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Selecting the right advertising platform in today’s time is no less than puzzlement. There are numerous advertising options available for your brand like print, television, radio, outdoor, commercials and of course the internet. Traditional media has contributed to thousands of businesses for decades. With the help of Internet, you can take the advantage of social media, content marketing, search engine marketing and other online marketing methods.

In this article we are going to understand the impact of traditional advertising and social media marketing for the brand.

Typically below are the contents of both the advertising methods:

Traditional Advertising


Includes…

  • Print Media

(Magazines and newspaper ads, newsletters, brochures, pamphlets and other printed material)

  • Broadcast media

(Such as radio and TV ads)

  • Outdoor media
  • Telemarketing
  • Direct mail

(Including fliers, catalogs, post cards)

                                                                                   

Social media marketing

Includes advertising on various social media platforms such as…

  • FaceBook
  • Instagram
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn
  • YouTube
  • Pinterest and many more
 

Traditional advertising:

Typically, Traditional advertising is defined as any type of advertising, promotion, campaign that is used by the companies till years and has wonderful effect and success rate. There are various methods of traditional marketing like print media & hoarding advertising that includes newspaper & magazines ads, billboards, flyers, brochures, etc Other category of traditional advertising includes television commercials, radio advertising, etc.

Some interesting stats about Traditional advertising:

  • Television is considered the most effective method of advertising till, it has the highest advertisement  revenue in the US; $78.5 billion in 2011
  • In UK, 57% consider television advertising as the most impactful. Newspaper advertising comes second with 15%
  •  Radio advertising generated approximately $17 billion ad revenue during the year 2011.
  • Print advertising generates about $30 billion ad revenue every year.

(Source: Nielsen, GfK; ON Advertising)

Merits of Traditional advertising: 

  • Maximum Outreach: It is possible to target/reach large number of audience simultaneously.
  • Brand endorsement effect: Psychologically the traditional media has larger and personalized impact due to various brand endorsements by the famous celebrities.
  • Tangible Offers: It offers tangibility. Also, some form of traditional media is difficult to ignore, like outdoor hoardings, gantry, etc.
  • Product Testing: Depending on the service or product, it can offer product testing to prove the quality.

Demerits of Traditional advertising:

  • Expensive: It’s very costly to purchase television, radio or other traditional advertising ads for both small and medium sized business.
  • Difficult to track the conversion rate: Unalike digital Marketing, it is difficult to track or measure the conversion rate of the ads
  • Forced Strategy: The traditional marketing is also considered as forced method of selling a service or product, since the customer might not necessarily seek the product.
  • One-way approach: Mostly one way communication is included in traditional marketing, which may not necessarily attracts audience.

Social media marketing:

Social media marketing is a form or method of internet marketing that equips various social media platforms like FaceBook, twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, Instagram, etc. in order to achieve branding and marketing goals. It usually covers the activities like social sharing of content, images and videos for promotion purposes.

Social media marketing stats:

  • According to AdWeek, More than 50 million small businesses have started using FaceBook pages.
  • The revenue of Social media advertising will reach $9.8 billion in 2016.
  • Within the top 50 companies on the Forbes 500 list, 40 of the CEOs of top 50 companies on the Forbes list are have an active social media presence. Previously it was just 18 in 2010.
  • 92% of small businesses agree that social media networks are crucial to their business. (Source: Social Media Examiner)
  • 95% online adults that are aged 18-34 prefer to follow a brand through social media platforms. (Source: MarketingSherpa
  • By spending around six hours per week, approximately 66% of marketers can observe lead generation benefits with social media. (Social Media Examiner, 2015)
  • 6 out of 10 small business owners agree that they are not able to track ROI from their social media activities. (Source: Hubspot)

Merits of social media marketing:

  • Comparatively cheaper: Unlike traditional media, social media marketing is less expensive and affordable for small and medium business.
  • It increases brand awareness: Due to paid advertising and other method social media methods, social media marketing succeeds in increasing the brand awareness online.
  • Help to improve search engine rankings: As the online presence increases of the brand, it also benefits search engine rankings.
  • Higher conversation rate: It has higher conversion rates rather than traditional advertising. Also, it is quite possible to track the conversion rate to analyze ROI.
  • Better customer satisfaction: Customer can see the brand they are using on social media, not only that their complaints, suggestion are heard on social media which creates two-way relationship. As a result customer satisfaction increases.


Demerits of social media marketing:

  • Time demanding: It takes time to build the online presence, therefore it demands more time unlike traditional advertising.
  • Lack of feedback control: Social media has also power to ruin the image of any brand, and the worst part is the brand cannot control the dishonest or negative feedback.
  • Comparatively limited audience: Unlike traditional advertising, mostly it is not possible to target larger number of audience. Also, not necessarily every customer is active on social media, therefore it has limited target audience.

How can you select the right advertising media for you?

Before selecting the right advertising platform, you need to ask following question to yourself like:

  • Who are my target audience?
  • What is the objective of advertising?
  • What will be the cost per thousand?
  • Geographical and demographical environment of your target audience
  • Budget of advertising and plan for ROI

Once you analyze the purpose, need and budget of your advertising it becomes easy to choose the correct platform for your brand and you can predict which will leave more impact on the target audience.

The Last Word:

The both the category of advertising have their own charm, it’s you who need to decide which will be most suitable for your brand and which will best fit in your budget.

Author : Sophia Harris

Source: http://www.promotionworld.com/se/articles/article/social_media_marketing/170105-impact-of-traditional-advertising-media-vs-social-

Categorized in Social

What happened to the U.S. in 2016 is historical and terrifying, and most of us were unprepared for it. This year saw the rise to power of a vocal, right-wing extremism with white supremacist and Fascist leanings not considered a legitimate part of American politics in over half a century, while the ideological differences between the left and right splintered so far that it seems to have fractured reality itself.

That’s not hyperbole. In 2016, it became difficult even to achieve consensus about what’s actually real.

These reality distortions took hold deeply in 2016. “Post-truth” was the OED’s word of the year, reflecting the fact that we now have an incumbent White House staffed with people who do not all believe in a consistent version of reality. Trump has appointed many climate change deniers who question basic scientific consensus. His national security advisor is a man whose “flimsy” grasp on factual information got him fired from the Obama administration, and whose son has already been fired from the Trump transition teamafter spreading fake news that resulted in a real-world armed conflict. And a host of Trump’s other staffers have helped perpetuate wild conspiracy theories.

In the middle of all this looms the biggest reality distortion of all: the remaking of white supremacy and Fascism into a legitimate modern political platform. White supremacists who have refashioned themselves as the “alt-right” now speak openly about the hope Trump has given them that their dream — an ethnic cleanse of all non-white Americans from the U.S. and the establishment of a literal Aryan nation — might one day come to pass.

All of this happened, to a large degree, because of the internet — specifically because of social media, and a convergence of elements that played out across social media.

Social media did much of the work of Trump’s campaign. It provided an outlet for Americans to express and spread their deepest fears and darkest opinions. It allowed right-wing extremists to call for an upending of social norms and the re-establishment of a white male-centric society. And although this regressive ideology was built around pre-existing white nationalist rhetoric, it found its way into the mainstream disguised as memes, fake news, and populist conspiracies. Social media helped remodel white supremacy into a more palatable ideology centered on fear of the other and a desire for “law and order” that caters to that fear. In other words, social media laid the groundwork for the rise of authoritarianism that carried Trump into office.

These elements all existed online before 2016. But during this year’s election, they all came together in a perfect storm that altered the real world as we know it. It’s necessary to understand how that happened, and how social media was the tool that shifted us toward a post-truth future. Above all, it’s necessary to realize that it wasn’t the inhuman parts of social media — the faceless fake news suppliers or the robotic algorithms or hordes of faceless trolls — that got us here.

All of those elements were powered by human behavior; the trolls were never faceless. In 2016, the way in which we interact with and understand — or misunderstand — what social media is had consequences. If we’re to make changes in 2017, we need to start by realizing that online culture and behavior has real-world consequences.

False and morally reprehensible Google searches helped shape an election

Many people don’t think of Google as social media, but Google’s many moving parts, from YouTube to Gmail to Docs, are among the most impactful ways we communicate on the internet. And its essential, algorithm-driven search engine is the main way we receiveinformation on the internet.

But in 2016, if we wanted to understand the main elements at play during this election, we couldn’t always just Google it.

Guardian writer Carole Cadwalladr recently noticed a problem with Google’s autofill search predictions: When she typed the words “are Jews” into the search engine, one of its suggested autocomplete searches was, “are Jews evil?” In response, Google said it removedthe suggestion from its search engine, along with similar autocomplete suggestions like “are Muslims bad?” But when I tested Google’s autocomplete suggestions myself, once a week ago and once this week, I was met both times on multiple browserswith queries like “are black people real” and “are black people evil” even when all I typed was “are bl.”

And when I searched “are Muslims evil,” Google helpfully suggested the following “related” questions to help me expand my thinking:

Google rewards search behavior by algorithmically weighting the links people click on to be more prominent in future searches,which is how we got into this mess: as Wired put it last year, Google search algorithms are racist “because the internet is racist.”

Human behavior — in this case the racist thought patterns that lead people to type in racist search queries — dictates the results Google returns, which then leads innocent search queries like my “are bl” to return horrifying results. And every time I click on a result that leads to a sketchy or biased source — even though I’m doing so for professional reasons — I’m boosting that page’s ranking and making it that much harder for actually accurate results to reach the next person who searches. The next person who searches for, and receives, harmful distorted information through Google is also helping to boost those inaccurate results, especially if they continue searching for more info. In both cases, the algorithm is learning from our human behavior that these searches are desirable.

Google tries to combat this trend in a variety of ways, from fact-checkingdigital news to frequent algorithm tweaks to curtail Google bombing and other inaccuracies, but it can’t be everywhere at once. A Google spokesperson told Vox the site constantly works to correct and remove offensive patterns from its algorithms— in fact, it quickly removed “are black people evil” from its autofill predictions following my email to the company —but that it’s an ongoing, nebulous process:

Autocomplete predictions are algorithmically generated based on users' search activity and interests. Users search for such a wide range of material on the web -- 15% of searches we see every day are new. Because of this, terms that appear in Autocomplete may be unexpected or unpleasant. We do our best to prevent offensive terms, like porn and hate speech, from appearing, but we don't always get it right. Autocomplete isn't an exact science and we’re always working to improve our algorithms.

