Dropbox, the popular cloud-based file storage site, confirmed this week that usernames and passwords were stolen from third party Web sites and then used to access Dropbox accounts. Dropbox users began receiving inordinate amounts of spam, which spurred the initial investigation. Dropbox is now taking extra steps and additional security measures to ensure this doesn’t happen again.
According to the Dropbox blog: “Our investigation found that usernames and passwords recently stolen from other websites were used to sign in to a small number of Dropbox accounts. We’ve contacted these users and have helped them protect their accounts.” Company engineer Aditya Agarwal went on to write that “a stolen password was also used to access an employee Dropbox account containing a project document with user email addresses. We believe this improper access is what led to the spam.”
Yet just because you don’t have a Dropbox account—or if you do and weren’t notified by Dropbox that your account was compromised—doesn’t mean you shouldn’t consider changing your password. This is especially true if it’s a simple password used for multiple accounts.
● Use a combination of letters (both upper and lowercase), numbers, characters and even punctuation.
● Never use the same password for multiple accounts.
● Change your password every few months if you want to be truly diligent, or at least once a year.
● Create strong passwords for high priority accounts such as your personal email account, accounts at financial institutions, and even your Facebook account.
● Be wary of phishing emails from people you don’t know (and even people you may know), especially if it comes from a Yahoo, Hotmail, or MSN account. Never click on a link from an unfamiliar source, even in Facebook.
● Use lines from your favorite song, book or movie to create a strong and memorable password. A good example of this is “2bon2bT1tq” from the Shakespeare quote “To be or not to be: That is the question.”
Software is available for those who need an easier way to manage all their passwords in one place, but keep in mind: if it’s written down or recorded anywhere, it’s still vulnerable.
Companies work hard to ensure your account info is safe online, but these breaches still happen. Remember LinkedIn’s June password leak? Take the extra steps now to prevent this from happening to you.
Thanks to the London Summer Games, it’s hard not to get swept up in Olympic fervor. Every four years, thousands of athletes gather in the summer to compete for medals on behalf of their home country in an event steeped in history. Everywhere you turn, people are talking about it. And this year, that conversation extends to social media.
This relatively new form of communication has also swept the world and brought people together. Meld this to the Olympics, and you have some gold medal-worthy changes in how we get our news, and how we tell everyone we know about it—with or without spoiler alerts.
We decided to take this a (potentially goofy) step further: wouldn’t it be fun if social media was an Olympic sport? Can you imagine the different categories so-called social media experts and pundits could participate in?
The mind boggles. Ours certainly did. Here are some of our ideas:
Speed Tweeting on Twitter – How eloquent/snarky can you be in 140 or fewer characters?
Longest Facebook Timeline Jump – Go from the Jurassic period to present day without using a Tardis.
Social Media Decathlon– Compete on as many social media platforms as you can; highest Klout score wins.
Social Media Platform Diving – Unlike the real Olympics, biggest splash wins.
Facebook Sharing Relay – How far did that happy hour margarita photo reach?
Speed Friending on Facebook – How many can you add in 24 hours?
Javelin Job Throw on LinkedIn – Fill out your profile on LinkedIn and see how many new job offers come your way. The most job offers wins!
Pinathon on Pinterest – How many recipes have you cooked from Pinterest? How many DIY projects have you been inspired to craft from pins?
Foursquare Freestyle – How many check-ins can you accomplish in a single trip to Starbucks?
Synchronized Kitten Video Sharing on YouTube – First user to have 1000 views of their indescribably-cute kitten video wins.
Blogging Backstroke – Navigate the blogosphere through memes. How many can you post in a week? How many comments did your last post receive?
Instagram Archery – Point and shoot: you get the most points for photos of puppies and kittens, amazing sunsets and cute babies, all shot on the Lo-Fi filter. Score a bull’s-eye when you get all four elements in the same photo.
Greco-Roman Google+ Wrestling – Wait…what?
Just like Michael Scott’s Office Olympics on The Office, we double-dog dare you to hold a Social Media Olympics in your office (tape-delays prohibited). Let the games begin!
