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By Anthony Johnson, Apr 30 2016 07:11AM

This week’s news on all things social, digital and web

We love social media, digital marketing, and the online world. After all, that’s why we do what we do. Through our online travels, we come across a variety of information that can be helpful, amusing, or even shocking. We didn’t want you to miss out on this so here’s a roundup of what’s been happening lately.

The Twitter popularity contest: separating the real from the fake

So, last week, we shared the 10 most popular accounts on Twitter but since then we’ve been playing with TwitterAudit which shows you how many of these millions of followers are real. We thought it’d be interesting to re-look at the same top 10 and give you the run-down on how genuine their multi-million follower base actually is.

Rank Who Twitter handle Followers % real

1 Katy Perry @katyperry 87,078,571 39

2 Justin Bieber @justinbieber 79,883,755 42

3 Taylor Swift @taylorswift13 75,681,012 33

4 Barack Obama @BarackObama 73,511,545 37

5 YouTube @YouTube 61,511,871 72

6 Rihanna @rihanna 59,363,596 38

7 Lady Gaga @ladygaga 58,469,565 45

8 Ellen DeGeneres @TheEllenShow 58,184,051 74

9 Twitter @twitter 54,393,731 52

10 Justin Timberlake @jtimberlake 54,221,824 39

Fascinating stuff, isn’t it? Have a play for yourself and find out where you (or anyone else) ranks on the scale of genuine vs fake followers.

Revelations that blew our minds this week

Coachella has been blowing up on everyone’s Instagram but the #BTS scoop is that most of the celebs posting pics from Coachella aren’t actually there. They’re at super-exclusive, super-secret pool parties nearby. Also, did you know that if you want to drink at the festival you have to go into a special pen which has a 2 drink maximum? Now, we obviously aren’t promoting reckless OTT drinking but, really, booze-shaming at a festival? It’s a step too far.

Kim Kardashian is 4 pounds away from her pre-baby weight. Do we care? No. Do you care? No. What it does show is the growing power of Snapchat in engaging different audiences online. Brands are harnessing the power of Snapchat to connect in new ways with different content and, most importantly, showing pretty impressive stats in doing so. It won’t be for everyone but could it work for you?

There are now 1.65 billion active users each month on Facebook. We tried to do the maths on how many times the size of the UK’s population (63,843,856) this was but there weren’t enough decimal places on the calculator. If you’re better than us at numbers, perhaps you can do the sum and let us know the answer – we’d appreciate it.

Is Apple’s shine starting to wear off?

The headlines are stark - Decline in iPhone sales leads to first revenue decline in 13 years for Apple - supported by all manner of troubling statistics:

• Their share price dropped 7% in response to the news

• Sales had decreased by 13%

• iPhone sales, which make up the lion’s share of their revenue, dropped by 16%

Apple is now predicting that sales will decrease further in Q2 – from the current $50.6bn to $41bn – $43bn. Given that their sales are still safely in the tens of billions of dollars, it’s unlikely that they’ll be following in the footsteps of BHS (it’s been like the Woolworths trauma all over again!) anytime soon.

Is it a reflection on Apple? Not really, it’s down to the slowing economy in China which is the company’s second-biggest market. Tim Cook is promising us some ‘amazing innovations’ which are in the pipeline. Given Apple’s history, we’re tempted to believe him.

Our insider recommendation

Hashtags – which ones are the most effective to use? There are two really great tools you can use to figure this out: – it’s not the slickest looking User Interface you’re likely to find on the web but it is easy to use, FREE and really helpful. Find related hashtags to a topic, how popular they are and who the key influencers are in two clicks. It must be a good tool if it can make us overlook the design element.

By Digital 4 Trade

By Anthony Johnson, Apr 26 2016 06:44PM

This week’s news on all things social, digital and web

We love social media, SEO, digital marketing, and the online world. After all, that’s why we do what we do. Through our online travels, we come across a variety of information that can be helpful, amusing, or even shocking. We didn’t want you to miss out on this so here’s a roundup of what’s been happening lately.

