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RepEquity Blog
About RepEquity
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Social Businesses Index Will Change How Companies Interact
About RepEquity
RepEquity is a leader in online reputation management, based in Washington, DC. We specialize in search engine optimization, paid search, social media strategies, and general web design tailored toward our clients' individual needs.
Tuesday, September 27, 2011  No Comments
Social Businesses Index Will Change How Companies Interact
Earlier this month, The Dachis Group launched the Social Business Index, a compilation of data that illustrates how social or influential brands are online. By assessing different indicators on a real-time schedule, businesses are ranked by their level of social influence, much like Klout does currently for individuals. Some of the businesses included in the service’s beta launch are Coca-Cola, Google, Time Warner, and Nike.
Since the service is still in beta testing, I was only able to look around the website and test a limited number of features. Even though my exploration of the service was restricted, I think The Dachis Group does an excellent job of describing Social Business Index to those whose companies are not yet members. Each company is displayed through a snapshot, which provides its current ranking, change over the previous week’s ranking and its raw score. Company employees, when logged in, have access to a more detailed list of actions and statistics. Companies can also earn accolades like “Top Performer” in their respective categories depending on the industry’s ecosystem and the company’s dynamic signals.
The Social Business Graph was one of the more intriguing areas of the website. The graphs track the unique strategies for different aspects of businesses like company, market, employees, partners and influencers and takes into account the strength of the conversations between them. This encourages participating companies to form strong bonds not only with consumers, but with employees and similar businesses to increase their score on the Social Business Index.
As the Social Business Index continues to grow and open to more companies (RepEquity is on the waiting list), I think it will be most useful for companies wishing to see the strength of their company when ranked alongside competitors, since the Index provides concrete data and numbers. Once businesses begin a new campaign, they can easily follow its success and will hopefully see how they are outperforming their competition. This tool can also be useful for companies hoping to persuade clients to invest in a new social media campaign. Though I think it will all take time to catch on, I look forward to seeing how influential the Social Business Index becomes and how companies will utilize its tools over the coming months.
Friday, September 23, 2011  No Comments
Friday Facts from RepEquity
Girls rule and boys drool. A Rebtel survey released this week reports that women are more likely to use social media to connect with friends, family and colleagues more than men. The survey, which polled 2,361 U.S. adults over age 18, showed that 68% of women use social media to stay in touch with friends compared to 54% of men.
Interested in attending a social-media savvy university? The website Student Advisor reports that Johns Hopkins, Harvard and Notre Dame are the top-ranking social media schools in the U.S. The schools were rated on the number of tweets sent from their official Twitter account each day, how quickly the school responds to student requests made via their official Facebook page, and more. Visit Student Advisor for the full list.
Our favorite inter-office chat service, Skype, announced this week that it aims to connect one million classrooms to enhance the educational process through its Skype in the Classroom program. To date, they’ve signed up 16,000+ teachers and educators.
We would have guessed it was status updates, but Roost reported this week that photos are the most-liked content on Facebook. Small businesses, are you listening?
Remember Google+? Now it’s open to everyone!
Facebook’s recently introduced subscribe button seems to have been a big success. According to Digg’s co-founder, the subscribe button produced more traffic on a certain link than Twitter or Google Plus. All Facebook has more.
Tired of slow Internet? Plan a visit to South Korea, where KBps shared surpasses 2,200. Rouding out the top five countries with fastest Internet speeds are Romania, Bulgaria, Lithuania and Latvia. America averages 616 KBps. And of course, there’s an infographic to share on the subject.
Would you prefer to text someone rather than speak to them on the phone? You’re not alone. Almost one-third of U.S. adults said they would rather receive a text message than a phone call.
And you know by now we love to share infographics? Luckily, the infographic fad isn’t going anywhere soon. In a blog post last week, Richard Edelman (CEO of his namesake PR firm) encouraged public relations professionals to “make greater use of information visualization.” Need ammunition for creating an infographic? Read his full blog post.
Friday, September 9, 2011  No Comments
Friday Facts from RepEquity
This year, Facebook has announced plans to honor the tenth anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. In addition to streaming “9/11: 10 Years Later – An Eveining of Rememberence and Reflection” from the John F. Kennedy for the Performing Arts, Facebook has added an application that allows people to share memories and reflections from Sept. 11, 2011 and create profile pictures or status updates memorializing the date.
This week, Twitter CEO Dick Costolo confirmed that the site now has 100 million global active viewers. However, only 60 percent of those active viewers are actually tweeting.
Google offers expanded to five new cities this week including Austin, Boston and D.C. Anyone suffering from daily-deal overload yet?
According to the link-shortening service Bit.ly, YouTube links stay active for much longer than links shared over Facebook, Twitter or email/Instant Messenger. The average half life for a link to the video sharing site is 7.4 hours, 4.4 hours longer than other social network sites.
