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Weekly Round Up

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This Week In The News

Augmented Reality Coming To A Space Station Near You – AR Space Googles

AR Space Glasses

Augmented Reality is entering the final frontier – space. NASA is teaming up with Osterhout Design Group to bring Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality glasses to be used in exploratory activities. To do so would seriously advance future missions in space.

Another Teaser From Game Of Thrones To Whet Your Appetite

Not exactly industry news but it’s pretty important to almost everyone on the planet. Our Mother of Dragons is turning her gaze towards Westeros.

Oculus Rift Is Facing Tough Competition – Valve SteamVR

Valve SteamAR

There’s a new Virtual Reality headset making waves and critics believe the Oculus Rift should watch out. It’s definitely worth watching PC World’s review of the excellent HTC Valve’s Steam VR headset.

Everything You Need To Know About The Apple SmartWatch – In An Infographic

apple watch

With all the details flying around about the Apple SmartWatch we thought it was time someone put all the facts into a nice simple Infographic.

The BBC Becomes A Leader In Tech Innovation – The Coder Generation

BBC Coders

The BBC has helped to make huge strides in encouraging younger generations to code. One million Micro Bits – a stripped-down computer similar to a Raspberry Pi – will be given to all pupils starting secondary school in the autumn term. They hope that this will help to increase digital skills among young people and help to fill the digital skills gap.


Tips & Training

1 Facebook Tip Everyone Should Do Now – Seriously

Not so long ago we discovered a Security loop hole hidden within Facebook Apps. Here’s how to protect your private information from 3rd parties.

Find Out Your Social Media Rank with – Klout

Klout is a free service that can help determine how well you are doing on Social Media. It looks at your engagement and post frequency to deduce how active you are. More than that however, Klout looks past the number of followers you have and looks at how ‘genuine’ they are. That is that they are real human beings and not just spammers.


Weekly Round Up

By | Business advice, Social Media, Technology, Weekly Roundup | No Comments

This Week In The News

Furniture from the future is here – Ikea Wireless Charging Furniture

Ikea-charger

Ikea seems to have read all of our minds and provided something we all desire: Wireless furniture. For all tech lovers out there this will make deciding where to buy furniture from a hell of lot easier.

New offering from Samsung – Samsung Galaxy 6

galaxys6

The newest offering from Samsung Galaxy, the Samsung Galaxy 6, is all kinds of modern and sleek. It will be carried by all major networks and looks to be a vast improvement on past models. We can’t wait to get our hands on one!

Augmented Reality Comes to Android Wear – Ingress

ingress-on-android-wear-concept

It wasn’t going to be long before Augmented Reality games were going to be introduced to wearable tech such as watches. It would be one of the easiest ways to meld the real world with an augmented virtual one. Ingress players out there will be some of the first to experience it and many other versions will be following soon mark our words.

RIP Leonard Nimoy

This week the world lost a truly magnificent man. Whether you were a trekkie or not you would have been touched by this man’s words or actions at some point in your life.

R.I.P Leonard Nimoy


Tips & Training

Eight lessons about social media strategy – From Frank Underwood

Social Media Strategy Tips as taught by Frank Underwood. Some of his quotes may seem a bit severe but if broken down and applied to Social Media? It makes quite a bit of sense.

Want FREE Photos for social media? – Canva

Imagery is vital to any successful Social Media campaign. It encourages engagement, displays calls to actions in an innovative way and captures your audience’s attention. But it can also be a time-consuming task. Different Social Media platforms have different dimensions and free stock photography or graphics can be hard to source. Canva provides a solution to these issues. Free to sign up and with a variety of free content for you to use it also comes with defined templates for each Social Media platform.


Social Trends

We could live without – #thatdress

#thatdress. We all saw it and hand on heart I think we all contributed to the conversation. The abundance of tweets and posts that hit the globe occurred almost instantaneously faster and more wide spread than any other trend before. It also annoyed many as the tweets above prove.

