Tag Archives: 2012

Hashtag Here, Hashtag There, Hashtag Everywhere!

15 Jun

Just like Twitter, Instagram, Google & Google+, clickable hashtags are rolling out on Facebook. “When you click on a hashtag in Facebook, you’ll see a feed of what other people and Pages are saying about that event or topic.” Example: “I can`t wait for football season to return #NFL go #Niners.” When you click on those Hashtags in Facebook you will find search results.

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Social media platforms like Facebook and Google + change weekly sometimes daily, how are you expected to market through these channels and run your business.
Being named a Facebook developer by Facebook itself WeShareMedia is on a “first to know” basis on all changes within Facebook and stays up to the minute on all platforms across the board.

WeShareMedia is ready for any and all changes to come.

Here`s what people are saying on Facebook.

ISPs Will Begin Enforcing 6 Strike Anti-Piracy Plan

26 Feb

A long promised U.S. Copyright Alert System (CAS) finally went live. Targeting consumers whose accounts have been used to share copyrighted content over Person to Person networks illegally, or without authority. The first string of ISPs to begin enforcing this plan will be Comcast, followed by AT&T, Cablevision, Time Warner, and later Verizon.

Last year the MPAA and RIAA teamed up with five major Internet providers in the United States to launch the Center for Copyright Information (CCI). They came up with a system through which subscribers are warned that their copyright infringements are unacceptable.

After six alerts, which are largely described as educational, the alerts will result in “mitigation measures.” Users may then, either face a temporary reduction of Internet speed; redirection to a landing page until the primary account holder contacts the ISP and/or redirection to a landing page where the primary account holder must review and respond to educational information.

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“After the fifth alert, the content owner may pursue legal action against the customer, and may seek a court order requiring AT&T to turn over personal information to assist the litigation,” AT&T explains.

Under the copyright alert system Internet providers have to inform copyright holders about which IP-addresses are repeatedly flagged. The MPAA and RIAA can then use this information to ask the court for a subpoena, so they can obtain the personal details of the account holder. Although the ISPs emphasized that “education” is the goal, rather than lawsuits.

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We were unable to confirm whether or not there was a process in place for consumers to dispute charges of infringement yet. It should be noted that content partners will begin sending notices of alleged P2P copyright infringement to ISPs today (2/25/13)

Does it make you feel safer knowing that your content will be better protected across the internet? Or does this level of internet policing feel overbearing?

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Small Businesses Falling Victim to “Yellow Pages” Scam

16 Feb

It’s hard enough to be a start-up or up & coming business and keeping your expenses down. Now one particular scheme that is growing at a rapid rate involves the nationally renown business directory, Yellow Book, formerly known as Yellow Pages.

Here’s how it works:

Someone calls claiming to be a representative from yellowpages.com. The intent of their call is to verify an order that was previously placed. They purposely seek out new workers or anyone uninformed enough to give up the information they seek. Believing that the order was legitimately placed, the employee willingly gives up details such as an address, phone number and other information. They make the biggest mistake by stating that they understand what the service is how much the charge will be.

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Some time after, the representative calls again. They now state that the invoice is past due and needs to be paid in its entirety. From there, the scam artist gets tactical. He informs the manager that there will be stiff  penalties for not making payment.  They may be threatened with legal fees or collection agencies, being led to believe that the business’s credit score will be effected by the ordeal. Depending on the reaction from management, the caller may demand a partial payment and follow-up with a letter featuring the name “Yellow Pages” and bearing the familiar “walking fingers” logo. Federal copyright and trademark laws protect neither the name nor logo.

Months may pass when a different rep who is a bit more polite. Casually, brings up an invoice and explains that the account needs to be paid. Now they’re willing to accept anywhere from $100 to $200 less than before. After asking for proof of the order, the representative states that the order was securely confirmed via telephone.

They’ll take whatever they can get. The scheme is so methodical and has follow-up plans for anyone who was willing to follow along.

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According to the Federal Trade Commission, the companies operating from Palma de Mallorca, Spain, sent unsolicited faxes to churches, doctors’ offices, dentists’ offices and small retailers in the U.S., Canada, Australia, and possibly elsewhere. The companies operated under names that included Yellow Page Marketing B.V., Yellow Page B.V., Yellow Page (Netherlands) B.V. Yellow Publishing Ltd. and Yellow Data Services Ltd. among others.

The court ordered the companies to repay the money fraudulently obtained to the FTC to the tune of $10,000,000; which will be distributed to affected consumers. The court also banned the companies from selling or trying to sell Internet directories.

