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Why Email Marketing Runs Rings Around Social Media

Just like the fashion trends, marketers tend to change their mind about email marketing, particularly when it’s compared to social media.
It’s a case of: RIP email marketing. Wait, it’s alive! No, it’s actually dead. Hold your horses, it is ALIVE! What’s going on?
As a team that works with email marketing every day, we believe quality engagement and sales leads can still be generated through email. As long as it’s done well, of course.
I know what you’re thinking, how dare I turn my nose up at social media; it’s the way of the future, it’s going to solve world hunger and have your babies! It will wake you up with a skinny latte every morning.
Don’t get me wrong; social media can be an important part of your marketing if it makes sense for your business. But don’t put it ahead of email marketing.
Where’s the Proof?
You want evidence that email marketing is the digital performance king? Here are a few figures:

Email marketing acquired 40 times more customers than Facebook and Twitter combined (McKinsey).
72% people prefer to receive promotional content through email, compared to 17% who prefer social media (Marketing Sherpa).
Email marketing drives more conversions than any other marketing channel, including search and social (Monetate).
For every $1 spent, email marketing generates $38 in ROI (Campaign Monitor).

More Numbers
Picture a full cup of rice as the number of emails sent out every day. In comparison, daily posts on Facebook and Twitter would be just ten miserable grains. That’s because email has almost three times as many user accounts than all social media channels combined (MailMunch). That’s 2.9 billion emails all up.
In the same breath, every single web search made on every search engine every single day is just 1/100th of daily email traffic.
Too many marketers are too busy chasing the latest Google algorithms and keyword magic bullets that they’ve neglected their email marketing strategy.
Quality Over Quantity
You’ve now seen email’s reach and the amount of traffic it has compared to social media platforms. If you’re thinking traffic doesn’t mean much and a small quantity of well-targeted marketing aimed at quality traffic will nail larger amounts than a couple of hundred shotgun pellets sprayed at random; you’re right. That is precisely why email trumps social media for quality and quantity.
MailMunch compared the performance of email and social media marketing in an interesting way. Let’s assume you have 2,000 people on an email database, 2,000 Facebook fans and 2,000 followers on Twitter. Based on industry averages, this is the exposure/engagement your target market would have with your messages:

435 people will open your email
120 of your Facebook fans will see your update
40 Twitter followers will see your tweet

But it gets worse. Here are the average click rates by channel:

Email marketing: 3.57%
Facebook: 0.07%
Twitter: 0.03%

Email is Personal
You thought Facebook was the most personal medium? Think again.
First, consider the above stats and comparisons. Second, the majority of people don’t go to Facebook for 1-on-1 online conversations; they open their emails.
The inbox is like the Holy Grail – people guard it highly and once someone allows you access it means that they’re interested in you or your offering on some level.
Email Gets More Attention Per Customer
You are more likely to get face-time with your leads if you use email, not because they’re hanging around their inboxes more than their Facebook pages or searching Google, but because email makes room for repeated contact.
In fact, it’s ‘invasive’ contact. It’s right in their mailbox, and that’s very different from posting a status update or tweeting which can get lost in the tsunami of online content.
Provided your content is worth reading, your customers and prospects are more likely to take a minute to open that email.
Email is a Transactional Medium
People expect to receive offers in their inbox, so their tolerance levels are a little higher than on social media where they just want to be, well, social.
Through email, you can train customers to expect offers from you while imparting value and positioning yourself as a thought leader. In turn, customers will start to look forward to receiving your emails.
And since you can make unlimited contact with them over time, you are significantly more likely to catch them when they are ready to buy.
Image Source: Shutterstock

