One Million People share Fake Powerball Winner’s Ticket on Facebook

Social media can topple nations, root out criminals, and find lost dogs. Today, cash ruled everything around it. Facebook user Nolan Daniels posted a photo of his Powerball ticket around 10 p.m. Thursday evening, claiming:

Looks like I won’t be going to work EVER!!!! Share this photo and I will give a random person 1 million dollars!

Nolan Daniels powerball ticket

After going through the social ringer, many sites like Gawker and Huffington Post found that the numbers were right, but the ticket, not real at all. While his Powerball ticket isn’t a winner, Daniels sure is. In under 24 hours the post has now gained in excess of 1 Million shares.

What a wild week where we have seen a number of stories about people, companies, and more purchasing tickets for the record jackpot and leveraging that in social media:

Larry Fitzgerald, wide receiver for the Arizona Cardinals, offered to split the winnings with anyone who retweeted him.

Mashable reported that more than 5,000 Instagram users tagged their tickets.

What is it about the lottery that drives people batty? As the New York State Lotto slogan rings in the back of my mind, you only need a little bit of luck.

Want to see what a guy looks like when he wins $587.5 Million? Check out the real winner.


Facebook’s Ad for Holiday Ads

An ad for Facebook Ads just appeared for me on the admin window of the Instacube Facebook page:

“People are on Facebook during the holidays more than any other time of the year. It’s a great time to try reaching them with an ad.”

It’s nice reminder from Facebook to page owners to create unique and meaningful promotions, while driving more ad sales for the platform. Unfortunately clicking on this does not generate a happy smiling Santa ad, or even offer suggestions about creating a good holiday ad. I can help.

Looking for types of content that really resonate on the platform? For the past month I have been writing weekly articles over on about the “Most Engaging Facebook Posts” as determined by Expion Software. Give it a read here and you’ll pick up some great Facebook tips.

POLL: Would you rather have $100 in Facebook ads or $100 in Twitter Ads? Answer below.

How to add an Instagram Badge to your Website

Today Instagram announced website badges for accounts on the site. Very much like Twitter or Facebook’s multiple widgets to integrate social with your existing web presence, Instagram now adds that simple step for anyone to call out their presence online.

Getting a badge is simple.

1. Visit this link

2. Log in

3. Pick your badge style and copy the code

4. Install it on your website, blog, or other.

While it may not seem like much, this is a big step for the evolution of brands on the platform. Consider this, 5 million photos are uploaded per day, with 575 Likes and 81 Comments per second (and that rate has probably increased by the time you read this). That’s a lot of content.

I just finished writing an eBook on Instagram for Social Fresh and have talked to some of the top Instagram brands out there today; they all agree that there is no real brand structure on the platform now.

That simple act of including the icon on a site can exponentially increase a brand’s Instagram followers. Coupled with web profiles announced last week, it’s clear that Instagram has realized that they are a powerful tool for brands to create conversation.

Begs the question: will they add ads?

Twitter Releases Image Search

As Instagram gobbles up the market share of visual social networks, Twitter has been scrambling to make a play to bring in those users. Previously announced, filters are in the works, and now, image search has been added.

You can see the image previews pulled right into the Twitter search box when I have searched sunrise (it is the morning after all).

Instagram and Twitter haven’t been playing nice lately, and I think everyone is pretty sick of not being able to tag friends on photos posted from Instagram to Twitter. This doesn’t help that relationship.

From the Official Twitter Blog:

Here are three new elements you’ll see when you search:

View photos and videos first: People tell incredible stories on Twitter through photos and videos. When you search for a person, an event or a hashtag, you can now see a grid of the most relevant media above the stream of Tweets.

See headlines and photos: You can also see media instantly in your search results stream on iPhone and Android. Photos and article summaries automatically show previews to give you a bird’s eye view on what’s happening.

Understand context: About a year ago we launched tailored ranking of your search results, but until now you couldn’t see why a specific Tweet might matter more to you. Now you can see context like who favorited or retweeted right there in the Tweet.

What do you think about Twitter trying to take the place of Instagram?

Bienvenido a los Estados Unidos: Part 2

The following is the conclusion of a series of articles by Juan Vasquez on his journey to citizenship.

It has taken me about 12 tries to get my opening thought right.

You see, my goal here is to share with you the experience I went through as I crossed the invisible yet oh so meaningful border separating green-card holder (A.K.A Resident or Resident Alien) and legit American citizen. The reason it’s been so difficult for this blog to flow is that the immigration process doesn’t flow in itself – it is filled with situations where one simply does know what to expect.

I’ll quickly sum up what the paragraph above means, but know that my first blog about the immigration/citizenship process is somewhere on Nick’s site. So, quickly… my family and I immigrated from Colombia over 12 years ago and we’ve been going through the convoluted process that allows a person new to this country to go from one immigration status to the next until he or she eventually earns the rights, protection, opportunities and responsibilities that all American citizens have. I’ve held student and tourist visas, and have been an illegal immigrant, a political refugee, a resident and finally a citizen.

You should know that the final step of the citizenship process is the naturalization ceremony. That’s really what it’s called.

