Mashable Monday: 53,457,258,000 minutes of Facebook


53,457,258,000 minutes of Facebook . . . Such a startling number it is, but a recent study showed that Americans now spend 23% of their online time visiting social network sites. 

These numbers of course draw the questions, “Who is spending all this time online?” and “How are we taking advantage of this information?”. Well, those questions are already being answered by researchers and marketers alike. The Nielsen study showed some interesting insights about the online user landscape (see chart below) which we can combine with other great information already available via the Pew Internet and American Life Project

As far as how we will utilize this knowledge for marketing, PR, advertising, and so on, there are a multitude of ways including:

1. Crowd-sourcing fashion shows

2. Promoting new TV shows directly to their top viewing audience

3. Finally making people pay for their news (Or not…)

4. Targeting special niche audiences to support causes

and, last but not least . . . 

5. Saving the planet! Captain Planet style, of course! 😉

Overall, it looks like social media is here to stay and it is up to us to decide how we want to use it. Good luck figuring out which of the many outlets to use and how to use them, and make sure you don’t get confused by Google’s name changes on products!


p.s. Consider the story links your Friday Fives for last week since I didn’t get one posted! 🙂


Mashable Monday: Is that really [insert celebrity here] on Google+?


With lots of discussion early on about top Google+ users and their identities, Google+ has seen a need to create it’s own Twitter-like Verification Program to help ensure users that Mark Zuckerberg is indeed the real Mark Zuckerberg (CEO of Facebook), that Tom Anderson is really the Tom Anderson (creator of Myspace), and that Ashton Kutcher and Alyssa Milano are ready to battle it out for Google+. The new verification essentially fulfills the same purpose as Twitter’s verification system by separating the real celebrities, politicians and famous folks from the posers who registered with celebrity names.

The Google+ Real Name Policy makes is especially interesting, however, because users can possibly be kicked off of Google+ for failing to follow the name usage guidelines. The guidelines even specifically address the problem of using someone else’s name as your own:

Don’t use the name of another individual.
Impersonation is a serious issue. Pretending to be someone else could cause your profile to be deleted. If someone is pretending to be you, go to their profile and click Report this profile. ~ Source

Obviously, this makes faking a celebrity identity a risky venture, as one guy found out:

Messing around with a pseudonym – or trying to convince users that you, a 23-year-old dude from New Jersey is actually Dolly Parton – will give you a four-day countdown to expulsion from the service, should Google notice. ~ PC Mag

So, if you’re registered as Justin Timberlake, Miley Cyrus  or Justin Beiber but can’t prove your identity . . . Change your name!

Looking for some verified celebs to follow? Check out the list posted here.

And finally, if you’re not on Google+ . . . You should be! 🙂

Have a great week!


TOMS Next Chapter: From Shoes to Eyewear


For several months now, TOMS has been building anticipation about their upcoming #NextChapter in the TOMS company. After several years of successfully executing their well known One-for-One model with cute, comfy shoes,  the company has decided to branch out into uncharted territory. They put mystery boxes in locations worldwide which will be opened today to reveal the next chapter in TOMS One-For-One program.

The event takes front and center on their website , inspired a nice spread on their Facebook page, and has been the talk for weeks via their Twitter account (see below).

They created videos for YouTube to incite anticipation among the avid TOMS fans (such as the one below) as well as encouraging people to check-in via Gowalla at the opening events for TOMS Mystery Boxes.

Today is the day for the unveiling and fans are eagerly anticipating #TOMSNextChapter!   The unveiling takes place at 10:30 a.m. PST … That’s about 1:30 for us East Coast dwellers!  I’m excited to see what the #NextChapter is that Blake Mycoskie will be sharing with us! If you want to know more about TOMS, read my April blog post here

Note: After the release, I will update this post with the exciting news! Check back to find out what the new chapter is!!!!

And the Next Chapter is . . .*drumroll* . . .




Stuck Like Glue on GetGlue!



A few months ago in a blog post, I first mentioned a new check-in application called GetGlue. By the time I blogged about it again a bit later, I was becoming obsessed.  Now, I’m a frequent GetGlue user. I find it very cool to be able to share quickly to Facebook and Twitter as well as my friends on GetGlue. I also love that they actually send you your stickers!!! I got my first stickers in the mail this week (see below).