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Your business should consider taking the following precautions if you receive a piece of mail and are unsure of how to respond:

  • Determine whether the mail you have received is a solicitation or a bill/invoice. The United States Postal Service (U.S.P.S) requires a disclaimer if it is a solicitation. Read it carefully.
  •  Request information from the publisher, including previous copies of their directory, distribution figures and methods, and where the publisher primarily distributes their directory.
  • Check with your local Yellow Pages publisher to see if they are affiliated with the solicitor.
  • Check with state consumer protection officials for prior complaints against the solicitor.

The WeShareMedia team of experts looks out for fellow business owners online…………..and off.

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Video Sharing app “Vine” is Entangling Everyone

15 Feb

The new social media app is taking new media aficionados by storm. In mid January of this year,  Twitter introduced it’s new video app for the iPhone, called Vine.  The app lets users “capture and share short (6 seconds) looping videos”. It’s basically a free smart phone app like Instagram, but in video. If you have a Twitter account, it will take just a few minutes to get on Vine.

Vine’s landing page describes it as “the best way to capture and share video on your iPhone”, specializing in very short clips — a few seconds apiece.

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It’s different than the slew of other video apps currently on the market. Usually when you shoot with your smartphone, the camera captures one continuous shot. Vine allows for punctuated recording. Grab a few quick snips of video, and Vine auto-generates a longer cut stitched from those shots. It’s a novel idea, and hones in on the sweet spot of our ever-dwindling attention spans.

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Creating a video is a model of simplicity. Point the camera and touch the screen. As long as the finger remains in contact, the video camera rolls. Lift your finger and it stops. Continue until you’ve shot for six seconds. Vine saves the video, and gives you the option to attach a text message.

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There is a feed that shows peoples’ videos, while you scroll down the feed and pass over a video, it automatically starts playing, and by touching it you can pause it. You can also use hashtags to help people find your video by searching for: pets, food, etc. You can also share your videos on Facebook and Twitter with the press of a button.

But what can you show in just six seconds? You’d be amazed. Just as Twitter’s 140-character limit forces people to write more efficiently, Vine goads you into looking more closely at the world, to identify visuals that get to the point. Go to vine.co/blog to see some examples, and prepare to be impressed.

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This of course brings out the creative side of all internet marketing folk. The possibilities on how to use the new and incredibly popular app for branding and promotion within your internet marketing strategy. WeShareMedia always staying on the forefront of social media, already has fistfuls of ideas to get the most out of this app.

Doesn’t your business deserve to work with social media experts?

Facebook Now Offers Gift Cards

10 Feb

There’s an even bigger reason to be extra nice to all of your Facebook friends. Maybe you’ll “LIKE” a few more status updates and throw people some more LOLs their way. Facebook is expanding its Gift feature to include plastic gift cards that carry balances for multiple stores and restaurants.

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The “Facebook Card,” is a plastic, reusable card that users can give their friends to redeem at four different partner companies: Jamba Juice, Olive Garden, Sephora, and Target. Facebook describes the product as “a new type of gift card.”

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The cards only work at four stores FOR NOW 😉  The process for sending a Facebook Card is fairly intuitive: select one of the four retailers and specify an amount, then let Facebook manage the rest. The recipient is sent a physical Facebook Card, as pictured above, via snail mail. The card then becomes the person’s universal card that refreshes in value with any future gift card a Facebook friend sends his or her way. The card can handle multiple balances from each of the participating retailers, though each balance can only be used at the specified retailer. This means you could have $100 at Sephora and $8.25 at Jamba Juice on the same card’s balance.

“After you’ve received a card, the next time you get a Facebook Card gift, it will instantly be added to your existing card,” the company said in an official blog post. “Your card can hold multiple gift balances, and each balance is dedicated to the retailer associated with the gift.”

Gift balances can be viewed on via your Facebook account settings on both mobile and desktop versions. It also lets you know when the balances change with real-time notifications sent to your phone.

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A Facebook spokesperson said the company had nothing to share about how it will make money off the Card service. There are no fees for the gift giver or gift receiver, so Facebook is likely earning a percentage from the participating companies.

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If proven successful, it is very likely that Facebook will partner with more companies for its gift card services. Between the ability to give tangible gifts and the graph search features rolling out to everybody, Facebook evolution will be even further integrated into our lives. This power of social media reaches beyond marketing strategies and WeShareMedia loves it!