None of this is anyone’s fault — it’s just how the algorithm works. But Google’s algorithmic search results can significantly impact public opinion. Not only does Google’s search ranking influence politics, but it reinforces ideological silos — it helps you agree with yourself. Instead of providing accurate and balanced info, Google allows people to, for example, search for deliberately negative and biased stories against Hillary Clinton.

The worst ramification of the search engine’s learned bias may already have occurred with the 2016 election. In August of 2015, statistician Robert Epstein released a widely cited study on human bias in reaction to Google search results. His research suggested that Google search results could shift the vote in November by up to 2.6 million votes. That’s because what gives these searches power, according to Epstein, is that generally, peoplethink they’re fair and balanced. The public perceives Google search as an arbiter of truth and reality rather than an algorithmic system of learned biases specific to the individual user.

Facebook’s deluge of viral fake news had real-world repercussions

Until August,Facebook’s trending topics were curated by a special team of staffers whose main task was to vet the site’s news algorithm and identify whether stories it picked up were news. But the curation process came under fire in May when Gizmodo reported that “stories covered by conservative outlets (likeBreitbart, Washington Examiner, and Newsmax) that were trending enough to be picked up by Facebook’s algorithm were excluded unless mainstream sites like the New York Times, the BBC, and CNN covered the same stories.”

It’s important to note that Facebook curation guidelines were clear that trending news had to be about “a real-world event.” Many of the example conservative websites, despite being popular, have been described by media watchdogs as promoting false or misleading information. (Though it’s worth noting that Breitbart, at least, is on Facebook’s list of over 1,000 media outlets from which curators were told to corroborate stories.) Thus it’s arguable that any human effort to suppress these stories from trending results was less politically driven and more about weeding out inaccurate information that did not correlate to a real-world event — the very problem Facebook would soon have.

Nonetheless, conservatives were swift to accuse Facebook of bias; Facebook issued a response noting its guidelines. But then, in late August — just as the election cycle hit its peak — Facebook fired its news curation team, announcing that it was adopting “a more algorithmically driven process” for managing trending topics.

Chaos erupted as soon as Facebook’s human news curators left the building. Much as racist Google searches led Google to suggest racist searches, recurring keywords in various conversations across Facebook led Facebook’s algorithm to define the topics of those conversations as “newsworthy,” even if the conversations themselves were misleading or their claims blatantly false, such as an entirely false item that claimed Fox anchor Megyn Kelly had been fired for voting for Hillary Clinton. And without a human editor to oversee the process, fake news began trending almost immediately.

It’s difficult to overstate the potential of fake news on Facebook to influence people’s opinions. According to the Pew Research Center, 62 percent of American adults get their news from social media, 44 percent primarily from Facebook. And since the election,news outlets have frequently cited this Pew statistic to argue that Facebook’s fake news problem played a serious role in leading Trump to victory.

The alt-right used social media to spread fake news and manufacture reality distortion

On internet forums like 4chan, 8chan, and Reddit, the alt-right has spent years strategically developing methods to mask its sincere ideology, which is nothing less than pure, old-school, KKK levels of white supremacy and racism. These methods include harassment, conspiracy theories, and ironic trolling and meme-ing, as well as the use of male-centric mainstream communities as a recruitment pool.

In 2016 we saw all of these elements surfacing to influence the election. The Harambe meme became a racist harassment tool. The Pepe the frog meme became a way for Trump supporters to unite around the ironic belief that his presidency was pre-ordained. The racist alt-right trolls on Gamergate enclave 8chan drove thousands of hits to Donald Trump’s website — nearly a 600 percent increase from a year ago.

Meanwhile, the conspiracy theories generated and stirred on social media by the alt-right and other Trump supporters sent people into zealous overdrive. Innumerable false and unsourced claims surrounded Clinton — that she was terminally ill, that she had had FBI agents killed, that she sold weapons to Isis, that her daughter was stealing money from the Clinton Foundation, that her associate George Soros was an evil foreign (Jewish) overlord who was paying protesters and rigging voting machines, that her campaign manager took part in Satanic rituals — the list is endless.

Normally this is all the kind of extremist right-wing propaganda that circulates on the fringes of the internet. But in 2016, it filtered into the mainstream again and again: at the end of the election, fake news on Facebook outperformed real news, and 17 of the 20 highest-performing fake news stories were anti-Clinton.

These fakenews stories and conspiracy theories helped shift people’s ability to understand or accept what was real. Pew released a study conducted after the election which found that nearly two-thirds of American adults believed fake news caused “a great deal of confusion.” A Stanford study released in late November found that students lacked the critical thinking necessary to parse real news from fake news. A man shot up a D.C. pizza joint because he feared it was housing a bogus child sex trafficking ring as part of the anti-Clinton conspiracy known as Pizzagate. Grieving relatives of victims in the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting were continually harassed by conspiracy theorists who were convinced the entire shooting never happened, as were victims of the Pulse nightclub shooting.

This reality distortion has a foundation of hate

All of these distortions of reality tended to favor right-wing extremism and worldviews based on fear and suspicion of social systems. This is because they generally filtered into the mainstream from the alt-right. Even the Macedonian teenagers who spent most of the year monetizing fake news on Facebook took their fake claims directly from fringe alt-right sources. It’s a reduction to say that someone shot up a pizza joint because of white supremacy, but ultimately, Pizzagate and the response to it were extensions of the alt-right’s online tactics: ironic, hyperbolic distortions of reality disseminated as memes and alarmist propaganda, but masking real white-supremacist hate and vitriol.

Writing gleefully before the election about how Trump’s campaign had ushered in a new era of hatred for Jewish people, Andrew Anglin, a Nazi whose ultimate goal is the eradication of Jewish people, predicted that the more strident and unapologetic the alt-right’s Nazi rhetoric was, the more it would spread. Memes like Pepe, Anglin writes, “embody the goal of couching idealism within irony” so that it can spread subtly. The “idealism” he’s referring to is a belief system of racialized hatred, divisiveness, and extreme white nationalism.

Through the tools of social media and the conventions of internet culture, the alt-right got people in the mainstream to enjoy racist memes and listen to extreme right-wing conspiracy theories. And thus, they worked to create a reality where Fascism and white supremacy were that much more palatable and easier to accept as part of American culture.

But perhaps the biggest boost the alt-right got was the direct access to Trump provided by Twitter. In January 2016, marketing research company Little Bird ran an analysis of Trump’s Twitter and found that a majority of the accounts he retweeted in a given week had significant ties to white supremacy. Trump’s ideas fed off the alt-right and the alt-right fed off Trump; he has now brought those ideas, and the reality distortion they signal, with him to the White House.

“The fact is social media did help elect Trump,” the prominent white-supremacist Richard Spencer said in a YouTube video after the election. “This is a clear sign that we have power. Even if it’s just in our own little small way — even if it’s just sending a sarcastic tweet or two — we have power, and we’re changing the world.”

The moral is this: What we do on the internet has always mattered

Ironically, all of this may ultimately have happened because we have such a hard time believing that the internet is real. Research has shown that trolling decreases real-world empathy precisely because trolls don’t believe what they do matters offline. Reviewing Karla Mantilla’s book Gendertrolling, critic Richard Seymour writes, “The new inflection that the internet appears to make possible is the trolls’ disavowal of moral commitment, which depends on a strict demarcation between the ‘real’ offline self, and online anonymity. I am not what I do, as long as I do it online.”

The rest of us forget this, too. Many people, including those of us who have spent years reporting on the online phenomena that reached their apotheosis in 2016 and helped usher Trump into office, did not take his campaign seriously until it was too late. Perhaps this is because he was a candidate born from the worst impulses of the internet. After all, we’ve spent a generation teaching ourselves to ignore and dismiss those impulses when we meet them online, to write them off as “just trolling,” and to ignore and block manifestations of hate in the form of online harassment. So, too, the media, again and again, dismissed Trump and his noisiest followers.

This is what Nazis like Anglin, who strategized ways to meme their way into the mainstream, were counting on. Anglin notes that one of the key elements of the alt-right’s success in online communities like 4chan was that they could be anonymous — they could share their socially unacceptable views under cover of darkness, without having to be accountable for their racism, while they found their views echoed and emboldened by the other anons around them. 4chan was the online equivalent of KKK members’ white hoods. And in 2016, the people under the hoods — the trolls — became a movement, and that movement echoed in the mainstream.

Perhaps this was the inevitable result of our failure to understand that what happens on the internet can never stay on the internet; it is and always has been an extension of real life. Fake news can fuel real news cycles. Conspiracy theories can have real-world consequences. A Google search can change real thought patterns. Online trolls are real people. And real people can vote.

But as we move into 2017, one thing social media will also do is help remind us that none of this is normal. While online communities have brewed morally repugnant extremism, they have also grown social activism, allowed marginalized voices to speak out against discrimination and hate, and brought people of all walks of life together. We have seen and recognizethe tools extremists used to bring us to this point. But if social media can be deployed to spread disinformation and sanitize hate, it can also be deployed to spread accurate facts and bolster progressive voices for equality and freedom.

In 2016, social media gave rise to some of our worst impulses. In 2017, hopefully it will give rise to more of our best.

Sourcehttp://www.vox.com/2016/12/31/13869676/social-media-influence-alt-right

Categorized in Social

This article is courtesy of BusinessCollective, featuring thought leadership content by ambitious young entrepreneurs, executives & small business owners.

Creating a great marketing strategy is like baking a pie — you don’t want to leave out the most important ingredients.

For many small business owners, taking time off isn’t just a great opportunity to spend time with family and friends. It’s also a chance to take a step back from day-to-day business operations and look at the parts of their business that they appreciate as well as what needs to be addressed.

When it comes to marketing, a lot of businesses make the mistake of leaving it to the end of their budgets and business plans — just like pie is left for dessert — when in actuality, it greatly affects that potential for success.

When you take a look at your own marketing pie, these eight pieces are integral in creating success. Each one on their own is great, but when you put them all together, the results will expand your bottom line immensely.

Web Presence

Your website is your first marketing opportunity for new customers. Make sure your website is attractive, presents what you do and who you are, and provides social proof of success. Your online presence, branding and marketing materials are a great place to start in  building your marketing message and attracting clients.

Customer Relationships

This is the most active and important piece of your pie. Keeping your current customers happy and engaged with you and your business is the most profitable area of marketing. Happy customers stay loyal and also bring new customers. Continually finding ways to bring value and service to your existing customers in unique and personal ways will always be good for business. Customer success is quickly becoming the epicenter of the marketing department.

