Are You Using Hashtags? #IfNotYouLose

mobile hashtag surveyWhen I think of hashtags, I think of Twitter and those crazy memes that  pop up in the trending sidebar everyday. But hashtags aren’t just a source of amusement. More and more, they’re becoming a form of company branding.

Last night, ABC prompted Dancing with the Stars viewers to vote for the prom king and queen by Tweeting #PromQueen or #PromKing followed by the name of your favorite star. They also use their normal #DWTS hashtag to encourage users to comment throughout the show and some of those Tweets show up on screen during the live broadcast.

Two weeks in, and I’m already accustomed to using their hashtag when I Tweet about the show.

Apple Does Corporate Reputation Dance With Chinese Government

apple-warranty-china-tim-cook-apologyApple has never been known for making apologies about much of anything. Folks were a bit shocked by CEO Tim Cook’s mea culpa last year regarding the Apple Maps troubles the company experienced.

Well, it’s interesting just what a threat to adding to the gazillion or so dollars the company has (at one point recently Apple had more cash on hand than the US government) can do.

The latest threat to making Apple even richer comes from the world’s largest market, China. Don’t worry, Apple is doing just fine in China but it recently got the Chinese government agitated and, well, that’s not good for business. It’s so bad for business in fact that Tim Cook offered another public apology.

USA Today reports

Twitter for Business Redesigned, Gets Down to Basics

Twitter has redesigned its Twitter for Business section of its site.

Since the post on the Twitter advertising blog was dated yesterday I looked everything over a few too many times and, if this is a joke, I missed it completely. The blog post tells us

Since Twitter is such a dynamic new platform, marketers have a lot of questions. How do I connect with the right audience? How do I do that real-time marketing thing? How do I make 140 characters sing?

For the answer to these questions and more, we welcome you to visit our redesigned go-to resource for businesses: business.twitter.com.

Now for the video which seems over-the-top basic. I thought “Are they acting like this is a new product that no one has ever heard of before and that’s the joke?”. If it is, it’s not very funny but what it might be is an indication of is just how rudimentary many businesses’ understanding of exactly how Twitter can them help truly is. Here, you decide.

Mashable reports as well

Wearable Technology: How Do We Advertise On That?

Projects_ping3The hoodie you see here is called Ping. It’s a stylish, functional garment that allows you to wirelessly connect with Facebook by performing natural movements such as lifting up the hood or lowering the zipper. Pull the hood up and the system posts your location to your Facebook. Your friend Susan leaves a comment saying she’ll meet you for coffee – a sensor in the hoodie taps you on the shoulder to let you know there’s a timely message.

Electric Foxy (how much do you love that name?) is also working on a fashionable hoodie / music player. I’m not talking ‘tuck your iPod into the pocket.’ I’m talking about a player that raises the volume when you raise the zipper and changes tracks when you wave your hand in the air. (I guess you’re out of luck if there’s a sudden wind or you need to hail a taxi.)

Mobile Users Check Facebook Often and From Everywhere. . .Even at the Gym

Facebook recently released the results of an IDC survey they sponsored called “Always Connected: How Smartphones and Social Keep Us Engaged.”

From the title and the fact that it was sponsored by Facebook, you can see where this is going. But this is one of those times where the potential bias doesn’t really matter because I don’t need a survey to tell me how connected we are to our mobile phones and social media.

But let’s talk about this interesting point:

facebook idc checkin

The people who figured into this number were 18-44 year-olds who owned either an iPhone or Android phone. 70% of the pool said they use their mobile phone to access Facebook and 61% did it daily. And not just once or twice, either. On average, they accessed Facebook nearly 14 times per day. The only thing they did more often was text.

How To Maximize Your Tweets [Infographic ... No Joke]

Maximize Tweet PreviewUsing Twitter for business is not a joking matter now is it?

That’s what many people think and that’s why there is an infographic about it. We all now agree that if there is an infographic then it’s real (aren’t you glad that we are beyond the “It’s on the Internet so it must be real” phase? ;-) ). We’ve come such a long way, haven’t we?

The following infographic with data from Buddy Media via Fusework Studios (with a hat tip to Fred Hathaway) attempts to give you the lowdown about some Twitter tricks and tips to help you maximize your time with the service without flipping the bird the bird in frustration.

In Google’s Case, April Fool’s Cuts Both Ways

google-logoLooks like Google has outdone itself this year huh? Hiiiilaaaarious stuff about treasures on maps, blue email, searching with your nose and YouTube closing. Oh stop Google! My sides are hurting!

There was one that I actually did chuckle at which is the Google Apps Levity algorithm. Here’s the video for you to get a little, uhh, levity from, I guess.

The best April Fool’s joke that I found, however, came at Google’s expense. It plays off the idea of just how ridiculous and unbelievable it would be to see an announcement that Google had released local business products that work, make sense and have support for them.

There are no fancy videos just fanciful thinking of what an actual working product on the local level would be like from Google. It happened over at Mike Blumenthal’s blog and the post’s title alone, “Google Local Announces New Local Product and Promises Better Communications” says it all. Here’s a sample for you.