Shawn Nesaw

Keeping up with all the updates to each social media platform is a daunting task. With no set schedule for updates, some channels have multiple updates in one month and zero updates in another. Similarly, some channels have numerous new additions in one update, while others don’t.

With social media constantly evolving, it’s imperative for social media pros to stay up to date with the latest from each platform so they can stay ahead of the curve and use new features to address communication goals as soon as possible. Let’s get right into it – here is the June social media update round-up.

Facebook 

June saw a big improvement to Facebook Live video with the implementation of closed captioning. This update provides more access to Facebook Live video for people with hearing impairments. For this feature to work, turn on captioning settings and the captions will automatically appear in your live video.

Safety Check was updated with four new features:

    • Fundraising
    • Expanding community help
    • Sharing a personal note when completing a safety check-in is completed
    • Introducing crisis descriptions

Facebook Messenger’s video chat in feature also received an update to now include animated reactions, filters, masks, effects and the ability to take screenshots of your video chat.

 

Instagram 

We all grow and change and so do our Instagram feeds. The new Archive feature, introduced in June, allows users to move photos previously shared on your feed into Archive where only you can see them.

If you change your mind, select “show on profile ” and the image will reappear in its original spot. Just click the circle arrow in the top right corner of the app to start archiving.

Also rolled out in June, after you go live on Instagram,  you are prompted to share a replay on your Instagram Story to let more people catch up on what they missed.

 

Twitter

In June, Twitter rolled out new features for businesses allowing them to add buttons to drive actions in Direct Messages (DM).

Probably the biggest change in June across all platforms was the Twitter facelift. This generous and well-deserved update to the Twitter user interface (UI) this month showed users that Twitter is still a viable social media player and that it listens to its users. Without getting too technical, here are the new changes to Twitter.

Click to watch
  • Slide right to access your profile, additional accounts, settings and more.
  • Refined the typography throughout the app so headlines are bolder and distinct from the rest of the text in your feed.
  • Round profile pics
  • The icons and the reply button changed from an arrow to a speech bubble and all the icons were slimmed down.

 

Snapchat

Snapchat unveiled Snap Map, which allows users to see what people are up to around the world by using the new maps feature. Pinch on the screen to zoom out and view the map. This feature allows you to also select your location settings so you can decide who can see your location while you are on the app.

Additionally, Snapchat introduced the ability to design custom Geofilters right in the app for any special occasion – birthdays, anniversary parties, weddings, bar mitzvahs, etc. Until now, this ability was reserved for desktop and designers. To get started, tap “On-Demand Geofilters” in Settings. Pricing for Geofilters starts at $5.99 in the app.

 

LinkedIn

LinkedIn received a few updates at once to improve the mobile experience. Now, you can see your connection history. Use this new feature to add some personal detail when you reach out.

Another new feature, Search Appearances, allows you to see how many people found you in search and the companies and job titles of the people searching for you.

Three other minor changes to the platform include:

  • Implementation of a new drag and drop feature allowing you to easily reorganize volunteer and education sections of your profile
  • Ability to add an image to any comment across the LinkedIn platform, when words just won’t do
  • Provide quick reply messages for when you want to reply, but don’t have the time

If you do not see these updates on your phone, go to the App Store or Google Play Store and update the apps to receive the latest features and check back next month for another roundup of social media updates.

Katie Bouloubassis

We developed our own list of major social media trends we think are really going to take off this year. Since some of the items on our list were relatively mainstream last year, we’ll explain each tool and give our insight on how you and/or your business can utilize these this year, either on your social media accounts or website.

2017 marks the 20th anniversary of the emergence of social media. Since its humble and somewhat intangible beginnings, social media has become the way to engage audiences in a discussion surrounding campaigns and increasing brand awareness for businesses and products. Consumers also seek reviews from family and friends about products and services through social media before making decisions to buy. The content users post on their social media channels evolves as quickly as the tools used to capture the content.

