #blackfriday hashtag was a sponsored tweet that retailers used to share their deals. At first, I thought it was a little early but it makes sense for consumers who are planning to make big purchases. You can check out the ongoing mentions here. If you have any special  promotions going on, don’t forget to use the hashtag!

Many businesses are also using Facebook to unveil their specials long before Black Friday or Cyber Monday. How else can retailers get customers into stores? Last Saturday, GAP offered 40% off for customers who checked in using Facebook Places. Many are doing the same thing with Foursquare checkins.

Instead of a one day “special”, Black Friday seems to be growing into a month long event – which is a good thing for both retailers and consumers. Good luck if you’re braving the crowds this weekend!

Matt Ramage is founder of Emarketed a web marketing agency located in Los Angeles. He loves coffee, good design, and helping businesses improve their look and getting found on the Internet.

Improve Everwhere’s Mp3 Experiment # 7

Tomorrow night, Improv Everywhere is set to carryout their 7th Mp3 experiment!

It will all take place in Manhattan, NY and you can read more about it here. The goal is to have as many people as possible download an Mp3 file that contains instructions – everyone will listen to that file for the first time tomorrow night at 6PM. As the crowd gathers, hilarity will ensure! Last year, the crowd imitated popcorn, followed strangers, and participated in a friendly game of Bats vs. Hammers.

Take a look for yourself in the clip above. Does it remind you of one of your favorite online viral campaigns?

I think they should bring it to Los Angeles!

Matt Ramage is founder of Emarketed a web marketing agency located in Los Angeles. He loves coffee, good design, and helping businesses improve their look and getting found on the Internet.

If Twitter is NOT a Social Network, What Is It?

Emarketed Twitter social media advertising

Earlier this week, Twitter’s own VP of business and corporate development, Kevin Thau, shook things up when he said that Twitter is NOT a social network. In his own words, “Twitter is for news. Twitter is for content. Twitter is for information.”

Maybe Kevin has taken allegations that Twitter is “pointless” to heart. Twitter is trying to revamp their image a place where news is broadcast and transformed. I’m not sure why Twitter wants to suddenly re-position their image as a news aggregator.

Twitter is a great place for social networking, so why would they want to turn away from that? I think it’s strange that they don’t embrace it but instead, turn to a direction that most users don’t associate it with. As one reader put it, “Since Twitter can’t compete with Facebook as a social app, they’re now redefining themselves as a news source. That’s my read anyways.”

What is Twitter to you and how do you use it?

Matt Ramage is founder of Emarketed a web marketing agency located in Los Angeles. He loves coffee, good design, and helping businesses improve their look and getting found on the Internet.

Help, My Dad is on Facebook!

“Just watched my dad type in mail.yahoo.com into the username field on the Gmail homepage. Wow.”

Comedian, Aziz Ansari shows us that some of our parents aren’t as internet-savvy as we’d like them to be. So, how do you feel knowing that your parents are on Facebook?

Fastest Growing User Segment
There’s a myth that only teens and young people are on Facebook – that would be wrong of course. The 35+ age group has grown drastically and actually, 55+ females was one the fastest growing groups earlier this year! Facebook surpassed 500 million users earlier this summer and I’m sure that only more “older” people will sign up. Can’t they enjoy Mafia Wars and Nightclub City like the rest of us?

Scams to Watch Out For
No, my dad hasn’t fallen for any email proposals from Nigerian princes but he does have the bad habit of opening pretty much every email he receives. Which is only one reason that I now worry that he is on Facebook… From password phishing, fake “Unlike” buttons and worms from applications, there are plenty of Facebook scams out there. Even though all this stuff is out there, I think the benefits outweigh the potential negatives.

Please Don’t Friend Me
Some people may find it “creepy” or “weird” that their parents or older relatives are on Facebook to check up on them. Two words: privacy settings. Facebook doesn’t have to be all about businesses or games. I actually think it’s a great way for my parents to stay connected to our relatives (most who live in other states) and reconnect with old friends. What’s your opinion?

Matt Ramage is founder of Emarketed a web marketing agency located in Los Angeles. He loves coffee, good design, and helping businesses improve their look and getting found on the Internet.