At the ceremonies immigrants from all over the world come together to receive their naturalization certificates, which prove they are in fact legal citizens of the US. Typically families and friends are encouraged to come, some nice videos play and the importance of the moment is explained. My ceremony had cake. Thought it was a nice touch.

Now that you have some background info, let’s jump in. I’ll share some basic, literal details of the whole shebang and will try to put into digital words what crossing the naturalization border feels like.

So, the ceremony was held at an elementary school and I had to be there at 8:00 a.m. Surprisingly, I was on time. The principal of the school was greeting the soon-to-be citizens and their families at the entrance of the school, and there were USA flags all around. It set a nice, welcoming tone to a process that is usually very clinical and dry.

All of us soon-to-be’s were sent to one room – the room with the cake – and our friends and family were sent to the auditorium. I was fortunate enough to have some very supportive, very awesome people there with me.

About 13 fifth graders served as the ambassadors, or guides, through the ceremony. First guiding those in attendance to the rooms, showing the soon-to-be’s where to seat and then giving brief presentations on some of the countries represented in the room.

The principal of the school opened up the day’s festivities with a few thoughts, again taking away the typically clinical feel of anything immigration related. An immigration officer then explained why the naturalization certificates were so important. One by one, we soon-to-be’s where called up to receive the certificates – this part sent me back to my high school and college graduation. It shared the same literal and figurative importance.

With certificates in hand, we were asked to read the Oath of Allegiance and Pledge of Allegiance, the latter being the exact moment where I became a US citizen.

It’s funny. The whole process, all 12+ years of it, felt like I was going to the dentist. This ceremony, though, was welcoming and special – like a birthday. I won’t lie… I got the warm n’ fuzzies from the moment I walked in. I even teared up a bit while reading the Pledge of Allegiance.

That pretty much wrapped up the ceremony. After we were declared citizens those who chose to stay had a chance to eat the aforementioned cake. Overall the ceremony took a bit over two hours, 50 individuals became new citizens, an entire 5th grade class got a first-hand look at why immigration is not as simple as so many people think, and some cake was eaten.

Looking back now, I find it very interesting that the process in itself is so long, took me 12+ years. For some immigrants it’s less. Others live 99% of their lives here in the States and can die without ever becoming citizens. More importantly, they can die without ever becoming legal immigrants.

Let me repeat that. An individual can move to the States and never become a legal citizen. Not because they don’t want to or because they are lazy or because life got in the way. Instead, they can’t become legal immigrants because the current system is antiquated and ill-equipped to deal with the many truths about immigration. People from all over the world are here, most to stay and more will continue to come. Whether some folks out there want to accept it or not, this is a fact. We need to reshape out system to deal with today’s and tomorrow’s situations, not yesterday’s perceived issues.

I’m damn proud to be an American AND a Colombian. I proudly wear the immigrant label alongside my metaphorical American flag pin. After all, this nation was built by immigrants.

Now, I’m going to go drink some Colombian coffee and eat some pumpkin pie. Saludes y mucha suerte a todos.

Customer Segmentation comes to Facebook with Advanced Targeting for Pages

Recently Facebook introduced advanced targeting options for Facebook pages, making it possible to tailor who sees your updates in the news feed.

This brings a very powerful tool to marketers on the platform: the ability to create a segmented messaging strategy.

Marketers familiar with customer or market segmentation will find these updates very useful. Brands already had the ability to target by location or language, and now Facebook adds a number of new data parameters including:

  • Gender
  • Relationship Status
  • Education
  • Interested In
  • Age
  • Location
  • Language

How to get the new Page Targeting Feature

To activate the new targeting options you’ll first need to turn on post privacy gating:

  1. From the top of your Page, click Edit Page
  2. Select Manage Permissions
  3. Check the box next to Post privacy gating and click “Save Changes”
  4. Compose a status update, select the crosshairs icon to choose your targeting parameters
  5. Post and respond

So what’s the big deal about Targeting in the News Feed?

First, for brands it allows you to build better and more personalized content for a number of different customer groups. Segmentation helps divide a group of customers into sub-groups which you can then craft unique messaging strategies to better convert them.

How many times have you wanted to post a status update that targeted women exclusively only to be worried about how your male customers may receive it? What if your collegiate fans are being turned off by your Mother’s Day specials? These are just a few very basic examples, but as you can see, segmentation can open up new opportunities for advanced messaging strategy on Facebook.

Second, it says a lot about Facebook’s desire to bring only the best content to users. While there have been countless blogs discussing the new EdgeRank Algorithm and complaints that Facebook is charging brands to reach fans, tools like this are what gives marketers the ability to not clutter their own fans’ feeds, and create conversations that will truly benefit those who are best served to see them.

One last note from the Facebook support guide: Unlike when you limit your Page’s audience, adding news feed targeting does not affect who can see the post on your Page. This means if you’re creating those targeted messages and don’t want your general Facebook audience to see them, you’ll have to “hide” the message from the page to be sure it’s reaching the appropriate users.

While this feature is still new, the verdict is still out if this will actually provide better results for page marketers. What do you think about these new changes? Will you be applying any of these customer segmentation options to your posts?