China Lifts Facebook Ban in Free-Trade Zone

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According to CNN, China has recently created a 17-square-mile “Free-Trade Zone,” where individuals will be able to access formerly blocked websites like Facebook and Twitter. The area is titled Shanghai Free-Trade Zone and will be launched this Sunday.

Prior to this lifted ban, China was known worldwide for blocking citizens and visitors from visiting foreign “politically-sensitive” websites due to a government censorship system known as the Great Firewall of China.facebook-image-fahrenheit-marketing

Purpose of the Zone

The new free zone is intended to test out financial and service sector reforms. If Beijing has reported success with the Free-Trade Zone, new policies may be implemented in a few other parts of China.

What does this mean for social media websites? This launch means that a new market has emerged as a way to continue growing the companies and continuing to expanding communication and connection globally. China makes up the largest market of Internet users, opening many doors for websites that will be opened in the zone that were formerly blocked.

Why Websites Were Blocked

Different websites are blocked for various reasons. Social media websites like Facebook and Twitter were blocked in 2009, when deadly deadly revolts in a western province in Xinjiang were allegedly encouraged through social media. Additionally, the New York Times was blocked last year for reporting the fortune inheritance of Wen Jiabao’s family.


Blackberry to be Sold For $4.7 Billion

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Blackberry-Sold-Fahrenheit-marketingThe competition in the smartphone industry just got a little bit easier. Blackberry has begun the process of being acquired by Canadian company Fairfax Financial Holdings Limited for $4.7 billion. The troubled smartphone company has not quite been able to keep up with the extremely competitive smartphone industry and has suffered financially because of it.

Last week Blackberry announced that they were going to lay off 4,500 employees, essentially 40 percent of its workforce, in the face of continued financial burdens. The company also lost about $1 billion in the second quarter.

Fairfax Financial Holding Limited already owns about 10 percent of Blackberry’s shares, but soon the rest of the mobile phone company’s shareholders will be reimbursed for $9 per share as the deal moves forward. Fairfax Financial Holdings Limited plans on taking Blackberry private.

Blackberry has been slipping competition for a while, failing to meet the ever-higher expectation of consumers who are faced with options like Apple’s iPhone and Samsung’s Galaxy. According to reports, it only has a 3 percent market share of the global smartphone market. Experts believe that succumbing to a deal with Fairfax Financial Holdings Limited is simply a survival skill that the dwindling company has resorted to.

Experts also say that though at first it seems like a strange idea on behalf of Fairfax, Blackberry has a lot of value in terms of software and hardware patents, no debt, and $2.7 billion in cash.

Fahrenheit Marketing is a full-service web marketing agency located in Austin, Texas. Be it a website redesign or SEO services, we can help. Feel free to contact us today for more information.


Is Your Brand Following Twitter Etiquette?

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Social media has proven to be valuable in promoting website traffic for organizations, most commonly through the use of Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus. This is partially because social media helps bridge the communication gap between organizations and the targeted publics.

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Did you know that tweets with image links get twice as much engagement as those without?

Because of its increasing importance in online marketing, organizations should follow Twitter etiquette when creating an account and posting content. First, let’s look at some of the top reasons people choose to follow a Twitter account:

  • Tweets are informative and original
  • Tweets are funny
  • The account is owned by a celebrity
  • Shared interests between the users
  • Tweets are inspiring and motivating
  • The users are friends or acquaintances

However, the reasons for unfollowing a Twitter account are endless. Here are some of the top reasons Twitter users gave for unfollowing:

  • No profile picture
  • Tweets are in another language
  • Tweets have so much slang that no one is able to understand them
  • You tweet way too much.
  • Your tweets are a constant stream of ads and self-promotions
  • You fall for spam too easily
  • Tweets are too offensive
  • Too much biased political talk
  • You constantly tweet your real-life problems
  • You add no value to the Twitter world

Some of these reasons may be more surprising than others, but essentially, all users are looking for some sort of self-beneficial value from your tweets. This could mean simply getting a laugh or getting informative links to a mutual interest. If you want to properly engage your targeted publics on Twitter, gain followers and provide this desired value to the Twitter world, it is important to participate in Twitter etiquette. Below are some rules of thumb to help your brand:

Engage with your followers as much as possible.

Many Twitter users — and all social media users in general — are using the communication channel to have a direct line to the brand. They may have questions about your brand or services, or they may simply have a direct complaint. In other words, many are coming to Twitter as a customer service resource. Ignoring questions and comments often results in a frustrated audience, regardless of how small and insignificant the comment may seem.

Follow others in the industry

Getting involved online with your industry is a way to expose your account to the industry. If you are an upcoming law firm, following other law firms in your area can be beneficial in brand strategy. Beyond following them, make sure to retweet and comment when the user provides beneficial, informative tweets for you and your audiences.

Have interesting and various content.

If your tweets are simply basic content every time you post, you may not generate much traffic. The most successful brands with Twitter accounts have retweeted others (but not too much), provided relevant links, included pictures and videos, etc. It’s acceptable to promote and advertise specials, but only once in a while. As previously mentioned, a stream of advertisements is considered clutter and often results in unfollows. Keep your tweets informative, interesting and engaging. Is it something you would retweet?


Pinterest to Dabble in Ads

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pinterest-announces-ads-fahrenheit-marketingIn a blog post and an email to users, Pinterest has finally announced their foray into advertisements after existing ad-free for three years. CEO Ben Silbermann announced the advertisements will come in the form of “promoted pins”, a la Twitter’s promoted tweets and Facebook’s promoted posts, all of which appear directly in user’s feeds.

He insisted the ads will be as tasteful and transparent as possible, meaning they will be clearly marked and relevant (targeted) to users. Silbermann also mentioned that Pinterest is only working with just a few businesses now, but will be expanding to more as time goes on.

The company is taking it slow and approaching promoted pins cautiously. The first promoted pins will appear in search results during testing within the next couple weeks. An example would be a promoted pin for a costume store when users search “Halloween”.

Advertisers are chomping at the bit to get their promoted content on Pinterest, considered to be one of the most important outlets for lucrative target segments. The current click-though rate of a pin on Pinterest is 1.1 percent. The rate for a Facebook ad? A measly 0.1 percent.

Pinterest’s monetization has been a long time coming. A company that has yet to turn a profit, Pinterest has an estimated value of $2.5 billion (yes, billion with a “b”). It’s probably about time the image and video-sharing site started paying back its investors, who put in an initial $338 million into the company.

 

Fahrenheit Marketing is a full-service online marketing agency located in Austin, Texas. Contact us today.


YouTube to Enable Offline Viewing

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Youtube-Enables-Offline-Viewing-Fahrenheit-MarketingYouTube has announced that in its newest update coming in November users will be able to view videos without an internet connection on their mobile devices. Users will have the option to download videos onto their phones, tablets, or other mobile devices while on an internet connection.

Users will be able to watch any videos they downloaded without an internet connection. Examples of situations in which users might be without the internet were on a flight or a bus ride home. The videos will stay in a user’s queue for 48 hours before being automatically deleted, but the timer will reset every time the mobile device connects to the internet.

According to a memo released to YouTube commercial upload partners (user accounts that have been monetized), Google in-stream ads will still be played before the downloaded videos are watched, but other types of ads won’t be supported.

The number of views a video receives offline will also be counted and partners will have the option to disable this feature for any of their videos. The uploader will have the option during or after an upload to disable offline viewing, and can even disable groups of videos individually, as a whole, or by region.

 

Fahrenheit Marketing is a full-service online marketing agency located in Austin, Texas. Contact us today.