Twitter Unveils #Music App

April 18, 2013 04:21 by Brandon
      

Although it was released last week to musicians, Twitter's new music app is officially available to all iPhone users today.

According to CNN, "Twitter's new app, which is separate from its primary social network, helps users find music based on the bands and artists they follow." It suggests artists a user might like, making it easy to discover new music. Plus, it even shows users what music the people they're following are listening to. (Look at a screenshot below, courtesy of Twitter.) 

So where does the music come from? The folks at Twitter say it's a mishmash of Spotify, Rdio and iTunes. In fact, iTunes previews will even play automatically within the app. Nice!

Twitter is clearly looking to expand its reach, first with Vine and now with #Music, both of which are separate from the main Twitter app.

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It's time to whip out the headphones and start exploring new tunes!

 

Should Brands Add Hashtags to their Promotional Giveaways?

February 8, 2013 04:31 by Brandon
      

The hashtag has taken the world by storm.

In 2012, it was voted the Word of the Year. A few months back, one very social media-obsessed individual named a newborn baby "Hashtag." Last month, France was forced to ban its citizens from using the word "hashtag" all together in an attempt to preserve the French language online. And, more recently, Diet Coke included a hashtag on its can for the first time ever.

All the hype surrounding the now well-known "#" symbol begs the question: Should brands include hashtags on their swag? I think so.

Let's take a look at Coca-Cola's #ShowYourHeart campaign as an example. The hashtag will be featured on Diet Coke cans throughout the month of February to help support the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute's "The Heart Truth" campaign. According to A Lot More Than Just Promos, consumers have already begun using #ShowYourHeart on Instagram and Twitter to spread the word about heart health.

#ShowYourHeart

Printing a hashtag on your promotional product is a smart way to drive your fans to the social web and spark conversation about your brand. DigiDay reports: "The bet by marketers is that [hashtags] will allow them to get people talking on platforms they are already on, which is not as big of a request as going to a dedicated microsite." And it seems to be working. During the 2013 Super Bowl, brand-related hashtags were mentioned 273 percent more than they were in 2012. Whoa!

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However, as is the case with marketing in general, it's important to keep your message consistent. In short, resist the urge to create a new hashtag for each initiative. Joe Barbagallo, manager of social media for Volvo Cars of North America, told DigiDay that releasing too many different hashtags can create a "fragmented" experience.

What do you think: Could including a hashtag on a promotional giveaway help boost brand exposure both offline and online?

Does the Pope Really Need to Be on Twitter?

December 4, 2012 04:11 by Brandon
      

It seems that the Vatican is desperately trying to reach the world's young people. Last year, it launched a Facebook page and YouTube channel dedicated to Pope John Paul II, both of which now have thousands of followers.

Yesterday, the Vatican announced that it has created a Twitter account for Pope Benedict XVI (@Pontifex), and he will begin Tweeting on Wednesday, Dec. 12.

Will people want to see Tweets from the Catholic pope? Apparently so.

Twitter spokeswoman Rachael Horwitz told CNN that "We see a very high level of engagement with religious and spiritual content: followers respond to these topics with replies, retweets, and clicks on links much more often than they do other subjects."

That the Vatican would want the pope on Twitter makes total sense. After all, other religious leaders like the Dalai Lama and Joel Osteen Tweet to millions of people each day. It's a great way to reach a huge amount of people with your message.

But something about the idea of selling a religion via social media weirds me out.

Still, the pope already has hundreds of thousands of followers, and he hasn't even sent a single Tweet yet. If you ask me, that means the pope's got a pretty strong brand.

Have a question for Pope Benedict XVI? Simply Tweet using the hashtag #askpontifex, and he may just respond! But you've got to do it before Wednesday, Dec. 12, so mark your custom planners today.

Obama Win Breaks Social Media Records

November 7, 2012 04:01 by Brandon
      

As the race for the White House came to a close late last night, President Barack Obama took to Twitter with a heartwarming post that would go on to break records.

