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Viewing posts from: November 2000

#FallonTonight Goes Viral

by BIGfish

facebook marketing social media twitter

After 22 years, Jay Leno passed the Tonight Show torch to Jimmy Fallon on February 17, 2014. As expected, Fallon’s debut was a huge (and hilarious) success. But we noticed something else about the show, too: #FallonTonight went viral on social media.

Why is this so important? “The ascension of Mr. Fallon, 39, to ‘The Tonight Show’ throne represents a new era in late-night viewing, one where advertisers value a show’s total audience--its viral video viewers and Twitter followers along with the TV watchers being lulled to sleep by topical monologues and skits,”  wrote AdAge. While attracting viewers to the show is, of course, important, Fallon must also engage with fans online.

Fallon may be new to The Tonight Show, but he’s already a seasoned social media pro and each of his social profiles has a larger following than those of his competitors. Read on to find out how Fallon leveraged his strong online audience to promote his Tonight Show debut.

Screen Shot 2014-02-24 at 1.08.49 PM Screen Shot 2014-02-24 at 1.11.30 PMScreen Shot 2014-02-24 at 1.08.39 PM Screen Shot 2014-02-24 at 1.08.27 PM Screen Shot 2014-02-24 at 1.08.20 PM

Readying The Troops

Social media is the perfect place to promote an event. At BIGfish, we utilize Facebook, Tumblr, Instagram and Twitter to promote events for our client Iceland Naturally. Whether it’s a festival, tweetup, or TV premiere, you should always start posting about the event on social media in advance. Make sure fans and followers know what’s going on, how they can get involved, and why they should be excited! This is a great way to build buzz before the event even starts.

Fallon spent the week leading up to his Tonight Show debut getting his fans pumped for the show and expressing his own excitement. He sent out tweets, like this one:

https://twitter.com/jimmyfallon/status/435256832115101696 And also promoted the show by simultaneously engaging with fans, as he often does: https://twitter.com/jimmyfallon/status/434490532430381056

Five days before the first show, the Fallon Tonight Instagram started a daily countdown. Then, 12 hours before showtime, it featured hourly updates with photos of the Tonight Show mug at different NYC landmarks and encouraging users to use the #FallonTonight hashtag.

Fallon’s Tumblr blog also featured several posts promoting Fallon’s Tonight Show debut, and the official YouTube channel was not overlooked. There they posted an interactive “Ask Jimmy: What’s Coming to the Tonight Show?” video, further engaging fans and spreading the word about his new show.

If all that wasn’t enough, Fallon announced the launch of the Late Night App that enables users to easily tweet about the show, submit videos for the latest challenge, play free games and see show-related content. By sharing information about #FallonTonight in unique and fun ways on several platforms, they created buzz around the big debut and gave followers a reason to not only watch but also Like, follow and share the new Tonight Show.

Give ‘Em Something to Talk About

In our world of mobile devices and 24-hour news, content becomes ‘old news’ fast. Waiting to post content after an event is often too late. Users want and expect live updates. This was something the Fallon Tonight team did better than any other late night TV show has in the past.

Once the show began, the Tonight Show team posted updates and clips online, making it easy for users to view and share. Almost immediately after Fallon and Will Smith performed the “Evolution of Hip-Hop Dancing” on air, the video clip was uploaded to YouTube and posted to the Fallon Tonight Facebook page. The result? The video got more than 100,000 Likes and 13,000 shares on Facebook and now has more than 7 million views on YouTube (and still climbing every day).

The Fallon Tonight Tumblr page also featured several .gifs and videos from the show - a perfect place to put media that makes it easy for users to share and send to friends. All of these tactics extend the reach of the show far past those viewing it live.

Always Be Yourself

Brands work hard and long to craft their brand voice, and social media is a great place to refine and express that voice. Having a consistent brand voice, whether it be serious, friendly, sarcastic or sincere, strengthens the overall brand personality and helps build relationships with fans. Jimmy Fallon’s social media profiles are a shining example of this in action.

