I'm B.L. Ochman, and I've been helping blue chip companies incorporate new media into their marketing mix since 1996.

I'm an accomplished and expert digital strategist, certified YouTube Channel Creator, president of whatsnextonline.com and publisher of What's Next Blog.

I'm CEO of Maximum-Plus.com Live-streaming event production & all things Google+, serving leading brands, associations and agencies.

I contribute to Ad Age Digital Next, Social Media Today and others. On Twitter, I'm @whatsnext. Find me on Google+

I'm also co-founder of the pet lovers' site and blog, Pawfun.com - where you can use favorite photos of your pets to create and send free Pawfun photo e-cards.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Huff Post will cover Donald Trump campaign as entertainment

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Donald Trump Hair

Is Donald Trump is a candidate or a clown?

Huffington Post is categorizing Donald Trump as a “sideshow” and has announced that they will no longer cover Trump’s campaign as news.

Danny Shea, editorial director and Ryan Grimm, Washington Bureau chief jointly announced:

“After watching and listening to Donald Trump since he announced his candidacy for president, we have decided we won’t report on Trump’s campaign as part of The Huffington Post’s political coverage. Instead, we will cover his campaign as part of our Entertainment section.

Our reason is simple: Trump’s campaign is a sideshow. We won’t take the bait. If you are interested in what The Donald has to say, you’ll find it next to our stories on the Kardashians and The Bachelorette.”

Is it right for news media to refuse to cover Trump’s campaign?

Guest co-host Ray Hiltz and I discussed this topic on episode 105 of Beyond Social Media Show. You can watch that segment, which begins at 10 minutes and 5 seconds into the video. Please share your views in the comments of this post.

The video is time-stamped, so it will jump directly to that segment when you click on the time beside the description below the video.


Bonus: Take this quiz by the Washington Post to see if you can recognize Trump’s outrageous quotes.

BL Ochman | July 29, 2015 | Permanent Link | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Poof! All Twitter profile background images disappear

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Last week, without warning, Twitter removed the custom background images from all 300 million+ Twitter profile pages. The backgrounds on all user timelines are now blindingly white. Now there’s plenty of room for ads. Sigh.

Your custom masthead and photo or avatar remain, but the customized backgrounds that tens of thousands of people created, or paid designers to create, are history.

Drew Olanoff, writing in Techcrunch said “…the possibilities, and something I’ve heard, is that Twitter wants more control of its ad display experience. For example, if the company were to want to sell a full-homepage-takeover-background-ad that you see on a lot of sites, they couldn’t. Because of your cruddy customized one.
Now they’re toast.”

See all that white space on either side of my Tweet stream? That used to have a wonderful photo of my Labradoodle’s first day at the beach.

I took the photo and I have it on my drive, so it’s no big loss for me. But if you paid a designer a tidy sum to customize your Twitter wallpaper, you’re entitled to be more than a little miffed.


My favorite comment about the change is from DW Sin

BL Ochman | | Permanent Link | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

#AmazonPrimeDay Bashing Was Fun, But Sales Are Up

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By B.L. Ochman

But sales were up 80%!

Amazon promised that #AmazonPrimeDay, July 15, would have “more deals than Black Friday.” Alas, it didn’t turn out that way and shoppers took to social media to complain, with hashtags including #PrimeDayFail, that the deals were more like a bad garage sale.

The bargains were few and many of the deals were downright weird. But the weirdest one of all has to be the giant blue 55 gallon drum of All Natural Passion Lube.

No, it’s not from The Onion

Amazon Passion LubeHere’s the product description:

“What are you going to do with all this lube?! Wrestling match? Biggest adult party ever? If you are looking for a simply jaw-dropping amount of lube, Passion Natural Water-Based Lubricant is ready to get the fun started with this 55 gallon drum! With its superb formula you will have a natural feel that keeps you moist longer and also works great with all toy materials. Easily washes away with warm water and mild soap. You may never run out of lube again! Size: 55 gallons. Note: Includes pump. Ships via freight due to weight limit.”

The original price was $2500, but for #PrimeDay, you could get a deal:
Sale: $1,361.80 ($1,361.80 / Count) & FREE Shipping
You Save: $1,138.20 (46%)

The makings of a party

Oh, and Amazon so helpfully noted that customers who viewed Passion Lube also viewed a 40lb case of dehydrated marshmallows and a Men’s Male Oldie Vinyl Mask. There’s the makings of a party, if ever there was one.

As Mashable reported, #PrimeDay also offered Chef’s Hats, granny panties, beard growers and snore cures.

Then there was LURE home Lip Plumper and Wrinkle Reducer. Prime members could save 40% off the list price and fatten their lips for a mere $14.97.

“Use The Ancient Secret of Vacuum Cupping to Quickly & Easily Plump Up Your Lips in Minutes!” the product page excitedly promises. “Non-Invasive with Effects Lasting for up to Several Hours!”

