Social Networking Sites at a Glance

Here for your enjoyment is a quick glance at some social networking site facts!

Facebook

Launched: 2004

Founders: Mark Zuckerberg, Eduardo Saverin, Andrew McCollum, Dustin Moskovitz and Chris Hughes

Headquarters: Menlo Park, California, USA

Number of users: 1.19 billion (active)

What can you do?: Create a profile, share status updates, photos and videos, create events, post on someone’s Timeline, Like pages, join groups, send messages, hashtag trends

Twitter

Launched: 2006

Founders: Jack Dorsey, Noah Glass, Evan Williams and Biz Stone

Headquarters: San Francisco, California, USA

Number of users: 500 million (200+ active users)

What can you do?: Create a profile and bio, share status updates (tweets) in 140 characters, follow and be followed by users, follow hashtag trends, retweet, send direct messages

LinkedIn

Launched: 2003

Founders:  Reid Hoffman, Allen Blue, Konstantin Guericke, Eric Ly and Jean-Luc Vaillant

Headquarters: Mountain View, California, USA

Number of users: 259 million

What can you do?: Create an online CV, connect with fellow professionals to increase your network, search for jobs, follow companies, join groups, send messages, search for news stories, update your status

Google+

Launched: 2011

Founders:  Owned by Google; their founders: Larry Page and Sergey Brin

Headquarters: Menlo Park, California, USA

Number of users: 540 million (300+ active users)

What can you do?: Create a profile and bio, add users to your circles, create hangouts, join Google+ pages, join communities, +1 something, share photos and videos, create events, hashtag trends, use Google search, message users

(For the pros and cons of Google+, please see: ‘Google Plus or Google Minus’)

Pinterest

Launched: 2010

Founders: Paul Sciarra, Evan Sharp and Ben Silbermann

Headquarters: San Francisco, California, USA

Number of users: 70 million

What can you do?:  Create a profile, create ‘boards’, ‘pin’ photos of your hobbies and interests on those boards, follow other users boards and repin their posts

Tumblr

Launched: 2007

Founder: David Karp (Owned by Yahoo!)

Headquarters: New York City, USA

Number of users: 216.3 million monthly visitors

What can you do?:  Create a profile, write blog posts, follow and be followed by other users

WordPress

Launched: 2003

Founders: Matt Mullenweg and Mike Little

Headquarters: San Francisco, California, USA

Number of users: 73 million

What can you do?:  Create a profile, write blog posts, follow and be followed by other users

Flickr

Launched: 2004

Founders: Stewart Butterfield and Caterina Fake (Owned by Yahoo!)

Headquarters: Sunnyvale, California, USA

Number of users: 87 million

What can you do?:  Create a profile, share photos and videos

YouTube

Launched: 2005

Founders: Steve Chen, Chad Hurley and Jawed Karim (Owned by Google)

Headquarters: San Bruno, California, USA

Number of users: 1 billion

What can you do?:  Create a profile, share videos, follow other users channels, have others follow your channels

Instagram

Launched: 2010

Founders: Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger (Owned by Facebook)

Headquarters:, Menlo Park, California, USA

Number of users: 150 million

What can you do?: A mobile app that enables you to create a profile bio, share photos, follow and be followed by other users, hashtag trends, send direct messages

Snapchat

Launched: 2011

Founders: Evan Spiegel and Robert Murphy

Headquarters:, Menlo Park, California, USA – (Stanford, California)

Number of users: 350 million

What can you do?:  A mobile app that enables you to create a username, send photos and videos whilst adding text and drawings to them; the snaps are sent like text messages and will be accessible for one to ten seconds

Vine

Launched: 2013

Founders: Dom Hofmann, Rus Yusupov, and Colin Kroll (Owned by Twitter)

Headquarters: San Francisco, California, USA

Number of users: 40 million

What can you do?:  A mobile app that enables you to post short video clips for a maximum of six seconds

So there you have it. That’s a quick overview of the details of all the main social networking sites. Hope you liked all those facts! Please follow my blog for more digital marketing posts or my Twitter account @DigitalStuart

Thanks for reading 🙂

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The Aims of Social Media

It’s no secret that social media is expanding at a considerable rate, however, for companies there are different reasons as to why they have a social media presence. This blog is going to provide an overview on some of the main aims of having a social media presence, with Twitter and Facebook the main focus..