“Mr. Fallon is a charming and gifted comedian who, on his first night, chose to be subdued and at times even serious. That said as much about the uncertain future of “Tonight” as it did about its new host,” The New York Times wrote of Fallon’s Tonight Show debut. Fallon’s honest, humble personality that makes him so likeable is also clearly visible in his social profiles. Fallon’s personal posts garner lots of engagement from his followers, and the consist voice from platform to platform helps keep the Fallon Tonight brand in tact.

https://twitter.com/jimmyfallon/status/430531164638420992 "February 17, 2014 This is it. We are starting a new chapter of the Tonight Show. I can't even begin to describe what we are all feeling right now here at 30 Rockefeller Plaza, NYC. But - I know that we'll never have this exact feeling ever again. By this time tomorrow we'll no longer wonder what it would be like to do the Tonight Show. We can't put that feeling - that moment back in the bottle. All we can do is try to make the best show that we can and make people happy. And we will. Here's to the first of many. Fun." Fallon wrote in this Instagram post. What other TV shows do a good job of integrating and leveraging social media? Tweet @BIGfishmarket and let us know! Update  On February 28, the Today show reported that some 10.42 million people viewed Jimmy Fallon's first week on The Tonight Show, with delayed DVR-watchers factored in. This is the biggest  audience since Johnny Carson hosted the show from 1962-1992. Weeks into his new show, Fallon is still giving "night owls a good reason to keep watching," but I believe Fallon's initial social media success also convinced people who missed the debut show to tune in for the rest of the week. Fallon's perfect mix of social media expertise, likable personality and shareable content are clearly a recipe for success! -Brigid Gorham


Social Media Smackdown: Hootsuite vs. Buffer

by BIGfish

social media twitter

If you use Twitter, chances are you’ve heard of Hootsuite. The social media management system is one of the most popular social media tools for brands, enabling users to schedule, listen and engage all in one place.

Although we’ve been using Hootsuite for years at BIGfish, we’re constantly on the lookout for new tips and tools for managing our clients’ Twitter profiles. The newest tool we’ve added to our arsenal is Buffer, a platform for scheduling and analyzing tweets (and Facebook posts, if you’re so inclined). But which tool is better? Let’s find out!

Note: This post compares the Twitter features of Hootsuite Pro versus Buffer’s Awesome Plan.

1) Scheduling

Why It Matters: For me, scheduling is hands-down the most important feature of a social media management tool. There are about 128 hours a week when I’m not at my desk, which translates to 128 hours of potential missed opportunities. Scheduling posts in advance is critical to ensure your profiles are always active - even when you’re not! Hootsuite: Scheduling is pretty run of the mill with Hootsuite. To schedule a tweet, you either write it directly in Hootsuite or use the somewhat clunky Hootsuite extension. Rather than notifying you when you’ve hit 140 characters, Hootsuite simply cuts off your tweet with an ellipsis - making your tweet look sloppy and potentially removing vital information. Hootsuite does have a nice “Auto Schedule” feature, which pre-selects a time for “optimal impact,” but I found myself selecting times anyway to ensure tweets were properly spaced out. buffer-app

Buffer: Buffer definitely takes the cake on this one. First off, Buffer lets you set up a daily posting schedule for when you want your tweets to go out. For example, you can set it to automatically schedule your tweets at 9 a.m., 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 2 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. If you want to send a tweet at a custom time instead, that’s always an option as well. Second, Buffer’s Chrome extension is just amazing. Once it’s installed, scheduling a tweet is as simple as clicking the Buffer icon in your browser - the extension will then automatically make that webpage into a tweet. If you have text highlighted, it will pick that up too and insert it as a quote before the URL. You can even right click any image on the web and select “Buffer This Image” to tweet it! More on this later, though.

2) Link Shortening


Why It Matters: Believe it or not, the way you shorten your links is important. Take a look at the recent performance history for common URL shorteners and you’ll see what I mean. From February 5-11, bit.ly was operating normally, while ow.ly has had performance issues everyday. Which URL shortener would you rather be using?

Hootsuite: Unfortunately for Hootsuite, its default URL shortener is ow.ly. Your other options are ht.ly, owl.li and htl.li - none of which are even considered the most popular URL shorteners (meaning they’re probably less likely to get clicked).

Buffer: Looks like Buffer wins this one as well. Buffer lets you select your default shortener as the well-known bit.ly, and also offers buff.ly and j.mp.

 3) Pictures

Why It Matters: Sharing pictures via social media has always been a great way to drive engagement, especially when you have a client like Iceland Naturally. And now that Twitter automatically expands photos, tweets with photos are 2x as likely to get retweeted.

Hootsuite: Herein lies Hootsuite’s fatal flaw. The platform does not offer a way to schedule tweets with pic.twitter images, which was the ultimate deal breaker for me. Technically, you can still share images in Hootsuite - however, they will show up as ow.ly links rather than as embedded images, meaning they will not automatically expand or even show up in Twitter unless someone clicks the link.