This is the last time we mention it.

We need more of – #quokkaselfie

This is the kind of conversation that all companies can take advantage of. It may not fit with your company image exactly but trust us when we say it will drive engagement and get other accounts to start thinking about you. And that never hurts.

PS. Look at that face!

1 Facebook Security Tip Everyone Should Do Now

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First Things First: The Information You Share With Your Friends Is Not Restricted To Their Eyes Only

Recently there has been much talk over FB and privacy rights. You may have even taken part in sharing the ‘better safe than sorry’ status that was doing the rounds recently. In more recent news the hacking of the USA’s Central Command’s Twitter and Youtube account has made Social Media security a hot topic.

Unfortunately through signing up with Facebook anything that you make public can be used by 3rd parties. It’s in the sign up fine print and it has always been the same way. That does not mean however, that you should instantly panic and immediately boycott Facebook. Take a read of this article to gain a better understanding of the matter.

Furthermore, the more malicious of these Apps can be used to hack you Social Media accounts like with the USA’s Central Command’s accounts. You should be careful when accepting any App request for access and if your gut says there’s something iffy then trust it! It’s usually right!

This is not what I want to cover today. Today I would like to cover something that has flown under the radar of many a Facebook user.

3rd Person Access Via Your Friends

Many of you would have signed up to 3rd party systems that you can access via Facebook sign in. Spotify, Netflix, Candy Crush to name but a few. Many of these Apps are doing what marketers do on a daily basis, they use your Facebook profile information to tailor their services and advertise the right products to your FB page. Their request looks something like this:

1 Top FB Tip 1

They tell you what they can access when you sign in for the first time via Facebook and if you are like me I accepted these terms. I know the grey area that is Facebook privacy and I know that for the most part it is up to me to govern how much information I put up there.

What I did not realise until very recently was that my more private information, information that I have allowed only friends to see, can be made available to some Apps out there despite me not using or allowing them.

How? Because my friends use them and have accepted their access requests.

Before you get angry with your friends, you’re doing the exact same thing and these Apps are clever. They tell you that they will gain access to your contact list but do not need to tell you what they do with that contact list.

If your friend uses a 3rd party App on Facebook and have accepted their terms then automatic settings on YOUR Facebook account means that those Apps have access to the following pieces of information:

FB Security Settings v6

I’m not sure about you but I’m pretty uncomfortable with Apps that I have not given my authority to having access to information such as my photos and current location. Even if it’s just potentially.

If you feel the same way then go into your Facebook account and select settings.

FB Security Settings v3

Go into ‘Apps’ on the left hand side.

FB Security Settings v1

Scroll down to the bottom and select ‘Apps Others Use’ and edit your settings according to your comfort level.

FB Security Settings v2

And there you have it! Isn’t it a great feeling to essentially blockade those sneaky Apps?! When it comes to this aspect of sharing information it really is ‘Better Safe Than Sorry’.

FB Security Settings v5
(image www.comicbookmovie.com)

If you have ANY questions regarding Social Media Security or any advice of your own let me know! Leave a comment below, Tweet me @_NovaHelena, leave a comment on our FB page or find me on LinkedIn.

Hope it helps!

The Two Things I Think Everyone Should Know How To Do On Twitter And Facebook

By | Business, Social Media, Technology | No Comments

Facebook-twitter-featurebp

Forgive me if what you are about to read are well known tricks in your Social Media Bag. Some of you may even ‘tut’ in disgrace but I do not mind. Perhaps I should have brought this to the attention of my followers long ago but it only just hit me that I regularly see people complaining about problems that these two tricks resolve.

And it hit me it wasn’t that they were forgetting to do it, no it was that they have never been told.

So do forgive me if this is all old news to you but allow me to bring these old tricks to light once more to aid the thousands of new users joining the plains of the Social Media world every day.