Inform

One of the main reasons for having a social media presence is to inform the company’s audience. This could be anything from the latest product release to a new deal that’s on offer. But social media has the power to reach millions of people just through something as simple as a Facebook status update or a Tweet. The key here is to ensure that your audience is updated with whatever you are offering so they can engage with it or undertake the appropriate calls to action.

Engagement

After a company has informed its audience it then must engage with them, whether that’s your Twitter followers or people that have Liked your Facebook page. Engagement comes in many ways from responding to someone that’s commented on a status update to answering a followers question on Twitter. But the key to social media engagement is to listen to and respond to your audience.

Awareness

A third aim of social media is to create awareness of the company’s brand which can come through informing and engaging too. Therefore, there is a clear overlap here as a company will inform its audience whilst at the same time engaging with them to create awareness. But if a company has just launched, social media can provide this initial awareness to generate interest in the company. For instance, something as simple as setting up a Twitter account and tweeting relevant content and following/retweeting the right accounts can form that essential awareness at the company’s inception.  

Content

Finally, all three of the aforementioned aims can all be achieved by providing effective and creative content. By creating something such as a promotional viral video or a really interesting update can inform, engage and create awareness of the company’s brand. The more innovative, engaging and creative the content is, the more likely it will generate awareness and see the audience respond to it favourably.

So that’s a few quick aims of social media, and as you can see they all interrelate quite nicely which makes it much easier as when content is created it can have such a powerful effect on a company since it can be used to inform, engage and create awareness.

Thanks for reading and please feel free to comment. For more digital marketing news please follow me on Twitter @DigitalStuart and or sign up to my blog 🙂

The Benefits of having Multiple Twitter Accounts

When we set up our Twitter accounts we usually have an intended purpose of what we’ll use them for and what kind of message we’ll promote from it. However, there might come a time when you want to set up another Twitter account, that’s right, double the fun! This blog is going to highlight why I use TWO Twitter accounts and what benefits this has for me.

Of course setting up a Twitter account begins with the very first thing, your username. I set up my personal Twitter account over three years ago, and used the handle @StuartElleray, mainly because I wanted people to know it was me, but also as it was available and would make life easier!

This account began with me tweeting anything from football to food to the weather. However, a year later I began tweeting some digital marketing stories from it. But this got me thinking that the audience for people that want to know where I’m on holiday and those who want to find out about marketing are very different. 

As a result I set up my current main professional one, @DigitalStuart. This account has a sole purpose of tweeting nothing but digital marketing, social media and business news stories and blog posts. The audience I’m trying to reach here is professionals in the digital marketing and business world. Therefore, I’m following only people that are in that sphere, such as social media managers in London or marketing directors in the US, or a well-known social media blogs or marketing news sites. 

For this account I follow a vast number of digital marketing professionals and accounts, and at the moment I follow 1,793 accounts, so pretty high. Also I’ve got to date 747 followers, many of whom are professionals or businesses in the industry. I don’t actually follow any of my friends from my @DigitalStuart account, as my interest from that account is purely on digital marketing and business. 

My personal account however is very limited and restricted. It’s in fact a protected account as I like to keep my personal one out of public viewing. Not because I tweet controversial things, far from it, but more I like to keep it quite low in terms of who I follow and who follows me. This is evident as I only follow 98 accounts and have 81 followers. In this account I follow my close friends or those that actually have Twitter. I prefer keeping it small as there’s not too many tweets to sieve through and I can keep up to date more easily with both my friends and importantly news about sport and the world.. Whereas, from @DigitalStuart I wouldn’t be able to digest nearly 1,800 followers updates! 

My main theory is that I really like having two Twitter accounts as they both have a different goal and intended purpose. Also managing them via TweetDeck is extremely useful both on my laptop and phone. 

Although some people have said to me that you need one consistent brand identity as this is what you’re known for. I’d agree with that in the case of say something like BBC News who only need one account to tweet about the main stories. But even they have other sub-accounts like BBC Breaking News, BBC World News,  BBC London News and many more, so here there are multiple accounts. Even something such as Twitter has a main account but also a ‘support’ account too, as do many other brands.

Therefore, I feel that having multiple Twitter accounts is very good as it provides a different message from each and segments your audience well. 