Social Media Tip of the Day – Building a Facebook Community

8 Feb

As a Facebook page grows, people tend to get the feeling that it will become more and more impersonal. This mildly speaks to our own insecurities and as a a brand ambassador for whomever the given client is, we must prove our commitment to the fans. The Facebook platform makes it difficult because a Page does not offer cross-conversations, so conversations become silos. A Facebook Page is a community, but it is usually a loosely-tied community of lurkers and inactives who don’t have the opportunity to interact with each other or the Page often enough.

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Creating a Facebook community vibe takes a lot of work, discovery, and dedication. Facebook is constantly evolving and a series of short term goals paired with basic long term goals, will be your best bet.

Who’s the audience for your community?

One of the key issues is understanding exactly who the audience is and why they are fans. The obvious thing is to ask your fans why they like the Page. Digging deep into the varied interests, but ideally you go deeper. Weighing in their location, gender, age, income, attitude, education and lifestyles.

What’s in it for them?

Why will a person join your community? Why will this person be willing to participate in that community on a regular basis? This is going to be somewhat of a trial and error phase when establishing the brands voice through its core principles and expanding on that. Generating amusing content is completely up to you. The platform has been around long enough to have standard categories most of us can agree on. Such as contests, quizzes, polls, humor, trivia, jokes, quotes, national debate, patriotism, breaking news, interesting facts, amusing pictures or videos.

Promotional opportunities

Ensure that you’ve laid down a solid foundation to scale up a live and engaging community. Facebook advertising is one the most powerful and least understood opportunities. Stay updated and be prepared for any of Facebooks changes that might present a new opportunity to target an audience. Facebook apps are extremely customizable to be used a number of ways.

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Tracking your page

Luckily there are a number of analytics programs available to see how your audience has reacted to your published content.

Facebook Grader – A tool designed by hubspot to help you asses the ranking of your Facebook page among other pages.

Social Page Evaluator – Designed by Virtue to help marketers to get a better understanding of a Facebok pages value.

Likealyzer – Gives you somewhat of a brutally honest evaluation of your page and makes suggestions based on that.

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The team of experts here at WeShareMedia are always on the lookout for beta version of analytics software for any of the major platforms. Obviously some of them are going to work better for different types of pages and goals.

Successful Blogging Perks or Corporate Blogola?

7 Feb

The luxurious lifestyle of a blogger comes with its perks. None greater than seeing a gigantic upward spike on your readers statistics. But outside of that, they’re few and far between. Luckily (or un-luckily, depending on which side of the fence you’re on) marketers and public relations firms have been contacting bloggers and pitching them new products for review. A question of ethics comes into play; as they often do in journalism. Wether or not a blogger discloses that the product, place or service they’re reviewing, gave them added incentives to do so. If nothing is disclosed and an exchange did occur, then that’s what the blogosphere refers to as “Blogola”.

What exactly is Blogola?

Blogola (Blaw-go-law)

def. A slang term used in online marketing circles to describe the act of bribing or paying influential bloggers to create a buzz in the blogosphere about a specific product or technology in their blog.

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As of December 2009, bloggers must disclose any relationship they have with the product they are reviewing. If one doesn’t, they could receive a huge fine. The Federal Trade Commission states that Truth-in-advertising principles must apply to non-professional writers also.

While the FTC means business and not to be taken lightly; the hard-earned SEO of bloggers is being affected the most by Google’s own policy changes. Now penalizing paid blog entries by demoting them in its search results. Ouch!

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Living in an era when consumers increasingly turn to blogs and other amateur Web sites for information about the goods and services they buy. Marketing budgets remain tight and advertisers are looking for cheaper ways to get their messages in front of shoppers.

We don’t wanna come off as a green-eyed monster and sound like we’re against any of this. WeShareMedia enjoys hearing success stories of fellow social media wranglers. Transparency and full disclosure are what’s sought after within the writing. After that we say the entrepreneurial spirit should be free to roam. Such is the case for fellow LA Blogger Shea Marie, who recently teamed up with Ryan Seacrest and FORD to form a “Green Dream Team“. This team includes Giuliana Rancic, Maria Menounos, Kristen Aldridge and Marie. These blogstars are now traveling around Los Angeles in Ford’s Green Fleet of vehicles (Focus (BEV) Electric, Fusion Hybrid, C-max Hybrid & C-max Energi) documenting their fun and games on Instagram under the hashtag #GreenGoesGlam.

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This is amazing to see and brought a smile to all of our faces here at WeShareMedia. We will never fear success and take joy in the happiness of others.

We’ll be expecting phone calls and emails for further product endorsement any minute now 🙂

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