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How social media can help businesses?

May 3rd, 2011 Jenny No comments

Hi all,

Here at Hellotxt headquarters we’re working hard to make the app/site even better for you and I’ll soon have some exciting release news for you! In the meantime I thought I’d share with you an article I wrote for the April edition of Infinity Gaming Magazine, the specialist publication for the gambling industry, I hope you enjoy reading it!

Best wishes,

Jenny

The Hellotxt Team

How social media can help businesses?

We’ve witnessed the monumental impact that social media has had on our online lives but what does this mean for our businesses? More than 73% of businesses plan on increasing their use of Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and blogs in 2011, according to the 2011 Social Media Marketing Industry Report, so what should we be doing?

The good news in these budget conscious times is that social media is a cost effective, global marketing channel. This is great for smaller businesses who can get ahead of the game with a reasonable sized budget (plus some sound, creative ideas)!

What sites can work for businesses?

The average person has 140 Facebook friends, 86 Twitter followers and 61 contacts on Linkedin so if you multiply that by all of their contacts and then their contacts, contacts, that’s a whole lot of customers that you could potentially be reaching.

Nowadays businesses know that it’s essential to have a social media presence on the usual suspects i.e. Twitter, Facebook, company blogs and ever more increasingly YouTube, in fact customers have come to expect it. Within social media customer is key so it’s vital that a business manages these channels effectively by being as honest and transparent as possible.

A newer site, which you may or may not be familiar with is Quora which is often touted as the ‘next big thing.’ The site consists of a collection of questions and answers which are created and continually edited by customers. It is useful to follow any mentions of your business name and make any suitable comments. And hey who knows? Further down the line you may even be able to incorporate it in to your FAQs.

There are lots of tools out there to help you manage your social media activity, I really rate bit.ly which condenses your URLs in to manageable lengths which is invaluable when you’re trying to tweet in 140 characters! It also records your stats, such as amount of clicks and also your customer’s locations. Another recommendation is Twentyfeet which is a site that measures your key performance indicators on sites such as Twitter, Facebook and YouTube. A handy feature is that they notify you when your metrics change significantly and there is a free option to try it out which is a bonus.

The future of social networking?

Information overload

The exponential rise in social networking has compounded the sense of overload people feel when trying to stay on top of their communications.  Even a moderate social networker will struggle to stay on top of things. In fact, people see more than 34 billion bits of information a day which is more than 2 whole books worth!  The only sensible solution to this problem is to help customers locate and identify, amongst the whole data deluge, the stuff that’s most relevant to them, as well as the most topical and best presented.

Opinions count

Social networking will become more ingrained in all of our online activity and our friends and contact’s opinions count more and more. Think how many times a status update has come through on your Facebook feed about an event a friend is attending and you’ve clicked through to see what it is all about, the viral potential is immense and onsite features allowing comments and ratings will be invaluable. There’s even a buzz word for this, social validation – the way your behaviour can be influenced by that of your network.

Gamification

Another hot trend in the social media industry at the moment is gamification, driven particularly by tactile mobile user interfaces. It involves using fun and engaging game mechanics for things that aren’t traditionally considered a game. A good example of this is the feature of collecting badges in Foursquare, which is a simple mechanism to encourage and reward you for sharing your location data. Gartner, the tech research firm says that says over half of innovation will be gamified by 2015.

Virtual goods

Already well documented but continuing to grow exponentially, Virtual goods remain the most popular monetisation mechanism for social media. A classic example is the virtual poker chips given out in Zynga’s Texas Holdem Poker game on Facebook, where average daily users top 7 million. Without a doubt gaming, on the back of various virtual goods models, is leading the consumer monetisation of social media, which in turn poses big challenges and opportunities for the gambling industry. Social gamers are expected to spend $6 billion on virtual goods by 2013 according to the NPD Group.

Summary

It’s never too late to kick start your social media strategy and it can reap a lot of rewards for your business, by looking at the future trends you can start to plan effectively. Whether as a marketing channel, or even part of the core product proposition, social networking, virtual goods and gamification all have a great tie in to the gambling industry so there is vast potential for a broad range of Social strategies!

 

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Hellotxt’s Top 5 Fridays

March 4th, 2011 Jenny No comments

Top Five FridaysHi everyone,

We hope you’re enjoying our weekly top 5 favourite social media stories, please leave any comments good or bad :) at the top of the post.

Let’s count down from number 5

Conan Roasts iPad 2: You’ll Buy It No Matter What We Say [Video]
Following all the hype about Apple’s iPad 2 announcement, this video which was aired on the Conan O’Brien show was a welcome relief from all the tech specs.

MG Siegler - TechCrunch @parislemon

Number 4

Storm Clouds: Gmail Failure Reinforces Danger Of Becoming Too Cloud-Dependent
With problems affecting Gmail this week, can we really trust our data in the cloud? The golden rule of computing has always been to backup data, but what if this data is only online? How many of you have any copy of your Gmail / Hotmail emails on your computer?

Nicholas Deleon - CrunchGear @nicholasadeleon

Number 3

Futuristic Kiosk Spits Out Cash for Recycled Electronics
How many of you have tried to recycle your old electronic equipment in order to help the environment and raise a bit of extra cash for yourselves? Do you find the process long winded? Would you recommend it to a friend? What if you could pop down to a local retailer, drop off your electronics into a kiosk and walk home with money in your pocket?