Social Media

Stay active with your community — even if it’s just an image or a quick update. Social media presence is now becoming the indicator of life in a business. People do business with people, and social media is the number one place where people are interacting. Keeping content fresh on your social media profiles indicates an active online presence. It also becomes a place for quick customer support, and if comments and requests are missed, it can look poorly on your business reputation.

Content Creation

Creating content that is valuable to your users not only builds engagement and loyalty but also helps build your website value to search engines and will increase your organic traffic as you increase in your search engine ranking. If you’re looking for a long-term marketing effort that pays big dividends for your business, informative content is a great investment.

Joint Ventures and Partnerships

This is often overlooked but is one of the best-known secrets of small business marketing. Finding joint venture partners who service the same target market can help you promote your services to additional customers and provide better service. Seek events and partnerships with businesses that are non-competing and align with your company values. Expand your reach with either joint promotions or events.

Affiliates and Brand Ambassadors

Reward your raving fans and referrers. Incentivize your customers and online influencers to mention you and share your business. More than ever, purchasers are depending on reviews, referrals and social influence to make buying decisions. Once you’ve taken the time to set up an affiliate or referral system, your circle of influence can grow beyond your specific reach. This is a great way to reach new markets and reward fans which end up costing a lot less than investing in advertising and sales.

Speaking Events and Local Outreach

Small business still depends on a lot of exposure. There is no better way to create impact with the exposure of speaking events. Share your expertise, customer focus, and mission statement from a stage and you instantly show credibility and personal connection. Get over your fear of public speaking and discover the marketing power of sharing your own voice on a stage.

Networking

Never stop networking! To stay in business, you always need to keep building and working on it. Networking is the continual practice of making new relationships and maintaining the ones you have. Your presence at events and conferences with potential customers, employees and partners matters and may not pay off right away, but over time, you reaffirm your consistency in business and your commitment to growing relationships and community.

Just like pie, marketing takes effort, ingredients, and time to create the final results. The great part is, when you add it all together, nothing beats the smell of sweet success.

Arash Asli is the cofounder and CEO of Yocale, an online scheduling and marketing platform for small businesses.

Source : http://tech.co/essentials-great-marketing-strategy-2016-12

LONDON — Another study has proved what we already knew but didn't want to admit — Facebook 'lurking' is making you miserable. 

A new study by the University of Copenhagen has revealed that regular use of social media such as Facebook can harm your emotional well-being and overall satisfaction with life. The study also presented a solution — one that many of us might not like. 

The study found that taking a break from social media will have an overwhelmingly positive impact on your overall wellbeing. But, the study also conceded that taking a break isn't necessarily the best option for everyone.

Take a break 

The University of Copenhagen conducted a week-long experiment with 1,095 participants in Denmark in late 2015. The participants were put into two groups; one continued to use Facebook as usual, and the other group stopped using Facebook entirely for a week. 

By comparing the two groups, researchers found that taking a break from Facebook has a positive impact on two aspects of wellbeing, rendering our life satisfaction and emotions more positive. And, the results showed that this impact was significantly greater for users who "envy others on Facebook", "passive users" and "heavy Facebook users". 

During a pre-test, participants were characterised based on the ways they used Facebook. "Facebook-related envy" was calculated in participants by asking them to answer questions about how they felt when they were confronted with information about other people's success and happiness on social media. Active and passive Facebook use was assessed based on how often participants post status updates or photos, comment on friends' posts, and browse newsfeeds and friends' profiles. 

"The participants who took a one-week break from Facebook reported significantly higher levels of life satisfaction and a significantly improved emotional life," reads the study, published in the Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking journal.

You might not have to quit altogether

The study also showed that the impact of wellbeing varied in relation to how people use Facebook — with "heavy", "passive" and "envious" Facebook users each reporting different effects. 

"These findings indicate that it might not be necessary to quit Facebook for good to increase one's well-being. Instead an adjustment of one's behaviour on Facebook could potentially cause a change," reads the study. 

"To make things clear, if one is a heavy Facebook user, one should use Facebook less to increase one's well-being. And if one tends to feel envy when on Facebook, one should avoid browsing the sections — or specific friends — on Facebook causing this envy. And if one uses Facebook passively, one should reduce this kind of behaviour," the study continues. 

So, instead of taking a break, it might be beneficial to stop browsing specific sections of Facebook to try to combat feelings of envy.

The report conceded, however, that "it may be difficult to change one's way of using Facebook. If this is the case, one should consider quitting Facebook for good". 

Limitations to the research

While the study certainly presents us with some interesting solutions worth bearing in mind, the report itself notes that there are some limitations to the research. Firstly, there may have been selection bias in the sample, which consisted of 86 percent women. The findings therefore are not representative of the population and it could be problematic to extend the findings to broader populations. 

However, Facebook's negative impact on wellbeing has been well-documented in previous research in recent years. One 2014 study linked Facebook usage to depression, and a 2013 study revealed that Facebook had a negative impact on the wellbeing of young adults.

Author:  RACHEL THOMPSON

Source:  http://mashable.com/2016/12/22/facebook-wellbeing-study/?utm_cid=mash-prod-nav-sub-st#sMligwsefmq9

Categorized in Social

Africa’s tweeters and Instagrammers have been busy this year, demanding political change and criticizing underperforming leaders. Government crackdowns highlight the threat social media poses to those in power, especially around election time: Yoweri Museveni’s regime blocked social media in Uganda during the February election, while Congolese authorities shut down platforms in December when President Joseph Kabila’s mandate ended.

But African social media users have also taken to Twitter, Facebook and other platforms for more light-hearted purposes—mocking the over-the-top show of deference made by one Cameroonian minister to his president, for instance.

Newsweek reviews five of the most popular hashtags and trends to sweep the continent in 2016.

#Nov8AfricanEdition

November 8 heralded an event that most commentators and pollsters failed to predict: the election of Donald Trump as president of the United States. But while America’s liberal establishment mourned the result, Africans took to social media to lighten the mood, parodying typical Western responses to African elections—from proposing military intervention to claiming that war-torn African countries were evacuating their citizens from “the troubled North American country.”

#ThisFlag

Zimbabwean pastor Evan Mawarire posted a video message on YouTube in April, draped in his country’s flag. He told Newsweek he had made the video in desperate frustration at the state of the country’s economy, after struggling to pay his children’s school fees.

The video went viral and sparked the #ThisFlag social media movement—calling for an overhaul of the Zimbabwean government and the resignation of 92-year-old President Robert Mugabe, who has been in power since 1980.

Ivory Coast Facebook

Search engine results about the new version of Facebook in the popular West African language Peul in September. Africans have used social media to engage with politics in 2016.ISSOUF SANOGO/AFP/GETTY

#ThisFlag has had mixed results. Thousands of Zimbabweans heeded a call made by Mawarire and his supporters in July for a nationwide strike which left streets and businesses across the country empty. But Mawarire was forced to flee the country, while Mugabe’s ZANU-PF party confirmed over the weekend that the 92-year-old would be its sole candidate for the next presidential election in 2018.

The movement has become a rallying cry, however, for disgruntled Zimbabweans to demand change—even if they have to wait to do it via the ballot box.

#BidoungChallenge

In Cameroon, Paul Biya is a man that commands respect, even reverence: the 83-year-old has been president of the West African country for more than three decades. But when photos emerged in December of the country’s Sports Minister, Pierre Ismael Bidoung Mkpatt, greeting Biya, many Cameroonians decided he had gone too far. Bidoung’s deep bow and the significant distance he maintained from the president were the butt of many jokes...

#AfricaDecides

Not a specific hashtag, but rather the template for many Africans when election time comes round: #UgandaDecides trended in February (despite a government-imposed partial social media shutdown), while #GhanaDecides was popular in December. Such hashtags bear witness to just how politically engaged African social media users are. An April report by U.K.-based communications firm Portland, which analyzed 1.6 billion geolocated tweets, found that one in 10 of the most popular African hashtags related to political matters, compared to just 2 percent of hashtags in the United States and United Kingdom.

In some cases, the #AfricaDecides template was tweaked, notably in Gambia, where President Yahya Jammeh performed a dramatic U-turn by rejecting his election defeat, despite initially accepting the result. Gambians shared the hashtag #GambiaDecided en masse to remind Jammeh that the country had spoken and, after 22 years in power, it was time for him to move on.

#BuyNaijaToGrowTheNaira

2016 has been a tough year for Nigeria’s economy. Hit by the global fall in commodity prices and an insurgency in the Niger Delta which slashed the country’s precious oil production by hundreds of thousands of barrels per day, Africa’s most populous country slipped into recession in August. The value of the Nigerian currency, the naira, has also been a bit of a rollercoaster: the naira’s value was pegged at 197 to one U.S. dollar for 16 months before the country’s central bank allowed the currency to float freely in June, sending its value soaring. Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari recently announced a 2.36 trillion naira ($7.75 billion) budget aimed at tackling the recession.

In May, Nigeria recorded its first trade deficit (when imports outweigh exports) in seven years, recording a negative balance of 184.1 billion naira ($925 million). Many Nigerians rallied on social media—some motivated by Nigerian businessman and politician Ben Murray-Bruce—in a bid to make Nigerian, or Naija, products more attractive to consumers.

Author:  CONOR GAFFEY

Source:  http://europe.newsweek.com/five-social-media-crazes-swept-africa-2016-534342?rm=eu

Categorized in Social

Do you think 2017 will be the year of video? Again? If so, you’re in good company.

In fact, if I were forced to TLDR this post, the big social media trends for 2017 could be boiled down to this:

  1. Video (live, recorded, and 360-degree)
  2. Influencer marketing
  3. Bots

But there is much more you can and should do in 2017 to be successful on the top social media platforms.

One of those things mentioned by a few of our experts may seem a bit obvious, but it could be the most crucial: you must understand your audience!

Tactics are great. Understanding all the big social networks where people hang out is also great. Data is also super important.

But really, if you want to drive more engagement and ROI from social media, you need to know – and be responsive to – your customers. Maybe this isn’t so much a trend as a proven principle of good old-fashioned marketing, but it’s especially in social media: make it personal! Put a little more humanity in your 2017 social media strategy.

Here’s what 26 of the top marketing experts say will be the biggest trends in social media in 2017 – and beyond.

We’ve gathered insights from these social media pros:


 

Heidi Besik, Group Product Marketing Manager, Adobe

 

Heidi Besik

 

The biggest trends in social media in 2017:

Video

In 2016, the biggest takeaway from the success of video is that platforms like Facebook are beginning to challenge traditional media for ad dollars. What we used to know as big television events are now consumed through snackable clips.

Next year, the continued importance and consumer appetite for video will drive further refinement. Social media platforms will introduce easier ways for users to access video, as well as better tools for creators.