Which category would you win? Any category suggestions you’d like to add to our list?
The Olympic Games may be a stellar gathering of accomplished athletes from around the world, but the International Olympic Committee (IOC) also has to think like a business. And for the first time, the Games are taking a cue from many other global businesses and embracing social media.
The Beijing Olympics in 2008 had no official social media strategy and the Vancouver Games made tiny forays. But the London Olympics will be the first to make full use of social media.
The London 2012 Olympics has hired a social media team, and set up official Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Instagram (@Olympics) and foursquare accounts. In addition, the IOC is building an Olympic Village online to connect worldwide fans to the hundreds of social networking streams of athletes and events on Twitter and Facebook.
Many wondered how the IOC was going to handle the other issue regarding social media: fans sharing photos and videos. According to Anthony Edgar, head of media operations for the IOC, spectators will not be penalized for sharing media and they can take pictures of athletes and events and post them through social media platforms. Video, however, should not be posted online but can be shared with family and friends.
In a statement to The Wall Street Journal, IOC Director of Communications Mark Adams said, ”Auntie Mabel in Norwich is not going to get a knock on the door at midnight and told to take something down. The main reason we do this is to stop companies (from) making money out of the Olympics who don’t put any money back into the sport.”
Athletes, on the other hand, face substantial social media restrictions and have to be very careful not to exploit their existing commercial contracts through the Olympics.
How much control will the IOC ultimately have? It will be interesting to see how this plays out, since much of the Olympics’ revenue is dependent on the billion-dollar deals with television/radio networks and other companies that have paid to be official sponsors.
Are you planning on following any of the Olympics’ social media accounts? Are you following any athletes online? Tell us about it here.
In August 2011, Splash Media invited Chiara Granado and Liz Jones from Genghis Grill to talk about the Mongolian barbecue chain’s social media marketing efforts. And since that time, the company has added to its social media menu.
Genghis Grill now has a presence on Google+ and Pinterest, and continues to talk to its customers on its Facebook and Twitter pages. The company’s HealthKwest campaign – a success for Genghis Grill in 2011 – keeps rewarding customers who share their exercise and diet stories on the HealthKwest.com website.
In this SplashCast with host Renay San Miguel, Granado and Jones talk about the role social media played in the 2011 HealthKwest campaign, and how Genghis Grill uses the different platforms to distribute content to current and potential customers.
Jones tells Splash Media that in an effort to reach a goal of 1 million fans on Facebook and its Khan’s Klub email database, Genghis Grill has launched its Facebook Referral Engine, a way to offer incentives for customers to like its FB page. The initial customer gets a free appetizer for joining Khan’s Klub and the news is posted to that customer’s personal FB page. If five or more friends see that status update and do some liking of their own on the Genghis Facebook page, the original customer gets a free bowl coupon and the friends get appetizers. Jones also promises some tasty news regarding the Referral Engine coming in September.
“This is a great way to expand our network and gain new fans and trial,” Jones told Splash Media. “This will also help promote our new appetizers to all of our fans.”
This is part 2 of a blog post focusing on social media marketing success stories presented during the 2nd annual Social Media Showcase, sponsored July 19th by Social Media Club of Dallas.
The goal was to find a way to allow a well-known Dallas-Fort Worth chain of pizza restaurants to give back to the local community. It wasn’t really about jump-starting sales. “i Fratelli is killing it,” said Jeff Schick, director of integrated digital strategy at Online Performance Marketing, during his Social Media Showcase presentation. “They’ve grown to 10 locations, received outstanding customer reviews. The brand is doing extremely well after 25 years of business.”
But wouldn’t you know it: by trying to help others, i Fratelli’s social media-driven strategy also helped its own bottom line.
Known for its thin crust, rectangular pizzas (ad tagline: “Never Trust A Round Pizza”), i Fratelli used Online Performance’s strategy for the i Fratelli Pizza DoughNation, a social media-based program. Customers would nominate worthy charities online, and i Fratelli would donate 15% of all Monday sales to that group.
