Archive for the ‘Security Concerns’ Category

Osama Bin Laden’s Death: an Erupt on Social Media

May 2, 2011 Leave a comment

When social media was blowing up with the royal wedding news, and online buzz surrouning the this event had surpassed the chatter that surrounded the Japan earthquake and the Egypt domestic uprising, the news of Osama Bin Laden’s death erputs on social networking sites and has caused a bigger traffic spike than the royal wedding.

Before the President made a live statement to confirm, Twitter and Facebook exploded with reports of “Osama Bin Laden is dead”.Within about two hours of reports first surfacing, a Facebook Page titled “Osama Bin Laden is DEAD” has already accumulated more than 150,000 “likes.”

While this is a great victory for the war on terrorism, this has become a pivotal moment for social media. A few key reporters who gained the message put it on Twitter immediately. This message then spread throughout the “twitosphere” and beyond in a matter of minutes. By the time President Obama made his report the entire world knew of Bin Laden’s death.  Social media can work better than traditional news media. Besides, within this message spreading, we are joining that conversation on a scale never seen before. Politicians, movie stars, and us common folk could all talk about this issue on a level field… social media.

The news of Osama Bin Laden’s death spreaded to all corners of the world faster than the speed of light, and showed us all the true power social media can have. In terms of business, with the leverage of social media, just one piece of information – good or bad – can circle the world in seconds.

The Role of Social Media in eMail Marketing

April 20, 2011 Leave a comment

As a form of direct marketing, email marketing is exceptionally cost effective when you send emails to people who have given their permission for you to contact them and will welcome your messages. You can use your newsletter to start a dialog with your audience. How to grow the conversation? Social media can help you by inspiring your audience to talk more and share their opinions. When you customers receive your newsletter, you can ask them to follow you on Facebook fan page, to write down their comments on Twitter, and to tell their experience with fellow audience. In other words, you light the fire in your email and fan the flames to full intensity with social media. As marketers find opportunities to talk more and deeper with their audience, the trend to blend email marketing and social media becomes growing and popular. From Adam Ostrow’s HOW TO: Optimize Your E-mail Marketing for Social Media Results, companies such as Crocs, Timbuk2 and Dingo work well in the integration of e-mail and social media.

Dingo is a pet food company in Ohio. They took advantage of Constant Contact to build a promotion that rewarded customers with a $20 coupon if they signed up for the company’s newsletter and “Liked” its Facebook Page, with the catch being that the page needed to get to 5,000 fans (from a base of around 300) for the promotion to kick in. Mike Halloran, the owner of Dingo, says it reached its goal within three days, as pet owners found out about in the Dingo newsletter and forwarded it to their friends and “liked” Dingo on Facebook.

Mark Schmulen, general manager for social media at Constant Contact, says that Dingo’s campaign illustrates a growing trend among customers. “Of all channels, e-mail marketing and social media go hand in hand better than any other,” he said. “Getting your customers to share your message with friends is the most effective way to grow your business.”


Gary Levitt of upstart e-mail marketing provider Mad Mimi sees a similar trend. He cites one of his customers, bag and accessory retailer Timbuk2, as a great example of how to integrate e-mail and social. The company’s strategy is “to use a Facebook application to handle [contests] rather than setting up and optimizing a landing page of its own.”

The company’s e-mail newsletter — which has more than 100,000 subscribers – recently featured a promotion to win a free bike, helmet and messenger bag to fans of the company’s Facebook Page. So far, the opportunity has driven more than 6,500 click through to the giveaway, versus just nine clicks (yes, nine) to the company’s prompt that encourages e-mail subscribers to become Facebook fans.

These promotions can also work the other way, however. Shoe retailer Crocs not only promotes social media through its e-mail newsletter, but also promotes its e-mail newsletter through social media. For example, the company will inform its Twitter followers or Facebook fans about a special offer that’s only available to newsletter subscribers. The company also lets Facebook fans sign up for its e-mail newsletter from an app that’s built into its page, something that Andrea Stow, senior global eMarketing manager for Crocs, says has resulted in a “gigantic leap in our e-mail subscribers.”