1. How to Make Sure That All Of Your Followers See Your Tweet To Another Account.

Are you a Social Media marketer who regularly checks analytics and think that some of your tweets to other accounts just do not have the same reach?

Or do you simply like to know that all of your followers can see when you tweet another follower?

Well then this tip is for you.

When Twitter guides you through the first steps in creating your first Tweet it fails to point out one major factor.

If you Tweet someone like this:

Blog Post 23.07.14 (1)

Without ANYTHING before the @ then the only accounts that will see that tweet are those that follow BOTH you and that account.

This can severely cut into the exposure of your tweets limiting your engagement and potentially impacting future business.

In order to avoid this and ensure that all of your followers see your Tweet you just have to put something else before the @

For Example:

Blog Post 23.07.14 (2)

OR EVEN

Blog Post 23.07.14 (3)

And there you have it as simple as a ‘.’

I think it’s shocking, SHOCKING, that Twitter doesn’t teach you this when you first sign up

movies-mean-girls-still-7

2. How To Control Everything On Your Facebook Profile

On a daily basis I read someone worried about a post being put onto their Facebook profile without his or her permission.

Or worried that a post might be uploaded when they have limited access to Facebook and so cannot take the post down.

And they are worried for good reason. More and more employers are admitting to checking current employers out on Facebook and if they don’t like what they see will bring in the employee for a warning or outright fire them.

Even worse there has been a dramatic increase in employers not hiring future employees over what they have managed to discover online. That means that if your security settings aren’t top notch that recent status that your friend has tagged you in, you know the one about you drinking until you passed out, can mean you loosing out on a job.

Well there is a simple security setting that allows you to verify any posts about you or any posts onto your wall.

To activate this setting follow these simple steps:

1. Click on Settings in the drop down option by your profile name

BP 02.07.14 1

2. Look to the left hand side and select ‘Timeline and Tagging.’

Blog Post 23.07.14 (4)

3. This is a pretty useful page full of settings to help protect you on Facebook. The one we’re interested in however, is the following:

Blog Post 23.07.14 (5)You will want to select ‘Edit’ just to the side of ‘Review posts friends tag you in before they appear on your timeline?’

4. Simply click on ‘Disabled’ and it will allow you the option to Enable this feature.  This means that from now on whenever someone tags you in a status or photo it will not show up on your timeline until you have verified it!

Blog Post 23.07.14 (6)

I know everyone’s a winner right:

JLaw GIF

There you go, two simple tips that I believe every one should know. Hopefully you will find at least one of them extremely helpful.

Let me know if you need anymore help with either of the above! Simply tweet me at @HWalshNDM or e-mail me h.walsh@novadigitalmedia.com

 

How To Block Game Invites & Spoiler Accounts On Facebook & Twitter

By | Essex, Social Media, Technology | No Comments

Do-You-Want-To-Play-Candy-Crush

To celebrate Social Media Day we thought we would share with you two of our favourite tips for Facebook and Twitter. Trust us these tips will vastly improve your Social Media experience!

So without further ado here they are!

Our Favourite Facebook Tip

How to Block An App on Facebook

This is the one that I see crop up over and over again on my Facebook newsfeed.  In fact posts begging for people to stop sending them ‘Candy Crush’ or ‘Farmville’ invites is such a regular theme that it is what prompted me to write this blog post in the first place!  I’m sure you’ve been on the receiving end of one of these annoying requests, the mosquitos of the online world.  Or you are one of those who love the games and in order to progress to the next level send out pleas for help to your loyal, wonderful friends.

And who can blame you that is what friends are for right?  But whether you are the receiver or the ‘sendee’ there is something you can do to save your friendship before the addiction of the game or the influx of invites breaks you down to the point of despair.

Follow these simple steps for your own peace of mind and enjoy an app free Facebook today!

