A look back at 2013

2013

As the new year is slowly creeping upon us, it time to look back on 2013. So, what happened in 2013? Andy Murray won Wimbledon, Nelson Mandela sadly passed away, and we had the introduction of the first “smart watch”.

Well, thats what you would have found if you were on Twitter. Personally, I find that the news just isn’t for me. I find myself waiting hours on end to find out bad news after bad news, and who wants that, really? Instead, I get my iPhone out, go straight to social media, to final all the latest on the news that I actually want to hear about and avoid the long winded nature of the news, where you’ll rarely find anything remotely positive. So instead, 2o13 became the year where the news was right where you needed it to be, in your hand, at a click of a button, alongside the rest of all of your interests and fascinations. Its simple, straight to google, type away, and boom, your answer is right there.

But what was the most popular search on Google for 2013?

Well the answer is pretty simple, Facebook, yep, Facebook took the number one spot on the searches on Google for 2013, even beating Google’s own Youtube. Google also address the most searched “What is…” questions, where Facebook topped this search also around the UK.

The second question within the top ten, was a little more heart felt, “what is love?” The remainder of the questions consist of “what is minimum wage?”, “Universal Jobmatch,” and topics surrounding cancer, energy and blood pressure.

But throughout the year, the most searched terms on google are as followed;

1. Facebook – The most popular social media site around the global

2. YouTube – The second largest search engine in the world.

3. Google – The name itself of the most used site on the world web.

4. Hotmail – Popular email service

5. Ebay – Online auction site

6. BBC News – sharing a range of global and local news

7. Amazon – World’s largest online retailer.

8. Daily Mail – Print and online news paper

9. Argos – High street and online catalog store

10. Yahoo – Multinational Internet corporation

By Georgia Tims

My Experience as an Apprentice

Now, I’m sure you all know that stage where you can’t find a job?

Or even the stage where you have had enough of your job and want a new one?

Yes?

Well that was the position I was in.

When I first worked in retail and yeah it’s okay and everything and a great way of earning some extra money whilst at college, but I was just so bored of leaving college at 3:30 on a weekday then having to be at work 5-9. I know it’s only 4 hours but it’s one of those where you just don’t want to go, the journey there is horrible and that feeling you get just before you walk in, I’m sure you have all experienced that.

Swiftly moving on, I remember coming home and my mom had mentioned starting an apprenticeship and I thought I’d do a little research, anyhow I went to the Sunemployment Roadshow in Edgbaston and the only thing I was interested in was the apprenticeship scheme, I loved the fact that you can get paid for learning. I’ve always stuck by the quote “Find a job you like and you’ll never have to work a day in your life” I have stuck by this quote ever since I came across it. I registered on the apprenticeship website and applied for multiple positions and I had an interview for a graphic design company, I was really happy that I got an interview but something just didn’t feel right at all. I went for the interview and I thought it went really well, but it didn’t as I didn’t get a second interview.

The other apprenticeships I applied for were other graphics design positions and also a social media apprentice. At the time I wasn’t’t really concerned which one I got as I just wanted a change and I wanted something to kick start my career of. I got a screening for the social media position and I was psyched that I got it. Anyway, I had the screening and it went really well, I was nervous but on the other hand I had a really good feeling. I got a call back and they asked me to come for a proper interview, I was over the moon. When the date arrived I went for the interview, turned up nearly half an hour early and you know that feeling where you’re waiting for your interview? Time goes by insanely slow. Moving on, I got a call on the 15th August 2013 and I got the job, the start date was the 19th and I was so happy.

When I started I literally had no idea what social media even meant, all I could think of was Twitter & Facebook… I was wrong… Very wrong. Social media isn’t just ticking boxes it’s a way of doing business.

And to this day I have learnt so much, I have built my LinkedIn profile, generated leads and I even have my own business cards. Now I never would have thought that I would have even had my own business cards let alone my own desk. An apprenticeship has made me understand and even realise the advantages of doing an apprenticeship scheme, referring back to my quote “Find a job you like and you’ll never have to work a day in your life” I don’t work a day in my life, this isn’t a 9-5 job, it’s a lifestyle and I love what I do. I chose this route over university and boy am I glad I did. The difference between university is, at university you pay to learn where as an apprenticeship scheme you get paid to learn…  in an apprentice you get a qualification and an 85% chance that you will stay in employment and also a 64% chance that you will stay with your current employer. Whereas at university you have a 50% chance of getting a job in something that you have a degree in… Now that’s silly… You pay to learn something for 2-4 years at university and you have a 50% chance of getting a job, or you can start an apprentice like I did and not know anything about it all, and you can get paid for it…

That’s why I chose an apprenticeship.