Thanks for reading and please feel free to comment. For more digital marketing and business news please follow this blog or me on Twitter @DigitalStuart….or if you like my personal one! 😉

The Four ‘E’s of Website Usability

One of the most important aspects of a website is it’s usability and whether the person on it can easily use it and complete the tasks they set out to do. Therefore, to ensure your website has great usability this blog is going to summarise some key points to help you achieve this, with the rather nice acronym of the Four ‘E’s of Usability.

Effective

The first element of usability is the completeness and accuracy that a user can achieve their goal when on the website. Therefore, was the users intended goal met and how well was the overall task done. This will provide an indication on how effective the website was and whether the user was able to undertake what they set out to achieve.

To ensure that they are able to do this the website must have a clear user interface, effective navigational features, and a creative design that displays the calls to action well.

For instance, if you are purchasing a product off Amazon, the main goal here is whether you can go from finding your product all the way through to actually purchasing it. If the site is effective then this can be achieved without a problem.

Efficient

Whereas the effectiveness of a site is whether you can complete the task, the efficiency of the site is the speed at which it is done. No one wants to have to search around a website for ages to find what they want or get lost on the site. As a result having good links, toolbar tabs, shortcuts and a site map will ensure the user can undertake the necessary action in a quick manner without any effort.

In our Amazon example, if the ‘Add to Basket’ button can’t be seen or is hard to find the users process of purchasing the product will be much slower and less efficient.

Engaging/Entertaining

The third feature of usability is the actual aesthetics and visual design of the website. Here we are talking about the websites colouring, imaginary, graphics, font, text, styles and multimedia. These elements have to engage the user of the site if they are going to remain on it, otherwise they will go elsewhere!

Multimedia is a very effective way to attract and retain users on a website as it’s extremely eye catching. Also not having too much text is essential to keep users on the site, as you don’t really want to be faced with an entire books worth of words!

Amazon has plenty of images of products that draws you in to clicking on them, and with its nice easy-going colour and appearance it’s definitely a site you won’t leave in a hurry.

Easy to Learn

The final element of usability is that the website must be easy to learn so when the user is on it they can easily navigate their way round and even when they come back again they still know how to use it. The users mustn’t have to remember how to get from one page to the other, like placing breadcrumbs down to remember how to get somewhere! In a time where quick purchasing and information are vital, a simple design is what a user wants to face and not have to study a website on how to use it.

Therefore, a website must have consistent text, links, designs, tabs and appearance so the user doesn’t get confused. Also it should have features to help them should they have a problem such as a ‘Help’ or ‘FAQ’ page. But also if new features or designs are implemented the user should be given some kind of indication on how to use them so they can familiarise themselves.

Amazon’s pages are all designed in a similar manner with the same features, tabs, links, colouring and overall appearance on them. The users as a result know what to expect and can learn how to use the website.

So there we have it, there’s a quick overview of the four main elements of website usability. If you follow these simple points your website will be a great success!

Thanks for reading and please feel free to comment. For more digital marketing news please follow me on Twitter @DigitalStuart.

Traditional Media vs. Digital Media – The Differences

With the expansion of digital media in recent years it has overtaken the traditional media of TV, radio and print. However, it could be argued that they can complement one another well, and each have their own unique aspects. This blog is going to provide a quick overview of the main differences between Traditional and Digital Media.

In the blue corner we have traditional media, who’s been around for many years and has the experience. And in the red corner we have the new kid on the block ready to disrupt the market, digital media!

Quick fire differences, go!

Traditional Media

  • One to many communication
  • Mass marketing that’s not targeted
  • Monologue message
  • Focuses more on branding than communication
  • Supply side thinking
  • Customer as a target
  • Segmentation
  • Mainly offline techniques
  • Aims at mass awareness
  • Doesn’t use many insights or data for decision making

Digital Media

  • One to one or many to many communication
  • Personalised, mass customisation and targeted
  • Dialogue
  • Focuses more on communication than branding
  • Demand side thinking
  • Customer as a partner – CRM, feedback
  • Communities
  • Predominantly online techniques used
  • Awareness created through targeting
  • Uses customer insights and data to help with marketing strategies and decisions 

So there’s a nice quick summary of the main differences between traditional and digital media. Perfect if you’re in a rush! Thanks for reading and please feel free to comment. For further digital marketing news please follow me on Twitter @DigitalStuart,

The Mobile Marketing Mix (MMM)

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We’ve all heard of the traditional marketing mix, but there hasn’t been much work done on a mobile version of this. As a result this blog is going to provide a nice summary of the elements that make up the mobile marketing landscape, and creatively called the ‘Mobile Marketing Mix’, or MMM!