At the same time, we will see brand advertisers begin talking about platforms like Twitter and Facebook as a new form of television. And as consumers get increasingly more comfortable (and familliar) with video, we will see a shift in organic content where brands beginning building out dedicated video teams and putting together an infrastructure that decreases turnaround times and gets content out faster.

Measurement

Social networks have matured into some of the most targeted ad channels around. As a result, it’s put a bigger spotlight on justifying ROI.

Advertisers need robust data in the same way they have for existing channels like desktop Web and broadcast TV. This will be top of mind in the new year, as we see social networks work to deliver on comparable metrics and certain advertisers advocating for more third-party auditing.

We will also see more measurement conversations within organic content. Despite continued calls for the “death of organic content”, it will continue to occupy a big role in a brand’s communication strategy.

What we will see are social teams tapping into some of the analytics disciplines in other channels like desktop web – becoming much more diligent in measuring what works and adjusting in real-time. The practice overall will become increasingly more data-driven to drive ROI, as they compete with paid and earned.

Internal Collaboration

We are moving toward the year of integration for social media, where it impacts all stages of the customer journey and has become a standard, integral part of the marketing mix. Social strategists will need to better integrate with existing digital programs across web, ecommerce and mobile. As the roles of content marketing and social marketing become more intertwined, we’ve seen this need accelerate through 2016 and think it will continue to be an area of focus for marketers moving through 2017.

Customers expect brands to deliver a consistent, personalized experience across touch points. Yet most social marketers are still using up to 7 different, disconnected tools to manage social activities.

Disconnected data, content, workflows and teams are leading to poor customer experiences. Tool consolidation that facilitates integrated content, workflows and data will be critical to leveraging the power of social to drive better more consistent omnichannel digital experiences.


 

Kendall Bird, Associate Social Media Manager, Collegis Education

 

Kendall Bird

As we move into 2017, there are major trends that we are already seeing transpire within the social media space including live and recorded video that create immersive social media experiences and organic reach continuing to decline. The two trends go hand-in-hand as video is prioritized within organic social and is seen as an authentic way to connect with followers. With that said, social marketers continue to need to keep their head on a swivel and stay creative in their strategy plans.

Within the broader social media community we are seeing platforms such as Facebook, Snapchat, and Instagram moving toward live, real-time video. These platforms have products that enable marketers to connect with their followers in a completely different light than they are used to experiencing.

Video presents the opportunity to create more candid experiences for your followers. Social media users will continue to demand to live vicariously through social media content put out by brands and influencers. The question is how will you make genuine real-time experiences that make your followers feel as though they are there?

Several brands are already doing this right including Birchbox, Sweetgreen and Inspiralized. Each one of these brands showcases their products in an authentic, creative and interesting manner.

  • Birchbox‘s Facebook Live experience is one of my favorites to watch because they unbox their product (Birchbox, for those who don’t know, is a curated, monthly subscription box for men and women) and show what the product is and how to use it.
  • Sweetgreen (an East Coast fast-casual restaurant) is the most creative when it comes to Snapchat. Recently, one of their Stories, was introducing a Sweetgreen customer sharing their favorite salad bowl. They snapped the story from the lens of the customer and through the chef’s perspective with Snapchat Spectacles.
  • Inspiralized is one of my favorite food bloggers (small bias!), but Ali really does a wonderful job maintaining her social media accounts and really focuses in on what her followers are interested in and what the channels are about. Inspiralized uses Instagram Stories to focus more on the personal side of her life and business, whereas Snapchat is focused more on tutorials and product.

As you envision your social media strategies for 2017, be thoughtful about each platform and your followers. Why are they watching Facebook Live, Snapchat, and Instagram Stories? Are you differentiating your accounts to fit what your followers are interested in? Why are they following you?

Consider conducting an competitor analysis of what they are doing on these platforms products, focusing on what is successful for them and how you can better those efforts for the brands you are managing. Always remember, you are building a community – would you want to be part of it?


 

Lisa Buyer, Speaker, Author & Consultant, The Buyer Group

 

Lisa Buyer

 

In 2017 social media marketers and brands will be expected to do more in less time; short of performing social media miracles. I see the start of a new condition called Social Media Stress Syndrome.

Everyone is chasing the ROI and trying to stay on top of the constant change and introduction of new platforms, tactics and tools. Live video, Snapchat (aka Crackchat), the increasing complexities of Facebook and the unknowns behind augmented and virtual reality will be keeping social media marketers awake at night.

Prioritization

Brands will need to fine tune focus on the platforms that are most important to their audience and figure out how to make the most of them. Do an audit of best performers and eliminate the time suckers.

Better content

In 2017 content is no longer king. Social media marketers will need to step up the game and only the brands investing in talented journalistic style writers will survive.

Distributed Content Management Systems (DCMS)

Creating, reaching and publishing is going beyond WordPress with platforms such as RebelMouse introducing the first DCMS.

Creativity

With platforms such as CanvaAdobe Spark and Buffer’s Pablo, visuals are spoonfed to social media marketers. Brands will be expected to take canned visuals to the next level in 2017. Standing out in the newsfeed’s visual competition will require more than just using stock visuals.

AR/VR/MR/PR

Augmented reality (AR) virtual reality (VR) and mixed reality (MR) are the latest public relations (PR) buzzwords turning heads. Social media marketers will be faced with figuring out how to make sense of this new technology. Follow sources such as Cathy Hackl, Robert Scoble and VR Scout.

Productivity & Reporting

This is where the Social Media Stress Syndrome will come into play. Social media marketers will need to reinvent the meaning of productivity and fine tune the social media management aspects by investing in social media management dashboards with excellent reporting features such as Buffer, Hootsuite, Agorapulse, or Sprout Social.

Balance

In 2017, avoiding Social Media Stress Syndrome and maintaining digital work/life balance should be a priority in order to keep your sanity. Staying ahead of the social media marketing industry gets tougher each year and more complex.

In order to avoid being “taken down” by social media, marketers will need to find ways to reset and restore in order to stay fresh and creative without getting burned out. Apps such as Buddhify, integrating yoga into your weekly routine, and going offline for a walk at lunch are great ways begin finding balance in 2017. I’m writing my next book, “Digital Detox Secrets”, to help digital marketers find space for balance, opportunity, and productivity happiness.


 

Mel Carson, Founder, CEO & Principal Strategist, Delightful Communications

Mel Carson

Putting people first will be one of the trends we’ll see in social media in 2017.

Elections on both sides of the pond have proved that no matter how much data you have to suggest one outcome is imminent; unless you sit down with your target audience and ask them for their thoughts and opinions on whatever product or service you are trying to sell you might be barking up the wrong alley.

Also, our personal branding consulting business has tripled in the last 12 months which shows professionals increasingly see the benefit in having their wisdom and experience be more discoverable, shareable, and memorable across social networks, which is why I’ll be watching the Microsoft/LinkedIn integration with a keen eye!


 

Ashley Carlisle, Brand Relationship Strategist, Fractl

 

Ashley Carlisle

In 2016 we saw a huge surge in influencer marketing, which will no doubt continue into 2017 – but inevitably it will evolve as all trends do. The new year will see an increased emphasis on authenticity and transparency among influencers as they become more commonly integrated into social strategies.

Typically when we think of influencer marketing, we think of a product placement posted on a major celebrity’s Instagram account to hundreds of thousands (if not millions) of followers, but it goes beyond that. It can also include hashtag campaigns to encourage a genuine conversation among followers or account takeovers to help build a following. The latter examples, along with other creative, more organic ideas, will likely grow in popularity in 2017 as they emphasize authenticity and encourage engagement.

While the spotlight this year was primarily on pop culture celebrities promoting products falling into the discretionary consumer goods category (think apparel, beauty, alcohol, etc.), other brands will start looking into incorporating influencers in their 2017 social strategy.

As more research is becoming available to prove influencer marketing’s ROI, B2B and other types of B2C companies will likely join. These brands especially better work with powerful middle- and micro-influencers as they often have more influence over a more intimate, targeted audience – which also translates to more engagement.

As far as the networks themselves, Snapchat and Instagram were the networks of choice. While Snapchat has grown exponentially, Instagram will likely continue to take the lead when it comes to engagement into 2017, given its more diverse user base. Some even argue while Vine is officially dead, influencers could save Twitter with the help of livestreaming and Twitter Moments.

Even with the algorithm changes and crackdown on compliance with the FTC guidelines, influencers on social media will continue to prove their value into 2017.


 

Geoffrey Colon, Communications Designer, Microsoft

 

Geoffrey Colon

Two things for social media marketers to watch:

1. CRM

CRM via social has existed forever but now it’s a form of marketing. The better you do it, the better the word of mouth about your company, product, service spreads to others.

Reputation economics is only getting more influential on how people choose what company to use. Many companies have ignored this and as a result will pay a steep price in 2017 with either more customer churn or loss of potential new customers altogether.

2. Bots

Because of the volume of conversations that may exist in these channels, conversation bots are key.

The best companies will program and experiment with these in 2017 as they will only become more influential and allow companies who may have small staffs to handle mass quantities of inquiries through channels like Facebook Messenger, Twitter, and Skype.

 


 

Brent Csutoras, Founder & CEO, Pixel Road Designs

Brent Csutoras

If you look at the success of Pinterest, Snapchat, and Instagram, it’s clear there is a real shift in social media storytelling. It has been something optional for most businesses up until now, but I think in 2017 companies need to really give some serious thought and strategy to how they can incorporate more visual storytelling in their social media marketing plans.

Where possible, I also think it is going to be important for companies to start thinking about how they can incorporate beacon or location-based marketing efforts into their strategy as well. Virtually every app I’ve seen or been pitched this last year has had some beacon or location-based feature, so companies are going to have to start looking into incorporating this as well.

Over the past two years we’ve been building toward a significant shift in how we tell our stories through social media. In 2017 it’s time to get with the times and start embracing this shift – like now!

 


 

Melissa Fach, Social Community Manager, Pubcon

Melissa Fach

Customer service via social is huge already, but I believe it will grow in 2017. People prefer to do as much as possible via their phones, and we also know people go straight to their phones to complain about things on social media networks while they are on the go.