You won’t believe how much can happen in just 60 seconds

The stats are staggering. You can check out the full breakdown below but here’s a few of the ones that jumped out at us.

In one minute:

150 million emails are sent – how many do you think are deleted without even being read?

8 million WhatsApp messages are generated – we’ve always got plenty to say for ourselves, but even our minds are blown by this.

38,052 hours of music uploaded onto Spotify – a 168% increase on the previous year.


Panic hits Instagram

If you’re a follower of Instagram, you might have noticed a recent moment of hysteria where everyone was telling you to turn on push notifications for their posts. It was a pre-emptive move in response to Instagram announcing that they would be moving away from a chronological feed – aka Facebook implementing the equivalent of their ‘Top Stories’ algorithm. The response to Instagram’s announcement was negative: #RIPInstagram says it all.

The rush to encourage us to turn on push notifications was a bit hasty as the change hasn’t even been made yet.

Social media cries foul over Twitter's new China boss

The appointment of new Managing Director of Greater China, Kathy Chen, has been met with great scepticism in the TwitterSphere with some arguing that the appointment is the “murder of freespeech (sic)”. Read more here.

Since Facebook’s F8 Conference last week, the word chatbot is everywhere…what is it??

You’ve probably heard the word bot before as it’s been widely used in other contexts for ages. Bots are used to automate a specific task and some of the most well-known uses have been for spam. In fact, you owe them a thank you for the ‘prove you’re a human’ verification you have to go through when completing forms online. They don’t have to be bad and Facebook are attempting to use them increase productive.

They are developing chatbots to communicate with people, for example to offer customer support via Messenger. The complexity in this task is that the bot not only has to learn language but also the nuance, context, and inference of those words. Think about when you’re learning a new language – even if you knew all the words in that language, that isn’t enough to be able to communicate in that language. There’s already been one high-profile example of this going wrong: Microsoft’s Tay which went on a genocidal, racist rant on twitter after being fed phrases online. As you’d imagine, it was taken offline quite quickly.

Let’s see how Facebook competes with Microsoft, Slack and everyone else already developing chatbots.

Who’s winning the Twitter popularity contest?

If you want to find out which accounts on Twitter are the most popular, you should check out TwitterCounter. As it stands, the 10 people with the most followers are:

Katy Perry (@katyperry) – 87, 078, 571 followers

Justin Bieber (@justinbieber) – 79,883,755 followers

Taylor Swift (@taylorswift13) – 75,681,012 followers

Barack Obama (@BarackObama) – 73,511,545 followers

YouTube (@YouTube) – 61,511,871 followers

Rihanna (@rihanna) – 59,363,596 followers

Lady Gaga (@ladygaga) – 58,469,565 followers

Ellen DeGeneres (@TheEllenShow) – 58,184,051 followers

Twitter (@twitter) – 54,393,731 followers

Justin Timberlake (@jtimberlake) – 54,221,824 followers

Go and check it out for yourself – perhaps you’ll find where you rank on the list? Don’t surprised if the follower counts differ from what we’ve said as they’ll probably even be different by the time I finish typing this sentence. What a fast-paced digital world we live in.

How many hashtags is too many hashtags?

The actual number depends upon which site you’re using and, in some cases, who your audience is. Here’s a quick reference guide for the major sites.


Quite simply on here, if you’re using any hashtags at all you’re using too many – they don’t work. There’s no point. (unless your sharing to Twitter!)


You absolutely, definitely must use hashtags on twitter as tweets with the right hashtags get more than double the engagement levels of those without any hashtags. It seems like a quick win in generating a greater return – just don’t get too carried away with thinking the more, the merrier: 1 to 2 is ideal. Any more than 2 and you’ll actually see a decline in engagement levels.


Go crazy! Posts on Instagram with 11 or more hashtags get the highest levels of engagement so if you’re looking to increase your insta-following quickly #hashtag #everything.