The strategy’s components:
- Content strategies for i Fratelli’s blog The Sauce;
- Cross-pollination of posts on Facebook and Twitter to boost SEO performance;
- Identifying influencers;
- Seeded code words (usually non-profit/charity names) in social media that – when mentioned in pizza orders – would help with measurement;
- Using i Fratelli’s owned media to generate earned media (local TV and print news coverage).
Now a slew of DFW non-profits and charities are indeed getting much-needed financial help, and i Fratelli has stronger ties to its communities. But Schick said his client, which started DoughNation in February, has never dipped below a 300% return on investment each month since then. “We’ve had an increase in sales, and we’ve been able to tie that to social media ROI,” he said.
Online Performance grew i Fratelli’s retweet percentages, receiving national and international shout-outs. The Sauce blog’s unique views were 86% driven by social media and 14% from direct URL input, “so we were increasing brand awareness and recall.” Monthly impressions rose from 40,000 to 125,000.
“Social media results are not just for big brands,” Schick said. “Small and medium-sized businesses can see powerful results, whether it’s attitudinal behavior or financial. You just gotta know how to do it right.”
“It’s like having a built-in pep squad,” i Fratelli marketing director Rachel Black told Splash Media. “I like keeping our name in front of customers via a platform they are already engaged in. Our company is local and many of our fans know the owners and have developed an ownership of their success over the years. Their enthusiasm for our product and our story really drives our success on social media.”
And despite the boost in sales that was a byproduct of DoughNation, “we do not spend any time worrying about return on investment,” she said. “Our marketing budget is small for a company of our size, but there has been no question that an investment in social is good business. We have halted print advertising almost entirely and focused on web and social. Though it can be hard to discern a measurable impact, we have agreed that an absence in the realm of social media would leave us behind the curve.”
The Social Media Club of Dallas staged its annual Social Media Showcase this week, allowing marketing specialists to highlight how they used Facebook, Twitter, blogs and videos to solve business problems for clients. And while the event is geared towards other social media marketing pros, business owners still trying to figure out how new media fits into their strategies would have also benefitted from hearing about these compelling case studies.
A lot of great information was presented during the Showcase – blog fodder for more than one post, as it happens. In this instance, I wanted to highlight the evidence I heard about online video becoming more and more important to social media marketing strategies.
Radio Shack and Chevrolet made extensive use of video during their respective campaigns discussed at the Showcase. For Radio Shack, it was an attempt to boost its used electronics trade-in program, Trade-&-Save. Chevy, meanwhile, had it sights set on brand awareness at the recent South by Southwest Festival in Austin.
In the case of Radio Shack, its agency Weber Shandwick reached out to technology influencers as both partners and for distributing news of the campaign. “This was incredibly video-focused,” said Weber digital supervisor Alyssa Gardina. “We needed to make sure that video content got shared. We had influencers posting about how much fun it was to work with Radio Shack” on its Trade-&-Save program.
Gardina says that may be because her team stayed in contact with those tech-savvy bloggers/vloggers. “When working with influencers, don’t just film the video and leave. Follow up with comments on posts, let them know you’re listening. You’re building a relationship with them.”
Chevy was out to steer more younger drivers to its brand, said Miker Stovall, Senior V.P. for content at Fleishman-Hillard. Keys to accomplishing that? Create unique SXSW experiences for attendees and provide lots of content, including exclusive content for those not able to attend.
“We had 90 pieces of original content” during the 10-day festival, Stovall said. “And I know you can define that a lot of ways, but this was mostly videos. That was our heavy lift there. We were producing video content around the clock.”
The result? 41,000 new Facebook fans (“more than 4,000 new fans every day of the festival”) and half-a-million views on Chevy’s SXSW content hub. Stovall’s simple mantra for content strategy: “Be useful, be entertaining or be ignored. If you can be entertaining to the people who can’t be at the festival, then you can’t be ignored.”
Coming Monday: how a Dallas-based pizza business – NOT one of the big national chains, mind you - used social media to give back to the community.