If you would like to follow the path I took, there are 10 social media apprenticeships available now in Birmingham. For more information please click here.

By Luke Priest

Top 10 Infographics That I Have Come Across

Over the weekend, I was scrolling through my Twitter feed on my phone and noticed quite a lot of Infographics that people were sharing,  when I arrived home I just had to get them up on the computer to get a better view and I was truly blown away. I’m a HUGE fan of Infographics and the more I see them, the more I fall in love with them. I collated a top 10 and here are the results.

1.

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This has to be one of my favourite infographics I have ever come across, I think it has a very sleek professional look to it, including facts on why B2B companies invest into social media, which social media platforms these type of companies use, it also covers the top industries currently on LinkedIn and B2B content marketing realities.

2.

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This is more focused on the statistics of all the social media platforms, it covers the amount of users, the gender percentages and many other facts, take a read.

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This one is more aimed at statistic (everybody loves statistics) running through what devices are striving forward with social media platforms and which countries have the most users.

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This infographic is from Huffington Post, going through which platforms marketers’ use and how many posts are posted each day on each of the platforms.

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This infographics main aim is on Twitter, going through all the numbers behind it. It shows us which user has the most followers and who is tweeting the most. The best #’s that get the most interactions. Even though some of the statistics are a little bit off as Katy Perry ‘roar’s’ past Justin Bieber gaining the No.1 spot for most followers, it is still an incredible infographic.

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This one goes through the state of social media. “These statistics will settle your superstitions about the effects social media marketing is having on its users” including marketing facts and how they use platforms.

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The infographic is from the social media week powered by Nokia during the week of February 18-22. Even though the facts are mainly aimed at what went on during that week but this infographic shows what can be achieved in one week.

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This one focuses on social media marketing, it has 14 facts on marketing, and I quite like this one as it focuses on the “flight” of marketing in 2013. Overall, I think that the design is beautiful and it really does catch your eye.

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This infographic is about the way that word of mouth influences marketers. Personally, I feel that word of mouth marketing is revolutionary, it is a way This one also focuses on small little statistics that’ll draw you in.

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Last but not least this infographic ask the question how social is B2B? and also including statistics that’ll help and potentially change the way that your business works.

By Luke Priest

When Twitter Goes Wrong

When Tweeter Gets WrongWith the news that Katy Perry has now taken the crown as the most followed person on Twitter, we ask the question ‘What are the pros and cons of such as huge following as a celebrity?’ In this blog entry we will be looking at how celebs have used the power of a strong following to the advantage of their career and also what happens when it all goes wrong.

People like Katy Perry and Lady Gaga are masters at using Twitter to the advantage of their career (whether they admitted or not). Creating names for their fans such as “Little Monster” and “ Katy Cats” allows their audience to feel included and empowered as they have means of communication with their idol and feel part of a community. Using their fan communities to promote their products and releases. Countdowns to new releases is a great example of how these stars use their following to create buzz.

But what happens when Twitter becomes your enemy? Twitter meltdowns are a rare thing but when their happen it can be truly detrimental to a celebs career. One example of this is the now notorious Amanda Bynes, she started as a child star starring on Nickelodeon show The Amanda Show.  Amanda’s career had been on downward spiral for a couple of years before here meltdown, her erratic behaviour was documented and watched by millions through her Twitter account.

twitterwrong2A day didn’t pass through mid-2013 without a news channel or gossip column talking about her tweets and worrying actions. Amanda also had confrontations with other stars through the platform such as Rihanna which gave entertainment for some and concern for many more. Amanda’s behavior came to end in late 2013 when she was sectioned. It is yet to be seen whether Amanda’s reputation is permanently damaged but it’s hard to see how it wouldn’t be. This brings a big issue to the forefront of celebs on twitter. Where is the line between what is kept personally and what is public for celebs on social media platforms?

twitterwrong3So, we’ve seen what happens when Twitter goes right and wrong, but what happens when a Twitter meltdown goes in a celebs favour? Charlie Sheen is a great example of this. Charlie’s famous meltdown #Winning! left him with mental health and substance issues and even lost his spot on American smash hit show Two and a Half Men. But unlike Amanda this meltdown didn’t seem to damage his career in the slightest, in fact it seemed to heighten his career even more. With a new hit show Anger Management along with many other projects in the pipeline Sheen’s #Winning streak doesn’t sees no sign of slowing down. The moral of Sheen’s story seems to be being a little crazy isn’t an issue as long as you embrace it strangely enough.

