Super Media!

unnamedWeek 7 Reading Response

The readings for this week took our knowledge of social media and content and built on it by introducing us to services such as Vine and Pinterest.  These services have taken the concept of content communities and turned them into major social media fixtures that are receiving new traffic and growth at a very impressive rate.  Not to be outdone, YouTube was also discussed this week and the way it has evolved to meet consumer need since its early inception.  The resulting engagement with these new content based social communities has created the rise of a new type of media: Super Media!

Let’s start with YouTube and the changes it has made.  In an article about the future of youtube-for-ios-app-icon-full-sizeYouTube, we read of the strategy of making the platform as simple and accessible to as many people as possible.  YouTube is available on most phones and tablets today in addition to being able to be streamed on PCs.  Further, many mobile devices have the option of viewing YouTube videos with a home television and have continued to make this feature more accessible.  Additionally, on the social side, YouTube has made its service more personal through the ability to create themed channels and even “like” or comment on the videos of others.  This has resulted in much more engagement on the site and users staying on the site longer than ever before.  In some instances, YouTube is even surpassing Facebook in some elements of consumer engagement.  If your marketing sensors haven’t gone off in regards to YouTube and its ability to disperse your content effectively, they should!  Almost any business can now benefit from having content on YouTube and with features such as Tags and related videos, your video could have a chance of being viewed right next to some of the most popular videos on the site.  If you haven’t done so yet, you need to start considering making YouTube a part of your social media marketing strategy.

Super Media reaches further than just videos however and we discussed other platforms during the reading including Vine and Pinterest.  Vine is the up and coming video service from Twitter that allows user to upload 6 second videos and share them with friends.  While 6 seconds may not sound like a lot, many users have created some truly amazing content in that time and Vine has grown as a result.  In fact, on June 7th of this year, there were more Vine videos posted than posts on Instagram.  Pinterest is another service that allows users to curate their own collection of pictures and photographs (there is a difference!) into different categories and share those collections with friends.  Pinterest creates engagement through content that is clickable and usually will give users more information about the content they are viewing.  This is especially productive and engaging in areas such as Do-It-Yourself and Crafts.  Because users do have a high level of engagement, Pinterest and Vine alike should also be highly considered when making your social media marketing strategy.  Super Media is content on steroids and is being engaged with by more users on more platforms than ever before.  Finally, I mentioned there was a difference between photographs and pictures and wanted to share this video illustrating that point.

Are you a Pinterest or Vine user?  How do you think these services can be helpful in marketing strategy?

Have you viewed a YouTube video on a device other than your PC browser?  Do you think this accessibility of video services could lead to more people “cutting the cord” and replacing cable TV with YouTube and other video services?  Why or why not?

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Open Letter to Universities: Teach MMC 4930 – Social Media and Mass Communication (my new course!)

To the Director of Curriculum at your University,

Today I am writing to your undergraduate curriculum department to tell you why your University needs to adopt my Social Media and Mass Communications (MMC 4930) course at your University as a part of your upper level Communications program as well as your Marketing program.  Social media is quickly becoming the most popular method of communication amongst college students and teaching a course that allows them to appreciate the relationship between social media and mass communication will allow them to engage with the content (as they are already probably users of social media) and have higher level discussions on the ways social media has changed marketing and the way we communicate as a society.

To achieve these goals, the course will show the way social media has allowed companies to create their own brand.  One of the ways social media has done this is by giving companies the option of customizing their social media profiles in a way that can be consistent and immediately recognizable by new visitors to the platform.  Please see the following Pinterest board for examples of the way this major concept in marketing will be exposed to the students.  During the course, students will be challenged to analyze brands of their own and create similar albums to display the way businesses use branding on social media to remain consistent across platforms while allowing them to have a personality of their own.  Discussions in the course will ask students questions about social media marketing and email and whether some platforms create more effective communications opportunities than others while still being branded.

