All posts in “social media group”

Why we decided to offer unlimited vacation at Social Media Group

There has been a ton of discussion about the merits of unlimited vacation, offered by companies like Netflix,

The 400 salaried employees are evaluated on their individual performances, not face time. Still, they must be able to balance work and vacation responsibly to get their work done. And they must be able to work without constant supervision.

The more I read about unconventional methods of rewarding and retaining employees, the more the SMG management team discussed it, the clearer it became that offering unlimited paid time off to our employees made a ton of sense. Our business is extremely fast-paced, and while we are relatively small, we are mighty – working with huge organizations like 3M, Ford, CNN, SAP, Thomson Reuters and one of the top three global banks. We’re playing with the “big boys” and our incredible team has to deliver their A+ game – Every. Single. Day. (and sometimes after the day is technically over). Like Netflix, we are not interested in the adequate – our team is made up of exceptional, hard-working individuals because that’s what it takes to be the best.

It was that last part that really underscored the appropriateness of letting people take time when they needed it. Realistically, there is no such thing as a “work/life balance”. I think of it instead as a “work/life blend”. Sometimes your work blends into your life (working late or on weekends, doing what you need to do to deliver quality results). Why shouldn’t your life blend into your work (taking an afternoon off to spend with your kids)?

So, starting in September, Social Media Group began offering all of our employees unlimited time off. We obviously have some guidelines in place (with rewards come responsibility: you’re responsible for your own mental health, your clients and your colleagues), but I feel like it’s really lightened the load in our high-pressure, high-quality, top-notch delivery environment: no more worrying if you have enough vacation time saved to keep yourself healthy. Take time when you and your family need it; you have earned it.

What do you think about this policy? How do you think your organization would manage if a similar policy was instituted where you work?

'On-Demand Computing: Soaring with the Cloud' Tackles Current Tech Issues

I’m Michelle McCudden and I’m the new intern here at SMG.

We are excited to let you know about an event our friends (and clients) at SAP are helping put on later this month.

On September 28, MyVenturePad, along with SAP, will present “On-Demand Computing: Soaring with the Cloud.” This four-and-half hour global summit will cover cloud computing and software-as-a-service (SaaS) technology. This summit is specially tailored to high-growth enterprises, so if that describes your business, you should definitely check it out.

Attendees will have the opportunity to hear A-list speakers like Reid Hastings of Netflix, John Byrne of C-Change Media, Brent Leary of CRM Essentials, and Doug Merritt of SAP discuss SaaS, the ins and outs of On-Demand, and how cloud computing can impact your business.

By registering, you can attend all or part of the summit, or just view the archive of the event later. If you’re already involved in On-Demand or want to learn more about it, visit the registration page here and sign up for this exciting event.

Social Media Roundup for July 16, 2010

The Man your Man Could Smell Like

Unless you’ve been living under a rock this week, you’ve probably heard of (and maybe even developed a slight crush on) The Old Spice Guy. Old Spice released its first ad with the attractive fellow named Isaiah Mustafa in February at the Superbowl. A few weeks ago he was back with a new ad, and this week he was on the scene making personalized videos for random people and famous folks alike.

The campaign is being touted as one of the most successful viral campaigns in recent history. The 180+ custom videos made this week have garnered 5.9 million views and 22,500 comments.

More people using social media at work

Social media use at work is on the rise (from 19% to 24%) but it’s still not clear if its being used to advance business objectives or if employees are just wasting company time and money. The study conducted by Trend Micro looked at the Internet habits of 1,600 workers and concluded that employees working at larger companies were less likely to use social networks at the office than those working at a smaller company.

iPhone 4 troubles? Apple wants to give you a free case

Apple held a much anticipated news conference today to address concerns about the iPhone 4 antenna issue. Apple assured customers that providing quality products is a priority and they’re working to fix the current issues. Here’s what they said they’re going to do:

  • Release a software update that will fix the error in the signal calculation algorithm
  • Free bumper or refund for existing bumpers
  • If customers still aren’t satisfied, Apple will provide iPhone 4 owners with a full refund

Interestingly enough, Apple also mentioned that the return rate on the iPhone 3GS at AT&T stores was 6% whereas the return rate of the iPhone 4 was only 1.7%.

