Intro to Social Media Week 2 Lecture Response

Week 2 Lecture Response

            This week’s lecture took the introduction to the different platforms for social media and gave the class much more of an insight into their uses; including statistics for usage amongst the general population.  The lecture began with the #1 rule in social media: don’t forget to crawl.  Applying this rule to the rest of the lecture was really important when thinking about goals for social media and what an individual or organization might use social media.  Social media is a strategy.  Rather than just flooding social media with mindless content in hopes of blindly gaining clients/followers, the lecture showed that different approaches are more appropriate for different platforms and that certain platforms may not always be best for achieving your goals.  There were many different facets of social media discussed and having and understanding of them allows you to help spread your message in an effective way.

Understanding usage is important because it helps show the way people are engaging social media and allows you to understand where you might best fit into that engagement.  Twitter, for example, gives you a much smaller window because as we learned in the lecture, the “timeline” is always recent.   Compared to Facebook where it is easier to let a message linger, Twitter requires the user to understand that their message only has about a thirty second window and that we need to be as effective as possible within that window.  The lecture showed times and gave strategies for understanding when that window may get the most exposure.  The discussion on Google+ also was very helpful and likely something that not many listening to the lecture were familiar with before.  The “carbs at night” example was particularly interesting and showed how using the analytics of internet usage can help spread our message by making it available where people are looking. 

Understanding the motivation for engagement on social media is also important and allows our content to be spread to more people as they engage with it.  One particularly interesting example from the lecture was the strategy of putting content out that allowed the viewer to perceive a value in their own knowledge.  Polls, for example, allow users to give their own input and feel part of the discussion while they are helping to spread your content.  As the lecture pointed out, one of the best ways to spread your content across social media is to create it in a way that allows the user to spread it for you.  

Understanding demographics is important because it allows you to disperse content to your target market.  Knowing that users on Twitter are slightly older than those on Facebook and Instagram is important because you should post where your market resides.  The lecture discussed why the different platforms of social media have been successful with their demographics and understanding that can allow you to impact the market in the most effective way possible.  Overall, the lecture was very helpful in building on the introduction to these platforms and showed how with the proper strategy, these platforms can help us in ways we probably never considered.  

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Intro to Multimedia Communication: Google vs. Facebook

Facebook vs. Google

            It is difficult to compare these two giants because they both serve very different purposes and both have revolutionized their respective industries.  The question that has been prompted is actually a great means to discussing the differences in these companies, and how they impact the lives of their millions (and even billions) of users.  Which one is bigger on a social scale?  Facebook.  Which one is bigger or more effective in advertising?  Google. Here is why:

            Facebook has become the definition of social media after topping MySpace in early 2010 (Hartung, 2011).  Since then, it has grown to over a billion users who are logging on daily and spending a staggering amount of time on the website. Facebook has allowed users to connect with people they may not have otherwise had the opportunity or convenience to do so before.  Particularly, in our text from Young, the month of December is mentioned as a busy time when people are connecting to friends and family on the site around the holidays (p. 13).  Facebook in some cases has become the primary means for how we “know” some of our acquaintances; and while we are only aware of what is happening on their Facebook profile, we still consider ourselves knowledgeable about that person.  THAT is the power of Facebook.  We can go years without seeing family members or close friends, but because of Facebook, we still feel connected to them and knowledgeable about what is going on in their lives.  Facebook has also become a marketing/advertising platform because it has created a venue for discussing products and services with people we know on a more social level.

