Monthly: April 2014

Social Media

Be Careful What You Hashtag For…| VELOCITY AGENCY | NEW ORLEANS, LA

Be Careful What You Hashtag For

Someone call Olivia Pope. NYPD’s got a scandal on its hands.

There is no question about it. Marketing has expanded a great deal to include social media. Most companies already know this and have taken to Facebook, Twitter, and other social media outlets to increase their Internet presence, search engine optimization (SEO), and improve their Google score.

When Vice President Joe Biden’s Instagram account became known, it picked up a whopping 122,000 followers—not only because the account posted a selfie of Biden with President Barack Obama but also because the account caught the attention of Buzzfeed, a news and entertainment site popular with the 18-25 year-old crowd.

Social media management over at NYPD was looking to get the same kind of attention. But, as the white-hat-wearing Pope would say, one can’t just send out a message—one needs to control the narrative. On April 22nd, around noon, a tweet was sent out from the NYPD News Twitter account, prompting users to tweet a picture they might have of them with the NYPD, using the hashtag, #myNYPD.

Within a few hours, the hashtag was trending on Twitter and Facebook. Users were posting photos of police brutality, violence, and abuse under the hashtag #myNYPD. At its peak, the hashtag was being used about 16,000 times an hour according to hashtag.org.

The intention of the hashtag campaign was to find and feature a few of the best photos on the NYPD Facebook page. The hashtag took—though probably not in the positive way that it was intended—and now they have quite a selection to choose from.

Looking at the hashtag campaign from a marketing standpoint, the change in the message may not be that bad. The public often dislikes the police regardless because they associate them with the inevitable: tickets, arrests, traffic, sirens, antagonizing peaceful protestors, etc.

But, it’s not like the police is a client that needs to get re-hired for a job. The NYPD isn’t a restaurant or club that will go out of business because of bad press. The NYPD will just go on being disliked as they usually are, except now, they’ll have an incredible SEO score!

According to Tory Starr from PRI.org, the tweets alone launched a global discussion on police brutality—just another progressive step the people of the Internet have taken together.

So, what have we learned from this hashtag blowup? Record the events around you—they can give you a powerful voice and instill change. Also, mass communication means that your audience may turn your message into something completely different.

The #myNYPD publicity can go either in a positive or negative direction—we’ll have to wait and see what they do about the pictures of police brutality flooding the Internet. In the meantime, maybe Ms. Pope will swoop in and save the day.

Velocity Agency is a digital marketing and advertising firm specializing in digital and internet marketing & advertising, print, web design, graphic design, film, and HD video promotion and post-production. Velocity serves clients all over the United States from our Metairie, LA office just outside of New Orleans by strategically implementing proprietary tools and techniques to get you the most conversions for your business through lead generation, cost-per-acquisition, and top line revenue.

Market Information

Universal Analytics reaches prime time with tracking changes | VELOCITY AGENCY | NEW ORLEANS, LA

Roll out the red-carpet, Google’s Universal Analytics has left beta and has already begun changing the way visits to our devices are tracked. Since the introduction of Universal Analytics in 2012, Google has been hard at work looking at additional means for marketers to track user engagement with their websites to increase conversions. Last week Google, doing what they do best, unveiled a consolidated view for tracking user engagement on separate devices in one easy to see report.

How it works?

In the digital age, it’s safe to assume that a large part of your target market utilizes multiple channels for accessing your content – websites, mobile apps, web apps, and other digital devices. All of these channels can be a lot to go through to determine how to best market to your customers. You talked, Google listened. Tada! Introducing the ability to view web and app data in a single report! (Ooo and Ahh).

How it works you ask? It’s quite simple. You can now see all data reported from one Google Analytics property to a single view – regardless of how you collected that data. You can still view data separately if needed by utilizing various filters, dimensions, and segmentations. If you don’t send all of your traffic data to the same property, this change will not affect your data.

What to expect?

The biggest change recently announced by Google Analytics is the change of usage metrics “Visitors” and “Unique Visitors” to “Sessions” and “Users.” Although the motivation for this change is unclear, it is expected that this change is a result of Google’s desire to better deliver analytics traffic for marketers. Sessions are customizable depending on your business and end after 30 minutes so as not to duplicate visits to your site from the same visitor. For websites with more content, it is recommended to have longer sessions, while less content should have shorter sessions.

Velocity Agency is a digital marketing and advertising firm specializing in digital and internet marketing & advertising, print, web design, graphic design, film, and HD video promotion and post-production. Velocity serves clients all over the United States from our Metairie, LA office just outside of New Orleans by strategically implementing proprietary tools and techniques to get you the most conversions for your business through lead generation, cost-per-acquisition, and top line revenue.

Digital Innovation, Market Information

Google’s ‘Shelfie’ Prank Becomes Latest Feature | Velocity Agency | New Orleans, LA

Following Popularity of April Fools Feature, Google Releases ‘Shelfie’

April Fools: the day for pranksters rolls around every April 1st, evoking joy or dread, depending on whether or not you’re a lover of schadenfreude. Never one to be outdone by others, tech-giant Google launched a salvo of its own pranks last Tuesday. Between transforming Google Maps into an augmented reality game of Pokémon and the invention of the Magic Hand, a device that lets mobile users text and surf the web on their tablets and phones without lifting a finger, the company made a huge splash.