In addition to branding, MMC 4930 – Social Media and Mass Communications will introduce your students to various methods of communication that are utilized on social media in order to engage with potential customers.  One of these methods includes the art of storytelling (thanks OutKast and Slick Rick), and the way this skill creates engagement and eventually new consumers.  The video camera company GoPro is an example that will be discussed and their great ability to tell a story (not necessarily about cameras), and still sell a product.  Please see the following video for an example of this type of storytelling:

Further, the course will discuss this issue in terms of communication and whether this method is truly an effective way of communicating with customers or where companies may need to “draw the line” between appropriate ways of communicating and inappropriate or obtrusive ways.

Finally, in this course we will discuss social media analytics and the ways this has changed the feedback that we get as marketers on the effectiveness of our communication plans.  As you can see from the following video,

analytics have changed the way we create communication plans and have allowed us to adapt at the speed of our consumers.  Analytics have made communications with our consumers much more of a two way street and in this course, we will discuss the way analytics have changed from the past when a communications plan was created months in advance and implemented over a long period of time to various platforms that did not typically offer feedback other than hopeful increases in sales (television and radio for example).

Communication is becoming one of the most dynamic aspects of our society with the invention of new social media platforms occurring on almost a daily basis.  Teaching MMC 4930 – Social Media and Mass Communications in your Upper Level Communication and Marketing programs will allow your students to engage with social media in a way that they never have before and allow them to discuss the ways these platforms have changed the ways we communicate as a society for better or for worse.  There is an art to branding, analytics and even storytelling; but as I said, don’t take it from me, take it from Slick Rick:

Reading Response 6 – Are You Linked In to LinkedIn?

ImageThis week the readings focused on the not-so-social social media platform LinkedIn.  I think the biggest mistake people make is to put LinkedIn into the same box as Facebook and Twitter; but the truth is, LinkedIn offers a very different service that is largely revolving around the professional world.  As one of the readings pointed out, LinkedIn is also one of the few social media companies that is seeing financial success on Wall Street.  The article brings up the point of consumers being rather fickle when it comes to most social media, but LinkedIn has found its own place and seeks to put professionals and businesses in contact with each other.  Having a very well built LinkedIn profile then becomes important for many reasons and may even actually warrant being isolated from your other social profiles if they do not carry the same messages.  We read tips on updating your LinkedIn profile and common themes of the advice included making sure you had a good headline on your profile as well as a good profile picture that did not include your dog or family or any other distraction.  Our readings also including things to avoid on LinkedIn, and one that I found particularly interesting was to make sure to put a status up every now and then.  This is your ability to show that you are “active and engaged” with the service. Overall, the readings showed the importance of having a strong presence on LinkedIn.  As it is a unique service that is in fact very different than most social media, it needs to be approached as its own tool and strategy needs to be devised accordingly.  Using some of the advice can be helpful in this task and hopefully, with a strong profile, LinkedIn will be able to help you in ways other social cannot.

Do you think LinkedIn has a better future in store than Facebook or Twitter?  Do you think it is in fact a more valuable service than the others?

What have you learned about LinkedIn that you plan to put into action?

In Your Words 5 – Blog Breakdowns!

When discussing these blogs, the following criteria will be used to analyze each:

  • What type of blog is it per this week’s lecture?
  • What is its purpose?
  • What makes them unique?
  • Talk about how it reflects the brand.
  • What drives the traffic to the blog? High on search engine? IMC? Website links? What gets people to read!
  • Is it a successful blog per some of the bullet points in this week’s lecture?
  • What’s missing on the blog in your opinion?
  • Are there advertisers? If not, who are some potential advertisers?