Buffer: One of my favorite things about Buffer is how easy it is to schedule tweets with pic.twitter images. There are a couple of ways to do it: by directly uploading an image in the Buffer app; by right-clicking an image on the web and Buffering it with your extension; or by retweeting someone else’s tweet with an image. Buffer also allows you to turn off link shortening at anytime, ensuring that your image will show up as an embedded pic.twitter image rather than a bit.ly link. Now I know why they call it “The Awesome Plan.”

4) Listening

Why It Matters: Keeping track of what your followers are saying on Twitter is essential to maintaining a successful Twitter account. Not only is it important to monitor your @mentions, but it’s also a good idea to keep an eye on what similar brands and companies are tweeting about.

Hootsuite: It’s your time to shine, Hootsuite! Social media monitoring is definitely one of Hootsuite’s strong suits, primarily thanks to its ability to create various streams. The interface makes it incredibly easy to get a quick preview of what’s going on in the Twitterverse. Beyond simply creating streams for your @mentions and sent tweets, Hootsuite allows you to set up custom streams based on keywords, phrases or lists. For example, we have a stream that displays every tweet containing #Iceland and a stream that displays tweets from our Twitter list Made in Iceland, among others. You can learn more about the various capabilities of Hootsuite streams here.

Buffer: Buffer doesn’t have much to offer in terms of listening. It’s meant to be a scheduling tool, and it focuses on perfecting that function. Points go to Hootsuite on this one.

5) Analytics

Why It Matters: Do I really need to explain this? Analyzing your tweets’ performance is the final crucial step in running a successful Twitter account. From retweets to mentions to favorites, there are several key metrics to study when determining how to improve your engagement rates and follower counts.

Hootsuite: Depending on how much you’re willing to spend, Hootsuite can offer a wide variety of analytics tools. With Hootsuite Pro, your analytics reports are customized to your liking, but limited based on how many “credits” you have available.

Buffer: The analytics tools in Buffer are basic but solid. While you can see the number of retweets, favorites, mentions, clicks and potential reach for any given tweet sent through Buffer, The Awesome Plan does not offer a more comprehensive summary of how your Twitter account is doing.

Our Verdict

As you can see, Hootsuite and Buffer each have their pros and cons. If I had to pick one, it would definitely be Buffer - their scheduling tools are hard to beat! But overall, I’ve found that using a combination of both tools is the best way to manage our various Twitter accounts. Hootsuite obviously shines in the listening department, whereas Buffer edges out the competition with its intuitive scheduling tools and clean interface. Neither is particularly great with analytics, but then again, that’s not really what these tools were created for. There are certainly additional solutions out there that can do it all, but we tend to gravitate toward low-cost, flexible options instead.

What social media tools do you use? Do you have a preference for Hootsuite vs. Buffer? Tweet at @BIGfishmarket to let us know what you think!

-Jacqui Johnstone  

The Rise and Fall of SMS Texting

by BIGfish

mobile technology

You may find this hard to believe, but SMS texting is on the decline. SMS texts are sent through your cell phone provider; not to be confused with instant messaging apps like iMessage. Why do I make this distinction? The annual technology predictions report by Deloitte predicts that, “in 2014 Instant Messaging (IM) services on mobile phones will carry more than twice the volume (50 billion versus 21 billion per day) of messages sent via SMS globally.” This decline in SMS messaging is somewhat surprising since texting is only about 20 years old. However, Emerson College marketing professor and BIGfish president David Gerzof Richard notes, "These are sort of the cycles that we're seeing in technology development." Given the fast pace of the tech industry, it’s actually surprising SMS texting is still relevant at all.

It is interesting to see how far texting has come since its inception. As this article notes, the idea of SMS texting was developed by Friedhelm Hillebrand and Bernard Ghillebaert in 1984. However, it was not until 1992 that Neil Papworth sent the first text message. The message read “Merry Christmas,” and was sent by PC because most mobile phones at the time did not have keyboards. In 1993, Nokia became the first handset manufacturer to create an entire phone line that supported user-sending of SMS text messages and in 1997, Nokia also became the first manufacturer to produce a mobile phone with a full keyboard. It wasn’t until 1999 that text messages could be exchanged across different networks. This new feature made SMS incredibly popular and in 2007, Americans sent and received more text messages than phone calls.

