Orginally posted 10/17 Re-posted 11/14
Orginally posted 10/17 Re-posted 11/14
My dad is absolutely addicted to Angry Birds. The last time we spoke about it, he said he had unlocked every level and was going back through trying to improve his high scores. While I find it absolutely hilarious (until we are eating dinner and he isn’t paying attention to anything but his phone) I can’t help but recognize what the Angry Bird craze represents: the ever growing obsession with our smartphones.
A June post on Mashable reported that games are among the most popular of mobile applications downloaded by users. Nielsen reports that 64 percent of applications downloaded by smartphone users were games. Right behind games, weather applications were number 2 with 60 percent. Social networking navigation/location search apps were also very popular.
In September, Mashable also reported on a Pew Internet study that found that 0f the 82% of U.S. adults are active cellphone users. Of those with cellphones, 43% have mobile apps on their phones. Two-thirds of those who have mobile applications use the apps regularly. Basically, 24% of the U.S. adult population use applications. Necessary
So, what does this mean?
In regards to business it boils down to one question: Should you use a mobile application or a mobile website?
There’s no doubt that businesses need to make a mobile presence. However, there is a healthy debate as to whether you should use a mobile application or just a mobile website? Christina Warren of Mashable weighs in with a few questions organizations need to ask themselves before developing an app.
“Do you already have a full-featured website? If the answer is yes, how many of those features are you looking to integrate into the app? If your app is going to be largely a re-creation of your website, you may want to focus on creating a mobile site first.
Is this an app that can be used without an Internet connection? Some examples include note-taking or calculator apps. If so, a mobile application makes more sense.
Are you going to be integrating with other parts of the mobile operating system, like the dialer, the GPS and the mail client? If this is the case, consider building a native app.”
This makes a lot of sense. I know I’ve been frustrated when I’ve downloaded an app only to see that it is just a recreation of (or worse, a redirection to) the website. However, applications like Pandora do exactly what the website does (plays music) but is much more friendly for a mobile device. If more organizations kept this in mind while they were considering building an application, I think it would really help.
What do you think? Share your ideas in the comments below!
Tuesday night I participated in a Twitter Chat hosted by PRSSA National. It was focused on developing a relationship between PRSSA and PRSA chapters. It was the second time I’ve participated in a Twitter Chat and each time I seem to enjoy it more and more. It is a fantastic way to connect with other Twitter users who are interested in the same topics you are. It’s fast moving and before you know it all the questions have been asked and you’ve learned a lot of great information. Needless to say, it inspired a blog post! This post will hopefully cover all of the basics of participating in a Twitter chat.
What is a Twitter Chat?
Twitter Chat allows for many people to discuss a certain topic in real time. They are scheduled events (although there are some that are ongoing). A certain hashtag is used for the chat. For example, in the PRSSA chat I participated in #prssa was the hashtag used. Anyone who wished to participate in the chat would use that hashtag in their Tweets. Usually, there is a moderator or two that asks questions based on the topic. Participants answer then answer the question. Generally, only one question is asked at a time. Depending on the number of participants, the chat can often move very quickly. There are tools that can be used to help keep up with the chat. I’ll get to that later in the post.
Why Participate in a Twitter Chat?
Twitter Chats have many advantages. First of all, there is a good chance you will be chatting with Twitter users that are interested in the same topics you are but that you don’t already follow (and users who don’t follow you). It provides an excellent way to network with Twitter users that are interested in the same areas you are. In the #prssa Twitter Chat I was able to chat with PRSSA members from around the country (and in Argentina). PRSA professionals also participated in the chat which is another major benefit. Often, experts on the topic will participate and share some great insight. It is a great way to brainstrom, receive advice and ask questions.
Step One: Finding a Chat
There are Twitter Chats out there for tons of topics. Anything from being a new parent, to looking for a job, to writing poetry and more. Here is an editable Google Doc of over 500 Twitter chats: Twitter Chats. You can also find out about Twitter Chats by following Twitter users who you are interested in. Often they will post information about upcoming chats.
Step Two: Set Up Your Twitter Profile
If you want other users in a Twitter chat to follow you you should be sure your Twitter profile is filled out. A photo and information in your profile will help immensely with gaining more followers. If participants can know what sort of Tweets to expect from you outside of the chat, they will be more likely to follow you.
Step Three: Get Acquainted With TweetChat.com
It is a good idea to visit TweetChat.com before your Twitter Chat. When you first visit the website, you will see that you have to allow Tweet Chat access to your Twitter account. When you link the two, you’ll find the background you have set for your Twitter profile will become the background for Tweet Chat, too. The next step is to put in the hashtag that you want to follow. Try to put in the hashtag “prssa”. When you do, you’ll see any tweets containing the hashtag #prssa will show up – even if they didn’t take place during the chat. Try putting in a couple of hashtags that you are interested in following.
The really cool thing about Tweet Chat is that it will automatically add the hashtag you are following to any Tweets that you send from that platform. It also automatically removes however many characters the hashtag takes up from your count. It makes it easy to keep up with the chat and you don’t have to constantly remember to add the hashtag. It also has a ‘pause’ feature that will pause the chat while you scroll down to view Tweets.