Despite complaints, sales soared

According to Forbes, Adobe tracked social mentions of “Amazon Prinme Day and “As of 1 p.m. EST, 10 hours into the sale, “Amazon Prime Day” had been mentioned 90,000 times on social networks, with more than 50% of sentiment related to “sadness.”

Disgruntled shoppers complained loudly, and often hilariously, that deals were boring, savings were minor and anything worth having was sold out. Unless you wanted a XXL Diane Keaton Tshirt, Adam Sandler DVDs, socks, or chef hats.

Nonetheless, TechCrunch reports that Amazon sales for the day were up 80% in the US and 40% in Europe. And Amazon claimed early in the day that its “Prime Day” peak order rates passed that of 2014’s Black Friday. Around mid-day, the company said that Prime members had already bought tens of thousands of Fire TV Sticks, 35,000 Lord of the Rings Blu-Ray sets, 28,000 Rubbermaid sets, and 4,000 Echo devices in just 15 minutes. A Kate Spade purse was gone in less than a minute, and it sold 1,200 of the $999 TVs in less than 10 minutes.

Go figure!

BL Ochman | July 16, 2015 | Permanent Link | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Starbucks’ CEO Howard Schultz Spearheads 100kOpportunities

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By B.L. Ochman

100kOpportunitiesThere is no shortage of talk about the economy – but, sadly, it’s just talk.

Except when it comes to Starbucks’ CEO Howard Schultz.

Schultz is spearheading The 100,000 Opportunities Initiative, a plan, with 16 other companies to create jobs for Americans age 16-24 — 5.6 million of whom are currently unemployed.

“At the same time,” according to Starbucks, “there are 3.5 million unfilled jobs in the U.S. Jobs that do not require a four-year degree – sometimes called middle-skill jobs – make up the largest part of the labor market in the United States.”

Nelson D. Schwartz, writing in the NY Times, notes “At 18.1 percent, the unemployment rate for workers age 16 to 19 remains more than three times as high as the 5.3 percent jobless rate for the entire work force.

“The leadership at the local and federal level isn’t providing the kind of results we need to address these issues,” Schultz told the Times. As a result, he said, companies “have to do everything we can to ensure the playing field is level.”

In addition to Starbucks, companies participating in the 100,000 Opportunities Initiative include Alaska Airlines, CVS Health, Microsoft, Taco Bell, Target and Walmart. The Hilton hotel chain, is promising to hire 15,000 “at risk” young people in the next three years.

From public housing to public acclaim

Schultz, who grew up in public housing and who was the first member of his family to attend college, says that kind of path is much harder for young people in today’s economy.

Last year, Starbucks began a plan to pick up much of the cost for its baristas to earn a college degree online from Arizona State University. The family foundation created by Mr. Schultz and his wife, Sheri, privately donated $30 million recently to help veterans of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq transition to civilian life and find work. And, Schwartz reports, Schultz plans to earmark $30 million to increase economic opportunities for young people.

Not all sweet

One recent Starbucks campaign, #RaceTogether, didn’t go well, and caused a major social media kerkuffle.

Election 2016 Needs You, Mr. Schultz!

But you gotta give Howard Schultz props for trying to create change. So, Mr. Schultz, if you want to run for president, (Democrat of course) 2016 needs you. I’d vote for him in a heartbeat.

BL Ochman | July 15, 2015 | Permanent Link | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Motherlode of 91 Free Twitter Tools and Apps

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Twitter Analytics, Scheduling, Discovery, Monitoring


Here’s Buffer’s incredibly comprehensive list of free Twitter tools for analytics, search, discovery, images, #hashtags and monitoring, compiled by Kevan Lee

HT Neil Ferree

BL Ochman | | Permanent Link | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

YouTube Launches Newswire, Bush Launches JEB!

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Beyond Social Media Show episode 101


On episode 101 David Erickson and I discussed YouTube’s new partnership with Storyful for verified Newswire service; Jeb! Bush deletes the family name from his logo; Heinz’ errant QR code; Twitter’s Project Lightning; Father’s Day #JokesFromDad; texting lanesfor walkers; Professor LEGO; Twitter’s #TakeDownTheFlag; Denali the dog goes viral; plus great new apps, important stats and a lot of stuff in between.

**NOTE: **The video is time stamped – you can jump directly to any segment by clicking on the time beside it.

On our award-winning 20-30 minute broadcast, we cover the best and the worst in marketing, advertising, PR and digital media in an irreverent, fast-paced style.

Worst Digital Cases

Best Digital Cases

Shiny New Stuff


Beyond Social Media Show is now on iTunes & Stitcher!

We’d be wildly appreciative if you would give us a review:

BL Ochman | June 20, 2015 | Permanent Link | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Twitter Expands DM Size, Tampons Go Viral

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Beyond Social Media Show Episode 100


On our 100th Beyond Social Media broadcast, co-hosts B.L. Ochman and David Erickson and special guest Albert Maruggi discussed Twitter unwise expansion of DM size to 10,000 characters; Snoop Dogg’s campaign for Twitter CEO; upcoming Safari content blocking capabilities; LeBron’s wardrobe malfunction; Joyce Carol Oates’ outrage; public relations’ PR problem; the stupid Coke/boob challenge hoax; sharing tampons for a cause; GIFographics; yawning billboards; Kid President’s campaign against hunger; plus great new apps and important stats and a lot of stuff in between. We celebrated this milestone by inviting regular viewers into the broadcast for a virtual party.