1)   Log into your Facebook account.  Select ‘Settings’

BP 02.07.14 1

2)   Look to the left and select ‘Blocking

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3)   It will bring you to the following page:

BP 02.07.14 3

This is a pretty helpful page that can help you conquer a few different annoying notifications on Facebook.  You can restrict what a certain friend sees on your profile (without their knowledge) or block event invitations if someone you know is prone to doing so.

But that’s not what we’re here for right now, right now we want to know how to block a specific App and any invites it comes with.

To do this there are two different options:

1)   Type the name of the friend who keeps sending you the invite.  This works if there is only one repeat offender and there is the added option to block any future App invites no matter the App.

2)   Block an app completely.  This will prevent the App from gaining any information from your Facebook Page and will block all invites from any of your friends playing that particular App.  This is the option I tend to opt for.

And there you have it!

Our Favourite Twitter Tip

How To Mute An Annoying Twitter Account

Has your Boss started Tweeting about and only about work?

Is a particular friend of yours posting spoilers about Game Of Thrones?

Is a company spamming you with uninteresting content a bit too much?

Yet still you do not want to un-follow them in fear of rudeness (A very British problem) or even worse that it might force their hand into un-following you.

Well Twitter may have presented you with an answer. In their infinite wisdom Twitter recently introduced (with little fanfare) a mute function that allows you to effectively ‘silence’ another account.

To do this, like with Facebook, there are two ways:

1) Straight from your newsfeed. All you have to do is click on ‘More’ at the bottom of the tweet and click ‘Mute @_________’

BP 02.07.14 4

2) From their account. If you have taken some time to look through their account, debate whether you should, and then come to the decision that yes you need a break from their tweets for just a little while you can click on the ‘gear’ symbol to the left of the ‘following’ tab then select ‘Mute @_________’

BP 02.07.14 5

Once you have selected the mute function their Tweets will no longer plague your Twitter feed. More importantly they will not know that you have blocked them ignorance really is bliss in this instance.

We know what you are thinking, as online marketers are we not worried that you will now go and mute our Twitter account. Honestly it hadn’t even crossed our minds because even if you were to ‘mute’ our account as long as the content we send out is interesting and of value you will still see it.

How?

Well you will still be able to see a Tweet from a muted account if it is Re-tweeted by an account you follow. Or if we think that a Tweet will be of particular use to you and directly tweet you via your handle you will still be able to see the Tweet.

So if you put out great content (and we think we do) then the mute function will not affect you!

We hope these two tips help you, if you would like to talk to anyone about how to make the most of your Social Media experience feel free to tweet @HWalshNDM or e-mail her on h.walsh@novadigitalmedia.com

A Social Media Manager’s Perspective – The New Facebook

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A Social Media Manager’s Perspective

I wanted to write something to follow on from John’s blog about the new Facebook. Whilst John is able to write a blog post admiring the changes and the improvements of Facebook, he sees Facebook as a web designer. John thinks and breathes design and web design. It’s what he does. Whereas I think and breathe social media (amongst a few other things). So I would perhaps say that I see and use Facebook as most average users do. Here I hope to convey a humble Social Media Manager’s perspective on the ‘new’ Facebook page.

I joined Facebook in 2006, back when you had to have a university/college e-mail address to join and this latest version of Facebook made me think about its evolution. Anyone can join now and it’s an expectation that most people and businesses have it. Companies and brands use it to promote their products and the majority of adverts on TV and the internet will have a “find out more about us on Facebook” segment.

Facebook is still, in essence a social networking site.

And yet I think it is important to remember its origins. Facebook is still, in essence a social networking site. It’s where people talk to each other, reconnect and communicate. Nowadays, instead of picking up the phone, it’s much easier to ping out a Facebook message. It wouldn’t surprise me if people use Facebook for group messages more than e-mail – you may not have someone’s e-mail or even phone number, but you can have them as a friend on Facebook…

So as an active and regular user, I’m all too aware of the frustrations of logging onto see what your friends have been up to and instead feeling overwhelmed by, what can feel like constant adverts, plugging and promotions. Facebook has received very negative comments about its’ advertising, with some adverts now even being incorporated into your timeline so you have no way of ignoring or dismissing. When a page (such as a business might have) posts an update, it too will appear in your timeline. In some instances this is very welcome, if a post is interesting or entertaining I’m more than happy to read it, but it’s a very fine line between that and promoting a product which I’d rather not have pushed in my face.

it’s a very fine line between that and promoting a product which I’d rather not have pushed in my face.