When to Go All in Online

I’ve had an interesting experience this week. Someone I had never heard of or met proactively contacted me and wanted to connect on LinkedIn. And via email.
And on Skype.
And on Facebook.
Kudos for a shock and awe approach to connect with a prospect. It didn’t work though. I didn’t accept any of her invitations no matter how impressive her persistence and cyber-stalking skills were.
As someone who also proactively contacts people with whom I’d like to do business I have great respect for her energy and application. It’s just her judgement and of course her offering that caused me to not engage with her.
While I had obviously been vetted by the business I run – I assume my dashing good looks didn’t figure too highly as a selection criterion – her ‘try every digital touch point in one hit’ left me cold.
This is what I wrote about in my book Customer Romance (www.customerromance.com). We customers need to wooed before we’re won. Heck, we may not even be right for you or vice versa. But if you show me that I matter and that you want to get to know my needs, fears, wants and desires and then MAYBE we can take it to the next level.
Try liking my last LinkedIn Pulse article, or leave a comment. Take a position on one of our articles on our Google+ page. Re-tweet what we tweeted an hour ago.
Take an authentic interest in me and what I’m doing and the law of reciprocity may kick in.
It’s a lot of work isn’t it. And ultimately, it may all be for nothing as I may STILL not be interested in what you’re selling.
But that’s what it takes to form a relationship personally or professionally. Nothing is ever guaranteed. What IS guaranteed however is that if you go too far too soon you’ll invariably be rebuffed and then there’s no way back.
One of my favourite digital marketing sayings is ‘just because you can doesn’t mean you should’. Yes, I’m on LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter and Skype but trying to connect with me on most of these over the course of 12 or so hours when I’ve never heard of you is a little much.
Perhaps it my Australian reserve coming out but without getting to know me you probably didn’t know I’d feel that way.
Now before you suggest that I get over it, having empathy and understanding as to how your beautifully crafted sales and marketing initiatives will be received by your target market is critical to your success or otherwise.
If you want your audiences to be receptive rather than resentful, get up from behind your desk, walk a mile in their shoes and try to genuinely look at what you’re doing from THEIR point of view.
It’s marketing 101 but it’s not easy. You’re infinitely more aware of what you need rather than what they need. But that’s why we’re called sales and marketing professionals. We have the judgement to know when to hold and we know when to fold (thank you Kenny Rogers).
The Message is brought to you by Tick Yes – providing solutions for all your digital and content marketing needs.
Image courtesy of: goodenough.asia

Frozen Friendships

Recently I reconnected on Facebook with some guys I hadn’t had any contact with for over 30 years. We had been friendly at school but not friends.
It’s a strange thing looking at a person’s life, albeit through the distorted lens of social media, when there has been such a long gap. Jolting is the word that comes to mind.
Wives, children, jobs, friends, holidays, emotions, victories, disappointments are laid bare to varying degrees depending on the personality of the person in question. Rapport and context are important parts of any relationship and re-connections invariably rely on memories of your last experiences. If those experiences were a long time ago it’s sometimes hard to get a read on that person.
Of course it’s quite a nice thing to re-connect with nice people and maybe I’m over-thinking this but it does make me think about similar experiences. Like when brands ‘go social’ and expect everyone to follow them or to be fascinated in every photo, post or video. You haven’t connected with me personally for decades and now you’re asking me to like your ‘Aren’t we happy it’s the weekend!’ comments. Does it really work that way?
Look, it can. But with any relationship there are some steps that you need to take; it’s like being brought up to speed. I’ve written a book about it called Customer Romance! Brands forget the steps at their peril. Miss a step or two and it feels weird and, quite frankly a little presumptuous.
That’s not anyone’s intention of course but you can’t just drop into someone’s life, inbox or newsfeed and expect that they’re going to be instantly fascinated with everything that you do or say.
 
The Message is brought to you by Tick Yes – providing solutions for all your digital and content marketing needs.
Images Courtesy: kateey.deviantart.com, www customerromance.com

How to Avoid Social Media Fatigue

We’ve all come to be familiar with social media.  Even those on the marginal fringes of technology have heard of Facebook, YouTube, Twitter or Google+ at some point in their lives.  Those on the opposite end (or at least the other side) of the spectrum more or less interact with social media daily.
 