2.8 million emails are sent every second, for a grand total of 90 trillion emails sent every year. To read more email statistics and see a list of the four most common email annoyances, take a look at ccLoop’s infographic on the topic.
Think location-based advertising isn’t important? Pew reports that 28 percent of mobile users rely on their phone for directions or recommendations based on their current location, even though only 5 percent check-in to locations using apps like Gowalla or Foursquare.
Did you know that Leonardo da Vinci wrote the first resume way back in 1482? Check out RezScore’s take on the history of the resume.
Two Mexican citizens are facing 30 years in prison for spreading false news reports via Twitter, charges that fall within the country’s terrorism laws.
Klout, the tracker of online influence, announced this week that its users had accumulated 100 million in Klout scores. As the service continues to grow, it’s likely that we’ll see more advertisers turn to Klout as a way to find influential voices to spread their message through social media networks.
And finally, if it’s not clear by now, we’re big fans of infographics. To start your weekend off right, here are three PR-related graphics we think you’ll like too!
Thursday, September 8, 2011  No Comments
Is Online Anonymity Disappearing?
As our world becomes more technology-dependent and interconnected, surfing the Internet as a private individual has become more and more difficult. Take a minute to think about it.
For many people, the first website they visit online is Facebook. Once a Facebook member has signed in, he or she stays logged in, even after navigating away from the page. In some instances, this is convenient; many news sites now require a commenter to connect to their Facebook account before adding their opinion on the article. This adds credibility to each person’s comments and prevents individuals from hiding behind anonymous accounts when making cruel or extreme statements. But who wants a Facebook wall full of third-party notices about which stories a user commented on, liked, or shared with others? Issues could arise if someone were to comment on news articles at work or home that presented a conflict of interest with their career or discussed controversial topics. Since the two would now be linked, Facebook is helping to push a user’s information to an increasing number of people.
The same goes for Google. Once logged in, the user stays connected to the email/search engine giant unless he or she explicitly chooses to sign out before going to another site. When switching between Google’s multitude of sites (Docs, Blogger, Google+, etc.) it’s nice not to have to log in ten different times over the course of a day. But as we mentioned in a previous post, if a user is constantly searching Google while logged in, the search engine will start to learn users’ preferences, which will affect what appears on search results. Being a “neutral” Internet user while logged in to Google and Facebook, as well as other social media sites, is virtually impossible.
Because social networks have become so used to people being connected all the time, some have overstepped their boundaries. It seems that their thought process follows the line of “If they’re used to seeing their friends faces beside an article the recommended on a news site, they won’t mind seeing their friends (or their own) faces in advertising…” In 2009, Facebook began using members’ profile pictures in ads for products or services with which they had interacted or chosen to “like.” It was soon revealed, after Facebook received a scathing amount of backlash from users, that members could easily opt out of the service by visiting their settings page. But should this have been an opt-in function?
Clearly, LinkedIn didn’t learn from Facebook’s mistake. Last month, a whole two years after Facebook received its public lashing, it was discovered that the professional-minded social network had elected to use member’s profile pictures and content in advertisements around the web. Again, users were opted-in to the program without their acknowledgement. The opt-out process is easy: visit Settings, click the Account tab, selected Manage Social Advertising (on the right), uncheck the box, and save. When will these companies learn that customers shouldn’t be required to opt-out of campaigns that use personal information? In an age where connectedness and networking online will only continue to increase, is it wrong to assume we’ll never be able to anonymously browse the Internet again? Share your thoughts in the comments!
Friday, September 2, 2011  No Comments
Friday Facts from RepEquity
Each day, Facebook users share four billion items, including photos, status updates, videos and links. Summify has started calling the over-sharing happening on social networks each day the “Sharepocalypse.”
Thirty-four percent of external referrals to Facebook pages come from Google, Bing or Yahoo. These search referrals comprise about 9.5 percent of total traffic on Facebook pages and, not surprisingly, Google holds the highest percentage, accounting for 27.57 percent of external referrals.
In sweet tech news this week, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have replaced their player’s bulky playbooks with iPads. The decision was made in approximately two minutes, or 1/30th of the time it takes to play a football game.
Of ten social network sites that have at least seven million visitors a day, Facebook unsurprisingly leads the pack with 310 million unique visitors each day. The next closest site is Orkut, with only 51 million daily unique visitors. Twitter ranks fifth on the list with 22 million unique visitors on a daily basis.
Once again, the tweets-per-second record has been broken. Beyonce’s pregnancy announcement earned roughly  8,688 tweets per second, beating out the women’s World Cup Final, Japan’s New Year’s celebrations and Osama bin Laden’s death.