Arcade Fire: Social Media and a #1 Album

As Katy Perry, Drake, Eminem and Lady Gaga dominate the summer music charts, it was nice to see a change at the top spot. Congrats to Arcade Fire! But what really helped them get there? Good music, unique live performances, loyal fans or a focused social media marketing plan? How about all of the above? Earlier this month, the band even played a live show from New York’s Madison Square Garden, which was streamed in real-time on YouTube.

A look at Arcade Fire’s social media profiles reveals that they are effective because they are so well-maintained. It’s also refreshing to see a band expand beyond just using MySpace. All the profiles are linked to their main site, where fans can find tour information and buy the new album. Over 97,000 digital sales have also helped Arcade Fire secure the #1 spot.

The ease and shareability through social media has given Arcade Fire (and tons of other bands) an opportunity to reach new fans that they wouldn’t have otherwise. A new Arcade Fire fan reveals, “I just found out about this band today and I must say, I’m quite impressed. They are amazing.” Isn’t this glowing review an example of what any band or business would like to have said about them?

‘Modern Man’ is currently my favorite track off the album. Check it out!

Matt Ramage is founder of Emarketed a web marketing agency located in Los Angeles. He loves coffee, good design, and helping businesses improve their look and getting found on the Internet.

Stop Being So Frantic About Social Media

Such a rare sight to see – a hummingbird that’s actually sitting still!

This just reminds me of people who are so frantic about getting started with social media. Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Ning, Flickr, LinkedIn, Tumblr and more. Sure, you can throw out all these names but what’s the point of being on all these social media channels? If you just want to be on all these profiles for the sake of being there, it’s time to reevaluate your strategy. In this related article from Problogger, Darren Rowse notes that:

“I’m pretty sure that facebook is not a site that will work for every topic.”

Wanting Too Much
Businesses and individuals with successful social media pages can tell you how much time, research, and resources it takes to just maintain ONE profile. So, how can people expect to do this effectively and efficiently with numerous social media profiles? Simply put, most people just can’t. Clients often want too much out of social media because it’s “free”. If anyone starts suggesting that you can save time by copying and pasting things in place of real engagement… it’s time to step away. (Especially if it applies to starting a new social media profile and building a fan base.) Check out some other practices to avoid.

What is the Point?
Before you setup a social media account, it’s time to think about your goals. What do you want to achieve with this profile? Here are some things you want to consider:

  • Create a space where you can respond to customer feedback
  • Raise brand awareness for your local business
  • Offer specials and discounts for loyal customers
  • Provide helpful resources for customers who need help
  • Or just share information that you’re passionate about

A Moment for Clarity
Remember, it helps to stay still for once. Like the hummingbird, it gives you a chance to catch your breath and take a look at the big picture! You can still take notes but make sure to edit it down to reasonable actions. If your strategy doesn’t work, move on and look for another approach. Don’t let all these thoughts and ideas consume your efforts in boosting your online identity.

Matt Ramage is founder of Emarketed a web marketing agency located in Los Angeles. He loves coffee, good design, and helping businesses improve their look and getting found on the Internet.

Are You Feeling the Pain of Social Media Promotion?

Nowadays, a blog here and there just isn’t enough to get your content out there. It can be hard to go that extra step but the effort is worth it. Promotion with social media doesn’t have to be a painful process for writers and bloggers. Many people see social media as a medium for personal relationships, so why can’t you apply that concept to engage your readers?

Add a Personal Touch
It’s easier than it seems but fans will appreciate it when you add a personal touch to your social media efforts. Instead of just linking a news story or site, give them a good reason to read and click. People aren’t just interested if you’re throwing a URL out at them. Give your opinion or a different spin on the subject. Here are some examples:

  • Have a sense of humor. Being genuine and funny is one of the best ways to get a response or RT on Twitter. Also, don’t be afraid to ask!
  • Give people shout outs. On Twitter and Facebook, you can use the @ tag to show your fans and followers appreciation.
  • Retweet others and comment. The best way to engage is to start with outreaching others. Remember, it’s not all about pushing your URL.