We use it to keep track of friends and what they are doing and share with them the same information. Some of us, while they are loath to admit it, actually have no lives outside of social media.  But too much of anything is a bad thing, so is there such a thing as social media fatigue?
Quitting users
In Australia the number of active Facebook users fell from 11.8 million users as of December 2012 to 11.5 million users as of April 2013. That’s around 300,000 users straying, although a spokesperson for Facebook Australia said the number, gleaned from ad tools used by marketers and developers, was only an estimate.
According to a Piper Jaffray survey, interest in Facebook has been sliding down among US teens since last spring up to recently. At least ten percent of 5,000 teens surveyed said they no longer consider Facebook the most important social media. The same survey showed teen interest waning not just with Facebook but also other online platforms like YouTube, Tumblr, Google+ and Twitter.
For Twitter, the current number of users stands at 500 million, but recently only about a third are active tweeters, the rest are just content to read what others are tweeting about without posting tweets of their own.
So is there such a thing as social media fatigue?  Yes, yes there is.
“People want more meaning in their lives,” Marcia Scherer, a psychologist and president of the Institute for Matching Person & Technology in Rochester told Hispanic Business. She added more and more people are using social media not just for the socializing and relationships but as a strategic means to meet specific goals.
What makes social media tiresome?
The obsessive need to check on updates – Users who have opted for “digital detoxification” said they were tired of constantly checking their social media accounts to see what was new. Most of laptop users said they found themselves spending until the wee hours of the morning just browsing through accounts of their friends, their friends’ friends and then the friends’ friends’ friends.
It was worse for those with mobile devices, as they could just whip it out anytime they want and see what was new. It did not matter if they were lining up for groceries, waiting to cross the street or in a cab, they just had to check, or else they would be left behind.
The need to update – When users see a new message from a friend their immediate reaction is to respond, or post something better. This usually starts a twisted endless cycle of stimulus-response in the social media world.
The voluminous ads – Want to have a bigger…well, you know the rest. Ads have been hounding us since the days of radio, they followed us into the movies, then analog TV, then cable TV, now the Internet. And more companies are now advertising with social media agencies. We pay attention to the interesting ads but even they get tiresome if we see them everyday. It gets even more tiresome if we are targeted by the wrong ads.
Loss of privacy – We don’t just mean yours. Some things are just meant to be kept private, or at least not broadcast. Yes, we know what you had for breakfast, lunch and dinner, we know where you are, where you are going, who you are with and who you met. Enough information please!
For some it was the choice between the digital life and the real life. Actor and part-time bartender Frankie Delessio also told Hispanic Business that Facebook “is like watching too much TV. Sometimes you don’t want to watch someone else’s life, but live your own.” He reports he was able to write a play with the time he spent off social media.
Despite the mass migrations, other experts said not to expect social media to go belly up anytime soon. A big factor to consider here is that social media is just no longer for socializing anymore.
While there are people quitting the social media, scene small businesses are realizing its potential as a business tool to keep in touch with customers and keep tabs on rivals. Corporations are discovering it can actually serve as an internal communications system and is useful in formulating online strategies.  HR departments are now using social media to keep track of its employees and find prospective ones.  Parents are also discovering it is a good way to watch over their children.
Avoiding social media fatigue
We all reach a saturation point for anything eventually. If you feel social media has taken over your life, and not in a good way the best thing to do is to back off, at least for the meantime. Disable update features on your mobile devices, limit yourself to observer status on social media, go out on your free time and have a good time with friends.
If you feel that backing off is not enough and you have to totally disconnect from all social media entirely then the choice is yours.  Remember that while you can deactivate your account, you can also reactivate it anytime you want.  Many of those who opt for digital detoxification actually just deactivate their accounts then reactivate when they feel like it and return to them later.  One of the nice things about social media is that you can just drop it off anytime you want and pick up where you left off anytime you feel like it again.
 
The Message is brought to you by Tick Yes – providing solutions for all your digital and content marketing needs.
 

Social Media Advertising on the Rise

Companies are now realising they can use social media to their advantage when it comes to business.
 