            However, Facebook will always be just that: social media.  What Google has done with analytics and logistics is monumental and has forced business “to compare its conventional metrics with sophisticated internet data” (p. 10) by quantifying and categorizing the way people are using the internet.  The reason Google is better for advertising is because compared to Facebook, they will always be closer to the actual point of sale than Facebook will ever be.  Google has become the “search field” for the entire internet and is where many consumers start before making a purchase.  While Facebook will always have a search option of its own and can do a great job of connecting potential consumers to products, it will always be social first.  It’s like going to the beach and having someone bring you a flyer for a product. While that flyer may be something you are interested in and even something you may buy, it still had to interrupt your beach time in order to get exposure.  Finally, the Google “package” is one that likely stands to pass the test of time compared to Facebook.  Social media is so dynamic, and what’s “cool” today may not necessarily be cool tomorrow.  Google on the other hand, has already hedged its bets with Android which is the largest mobile platform in the world (Etherington, 2013) and has unique opportunities of its own to create additional marketing ventures. 

Sources

Etherington, D. (2013, August 07). Android nears 80% market share in global smartphone shipments, as ios and blackberry share slides, per idc. TechCrunch, Retrieved from http://techcrunch.com/2013/08/07/android-nears-80-market-share-in-global-smartphone-shipments-as-ios-and-blackberry-share-slides-per-idc/

Hartung, A. (2011, January 14). How facebook beat myspace. Forbes, Retrieved from http://www.forbes.com/sites/adamhartung/2011/01/14/why-facebook-beat-myspace/

Intro to Social Media Week 2 Readings Reaction

In the first week of official reading assignments for this class, we were introduced to some of the many uses for social media on a professional level as well as an individual level.  Throughout my reading, I found myself reflecting on my father’s concrete/ construction company and whether social media was something he could actually use.  What I found through the readings is that with the right strategy, any company could stand to improve their operations by adding a social presence online.

Some of the early readings helped me ask the right questions when thinking about a business such as my father’s construction business and how they might use social media.  Concepts like “find your venue” from the inc.com article showed me that a HUGE social media campaign may not be what a business like this is after, but rather a concentrated effort in one platform might be more helpful.  I was torn on whether this might be a Facebook profile or a LinkedIn page.  Later on, when the concept of the “Big Win” was introduced, I realized this answer may be a little bit of both formats depending on the prospective “consumer” a construction company was hoping to meet.  Do you think construction companies have a place on social media?  Would you research a home builder on Facebook before asking them to build your home?

Later, I found myself reflecting on the dichotomy of relationships social media has created on a personal level as well as a professional level and how we view these sites when we are in those “mind frames.”  I found it ironic reflecting on my early days of Facebooking how 78% of employers would now look negatively on the alcohol and mindless behavior posts that were seemingly the entire purpose of Facebook in the beginning.  We really have come a long way and now we view social media in a personal as well as professional manner.  …but the two can mix.  “Code switching” from another article illustrated the fact that as we post/interact on social media, we are doing so on two levels, and often at the same time. Storytelling was also an interesting way of illustrating this point by showing the fact that successful marketing campaigns often tell a story in order to make a product more relate-able.  Understanding the balance of these two can be extremely important in our social media strategy.  When I first was introduced to social media via Facebook, I thought it would always remain a “personal” outlet.  Now, I find myself even browsing professional outlets in order to form a more personal connection to the company/business.  Do you think social media should be so prevalent in business?  Have we lost an outlet of free speech or a true expression of our personality at the expense of universal presence online?

First Blog Post – Intro to Social Media

Hello!  My name is Thomas “Jake” Stresen-Reuter and this is officially my first blog post for my Master’s Program in Mass Communication with a specialization in Social Media from the University of Florida.  I am currently in the process of setting up my social media accounts and already have a lot to say on the ease of use for some of these sites and how it could help or hurt their business.  LinkedIn, for example, has been the least intuitive of my experiences with these sites and so far I am not thrilled about their services.  Having already listened to the first lecture this week for the course, I can tell I am really going to enjoy the program.  The first element from the lecture that I felt compelled to comment on was social media addiction and whether or not it is a problem.  I personally don’t feel it is a problem, but have had to personally modify some of my own behaviors for fear of beginning an addiction on social media.   Overall, I’m really looking forward to the program and working with my fellow classmates.  The photo I have included is a mural I found from one of my favorite street artists, Aaron Martin or “Angry Woebots.”  Hope you enjoy!

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