By Thomas Parker

How Celebrities Use Twitter

Imagine a world where social media didn’t exist, no FaceBook, no Twitter, no YouTube and no Instagram, now imagine not being able

to track your favourite celebrities 24/7, depressing right?

Why do we have these feelings of despair? Well we have these feelings because we have all been caught in the ‘Celeb Web’.

The Celeb Web is like a spider’s web, once you’re in you can’t get back out again, you become addicted to looking at their social media sites and this is actually what the celebrities have set out to do.

So how do they do this, here are a few ways ‘celebrities use Twitter’

Keeping themselves in the public eye

What’s a better way to keep yourself relevant than constantly updating your social media sites.

Some celebrities even post controversial content that will get people talking about you, because after all if you’re a celebrity and you are not being talked about, you might as well face the fact the fame game is over for you.

Let’s take a look back to April this year, Lindsay Lohan decided that she wasn’t being spoken about enough, like in previous months, so decided to pull the old ‘April fools prank’ on twitter. This tweet received 12,000 retweets and 4,000 favourite and people actually fell for it, although Lindsay admitted it was a prank in the end, the tweet was still being spoken about days later. So for Lindsay keeping herself in the public eye this was.. MISSION ACCOMPLISHED

Treating their fans like friends

The one thing that fans appreciate the most is to be spoken to like a friend rather than a follower, once a celebrity has mastered this, they can do anything.

Lady Gaga has mastered this skill and always makes sure she interacts with her fans whether they are tweeting about her music or generally just trying to get her attention.

Dealing in self promotion

 

Many celebrities these days use their social media sites as a way of self promotion. So what’s a better way of getting the word out there about upcoming albums and single than having a tweet about it along with a cheeky hyperlink that leads them straight to iTunes, Great use of a call to action right?  This method of self promotion is very affective for upcoming artists who want to get their songs out there to their fans, because what’s a better way of getting their songs up in the charts, than selling singles.

A great recent example of a celebrity using this method to their advantage is upcoming artist Iggy Azalea, her call to action was asking people to pre order her ‘Change Your Life’ single off of iTunes and what did the fans get in return, she promised to follow fans who had pre ordered it, clever isn’t it?

As you can see these three examples are the main aspects of what makes a celebrities twitter tick, if a celebrity can get these things right then they have effectively conquered the twitter world.

A celebrity needs to get the right balance between responding to fans, selling their products and keeping their profiles interesting, if they get this right, they are prepared for twitter domination!

By Zoe Cresswell

Why Facebook Is No Longer Top Dog

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With the announcement of Facebook now looking into changing it’s whole edge ranking scheme and reportedly losing brands millions of users per month, the question whether Facebook is still relevant is very much up for discussion. To answer this question we need to first look at what went so good for Facebook in the beginning.

Where Did It Go So Right?

Harvard students Mark Zuckerberg, Eduardo Saverin, Andrew McCollum, Dustin Moskovitz and Chris Hughes formed this famous social network, Facebook originally started out as a site dedicated to allowing students to connect with each other. Fast forward a few years and Facebook had opened up to not just students but to the whole world. Previous social media platforms had made impact with business and culture before, for example, MySpace had a revolutionary effect on the music industry making it possible for unsigned bedroom musicians to become household names without the help of major record labels, success stories such as Lily Allen and Kate Nash are a few of many in that era. However, Facebook was the first platform to really penetrate popular culture across the board, features such as likes, poking and various games helped makes Facebook the most popular social media platform of in the world.

Facebook was also the first platform where major brands and companies really sat up and noticed the marketing potential of social media. Every self-respective company soon had a business profile on Facebook and a lot of businesses even started up on the platform, it has become the starting point and blueprint for most social media marketing plans.

What Goes Up Must Come Down

Like with most love affairs, Facebook and it’s audience seems to be coming to an end as other social media platforms such as Twitter has built considerable momentum with it’s micro-blogging site. Twitter’s emphasis on news and strong celeb backing has become more and more important in our celebrity-obsessed society. This 140 character limited style was perfect for the millennial generation who are in constant need for topical news quick and hassle free, the character limit made it impossible to ramble with in a single update.