One such aspect is advertising. This goes double for small companies that cannot rival big ones when it comes to widespread advertising campaigns, and by the look of things, advertising with social media is just picking up.
By the numbers
Global revenue for social networks was estimated at $7.7 billion last year.  It is estimated to hit $10.2 billion this year and $11.8 billion next year.  This year 64% of advertisers are expected to increase their social media budget, in the US alone this figure is estimated at $4.1 billion.
Of a number of business owners recently surveyed, 97% said they are currently using social media to advertise.  The numbers are lower for small businesses, with only 66% saying they are advertising with online platforms.
“It’s encouraging that a majority of small businesses recognize that their customers are relying more than ever on their mobile devices to find information, look for deals and even to make purchases,” Joel Hughes, senior vice president of strategy and corporate development at Constant Contact told Fox Business.
There are still those who feel social media should stick with relationships and be kept away from business.  The remaining 34% of small business surveyed said they have plans to turn to social media as part of their business strategy.
“Generally speaking, small business owners have very little spare time on their hands, so learning how to use mobile technology for their business is not necessarily tops on their to-do list,” Hughes further explained.
The current undisputed king of social media, Facebook, is taking most of the social media advertising budget with an estimated 57% followed by YouTube and Twitter both sharing 13 percent, Pinterest is at 2% and the remaining 15% shared by other social media.
What social media ads can do
What are the benefits to advertising with social media anyway?  There are several, but the most important one that experts agree on is its ability to target specific audiences.  Unlike traditional print, TV and radio ads where the message is cast across a wide audience, social media sites have information on niches of interest where their users are concerned.  In short, social media agencies can send the right ads to the people with the highest likelihood of interest in these ads.
Mobile marketing to fewer but the right people is more strategically sound than raining a ton of ads on many people who cannot relate to or have no particular interest whatsoever for that product.
Here are some of the most watched ads on YouTube last month.
• Nestlé – Learning to share.  A Spanish ad about a boy and his grandfather learning how to compromise and sharing everything from the TV to food at the table.
• Sauza Tequila – Make it with a lifeguard.  So what does being a lifeguard have to do with tequila?  Nothing really, it’s just the fireman of the last tequila ad posing as a lifeguard and telling us how awesome that tequila is.
• Old Spice – Shower.  Use Old Spice shower bar. It’s so fresh it’s like you never left the shower even after your bath.  Don’t believe me?  Take a look.
• Call of Duty Black Ops 2 – The replacers.  Need more time to play CoD BO2?  Two guys have been sent by “mutual friends” to take over your daily life so you can have more game time.  The things these two end up doing are hilarious.
• Pepsi – Mirrors.  Beyoncé rehearses for a gig then takes a Pepsi break, only to be joined by different concert personas of herself in each of the mirrors she has been practicing in front of.
• Dove – Real beauty sketches.  An artist sits down to draw some women he never sees, only working by their description of themselves. Then other people are called in to describe same said women for another drawing. The drawings are then placed side-by-side. Reactions of said women are priceless.
 
The Message is brought to you by Tick Yes – providing solutions for all your digital and content marketing needs.

 

The Siri Killer is Here… or Is It?

Google launches its new app “Google Now”
 
When Apple’s Siri saw wide distribution in 2010 it was a godsend for the tech-savvy who were still not savvy enough to organize their lives, remember dates in relationships or ask for directions. The app was like the pocket personal assistant they’ve always wanted. It could remind users of whose birthday was coming up, answer questions, and make recommendations like what restaurants or shops to go to.
But now Google has come out with their own version of a PA, they call it the Now. Now has functions pretty much like Siri;  it’s voice-activated and can remind you of appointments and important dates and point you in the right direction.

However, it has one crucial difference.  Now is being touted as a step above Siri because it supplies data relevant to the user even before the user thinks to ask for this information.
Siri v’s Google Now

What do these two have in common anyway?
Both are PA-type voice-activated apps.  While not online platforms, they still need internet connection even for tasks that do not need online intervention like setting an alarm… let’s just get that out of the way first.
Both can supply information on demand, although Now may supply some information ahead of your asking.  The questions you can ask can vary from the weather, the nearest movie theater, the latest stock market figures or scores of a particular NBA team during a recent game.
The similarities seem to end there. The two have different “personalities” so to speak.  While Siri is chatty and offers witty remarks, Now is straightforward and no-nonsense, kind of like the contrasting personalities of Kirk and Spock on Star Trek.
A user took both Siri and Now on the iPhone and asked them for the PA’s name.  Siri replied “My name is Siri, but you know that already.” Google responded with the phrase “What is your name?”
When it comes to restaurant choices Siri has a slight advantage because of Apple’s partnership with review site Yelp and the restaurant reservation service Open Table.  When it comes to travel, especially in places you are not familiar with, Now may be a little bit more useful.
“I’ve found it particularly useful while traveling.  As soon as my plane landed in Orlando, Florida, Google Now offered “cards” with details of my hotel and my car rental, based on confirmation emails sent to my Gmail account.  Clicking the hotel card got me turn-by-turn directions to the hotel using the Google Maps app.  On the way home, Google Now gave me the gate number for my connecting flight in Charlotte, North Carolina, as the first plane taxied from the runway,” AP Technology writer Anick Jesdanun told USA Today.
It turns out you might have to give up a bit privacy to be able to use Now. You must allow Google mto scan contents of your Gmail account, calendar entries and information on recent Google searches and email marketing, all the more to be able to anticipate what information you are looking for and display the necessary data even before you ask for it.
Now also has another unusual advantage, it is available for phones running Android or iOS. Just what were they thinking arming the enemy with their own weapons?  Pundits are still undecided whether the online strategy of making an app available to a rival network is a stroke of genius or a deathblow.
But rather than have one over the other, experts are saying the two apps actually complement each other.
“Siri is the better of the two—as a voice assistant. She’ll always respond with something, even if it’s to seek clarification…Where Google Now shines is in anticipating your questions.  Open the Google Search app, and you’ll see cards fill the screen with useful information,” Jesdanun added.
One PA is cold, hard logic, the other cracks jokes and witticisms.  One is good for finding the best places to eat, the other to help you in a place where people do not speak the same language as you do.  One waits for you to ask, the other tells you what you want to know ahead.  Why not have them both?  Don’t Kirk and Spock always go together anyway?
 