Step Four: Chat Away!
Once you find the next time for the Twitter Chat that you’re interested in, you are ready to chat. There are a few things you should know as you’re chatting. First of all, engage other participants. If you find a comment they made interesting, feel free to reply to them. You also are encouraged to Retweet any Tweets you find interesting. As you chat, remember users that you find particularly interesting or that you have engaged with and feel free to follow them if you want more insight.
Step Five: Follow Up With Connections You Made
It is a good idea to follow up with connections you made during your Twitter Chat. If someone retweeted or replied to a Tweet, shoot them a Tweet saying thank you. Follow anyone you found interesting and let them know you appreciated the information you shared. If a professional or expert participated in the chat, be sure to thank them for their time. Treat it as you would any other networking opportunity.
Have you participated in a Twitter Chat before? Share your thoughts in the comments below!
There’s a good chance that you have seen a QR code before. However, it is less likely that you’ve scanned one. QR, or Quick Response, codes look like this:
You can scan the code using a smartphone. Often, you can just use a basic bar code scanner application. Android and iPhone both offer QR scanner applications. If you have a smartphone, try scanning this code. It will direct you to a Mashable article about using QR codes for business.
QR codes are becoming more and more popular. However, there are a few things to remember when you are creating codes.
1) Be sure the QR code is linked to a mobile friendly website. You don’t want to link to a website that won’t show up easily on a smartphone.
2) Don’t link the QR code to a page containing the exact same information as the publication it is on. Add value to your QR codes by linking them to a page containing more information.
3) Always test your codes. Mistakes happen. Make sure you test your QR code to be sure it links to the correct page.
4) Track the number of scans. If you create your QR code on a website like bit.ly you can also track how many times your code has been scanned.
5) Make your QR code unique. As long as you have two contrasting colors and the majority of your code is able to be scanned, you can edit the colors and look of your QR code. This Mashable article gives more specifics.
Additional resources about QR codes:
I’ve recently become
a member of (and also ridiculously addicted to) Pinterest. If you are reading this post you are probably one of two types of people. The first type is probably squinting at their computer screen, trying to discern if I have made a typo or if that really does say ‘interest’ with a ‘P’ in front of it. The second type probably only got through three or four words before clicking back over to the window with Pinterest opened to check if anyone had pinned anything new. This blog post is dedicated to the source of my strongest internet addiction since I became a member of Twitter: Pinterest. I’ll first give you a brief overview of what Pinterest is, then discuss its growing popularity and finally take a look at it from a PR/Social media perspective.
What is Pinterest?
There are two main components to Pinterest: “Pins” and “Pin Boards”. The concept is actually very simple. If you find a photo on a blog or website that you want to share you can ‘pin’ it via a browser extension. You can also browse other users pins (from people you follow, or other members of Pinterest based on categories) on the website. Once you find a photo you’d like to pin, you can create a ‘pin board’ to pin it to. For example, if I found a photo of a delicious casserole, I’d pin it to my “Food” pin board. Then, my followers would see my pin. If they liked it they could repin it to one of their pin boards.
If you find a pin you like, you can click on the photo to see it larger. If you click on it again, it will bring you to the webpage it was taken from. So, if I saw a photo of a do-it-yourself project that I wanted to try, I could follow it to its original source and find instructions on how to do it.
You can also like someone’s pin, comment on it or mention another Pinterest user. You can link you Facebook and Twitter accounts to your Pinterest account and post your pins on both social networks.
Why is Pinterest so popular?
Pinterest has a very specific demographic of users right now. Mainly women 25-45 are users. They are pinning and repinning home projects, do-it-yourself projects, wedding ideas, recipes, etc. However, they are finding themselves more and more addicted and spending hours and hours on the site. The key to Pinterest is that there is always new content to browse. Much like Twitter, the users you follow dictate what content you see. If you are bored with what you are seeing, you could always browse pins from other Pinterest users by categories. There is literally always new content and it is the easiest and quickest way to find new ideas.
Pinterest from a PR standpoint
So far, I’ve only painted the picture of Pinterest from the standpoint of an admitted addict. However, it actually has a lot of potential to have PR implications to blogs. Remember how I said pins are linked to the website they come from? Well, many of these sites are actually blogs. So, if you can get a good photo of something from a blog post, pin it to Pinterest and generate a lot of repins, it will drive traffic back to your blog or website. You can share on Facebook or on Twitter, but the main point of Pinterest is sharing.
Right now Pinterest is still invitation only but I think as Pinterest grows, you will see the demographic change as well as the types of pins. Maybe as more people begin using Pinterest the focus will shift away from home decor, food and DIY to technology, gadgets, etc. Or maybe it will be a place where creative businesses can share their products. Photographers can promote their material by posting pins. Artists can post their work to the site. No matter what, it will bring traffic to the website.
Are you on Pinterest? If so, feel free to follow me (Sara McClendon). If you are interested in joining, go to www.pinterest.com and request an invitation. My invitation was sent within an hour of my request. Happy pinning!