At A. Bright Idea, we continuously research the latest applications, tools and techniques. Here are the top four social media trends we’re excited about and look forward to implementing this year:

Boomerang: One of the hottest features we’ve seen in the past six months is Boomerang. This Instagram-exclusive feature loops a series of photographs together to create movement, making them visually similar to a GIF. Users can film Boomerangs within the Instagram app, adding it to their “story” or through the stand-alone Boomerang app. As video continues to rise in popularity throughout social media, Boomerang adds another level of engagement, furthering the wide use of video features to every day users. If you’re on Instagram, you should try Boomerang. We recommend using it once per story and very infrequently in your actual Instagram feed. Boomerangs are compatible on Facebook and Twitter, as well as Instagram.

When you win new business!

Live Video: Live video serves a purpose for broadcasting information or entertainment. It gives audiences a direct connection with the broadcaster in real-time for a true-to-life experience. Facebook, Instagram and Periscope are the most popular applications offering this service. Live video thrives due to its unedited, unrehearsed and in-the-moment content. The uses of live video are many and worth a try. If you’re looking to boost engagement on Facebook, we recommend using Facebook Live to get a nice bump in engagement. Facebook algorithms play favorites with their in-app tools, allowing your live video content to reach more people than a normal photo or video. We recently wrote a blog to serve as the beginners guide to using Periscope for live video. You can use the tips in that article for any live video application.

360 Video and Photographs:
Panoramic video and photographs give a 360-degree view from where the user stands. Images and video captured leaves a lasting impression from the stunning views or perspectives of the photographer. For social media, posting 360 images provides the audience with an interesting perspective. The post becomes more engaging, enticing audiences to interact with the photo to see the entire image. Currently, Facebook allows users to post their panoramic or 360 photographs directly to their account. YouTube supports 360 video. We anticipate an uptick in 360 video use with event centers and venues trying to showcase their amazing spaces to potential audiences. 360 video improves leaps and bounds on the Y2K era “virtual tour” with the use of Virtual Reality viewing devices and interactive features within the video.
Click the photo to enter the full interactive experience on Facebook (view on your phone for the best results)

Drones: Another popular piece of technology that we think is going to make waves on social media is drones. Drones are radio-controlled aircrafts used in many practical functions. The aircrafts vary in size, shape, type and capability. First introduced in military surveillance applications, todays off-the-shelf drones are primarily used by professional and novice photographers and hobbyists alike. In order to operate a drone, you must first register the craft with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Guidelines for flight are listed on their website under “Fly for Fun.” Drones squeezed their way into the mainstream in 2016, mostly on YouTube but now Target and Best Buy sell drones so we’re anticipating seeing more wondrous drone video and photography on Facebook and Instagram this year.

It’s a bird, it’s a plane, no, it’s our drone “Buzz”.

As with everything in life, “everything in moderation.” The same is true for social media. The trends above balance accounts and create diversity of posts while adding personality and fun to a feed. However, you can have too much of a good thing. Use the trending social media services sparingly. A feed of nothing but Boomerangs and drone shots might get engagement in the beginning but will become unexciting to audiences over time.

Let us know the top social media trends you engage with on a daily basis by commenting below.

Kristie Sheppard

Can you believe that mainstream social media didn’t launch until the 2000s? Since the early days of MySpace and Friendster, social media experienced significant and rapid growth. Now, there are hundreds of social platforms worldwide. It’s impossible to have a strategic presence on every social network, even for the largest companies in the world. In fact, most businesses only manage 2-4 social channels truly effectively but for a good reason, audience participation.

It’s important for any business but nonprofits specifically, to strategically determine where audiences interested in your organization are on social. Nonprofit organizations can effectively manage social platforms even with smaller staffs, budgets and resources. We recommend using major platforms that engage with the most users: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and, if you’re on the trendsetting side of social media, Snapchat. With your social channels selected, your organization can focus on audience engagement.

Once upon a time, the number of followers/likes was the measurement of success on social platforms, but now success is measured by engagement. Why? Engagement translates to conversion rates – conversion to becoming a donor, attending events or joining your mailing list. Nonprofits want to see these actions as a result.

It is common knowledge that nonprofits struggle with resources of time, money and staff so we are recommending five tried and true strategies to increase engagement on your social media platforms.

  1. Get visual

Add photos to your posts on Twitter and Facebook. Share behind-the-scenes images. Show your donors what your group does! Photographs garner more engagement than text-only posts. Remember, “A picture is worth a thousand words.”