So, all businesses need to come up with more defined plans on how they are going to handle customer service issues via social media for 2017. Not handling complaints the right way, quickly, can result in terrible PR for any company. For example:

comcastcares unhappy customers

Some things to cover:

  • Availability hours & response times: Facebook is already giving badges for good response times and both Facebook and Twitter allow you to set availability hours & auto-respond to messages. I recommend all businesses learn about the customer service options available on both Twitter and Facebook.
  • Staff: Choosing staff is critical. Who has the temperament/self-control to handle potential and current customers the right way? Say the wrong thing and you will end up on the news.
  • Create protocols for all situations: Support, Q&A, Requests, Billing, Complaints, User Error, Crisis Management and Trolls.
  • Education: Make upper level management understand how critical social media customer service is and why resources and money are needed.

Another thing that will grow via social in 2017, video – every major social media network has focused on enhancing video options. Businesses of all sizes need to find creative ways to utilize video and to reach their targeted audiences.

Boring video just will not do. I am sure that we are going to be overrun with video, as we have been with content, soon enough. To stand out and be remembered businesses will need to go the extra mile.


 

Nikki Fica, Founder & CEO, Social Media Facelift

 

Nikki Fica

Smart brands and businesses should focus on the power of influencer marketing in 2017 for great social media success. They shouldunderstand what makes an influencer in their niche and take micro influencers into consideration.

Brands and businesses should also explore more live video options. With the rollout of Instagram’s live videos at the end of 2016 and Twitter’s livestreaming without Periscope, platforms are looking for you to share your authenticity on their platform. Show your “why” and make people fall in love with not only your product, but the brand and who is behind the brand itself.

As an avid “Shark Tank” viewer, the backstory of the entrepreneur is often reflected during the episode; where they came from, what their passions are, etc. Things that others can relate to. If a brand on social media plays a similar role and can relate to the consumer (the use of livestreaming can help tremendously), it may influence stronger.

Consumers may be more likely to purchase over a bland brand with a similar product who only talks about the product itself. Humanize your brand in 2017!


 Kat Haselkorn, Director of Content, Go Fish Digital

 

Kat Haselkorn

Measure everything. In social, it can sometimes be tricky to keep track of what works and what doesn’t across multiple platforms, but when you can show changes over time, that’s when you have something that plays into a more holistic marketing strategy.

One of the biggest complaints I’ve heard from business owners about Snapchat is the lack of metrics the platform offers its users. Their feeling is, If I’m investing all this time and energy into creating content, putting together stories, and building a following, I need to be able to prove its worth. That’s a totally fair criticism of the app.

Luckily, there have been whispers that Snapchat is unveiling more detailed reporting over the coming months and other platforms (and social media management tools like Sprout Social) seem to be headed down that path as well.

The more time you spend tracking and evaluating posts, the better your social presence will be. I can’t stress it enough: Don’t just throw something out there and see what sticks. Measure everything and use the data to adjust your social media strategy accordingly.


 Kelsey Jones, Executive Editor, Search Engine Journal

 

Kelsey Jones

Here are three social media trends you need to know in 2017:

Live Video

With the introduction of live video for Instagram, and the continuation of Facebook’s preference for live video in the newsfeed, businesses should continue to develop live video strategies and consider how it can tie into their existing marketing efforts. What events, learning opportunities, or internal team happenings are going on in the new year that could be translated into live video?

360-Degree Photos & Videos

Mark my words: this is going to blow up, due to Facebook’s acceptance of it and VR headsets. Soon you are going to be seeing brands and people posting tons of 360-degree media. Take advantage of it now by buying yourself a $100-200 camera that shoots these types of images (this is the one I have*) and beat your competitors to the punch.

Take Advantage of Your Data

I’m always amazed at the data we have at our fingertips when it comes to Google Analytics and Facebook Insights, as well as Twitter analytics. Instead of glancing over it each month to see how many new likes your pages or profiles got, really buckle down and look at what types and topics of posts do best. Dedicate yourself to taking more action based on data, and your social media presence will only continue to grow.

*Disclosure: This is an SEJ affiliate link


 Jordan Kasteler, Marketing Consultant & Entrepreneur

 

Jordan Kasteler

2017 is sure to bring about many new social media trends. There may even be new, hot social networks that spring up and give currently dominate social networks a run for their money.

However, before getting involved with any new trend or site be sure that it’s a right fit for your audience. If not, you may be wasting your time drawing people toward you that aren’t interested in your product or service.

As for big trends to focus on, here are four:

Ephemeral Social Media

In other words, Instagram and Snapchat Stories are content that disappears within a limited amount of time. As this is the new rage, it keeps people coming back to these social networks to view daily content before it disappears. Use ephermal social media wisely but posting timely content, gifts for your audience, contests, show behind the scenes, etc.

Live Video

This is another trend social networks are allowing users to take advantage of. Instagram now has a live video option. This is another opportunity to take your users behind the scenes and provide real-time content.

Paid Social

More social networks are moving toward a pay-to-play landscape. As organic reach declines, it’s more important to pay for visibility. Social networks will continue to grow their abilities for businesses to narrowly target their users by demographic, psychographic, and technographics.

Mobile

With social traffic referring from mobile over desktop, it’s important that your content is speedy and provides a good user-experience on a smartphone with 4G bandwidth.


 Katy Katz, Senior Consultant, SmartBug Media

 

Katy Katz

Social media platforms are continually searching for ways to artificially reproduce the sentiments of real human interaction within a platform that is inherently non-human. This is why images are more popular than text, videos are more effective than stills, and live video is starting to gain traction.

This race to replicate human contact is only going to continue in 2017 and beyond; especially as 360 technology and virtual reality start to penetrate the market more deeply.

Brands should be thinking about ways to increase consumer access to that human factor – through strategic campaigns as well as organic interactions. That will be the best way for companies to improve their social performance in 2017.


 Jabez LeBret, CMO, GNGF

 

Jabez LeBret

We are about to see a move towards live video for brands. This will take two main forms including brand events and non-brand sponsored content.

For non-brand sponsored events the customer will become the promoter and producer. This user-generated content will be scary for many brands.

Years ago I wrote an article on Forbes comparing brand marketing to an API. Regardless of if brands are interested in letting the customer market the brand, they do not have a choice.

This means companies should be more proactive in engaging users to submit content. Instead of fighting the trend, get ahead of issues by facilitating the messaging and delivery. This will require companies to become proficient at creating live video content.

It would be wise to test various methods of encouraging your customers to create content on behalf of your brand. We are entering a new era of social media marketing and it is both scary yet exciting at the same time!


 Debbie Miller, President, Social Hospitality

 

Debbie Miller

Social video will continue to be a key trend in 2017. Between Snapchat, Instagram Stories, and Facebook Video, the options are becoming more vast and are constantly evolving.

It will be critical for brands to formulate how to best optimize their video strategy for maximum impact. It’s easy to get bogged down in scheduling written copy and photos, but video is a field that should be given more time and consideration moving forward.

With the rise in video comes the lure of real-time content. Both Instagram and Facebook are leveraging their live streaming components and businesses are able to connect with their audiences in unprecedented ways as a result. Businesses should consider the best routes for optimizing live video content, whether it be interviews, behind-the-scenes tours, exclusive announcements, etc.

One important thing to remember is that the social media world is constantly evolving, and the pace seems to be constantly becoming more rapid. It’s important to stay on top of current trends and changes so that you’re not left behind. It’ll be beneficial for companies to adopt more training and development of their teams to ensure comfortability in the space across your organization.


 

Merry Morud, Senior Creative Strategist, aimClear

 

Merry Morud

 

No longer will social marketers be considered the scrappy rebel force, existing on the fringe of marketing and pointing to false idol metrics. Social media marketers must integrate into the greater multi-touch nurture marketing ecosystem – digital and otherwise – to not only survive but become an undeniable force in 2017.

And BTW, it’s social’s job to integrate, not everyone else’s, for the greater marketing good.

Social marketers will be responsible for making money in a multi-touch environment. One or two-touch conversions in any channel are a finite asset after that brands need to (still) nurture with content.

Social will become a more powerful ROI-positive machine as marketers tap even more consumers further down the funnel with lookalike modeling and clean up retargeting rebounds from other performance marketers by layering on psychographic filters and promoting content that solves problems, demystifies, answers questions, explains benefits, empowers users and removes barriers to purchase.

Filtered performance retargeting has the potential to radically redefine how higher level marketers view social. So social marketers seeking to stay relevant should take heed.

If you didn’t notice, 2016 has been a wake-up call for, well, just about everyone as it peeled back the veil on just how insidious social, “news,” and search truly are. Social drives news. News drives search. And perception is reality. Social propagation is that which can create or cause cultural shifts and the goal of branding is a cultural shift.


 Rebecca Murtagh, Founder & Chief Strategist, Karner Blue Marketing

 

Rebecca Murtagh

In 2017, the race for social media fans, followers, likes, etc. will be overshadowed by a paradigm shift toward relationship cultivation. And, in case you haven’t noticed, this shift has already begun in a big way.

Relationships are the future of social media. Here are five reasons why:

1. Aggregation is So 2016

In 2017 In-tune marketers will shift the focus of social media from vanity metrics (followers, fans, likes, etc.) to relationships. The longer the relationship, the greater the return on investment, and lower cost of acquisition. The follower, fan or connection that has never been touched by the brand has zero value.

As attractive as it may be to report growth of the audience, sustainability of the brand will be determined by revenue. Winning hearts and minds is more important than ever to brands seeking to cultivate leads, customers, and champions. And, it will take a lot more than personalized website pages and emails.

2. Social Media Offers So Much More Than Mass Media

To make social media manageable, marketers have largely reduced social media into a new form of mass media. Broadcasting messaging without leveraging the social aspect of the channel leaves most of the unique potential of social platforms untapped.

Audience aggregation merely reflects the first introduction, a handshake if you will. Today’s consumer wants to do business with brands they trust. Trust has been redefined from just offering a quality product or service, to meeting the expectations of audiences in a transparent, ethical manner.

This is especially true with millennials, who will be between the ages of 20-37 years old in 2017. The good news is that millennials are willing to reward brands they trust.

Millennials are seven times more likely to give personal information to a trusted brand. In fact, 46 percent of surveyed millennials said they would share personal data if in exchange they received a more consistent, relevant, personalized experience, complemented by free perks, discounts and better customer service, across all platforms.

3. It’s a New Era

Millennials have, and will continue to, yield tremendous influence over consumer and B2B purchases. No longer youngsters, millennials will not only make purchase decisions differently than previous generations, as a “digital-first” generation, they will influence the decisions of Gen Y and Baby Boomers for years to come.

Millennials expect reciprocity; a two-way, mutual relationship with companies and their brands, and they consider a brand’s social, environmental or philanthropic efforts when making purchase decisions.