Thirty-four million people in India, a country with a population that exceeds one billion people, are now using Facebook. Twenty-four million of those users are male and the country’s most liked fan page is the cellular network provider Tata Docomo. A cellular network provider doesn’t even appear in the top 10 most popular Facebook pages in the U.S., not surprisingly.
Sixty-five percent of companies polled reported that they had successfully hired new employees using social media. By the way, did you know we’re hiring?
Friday, August 26, 2011  No Comments
Friday Facts from RepEquity
In June, Facebook tallied 870 million unique visitors and one trillion page views, meaning the social network is reaching 46.5 percent of Internet users.
Pandora now accounts for 3.6 percent of all U.S. radio listening, a number based on the 1.8 billion hours users spent listening to the service during the second quarter of 2011.
After Steve Job’s resignation announcement on Wednesday evening, Apple’s stocks fell almost 7 percent in after-hours trading but by mid-day Thursday had stabilized at 1 percent below average.
Last month, Android owners spent an average of 56 minutes a day using their phone to interact with apps and the mobile web. Apps, however, seem to be more popular with Android users – 67 percent of the 56 minutes spent on their phones was using mobile apps and only 33 percent of that time was spent browsing the web.
Google and the United States Government have settled their dispute over charges relating to the advertisement of illegal online pharmacies… to the tune of $500 million.
This week, the Red Cross released a report showing that one in five people use Facebook during an emergency – a statistic that doesn’t surprise us this week as our news feeds fill with personal reports and commiserations about the Virginia earthquake and impending Hurricane Irene. The report also shared that almost a quarter of the general population would use social media outlets to let loved ones know they were safe following an emergency or natural disaster.
Are you “serial” tasking or multi-tasking? One article from Mashable says that multi-tasking may actually make you less productive, and offers advice for those of us trying to complete 30 items at a time…
Thursday, August 25, 2011  No Comments
DC Earthquake Takes Over Twitter
This week has certainly been a crazy one here at the DC office. On Tuesday, central Virginia was hit by a 5.9 earthquake and several aftershocks.  After evacuating (from our building’s top floor, no less) the RepEquity team gathered outside and turned to our phones for more information. Despite the crush of people trying to make phone calls, text and access the Internet in the District, several of us were able to visit Twitter from our phones, which gave us the most up-to-date, if not comprehensive, news on the quake.
Thanks to Twitter, we quickly discovered that people as far south as North Carolina had felt the tremors and found out that one New Yorker learned of the quake before he felt it. User @JesseCFriedman tweeted Tuesday: “I saw the tweets from DC about earthquake, then 15 seconds later felt it in NYC. Social media is faster than seismic waves!”
That really blew our minds! More investigation revealed that seismic waves can travel between 5 to 8 kilometers per second. Information traveling via fiber signals travels at 200,000 kilometers per second. If you consider the 482 kilometers from the quake’s epicenter to New York City, it would have taken the quake up to a minute and a half to reach the Big Apple, definitely giving some speedy tweeps in Virginia or DC time to tweet about the quake before it reached NYC!
On Tuesday afternoon, the official Twitter account shared that within one minute of the quake, there were more than 40,000 earthquake-related tweets and the tweets-per-second spiked to 5,500.
All is back to normal in the RepEquity office, after some minor picture-frame readjusting, just in time to prepare for this weekend’s hurricane. See you in the Twittersphere!
Friday, August 19, 2011  No Comments
2012 SXSW Interactive Conference Dual Presentation
Tripp Donnelly, CEO of RepEquity, and Huard Smith, President of RepEquity are candidates for a panel at next year’s SXSW Interactive Conference, which is being held March 9-18 in Austin, Texas. Voting is now open for the panel – we would appreciate your vote. You can read the full description below, thanks!
The Indestructible Brand: How to Bulletproof Your Brand Online
A brand, whether personal or corporate, is only as good as the reputation behind it. We’ve all seen the headlines: United Breaks Guitars. Netflix’s price increase. Sony’s PlayStation hacking scandal. A Congressman’s unsolicited yet salacious Tweets. Each of these brands suffered major damage in a very short time because of the amazing power of digital channels and social networks.
And yet while we all know about the immediacy with which the online world can damage a brand and reputation, we don’t recognize the power of using these same digital platforms to build and protect our brands before, during and after such inevitable events. Even if such events never happen, these digital platforms have become the best way to define and nurture a brand image and reputation.
This panel, with examples from client experiences, makes the case that a digitally well-built brand, properly harnessing search, social media and mobile-Web digital experiences, is the key to withstanding any reputational damage that may come its way. The speakers will show how to construct a corporate or personal brand that not only weathers any challenge, but actively engages audiences and customers with content you want them to see, wherever they may roam online.
