Social Media and Communities

Charities and non-profits have always faced a tremendous number of challenges. From fundraising to marketing to organizational difficulties, social work is a constant uphill battle. Yet today, technology seems to be turning the tides. Social media is helping charities reach out to people around the world on a scale that was never possible in the past. Social media marketing has now become an absolute must for organizations of all shapes and sizes, and developing strategies to implement this incredible tool in the most effective manner possible should now be a top priority for every non-profit. Instagram in particular has recently emerged as the best social platform for marketers. So to put this vital tool to work for your non-profit, here's a crash course in Instagram engagement and how to improve your non-profit awareness conversions.

Posted May 16, 2014

There is no denying that social media has profoundly changed the way people communicate with family and friends and the way businesses interact with customers--as well as prospective clients. What you may not have noticed is the way that the increasing popularity of social networks as a gateway to the wider web has changed online video and the way we consume it.

Posted May 12, 2014

Kenshoo, a provider of predictive media optimization technology, announced a $20 million growth financing round led by Bain Capital Ventures. Kenshoo's existing investors, Sequoia Capital, Arts Alliance, and Tenaya Capital also participated. The company plans to use the funding to further its proprietary approach to predictive media optimization.

Posted May 01, 2014

Social media is one of those areas in business which is as close to a continuing education program as you can get. With the social giants changing their bells and whistles on what seems like a weekly basis, you have to stay tuned in. Like anything else, to perfect your craft, you must study, practice, and observe what the best do.

Posted Apr 24, 2014

Major brands and enterprises are already on the Twitter bandwagon, but SMBs can still be hesitant to fully embrace social media. Sprout Social developed a guide to help ease the transition for SMBs, and Terra Ickes, customer education manager at Sprout, answered some questions for EContent about the challenges of Twitter for SMBs.

Posted Apr 23, 2014

NetBase, a provider of social intelligence, announced the launch of Brand LIVE Pulse, giving executives visibility into the social movement of brands, without the need for clicks or additional analysis. Brand LIVE Pulse is a visual social dashboard that works on smartphones, tablets, and billboards.

Posted Apr 23, 2014

Freelancer Limited announced the acquisition of Warrior Forum. Warrior Forum will continue to be operated independently, and will be leveraged to enhance growth in Freelancer's core marketplace. Founded in 1997, Warrior Forum is a marketplace and community for internet marketing professionals. Warrior Forum's user base includes vice presidents, chief marketing and chief growth officers from some of the top internet companies in the world.

Posted Apr 22, 2014

On the average weekday, I spend hours sorting through my social media feeds-mostly Facebook and Twitter. I fire up HootSuite to make this task a little easier and dutifully retweet, share, and schedule posts. For many of us, managing social media has gone from a way to kill time to an integral part of our jobs. But by Friday night, I'm ready to hang up my social media hat (except for Pinterest because I need it to make new, exciting meals). On Saturday and Sunday, I need a break from the endless streams of news, opinions, and baby pictures-but giving up social networks all together seems unfeasible.

Posted Apr 22, 2014

Prognosticating is always a risky endeavor. It's even more precarious in social media. Any prediction about the future must rely on the available evidence, which is usually historical data. In an area such as social media-in which the dynamics are constantly changing and the players come and go like the changing tides-historical data is often only useful for short-term forecasting. As such, this column is an attempt to tread the fine line between obvious platitude and wild prophesy. The following are my top three predictions for social media in 2014.

Posted Apr 08, 2014

Surprise! Facebook is about to change the use of its platform for marketers. Ever hear this before? "A source professionally familiar with Facebook's marketing strategy, who requested to remain anonymous, ... [states] that the social network is ‘in the process of slashing organic page reach' down to 1 or 2 percent," according to Valleywag. What could prompt yet another change for Facebook?

Posted Apr 02, 2014

Spredfast, an independent social relationship platform, announced the launch of the Spredfast Partner Program, which is designed to give enterprise brands unfettered access to the industry's best-of-breed tools and technologies. Spredfast already partners with many of the industry's social technologies such as Kenshoo, Brandwatch, and Bazaarvoice, and has announced new partnerships with social business governance company Actiance, and content planning and management company Opal Labs, among others.

Posted Mar 27, 2014

According to a new study, many UK companies are still struggling to deliver adequate customer service through the web, email, social media, and web chat channels, with Twitter performance particularly patchy. Only 39% of companies were able to answer customer service questions asked through Twitter, despite 76% of organizations now being contactable through this channel.

Posted Mar 27, 2014

I dedicate this column to Reese Bobby and his everlasting wisdom. I am, of course, not a semi-professional race car driver (sorry for the disappointment, but the tattoo thing is true), but I am a semi-professional social media expert. So, I am here today to give the neophytes a little lesson in how and where to share your content on social media. In this month's edition we will be covering two social media platforms with four more to follow next month.

