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Category: Technology

31
Oct

Google Tricks You Didn’t Know

Google is much like a Swiss Army Knife – There are so many useful (and not so useful) tools you can use (toothpick anyone?) but most people are only aware of one or two key ones. So we thought we’d breakdown and share some of our favourite tips, tricks, hacks and handy Google hints! Enjoy!

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1)    Feeling too lazy to type? Use Google Voice, which enables you to search Google by speaking your queries. Simply click the microphone symbol on the right of the search bar. Click on the red circle that appears and record your query. Bingo. Your results will appear.

 

2)    Google ‘Do a barrel roll’ and watch the fun ensue. (Oh, it’s the little things.)

 

3)    Want to while away the hours at your desk? Why not play Google Pacman for a fun and classic old school game.

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4)    Google Image Search (or reverse image search) is a service by Google to search using images. The service allows you to find similar images to the one you uploaded, (also good at finding the source of an image you wish to relocate, perhaps in a larger size!) Simply click on the camera button on the right of the search bar and upload your image. This is excellent and we use this all the time.

 

5)    Google ‘Askew’ or Tilt’ for cheap thrills.

 

6)     Need to set a stopwatch or timer? Type in ‘set timer’ followed by a number of minutes, or a specific hour you’d like an alert, and Google will graciously comply with an obnoxious beeping once the moment has arrived. Just make sure the volume’s on. Too easy.

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7)    Google ‘Anagram’ Google will respond ‘Did you mean ‘Nag a Ram’’ – Oh Google you old card! (As we said, it’s the little things!)

 

8)    Other search tips which are actually really useful and will help with your day to day searches:

  • To look for specific phrases, put them in quotes i.e. ‘Why am I addicted to Facebook?’
  • Synonym search looks for words that mean similar things. Use the tilde symbol (~) before your keyword, like this: ~Eggplant to receive similar searches (i.e. aubergine, courgette, zucchini…)
  • Exclude specific key words using the minus symbol. i.e. Facebook – Twitter excludes all results including ‘Twitter’.
  • Common words like ‘I, and, then if…’ are ignored by Google, so there’s no point putting these in your search.
  • Make sure all your words are included by using the plus symbol i.e. ‘Facebook + Twitter + Google’
  • To get Google to fill in the blank, use the asterix key. i.e. Mark Zuckerberg founded *

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Tada! Enjoy!

 

31
Oct

6 Social Updates You Really Should Know!

Here are our Top 6 social and digital discoveries this week covering Instagram adverts, The Pope, Facebook competitions, Twitter news and how to be entirely insufferable on Facebook… Read on!

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1. Instagram Reveals Adverts  We recently announced that Instagram are introducing advertising onto their platform. This week they’ve released details about what they will look like. They’ll reassuringly appear much like a normal photo post, but with a  ‘Sponsored’ stamp in the top right hand corner where the time stamp would normally be, so you wouldn’t mistake them for user-generated content.

  Instagram have revealed they’ll use Facebook likes to target ads, though it’s not clear how many ads users will be exposed to. As with Facebook ads you can hide adverts and provide feedback, to ensure you get the most interesting and relevant ads to you in the future. Being such a visual platform, simply reposting your print ads just won’t cut it. Brands will have to be creative with their posts to create quality and engaging content. They’ll also have to make sure there’s a careful balance between sponsored and organic content, or they’ll risk alienating users. Get your thinking caps on and get creative!

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2. Twitter becomes more Visual What started as a 140-character, text only service, has been evolving and steadily moving towards making better use of videos and photos. They’re taking steps to becoming a more visual platform, this week announcing a tweak in their timeline; Visuals will be automatically shown in your Tweet stream!

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Now ‘previews of Twitter photos and videos from Vine will be front and centre in Tweets,’ Twitter’s Michael Sippy wrote in a company blog post. They will be directly displayed in your feed, without being a click or two away. This update will happen on Twitter.com as well as on iPhone and Android apps.

This is strong news for building brand engagement. It’s always been hammered home that for best content creation you need to break text up with great visuals. Twitter’s text heavy news stream can make it difficult to discover content and as a brand it’s hard to stand out in the crowded feed. This change will perhaps make things a little easier.

This has conveniently happened as Twitter moves closer to becoming a publicly traded company; This change will help the company tap into more revenue, as everyone knows pictures sell products. Potential investors will love more ad revenue!

Says Sippy, ‘So many of the great moments you share on Twitter are made even better with photos or with videos from Vine. These rich Tweets can bring your followers closer to what’s happening. We want to make it easier for everyone to experience those moments on Twitter.’ This development could be fantastically brilliant, or maddeningly annoying, depending on how many Twitter feeds you follow. We look forward to seeing how this pans out.