4. Social is Part of the Omnichannel Experience

More than 85 percent of millennials and 75 percent of baby boomers are ready for omnichannel interactions. Brands may not fully understand how broad this expectation is.

Omnichannel is often referred to as seamless integration between on and offline customer experiences. We have seen studies and surveys over the years reveal how consumers use multiple devices, across multiple channels, and across media channels for news, social interaction, job searches, shopping, and solutions for work, business and life.

The social experience is as important as the in-store, face-to-face, or website interaction with the brand. In addition to seek a “a hassle free, omnichannel, client experience personalized to their needs”, according to an IBM report.

Engagement requires much more effort than merely broadcasting to the masses. This is a tough pill for many brands to swallow.

Many have not kept up with the expectations of their audiences. And, in doing so, these brands have essentially begun the spiral into self-imposed obsolescence and extinction.

5. Tribes, Community & Crowds

There is untapped potential inherent to social media that can help brands connect with member of the audience, while connecting audiences to one another.

People don’t want to just do business with a business. They want to be connected with the people behind the business, and they want know how the business interacts with customers like them.

This is why review websites, social sharing of content, crowdfunding, etc. have been so effective. The power of tribes, community, and crowds have only begun to realize their potential.

The next generation of social media will promote greater access and transparency between brands and their fans, creating the sense of belonging and community the next generation craves.

Brands that embrace this new normal and invest in building relationships will be the winners in 2017.


 

Maddy Osman, SEO Copywriter & Founder, The Blogsmith

 

Maddy Osman

Here are two big social media marketing trends for 2017:

1. Instagram

Instagram will become a major player of the top social networks, thanks in part to tactics that effectively take a direct attack on Snapchat (like Instagram’s own “Stories”). Once their new Shopping feature is released to all brands, more clickable links will mean more conversions for retailers.

Facebook owns Instagram, so that means the Instagram ad platform will continue to evolve in the right direction. In my opinion, Instagram’s ad platform has yet to peak (in terms of saturation), and there are still plenty of opportunities for brands to stand out and accomplish specific goals.

2. Video

Video will continue to be important in 2017, but brands will need to keep innovating in the way it’s presented. You still don’t necessarily need high production tactics to be effective, but you should experiment with new technologies, like 360 Video.

Make sure to keep in mind the role sound plays, or doesn’t play in many cases. Many people watch video without sound, so make sure captions are enabled, and that you include the video’s title in the first frames of the video.


 

Erik Qualman, Bestselling Author & Motivational Speaker

 

Erik Qualman

 

Video killed the social media photo. While it seems obvious, the obvious isn’t always easy to execute.

2017 is the year that social goes truly video. Brands will need to invest in both beautifully produced video as well as more organic video adaptations.

There will be a window of time where quality video will be able to help separate your business/brand. However, that window will shrink as advances in technology make artistic video common place.


 

Michelle Stinson Ross, VP of Marketing & Client Relations, K’nechtology

 

Michelle Stinson Ross

Two trends and one time-tested principle. First for the trends.

Live Video

As each year goes by more options on more devices lead to a lot of noise. What can brands big and small do to cut through that noise?

Video has always been key, especially for reaching an audience on mobile devices. Live video broadcasting on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube are indicators that authentic interactive moments are here to stay.

Live video gives small brands an option to level the playing field without having to spend big production budgets. Live interactions also give brands a chance to test video content with instant and real feedback from their established communities.

But with live video broadcasting comes the necessity to have a quality brand spokesperson. That spokesperson must be able to talk both fluidly and fluently about the brand and it’s products/services. That spokesperson also needs to be someone who is relevant and relatable to a brand’s potential customers.

Yeah, you’re CEO may not be the best choice here. Save them to be interviewed by the spokesperson as a subject matter expert instead.

Influencer Marketing

Another way to cut through the noise in social media is to partner with influential users. It’s important to put just as much commitment to time an energy cultivating influencers (movers and shakers) as it is your customer base.

Getting the attention of someone that’s never heard of your brand before gets more and more difficult every year. Securing influential advocates to share is critical to that top of funnel awareness.

But don’t count on your free samples to be enough to entice influencers to shout your praises. You are going to have to market the value of a business partnership to them just like you are marketing your product/service to your customers.

A Time-Tested Principle

Make marketing a priority and not an afterthought. One of the issues we see consistently with new clients is the dawning realization that they need marketing.

Too many startups focus every resource on developing their ideas without considering how they are going to attract investors and customers. Struggling businesses tend to cut marketing budgets first.

The businesses large and small that move marketing up the priority list from luxury to necessity will always come out ahead of those that don’t. Just because there are a lot of self-serve DIY marketing options available doesn’t mean that brand’s can skimp on marketing budgets. If anything, it requires more time and attention to resources, personnel and media spend.

Commit to marketing and know when to hire, either in-house or a consultant/agency.


 

Jes Stiles, CMO Emerging Markets, Ringier AG

Jes Stiles

Building your own chatbot to distribute your content (ideally for Facebook Messenger). Why?

Traditional social media is fraught by algorithms and ads. More and more, we see not only millennials, but now also the other generations, moving away from broadcasting focused social media posting and towards narrowcasting in smaller message groups or 1-1.

A messenger bot can allow you to have personalized 1-1 conversations at scale, opening up a whole new audience who does not wish to connect with brand over email or download an app. Moreover, when built in a user-friendly manner, chatbots can actually provide a better experience than a human for common use cases with faster response times (no matter what time or day of the week) and greater personalization of content.

For examples of good bots in action, check out TechCrunch or eBay Messenger bots.


 

Bas van den Beld, Digital Marketing Consultant, Speaker & Trainer

 

Bas van den Beld

With the “fake news” discussion in 2016, the overflowing amount of posts on social media and the changing algorithms, things are about to change in 2017.

What is bound to happen is a trend in which brands and businesses have to “prove” they are legit. That they know what they are talking about and that they (will) do a good job.

This means more focus on helping clients and consumers. Customer service through social media will be more important than ever. If there is any trend businesses should focus on, it’s getting their business ready for that.


 

Ashley Ward, Director of Marketing, Madhouse Matters

Ashley Ward

Video. Video has already taken over social media in 2016 and has helped social media pages increase their engagement, conversions, and exposure for brands. In 2017, I predict an even larger increase in video posts from brands and businesses.

I’m not just talking about Facebook and Instagram, either. Facebook Live is helping brands create more organic videos and less production-heavy, which has been enjoyable for users.

But, Snapchat and Instagram Stories are great resources to show customers an “insider’s view”, give product demonstrations, and tours through video. You can then reuse this video content on other social media channels like Twitter and LinkedIn.

Unlike images, which one single image shouldn’t be used multiple times due to image fatigue, one video can be clipped into multiple 5-, 30-, and 60-second clips and then shared on different social media outlets to provide followers with unique content.

If you haven’t already started thinking about adding more video content in 2017, start now.


 

Tessa Wegert, Freelance Journalist & Branded Content Developer

Tessa Wegert

 

The single biggest social media trend coming our way has got to be live streaming video. We’ve seen the live video market grow with Meerkat and Periscope, but now that Facebook is putting all its weight behind Facebook Live

Consumers are becoming more accustomed to seeing – and seeking – live video content. Brands can continue to push the boundaries and provide exciting live experiences for their customers and fans.

With live video, companies can take consumers behind the scenes in real-time, and consumers dig that kind of authenticity. I think we’re going to see some pushback against all of those staged, polished, and over-filtered Instagram posts brands have been investing in as consumers become disenchanted with social media marketing that feels as forced as the TV commercials and print ads of yesterday.

Live video is the cure for synthetic content, and brands that embrace the opportunity to take consumers inside their factories and test kitchens, to their photo shoots and runway shows, and backstage at the concerts and events they’ve been sponsoring for years will be rewarded with increased loyalty and affinity.


 

Dennis Yu, Chief Technology Officer, BlitzMetrics

Dennis Yu

Instead of trying to crank out endless content to distribute on a growing number of channels– a challenge for the modern day Sisyphus– get your customers to do the work for you. Here’s how to specifically do this, even if you have a tiny team and tiny budget.

1. Can I quote you on that?

Say this to anyone who has something nice to say about you – especially if on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, or other sites. But often, these comments are coming through in direct mail, in store, at conferences, or when your customers are getting serviced. When you ask this question, they almost always say YES.

2. Place that quote in a spreadsheet.

Have columns for who said it, the category of customer, the type of comment (value, great quality, great service – however you bucket pain points), source, headshot of the person, and permission flag.

3. Make a Facebook organic post.

Do multiple images in a carousel and boost to lookalike audiences or custom audiences, depending on what stage in the funnel. The key is to have 10-15 of these posts. Test carousel versus not. You may find that video performs best, in carousel or not, as video view objective or for website clicks. Test it.

To go further in how to boost Facebook posts, see Digital Marketer’s most popular podcast episode of all time here.


 

Ashley Zeckman, Director of Agency Marketing, TopRank Marketing

 

Ashley Zeckman

Many brands today (even some of the best ones) are still struggling with one key element that leads to social media marketing success: understanding the people that they want to interact with.

In 2017, I think that smart brands will shift their focus from pushing messages out, to personalizing communications for a more meaningful interaction. That means it will be less about the on-page interactions and more about personal exchanges with prospects, customers, and influencers.

The rise of influencer marketing will make this shift even more imperative for brands that want to get on the radar of busy experts. There are a variety of tools that exist today, and many that I’m sure will be developed in the coming years that provide helpful insights into the habits and minds of your social media audience.

It’s our job as marketers to use that data to create a more inclusive, one-to-one experience in an environment that everyone is engaged with; social media platforms.


 

OK – the experts have spoken. Your turn! What do you think will be the biggest social media trends in 2017?

Author:  Danny Goodwin

Source:  https://www.searchenginejournal.com/social-media-trends-2017/181768

Categorized in Future Trends

Counterfeit goods being sold by traders using Facebook and Instagram have been seized during a series of raids.

Thousands of items including dangerous cosmetics, electrical products and chargers were seized.

Counterfeit footwear, leather goods and tobacco were also found in various raids across the UK.

The operation, led by the Trading Standards e-crime team, targeted markets where the suppliers of these traders were thought to operate.

The raids were the result of intelligence work including information recovered from mobile phones and satellite navigation systems found during previous raids.

Officers seize counterfeit goodsImage copyrightTRADING STANDARDS

"When criminals infiltrate and undermine social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram consumers are put at risk of injury and harm," said Graham Mogg, who chairs the Anti-Counterfeiting Group.

"Targeting the wholesale suppliers at markets and retail premises, as well as the traders operating on social media, has removed tens of thousands of unsafe and other counterfeit goods from the market place."