Social Media Roundup for June 18, 2010

Twitter Places

There is a huge amount of information that streams through, but depending on the topic, it is not always relevant to your particular geographical location. To help solve this problem, Twitter is launching their Places functionality. Users can tag locations to tweets, or browse tweets in a location of their choosing. If you find yourself at a sporting event, you can log into the stadium Twitter Place and see what everyone else is saying at the stadium. Places will be fully integrated with Foursquare and Gowolla, and API enhancements will be created to ensure all developers can use the full potential. Twitter Places will be implemented for 65 countries around the world in the coming weeks, so everyone keep your eyes peeled for the add location option below the tweet box!

How The World is Spending Time Online

It feels to many of us that Social Media has been gaining steam for years, and it looks like the momentum has just begun. Nielsen has released a study that found users are on blogs/social networks for 22% of their online time, an increase of 66% since last year. Blogs and social networks are also visited by three quarters of all global consumers, which is up 24%. These numbers are incredible, and clearly shows that social media is here for the long haul! So where do you spend your online time?

Principals of Measurement

KD Paine has a great live writeup about the recent International Association for Measurement and Evaluation of Communication (AMEC) event in Barcelona. Delegates from 33 countries voted, and passed the seven proposed key principals. It is great to see that standards are being agreed upon for measuring PR and social media, and even more so that there is a focus on measuring the business results rather then just the media results.

USA vs England

World Cup fever is in the air! This week brings us another viral video that illustrates a USA vs England game with stop motion photography – using Lego! Who will win? You’ll have to watch it to find out!

Social Media Roundup for June 11, 2010

Bing Adds Facebook & Twitter Updates

Bing lovers can rejoice! On Wednesday Microsoft launched their social implementation of Bing, which indexes data from Twitter, Facebook fan pages, and Facebook updates that are shared to “everyone.” There is also the functionality to play/pause the feed which will refresh the content or keep it static. The social view of Bing can be found @ bing.com/social.

Google Announces Caffeine

This week Google announced the details regarding their new and improved indexing system Caffeine. The new system will provide more content, and 50% fresher more relevant results from web searches. This is a fantastic update for those looking for the most recent article, stories, blogs posts, or forum threads. Google states that content on the web is blossoming, and to ensure scalability, Caffeine will add hundreds of thousands of gigabytes per day to their web index!  Wowza!

Twitter Announces in House URL Shortener

My momma always said that clicking on shortened links is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re gonna get! Twitter has announced their plans to improve how shortened links are viewed in tweets, by implementing their own service. The new feature will shorten links using the t.co URL, but the actual link or variation of the link will be visible within the tweet, which wont count towards the max character count. Twitter hopes this will remove remove the obscurity from shortened links and let users know where they will end up. The new shortener will be rolled out during the summer, and be tested by twitter and developers.

Test Your Focus

The New York Times has released an online assessment that will put your focus and task juggling skills to the test! Living in the digital world of today, our brains are hit hard with multiple stimuli at the same time. Managing the information can be difficult, as Kord Campbell found out when he missed an email that could have cost him $1.3 million. The key is knowing your strengths and weaknesses, as it will help you create more efficient personal workflows. Research has shown that heavy multitaskers have trouble focusing and shutting out irrelevant data, and in turn experience more stress.

Adidas racks up the cameos in Star Wars Cantina 2010

Just in time for the FIFA World Cup™, Adidas has released a new Star Wars themed video for their Adidas Originals collection. It has quickly reached over 2.7 million views!

See if you can spot David Beckham, Daft Punk, Snoop Dogg, Franz Beckenbauer, Noel Gallagher, Ian Brown, Ciara, Jay Baruchel, and DJ Neil Armstrong.

Social Media Roundup for June 4, 2010

AP Stylebook Adds Social Media Guidelines

The Associated Press has recognized that social media is being used more and more by professional journalists. To help facilitate the evolution they have released the 2010 Edition of the AP Stylebook which includes a new section dedicated to social media information and policies for platforms such as Facebook and Twitter. The stylebook has gained a serious online following of nearly 46,000 followers.