Picture2

Using video to host interviews and show behind the scenes content of your business or event allows audiences to feel included in something special.

  1. Spark a conversation

Use social media as a way to dialogue with your audience. Social media has the power to serve as much more than a bulletin board. Engage your followers in conversation instead of just announcing information. Ask for their feedback. Find out what they want from the organization. Developing an online relationship will increase conversion rates.

Picture1

Start a conversation and continue it. Pets Lifeline monitored their Facebook feed so when Renaissance Sonoma commented, they were ready with a response to further the conversation.

  1. Get engaged

Just like you want engagement on your page, other pages want your engagement too! Get in the conversation. Follow like-minded groups and sponsors. React and reply to your followers’ posts. Share, with comments, what others are saying. Increasing your engagement with others will raise your social profile and expand your audience.

Picture3

Show your gratitude to other businesses on social channels, making sure to tag the business and others involved to lengthen the reach of the post, ultimately boosting engagement.  

  1. Be different

Every social platform has a different style and audience. Don’t just link your accounts so the same posts hit multiple platforms. While that is the easy way , it is not the effective way. The photo you use on Instagram needs different content on Facebook. You may tag different groups on each platform. Hashtags are most effective on Twitter and Instagram. The more hashtags you use on Instagram, the larger your reach, but on Twitter your text is limited.

  1. Pay to Play

We understand you might not have a social media budget. But don’t run away yet. Advertising and boosting posts on social media is one of the most cost-effective and targeted ways to increase engagement and grow your audience. Boost a post with a compelling image of why someone should donate, advertise your event or boost a post about how to join the newsletter. For as little as $25 a month, you can get great results.

Bonus Content: More tips to stay trendy on social media.

We always recommend starting with the development of a strategic social media plan, especially when multiple people from one organization are responsible for social media efforts. Success can only happen when the same messaging is consistently shared with your audience. For additional information, visit www.abrightideaonline.com.

Staying trendy in social media

abimaster | November 12, 2014

At A. Bright Idea, social media trends, statistics, best practices and innovative ideas are part of our daily operations, and staying on top of these industry changes prove crucial for our clients’ impact across multiple social media platforms. Social media serves as a free networking and outreach tool to build awareness and rapport with an audience. Businesses can build interest in their brands by posting relevant industry articles, news, events, photos, products and more – but how do you stay relevant and compete in this growing competitive environment? Social media offers the ability for businesses to segment and specifically target audiences with offers or messaging based on user profiles. If used strategically, social media provides the opportunity to elevate awareness, generate and sustain loyalty and reach new audiences.

Here are some quick, recent facts about social media:

  • 72% of all internet users are now active on social media
  • 89% of 18-29 year olds use social media
  • On average, Americans spend 16 minutes per hour on social media
  • 71% of users access social media from a mobile device
  • One million websites are accessed using the “Login with Facebook”
  • 23% of Facebook users login at least 5 times per day
  • 47% of Americans say Facebook is their #1 influencer of purchases

StayingTrendyInSM

With not only more social media platforms than ever, each social media outlet is changing every day, from the way you can advertise, to the layout of your brand’s page, to the best tips for engaging your audience. Keeping your social media active and fresh requires your due diligence, so here are some tips to engage your audience across many social platforms:

  • Photos, photos, photos.
    • Studies show posts get 85% higher engagement on Facebook and 35% more retweets.
  • Utilize Facebook advertising, but target your audience, even just a little goes a long way
  • Engage with other profiles and users, comment/reply to posts
  • Ask questions, offer facts/tips and utilize contests or giveaways
  • Repurpose content across platforms and website
  • Show a brand personality
  • Utilize your analytics data to capture audiences, posting times and more

A. Bright Idea’s expertise in social media continues to engage audiences for our clients, either through social media strategies implemented by our clients, or allowing A. Bright Idea to implement a strategy for you.
Email info@abrightideaonline.com or call 410-836-7180 | 707-935-1377 for questions.

 

Super Bowl Commercials

This year’s Super Bowl commercials may have covered a variety of themes from sexy models to cute kids, wacky animals to celebrity cameos, but there’s one thing they all had in common – user generated content and a call-to-action for the audience via social media.