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Facebook Removed from TweetDeck

If you relied on TweetDeck to keep up with your Facebook newsfeed you might be disappointed to learn that TweetDeck has dropped its support for the popular social media site. That’s if you haven’t noticed already.
 
Twitter has also pulled the plug on TweetDeck AIR, TweetDeck for Android and TweetDeck for iPhone.
TweetDeck’s strategy to focus on Twitter exclusively should not come as a surprise to many users after Twitter bought the company back in 2011. While many saw it coming, others were simply not ready for the assumed chaos.
Why?
Reactions were, as predicted, dramatic.
“TweetDeck soon won’t support Facebook. And I won’t support TweetDeck. Looking for alternative that allows me to cross-post tweets to FB,” said [email protected]
“What? TweetDeck will no longer support Facebook (or vice versa?)? What’s the point of TweetDeck, then?” another user said.
Jenny [email protected] said “Why would I use @TweetDeck anymore if it can’t support @facebook? I need to manage all my accounts in one place, not just Twitter!!”
“Just found out @TweetDeck isn’t going to support Facebook anymore – anyone have a suggestion to replace TweetDeck?” said Drew [email protected]
Alternatives to TweetDeck
Yes, Drew, there are suggestions. Facebook users have lost TweetDeck, so now what? Don’t worry there are a lot of apps out there that function like TweetDeck.
HootSuite – This dashboard app, available in freemium and premium versions, lets users keep in touch with relationships and persons of interest on multiple online platforms at once like LinkedIn, Google+, Foursquare and MySpace. One of its best features is a scheduling system that allows users to set posts for future sharing, so as long as you’ve programmed it, it gets sent even if you’ve forgotten about it.
Even the freemium version allows users to manage up to five different social media accounts and talk with others on the HootSuite platform. This app is available for iPhone, iPad and Android users.
TweetCaster – This app for iOS, Android, Windows Phone and BlackBerry devices also lets users manage multiple social media accounts.
One of its more interesting features is that it can let you add filter, effects and captions to photo attachments. They also have “Zip it” which allows you the option to hide the tweets of troublesome followers without unfollowing them. It also has Long Tweets that lets users send over 140 characters.
Ubersocial – With Ubersocial online platform you can create a favorite users list and make sure you never miss tweets from them, no more combing through the mess just to find the ones that matter most. You can also manage several accounts.
You can also set the theme for your menu, it does not matter if you want loud colours, nature pics, motives or celebrities. UberSocial also supports images and videos from twitpic, mypict.me, yfrog, pic.gd, tweetphoto.com, lockerz, Flickr, mobypicture, twitvid, twitgoo, twitsnap, imgur and Instagram.
Yoono – This sidebar browser is only compatible with Windows, Mac and Linux, it also comes as a Mozilla Firefox add-on. While it is still available for download, its developers do not seem to be adding any more features to the app. It has also been discontinued for the iPhone and never made available for Android.
 
The Message is brought to you by Tick Yes – providing solutions for all your digital and content marketing needs.

Social Problems Linked to Facebook?

There is no denying Facebook is currently on top of the social media scene. From an exclusive school-based social network in 2004, it has risen to become available worldwide to all people from all walks of life and all backgrounds. It now has over a billion members.
 
