Monthly Archives: August 2012

12 Reasons Social Media Is Bullsh*t [contains profanity]

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Social media will solve all of your problems. Eliminate everyone else in your company and focus only on social media. It’s social media or die.

Gotcha. Just jokes.

Social Media is Bullsh*t, a new book by Brandon (B.J.) Mendelson is a critique set on dubunking the myths of social media. He’s calling shenanigans on those who think of “social media as the second coming.” By looking at some of the most popular case studies in recent time, he offers opinions and revelations (and specifically calls people out) on what truly made them successful.

While calling B.S. on the social media industry, B.J. wants to make his own mark by offering the “real tools” needed to connect with customers. Yes, he’s selling something, too, and part of it is a fresh perspective.

A few of the things he calls B.S. on from a recent interview with Short Form Blog:

  • 800 Million — The number of Facebook users. He says it’s a misleading number because it doesn’t account for those with multiple accounts.
  • Google and journalism. He says they ruin everything.
  • Almost everything found in current day marketing books is a ripoff of “How To Win Friends And Influence People”.

B.J. shared these 12 reasons why social media is B.S. for Faves readers:


FAVE QUICK TIP: Create a verbal-friendly short URL

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Have you ever had to verbally tell someone a really long URL? It’s like a game of telephone and you never know how it might turn out.

Based on that frustration, ShoutKey was developed as a temporary url shortener that gives you a randomly chosen English word as the key for your URL.

Instead of telling someone to visit page you now have something like (example above).

Worried about getting Rickrolled? You can preview any trigger word to see where it leads from the “Preview” function.

Each Shoutkey has a temporary timeframe associated with the URL and word key. You can select from as little as five minutes and up to 24 hours for the link to be live.

Work better, not more.

FAVE TOOL: New startpage for journalists combines social feeds, pitch preference and portfolio of work

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If you’re a journalist currently using tools like Rebel Mouse or to aggregate your online profile, you’re missing an opportunity to include your work. That’s why Muck Rack launched a new tool that allows journalists to both share their social info and a portfolio of their best work.

Not only can journalists share their best work, but there’s a perk for public relations professionals; journalists can specify what they cover and what they don’t cover. In addition to the portfolio, journalists may choose to feature their social media accounts, awards they’ve won and a personal Muck Rack Interview.

You can include the link to your personal page in:

  • Your email signature so people pitching you can view it
  • Your blog or website under the “about” section
  • Your company’s website and/or blog (You could link to all journalists at your outlet as well.)


What do they look at? Check out two of my favorites, below.

Here is NPR’s Andy Carvin’s page:


And Huffington Post’s Craig Kanalley’s page:

Want to create your own? You must have a Muck Rack journalist account in order to create the page. You can sign up here.

FAVE INFOGRAPHIC: The 12 things high performing employees do before noon each day

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From Business Insider’s article, 12 Tasks That Killer Employees Always Finish Before Noon, based on the American Psychological Association journal’s study, EmotionI give you my visual interpretation:

Are you a high performing employee?

Want to embed this graphic on your blog? Go for it.

Data shows that Call Me Maybe parodies are more popular than the original

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Is the future of music staring us in the face? Huge hit plus parodies equals the big cheddar. Carly Rae Jepsen’s “Call Me Maybe” is undoubtedly the song of the summer, but it’s the parodies of the popular song that pushed it even further.

It’s nice to have friends with great data. The folks at Brandwatch recently shared research on Call Me Maybe and the most popular parodies of the song with me. They tracked the original song and the parodies from May 1, 2012 through August 16, 2012. Most interesting? The parodies of the song have actually had more total views than the song itself.

As a whole, 59 percent of the online conversation (including views) were of the viral parodies versus 41 percent about the original song. The most popular parody on its own was the Barack Obama version with 12 percent of all views and mentions.

Looking at the data shows that each time a new popular parody was released the original song also saw a boost in views and mentions. The original song is the brown line and, as you can see, gets a bump each time a new parody is released.

Looking at overall video views, here’s how the most popular parodies breakdown:

  • Original – 203 MM
  • Bieber – 48 MM
  • Barack Obama – 23 MM
  • Chat Roulette – 16 MM
  • Harvard Baseball – 15 MM
  • Miami Dolphins – 11 MM
  • Swim Team – 6.8 MM
  • Jimmy Fallon – 8 MM
  • Star Wars – 5.7 MM

What is your fave Call Me Maybe parody? Share in the comments or with a tweet. Just tag #sarahsfaves.

