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Exploring MSN: What Social Media Tools are Out There?

MSN, originally known as The Microsoft Network, is Microsoft’s portal to the Internet. It is always a gateway to Microsoft’s sites and service. Many users think of it as mainly a news and search site, but MSN offers some popular social media tools as well.

Messenger

If you click the link that says “Messenger” at the top of the page, it takes you to the Windows Essentials page, which contains many useful and fun programs. Messenger is just what it says, an instant messaging program like Yahoo! Instant Messenger. Messenger allows you to chat in real-time with your friends on the MSN network.

Windows Live Photo Gallery & Windows Live Movie Maker

Even though it may not seem like a social media tool per se, Microsoft’s Photo Gallery application for editing photos has very robust social media sharing features. There are options to publish to Facebook, Flickr and more. Windows Live Movie Maker is a program for video editing and also offers social networking options like sharing to Facebook, YouTube and other sites. There are links to download both programs on the Windows Essentials page.

Blogs

The MSN portal connects to several new blogs that cover subjects such as news, entertainment, sports, money and more. Visitors can share articles they find interesting via Facebook and Twitter. Most blogs also have the options to email stories and subscribe via RSS feed as well. Social media sharing plays a huge role in how MSN determines which stories are the most popular.

Connections

You can connect MSN with your Messenger, Facebook and/or Twitter contacts and see your feeds without even leaving MSN’s homepage. This feature is awkward to use though because the feed is limited to a tiny box and it seems to randomly pick which friends or followers it chooses to display information from. The feature would be a lot more useful if it was targeted towards what you friends are reading on MSN instead of just randomly pulling your feed information.

Twitter

Last, but not least, MSN offers a convenient button at the top of the page that allows you to follow MSN on Twitter. If you’re a big fan of MSN’s news stories, you can go to their Twitter page and get constant updates on their latest trending topics.

Considering the size of Microsoft’s organization and their massive customer base, it is surprising that MSN.com doesn’t have more social medial features. A forum or discussion board would be a welcome addition to the MSN portal, but neither of these features exists there. I believe Microsoft’s primary goal is to keep MSN.com primarily an information portal to keep most of their social media offerings on other Microsoft websites.

About the Author: Ming Esteve loves studying social media sites and companies. When she’s not working, you can find her looking for new Facebook emoticons and music videos.

Social Media Networks Vs. Traditional Focus Groups

Proponents favoring the use of traditional focus groups point to the ability for their clients to actively participate or directly observe the process in real time. Opponents of focus groups tend towards the effects of manipulative, leading questions as skewing results in whatever direction the practitioners of the research desire. With all the technology surrounding the Internet, and the relatively recent advent of social media networks, is it possible to use these online communities as a legitimate replacement for the focus group?

The answer surely depends upon who is asked. Traditional marketing professionals tend towards the use of tools and methods they can maintain control over. Those who are active in a variety of social networks and understand the powerful research capabilities built into most of these online destinations often argue to the contrary of the traditionalists.

Some more cutting edge of those from the former camp have actually started developing artificial social media networks for market research. Essentially they develop online applications which mimic the functionality one would associate with a Facebook or Twitter and then populate their networks with participants.

Much like recruiting individuals to take part in a focus group, those who become involved with these fake social communities may have very little reason to interact, except for whatever they research company is offering them. Like the results of a focus group, the fake social network results may be suspect.

By understanding the power of research tools built into most legitimate social networks, one desiring to perform market research can have the power and accuracy which hundreds of millions of potential participants bring to the equation.

One of the biggest advantages of these real world forums comes from the fact that many of the conversations about a particular business or product are happening naturally. Notifications can be set in place so the researcher is immediately able to observer the conversation, and even join in with applicable questions and comments.