TheOnion

  • The Onion is a satirical news blog that makes multiple daily posts from many different authors. onion
  • I like to believe that the purpose of The Onion is for readers to have a place to go to take a break from the hustle and grind of everyday life and read satirical news stories that often elude to real life stories but add exaggeration and comedy in order to make light of sometimes bad situations. 
  • What makes The Onion unique is the fact that on the surface, they look like a very professional news blog that takes itself seriously.  It doesn’t take long however to realize that the headlines on The Onion are often comical and may not be related to any real life news at all.
  • The Onion has created a very unique brand and much of that has started from even their name.  By consistently following a professional news model and just having well written satirical stories, The Onion can keep its brand consistent and become recognizable over many platforms including printed newspapers and even YouTube video headline stories.  Twitter headlines even can be satirical in 140 or less characters and The Onion can maintain its brand over many outlets.
  • There are many things that can drive traffic to The Onion.  For one, the headlines of articles are typically very “shareable” and are easy way to brighten the mood on someone’s Twitter feed or Facebook Timeline.  Also, consistency helps drive traffic because if someone sees an article that they find funny, it is easy to go back to the site and realize that The Onion has many of the same types of stories.
  • The Onion is a successful blog because they are always publishing new stories.  In a format such as theirs, The Onion has to be careful not to become too stale and they seem to do a good job of this by varying the subject matter of the stories and delivering to the point headlines that are usually good for a quick laugh.  Also, The Onion has a strong presence on all of the social media platforms that help make it successful. 
  • In my opinion, there is not a lot The Onion can do in order to improve its blog.  They follow many of the rules of good blogging including putting a face to some of the articles and publishing lots of good content.  If I had one critique of their site, it would be to consider being a little more organized on their homepage.  There really doesn’t seem to be a rhyme or reason for why stories are placed where they are on the site and as a result, the site looks a little unorganized.
  • The main advertiser I saw on The Onion was Ford.

DeadSpin

  • DeadSpin is a professional sports blog with multiple contributors and publishes fresh content on a daily basis.  It has some news elements to it in that it follows sports news and “gossip” but also features many blog articles that are not directly related to a current event in sports.
  • DeadSpin appears to be “the watercooler” of sports talk in that it’s not really a news website, but more a casual conversation site about sports and some real life application of sports for the consumer.  For example, one of the articles on DeadSpin discusses Fantasy Football teams and analyzes why yours may not be doing so well.  The site also features stories on foods that go well with gameday.
  • deadspin1I think what makes DeadSpin unique is the fact that they are not exclusively sports and sports news.  The site feels more casual and conversational and features articles of interest and news as opposed to just reporting what is going on in sports.
  • As a brand, DeadSpin is rather strong but could use a little improvement in this area.  When I first read the title, I thought the blog was about music and though I quickly realized this was not the case when I got to the site, there still just doesn’t seem to be the same type of branding that I saw in the previous example. DeadSpin doesn’t really appear to have a “look,” though it does seem they stay pretty consistent with their formatting and appearance.
  • Content seems to be one of the big factors for driving traffic to DeadSpin.  The blog is up to date on sports news and many of the articles are very “shareable” in that they are accompanied by a video or images of some sort and probably display very well on a social site.  DeadSpin also appears to be the type of place where you go for a more in-depth look at some sports stories that you may not necessarily get from a news reporting sports show or site.
  • DeadSpin does certainly appear to be a successful blog from a few of the qualities we discussed.  First, there is always fresh content being published with good accompanying media and articles.  Second, they do have a presence on social media.  Finally, the articles have good personality as opposed to being just news reporting.
  • DeadSpin could use an improvement in their social media presence and we should see more links for posting articles to social media directly from the site.  I had to dig a little to find links to their social on the site and I don’t believe I saw a single button for social on the main page of the blog. 
  • DeadSpin does have advertisers and on my visit to the site, HP and Lenovo were advertising on the main page in the bottom left corner.