Opinion is still split about the effectiveness of hashtags on Facebook. Early feedback on their use suggested that using no hashtags created greater interaction than using any hashtags. Opinion has shifted somewhat now with it now being thought that, like Twitter, if you’re a business targeting other businesses, use 1 or 2 hashtags to maximise both your reach and interaction levels. If you’re targeting a more community-oriented style (like you might find on Pinterest) then there’s potentially scope to add in a few more.

If you’re using Google+ or what to find out more, check this out.

Our insider recommendation

Check out – it’s a free and highly visual representation of how your website is performing: so simple, so easy to use and understand – it’s just all the key metrics at a glance.

Interested in getting personalised advice on how to make the online world work for you? Get in touch. We’ll be happy to answer.

By Anthony Johnson, Dec 7 2015 01:17PM

Top rank or money back offer.

With January being slow for many businesses and just around the corner, we would like to offer you an opportunity to beat the competition with high Google rankings and a massive reach on social media.

Using the web to grow your business depends on many things, and we've got them covered., we formulate powerful digital marketing campaigns and get your website high rankings.

Everyone likes to get the best price on top quality services. Whether you're looking for search engine listing, ranking or social media presence, our packages cover all of this and more for your budget and needs! Take a look at our most popular services, or contact us to see which package is best for your website!

Join us this week on any of our packages and we will guarantee you a top rank or your money back!

Whether it’s a new beginning to your online presence or you need that extra boost, we offer an ideal balance of marketing services and task implementation that focus on maximising your internet visibility and Return On Investment.

Not sure which to choose? Our Packages and Plans are designed for everyone from SME's to global corporations. Compare all our packages offers and prices here.

Our cheap and affordable search engine optimisation (SEO) packages will help you reduce your marketing costs while improving sales, without compromising on quality. We pride ourselves in providing quality and effective solutions, this is what makes our approach different from others not just in Coventry but all over the UK. We practice white-hat SEO and meticulously follow Google Webmaster Guidelines when formulating strategies that will work for your business.

Our services are tailored to be relevant in 21st century search engine optimisation and cater for new business websites and existing websites. Our services include on-page and off-page SEO geared toward providing excellent user experience with the right solution for our customers in accordance with Google’s latest updates. In addition to a full website audit, we provide three SEO packages. All our packages come with Google onsite set up, search engine submission and a dedicated SEO specialist to provide you with a personalised service and cater for all your needs. In addition, we carry out extensive keyword research and analysis for all our clients. Further details of our SEO packages and site audit are presented below.

As well as this we run a social media campaign on your behalf. This is ideal to promote an event, promote a launch, reach a new audience or simply increase awareness of a product or service. We will work with you to plan and a social media campaign that will make a real difference. During the campaign we will fully manage your social media publishing, content creation and engagement in relation to the campaign. We will use our expertise to ensure your campaign achieves the maximum return.

More and more prospective buyers are using social media to check out potential suppliers and get a feeling for their values and personality. Many business owners and marketers want to get involved in social media to help them develop relationships with this wider audience of prospects and to engage with customers on a more personal level. But often you don't have the time, or don't know how to get started. It's all so confusing with Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, Google Plus, and lots of others - what to start with? What to use each one for?

That’s were our fully trained and qualified professionals come it, we do the setup, management and engagement on your behalf, leaving you to do what you do best.

Merry Christmas!

Anthony Johnson

Digital 4 Trade

By Anthony Johnson, Oct 6 2015 12:04PM

Social Media News

Africa are to get Facebook beamed from Space!

The initiative reaches social media network deal with French company Eutelsat that will see much of sub-Saharan Africa receiving internet.

Facebook has reached a deal to have free internet beamed to some of the most remote parts of Africa via satellite.

Through Facebook's initiative, the company offers access to a number of services including weather, news, health and Facebook itself, for free. Most connections currently come through traditional fixed and mobile telecoms networks, which provide sparse coverage.

How the words you use on Twitter can predict how much you earn!

An academic study has sorted through Twitter profiles and found that certain words correlate with certain wage brackets.