It can also be more effective to consider using actual social media networks from a cost perspective. Without skewing results by offering unreasonable incentives for participation, focused sub-groups are easily created from existing community members. In most cases, the cost of recruiting these people is far less than corralling people walking through the shopping mall.Because of the relatively low cost and ease of use relative to social media market research, businesses or entrepreneurs can get real world feedback, in near real time whenever it is convenient or desirable. Traditional focus groups have the challenge of recruiting people who were not otherwise intending to devote time to such projects. It can take days to formulate a plan and put into place the participants.

Social media research only takes an Internet connection, the knowledge required to use the community search tools, and the time to perform the activity oneself. As a result, the ability to poll such large data sets can often provide better, more clarified information with which to develop marketing action plans.Additionally, maintaining constant (and automated) attention to all mentions of and conversations about a clients products or brand image is a great way to always have the finger on the pulse of the public. All of this and much more is currently available within most of the social media networks and for little if any cost.

Jason Knox is a freelance writer for 97th Floor.

How Social media will impact eCommerce in 2013

2013 is the year that social media and e-commerce designers will meld together seamlessly. The social aspects of social media will help e-commerce companies find out what customers really want in a brand, and will also boost sales by customers using social media to share their purchases and likes. By 2013, most of the kinks in the process will be removed, and companies will be free to take full advantage of social media for business decisions.

Social media is surprisingly influential in the realm of company and brand loyalty, and will impact e-commerce in 2013 in the following ways:

Social media sharing and company “likes” will influence buyer’s choices: Today, most companies have a social media presence just like many people in the world. Social media provides a unique way for customers and brands to interact with one another, helping each other find the best way to meet the needs of customers and benefit companies. Today, a few companies allow the use of product sharing through social media, but in 2013, most brands will use social media as a way for customers to share their recent purchased and wish lists with friends for birthdays and other social gatherings.

Customers will only follow brands with active social pages: People like knowing that a company cares about them personally. The more active a company is through social media, the more customers will remain loyal to the brand and continue to shop their. In 2013, companies that share product ideas, allow customers to influence buying decisions, and offer give aways will increase their fan base and increase sales and brand loyalty. This is a necessary step to prevent customers from turning to other brands who offer these conveniences. This will also help prevent customers from getting bored with a brand and turning to competitors.

Companies will offer personalized pages based on social media choices: Many people share a large part of their lives, likes, and dislikes through social media. Just by seeing what a person “likes” on their page can determine what kind of person they are and what is most important to them. Companies will be able to take advantage of this information in 2013 by creating customized ads and web pages based on the likes and dislikes of their fans. Companies will be able to use cookies and other public information to create customized displays and pages for each customer displaying what that person should like most on that company’s site.

Viral marketing: The more customers share products and information about a company, the more advertising exposure the company receives. Many companies are already taking advantage of this marketing ploy by creating clever ads and funny marketing campaigns that are so over the top that people share the ads with friends through social media. This form of viral marketing is an inexpensive way to increase brand awareness and get new customers to visit a company they may not have thought about purchasing from in the past.

Greater brand exposure: As more people joint social media sites, companies can easily raise awareness for their brands to a new customer base simply by advertising with the social media site. This automatically increases brand awareness on the site, and may even bring in international business from countries where there are no local stores from that brand. With just a little effort, companies will be able to raise their awareness to an international or global level.

In-depth market research: Social media is an excellent market research tool. By 2013, most companies will have an established brand page that customers have interacted with. Taking the data and feedback directly by customers, companies can easily see what customers like and dislike about the brand and make changes accordingly. This raw data presents an unprecedented level of customer feedback that can really help brands identify exactly what customers want and need most.

By 2013, social media is set to have a huge impact on the e-commerce industry. Companies that do not already have active social media presences should consider implementing eCommerce solutions that will foster a personal relationship with customers through social media. Brands that do not create social media bonds with customers will quickly loose to companies that have already made the leap to the future of marketing e-commerce advertising.

This is a guest post by Andras Deak who is currently doing his internship at an eCommerce solutions company. He is an occasional guest blogger on web design and development as well as gadgets and technology. Andras is currently writing on behalf of Code23.