Details were released on the same day as Christmas shoppers were warned to check their presents after a raft of fake goods were seized on their way into the UK.

More than 83,000 items were confiscated by the Border Force at airports in one operation over six days in December.

Source: This article was published on bbc.com by Kevin Peachey

Categorized in Social

In his predictions for 2017, John Kennedy forecasts how blockchain will be about more than money, IT will move to the clouds and bots will become humanity’s new best friends.

Predicting the future in tech is never an easy business, mainly because tech companies are, by nature, secretive and like to have the last word. Any time I predict what Apple is up to, for example, I always end on the line: “But only Apple really knows.” Because that is simply the truth.

But no one could have foreseen the events of 2016. We witnessed the election of Donald Trump to the US presidency, the loss of so many stars who wrote the soundtracks to our lives, the tragic killings in Nice and the bloody endgame in Aleppo, which will always be a shame for the world to remember.

Predictions for 2017 build on a crazy 2016

In tech, it was business as usual with very few real surprises; except maybe for Apple killing off the headphone jack in its iPhones; fake news infecting Facebook and allegedly influencing the US elections; Putin’s government hacking America; exploding Samsung Galaxy Note7s; hacking getting out of control, especially with ransomware and leaks to Wikileaks; Apple taking on the FBI; no one wanting to buy Twitter; Vine dying on the leaf; and mega acquisitions, such as Facebook buying LinkedIn and Verizon buying Yahoo. It all sounds like a rousing verse from R.E.M.’s It’s the End of the World as We Know It…

On the home front in Ireland, the biggest news was the European Commission lobbying a €13bn tax levy against Apple to the chagrin of the latter and the Irish Government; Britain’s decision to Brexit the EU; the stalling and stalling of the National Broadband Plan; and of course, mega acquisitions such as Verizon’s decision to buy Fleetmatics for $2.4bn and Intel’s acquisition of Movidius for an alleged sum $300m.

So, dear reader, what will 2017 hold for us through the tech lens?

Blockchain will be about more than just payments

If there was one breakthrough technology of 2016, it had to be blockchain: the enabling smart ledger technology that was fundamental to the rise of cryptocurrencies like bitcoin and a whole slew of new fintech start-ups and platforms.

But more and more experts are coming to the conclusion that blockchain technology could be very useful in ways that go beyond fintech or cryptocurrencies.

The ingenious automated technology could end up being an enabling force for a panoply of platforms and uses, such as network and systems management. The key is the digital trail of crumbs: blockchain technology – which underpins emerging digital, virtual or cryptocurrencies – consists of blocks that hold timestamped batches of recent valid transactions, which form a chain with each block reinforcing those preceding it.

Pay close attention to an interview I did with Seamus Cushley, PwC’s expert on blockchain who runs the company’s blockchain lab in Belfast. Cushley indicated that in the last nine months of 2016, some $1.4bn of investment went into blockchain start-ups.

According to Cushley, blockchain is being investigated not only as a way to enable the viable exchange of contracts for value in everything from FX trading to property acquisitions and more, it foretells the future structure of the internet as we know it.

The future of work

If, like me, you witnessed the onset of the internet being heralded as a revolution in how we work, leading to all kinds of newfangled ways of working, such as teleworking, e-working or nearshoring… you were had. Our lives were meant to get easier, there would be more quality time with loved ones, more time to be creative… wrong.

The digital world has created a noose that means people are working longer hours. Countries like France have even passed laws preventing employers from emailing workers after certain hours.

As skills shortages rise, stress levels soar and entrepreneurship becomes more appealing to talented young executives eager to break free of the rat race, employers will be forced to reassess how they conduct relationships with workers. How do they retain talent, get the best out of enthusiastic people and ensure health levels are optimal?

‘What is the future of work?’ is a question that employers and employees alike will obsess over in 2017 and beyond. Creative companies that value human capital will examine new ways of working, pilot intrapreneurship endeavours to help sate the entrepreneurial wanderings of top talent, vent creative frustrations and ultimately find the key to a quality work/life balance.

The old mantra that work should not just be a place to go, but somewhere you actually enjoy going to, might be dusted off and given a new shine.

Time will tell, however, if questions of the future of work will be a meaningful cause or just more management consulting navel-gazing.

Fintech goes mainstream

In parallel with the arrival in Ireland of mobile wallet services like Android Pay (recently) and Apple Pay (eventually), smartphone-toting consumers are going to embrace fintech apps as a cleverer way of managing their money.

Think of these apps as the Swiss Army knives of finance.

Companies like Dublin and London-based Circle – which enables users to instantaneously transfer funds to friends and family via the app or by text message on the iPhone, using blockchain as a core enabler and Barclays as a licensed service provider – are at the forefront of this trend.

Rather than displacing banks as some had feared, this signals a gradual move by banks to employ fintech apps on the front line as an easier and more cost-effective way to deal with consumers, while enabling them to focus on more productive, higher value work as branches become fewer.

Expect banks to employ programmes to franchise fintech apps or initiate outright acquisitions in 2017.

Machine learning becomes a discipline and no longer confused with AI

For too long, artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning have been lumped into the same conversation. That is going to change in 2017, as a broader understanding of what AI is all about pervades the tech industry.

Machine learning is remembering and AI is thinking, remembering, deciding and acting.

Quite simply, machine learning in apps and internet services is all about improving as time goes on, learning and assimilating users’ tastes and preferences – for example, for airline travel or hotels.

AI, on the other hand, powers the bots that have conversations with the users and employs machine learning as one powerful subset of a myriad of capabilities.

Start-ups and established tech players that use machine learning, which I have met on the trail from Amsterdam to Lisbon in the past year, are quite clear that it is not to be confused with full AI.

Beautiful Bots

Humankind’s friendship with bots – or automated artificial agents – will be cemented in 2017.

Facebook is currently leading the charge, creating experiences where already it is hard to decipher whether you are talking to a human or a machine.

This portends major changes for the future of customer relationship management, which no doubt Microsoft, Salesforce and fast-growing companies like Intercom are watching very closely.

Could bots be mankind’s next best friend?

Tech leaders will be the new business leaders

The digital economy is the economy. Across the world in 2016, thousands of traditional businesses went to sleep one night and awoke the next day as data businesses.

The trend will continue in 2017, as the internet, smartphone apps or other digital filters become the aperture through which consumers increasingly transact.

You are seeing this on retail floors of stores like River Island, where consumers can shop online and collect in-store, on flights with Ryanair where the digital experience continues long after you check in or check out, and the disruption that players like Airbnb and Uber are causing traditional industries like hospitality and transport, respectively.

This is signalling a major transformation in how companies deal with their customers and view their data. According to IDC, 50pc of the Global 2000 companies will be depending on digital products, services and experiences to connect with customers.

By 2021, it is forecast that a third of CEOs and COOs of Global 2000 companies will have spent at least five years in a tech leadership role.

Cloud will reign eternal

From being a mere concept in 2008 to today, where most consumers and executives rely on the cloud consistently – from Facebook and WhatsApp to Dropbox and Office 365 – cloud computing is increasingly becoming the nerve centre of IT infrastructure.

Ireland saw major data centre investments and acquisitions in 2016, from Apple building an €850m data centre in Athenry, Co Galway, to Facebook building a massive data centre in Clonee, Co Meath. Combine this with Equinix buying Telecity and its raft of data centres in and around Dublin, and it’s clear that Ireland is in the eye of the data storm.

This isn’t just about social media or e-commerce; the reality is that more and more IT infrastructure, which used to exist on premises in companies, will have moved to the cloud.

IDC predicts that by 2020, 67pc of enterprise IT infrastructure and software will be in the cloud.

By 2018, 60pc of IT will be done off premises and not only that, but 43pc will be processed at the edge by 2019.

In a nutshell, cloud won’t be an Amazonian concept (sorry AWS) but rather, a fully fledged reality that is 100pc trusted by users.

The fourth platform

As cloud’s roots grow deeper, the idea of computing as a thing that sits on our desk or in our hands will dissipate. Even as more and more of the world’s population join the mobile revolution, the golden era of the smartphone is coming to a close. That doesn’t mean the smartphone is going away any time soon, but it will become the lynchpin of a slew of new computing experiences that will draw our eyes elsewhere.

Big data, internet of things, virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR), 3D printing, robotics, next-generation security, blockchain – all of these technologies will happen around us, with data being the fabric and the smartphone being the connecting device.

In other words, computing experiences will be occur without relying on a primary screen as the conduit. This is the fourth platform.

The mainstreaming of AR and VR

VR and AR have been slowly entering the fray. 2016 was a significant year that finally saw Microsoft take the wraps off HoloLens, as well as Oculus Rift arriving, along with a slew of competing devices from HTC, Samsung and Sony.

VR has been a kind of revolution and it hasn’t. The high-end experiences promised by Oculus and Microsoft are still hampered by computing power.

At the lower end, smartphone-based VR experiences from HTC and Samsung – and let’s not forget Google’s Cardboard and similar products which can be found in any supermarket or toy store – are still gimicky.

Keep your eyes and ears (no pun intended) open for what Google intends to do with its Daydream headset, which portends a merging of the VR and AR worlds, so the headset can also overlay virtual reality experiences onto the physical world before us. In a sense, this could be the future of the recently shelved Google Glass or the newly launched Snap Spectacles.

Expect the games and experiences to become more intelligent and textured. Keep an eye on what Irish firm Immersive VR Education – creators of Apollo and Titanic virtual experiences – has planned in the year ahead, as VR and AR move from novel to to natural.

Smart things and voice

Like I said, smartphones will occupy less of the stage and give way to smarter things. 2016 saw Amazon up its game with Echo, its voice-based e-commerce service, as well as its Dash buttons, which order consumables like washing powder or nappies in just one touch.

Google will be no slouch in 2017, having already revealed its Google Home speech-based product at I/O earlier this year.

This is Google’s fourth platform play and the company is closely shadowing, if not exceeding, rivals like Apple on the payments front.

2017 will see a kind of arms race, where players like Amazon and Google will endeavour to become the partner of choice for a whole range of internet of things (IoT) players who see e-commerce as a potent ingredient in their smart things.

Facebook acceleration, Oculus telepresence and Slack rivalry

Rather than being email killers (if only), most workers are up to their tonsils in additional tools and things to keep an eye on; like Slack, Trello, Wrike, and other digital platforms aimed at simplifying workflow.

Others giants like Microsoft (Teams) and Facebook (Workplace) added to the cacophony in 2016.