Are you more likely to tweet about beauty or a corporation? Say 'bae' or tweet about politics? The words you use on the social platform may indicate how much money you make, according to research from the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, University College London and Microsoft Research in Cambridge.

The study looked at the information from 1,000 Twitter bios about what job each person did, and ranked the jobs in terms of average wage - based on information from the Office of National Statistics. They then analysed the words that these people used on Twitter most often.

"Users with higher income post less emotional (positive and negative) but more neutral content, exhibiting more anger and fear, but less surprise, sadness and disgust."

They found that people who tweet about politics more often are more likely to be on a higher income. The researchers attributed this to the fact that with higher levels of education usually comes higher wealth, and also because the political classes are often the financially elite.

Instagram names Harry Styles as the UK’s most followed account!

The One Direction star is the most popular Instagram account in the UK, according to Instagram, the photo sharing network.

One Direction star Harry Styles has been revealed as the UK's most popular Instagram account, as the platform celebrates its fifth birthday.

Styles shares photos with his 13 million followers, giving them an insight into One Direction's life on the road alongside images of creative powerhouses Stevie Nicks, Nirvana and artist Jean-Michel Basquiat.

The popstar narrowly beat David Beckham to the post, despite the fact Beckham only joined Instagram five months ago to mark his 40th birthday! In that time, the former footballer has amassed 12.8 million followers, gaining an incredible one million fans within a single day.

Don’t panic!

Facebook isn’t going to charge to keep people's posts private!

To make it official, we’re publishing it in the media: there’s no need to post an informational message on the social network to warn friends

Facebook is not planning to make its users pay £5.99 to keep their status updates private

“Now it’s official! It has been published in the media. Facebook has just released the entry price: £5.99 to keep the subscription of your status to be set to ‘private’. If you paste this message on your page, it will be offered free,” claims the widely-circulated chain message.

“If not tomorrow, all your posts can become public. Even the messages that have been deleted or the photos not allowed. After all, it does not cost anything for a simple copy and paste.”

This particular hoax has been circulating since 2009 in various forms. At least this time round, it is not accompanied by a link that attempts to install malware on your computer.

Facebook’s privacy settings remain the same, with posts and accounts able to be kept private by using the drop-down menu while publishing them, or the general-settings menu.

By Anthony Johnson, Aug 3 2015 09:26AM

Mobile phones are still the new gaget on the block when it comes to your marketing mix, but based on consumer reaction and adoption, it’s a digital marketing sensation.

From its inception, using the introduction of the iPhone in 2007 as the starting point for the mobile revolution, it has been unstoppable.

From smartphones to tablets, people have an almost insatiable capacity to adopt mobile technology into their lives and welcome mobile marketing. Just think about how quickly mobile technology has progressed over time. Remember your first cell phone?

It doesn’t seem like that long ago that you were playing snake and sending rudimentary text messages to friends! Now you can play 3d games and interact with friend you have never met through Social Media.

In just a short amount of time, mobile has evolved to be a central mode of communication for consumers. Being tied to a mobile device is now the norm and not the exception. The standard mobile phone’s capabilities have expanded to replace almost every other peripheral device — from maps, to calendars, to desktop computers. Mobile continues to grow, now including Internet of Things devices that help consumers monitor and streamline aspects of their lives from fitness, to smart cars, to appliances.

But how can marketers effectively engage on mobile devices?

Because mobile devices are very personal — 44% of mobile phone owners sleep with their phones next to their bed so they don’t miss a message, call, or update — marketers need to be thoughtful about how they deliver marketing messages now as the readerships are 10 fold and the type of reader 100 fold.

Consumers and potecial clients are looking for communication that is more personalised these days, and marketers must deliver this message right or risk being seen as an interruption and deleted.

Essentially, successful mobile marketing is about trust and relating to ones needs.

But to build that sort of bond, marketers must look at the bigger picture and even past mobile devices by creating a long-term, personal conversation with their audiance across many different platforms.

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