Even before the big game, advertisers were using social media to reveal sneak peeks of their upcoming ads to capitalize on the excitement and build brand buzz through custom hashtags, Facebook pages and websites. Some hashtags trending prior to and during Sunday’s game included:

Audi: #BraveryWins

VW: #GetHappy

Pepsi: #PepsiHalftime

Toyota: #WishGranted

Coke: #CokeShowgirls #CokeBadlanders #CokeCowboys #CokeChase

Doriots: #CrashTheSuperBowl

Samsung: #TheNextBigThing

Mio: #ChangeStuff

Axe: #InSpace

Budweiser: #Clydesdales

Budlight: #HereWeGo

GoDaddy: #YourBigIdea

Pistachios: #CrackinStyle

Speed Stick: #HandleIt

Tide: #MiracleStain

 

When it came time for the big reveal there were a few commercials that really stole the show by utilizing social and interactive media well, generating a greater connection among the audience and brand.

Oreo
Which is the best part – the cream or the cookie? Oreo’s hilarious whisper commercial called on viewers to ‘choose your side’ through Instagram. The Oreo Instagram account shows images of just about anything made out of either the cream filling or the cookie, inviting viewers to add their own image with the tag #cookiethis or #creamethis. Oreo may recreate the item using your favorite part of the Oreo.

Oreo

Taco Bell
What do retirement age seniors like to do after a night of partying? Go to Taco Bell of course! The surprise storyline in this commercial, all set to the Spanish version of Fun’s, ‘We Are Young,’ works well with Taco Bell’s current “Live Más” campaign. The fast food restaurant invites the audience to go to their Facebook page for coupons, photos and more.

 

Coca-Cola
Coke had previewed their commercial featuring the showgirls, badlanders and cowboys racing to the coveted beverage well before the big game. The beverage company encouraged viewers to go online to vote for the ending of the commercial to air during the Super Bowl. At their custom website, viewers voted for their favorite group, while at the same time sabotaging the other two groups by sharing their selection on Facebook or Twitter. In the end the #CokeShowgirls came out on top and had the privilege to ‘open happiness.’

 

Pepsi
As sponsor of the halftime show, Pepsi called on viewers to submit photos for a chance to be a part of the performance intro. The user-generated content introduced Beyonce while associating the brand with a direct connection to their audience.

 

Axe Apollo Space Academy
The lifeguard may have saved the distressed woman from a shark attack, but nothing beats an astronaut. The Axe Apollo commercial included the element of surprise, while also announcing a special contest where viewers can actually win a trip to space. The new Axe Apollo has teamed with SpaceExc to send a few select winners to fly into orbit. With a custom website and hashtag #InSpace, Axe Apollo certainly caught the audience’s attention with a creative commercial and turned it into social media engagement.

 

Budweiser
The Budweiser Clydesdale commercials are classic, and this year the beverage allowed you to tweet @Budweiser with the hashtag #Clydesdales to help name the baby Clydesdale seen in the commercial. The commercial certainly tugs at the heartstrings, showing the man’s horse running to see him at the very end – what love! Who wouldn’t want to jump on Twitter to name that beautiful horse?

Budweiser

Doritos
Doritos, which has claimed a #1 spot in recent online commercial rankings, deployed its “Crash the Super Bowl” campaign again, gathering user-generated commercials and inviting the audience to vote on their favorite commercials to air during the big game. The “Goat for Sale” was our favorite!

 

Lincoln
The Lincoln “Road Trip” commercial encouraged viewers to ‘steer the script’ and see what the ending brings. They also asked viewers to tweet about their most memorable road trips – although big miss for Lincoln – no Twitter handle or hashtag was included in the commercial. How do we know how to categorize our tweet?

 

Mercedes-Benz
In the Mercedes Benz spot, Kate Upton invites you to go to MercedesBenzUSA on Facebook to see the all-new seductive CLA Benz coming in September. The commercial is a pure glitz and glam display with celebrities like Kate Upton and Usher, but captures the audience with an affordable price point.