This presentation will distill the challenges faced by brands in a world that is increasingly being defined by Google, Apple, and Facebook, identify the three major areas in which brands need to work to “bullet-proof” themselves (search, social media, and mobile-Web digital experiences), and provide practical takeaways in each area based on real-world results that the panel audience can use with their own personal or corporate brands.
There is no silver bullet to be found. No shortcuts. No one-time fix that will forever protect your brand and reputation online. The steps to take, while straightforward, are time-consuming and continuously required. Nothing worthwhile is easy! But doing them will not only strengthen your brand and reputation online, they will even shift your and your entire organization’s perspective on digital media, how to practically use it, and how it is helping people and companies succeed while others stumble.
Click Here to vote for this SXSW panel!
Friday, August 12, 2011  No Comments
Friday Facts from RepEquity
According to a new study, 55 percent of parents use Facebook to keep an eye on their children and 11 percent of those parents joined Facebook for the sole purpose of seeing what their kids were doing on the social networking site. In addition, a whopping 76 percent of parents reported that they monitor their children’s Internet history.
For advertisers wishing to target audiences in specific zip codes, they now can, using Facebook’s zip-code targeting tools in the site’s Power Editor and Ads Manager.
Fifty-two percent of Americans over the age of twelve have a profile on at least one social networking site and 70 percent of active users log in to their social profiles at least once a day, according to this Mashable infographic.
A new Pew Internet study shows that 92 percent of Internet users are using search engines to find the topics people are interested in and 59 percent are using search engines on a regular basis.
Think QR codes aren’t going anywhere? Think again. Fourteen million Americans used a QR code in June. A report issued by comScore estimates that those who scanned QR codes are mostly males between the ages of 18 and 34.
Popular movie-rental service Redbox will offer discounts to those who check into Foursquare at the rental kiosk from August 15-24. Discounts will range from $.10 to $1.00.
A Mindflash infographic published this week by Soshable shows that 70 percent of companies continue to block social networking sites in the office. http://soshable.com/twitter-in-the-workplace/
Of 304 small businesses surveyed, 64 percent reported that they did not believe social media was necessary for marketing or was something on which they did not hold an opinion. Among those using social media for marketing efforts, Facebook and LinkedIn were the most popular platforms.
Thursday, August 11, 2011  No Comments
One-Fifth of Facebook Friends are Complete Strangers? We Beg to Differ
Earlier this year, All Facebook and a handful of other tech blogs posted statistics showing that the average Facebook user doesn’t know 20 percent of the people listed as friends on the site. In one study, conducted by GoodMobilePhones, 54 percent of people said they stayed friends with strangers out of politeness and 34 percent reported that they remained friends with strangers to appear more popular on the social networking site. According to Facebook, the average user has 130 friends, meaning that they’ve never personally met 26 of their online “friends.”
Personally, I don’t agree with these statistics. I haven’t actually scrolled through my list of friends to see who I do and do not actually know, but I would say that it’s much lower. I would guess that less than 5 percent of my Facebook friends are complete strangers. If the survey reported that the average user has only met 20 percent of their Facebook friends once, I can certainly agree with that. How many times have you attended a networking happy hour or football tailgate and found friend requests waiting the next time you logged on? These are people you’ve personally spoken to and spent some time with. Over the years, though, I’ve made a habit of only accepting friend requests from people I know personally. Sure, some people may have sneaked through, but that’s my general rule for approving friends.
This survey perplexed me so much that I decided to conduct a RepEquity office survey. Here are the results; keep in mind, these are far from science or even remotely reliable answers.
Katherine Ann, Senior Account Executive
Friends: 899
Facebook friends she’s never met: 0%
Facebook friends she’s met once, then never socialized with again: 0%
Katherine, Marketing Strategy Manager
Friends: 1,886
Facebook friends she’s never met: 0%
Facebook friends she’s met once, then never socialized with again: 20%
Matt, Senior Account Executive
Friends: 500
Never met: 0%
Met once: 10%
Terry, Search Marketing Director
Friends: 386
Never met: 0%
Met once: 30%
Eric, Vice President of Account Management
Friends: 440
Never met: 0%
Met once: 1%
Sarah, Director of Technical Services
Friends: 241
Never met: 0%
Met once: 0%
Damien, Senior Software Engineer
Friends: 452
Never met: 10%
Met once: 3%
Jim, Director of Search Engine Optimization
Friends: 162
Never: .62%
Once: 0%
Megan, Director of Content Strategy
Friends: 370
Never met: 2%
Met once: 2%
Steve, Vice President of Search and Social Media
Friends: 300
Never met: 2%
Met once: 2%
Melissa, Account Manager
Friends: 1,374
Never met: 5%
Met once: 20%
Sorry, All Facebook and other tech blogs… we’re not sure who you’re confirming as friends, but at RepEquity it appears that we tend to use Facebook among a pretty close-knit group of friends.
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