Did you attend the Social Media Showcase? Are you seeing more use of video in digital campaigns for big and small brands? Please share your thoughts in our Comments section.
For many, it’s the ultimate work-based fantasy: being their own boss, setting up a business right in their own home.
Carrie Wilkerson did it. She left a career in teaching and built several businesses, all while raising a family. Carrie now consults for entrepreneurs/business owners and is helping others make the leap to starting their own businesses.
Carrie has published a book based on her experiences: The Barefoot Executive. It’s filled with successful strategies and tactics for those wanting to chase their ultimate work fantasies.
SplashCast host Renay San Miguel interviews Carrie about the role social media played in helping her build her consultation business, and how she counsels her clients on their use of Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and blogs to realize their entrepreneurial dreams.
For more about Carrie and her book, visit these sites:
Stay up-to-date on the latest in social media marketing; subscribe to our award-winning blog!
Old Spice got up in Taco Bell’s face recently on Twitter, only to be taken down by the fast-food company’s saucy reply. At least, that was the initial story in the social media marketing blogosphere and in some mainstream media reporting.
But oh, how quickly we all forget: it was just two years ago that Old Spice wrote a very successful chapter in the viral marketing handbook with its customized video responses to social media questions from consumers and celebrities. And earlier this year, Splash Media sang the praises of Taco Bell’s social media strategy in this blog post.
Both companies are clearly comfortable on Twitter, and their tweet war was simply an effective lesson for all businesses in how to use humor and appear human in their social media – all in 140 characters or less.
The story so far: on July 9th, the people running Old Spice’s Twitter account – known for absurdist humor that plays off the “Man Your Man Could Smell Like” meme – issued this tweet: “Why is it that ‘fire sauce’ isn’t made with any real fire? Seems like false advertising.” Taco Bell’s tweeted response? “@OldSpice Is your deodorant made with really old spices?”
The exchanged was retweeted, blogged about, screencaptured and generally talked about for the rest of the week; mission accomplished for both marketing teams. We think this Splash Media screen capture/thumbnail tells the full story well: Taco Bell is also exploiting technology in its marketing in other ways. The company’s use of chef Lorena Garcia and her new Cantina Bowl offering is the subject of a QR code where the “pixels” are made up of tiny lemons and avocados. This MediaPost story has the details.
It’s clear that both Old Spice and Taco Bell know their audiences, stayed consistent with their humor strategies and are willing to explore new storytelling tactics. Extra points go to Taco Bell for its tasty response, but we think Old Spice still comes off smelling pretty good with its social media marketing.
What do you think? Please share your thoughts in our Comments section about how Old Spice and Taco Bell are using Twitter and what you think the lessons are for small/midsize businesses.
Stay up-to-date on the latest in social media marketing; subscribe to our award-winning blog!
Unlike Facebook’s IPO, LinkedIn’s public offering was widely considered a success when it opened for trading in 2011. And since then, the social network for professionals has been aggressive with acquisitions as it continues to prove itself as a successful place for businesses – especially B2B’s – to engage in social media marketing.
Jake Wengroff, consultant on social media research at global research firm Frost and Sullivan, talks to SplashCast host Renay San Miguel about what LinkedIn is doing right, details the network’s purchases of Slideshare and Rapportive, and gives advice on how B2B’s should use LinkedIn’s features for their marketing needs.
Stay up-to-date on the latest in social media marketing; subscribe to our award-winning blog!
Splash Media, one of the largest full-service social media marketing agencies in the country, announces the regional premiere of a 30-minute infomercial that takes this traditional form of direct response marketing in new directions.
Working with infomercial pioneer Bob Dodd, Splash Media’s newsmagazine-style broadcast breaks the direct response mold in several ways:
- Splash Media isn’t selling fitness/diet programs, kitchen products, investment strategies or beauty aids. The infomercial investigates the benefits of social media marketing as a way for businesses to generate sales leads and build customer communities.