 

Samsung
The comical interaction between Paul Rudd and Seth Rogen was entertaining, as was the direct approach to call out other advertisers gimmicks. The commercial showcased smartphone and tablet devices, while utilizing #TheNextBigThing and social tools through the devices.

 

It couldn’t be expected, but advertisers also took advantage of the unique opportunity the game’s third-quarter blackout provided, jumping quickly on social media with real-time Twitter campaigns. Oreo, Tide, Bud Light, Audi, VW and Speed Stick—were some of our favorites.

  • Oreo – “You can still dunk in the dark”
  • Tide – “We can’t get your blackout. But we can get your stains out”
  • Audi – Told its followers they were sending some of their LED headlights to the Superdome (which is sponsored by competitor Mercedes-Benz)

 

Notable Mentions
While the below commercials didn’t necessarily include social media, they were still some of the most talked about in social media.

  • Jeep: A tug at the heartstrings, welcoming home troops – “Whole Again”
  • Ram: Guts. Glory. Ram. – “God made a farmer”
  • E*TRADE: Smart talking baby tells you to – “Save It”
  • Tide: A 49ers fans glory squashed at the hands of a Ravens fan (much like the big game!) “Miracle Stain”

Getting more from your businesses Facebook page

abimaster | December 17, 2012

Thriving brands recognize the importance of Facebook and engaging its audiences and connecting with people interested in their product or service to reach a large audience. Facebook gives businesses the potential to share content and to grow awareness and recognition of their brand. For a lot of brands, Facebook really is grassroots marketing and a word-of-mouth opportunity to gain attention for your products or services. If one person on Facebook interacts with your business, all of their friends have the opportunity to see that interaction, snowballing your reach.

It doesn’t take a savvy marketer to launch a successful presence on Facebook. Honest interactions and a handle on your brand are a good place to start. A few other tips we’ve picked up when using Facebook as a tool to build brands:

 

1. Be consistent in content

Not only in the content you post, but also in your imagery. Ensure the messages you post are consistent with the brand message you include on your brochures, website, commercials, billboards, radio, in your office and verbally face-to-face.

  • Not every single post needs to be specifically about your product, service or business—but see if you can somehow relate it back to something relevant to your business or that your fans would be interested in.
  • When applicable, utilize your business logo or messaging could be included on imagery you post. This ensures that if one of your fans ‘shares’ the post, the friends of that person will know where the content came from and may like your page too.
  • Learn the dimensions of the different Timeline areas such as the cover photo, profile image, highlighted post and page window. It is a big turnoff if someone comes to your page and the logo is cutoff in the profile picture or content is covered up in the cover image by the profile picture box.

Some third-party Facebook apps allow businesses to create customized pages including welcome pages, video channels, polls/contests, Instagram feeds, Twitter feeds and more. Pages can create a fully branded page with whatever content they want and set that as the default ‘Home’ screen for visitors to their page. This is basically another outlet for you to share customized content, like your website and brochure.

 

2. Learn tricks and tips

Facebook recently introduced a scheduling tool, allowing users to set messages to post in advance. Scheduling ensures you don’t have to worry about keeping up with Facebook while you’re on the road, traveling, in meetings or elsewhere. Brands can set up the social media for the day or even the week and let it post on schedule.Still, take note of timing.

  • Be responsive to inquiries and comments.
  • Take note of when your posts get the most interaction. Sometimes, the best time to post is when you or an employee is not in the office Monday thru Friday 8-5. A lot of people utilize Facebook in the evenings, early in the morning and on weekends.
  • Utilize new Timeline tools such as ‘pin to top,’ for current messaging or promotions, ‘highlighting,’ allowing the message to span across the full Timeline window and ‘reposition photo,’ allowing the user to adjust what part of the image shows up in the preview.

Know that it’s okay to check out other pages. Learn what your competitors or other top Facebook brands are doing and see if you can generate a campaign that makes sense for your business. Sports teams often watch video of their opponents before playing them to see how they could improve themselves—it’s no different for checking out other brands on Facebook.

 

3. Know your audience

Take advantage of the  insights tool, a great, and sometimes, eye-opening feature Facebook offers to pages. If one of your social media managers is a 24-year-old male, make sure he knows that 55% of the 14,000 likes to one of your brand’s pages are females aged 35-64, and 72% of the total being female. Your message should then match your audience.