Jennifer Van Grove - mashable @jbruin

Number 2

The Social Web In Pictures: 50 Viral Images Shared In 2011
This list includes inforgraphics, charts, graphs, pictures, creative adverts, as well as many random images. Well worth a read during your lunch break :)

Adam Singer - TheFutureBuzz @adamsinger

And finally, number 1

Exclusive: BlackBerry Messenger will launch on Android and iOS
Over the past few weeks we’ve heard of Android applications running on Blackberry devices and this week we hear Blackberry Messenger to start running on iOS and Android devices. Can it be true will RIM open up one of their main USPs to their rivals in the smartphone market?  Or are RIM just trying to reduce the cross platform barriers that currently plague the smartphone market?

Johnathan S. Geller - BGR @boygenius

That’s it until next week! Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook and Twitter to get up-to-the-minute updates.

Best wishes,

Jenny,
The Hellotxt team

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Hellotxt’s Top Five Fridays

February 25th, 2011 Jenny No comments

Hi everyone,

We’ve decided to continue with a theme for our Top Five Fridays this week and as Steve Jobs turned 56 on the 24th February, our favourite social media news stories are all Apple-centric.

So, counting down from number 5:

Is OSX Lion Server More Evidence That Apple is Gunning for the Enterprise?
A brief look at how Apple are trying to enter the server market as a means of expansion. A domain which up till now has been predominantly Linux and Windows based.
By Klint Finley @ The Next Web @klintron

Number 4:

FTC to review Apple iPhone in-app purchases
In-app purchases too easy? Does the FTC have a point, or should parents be a bit more wary of their children’s usage of iDevices?
By Cecilia Kang @The Washington Post @ceciliakang

Number 3:

iPad 2: what new features are you hoping for?
The tablet the tech world has been waiting for, can Apple really be pushing the release for March 2nd in order to get the iPad 3 out by the end of the year?
By Jemima Kiss @ The Guardian @jemimakiss

Number 2:

Swipe, Save And Serve: What’s New in Mac OS X Lion
An interesting look at the upcoming OS from Apple OS X Lion. Apple sum up the OS as “The power of Mac OS X. The magic of iPad.”
By Christina Warren @ Mashable @film_girl

And number 1 for this week is…

Happy Birthday Steve Jobs
This is a “happy birthday” article which includes a number of videos of Steve giving various speeches.
Victor Agreda, Jr @ The Unofficial Apple Weblog

That’s all until next week folks!
Have a great weekend.

Jenny
The Hellotxt Team

 

 

 

 

 

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Hellotxt’s Top Five Fridays

February 18th, 2011 Jenny No comments

Hi everyone,

We’ve decided to give our five favourite articles from this week a theme and as the world’s biggest mobile event took place 14th - 17th February it seems fitting that they are linked to MWC. We hope you enjoy them.

Let’s count down from number 5:

Smartphones of Mobile World Congress 2011
A simple breakdown of all the major handsets that were shown off or announced during MWC. An easy to follow article with a nice summary with links to more information on all devices mentioned.
By Nicole Lee @ cnet (@nicoleleeCNET)

Number 4:

iPhone 4 Wins Best Mobile Device at MWC
No surprises here! The article also touches on some of the other category winners which included Angry Birds and HTC.
By Chloe Albanesius @ PCMag

Number 3:

MWC 2011: Best tablets of Mobile World Congress 2011
Best Tablets of 2011  – we’ve only just started the year and already the best tablets have been decided ;)
By Tony Drummond @ Knowyourmobile.com

Number 2:

Google will launch iTunes music store competitor with upgrade to Android
Google is to launch an iTunes style music store, the Google music store will rely on Android 3.0 Honeycomb and will be tied in to launch with Motorola’s new Xoom tablet.
By Charles Arthur @ Guardian.co.uk (@charlesarthur)

Number 1:

The five key trends from the 2011 Mobile World Congress
The key trends to come out of this year’s MWC that tech fans should be watching closely.
By Patrick Stafford @ Smartcompany.com.au

We’ll bring you some more interesting reads next week!

Until then, best wishes,

Jenny
The Hellotxt Team

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Hellotxt’s Top Five Fridays

February 11th, 2011 Jenny No comments

Hi all,

Welcome to the second instalment of Hellotxt’s Top Five Fridays, where we’ve picked our favourite social media stories from this week.

Let’s count down from number 5:

64-Year-Old Kayaker Completes Trans-Atlantic Voyage
A Polish man crossed the Atlantic by himself in a kayak! He even managed to send out a few tweets…No reason not to reply to a tweet now!
By Caleb Garling @ Wired

Number 4:

Camera Mic Snaps Pictures in iOS by Tapping the Microphone
Apple doesn’t like apps repurposing buttons, so Camera Mic went ahead and did something creative: it turned your microphone into a button.
By Adam Dachis @ Lifehacker

Number 3:

Play Station Phone Makes A Public Debut
After a number of rumours about a Playstation Phone, Sony Ericsson given the phone its public debut. Say hello to the Xperia Play.
By Sarah Perez @ ReadWriteWeb

Number 2:

Twitter Set New Tweets Per Second Record During Super Bowl
Twitter users set a new tweets per second record during the Super Bowl Sunday, the microblogging service announced Wednesday – Also congrats to the Greenbay Packers on their Super Bowl win!
By Lauren Indvik @ Mashable

And drum roll please…now we get to number 1:

Nokia and Microsoft Form Partnership
Following the infamous “burning platform” memo earlier this week, Nokia has decided to team with Microsoft and Windows Phone 7. Could this be what Nokia needed to save their smartphone platform?
By BBC Technology News

Until next time, have a great weekend!

Jenny
The Hellotxt Team

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