Twitter has rapidly become a huge influence on popular culture, make no mistake businesses and brands have definitely seen potential of the platform especially the music industry with Justin Bieber, Katy Perry and Lady Gaga being the top three most followed people on Twitter. It has been so influential in our celebrity-obsessed culture because it allows fans to feel closer to an artist and gives artists the opportunity to build their own fan communities such as Beliebers and Little Monsters. Artist and their labels also get instant feedback in return, this is great as it allows them to crowd source public reaction and tweak aspects of their image, branding and even which song to release next. This has left Facebook feel dated, as the connection between brand and audience isn’t as instant as it is on Twitter.

Adapt Or Sink

With the rise in popularity of other social media platforms such as Pinterest, Twitter and Google+ over the past few years, there has been a build up of alternatives in the digital space to challenge Facebook’s dominance. Facebook needed to change in order to cement its status in the social media world once more. Changes to the profile format, hashtags have now being implemented and even rumours of followers instead of friends, the question a lot of people are asking including myself is, does Facebook need to change? Well we’ve seen with platforms like MySpace not adapting to their audiences changing needs, this can be detrimental to a social media platform, so I would say yes, change is needed. But I begin to wonder if change is needed then, how much can Facebook change without changing what fundamentally made Facebook, Facebook? So this the question post to you dear readers. Feel free to comment your thoughts below and lets start a debate!

By Thomas Parker

Social Networks: Beyond Digital

What is a social network? It’s a widely used term that usually refers to websites like Facebook, Twitter or Google+ in recent times but social networking has been going on ever since sentient beings were able to communicate. As long as there has been social groups we’ve had a network, to think of modern digital social networking as a  fad denies the notion of one of the fundamentals of being alive, the act of communication.

This talk by Harvard professor of Medicine, Health Care Policy, and Sociology Nicholas Christakis at TED2010, shows the power of the social networks around us. He details how physical social networks affect our daily lives including social networks can influence our body size.

This does pose a question, if this is the findings of social networks in our physical life, what affect is digital social networks making to us now?

By Omar Johnson

The Benefits Of Twitter For Your Business

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Welcome to the world of social networking, the latest way to leave your electronic footprint on the internet.   Did you know there are around 500 million users on twitter? And that 250,000,000 tweets are posted each day?

With this new knowledge do you feel more interested in starting up your own business twitter page and connecting with the millions of followers already participating? Well you should do and here’s why.

Twitter is a great way of communicating with other businesses and individuals who share an interest or share the same profession as you.

Having an online profile is a great way of promoting yourself as you can reach out to places all over the country and all over the world, as well as finding people/companies that you didn’t even know were out there.

People enjoy connecting on twitter as it is less time consuming and more interesting than other forms of social networking. Twitters only allows its users to make a tweet (comment) that is approximately 140 characters long, this may seem like a disadvantage at first glance, but thinks about it, how many of you would rather scroll through and look at shorter snappier tweets than having to sit and read a whole long winded paragraph?

Although it may seem like a strain to have to squeeze all you want to say into a couple of sentence, it actually benefits you as people will be more attracted to the short snappy tweet.

People can search for keywords (otherwise known as hashtags #) on twitter and can find anything you have written to do with that  keyword, for example ‘Social Media Buz – Experts who help companies grow their business using #SocialMediaStrategy, training, management and events. No.1 for #LinkedIn in the UK’ the key words being  #SocialMediaStrategy and #LinkedIn.

Twitter is all about the personal touches! You can comment and connect with everyone on twitter, even if you’re not following them.  Take the example from above if someone saw the tweet because they had searched for the keywords, they might then contact Social Media Buz directly and enquire about the services they are offering.

People also like to re-tweet comments that they like, this means posting a tweet that you have written, on their account. Re-tweeting is a way of showing interest in that post and also getting you better known as all their followers will be able to see it as well.

People are searching on twitter constantly, so they might not sit there all day staring at the screen waiting for new tweets however about 7/10 people have their social networking accounts connected to their smart phones, giving them easy access to all their accounts and alerting them of any new activity.

Make an account, at first your profile picture will be of an egg (get it an egg, because you’re a new born tweeter) TOP TIP – Why not make sure the first thing you do on twitter is add a relevant, eye catching profile picture. After all nobody likes talking to an egg! Create your profile, find your followers, gather your flock and become top of the tree in twitter land!

So think about it, now you know there are around 500 million users on twitter and that 250,000,000 tweets are posted each day why not sit in that social networking tree and start tweeting to all your potential fellow tweeters.

By Zoe Cresswell