Engadget

  • Engadget is a professional blog that publishes new content on a daily basis from multiple writers.
  • The purpose of Engadget is to break news related to new technology and to give reviews of technology that has been released.  Enadget also travels to various technology events and lets readers feel like they are there through up to the minute stories and pictures from these events.
  • Engadget is unique in that it is a good place for electronics news but also features reviews and live blogging from events that makes it individual and personable.  Engadget is also unique in that it is a blog that I have grown to “trust.”  I like the way their authors discuss electronics that are relevant to me and their reviews are often something that help me determine whether or not to make a purchase. 
  • This mix of news stories and personal reviews are what create the brand of Engadget and allow readers to begin to form a personal relationship with the site.  Consistent branding across multiple platforms allows Engadget to become identifiable while still allowing each individual author to have his or her own voice that connects with the audience in a unique way.
  • Traffic comes to Engadget for a few different reasons. First, Engadget is often one of the only sites with up to the second reporting from some of the major events related to technology.  I found out about the site when I read their live blog from an Apple event that the public was not invited to.  Engadget allowed me to feel connected to the event even though I was not there.  Engadget often ranks high on my Google searches for product reviews and they have a good presence on social media. 
  • Enadget is a successful blog in that they post new fresh content on a daily basis and the Engadget standard for articles always is very high.  The site also features personalities in its engadgetstories and even a picture on the main page features a more funny/emotional picture of an author’s reaction to a certain type of electronics.
  • It is hard for me to give suggestions to Engadget because I do feel they are doing a very good job at blogging.  The site has good ties back to social media and is very organized and allows me to search for articles and reviews while still looking like a news blog.  It is one of my favorite sites to visit on the internet.  If I had to say anything, I suppose Engadget could do with a little more of a presence off the internet.  Marketing items such as Engadget tshirts or even mouse pads could help with brand recognition and subliminally make Engadget a site more people use to learn about electronics through recognition.
  • Engadget does have advertisers; and on my visit to the site I saw ads from Dyson as well as Century Link.  

LifeHacker

  • LifeHacker is a professional blog that posts multiple daily articles from a variety of authors.
  • The purpose of LifeHackers is to create content that is both interesting to the reader and hopefully helps to make their lives easier through helping them do things that they may not have realized they could do. 
  • LifeHacker is unique in that it tries to get its readers to think about many of the things around them in a different way.  For example, iOS 7 is a popular topic of discussion right now and rather than telling you about the features of iOS 7, LifeHacker tells you about the “Top 10 Secret Features of iOS 7.”
  • This concept is important for LifeHacker, because if done correctly can take on many different forms and allow then to spread their brand to many different platforms and readers.  As the LifeHacker name can be synonymous with many different facets of life, by remaining consistent as the site has done, they are able to “hack” many different things and publish loads of fresh content across multiple platforms.
  • Content really seems to be the best feature that drives traffic to the blog and I often see LifeHacker articles published on other platforms as content for other sites. 
  • LifeHacker seems pretty successful based on the criteria we discussed.  They publish fresh content on a daily basis, they have a personality (creatively emphasized by the 16 bit originalrenderings of the contributors on the “about” page), and there are a few links to social media.
  • Where LifeHacker seems to be missing opportunities is in the fact that they don’t really seem to have a strong IMC or communication plan with its audience.  I know of LifeHacker because I have seen other sites pick up some of their articles.  LifeHacker itself doesn’t seem to be presenting itself in some of the arenas where it could thrive.  There is a section of the population (the Lowe’s type of do-it-yourselfers) that would really enjoy articles like these and I wonder if LifeHacker appeals to them, or has visibility with them.
  • There is advertising on LifeHacker and during my visits I saw an ad for American Express and Netflix.