This is an actual occurrence on our SomethingAboutSonoma.com Facebook page. It makes sense, as those looking to spend a vacation or trip in Wine Country are the women who are trying to plan a trip with their loved one, family or girlfriends. Once you figure out the audience, it might change the type of content you post and how you write the messaging.

The insights tool also allows you to set goals for the number of followers, interactions or overall reach for your page or individual posts. Figure out realistic goals, and set new milestones once you achieve them.

 

4. Change things up

In order to generate more revenue, Facebook allows businesses to promote themselves even further through Facebook ads and promoted posts. Both can be used effectively with the right tactics. Advertising on Facebook is not just for businesses with deep pockets either, with tools allowing users to set daily or monthly budget limits and provide filters allowing you to choose your target audience.

Facebook recently changed its news feed algorithm for showing business page content causing a decline in interaction. Unfortunately, less people are seeing business posts in their news feed. In order for a post to be more likely to show up in fans news feed, they need to have previous interaction with your page. The Facebook algorithm knows if a fan has never or rarely commented on your photos, shared a post or liked a post, so your content will be less likely to show up for that person. So, in order to spread your brand further, you must generate interaction with your posts.

Realizing businesses were mad about this new trend, Facebook launched the promoted posts feature—allowing business to pay for their posts to be seen. Similar to Facebook advertising, this could help your brand get a kick-start to gaining attention and interaction. If you pay for a few posts and get people to interact with a post, your future posts will be more likely to be seen by them. Businesses or brands could have thousands of likes on their page, but if interaction is down and nobody is seeing their content, what is the point? Monitor the virality of your posts to ensure the content you are generating is getting seen, or something needs to change.

Businesses should also change the cover image on the page occasionally, as it would become stale to repeat visitors if left alone. Utilize seasonal imagery, promotions, different products or different branding images for the cover photo.

 

Stay up to date on trends, rules, new tricks or features with Facebook to ensure your business continues to build an audience and become more successful.

 Social Media Services

Quick Fix – Social Media Strategy

abimaster | November 7, 2012

As social media continues to grow, we find ourselves needing even more time in the day to keep up! That’s why the Quick Fix for this edition focuses on managing the demands of social media to ensure you are hitting all of your audiences while being efficient and effective. As social media strategists, here are our top tips for taming your time on social media so you can focus your attention on other things!

  • Link your Facebook and Twitter accounts so when you update one it automatically posts to the other. This avoids the need to make posts to two separate accounts.
  • Set up HootSuite or TweetDeck to manage all of your accounts in one place, rather than signing in and out of each platform as you go.
  • Schedule your Facebook and/or Twitter posts through sites like HootSuite or TweetDeck, to post at specific times throughout the day. You can pick whatever day and time you would like! This allows you to ensure your accounts are kept up-to-date even when you might not have time throughout the day to get to them.

A. Bright Idea Twitter Graphic

And be sure to check out the pages of some of our client’s who are implementing these tips, including:

 

 

 

A. Bright Idea Twitter Strategy

Facebook Implements “Timeline”

abimaster | March 20, 2012

Since we care about your brand and want to keep you updated with pertinent industry information, we wanted to make you aware that all Facebook Business Pages will automatically switch to the ‘Timeline’ interface on March 30, 2012. All business pages will utilize a new format, with special features, including:

 

  • Square profile photo format for your logo, different size profile pictures should be adjusted so that they do not get cut off by dimension restrictions
  • An area for a ‘cover photo’ at the top of your page, this can be customized
  • Areas to promote sections of your page including photos, likes, videos and custom pages/apps
  • Timeline of your wall posts, allowing users to scroll through the months and years your page has been present

 

In addition, businesses can choose to show the most important features of your page first and choose the order of your apps and page information. The timeline allows businesses to ‘star’ certain posts for a wider view and to ‘pin’ certain posts to the top of your page, allowing viewers to see what is most important.

 

The administration panel will also allow you to manage features, notifications and insights in one place.