As with most trends these days, the popularity of SMS texting was short-lived. According to CTIA, there has been a steady decline in texting since 2009. Although texting grew by 55.5% in 2009, this fell to 31.3% in 2010 and then 12.3% in 2011. The declining growth rate hit new lows when the number of sms texts sent and received decreased in 2012. In addition, the article states, “Of the 326 million estimated wireless subscriber connections in the US [in 2012], 22 million were wireless-enabled tablets, laptops and modems (up from 20 million in 2011) and 152 million were smartphones, up 36% from 112 million in 2011.” This is important to note because as users move away from SMS texting, they are increasingly flocking to the instant messaging apps that are available on these devices.

In a recent interview with NPR, David Gerzof Richard argued that this decline in SMS growth is likely to continue due to the increased use of messaging apps. Gerzof Richard suggests several reasons:

You pay for texts:

“With a texting plan from your cell phone provider, you usually pay to send text messages. With instant messaging services, including Facebook, Snapchat and WhatsApp, the app is free. You pay for a data plan — your access to the Internet — but you're not billed for your messages.”

With the release of BlackBerry’s BBM feature in 2006, SMS texting took its first hit from an instant messaging service. Since then the surge in smartphones, continued charges for SMS text messages, and falling data prices have encouraged a wide range of competitors, such as applications with direct messaging capabilities, social media messaging, and photo sharing platforms.

You can do more with instant messages:

When looking at direct messaging services, Apple’s iMessage is one of the leading platforms. This app makes it easy for multiple people to participate in a single conversation, whereas with SMS texting, messages are sent separately to each person. With iMessage, users can also utilize emoticons as well as easily send photos and videos from one’s phone. In addition, there has been an increase in social media integration and messaging services. Facebook, Twitter, and more recently Instagram, have made it easier to interact with friends through chat and direct messages. Lastly, Snapchat made picture sharing even more popular by introducing time limits on how long a message can be seen.

You don't have to worry about phone numbers:

"It looks like we're starting to move in a direction where the younger generation isn't thinking in terms of phone numbers, but in terms of usernames and handles," Gerzof Richard says. Most messaging apps don’t need phone numbers at all. Instead, they easily link to your existing social media sites and harvest your contacts from your friend lists.

Where young people go, their elders will follow:

Deloitte’s annual technology predictions report also mentions that this year there will be an increase in the number of smartphones bought by people over 55. Gerzof Richard says this will drive even more people to instant messaging. In trying to keep track of and better connect with their kids, people over 55 have ventured into the realm of social media platforms. However, the use of social media platforms and smartphones transcends just parenting. With increased smartphone use, people over 55 are likely to be more comfortable with alternate modes of communication and therefore use SMS text messaging less.

With the consistent growth of smartphone usage, it will be interesting to follow the decline of SMS texting. In 2014, instant messaging services are predicted to account for 50 billion messages sent globally per day. That is double the number of SMS text messages that will be sent this year! Do you think SMS text messaging can make a comeback?

-Dana Harvey

Reading on Phone

Are you reading this on your phone?

by BIGfish

mobile writing

It seemed like everyone was (and still is) talking about our short attention spans and how people only want to read short, concise stories and tweets online. However, a recent article in The Atlantic uncovers some evidence that disproves this theory. If the “short attention span” rumors were true, then why did “Why I Bought a House in Detroit for $500,” a 6,000 word Buzzfeed article, garner more than a million pageviews? On that same note, Wired’s long-form article “How a Radical New Teaching Method Could Unleash a Generation of Geniuses,” received more than one million views for an average of five minutes and The New York Times’ “Snowfall” got more than 2.9 million visitors and 3.5 million page views.

Not only are people reading lengthy articles online, they’re sharing them, too. “These stories can also benefit from people’s desire to share quality stories along with Imgur pics and cat videos,” The Atlantic writes. Feature articles offer in-depth research and insight into a story, meaning readers have more to relate to and learn from.

What’s even more interesting is how readers are consuming these lengthy articles. While it may be counterintuitive, studies have shown that U.S. mobile users are happy to watch long shows and movies and read long-form content on their phones. “Why I Bought a House in Detroit for $500” maintained the average tablet user’s attention for 12 minutes, while those reading the article on smart phones spent more than 25 minutes on the page - “a small eternity, in internet time,” writes The Atlantic. It looks like one of our 2014 social media prophecies is already coming true and the move to mobile is affecting more industries than we can count.