Read more at The Tech Chronicles!

 

3. Everything You Ever Wanted to know about Twitter Busy week for Twitter. New stats have been released this week about Twitter’s usage… All very interesting, but there was one point that stood out to us. Staggering to believe but Twitter, (which is expected to be valued at over $7 billion, when its shares are offered on Wall Street before the end of the year,) has NEVER made a profit. That’s right. Despite over 500 million Tweets posted every day they have never made a profit. Whaaaa?!

  Other Twitter stats that may interest you:

  • Launched 1 March 2006 Twitter’s been around for 7.5 years.
  • Over 100 million daily active users worldwide
  • 231.7 million monthly active users worldwide
  • 30 billion Tweet Impressions
  • 300 Billion Tweets
  • 5,700 tweets sent every second
  • 75% of monthly active users are on mobile (173 million users)
  • 70% of Twitter’s ad revenue is from mobile tablets and smart phones
  • 87% of Twitter’s revenue comes from advertising and 13% from data licensing

Source: Media Bistro  

 

4. Seven Ways to be TOTALLY insufferable on Facebook! Finally, if you do anything today, you have to read this great and highly entertaining article from the guys at Wait but Why giving us 7 Ways to be entirely insufferable on Facebook. Read it here They believe there are 2 types of status updates and they use a Venn diagram to illustrate their point. i) Statuses that serve the author = Annoying and ii) Statuses that do something positive for the reader = Unannoying. Somewhere between the two is the, (also unannoying) middle ground which serves both both reader and author. This, my friends, is where you need to be!

Hilarious article. We can relate and pinpoint Facebook ‘friends’ with every single one of these stereotypes! (Naming no names.) Can you?

5. The Pope has 10 million Twitter Followers  Pope Francis this week hit a staggering 10 million Twitter followers and tweeted out a celebratory message to all of his fans, beating Obama as the most influential world leader on Twitter. After his success on Twitter he’s also recently set up an Instagram account (@popefrancis) which already has 9,370 followers and features a number of selfies and perfectly filtered images alongside his daily activities. Only 9,990,630 fans to go Francis.

 

6. Timeline Contests are the Engagement Booster: When Facebook changed the rules and allowed pages to run contests directly on Timelines (using Likes, Shares and Comments as a way to pick a winner) we all cracked open the bubbly. And new stats released this week seem to indicate that the consumer are enjoying this development too. Social Media agency KRDS have recently examined 50 brand pages running contests directly on their timeline page and have found engagement rates on Timeline contests is 683 times higher than on generic Timeline posts!   Check out this info graphic for more information too!

23
Jul

Innovate or get left behind

A world without innovation is a world without growth. It’s time for you to jump on the innovation bandwagon, stay ahead of the curve and start taking advantage of the new opportunities in social media.

Instagram video

3 weeks ago Instagram announced it’s launch of video on Instagram, giving users another way to bring their stories to life. If a picture’s worth a thousand words I wonder how many chapters one Instagram video will cover?

Check out Ben & Jerry’s behind the scenes video of their Flavour Lab whipping up the ‘Churned’ flavour.

Oh what’s that… Yes, that’s right, Instagram, has finally introduced a new embed option which will allow users to embed videos and images across the web. Improving the reach of Instagram content by providing another way to share content.

Now grab your phone, get on Instagram and start sharing your stories today.

Facebook photo comments

Facebook has started rolling out a feature that allows users to comment on status threads and brand page updates using photos.

What does this mean? According to Bob Baldwin who helped build this feature, it hopefully means “this will make threads with friends more expressive and engaging.”

It’s time to think about how your brand could leverage this new facility. Update your content plan to make the most of photo sharing fan engagement.

Facebook hashtags

Facebook has taken a leaf out of Twitter and Instagram’s book and recently launched Facebook hashtags. You can now use hashtags on either your personal timeline or brand page to turn topics into clickable links. When someone clicks on a hashtag they will see a feed of posts that include that hashtag.

Our most important tip… Ensure you are relevant with hashtags. Learn from the brand fails we have seen on Twitter. Don’t hijack a popular hashtag just to improve your reach, you will be labelled a spammer in the social media community and even risk having your account being suspended.

It’s been a great few weeks for social media; these new features will open up a number of doors for brands. Now it’s time for you to evaluate these features to see if they’re relevant for your target audience and if so work out the best way to integrate these new features into your current content strategy.