Get a Social View of Candidates

Although social media has been around for a while now, companies are still trying to figure out how to use the sites to help them find the best candidates, while exerting the least amount of effort. Well now there’s a software solution that helps you do just that.

San Francisco-based TalentBin recently launched its own search engine, which gathers information about job applicants from their social media profiles, including: Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Meetup, and Quora.

TalentBin’s talent search engine should make it easier to isolate top-flight talent by aggregating candidates’ background information – and implicit professional achievements – in one comprehensive profile.

That means recruiters who are evaluating potential new hires can simply input a candidate’s name in the system and quickly receive a profile with important information about that person’s past and what they’ve done throughout their career.

According to a report by PR Newswire, the search engine is available as a standalone solution or as a plug-in for Human Resources Information Systems, Recruiting Customer Relationship Management software, or Applicant Tracking Systems.

So far, more than 60 companies are already using this type of technology for social media-related recruiting purposes. Big-name companies such as Groupon, Intuit, Dolby, and Yahoo! have found success with the new social search engine solution.

If reports and testimonials about the product prove to be true, recruiters and HR professionals who are always looking for the latest and greatest technology will now have a tool to help them make the best possible hires.

Dustin Carper, who is an employment brand strategist for daily deals site Groupon, said the new technology has helped to advance how the company’s recruiters find top technical talent. He said sourcers and recruiters at Groupon love the search engine, because it helps them do a more efficient job and eliminates the need for manually searching for information about candidates on Google or other search engines.

Jennifer Hasche, a recruiter at Intuit, said it took no time for her sourcing team to realize that the new technology provides results that traditional recruiting tools can’t. This includes helping the company find highly-qualified and experienced candidates that might not have profiles that show up on Google or LinkedIn.

So if you’re in need of a little boost to your hiring process, and you want to use social media to help you leverage the best candidates, then you should consider using the new search engine technology we’ve been talking about.

Citations:

Passionate about recruiting and social media and where those two worlds intersect. Visit www.pcrecruiter.net for more info.

Toyota Friend: a social network for owners of plug-in hybrid and electric

Toyota Motor Corporation announced on Monday 23 May in Tokyo it will invest nearly 442 million yen and its partner Salesforce.com Incorporated, some 223 million yen in a new company called Media Service Company Toyota. This subsidiary of the parent disseminate data to the attention of motorists.

Besides a full range of entertainment sources, system and network Friend Toyota will offer a remote monitoring of tank car battery. And a battery of aids to maximize their autonomy.

Remember that Toyota and Microsoft announced last month that they are joining forces to develop an electronic board less energy, ideal for electric vehicles or in part.

Related Question:

What is the full form of bmw?

With one tool, Google is “like” Facebook

After a series of flops in the field of social web, this attempt is good? On Wednesday, Google introduced “+1″, a function similar to “like” Facebook. In the immediate future, you can recommend a search result. The button will however be integrated with the rest of the galaxy Google (beginning with YouTube, no doubt) and maybe the rest of the web.

Problem, the function requires a “Google Profile”. A what? Exactly. Ask ten people if they have them, and they look at you in general with a look of incomprehension, asking if you’re talking about Gmail. The few experts confess that they never use this page which attempts to link the various social services like Buzz Google, YouTube or Picasa.

For now, activate the function here. Then just click a button to the right of a search result. Your network profile Google / Gmail / Buzz will then see the recommendation and Google will use this signal to improve its search. More interestingly, the business side, it is also possible to recommend AdWords advertising (eg a travel site or a coupon).

Puzzle

Except that Google manages to convince more people to get started, or that one can appear on a Facebook wall or a timeline Twitter, the interest is still limited. Besides some people recommend an outcome before you have clicked on it … This forces the user-pending flower buttons on the Web to go back to the results page for “plussoyer” link. Ineffective.

Facebook has managed to create a social network, and then joined key functions (tag, status, like). Google, trying to catch up, offers features first but sorely lacking in the sauce to moisten.


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