It is high time that someone decided to dominate this space for once and for all with tools that eradicate the need for all the others.

There is a golden opportunity for Microsoft to do more to bring Skype and Teams together, or for Facebook to finally reveal its telepresence vision for the future of work with Oculus and Workplace.

Keep an eye on other dark horses like Cork-based Teamwork or Salesforce (which almost bought Twitter). They may do something to finally get rid of the screen noise and clutter (sorry, Microsoft) that is the reality of the modern-day worker.

The iPhone hits 10, Apple revs up for its newest phase

It is hard to believe that it is nearly 10 years since Steve Jobs took to the stage at Apple World in 2006 and said “One more thing …”

That one more thing was the iPhone and, having gone through more than seven different phases of the device, Apple will no doubt do something to celebrate the iPhone at 10.

Considering the phone’s form factor has remained mostly the same for the last three generations, I expect Apple to reveal a wholly new design to the iPhone to signal its next phase. As I said, only Apple really knows what this form factor will look like, but expect the design to inform all future phone designs from rivals in the Android camp. I mean, why break with tradition?

Another next phase for Apple, however, may see the company finally break its silence on what it intends to do with cars.

Apple is revving up to be a big noise in the IoT and healthcare spaces, but the idea of an Apple car is still igniting people’s imaginations.

Will Apple build a car or just a car OS? Given that Apple has so far dashed expectations on television hardware, the car idea is one that just won’t disappear.

Codenamed Project Titan and spearheaded by some of Apple’s top talent and roughly 1,000 workers, Apple may choose the timing of the 10th anniversary of the iPhone to shed some light on the future of the company for the next decade.

Will that involve four wheels? Definitely. But will it be an Apple car or OS? We’ll have to wait and see.

The Solar revolution

Given that Elon Musk’s master plan goes beyond cars and includes trucks, buses and homes, the attractive economies of scale of solar panels are hard to ignore.

Musk recently revealed his solar roof concept that would use tiles made of glass, which look like ordinary roof tiles, to power up homes.

This might not sound as crazy or unfeasible as you would think, when you consider that Scientific American recently said the average cost of solar models per watt dropped from $22 in 1980 to under $3 today.

It suggests that soon, an average solar tile per watt will be $1.75.

That makes 2017 a lynchpin year for a whole new revolution in solar energy.

But time will tell.

Author:  John Kennedy

Source:  https://www.siliconrepublic.com/companies/tech-predictions-2017

Categorized in Internet Privacy

A product marketing manager at your company just posted a photo on LinkedIn. The problem? In the background of the image, there’s a Post-It note that contains his network passwords. You can barely see it, but using artificial intelligence algorithms, hackers can scan for the publicly available image, determine there are network passwords, and use them for data theft.

According to data security expert David Maynor, this is not rocket science. In fact, the AI program is easier to use than a search engine. “The AI can identify objects in an image and the environment of the photo, guess at a description of the image contents as well as your likely age, gender, facial expression, and more,” says Maynor. “And these tools are becoming increasingly powerful with every image they scan, learning and becoming more accurate.”

While it might be easy to dismiss sites like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn as harmless diversions for employees, they reveal a wealth of actionable intel to a hacker.

James Maude, a senior security engineer at the endpoint security company Avecto, told CSO about another troubling development with social media hacks. Hackers can now scan a Twitter feed to find out information about an employee’s preferences and tastes. If that same marketing manager posts all day about his new iPhone 7, the hacker can then create a phishing scam that looks like a product announcement for an iPhone 7 case. Suddenly, the trick is more effective because the hacker knows there is an existing, verified interest.

“The increased targeting of social media and personal email bypasses many network defenses such as email scanning and URL filtering,” says Maude. “One of the most dangerous aspects is that the attacker is manipulating the victim by using employment offers or illicit content, ushering victims to not disclose the incident to their organization’s security team.”

Of course, part of the issue is that social media is an incredible large attack vector -- the largest ever created. Facebook has 1.79 billion users. Twitter has 317 million users. It’s becoming hard to find people who are not using social media in a business setting. Like moths to a flame, hackers know they can find gullible victims who release unusually sensitive data.

Easy hacking?

Social media hackers rely on age-old techniques as well, as security expert Mike Baukes -- the cofounder of IT automation company UpGuard -- explained to CSO. Because sites like Facebook are considered “consumer grade” by many users, employees don’t think as much about security, so they don’t bother with two-factor authentication (say, receiving an unlock code by text). And, employees grant access to countless third-party apps which may not be secure, either.

Baukes says this creates an easy target, especially as users forget which sites they’ve approved as capable of releasing information, posting on their behalf, and connecting to other services. A hacker might not be able to break into a Twitter account, but he or she might be more successful with a dashboard that stores your authentication data in a less secure portal.

Another simple attack is so common it’s likely already happened to many employees. A hacker uses the employee picture from a social media and sends a phishing message. Because you see your own photo, you naturally click. Joseph Carson, the head of Global Strategic Alliances at Thycotic, a secure account management company, says clicking on the email leads the user to a site where they grant access to their login (usually through a fake “password reset”).

What to do

Baukes was quick to point out that most of the top tier social media services like Facebook and Twitter offer two-factor authentication, so employees should be instructed on how to enable and use those features. Next to that, employees also need to be extremely careful about handing out the credentials to any third-party sites. It creates a security nightmare of shared logins.

Maynor says it is important to understand how hacked social media data is used. In the selfie scan example, advertisers might use extracted data such as location and gender for advertising purposes. Employees need to understand that social media information can reveal a treasure trove of data about a company that can be used by hackers for nefarious purposes.

Nathan Wenzler, the principal security architect at AsTech Consulting, says users should be instructed in how to watch for unusual changes to their social media activity. For example, if you normally use Facebook and the service never logs you out, then suddenly starts logging you out for no reason, it could be due to a compromise -- users need to report this change.

Neill Feather, the president of website security company SiteLock and a board member at the Online Trust Alliance, reiterated the concern over third party sites like Tweetdeck or HootSuite. Too often, employees use strong passwords for the main social media site but weak passwords for the dashboards, which is a mistake. Another best practice: Never accept friend requests from people you don’t know. He says, Facebook estimates that at least 2 percent of user accounts are fake. Twitter has reported that at least 5 percent of user accounts are fake, he says.

The temptation is to see social media as an open portal for hacking, and there is some legitimacy to that claim. Trolls, hackers, and posers are crawling all over these sites. Yet, they provide real business value and are not going away anytime soon. All of the experts agreed: Training is key. Users should know how easy it is to fall victim to a simple social media hack.

Source : http://www.csoonline.com/

Auhtor :  

Categorized in Online Research

Innovation is necessary in the fight toward social progress. Socially conscious inventions have a crucial impact on the world at large, but they often make the biggest difference for vulnerable communities.

 

For people facing inequality around the globe — like those living in poverty — these innovations can be game-changers, helping to tackle problems that directly threaten their survival.

Though certainly not an exhaustive list, these seven inventions made a difference for low-income communities in November, challenging inequality in innovative ways.

1. The app helping to fight wage theft.

 
 

Wage theft, or denying employees payment for their work, is a major issue facing low-income, hourly workers — especially immigrant laborers with few federal safety nets and employment options. A new app, called Jornaler@, is helping day laborers independently track their hours and document workplace violations. 

The creators at Cornell University say the app is particularly helpful for day laborers who often change worksites and employers week-to-week, making it difficult to keep track of their own data. Jornaler@, which launched on both Android and iPhone last month, allows users to document all the information needed to make a wage complaint.

2. The Facebook tool helping people connect in disasters.

2 The Facebook tool helping people connect in disasters

Rebuilding in the aftermath of disasters disproportionately impacts low-income communities, as they struggle with the inevitable financial burdens. That makes it difficult to find essentials, like food, water and shelter — especially when they're scarce.

A new Facebook tool called Community Help, which was announced at the Facebook Social Good Forum in November, hopes to help those in need access vital disaster relief resources. The new feature will pop up after a user activates Safety Check, allowing "safe" users to connect with others who are offering or looking for help in the area.

Categories in the feature, which will roll out to users in early January 2017, will include Food & Water, Transportation, Shelter, and Baby Items.

3. The sneakers that biodegrade in your home.

 
 

To tackle the role of fashion companies in environmental issues and climate change, Adidas announced a new shoe prototype in November, which can biodegrade in consumers' own homes after use, just by adding a simple enzyme.

Within 36 hours, you can safely rinse the shoe down the drain. Adidas could introduce it to the market as early as next year.

4. The inexpensive bricks made of recycled paper.

4 The inexpensive bricks made of recycled paper

There’s a reason 3D printing is so popular these days: it’s awesome. Instead of having to spend thousands of dollars working with a prototyping company, you can create a physical object yourself in no time at all. Of course, you’ll need to know how to use 3D design software before you can 3D print anything, and printers themselves can be very costly.

 

Nubrix, created by South African inventor Elijah Dan, are bricks made of recycled paper. But they're just as strong as the building materials you're used to — they can withstand fire and rain. They also only cost 60 cents, which is three times cheaper than standard bricks in South Africa.

The design was one of the winners of Higher Education Solutions Network's TechConcompetition in November.

5. A reversible tent helping homeless populations.

A reversible tent helping homeless populations

In lieu of affordable shelter, WeatherHYDE is a reversible tent that protects homeless populations and impoverished communities against all types of weather.

One side of the innovative tent protects against severe cold by trapping your own body heat. The other side uses reflective panels to help keep out extreme heat. A Kickstarter campaign to provide 500 tents to families in need ran throughout the month of November, receiving more than $145,000 worth of funding.

6. The Chrome extension taking on unethical production.

 
 

The extension (and the accompanying mobile app) is a way for shoppers to see affordable, ethical businesses that produce the items they want. Not only could the app help low-income people save money and shop more ethically, but widespread awareness of unjust working conditions could help improve workers' rights around the world.

7. The app that could make cancer screenings accessible.

A new app announced by IBM in November hopes to use your phone's camera to save your life. The app screens for melanoma — the deadliest form of skin cancer — by allowing users to snap a picture and upload it to an analytics service, which can recognize and reliably identify characteristics of disease. Though similar systems already existed, IBM says the accuracy of its new tool is groundbreaking.

For those who are uninsured, preventative services like cancer screenings come at a steep cost, meaning accurate and early testing via a smartphone could help with the financial burdens of health care. However, IBM and medical professionals agree that more testing is needed before bringing the tool into widespread use.

Author:  KATIE DUPERE

Source:  http://mashable.com/

Categorized in Social

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