“Shelfie” Prank Becomes Permanent Function

Of all of Google’s April Fools pranks, only one proved successful and “practical” enough to find a place among the company’s ever growing suite of tools it offers its more than 425 million Gmail users. A function named “Shelfie” was released in the prank onslaught, giving Google users the ability to share their custom Gmail themes with the world at large. For most people, the fact that Gmail offers 15gb of free storage and the ability to send e-mails of up to 25mb in size is reason enough to use the service, but by adding the hugely popular “Shelfie,” now referred to as Shareable Custom Themes, to Drive, Maps, and the rest of its menagerie of services, Google has tightened its grip on its users, if only slightly.

Should We Be Surprised by Its Success?

It’s hard to believe that the Silicon Valley behemoth only intended “Shelfie” to be a one-off joke. In a world where 70 billion pieces of content — from selfies, to statuses about cooking dinner, to overly emotional song lyrics — are shared just on Facebook every month, another web function that gives self-promotion capabilities to the “Me generation,” particularly one syncing with a hugely popular e-mail service, is sort of a no-brainer for added success. As a millennial myself, I plan to start sharing my custom themes, whether “My Little Pony” or “Frozen” inspired, straight away.

What custom Gmail theme are you most looking forward to sharing?

Velocity Agency is a digital marketing and advertising firm specializing in digital and internet marketing & advertising, print, web design, graphic design, film, and HD video promotion and post-production. Velocity serves clients all over the United States from our Metairie, LA office just outside of New Orleans by strategically implementing proprietary tools and techniques to get you the most conversions for your business through lead generation, cost-per-acquisition, and top line revenue.

Market Information

Free Office Online: Microsoft’s New Strategy | Velocity Agency | New Orleans, LA

A couple of years back my colleagues and I were discussing the importance of Google’s entrance into the cloud services space, and how their new service, Google Docs, would benefit small businesses and individuals. The proposition was simple: give us a bit of your personal information by signing up for a GMail account, and we’ll let you create, edit and share documents à la Microsoft Office. Initially, the sentiment was that such an underpowered, cloud-only productivity software wouldn’t meet the needs of consumers. That sentiment WAS correct. Fast forward seven years, Google Docs has grown and now integrates many of the features that longtime Office users crave. It has also proven to be a great aid for cash strapped small businesses and students that would otherwise have to pay for productivity software. Now Microsoft has announced Office Online, a free web-based version of its Office suite.

So why would we start a conversation about Microsoft’s latest move with a story about Google Docs? It’s simple: the technology industry’s ever-changing pace requires companies to be agile in the way they develop new products. While we can only speculate, Microsoft’s decision to make Office Online free has probably something to do with Google. Microsoft, however, was not the first to react to Google’s cloud based apps. Late 2011 saw the release of Apple’s iCloud, which offers similar document creating tools. So what does Office Online have to offer?

Firstly, it is great to see that Microsoft has learned. It no longer stubbornly sits on legacy software written in the last millennium. The company as a whole, new CEO included, has started a long yet focused shift towards the cloud and into the consumer space it once ignored. Let’s not forget Microsoft’s cash cow is its enterprise business, which provides about half of its profits, and it keeps growing. Things have changed, however, and the business known by millions for its enterprise-geared operating system and apps is now trying to be a consumer first company.

Secondly, Office Online has an actual intuitive and appealing design. The signup process is fairly easy, as all is needed is a valid Email address and personal information. Once logged in, the user is welcomed with the familiar Office 2013 design language and menu options. Some consumers find this easier to navigate as it mimics the desktop and tablet versions of the software. However, some users will find the interface to be too “bloated”, especially those who don’t think highly of Office for desktop. Personally, I think is a step in the right direction. Let’s not forget Microsoft is playing catch-up, so they need to offer a full-fledged solution to remain relevant in the consumer space.

Thirdly, Microsoft is offering five of its most important apps for free. During the late 90’s and early 2000’s, the Windows monopoly forced users to rely on Office to write documents, make presentations, draw up spreadsheets and check Emails. We are all familiar with Word, Excel, PowerPoint, One Note and Outlook, and some of us decided to let go of them as we moved to the cloud. Now Microsoft is reaching back to those customers with an appealing offer. Too little, too late? We’ll see.

Lastly, since the introduction of Bing in 2009, Microsoft has been in the “getting to know you” business. In other words, they offer a “free” service (search with Bing, productivity with Office Online) in the exchange of our personal information. Companies then turn our input into a big data aggregate used to better develop their products or to sell it to advertisers. While there is nothing particularly wrong with this business model, we as internet users should be aware of how our information is being used. So if you’re comfortable sharing your information with Facebook, Google, Apple and now Microsoft, and you feel you’re getting a good service in exchange, you have nothing to worry about. Don’t forget to try out Microsoft Online and share your feedback with us.

Velocity Agency is a digital marketing and advertising firm specializing in digital and internet marketing & advertising, print, web design, graphic design, film, and HD video promotion and post-production. Velocity serves clients all over the United States from our Metairie, LA office just outside of New Orleans by strategically implementing proprietary tools and techniques to get you the most conversions for your business through lead generation, cost-per-acquisition, and top line revenue.

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