Simple is Always Best
It helps to stay simple and you can start with your content. Unless you’re focusing on a niche topic or doing some technical writing, more people will be able to connect with a simple subject. Reading other blogs and articles can help give you ideas and also improve your writing. These are simple steps you can take for inspiration and learning more about your area of expertise. Simple doesn’t necessarily mean easy and it takes practice. Just think about it, what’s more difficult: writing a concise one sentence summary or writing a summary paragraph?

Bloggers often focus on consistently coming up with new ideas and writing the content. After the writing process, it can be tedious to promote your work on different social media channels. Try to force yourself to do so by following a few of these tips. Remember that in the end, you get what you put in but you can always work to change the outcome. No pain = no gain!

Matt Ramage is founder of Emarketed a web marketing agency located in Los Angeles. He loves coffee, good design, and helping businesses improve their look and getting found on the Internet.

Taking the 7 Link Challenge

It’s time to take the 7 Link Challenge with Darren Rowse of Problogger:

Your first post
I remember this took a lot of time and editing for two measly paragraphs. I haven’t really looked back on it but it’s cool to see that it has gotten 21 retweets! Using Twitter to Achieve a Higher Search Ranking

A post you enjoyed writing the most

I was suffering from a case of writer’s block and didn’t really know what to write about. Sometimes, it’s good just to force yourself to write and you’ll find a topic that is inspiring. Add Pieces of Flair

A post which had a great discussion

A recent guest blog post that got a lot of comments for and against the EZineArticles WordPress plugin. 3 Social Media Tools That Help Bloggers Interact with Readers

A post on someone else’s blog that you wish you’d written

I wish I wrote a valuable resource that other bloggers bookmarked and referred to. For me, it’s Chris Brogan’s 100 Blog Topics I Hope You Write.

Your most helpful post

It was helpful for me to write this post because I was researching link building resources. Hopefully, readers learned about different types of links. What’s Your Link Building Focus?

A post with a title that you are proud of

A fun topic to think and write about. I think the title sums the post up nicely. Does the New Facebook Make You Miss the Old MySpace?

A post that you wish more people had read

It would be nice to get more input about this topic and see what other people think about the topic. Does Social Media Help or Harm Your Blogging Efforts?

Matt Ramage is founder of Emarketed a web marketing agency located in Los Angeles. He loves coffee, good design, and helping businesses improve their look and getting found on the Internet.

Does Social Media Help or Harm Your Blogging Efforts?

Everybody uses social media advertising to promote their blog nowadays. Besides, what good is so good about blog without the sharing aspect? But, does social media actually help or harm your writing efforts? Either way, it’s important to look at both sides of things before you implement a social media plan for your content.

How It’s Helpful
The best thing about social media is that it gives you the power to share your content beyond just your blog domain. Through your RSS feed, Twitter retweets, Facebook ‘Likes’, diggs and more, these tools give you the opportunity to give your writing exposure. When paired with your online network or blogging community, social media broadens the audience that has access to your posts. How awesome is that?
Social media is also a great way to get ideas for new topics to write about. Let’s face it, writing is fun but not when you run out of things to write about. Searching my favorite blog communities is the best cure for my writer’s block. Even if you’re just feeling lazy, you can expand on a comment you’ve been meaning to make or react to a current news story.
Sharing through social media also provides an open way for you to strengthen your online brand while demonstrating your knowledge.

How It’s Harmful
Now, on to how social media can be harmful to your blog. Two words: damage control. If you’re a big brand, you really have to watch what you say. Is it wrong to say that readers are waiting for you to make a wrong movie? Just take a look at Consumerist who reveals the mistakes and slip ups of big companies. They also take consumer tips!
It’s easy to give into information overload on social media networks. Some bloggers argue that social media can also be a sheer waste of time. While you start using social media as a way to find ideas, it could lead to clicking irrelevant sites that just pointless to your blogging goals!

How about you? In my experience, social media has been an extremely helpful part of the blogging experience. I started my first foray into guest blogging and it’s going better than I initially expected! Again, it’s the social aspect that made this all possible.

Matt Ramage is founder of Emarketed a web marketing agency located in Los Angeles. He loves coffee, good design, and helping businesses improve their look and getting found on the Internet.