Worst Digital Cases

Best Digital Cases

Shiny New Stuff

Read More…

BL Ochman | June 15, 2015 | Permanent Link | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Optimal Social Media Image Size Cheat Sheet

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Optimal social media image size requirements vary from platform to platform. Some, even have several sizes within the platform! And finding the most recent ones can be confusing as hell. In this infographic, you’ll find the latest social media image size requirements to save you time and aggravation.

Additional social media image size resources
We’ve covered this topic before, and here are additional resources you can check:

BL Ochman | | Permanent Link | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0)

Google & GoPro Team Up for Virtual Reality

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Beyond Social Media Show 98


Co-hosts B.L. Ochman & David Erickson discussed VentureBeat’s lack of GooglePlus fact checking; JayZ’s whiteout staff pix; why Adrian Peterson shouldn’t Tweet or whine; the new Google photo service; how Google & GoPro plan to bring virtual reality to the masses; the Thai commercial that has millions weeping, and lots more.

This video of Beyond Social Media Show 99 is time-stamped so you can jump directly to any segment by clicking on the time in brackets. The links below lead to our story sources this week.


Worst Digital Cases

Best Digital Cases

Shiny New Stuff


Beyond Social Media Show is now on iTunes & Stitcher!

We’d be wildly appreciative if you would give us a review:

The Daily Numbers


B.L. Ochman

David Erickson

BL Ochman | May 30, 2015 | Permanent Link | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Tweets now appear in Google Search: 7 Tips for Brands

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By B.L. Ochman

Google marries Twitter

As the result of a deal announced May 19, Tweets have begun to show up prominently in Google’s mobile search results on Android and iOS. Google says that desktop integration is coming soon.

The impact on your brand’s search results could be significant. Google will take your social participation into account when determining your influence – a change not to be taken lightly.

Here are seven tips to help your brand make the most of the Twitter and Google search integration:

Note: Google search results from iOS search using Google app are interspersed throughout this post.

  • Use high-value keyword phrases and #hashtags in your Tweets.
    Google results will not show all Tweets, only those that its algorithm deems relevant to search queries.
  • Wrong: If your Tweet announcing a free webinar on video editing says “sign up for our free webinar” it would not show up in search results on the topic.

    Better: “Free webinar: learn video editing” and a photo and a link.

    Result of search on Yankees

    Result of search on Yankees

  • Don’t use Twitter as a broadcast medium
    When you use a third party app to schedule the same Tweet several times, you will decrease your chances of your Tweet showing up in search unless someone searches directly for your company name.

    In that case, people searching your name on Google will see your repetitious stream and know that you are using Twitter to broadcast, not to engage.

    I just stopped Paper.li from posting that my B.L. Ochman Daily is out, because I don’t want those daily, repetitive Tweets to dilute my search results.

  • Results of search on my name

    Results of search on my name

  • Post regularly – but quality is more important than quantity
    Haven’t posted in a long time? Your most recent Tweets – even if they’re a year or more old – will show up in Google search. Doesn’t exactly make you look like you’re on top of your game.
  • Use images with every Tweet.
    Tweets with images are prominently featured. You will need to size them to the correct dimensions for best mobile display.
  • Follow and comment on Twitter’s trending topics.
    Google’s announcement says Tweets in Google searches are “a great way to get real-time info when something is happening. And it’s another way for organizations and people on Twitter to reach a global audience at the most relevant moments.”

    That seems to indicate that when your brand Tweets something relevant to a trending topics, your Tweet has a greater chance of showing up when that topic is searched. Including an image increases the odds even more.

  • Results of a Google search on #POTUS

    Results of a Google search on #POTUS

  • Monitor your Twitter stream closely and respond quickly
    Monitor your brand for negative comments and respond quickly. If you are responsive, people seeing the search results will see that you care, you engage and you make an effort to resolve issues.
  • Think before you Tweet!
    What goes online stays online. Even if you blame it on the intern, as brands are so fond of doing, your Tweets won’t disappear – especially if they’ve been ReTweeted or Favorited a lot.

    Twitter’s blog says “Even if you delete Tweets, Google and other search engines cache search results, which means that occasionally old information is still searchable. Although Twitter changes your settings immediately and deletes Tweets immediately, these changes don’t erase old information in Google’s search index.”

    Initially, only U.S. users searching in English will see relevant Tweets in their search results within the Google app (iOS and Android) and mobile web. The desktop web version is coming shortly, and we have plans to bring this feature to more countries in the coming months.

BL Ochman | May 24, 2015 | Permanent Link | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)
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