- Unlike most infomercials that try to reach the average consumer, Splash Media’s broadcast targets owners of small/midsize businesses and entrepreneurs who want to learn how to use Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube and blogs to tell their stories.
- Even though Splash Media is a company that works with new media, it’s using a proven, effective form of traditional media – television infomercials – to reach new audiences across the nation.
The infomercial highlights the stories of several Splash Media business clients who used social media to successfully grow sales, engage with potential and existing customers and establish themselves as thought-leaders in their respective industries. The regional premiere is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. CST Saturday, July 14 on WFAA-TV, the ABC affiliate in Dallas, Texas.
“This is definitely not your father’s infomercial,” said Chris Kraft, Splash Media CEO and co-founder. “Our program takes a higher-level approach in introducing our SplashCube social media management software, our Splash Media U online video training curriculum and our overall marketing services to business owners. We’re also practicing what we preach to clients by integrating traditional marketing methods – in this case, TV marketing – with social media, thanks to our use of a Twitter survey during the infomercial.”
- The infomercial is co-directed by DDTV2 chief creative officer Bob Dodd, whose Telly Award-winning work on direct response programs for clients including Nutrisystem and Time/Life Music and Books helped set the standard for effective, long-form TV marketing; and Brad Murano, the multiple award-winning chief creative officer for Splash Media.
- Splash Media’s Emmy Award-winning video production team shot the infomercial on location and in the studio of the company’s $5.5 million, state-of-the-art production facility.
- Splash Media chief content officer Renay San Miguel – a former anchor/reporter for CNN, Headline News and CNBC – hosts the newsmagazine-style infomercial, with Hilary Kennedy serving as special correspondent.
Splash Media Clients Featured In The Infomercial
- AMX, hardware and software for home/office technology management
- Humperdinks, a chain of restaurants/breweries
- Covington Aircraft, manufacturer of airplane engines
- ElectricMan, a 24-hour electrical repair service
- Candle Lamp, a restaurant supplies company
- First Preston, a real estate management company
Regional Splash Media Infomercial Schedule
WFAA-TV (ABC-Channel 8, Dallas-Fort Worth)
All times CST
- 1:30 p.m. July 14
- 5 a.m. July 15
- 2 p.m. July 16
- 1:41 a.m. July 20
KPXD-TV (ION, Channel 68, Dallas-Fort Worth)
- 9:30 a.m. July 16
- 9 a.m. July 19
- 8:30 a.m. July 22
- 8:30 a.m. July 29
With offices in the South and West, DDTV2 has an unmatched record of success in the industry of direct response television. For over 15 years, the company has provided their clients with results-driven, award-winning creative, production and editorial services. Their clients have included Nutrisystem, Time/Life Books and Music, LifeShield Home Security, HSN Direct and Optimum Lightpath. DDTV2 is a member of the Electronic Retailing Association. For more information, contact Cindy Velsor at 214-532-6328, or Cindy@ddtv2.net.
About Splash Media
Splash Media, LP, based in Dallas, Texas, is a leader in the social media marketing space. The firm equips, empowers and enables small/mid-sized businesses to do social media marketing in a way that is effective and has a positive return on investment. Splash Media has tools and education to empower customers who want to do it themselves and offers a full-service, managed services model for those companies that wish to outsource.
The full-service model includes customized social media strategies for clients, all text/video content, traditional internet marketing and SEO, and online reputation management. Splash Media’s unique services for clients include a $5.5 million video production facility using state-of-the-art virtual reality backgrounds and an Emmy Award-winning video production staff. The blend of interactive digital marketing and leading-edge video results in compelling content that drives new business leads and creates thriving online communities for customers.
Splash Media also has the most comprehensive and complete social media marketing training and education platform in the world: Splash Media U, a mix of in-person and online video instruction, delivers real-world training for anyone wanting a career in social media marketing. Splash Media U is based on more than 65,000 hours of experience working on successful social media campaigns for small businesses.
Splash Media’s SplashCube software is a robust social media management tool providing automated marketing functionality to drive engagement and generate leads.