Tag Archives: like

Status update: 10 signs that you’re a social media addict.

Social media addictAs I was riding the train yesterday, I look across the aisle to see the faces of five of my fellow passengers – an entire row of people – buried in their mobile devices.

For the whole ride from Montclair to New York Penn Station, they remain transfixed to the little screens of their “i” devices.

Social media addicts, the lot of them.

Social media addicts, the lot of them.

No small talk.

No exchanged glances.

No pleasantries.

Nada.

Expressionless faces peering into the void.

Looking around the train car, I noted that virtually everyone was on something.

With the exception of one couple deep in a conversation, everyone else – literally everyone else – was on some form of electronic device.

The lady to my left was ensconced in her Facebook feed.

The dude next to her was scrolling through Instagram.

Not to be the odd man out, I whipped out my iPhone, dialed up my Facebook app and began mindlessly “liking” updates in my News Feed.

Like a zombie, I stared blankly into my iPhone’s screen waiting for that thing – that visceral feeling – that made me ‘thumbs up’ one inane item or another posted by my friends.

And in that moment, I realized that I was addicted to social media.

Somehow, I had transformed from someone who thrived on human connections, to one subsisting on virtual interactions.

I knew something was amiss.

I also knew that I wasn’t alone.

Like the passengers on the train, there are probably millions out there, similarly addicted.

Today’s post is devoted to helping you figure out if you too, are an addict.

So here are the top 10 signs that you’re addicted to social media.

1. The first thing and last thing you do every day is check out your Facebook, Twitter or Instagram feed.

2. You ask people for life advice on Facebook. “Hey FB, am I addicted to FB?”

3. You’re always taking and posting selfies.

No, wait. I've got it. Hold on...just one more. No. That's not quite right. Just one more. Umm...

No, wait. I’ve got it. Hold on…just one more. No. That’s not quite right. Just one more. Umm…

4. You talk in acronyms. OMG! I’m a SM addict! SMH LMFAO

5. You constantly use hashtags. #youreaddicted #toptenlist #stephenchukumbarocks

Am I really going to search "#24yearsold"? Get your hashtag game right Maureen!

Am I really going to search “#24yearsold”? Get your hashtag game right Maureen!

6. You threaten to “unfriend” or “unfollow” people.

7. You get offended when people don’t accept your friend request or follow you back.

8. You experience the “phantom buzz” even when you don’t have your phone on you.

9. You check your phone impulsively and at the most inappropriate times.

10. You start or end you day with a greeting to your “Facebook family.”

Are we really your family, Judith? Really?

Are we really your family, Judith? Really?

If you exhibit any of these signs, put down your phone or tablet device, and get help immediately.

You could be suffering social media addiction.

If you don’t seek treatment right away, you may find yourself incapable of holding regular conversations and social interactions may become increasingly awkward.

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Like me and I’ll like you back. Reciprocity, social media style.

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If you’re a member of any of the many groups on Linkedin, you may have seen a thread inviting members to ‘like’ a fellow member’s Facebook page.

In exchange, the owner of the page will like the pages of participating members back.

Similar campaigns have been floated for folks to follow one another on Twitter.

These types of initiatives operate on the honor system, with participants adding their respective Facebook URLs or Twitter handles only after they’ve like fellow participants’ pages.

I’ve participated in a few of these exchanges (purely for investigative purposes).

But I had to stop once I started seeing status updates of dog walkers, podiatrist and various other nondescript entities and individuals I didn’t really know, popping up on my Facebook page and inside my Twitter feeds.

While the idea was good, the end result left much to be desired.

Now you must know that there is a certain etiquette underpinning initiatives such as these in social media.

It’s the principle of reciprocity.

Essentially, the principle of reciprocity dictates that one good turn deserves another.

It started with Twitter.

When I first joined Twitter, they actively promoted reciprocal following.

If someone followed you, the proper protocol was that you followed that person back.

When you only had a few followers, reciprocity seemed like a great idea.

Simply by trolling through Twitter, you could follow a whole bunch of folks and (with the etiquette of reciprocity) have them follow you back.

Great right?