 

We hope you’ll find the new format provides you with additional ways to connect you’re your audience and further your brand. If you find that the new Timeline transition doesn’t fit into your timeline of planned Facebook updates, please let us know and we’ll be glad to provide a proposal for assistance. We’re experienced in the new timeline platform and can help your business capitalize on the updated Facebook features for your brand and business page. A. Bright Idea will help businesses manage this transition to ensure a smooth and clean platform to maintain your relationship with Facebook followers.

Social Media Day

abimaster | June 30, 2011

Thursday, June 30 commences Social Media Day presented by Mashable. This is “a day to celebrate the revolution of media becoming social.” Now the second annual, Social Media Day encourages offline ‘meet ups’ of a social community around the United States and also across the world. These ‘meet ups’ consist of organized panel discussions about social media influences or impromptu coffee house networking events, but Mashable says there is no wrong way to celebrate Social Media Day. During the first Social Media Day in 2010, more than 600 ‘meet ups’ in 93 countries took place. With the expansion of social media followers and users, the numbers for this year’s global event are expected to be much larger.

At A. Bright Idea, we plan to celebrate by keeping our own content flowing, and maintaining the latest in cutting edge social media for our business and our clients. A. Bright Idea stays current through news articles, blogs, Twitter and Facebook posts, videos, seminars, webinars and more. Some of our favorite industry sites: Mashable, CreativityOnline, AdvertisingAge, Adweek, Time Magazine, and Ragan.

Some cities across the globe are hosting organized Social Media Day events in an attempt to earn the title of Most Social City by Mashable. Burlington, Vermont is hosting several events, a scavenger hunt with top local businesses and ‘tweet ups’ in an effort to become the Most Social City. Phoenix, Arizona is hosting a blowout informal networking event at District American Kitchen and Wine Bar. New York, the city having the highest concentration of Twitter users, is hosting events throughout the city to “celebrate the technological advancements that enable everyone to connect with real-time information, communicate from miles apart and have their voices heard.” New York currently has the largest fan base for Social Media Day, based on their planned attendance at events. Other top cities across the globe include Sao Paolo, Brazil, Barcelona, Spain, and Antwerp, Belgium.

Current social media statistics are mind blowing, and anyone who thinks social media won’t make or break their business or brand should think again. Social media outlets such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Flickr, FourSquare, LinkedIn, Myspace, Wikipedia and more, are changing the way we interact, share and gather information and spend our time, both personally and professionally. Even further, Smartphones allow users to stay connected to their network of friends, businesses and online data at all times through the Internet.

Social Media Facts

  • Facebook tops Google for weekly traffic in the U.S.
  • If Facebook were a country, it’d be the world’s 3rd largest
  • 95% of companies using social media for recruitment use LinkedIn
  • Lady Gaga, Justin Bieber and Britney Spears have more Twitter followers than the entire populations of Sweden, Israel and Australia
  • GROUPON will reach $1 billion in sales faster than any company in history
  • YouTube is the second largest search engine in the world
  • Every minute, 24 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube
  • Wikipedia would be 2.25 million pages if it were a book
  • 90% of customers trust peer recommendations
  • 93% of marketers use social media for business
  • It took radio 38 years to reach 50 million users, TV 13 years, while Facebook added over 200 million users in less than a year.

* Statistics from Socialnomics video

Erik Qualman, author of Socialnomics, a book about how social media transforms the way we live and do business, put together his Social Media Revolution 3 video last week about the impact of social media on business and the globe:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x0EnhXn5boM&feature=related

When we consider a clients brand, we realize that sometimes, social media enables businesses and brands to build online communities and share information from thousands to millions of online users and communities. Facebook allows the business to create a page to share information and build a community of followers. Twitter allows a business to share quick bits of information and @follow users similar to them and discuss #trends through tagging. The platform of YouTube allows businesses to share videos across the web. The outlets for sharing information on the Internet are almost endless.

With this new wave of technology becoming more popular over the past five years it remains crucial to understand how to effectively use this medium. With this continuing trend, Social Media Day exists as an outstanding way to celebrate the phenomenon and use social media outlets to plan events to celebrate this “technological holiday.”

Social Media Day website on Mashable: http://mashable.com/smday/
Follow on Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/mashSMday