Everyone who’s anyone is talking about the new application or at least some cool people are talking, including PopWatch Inc. , ReadWriteWebAdWeek , Reuters , Forbes , Social Times , Ogilvy Public Relations , ClickZ and many more sites (click links to read stories). They gained a major milestone earlier this year by reaching 1 million registered users!  See their success graphically represented by the GetGlue infographic below!



We can see that this application is beginning to gain a notable following, but what are we expecting from them in the future?  Well, they are beginning to add value and interactivity to their check-ins by working with sponsors to give away concert tickets, pairing with nonprofits, sharing user photos and many other creative tactics. This has greatly helped them to increase user numbers in the past few months, according to their GetGlue blog and the chart below.



We can also see that there is a strong correlation between the highest grossing box office hits and the movies people are checking in to in theaters(see first chart below). Keep in mind that correlation does not imply cause-and-effect; however, it does show that the people who are actively checking in are many of the same people who are avid movie attendees. Based on this data, we can begin to analyze what movies people are enjoying and what movies don’t go over as well as expected as GetGlue begins to analyze the data they gain (see second chart below).



So, as I said months ago, you should GetGlue! . . . If you haven’t already, of course.  😉 If you’re not familiar with the application by now, watch the video review below for more information! Happy Check-ins!


QR Codes Get Fashionable


Let me start by saying that I’m usually not a fashion magazine reader, because I rarely have the time. A few months ago, I got an email with a free $10 credit from MagazineLine. After browsing around the site a bit, I found that I could get a year of Elle and Allure for just $5 in addition to the coupon. What can I say, I’m a sucker for a good deal!

When my magazines came this month, my roommate beat me to reading them. She’s been listening to me for the last several months chattering away about social media and QR codes, so she recognized that there were more than usual in this month’s magazines. I went through the magazine and used my QR code reader, mobiScan QR, to read the codes. We found a wide range of ways that the codes were used, and I thought it would be fun to share! You will notice that some of the advertisements use Microsoft’s tag instead of typical QR codes. These rectangular, colorful codes work much the same as any other QR code, except they require the Microsoft tag reader to open them.

Here are the fashionable advertisements and the content that they shared via QR code or Tag:


Elle, June 2011, pg. 34-35

 The QR code for this super bright Sephora advertisement redirects to a YouTube video (below) about the product’s summer trends! 

Allure, June 2011, pg. 46-47

 The QR code for this golden Sephora advertisement redirects to a similar trend report video about Luminous Golds. I love the dynamic media used by their QR campaign and look forward to great things from it in the future. The company even created a QR code for it’s Make Up For Ever collection (see advertisement below). The QR code redirects to .

Allure, June 2011, pg. 71


Elle, June 2011, pg. 181

Allure, June 2011, pg. 51

The Microsoft Tags for these Garnier advertisements redirect to a cool how to video for the Creme Color and the Blow Dry Protector!

John Freida

Allure, June 2011, pg. 66-67

This John Freida advertisement (above) has a QR code that redirects readers to a how to video showing viewers how to best use the foam color!

And Many More . . . 

To see the QR links for the advertisements, simply click on the advertisement. Keep in mind that these links are optimized for mobile, so they may not show up as well on your computer screen. I hope you have enjoyed this quick look at how many fashionable brands and companies are using QR codes to reach their customers. You will notice that some of the more interesting campaigns aren’t so much selling the product as they are trying to offer assistance with the product or with how to select a product if you are in the market for one. I think that QR codes are a very interesting way to add content to print advertisements . . . What do you think????

Mark Schaefer’s “The Tao of Twitter”: A Twitter Guide for Beginners and Experts



My first knowledge of Mark Schaefer came through a classmate, Aaron Sachs (@AaronSachs), who had worked with Mark on some social media stuff for Aaron’s business Symply Social . Aaron sang Mark’s praises to our Advertising 490: Social Media class, and when he mentioned Social Slam tickets were going on sale, I was one of the first in our class (except for Aaron, of course!) to sign up. I was eager to see what this social media conference was all about. I considered the cost of $40 kind of expensive until I realized that attendees also received free food and free books! Included with registration was a copy of Mark Schaeffer’s The Tao of Twitter and Jay Baer’s The Now Revolution. I decided that even if the conference was boring (which of course it wasn’t!), I would still have two free books. Needless to say, Social Slam was an amazing opportunity and I even got my free books signed by Mark and Jay!