The style book is easily ordered, and the updates specifically illustrate how journalists can utilize social media for their work, and ways to verify the sources found through these platforms.  Additional information is documented that relates to terms such as blog, app, friend, unfriend, RSS, search engine optimization (SEO), trending, widgets, and wiki.

Mark Zuckerberg has a Nixon Moment

Kara Swisher recently grilled Mark regarding privacy and policy changes that have caused online civil unrest and widespread criticism. Mark created a “great moment in internet history” when he took off his company issued hoodie for the first time on camera, while sweat visibly dripped from expressionless face.  In a shot of irony, the CEO of a company who wants everyone to share was reluctant to divulge his personal thoughts, or specific details regarding their revenue model and the rationale behind privacy decisions. On the upside, Facebook has launched a fan page for privacy which will help keep people informed and encourages feedback from users.

Microsoft Live Essentials Wave 4

After describing future updates to Hotmail and Messenger, Microsoft is at it again for their Essentials.  The main improvements revolve around making it easier for users to do three main tasks; creating and sharing polished photos or movies, organizing your email accounts in one place and adding productivity tools, as well as syncing files across the computers and workplaces enabling instant access from anywhere.  Products included in the Essentials toolkit are Messenger, Mail, Writer, Photo Gallery, Movie Maker, Family Safety, Sync, and the Bing Bar.

Coke & Mentos Powered Rocket Car

Many of us already know what happens when Coke and Mentos are mixed (see explosion), but Stephen Voltz and Fritz Grobe have taken it one step further! The white coat duo built a custom car chassis, mounted 108 2L Coke Zero bottles and then added 648 Mentos mints. The Results…? See below!

Social Media Roundup for May 21, 2010

Happy Birthday, Mukhtar!

A Copenhagen bus driver named Mukhtar got a big birthday surprise this year – a flash mob of almost 100 people celebrating his special day. Mukhtar was planning to take the day off for his 41st birthday but was asked to take an extra shift for a friend. A candid camera shows how his day ended with almost 100 people assembling to wish him a happy birthday.

The flash mob was part of a five week campaign undertaken by Copenhagen bus companies Movia and Arriva to promote public transportation and driver contribution.

Google TV is here

Yesterday Google, along with Sony Corp., Intel Corp. and Logitech International, announced plans to launch Google TV in the fall. Touted as “smart TV”, the TV will have many customization options to personalize content, with the main goal being to turn televisions into giant monitors for web surfing and increase ad revenue. The televisions will be sold exclusively at Best Buy, but no word yet on what the price tag will be.

Stay in touch with Facebook page rankings

If you’re looking for any sort of Facebook page ranking information, Fan Page List can connect you with the info you need. The realtime site ranks Facebook fan pages and shows how many users are being added each day. You can check out stats for a variety of categories, including products, actors, politicians and TV shows.

I checked out the brand page to get the scoop on the most popular pages as of today:

  1. Facebook
  2. Starbucks
  3. Coca Cola
  4. YouTube
  5. Disney

SMG Connects with the Web Community at mesh 2010

mesh conference, Canada’s web conference was this week in Toronto. We sponsored a pretty cool party on Tuesday, and our fearless leader Maggie Fox spoke to a packed room Wednesday afternoon about The Art & Science of Scaling Social Media. As with the best content at mesh, it certainly got people talking and was covered in posts by Matt Hartley at The Financial Post and David Brown at Marketing.

Pacman’s back!

Social Media Roundup for May 21, 2010 - Social Media Group Helps Business Navigate the Social Web._1274460750769

Pacman has resurfaced just in time for his 30th birthday and Google is celebrating in typical logo fashion. Cruise on over to the Google homepage to see the logo turn into a playable game of Pacman. Happy weekend!

Social Media Roundup for May 14, 2010

What else can we get Betty White to do…

Betty White sure is one popular lady. The former Golden Girls star started making headlines after a Facebook page campaigning to have her host Saturday Night Live (SNL) attracted more than half a million fans. The effort paid off and White hosted SNL this past week, bringing SNL its highest ratings in 18 months. With her successful hosting gig behind her, Betty White fans have turned to loftier ambitions now pushing to have the comedian host the Emmys and the Oscars.