The freshly-reelected U.S. commander-in-chief Tweeted a touching photo of he and first lady Michelle Obama in a loving embrace, coupled with three simple words: "Four more years." As of this writing, Obama's social media announcement has been re-Tweeted by more than 650,000 Twitter users, shattering the previous record held by pop star Justin Bieber.

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According to the BBC, the image was also shared to Facebook, "where it also broke records by becoming the most 'liked' photo ever posted to the site."

Heightened social activity surrounding the 2012 election highlights how important online networks have become, especially in public affairs. "Twitter brought people closer to almost every aspect of the election this year. From breaking news, to sharing the experience of watching the debates, to interacting directly with the candidates, Twitter became a kind of nationwide caucus," Rachel Horwitz, a Twitter spokeswoman, told Reuters.

Did you use social media to follow the election? Which networks did you turn to?

New to Football? Twitter Helps You 'Get Started'

September 7, 2012 04:13 by Brandon
      

I'm going to be honest here -- I've never been a big fan of football. Most of my friends and family members don't follow the sport, and I've always been generally disinterested.

With that said, I'm eager to understand what all of the hype is about! So this year I've vowed to follow the New York Giants. I caught the NFL season opener on Wednesday night (and watched the Giants lose -- oops), and I was actually pretty into it. At times the game can be downright intense!

By flickr user nautical2k (flickr) [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Still, there's a lot I need to learn. That's why I think Twitter's new football promo is a great idea. The social network and the NFL have created an official "Get started" page that will guide fans throughout the season.

For football lovers, reports Mashable, the page will look a bit basic; however, "it’s a perfect primer for new Twitter users who also happen to be NFL fans."

What does it cover?

  • How to search topics based on key terms and hashtags
  • How to follow Twitter users for football updates
  • How to keep an eye on Tweeters' updates
  • How to follow the NFL's 32 teams

If you're a fellow football newbie, check out NFL on Twitter now!

What if the People on the Titanic could have Tweeted?

April 13, 2012 04:11 by Brandon
      

From the 3D release of the epic 1997 film to the 100-year anniversary of the ship's sinking, it seems like the Titanic is all over the place lately.  But one U.K. publishing house is remembering the ill-fated luxury liner in a unique way:  The History Press is using historical records to "live-tweet" the experiences of the ship's passengers and crew.

My coworker Adam sent me a NY Daily News article that poses the following question: "If the captain of the Titanic had a Twitter account, what would he have written as the ship sank?"

The History Press began tweeting about the voyage a month before its departure date, and since has written about a variety of subjects from the perspective of many different people including the captain, crew, passengers from both first and third class, officers, engineers, and reporters and photographers.  Rare photos are also shared by The History Press' new account, @TitanicRealTime.  According to the NY Daily News, "In addition to ominous updates foreshadowing the impending tragedy, the tweets include photos of passengers and crew, details about the luxurious facilities on board, and information about the ship's technical specs.

But what history buffs are likely most looking forward to is the series of tweets that will be sent out the night of April 14, "the night the Titanic hit the fateful iceberg and sank."  According to Ross Britton, Marketing Executive at U.K. publisher The History Press, minute-by-minute updates will be sent out, updating followers on what's happening to everyone on the ship.

Follow @TitanicRealTime on Twitter now for access to exclusive tweets written as if social media had existed at the time.

No Peeking, Twitter!

February 16, 2012 05:14 by Nicholas
      

Foxnews.com is reporting today that Twitter will be putting a harness on its privacy settings.

The announcement comes shortly after the social media giant admitted that they copied entire entries in smartphone address books and saved them to servers - without the knowledge of the user.

When one uses the Twitter iPhone app and clicks on "Find Friends" the app copies the entire entry, saves it to its server and then proceeds with the search. According to the Los Angeles Times, these entries are held on a server for 18 months. This completely goes against Apple's policy on applications, stating exclusively that transmitting a user's information without their knowledge is illegal.

