Social Media Roundup: May 27, 2014

Google Adds Filters to Restaurant Search on the Desktop and Android
Google will now allow desktop and Android mobile users to filter restaurant searches by price, ratings, cuisine, and whether they're open. The new feature positions Google to compete directly with services such as Yelp and Urbanspoon. Tip for restaurant owners: make sure your Google Places for Business profile is as complete as you can make it. There are things that you can do on your website to organize information in a way optimizes it for Google's crawlers, too.

What Social Media Tells Us About World Events
Researchers at Dalhousie University's Social Media Lab in Canada are applying social media analytics to recent events in the Ukraine. The focus has been on how people interact online and use the Internet to communicate, including how they talk about current events and politics. Twitter activity was clearly correlated with events on the ground, showing huge spikes when clashes in Kiev turned deadly in mid-February, and again when Russia applied military force in the country. Much of the content about the conflict was in English, presumably in a bid for international attention and sympathy. Also, unlike previous social media-fueled movements, such as those in Iran or Tunisia, all sides, including government and law enforcement, are using social media to get their messages out and to keep track of events and public sentiment.

Venus and Mars? How Men and Women Use Twitter Differently
The Bechdel test for fiction (including movies) looks to see whether it includes at least two women who talk to each other about something other than a man. It's been widely applied to contemporary movies and fiction. Films that pass the test tend to have lower budgets and often enjoy better financial performance. Researchers in Switzerland have treated 300 million tweets about a movie trailer on YouTube as if they were a single, giant movie script with 170,000 characters. Conclusion: Twitter basically fails the Bechdel test, although younger users appear to be more balanced, while fathers interact less with female Twitter users and mention women less than childless men do.

Social Media for Restaurants: Do You Need a Boost?
Social media marketing has been outstandingly successful in the restaurant industry, changing everything from marketing to customer service with online ordering, tabletop menus, and more. A blog from Buzztime says there are four warning signs your restaurant may need to invest in social media to help your business grow:

  1. You don't get a lot of repeat customers.
  2. Nobody knows you're there.
  3. Nobody orders your specials.
  4. Other kinds of ads are too expensive for your budget.

On the Internet, Everybody Knows You're a Congressman
Eighty members of Congress were recognized by the Congressional Management Foundation with Golden Mouse Awards for excellence in online communication. The awards are in two categories: Best Congressional Websites, and Best Citizen Engagement on Social Media. While celebrating the good work by many lawmakers, the foundation criticized many others for clumsy, outmoded strategies, which emphasize repetition, jargon, and heavy-handed rhetoric. You can pick up a few pointers by what your elected officials are doing right - and wrong.

Daniel Lieberman is the founder of Daniel Lieberman Digital ("I speak Geek - You don't need to"). Based in Shelburne Falls, Mass., he helps companies, organizations, and individuals learn to use the Internet to communicate, market, and brand themselves using the most up-to-date tools and techniques. Contact him at 413-489-1818 or daniel@daniellieberman.org.

Published: May 27th, 2014

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