Twitter followers gone wild

Last week Facebook experienced a privacy glitch that allowed users to see and accept or decline other users’ friend requests. This week it was Twitter’s turn to let users take control of follower lists. A bug on the site allowed users to type “[tweet] accept [username]” and force any user to follow them. Twitter jumped on the case quickly and patched up the bug, but for a short period of time, famous Twitter users like Conan O’Brien (who notoriously follows only one user) started to follow a much larger number of people.

Gmail continues to add drag and drop features

A few weeks ago, Google added drag and drop file attachment functionality to Gmail. Now, Google has wowed us again by allowing users to drag and drop images into email messages and resize files on the spot. Only Chrome users can take advantage of this slick feature for now, but Google promises they will soon be rolling out all of the drag and drop goodness to other browsers.

Fix your Facebook privacy settings in 2 minutes

If you’re still not feeling confident about navigating Facebook’s new privacy settings, Huffington Post has put together this video tutorial on how to fix up your settings in 2 minutes. This week, the New York Times reported that Facebook users now have 50 settings with more than 170 options to wade through to fully set up their privacy.

Social Media Roundup for May 7, 2010

Blackbird Pie – Twitter Media_1273244419937

Twitter Launches Embeddable Tweets

This week Twitter launched it’s new embeddable tweets feature called Blackbird Pie. The tool is really simple to use and produces a string of embed code that you can insert just like a YouTube video, making it easier than ever to showcase awesome tweets (this one courtesy of Big Bird).

Hope you weren’t having a private conversation…

Facebook experienced yet another major privacy breach earlier this week. A bug on the site temporarily allowed Facebookers to view other users’ live chat messages and pending friend requests simply by manipulating the “preview my profile” feature in the privacy settings. Facebook was quick to disable the chat feature when they were notified of the privacy hole, but I tried out the process shortly after TechCrunch broke the story and was able to access, and confirm or deny other users’ friend requests.

Facebook wants more personal information

Facebook is preparing to launch a new feature that will allow users to make location-based status updates. The service will compete with other location-based tools like Foursquare and Gowalla and will also be offered to marketers like McDonalds. With this week’s privacy breach and Facebook’s overall not-so-stellar privacy record, it will be interesting to see if Facebook users adapt a feature that will reveal even more of their personal information.

Mother’s Day greetings go social

If your mom’s on Facebook (and has friended you like 48% of parents), she’ll probably appreciate a custom testimonial to wish her a Happy Mother’s Day. Hallmark’s Facebook page, called Meet My Mom, lets you build a virtual collage, including text, photos and video to showcase to mom. Hallmark’s Facebook page has attracted more than 5,000 new fans since the tool launched a few weeks ago.

Social Media Roundup for April 30,2010

How’s this for an Internet throwback

Hats off to Mashable for finding this awesome Geocities-izer tool. The site lets you enter any website into the tool and spits out what the page would have looked like as a Geocities page back in the day. Check out The New York Times website Geocities-ized – complete with music!

Most Americans know Twitter, but few use it

A new report released by Edison Research reveals that Twitter awareness among Americans has been growing since 2008 with 87 percent now familiar with the tool, only slightly trailing Facebook’s awareness of 88 percent. Facebook continues to be the dominant social network in terms of usage with 41 percent of Americans maintaining profiles on the site whereas only 7 percent are tweeting.

The research also reveals that Twitter users are 3x more likely to follow brands on Twitter than on other social networking sites, and that less than half of regular Twitter users post updates, although 70 percent of these same users post status updates to other social networking services like Facebook.

Over sharing in 140 characters

We’ve all been victim to our Facebook friends and Twitter followers posting tidbits of “too much information” online. No one needs to know that you’re tweeting from the restroom, no one. The Huffington Post has put together a slide show summary of some of the worst Twitter TMI incidences – most of them from over sharing celebs.

Chatroulette inspires artists

Visual artists are taking to Chatroulette to let their creative juices flow. Check out this video of one talented user speed painting another user in various poses.