To better understand the process, Twitter Spokesperson Carolyn Penner said that language such as the current "Scan Your Contacts" will be replaced with "Import Your Contacts" or "Upload Your Contacts." By doing this, the Twitter user will be giving permission for these entries to be held online for the aforementioned amount of time. No word on when these changes are supposed to take place.  

While you can't keep your smartphone, tablet or computer safe from everything on the Internet, you can protect these devices from scratches and bumps with promotional iPod covers, custom imprinted iPad cases and promotional computer bags.  

Some Love from The Beatles

February 14, 2012 03:52 by Nicholas
      

In lieu of my lengthy recap on the 54th Grammy Awards comes this post about Sir James Paul McCartney, former bassist of The Beatles and current solo artist. He concluded the lengthy award show with a medley of (not as well-known) songs from Abbey Road. He was joined on stage by Bruce Springsteen, Joe Walsh of The Eagles and Dave Grohl of Nirvana/Foo Fighters fame. 
But what came as a shock was what Twitter followers had to say about the performance - specifically who was in the super group.

That's right. People did not know who Sir Paul McCartney was and why he was performing at The Grammy's. Minutes after the Grammy's concluded, "Who is Paul McCartney?" was trending on Twitter. This came as a shock to many fans, especially since Paul McCartney is regarded by the Guinness Book of World Records as the "most successful musician and composer in popular music history" with 100,000,000 sold singles and 60 gold records in just the UK alone. He also received the record for the "most covered song" ("Yesterday") and just got his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

To remind ourselves who Sir Paul McCartney is and to get into the Valentine's Day Spirit, here is a small list of some love songs written by Paul himself. (co-wrote by John Lennon)

1. "And I Love Her"
2. "I Will"
3. "PS I Love You
4. "Love Me Do
5. "All My Loving

There are dozens of other love songs written by the knighted musician. If you want to give away some love this Valentine's, remember to give away custom imprinted Digital Media Card - Music Downloads. These gifts allow the recipient to download the song of their choice. So whether it's someone who doesn't know who Sir Paul McCartney is or someone who knows every Wings song by heart, this is the perfect item. 

Access Denied: Brits Kicked Out of US After 'Destructive' Tweets

January 31, 2012 03:32 by Brandon
      

How seriously should we take a Twitter update?  That's the question on everyone's mind as news regarding two British tourists who were barred from entering the United States due to a questionable Tweet travels the Web.

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Leigh Van Bryan, 26, posted the following status on the popular social media platform before leaving for vacation: "Free this week, for quick gossip/prep before I go and destroy America."  According to Mashable, upon arrival to the US, Van Bryan and his friend, Emily Bunting, 24, were detained by anti-terror agents who believed the two were going to commit crimes.

But that's not all -- Van Bryan and Bunting were then interrogated for five hours and forced to stay in holding cells overnight before finally being sent home to England.

While many are criticizing US officials for their misinterpretation of the word "destroy" (CNET reports that "the use of the word 'destroy' here refers to, well, partying"), others are happy about the government's surveillance of social media networks as part of its anti-terror efforts.  Indeed, it would appear that Motivators' fictional "Twitter PD" may not be so make-believe.

What do you think?  Does the US Department of Homeland Security need to learn how to take a joke, or should Twitter users be more careful about what they share?

Funny Quotes

August 26, 2011 05:09 by Nicholas
      

I recently met up with my college roommate for some down time at the beach. It was a gorgeous day, perfect for promotional can coolers. One thing you can recognize right off the bat about my roommate is that he loves his funny promotional t-shirts. Whether its his famous "Manure Occureth" shirt or the "Made in Ireland" shirt that might as well be glued to his chest, he always has a promotional t-shirt with a witty comment on it.