Stow continues, “Our strategy is understanding and knowing that there might be duplicates [subscribers to multiple mediums] — but the more customer touch points, the better conversion we’ll have.” Jeff Rohrs, vice president of marketing at Exact Target, the company that powers Crocs’ e-mail marketing, adds, “What I really like that Crocs is doing is they realize they don’t have to abandon the channel — it’s not an either/or scenario. You work them all together and you end up with more subscribers, fans and followers overall.”

The impact of search engine on advertising

April 5, 2011 Leave a comment

It seems most of us are not willing to pay attention to the ads that appear next to Google search results, but search-based ads were an amazing transformation in advertising. With the help of search engines, marketers can target their customers who are searching for exactly what those marketers want to offer.

Several years ago, Google introduced ads in Gmail that were intended to be contextually relevant to the email you were reading. Contextual advertising is always going to be a bit less relevant than search advertising. If I’m searching for “best hiking gear,” I’m likely looking to buy some. If I’m reading an article in the New York Times about hiking trails in Vermont, I might just be filling time while I wait in line to renew my driver’s license. And matching advertising to email is even harder. I might open an email about hiking and wonder how I got on an outdoor mailing list.

For Gmail ads, Google is now looking to use additional signals about how you interact with your mail beyond just the content of the message. They noted that when working on the Priority Inbox feature, they found that signals that determined what mail was important could also potentially be used to figure out what types of ads you might be most interested in.

For example, if you’ve recently received a lot of messages about photography or cameras, a deal from a local camera store might be interesting. On the other hand if you’ve reported these messages as spam, you probably don’t want to see that deal.

Ad platforms have been evolving use of behavioral targeting for a while, but it’s still early days. As for the changes in Gmail ads, it will be interesting to see if the types of email we get one day is part of the personalization algorithm for our search (and search ad) results and if what kinds of email lists we subscribe to and what types of things we search for impact the video ads we see on YouTube.

Add to that the predictive elements of search and that organizations such as Rapleaf can tie our email addresses to what we buy at the grocery store and it’s pretty clear that radical shifts in personalized advertising are likely not too far away.


September 27, 2010 Leave a comment


This seems to be an on going conversation between the government, companies and consumers. To be viewed as a “trust worthy company” should be crucial for organizations. There was an article in MediaPost that says that with all of the social media sites today and mobile channels it is even more critical for companies to maintain those communications and trust channels.

The large amount of spam consumers get can be overwhelming and the likelihood of it getting read is pretty slim. As a company it is important to show consumers you are legit and one can follow a few guidelines:

Email marketing is the foundation of trust building

-“Email marketing campaigns are deemed trustworthy when a subscriber views them as something they are receiving by choice”

-Make articles and e-mails easy to read and understand

-Have clear brand recognition (logo, name, address, telephone # and subject)

Extending trust to mobile devices

-“Another way to build customer trust is to allow subscribers to choose the method in which they want to be contacted”

-Opt in SMS texts on landing pages

-Use short, targeted messages

Use social networks to build credibility

-Establish official pages

-Respond immediately to comments

-Post contact information on Twitter, Facebook etc

It seem like common sense to follow those suggestions, so it seems to be the customer needs to do their homework as well and follow up to make sure the company isn’t a fraud and they are a trust worthy.

Categories: Security Concerns

New Facebook Phishing Campaigns Run Amok

November 6, 2009 Leave a comment

During the past week, I have received 5 different emails from “Facebook” encouraging me to click on links to change my account setting, change my password, reinstall my account, etc. Fortunately, the emails seemed too convenient and smelled very much like a phishing attempt.

Dear Facebook user,

In an effort to make your online experience safer and more enjoyable, Facebook will be implementing a new login system that will affect all Facebook users. These changes will offer new features and increased account security.

Before you are able to use the new login system, you will be required to update your account.

Please click on the link below to update your account online now:

If you have any questions, reference our New User Guide.


The Facebook Team

One of the things that makes this attempt so diabolical is that they are well written and seemingly believable.

According to an article on, one of the current attempts includes am email attachment which is a password-stealing Trojan horse virus which, if login information is provided, will log into the user’s Facebook account and post things on the Wall of 25 of their friends.

Facebook Phishing email sample

This email claiming to be from Facebook is actually a well crafted phishing attempt designed to steal user login information

Bottom line: Beware of any email claiming to be from Facebook with an executable  link in it. Facebook will never send you a new password as an email attachment. To learn more, you can visit Facebook’s Security Center.