Buzzfeed’s founder and CEO, Jonah Peretti, believes people are reading more on their mobile devices not only out of convenience (mobile devices are almost always within arm’s reach), but also because of “that single, tab-less screen--the screen that scrolls with the flick of a finger.” The Atlantic believes Buzzfeed may have found the magic recipe for long-form story success online; a format “devoid of ads and right-rail detritus - a template that presents a single story in the form of a scroll.” With 50 percent of their traffic coming from mobile devices, has Buzzfeed perfected the mobile-ready feature story format just as they perfected the compelling headlines they’re so well known for? The simple, seamless scroll enables continuous reading without interruption, while a phone screen hides any open windows, tabs and banner ads that might otherwise cause distraction on a computer or tablet.

Do you read long articles or watch shows and movies on your mobile device? Have you always done so or is this a new habit? What was the last long-form story you read online?

-Brigid Gorham

#CES2014 in Review

by BIGfish

consumer electronics review

Since the modern VCR was introduced at the International Consumer Electronics Show in 1970, CES has become the place for companies to debut their most innovative technologies - and 2014 was no exception. With more than 3,200 exhibitors claiming to have the best, newest, biggest and brightest products, it can be difficult to single out and keep track of the best gadgets. To help you navigate the onslaught of CES coverage, we’ve collected a few of our favorite products and stories for a BIGfish recap of #CES2014.

Things We Loved

One of the first big stories that came out of CES was Toyota’s fuel cell vehicle. Our favorite product, this car has a range of 300 miles and emits only water vapor. Popular Mechanics reported that this hydrogen fuel cell car could even power a house for up to a week in case of an emergency. Toyota plans to release the car next year, but only in California since it’s the state with the most public hydrogen fueling stations.toyota-fuel-cell-ces

Another interesting auto-related announcement from CES was the formation of the Open Automotive Alliance. As members of this alliance, Audi, GM, Google, Honda, Hyundai and NVIDIA plan on working together to bring Android operating systems to their cars. This collaborative effort will enable “them to bring cutting-edge tech into the cabins of their cars far more quickly than they had been able to in the past.” We’re excited to see what these companies are able to accomplish together in the next year.

One notable technology that didn’t disappoint is the Oculus Rift ‘Crystal Cove’ prototype, winner of Engadget’s Best of CES award. Just put on the Oculus Rift headset and be transported into the virtual reality of Crystal Cove. Users can then “walk” around and interact with what they see. Watch this video of the Verge staff trying out the prototype for the first time to see what it’s like to experience this virtual reality.

A finalist for iLounge’s Best of Show awards, our client, TYLT, introduced several products at CES this year, including a whole new line of portable battery packs. Check out their segment on Geekbeat.TV’s #CESLive show to learn more about their incredibly useful portable chargers and innovative mobile accessories:

Buzz-Worthy Trends

You can’t talk about CES 2014 without mentioning Ultra HD 4K TV and curved TV screens. While both technologies were introduced at CES 2013, the trend really took off at this year’s show with nearly every TV company, including Panasonic, Samsung, LG, and Sony, incorporating these technologies into their products. While 4K is now more widely available and affordable, we don’t expect this technology to go mainstream anytime soon, especially since broadcast television hasn’t even made the jump from 780p to 1080p yet. However, Netflix announced it will stream its hit show “House of Cards” in 4K, so maybe more content providers will jump in on this trend in the next few months.


Two other notable trends from CES 2014 are wearable tech and connected home appliances. Wearable technology took went healthy as LG announced the Lifeband Touch and Sony debuted Core, both competitors to FitBit and the like. Pebble’s sleek new Steel smartwatch and Netatmo’s UV-monitoring bracelet also raised the bar for wearable tech to be just as fashionable as it is functional.

CES 2014 also offered a glimpse into the future of smart homes with connected products from LG, Whirlpool and Samsung. Enter data into LG’s refrigerator when you add or remove items and the refrigerator can then “text its owner when food is a day or so from spoiling,” “respond to queries such as ‘How much beer is left?’,” and display recipes based on the food you currently have.

Whirlpool also displayed a kitchen of the future, complete with a touchscreen stovetop that enables users to display recipes, social media feeds and audio controls. Whirlpool is also working on a fridge, dishwasher, oven, stove and washing machine that talk to one another and can do things like determine what kind of stain you have on your shirt and then wash it accordingly.


The Best of Local Tech

BIGfish president David Gerzof Richard presented the best Boston gadgets and apps from CES 2014 on FOX25 News last week. Watch the segment below to learn more about local companies like iRobot, CO Everywhere, FinSix and many more! What was your favorite gadget from CES 2014? Who was your favorite reporter to follow during the show? Do you plan on purchasing anything that was unveiled at this year’s show? -Brigid Gorham

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