(1) Apps

In the past if you’d said ‘App’ you might think there’s two letters, ‘L’ and ‘E’ missing from it, or that it’s half of a fruit. But it is in fact short for ‘Applications’. Yes, that’s where the word App comes from, who’d have thought it. So an app is a small piece of software that performs a certain action. Whether that’s a social network, a calculator, the news, a game or a map, these apps have an intended purpose, and are either pre-installed on your smartphone or can be downloaded from an App store.

(2) Mobile Advertising

One thing that mobile apps bring is the opportunity for adverts to be displayed on them. Just like ads have appeared on websites, nowadays gaining extra revenue from mobile ads has become not optional but compulsory. The great thing about mobile ads is the company can ‘own’ that small screen. Whereas on a website there might be a few ads popping up, on a mobile ad most likely only one can appear.

Mobile ads can come in four forms:

Mobile banners and displays: graphical images or text that could include rich media

Mobile PPC: ad appears when you search for something in the paid listings

Contextual mobile ads: similar to PPC,but more on websites/apps rather than search listings

Idle screen advertising: ads shown while the user is waiting for a page or app to download

(3) M-Commerce

After the word E-commerce was coined from buying online, the term has been applied to the mobile world. Mobile Commerce is the act of purchasing a product or service through your phone. So that could be anything from purchasing shoes from M&S to train tickets from the Trainline. As long as it’s purchased via a phone device, it can be called M-Commerce.

M-Commerce has revolutionised buying online as you can pretty much buy anything from anywhere. M-Commerce sales are rising rapidly and will more than likely explode over the next few years. Although the security aspect of buying via your phone is still a worry for some.

(4) QR Codes

Known formally as Quick Response Codes or informally as QR Codes, these have become an ever growing aspect of the mobile landscape.  A QR code is a barcode that can appear on paper, a product or a billboard, and can be read using a smartphone or a dedicated QR reading device and contains a URL within it. So once you’ve captured the QR code the link could take you to anything from a website to a message or to a special offer. The mysteries of the QR code!

(5) Mobile Coupons

A mobile coupon is an electronic ticket or message sent to someone’s mobile phone usually via a SMS or MMS text for the person to redeem an offer or gain a discount on a product or service. This is a great way to drive either footfall to your store or traffic to your website. Mobile coupons are usually well targeted as they either know you’d be interested in the offer, or you’re in the local area and could take advantage of it.

For instance, you could receive a SMS text to get a 20% discount off a pizza at the Pizza Express ten minutes away; a fantastic way to solve your dinner problems!

(6) Location Based Mobile Marketing

There are kind of two elements to this. The first is interrelated with the previous point about mobile coupons and being in the right location to redeem them. Targeted advertising using GPS is a fantastic way to reach a vast audience and is growing fast!

The second part combines two aspects, apps or websites with location. The main example of this is Foursquare where the app allows you to post an update of where you are. Additionally, Facebooks ‘Check in’ and other social networks location finders have integrated mobile and location together to enable you to tell the world where you are.

(7) Mobile Payments

Picture the situation, your friend wants to buy something online but has run out of money, or someone owes you money. Instead of waiting ages for the cheque to clear you can now make that payment quickly through your mobile. That’s because by downloading an app money can be transferred into your account instantly through the power of your mobile device. Great! No more waiting needed!

(8) Mobile Websites

The eighth and final aspect of MMM is mobile optimised websites, so now we aren’t talking about apps, but more websites that accommodate mobile. For instance, http://m.bbc.co.uk/news is the BBC News mobile site. If you typed this into a search engine on your mobile then this would be the interface you’d see. The site is more compressed with design, usability and navigation features that enable the site to be viewed from a small screen on a mobile. So although you can download a BBC News app there still must be a mobile website version created just in case you access the site from a search engine or another site.

However, we’ve all been there when there still isn’t a mobile optimised site! Frantically expanding and dragging the page up, down and across! Very annoying!

So there we have it. There’s an overview of the eight main elements of mobile marketing which in some way all interrelate. There’s no question that mobile marketing is increasing and probably by next year this list and the mobile marketing mix would have increased further!

Thanks for reading and please feel free to comment. For further digital marketing and social media news please follow me on Twitter @DigitalStuart.