Only theoretically.

But finding and following people on Twitter was a manual, labor intensive process.

You had to find an follow cats one at a time.

Boo hiss! Who has time for all that?

Then services like TweetSpinner came and changed the game.

TweetSpinner (and services like it) allowed you to automate the find-and-follow process, which could only heretofore, be done manually.

Simply plug in a few keywords and search filters, and voila! you had a whole list of like-minded folks, which you could follow, en masse.

Even if only a small fraction of them followed you back, the ratio with which you were identifying and following meant that you could grow your followers exponentially faster than you ever could before.

Soon Twitter found its numbers exploding as users scurried about trying to build larger and larger followings.

Ashton Kucher famously challenged CNN to see who could reach one million followers first.

Ashton won.

Not to be left out in the cold, Facebook also encouraged social reciprocity.

Facebook went from fans to ‘likes’ and soon everywhere you looked, folks were liking each others’ pages (and content within pages).

Someone puts up a picture, video, song or clever statement, what do we do?

Like it, of course.

Get a favorable comment from someone, what do you do in return?

Like their comment, what else?

Liking has become such an important commodity, that brands have been dropping like widgets on everything they produce.

Email newsletters, digital flyers, event pages, you name it.

The concept of liking has become so pervasive, numerous white papers have been devoted to the subject.

Still, many are unsure of the value of ‘like’ currency.

But I believe that it’s a good measure of a brand’s stickiness.

While there may not be a lot of data to support the relationship between Likes and conversion rates, it’s clear that brands that interact with their audience (as defined by the folks who have liked your page) derive some benefit from the exchange.

A trend thats starting to gain traction, is the concept of paying it forward.

#followfriday, retweets, re-pins, shares are all examples of the ways cats are paying it forward online and in social media.

Adding new content and keeping your pages fresh give folks a reason to visit, re-publish your information and like your page.

Now get out there and like somebody!

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What Would Stephen Do? (WWSD): Five Social Media Solutions for Super Bowl XLVII

Not Steve Jobs! Stephen Chukumba! What Would Stephen (Chukumba) Do?!

So I’ve spent the past two days bitchin’ and complaining engaged in thoughtful dialogue about what advertisers did wrong with their Super Bowl commercials, from a social media perspective.

Sure, I was disappointed, but what would I do differently, if any of those brands had hired me or my firm to manage their social media efforts?

So without further ado, What Would Stephen Do (WWSD) to make Super Bowl XLVII commercials more socially engaging?

1.  Seed. If you’re a marketer, you knew that the ads that ran during the Super Bowl were available before the big game. Only a select few knew this. Why? Why not make these commercials available to your active social media audience?

Everyone who has ‘liked’ your Facebook page, followed you on Twitter or belonged to any of your social media networks should have received a private message letting them know that the commercial was going to be available before the game.

They should have been encouraged to give their feedback and share, share, share! In this way, advertisers would have given their loyal followers exclusive, first-look access, and built valuable in-roads with folks who were already interested and advocates of their brands.

For Super Bowl XLVII, I’d make sure that I seeded my audience with snippets, trailers, teasers, sizzle reels, behind-the-scenes, and other exclusive content to prime them for the big show.

2.  Give Explicit Calls To Action. One of the greatest issues I had with the commercials which aired Sunday, was the absolute lack of clear calls to action. What <brand name here> did you want me, the viewer, to do?

Hey Chevy! You and your apocalypse ad. Was I supposed to stock up on Twinkies? I know you want me to buy your cars, but you could tell me to visit your Facebook page, website or something!

I would have explicit calls to action included in all my commercials. I.e. “Text CHEVY to 37619 from your mobile device to schedule a test drive.” Or “‘Like’ Chevy on our Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Chevy to learn more abou the new Silverado.” Or “Visit us on YouTube at http://youtu.be/XxFYYP8040A to watch our Silverado Super Bowl ad and share it with your friends!”

3. Rewards & Giveaways. You’ve got to give something to get something. In social media, the law of reciprocity is understood. So if I were advising any of these brands, I would make rewards and giveaways an explicit part of my strategy.