Of that billion, an estimated 618 million check their Facebook page at least once a day. Some check twice, others thrice, and still others multiple times. For them the communication platform has become an obsession. It is now an addiction to browse, to constantly update their page with the latest in the news, their lives, their loves.
Is such an addiction healthy?  The health problems are not the focus of this article, but the social problems that may arise from it are.
So what social problems may actually arise out of social networking?
•    Reduces our ability to communicate.  But no!  You say Facebook is all about communication!  Well yes, but it’s about online communication, not actual personal communication.  Sure you can express yourself well enough when you write posts, but how good  are you at actually meeting people and talking to them outside the familiarity of your office or bedroom?
•    Makes us obsessive about one-upping others.  You open a friend’s page, see his pictures and go “I can top that!” and you do by posting a better, more awesome image.  You open another friend’s page and she has a great story about what happened last weekend, but you feel you have a better one so you write it.  Then you see a status that is deeper than yours and you just have to have one that’s even more meaningful.  Before you know it you can’t stop changing everything because you feel your Facebook page has to be better than everyone else’s.
•    Gives us inferiority. This is a direct result of being one-upped.  You open someone else’s page and see that he or she has been to more exotic places than you have been, done things more interesting than you’ve done or have more stuff than you do.  Wouldn’t you feel just the littlest bit jealous?  Unsatisfied?  Even depressed?
•    Forces us to be someone we are not.  Usually done by others who feel they have been one-upped. Some will start to fabricate stories about the places they have been, the people they know, even their educational background.
•    Makes us think too highly of ourselves.  This goes for those who have one-upped others.  Doesn’t it feel good that you have better photos, a better status message and more interesting stories than the others?  Yes, it feels good.  And so you bask in this cloud of euphoric self-praise… until you see that someone else has one-upped you again and the vicious cycle goes on and on.
•    Makes us ‘friend’ collectors. So, you have 3,000 Facebook friends?  How many of them are your actual friends outside the social network?  What is your actual relationship with them in real life?
•    Loss of privacy.  Some people feel the need to announce what they are about to do, what they are doing and what they just did.  Not everyone needs to know that.  By putting your entire routine under public scrutiny you may actually be setting yourself up for trouble, like calling in sick only to post a picture of yourself headbanging at a rock concert, or sharing sensitive, private or embarrassing information that might eventually be used against you.
We’re not saying you should stop using Facebook.   There’s a lot of benefits to being able to reach a lot of friends and relatives quickly and there’s fun in making new friends and unparalleled joy in reconnecting with old ones you gave up hope of ever finding.  There’s also a certain satisfaction in posting your achievements in an online platform for others to see.
But like in life, everything should be taken in moderation.  It’s when anything is taken to the extreme that it usually becomes an ugly thing.
 
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The Digital Afterlife

Google helps users plan for their digital afterlife…
After we pass from this world and into the next it’s probably safe to assume our material possessions will either be stored, thrown away or fought over by bickering relatives. But have you even given thought to what happens to the data you have put up in social media after you die?
Spare a thought for what happens to the data like the blogs and photos you placed in the Internet. Will they be saved?  Will they be deleted?  Or will they be fought over by your kin and the owner of the social media where you posted your data?
If you are a Google+ user, then maybe your family will be spared a lengthy legal battle over your digital remains. Google has recently unveiled what it calls its Inactive Account Manager, a feature that lets people decide ahead what happens to their email, blogs and photos after they die.
Google product manager Andreas Tuerk said Google users can opt to have this feature activated after they have not logged in for either three months, six months, nine months or after a year.  They can choose to either have the data automatically deleted, or sent to someone they have previously nominated.
After it is triggered, the Inactive Account Manager will first send a text message to the mobile phone number associated with the account and the mobile phone number of the person who is to receive the information.  If the account owner logs in then the account is considered active again and no further action will be taken until the another period of inactivity.
Only the owner of the account can set up the Inactive Account Manager.  The information that could be passed on to the designated person includes the files in the Google Drive, Gmail account, Google+ profiles, blog posts and comments, Google contacts, Picasa photo albums and Google voice phone data.
If an account owner dies without setting up the account manager and his family wants his data, they may have to get a court order to access his account as required by data protection laws.

It turns out Google isn’t the only one looking out for the data of their dearly departed. Since 2009 Facebook has been offering what is calls memorializing services.  What this does is it keeps the account of the dead person open but only accessible to family and confirmed friends.  It is also no longer used for content marketing and the account will no longer be shown in the Suggestions list of other active accounts, although there will still be a limited form of online communication as family and friends can still write on his or her wall.
To request for a person’s account to be memorialized, a friend of family member of the deceased must submit a form to Facebook proving relationship and other information along with proof of death.  An account can also be completely removed if the family so wishes.
But Facebook also said if the family of the deceased wants full access to his or her accounts a court order is also required.
Cases such as these are no longer uncommon as more and more families encounter problems on what to do with the data of their deceased still available, or in some cases unavailable, in various online platforms.
It may not be such a bad idea to start thinking ahead about your digital afterlife. Now we know how to prepare our data for digital death…if only our souls were just as easy to prepare for the afterlife.
 
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