Questions about the data? Go ahead and email jim.reynolds@brandwatch[.]com.

FAVE LOL: Join in the ultimate revenge phone call prank, social style

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Doesn’t everyone have that one friend who constantly (and sometimes annoyingly) pranks the rest of the group? Well, someone is finally taking a stand against “that friend.”

Doug Crescenzi (@dougiebuckets) who, according to Twitter, is a PhD candidate in information studies at Syracuse University, created Why? To see if friend “Matt” can take what he dishes out. I came across a post about the site on Reddit and couldn’t resist checking it out (it’s a lesser known fact that I’m a closet phone prankster).

Don’t worry. Doug didn’t give out Matt’s number. He used an API to protect Matt’s number, and yours, in order to let the masses join in what could just be the largest phone prank ever. (I have absolutely no stats to back that up, but it would be cool if I was right.)

It’s easy to prank Matt.  Click on the “Click Here” box on the site and you automatically call Matt’s phone from a randomly generated number, powered by TelAPI.

And what does friend Matt hear?

HINT: Nants ingonyama bagithi Baba.

If that doesn’t give it away, go to the site and click the audio clip.

How is the prank going?

Thanks to Reddit, Prank My Friend ( is seeing 100 concurrent phone calls at the moment
Doug Crescenzi

I’d be surprised if calls are getting through to Matt’s phone at this point. Hope he has a Google Voice number on reserve — and a great sense of humor.

Are you wondering if I called Matt?


Did you prank Matt? Let us know in the comments.

FAVE TIPS: 4 ways to use @Instagram photo challenges to engage a community

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Credit: @saturday

Want your brand to join the Instagram craze where there are roughly 58 photos uploaded each second? Launching a photo challenge isn’t a bad way to go. Here are four examples of people and brands doing it well:

Anderson Live

With Anderson Live premiering September 10, the publicity team is in full gear. Playing off the successful Instagram photo-a-day challenges, Anderson launched Anderson’s Summer Photo-A-Day Summer Challenge.

In addition to promoting via Instagram, the challenge has its own landing page.

The landing page isn’t just your boring old “here’s how to play” overview, but features actual photos from participants, giving their insta-feeds a boost. To play along, participants must follow Anderson Live (@andersonTV) on Instagram in addition to using the hashtag. Great way to build up buzz before the show launches. It also doesn’t hurt that each day someone won a new phone.


By far my favorite Instagram third party application, Statigram is rewarding their community after reaching one million users with an insta-challenge. The instructions are hosted on the contest section of their site. Reaching their target audience shouldn’t be too difficult considering those who visit the site are already familiar with or use Instagram. To really entice people to play along, they through something in for the community — coveted tech items, like a MacBook Air. See a theme here? In addition to insta-cred (building up your influence via Instagram), a prize can often encourage people to participate.



You know how I just told you prizes entice people to play? Not always. There are unique Instagram superstars like the user known as @owlbolt. She’s part of a strong (and growing) network of parents who share daily photos  (usually creatively edited) of their children. The parents don’t just share photos, they actually interact and connect with one another in the comments. It’s not strange to see people part of this network promoting one another’s photos in order to help them win a challenge. In addition to sharing her own photos, @owlbolt often launches photo challenges where the only prize is the satisfaction of winning (sometimes there are challenges specifically for those who have never won a challenge). Most recently she launched the #evenmoreawesomethanlasttime challenge where people can reedit old, favorite IG photos. The instructions are typically in the comment section of the photo used to launch the challenge. The initial post went live on August 14, and as of August 16, there were already 114 photo submissions, 295 likes of the original post. Those are amazing results within a niche community.

 Naked Juice

@NakedJuice launched a contest via Instagram and, because of the nature of the network, used an image to communicate the instructions. While the contest takes place via Instagram, the image is such that it can be repurposed and promoted in other locations. If an Instagram user wants to re-post the photo to their networks they can either take a screen shot of it or use a tool like (example below). They did a great job of integrating product photos into a relatively small space without it being gaudy.

(Disclaimer: @NakedJuice recently sent me a housewarming gift. It was not sent to receive a blog post. I discovered the contest after searching their feed.)


Know of another brand using Instagram to promote creative challenges? Share them in the comments.