Final Verdict

In my opinion, if you want to have a successful Facebook presence for your company, it’s important to remember why people log on in the first place. People use Facebook to see what their friends are up to, to talk to people, to update others about themselves, they log on for entertainment, essentially. So whilst it is useful that a company or a business has a facebook page to represent themselves, how they use it is crucial, as it has the potential for negative as well as positive repercussions. Think objectively, why will people like this page? Will people be interested in what I have to say? Will they be interested in what I have to say if they’ve never heard of my company before? You have to remember what else is appearing in people’s timelines and what your page is competing against – adverts, other companies, updates from friends and family… how do you stand out from all of that?

That’s where Nova comes in. We understand how facebook and its users work, and we can represent your company to play to these strengths. It’s not just about the sell or the pitch, it’s about so much more than that. We can help to promote your company and your brand so that people will look for what your page has to say in their newsfeed. We know how to make your company stand out amongst everything else. Talk to us today and hear our ideas, our first consultation is free. Come and visit our offices, we have tea and biscuits.

 

The Passion Of The Pizza

By | Apps, Social Media | No Comments

The passion of the pizza in the office has reached boiling point! After discussing a bad Marketing Campaign from my favourite Pizza joint, things started getting heated to the point where the words “prove it” and ‘show me then’ were thrown around, and at Nova we put our money where our mouth is! Fast forward ten minutes and 4 pizzas were making their way to Nova’s offices!

 

Papa John’s Marketing Plea!

Papa John’s still has a lot to answer for as far as I’m concerned as their £9.99 text deals are outrageously under advertised to staff and it’s caused 2 full blown arguments with myself and the Basildon Store as well as my Chief Web Developer and the Upminster Store.  Although my experience was slightly less problematic than Mike’s in the sense I wasn’t verbally abused by staff the manager of the store still argued with me about £0.50 as their minimum delivery charge is £10.50!

Tell me how I can take advantage of a £9.99 pizza if I have to order £10.50 to get the free delivery?!

So we decided to put both our favourite Pizza deliveries to the test!

 

Pizza Thunder Dome – 2 Pizzas ordered, 1 Pizza Wins!

The 2 stores that are unwittingly going head to head are:

Dominos Elm Park, Hornchurch, RM12 5AS (3.5 miles away)

VS

Papa John’s, Dagenham, Romford, RM9 5AG (3.0 miles away)

So Papa John’s have the edge geographically, but will they utilise that edge and get the pizza here any quicker?

 

The Order

It just so happens that both pizza chains offer a 2 for Tuesday Deal so that makes selecting what to order easier, then we decided to choose similar pizzas to reduce the variable factors.

What we want to order:

To keep things the same we decided to order the Pizza Companies suggested best pizza (according to their standard menu) and a Pepperoni with the best Stuffed Edge available.

From Papa John’s we’ve ordered the Papa’s Favourite and Double Pepperoni and added a stuffed edge to the Pepperoni.

From Dominos as there isn’t an equivalent of Papa’s Favourite we’ve ordered a Meat Feast and a Pepperoni Passion with the Hot Dog Stuffed Edge.

What we thought of the choices available to us:

Papa John’s have some great varieties of pizza available all seemingly well thought out and authentic seem to be lacking in the options for extras like stuffed edge and base options.

Dominos on the other hand have a large selection of stuffed edge possibilities and even more options for type of base, making the chances of creating a custom pizza a lot easier.

Dominos Wins!