Earlier this week, I had time to sit down and read Mark’s book. While I was reading it, I kept finding myself nodding in agreement with Mark’s points. Because I loved the book so much, I wanted to share some of its key lessons with you—or at least what I thought was key. Mark hits on several ideas that I myself have thought of but not been able to put into words. Below are quotes from the book that I will be referencing in many future conversations with friends about how to best utilize twitter.

“Business benefits are created through three elements: targeted connections + meaningful content + authentic helpfulness.” (pg. 11)

These three elements make up the core of Mark’s The Tao of Twitter, and he offers great explanations for the importance of each. I especially like his emphasis on the importance of authentic helpfulness. Just this week, I wrote a blog post about books I wanted to read for summer to beef up on my social media knowledge. Someone over at Wiley Business Books (@WileyBiz) was kind enough to send over a list of social media books they had recently published, 3 or 4 of which I had listed. I was reminded by the list of a few more books I wanted to read, but had temporarily forgotten about. Whoever was Tweeting for @WileyBiz that day had no guarantee that I would buy any of their books or mention them anywhere, but they tried to be helpful and perhaps promote their products a bit. 😉

“ . . . Under normal conditions, Twitter is about engaging, not broadcasting, so it probably does not make sense to just broadcast on a regular basis.” (pg. 40)

This one hit home because of my extreme frustration with some social media specialisists who simply post and repost and re-repost links to their blogs, which contain only information which I already read when I read their books. (Obviously, Mark isn’t one of these people. His blog, {grow}, is an amazing source of fresh, insightful content!) While HootSuite and other services can help you schedule tweets if you will be away for a while, I strongly believe in the need for interaction. While a little shameless self-promotion can go a long way, you need to be sharing good, new content that can actually help your followers learn something that they don’t already know from reading your books. Which leads to our third point . . .

“If somebody only takes about themselves, their business and how great they are, you’re going to want to get away fast! But, if a person shows genuine interest in you, and offers help without regard for their own personal benefit, you will like that person and connect with them.”(pg. 47)

I LOVE following and being followed by people who are willing to interact on Twitter, even if they don’t have an idea in the world about how they “met” you on Twitter. A random Tweet by @AaronSachs introduced me to Kaarina Dillabough (@KDillabough) who lives in Canada and posts some very interesting things about social media on her blog, Decide2Do. As Mark says on page 32, the rule of creating relationships on Twitter is “You just never know!” There may come a day when I could be helpful to Kaarina or she to me. If she ever needs a place to camp out in Georgia, at least she would have an inside contact. 😉 Which brings us to the final quote I selected . . .

“At the end of the day, as long as you are satisfied with the business benefits you are receiving from Twitter, what anyone else thinks is irrelevant.” (pg. 73)

Some people probably think I spend way too much time hanging out on my computer—or my Android powered smartphone—tweeting away to people I’ve never even met in person. But, I find benefit and think that Twitter is providing me with a wonderful opportunity to learn from people that are the experts in the field. No expensive classrooms for me! I’m learning the ins-and-outs of social media from the pros who are out in the field working on it. And, the best of them are following Mark’s guidelines! Shouldn’t you read The Tao of Twitter and get a head start on your future as a member of the Twitter Tribe?

If you are interested in reading a more traditional style review of Mark’s amazing book, you can read some of these great video reviews below or visit the Tao of Twitter site to see a round-up of great reviews here.

Note: There were some minor typos and grammar issues which prevented a five out of five star ranking. I’m sure, however, that Mark is working on these and will have them all fixed for the second printing. Overall, an amazing book!

Good Reads for the Summer: Social Media Edition


Some great books I plan to read this summer to increase my knowledge of social media! Look for Book Reviews throughout the next few weeks!

  1. The Tao of Twitter by Mark Schaefer
  2. Socialnomics by Erik Qualman
  3. The NOW Revolution by Jay Baer
  4. The Social Media Bible: Second Edition by Lon Safko
  5. The New Rules of Marketing and PR by David Meerman Scott
  6. The Zen of Social Media Marketing by Shama Hyder Kabani
  7. Engage by Brian Solis
  8. Content Rules by C. C. Chapman & Ann Handley
  9. Twitter Power 2.0 by Joel Comm
  10. Rework by Jason Fried & David Heinemeier Hansson
I’m always open to new book to add to this list! Please leave comments about any of these books you have read or if you have a great book to add to my list!
Note: You can click on the book link to buy it on Amazon or the author link to follow them on Twitter!