We got to talking about his shirt and started talking about Texts From Last Night, a website where people submit their funny text messages. These messages can then be printed onto a promotional t-shirt. The two of us have successfully gotten text messages published on the website and thought about getting a t-shirt from TFLN. But then we had an even better idea - finding other websites with funny phrases and printing these quotes on promotional t-shirts. And there is no better source for funny phrases than Twitter.

I recently came across an article compiling the funniest tweets from the day of the earthquake on the East coast, which was more of an inconvenience than anything. There are too many on here that keep me laughing and would surely make a great promotional t-shirt. And there are some hillarious Twitter accounts such as @Shitmydadsays and @Oprahreadsnews that I can totally see spark converation if found on a promotional water bottle.



But there are infinite opportunities for funny promotional products. Twitter isn't the only source for quotes - other websites on the Internet or inside jokes around the office can make perfect imprints on just about any promotional product. (not just promotional t-shirts) I've seen some very hillarious custom imprinted awareness bracelets, promotional tote bags and custom imprinted stress balls around the office.

 

Who are YOU Following?

February 22, 2010 08:50 by Sarah
      

 

So you've heard about the twitter, yes? You may even have your own account. And if you follow this blog, you may have seen my change in tune from Twitter hater to Twitter lover. I really do love twitter for giving us the ability to interact with our customers, our colleagues and some generally fun people. (@justingroy by way of @garretpopcorn anyone?) Not to mention the celebrity factor. With Twitter I can get exclusive updates from celebs that I wouldn't know on a daily basis. For example, today @nathanfillion of the hit TV show Castle (and Dr. Horrible's Sing Along Blog) visited the set of Chuck and snapped a photo of himself with the cast. I now know that @stephenfry will be on the Late Late Show with @craigyferg tomorrow and I have a reason to tivo. We won't even get into the TV show spoiler factor of this or how well it's fed my Bones obsession. Before Twitter, I would have only dreamed of an exec producer of my favorite show passing along one of my blogs to his legions of followers. Now? Been there, done that and I'm still eternally grateful to @harthanson. And then there's the 7 year old girl living inside of me that shrieks everytime @DonnieWahlberg retweets the link to my YouTube video of him @JoeyMcintyre and @JonathanRKnight jumping into the water at Jones Beach.

But a recent story on Mashable caught my eye (and yes, I did find it from an @mashable tweet) regarding a Denny's social media fiasco. Apparently, the popular restaurant chain's dine in menus have been inviting people to "Join the Conversation and follow @Dennys on Twitter!" Not unusual considering the fact that everyone seems to be on Twitter these days, except there's one tiny issue.

The account @Dennys actually belongs to a man in Taiwan.

The two legit Denny's accounts are actually @DennysAllNightR and @DennysGrandSlam. (Personally, I think @MoonsOverMyHammy deserves its own account, but that's a different blog for a different day.) As far as the mistake is concerned, the co-owner of the social media agency responsible for the misprint stated that he doesn't think that there's any harm in displaying the wrong Twitter name. Well of course there's not, but there's also no benefit is there? And isn't that the point? Anyone else in the PR world boggled by that comment?

Oh and fun fact, do not follow @motivators. See, how I didn't even link that? It's because it's not us. Here's an OFFICIAL VERIFIED LIST of all the Motivators Twitter Accounts:

@MotivatorsPP

The most Official Motivators Account there is. It boasts sales, specials, news, articles and links to the Alot More Than Just Promos blog.

@MotivatorsStaff

A fun look behind the scenes at how this crazy place produces all your promotional products with links to this blog and commentary from yours truly.

@MotivatorsTV

The best place to find out information about all the latest promotional product videos being shown on Motivators.tv and our YouTube channel. Don't be surprised if you see some tweets about Lost, as Anthony (our biggest Lost fan) is your tweeter.

@GoGreenBlog

Similar to the @MotivatorsStaff account, a few of us tweet on this and pass along all the eco-friendly news. It also boasts a direct feed to the Motivators Go Green Blog.

That being said, HAPPY TWEETING EVERYONE!

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