 

The Technology

How the Apps weighed up:

I happened to have the Dominos App and true to Papa John’s, Helena had the Papa John’s App, both were ordered from iPhone 5 and using the same Wi-Fi signal so the least possible external interference possible.20130820_121937

The look and feel of the 2 apps were OK in different ways with Dominos taking the lead due to their design being slightly more polished and modern. The designs were very different the functionality of ordering the food was very similar.

The food was ordered easy enough with mistakes on both apps meaning we had to start again. The apps both look similar when selecting the pizza with Dominos taking the edge due to the pizza image being larger and the text slightly easier to read.

During the ordering process I used the menu to decide which pizzas I wanted and then went to the checkout and presented was presented with a cost of £38 for the pizzas at this stage, Helena on the other hand ordered from the deals menu after reaching the same problem and we both headed off to the cart.

Neither app added the 2 for Tuesdays Voucher Code nor did they intelligently suggest the discount which is bad kudos for both of them really, hopefully they aren’t assuming ignorance will gain them more profit in the short term!

“WE WANT TO BE ADVISED OF DISCOUNTS PIZZA PEOPLE!”

IMG_1682

This meant we had to reorder the pizza through the deals section. Which a second time round was quicker and although painless wasted precious minutes for both apps.

We were also hung up from VISA as my company card had not been used so the VISA verification page  came up and prevented Helena from going forward. I struggled as (take note VISA) the non mobile responsive version of their verification form came up and we couldn’t see the text once we had typed it into the fields, which caused Helena to error out and have to start again with another already established account and card, for Papa John’s. This took Helena a few minutes and now we are even.

What does this tell you? Both Apps are designed to not optimise on deals, both are simple to order with Dominos allowing more detail on the customisation and a more polished modern interface.

Dominos Wins!

 

The Wait

Dominos arrived a few minutes ago which is closer, as the crow flies but the fact that the dominos went through a few minutes earlier than the Papa John’s means it was only a few minutes earlier.

The guy also had to call and ask us where to go where as Papa John’s guy arrived, and headed straight towards the door. Although we prompted him out the window.

We think that it should go to Domino’s purely on the fact that what you want when you wait is not to have to wait and Domino’s simply got here first!

pizza (1)pizza (2)

Dominos Wins!

 

The Pizza

The pizzas were both hot, good start.

When laid side by side I couldn’t help but notice that the Dominos looked slightly over done, from the pictures I think you’ll agree, that said the proof is in the tasting so ignoring crust first we went and dug in. The outcome was that Papa John’s won, by 1 point.

We decided not to allow Dominos delicious Hot Dog stuffed crust sway our decisions as Papa John’s menu does not feature anything quite like it.  Papa John’s did however, surprise us with a an additional green chilli which I have never seen before (although I have been informed that they’re supposed to) and I am a big fan of chilli’s, however like the Hot Dog crust it would be unfair to compare.

We did a Pepperoni taste test on our office dominos fan boy and he couldn’t tell the difference so although a large debate went on and lots of score mongering was being thrown around to try and sway the scores, the proof in the tasting was Papa John’s win 21 to 20 out of a potential 25.

pizza (3)pizza (4)

Papa John’s Wins!

 

The Social Media

Come on we’re a digital agency! We of course want to judge there social media, we tweeted both parties to let them know what we were doing and not only did Dominos reply but they wished us a pleasant meal BEFORE the pizza arrived!

That’s how to do it. Responding to your clients quickly, accurately and positively. That’s why you have 100,000 followers Dominos (a tad more than Papa John’s 2,000+)

So hands down win to Dominos who beat Papa John’s on delivery twice today.

Dominos Wins!

 

The Conclusion

Well the taste test was inconclusive and problematic with the inconsistencies in Pizza Selections and too much debate in the office over what I consider nit picking differences in the quality and presentation. The fact is I ate 4 pieces of pizza for lunch instead of a boring sandwich!

Dominos Wins!