Posted Mar 27, 2014

Join Jose Castillo, Jeff Cutler, and Steve Garfield for a discussion about creating great video content on the EContent Google+ page. The live discussion will begin at 11 a.m. EST on Friday, March 28.

Posted Mar 21, 2014

There was a very important birthday this week that you probably forgot. Don't worry, you don't need to run out and get a card to apologize. The World Wide Web doesn't mind that you forgot its 25th birthday. But you should probably feel guilty about letting this milestone pass unnoticed because, according to Pew, the World Wide Web has made your life better.

Posted Mar 14, 2014

According to HubSpot's 2013 State of Inbound Marketing report, 23% of marketers invested in blogs and social media last year. That number seems shockingly low, and could indicate that some decision-making executives are still wary of social media. EContent talked to Thomas White, co-founder and CEO of the C-Suite Network-a company designed to enable c-suite professionals to maximize the potential of peer networks and social media-to better understand the C-Suite's hesitance to embrace social media.

Posted Mar 12, 2014

DNN, a provider of marketing solutions, released the latest version of Evoq Social, an online community solution that fosters and enhances conversations among customers, employees, partners, and prospects. The new version ships with an enhanced set of features and options for deploying social groups, encouraging conversations, and enhancing collaboration.

Posted Mar 06, 2014

A few weeks back, a good friend sent me an article that appeared on one of my favorite websites, ThoughtCatalog. It had me at the headline: "This Is How Social Media Is Ruining Your Life." See, last summer I wrote a column pointing out that many people use social media as nothing more than means to promote themselves, not to engage in honest communication with friends. For a while I believed that maybe I was the only one who thought this, but, thanks to ThoughtCatalog, I know now I am not alone.

Posted Mar 06, 2014

OverDrive announced that it has acquired TeachersNotebook.com, an online marketplace for teacher-created curriculum materials for K-12 education. TeachersNotebook enables teachers to browse free and low-cost instructional resources, and to create their own shop where others may purchase original materials. The website operates with a "teachers helping teachers" mentality of engaging and educating students of all ages and optimizing the classroom experience.

Posted Mar 04, 2014

Trover, a community-driven visual guide serving travelers and local culture enthusiasts, announced three free photo widgets that provide any website the opportunity to showcase high quality location-based photos created and curated by Trover's community. Available immediately, the Trover widgets make it possible to quickly publish geo-tagged images, stories, and insider tips documented by the Trover community to help bloggers and websites deliver unique visual photo guides.

Posted Feb 27, 2014

John Wiley & Sons, Inc., announced a new partnership with Kudos, a start-up service designed to help academics and learned societies measure, monitor, and maximize the visibility and impact of their published articles. From April 2014, the Kudos platform will be freely available across a representative trial of articles from the Global Research portfolio.

Posted Feb 27, 2014

Stephanie Moritz, head of PR and social media at ConAgra Foods and an instructor with the Digital Professional Institute (DPI), says that many social media features will evolve to meet the needs of both companies and consumers. In fact, Moritz has seven specific predictions.

Posted Feb 25, 2014

In a February 19 blog post, Mark Zuckerberg announced that Facebook intends to buy Whats App. For a total of $16 billion in cash and stock (yes...billion). There's another $3 billion in stock for Whats App employees but that will vest over four years. Whats App is a cross-platform messaging system that, according to the post, has over 450 million people using the service each month with 70% of them active on a given day.

Posted Feb 20, 2014

What does it mean to be online today? Increasingly, it means being part of the "now" and interactively tapping into the communal and cultural zeitgeist. And that, of course, means being connected to some form of social media. From aNobii to Zooppa, social networking sites are dominating cyberspace and becoming impossible for digital publishers and electronic content providers to ignore, and for good reason. People everywhere want to be part of an electronic conversation that is happening at this very moment via popular platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Google+, YouTube, Instagram, and Yelp. They want to chime in with opinions; share ideas, photos, and videos with family, friends, and followers; stay updated with favorite movers, shakers, and brands; and remain engaged in a dynamic digital dialogue, whether at home, at work, or on-the-go.

Posted Feb 19, 2014

While some stats suggest that Google+ usage rivals Facebook, skeptics point out that anyone with a Google Mail account is, by default, a Google+ user whether they actually "use" the tool or not. On top of that, Google recently created an online uproar through its requirement that users of its other property, YouTube, have a Google+ account in order to access the site. And, those who use Google+'s most popular feature-Hangouts-are also considered Google+ users, whether they actively use other features of not. Still, while the site's statistics may involve a lot of smoke and mirrors, most believe that it's an option that can't be ignored, primarily because of its impact on SEO.

Posted Feb 10, 2014

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