Several brands integrated Shazam into their commercials. If you used Shazam to find out the title and artist of the song in the commercial, I <brand name here> would send you the song as a free download.

Everyone who “liked” my car company on Facebook would be offered a free test drive. “Like” my beverage or snack company and get a coupon for a free sample. Tweet my hashtag, and get a discount when you file your next tax return with my company or register for insurance.

There is no greater way to build brand loyalty, than to give things away. And give sh*t away, we would!

4.   Contests. The NFL was the only brand that understood the inherent value of running a contest. The commercial for the NFL Perfect Fantasy promotion, ran throughout the Super Bowl, was the only contest from any of the brands.

If I were advising a car manufacturer, the contest would have given a way a new vehicle (or a lease for a year). A food, beverage or snack brand, free beverages/snacks for life. Tax brand, free tax preparation. Clothing retailer, free wardrobe. Insurance company, no premium policy.

I could go on and on.

Regardless of the brand, I would incentivize social media participation and sharing with a contest.

5.  Polling. One clear opportunity that was lost to everyone who aired a commercial during the Super Bowl, was the chance to find out what their audiences thought.

Did you like the first quarter? First half? Half-time show? Our commercial? Our product? The Super Bowl? Who do you think is going to win? What do you think the score will be? Who do you think will be the game’s MVP?

Anyone/everyone could have asked probing, insightful, or humorous questions easily.

Aside (one again) from the NFL, which asked people to vote for the MVP of the game, there were absolutely NO POLLS. WTF!

With people sitting captive for over four hours watching the game, WITH THEIR CONNECTED DEVICES (which they were obviously using the entire time!!!) not one brand thought, “Hmmm…maybe we should ask them what they think about our <fill in the name of your innocuous product here>?”

I would ask questions until I was blue (no pun intended, but completely apropos) in the face!

So there!

I’ve said it!

If you had hired me <name of brand that didn’t hire me here>, I would have given you far more run for your money, AND you would have incalculably valuable data THAT YOU COULD IMMEDIATELY ACT UPON to boot.

So next year, make sure I’m on your short list.

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Superbowl XLVI and Social Media: A Wish List

Which brands will freak social media this year?

Tomorrow night, the New York Giants will play the New England Patriots in Superbowl XLVI.

While most will be focusing on the game, for marketers, talk always turns to the commercials that air during the game.

With an estimated audience of 111 million, advertisers are queued up to spend $3 million for a thirty second spot, all in hopes of making an impact on that audience.

A well executed commercial can leave an impression on viewers that will last for months afterward and translate into money well spent by the brand(s) that get it right.

Volkswagon’s Young Vader commercial, which aired during Superbowl XLV has garnered over 50 million views to date, and was by far, one of the most popular commercials of the game.

While talk usually revolves around what Superbowl commercials the big brands are planning, I’m more interested in seeing how (and whether) these same brands integrate social media into their campaigns.

Aside from making their commercials available on YouTube (which is valuable), I’m curious as to how many have planned more comprehensive social media campaigns.

I’d imagine that we’re going see a number of calls-to-action involving ‘liking’ this brand or that on Facebook.

Quite passe, if you ask me.

But aside from the standards, like this or follow that, are any of these brands thinking outside of the box?

My wish list for this year’s Superbowl is to see brands utilizing social media in new and innovative ways.

I, for one, am going to be keeping a watchful eye for anything extraordinary tomorrow.

I’m also going to be looking out for which commercials create the biggest buzz during the game.

Which commercials are trending on Twitter?

Which brands get people updating their status with ‘LMFAO’s?

Which commercials get shared the most?

SMS. SnapTags. QR Codes. Spoof videos. Mobile-only content. I’m expecting it all!

Since my Cowboys were unceremoniously drummed out of Superbowl contention by the Giants (damn you Eli!), I’ve got no skin in the game.

So, don’t worry. I won’t be distracted rooting for any team. I know you were concerned.

I’ll keep a scorecard of who did what, paying special attention to the campaigns that tricked out their social media components.

Check in Monday for my post-game survey.

Go <fill in the name of your team here>!

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