MacRumors

macrumors

  • Finally, another one of my personal favorites, MacRumors is a news blog that contributes daily articles from multiple authors and editors.
  • MacRumors scours the internet for news articles and speculation on upcoming Apple products and gives up to the minute updates on developments within the Apple world.
  • MacRumors is unique in that it often takes content from other sites in order to validate its rumors.  We may speculate about a feature of an upcoming iPhone on MacRumors, but often the rumors are back up by a possibly credible source.  You don’t fully know the articles on MacRumors are true until Apple reveals them but half the fun of MacRumors is in the shared speculation.
  • This theme helps the brand in that as long as MacRumors can continue to deliver fresh articles on rumors around Apple products, they can eventually create a strong brand around this concept.  Users will return because they know MacRumors is as early as early can be.  These articles can also be published on social, thereby contributing to the branding.
  • I think what mostly drives traffic to the blog is the freshness associated with their content.  As a repeat viewer of MacRumors I feel I am as knowledgeable about future Apple products as consumer-ly possible. Also, MacRumors frequently comes up on my search results when searching for details on Apple products.
  • MacRumors is a successful blog in that it publishes fresh content on pretty much a daily basis.  The challenge in front of MacRumors that they have risen to is the fact that they have to be on the “front lines” of a very breaking news topic.  Spreading a rumor about a product is one thing, MacRumors often has to try to be the FIRST to spread a new topic and they seem to do a very good job of that.  There is also a noticeable presence on social.
  • I think MacRumors could do well to socialize their blog a little bit more however.  The discussion is what could really change MacRumors from a “breaking news” type blog into a blog that not only breaks news, but also highly encourages readers to discuss possible Apple products and give their thoughts on speculation.  The forums feature helps with this, but a stronger presence on Facebook and Twitter where engagement is highly encouraged could really bring this over the top.
  • Advertisements were present on MacRumors; and in an act of brilliance, Gazelle, a company for trading in used Apple products was the advertising company on my visit.

Check For a Pulse, Email Marketing Might be Dead!

ImageEmail marketing may not be completely dead, but it is certainly holding on by a thin rope.  The problem with email marketing is the lack of the illusion of control associated with it that has made social media marketing so powerful.  When I see a post from a company I have chosen to follow on Twitter or Facebook, I can choose to immediately interact with that content while remaining on the same platform.  My interactions then become the most valuable part of the marketing cycle because I have now “co-signed” this company enough that I am willing to let my friends know I am engaged.  I can also scroll right past it without giving it a second thought.  It hasn’t annoyed me in any way.  That same content delivered over email arrives in my email mailbox and the first thing I think is “Hey, who invited you?!?”  Email marketing has a negative connotation from the beginning and if the message is not eagerly received, it is automatically perceived as a nuisance and something to be deleted.  Think about how much junk you throw away that you receive in regular paper mail.  The new marketing IMC campaign understands the importance of letting the user feel as though they are receiving the content on their own terms.  Emails currently have no future.  Why would I choose to click on a social share button from an email?  What do I hope to share with my social group?  …that I have received an annoying email that my friends can probably relate to? (That purpose is best served with a whiny status.)  Email has just become too productivity-based and does not yield the same benefits that social media engagement does.Image

            Now I understand that this is not the popular opinion and most of my readings on the internet and in the lecture seem to take the other side of this debate; but my criticism is not without constructive feedback or optimism even.  Email is an important part of a good IMC campaign because there will always be more email addresses than social media accounts (you need an email to sign up for them anyway right?). Also, some people will always want to receive information in that format, but the entire culture needs to change.  One way to make sure our emails are as successful as possible is to follow some of the advice from this week’s reading.  Emails also need to have a little more personality.  Many of the examples of great blogs also looked like great emails; the difference in my opinion is that blogs feel more personal.  Emails also need to become as customizable as anything else on the internet.  Users, not content creators, need to be able to set up email preferences on their own terms.  If they would like to only receive an email once a month, then they should have the option of receiving an email once a month.  If a user wants to be emailed ONLY when products from an online store drop 50% below their retail price, they should be able to request that too.  Finally, if email marketing is going to remain successful, it needs to acknowledge the massive impact social media has had on acquiring information and seek to cooperate in this new world rather than distinguish itself.  Maybe I can sign up to receive email-like information in my Facebook inbox directly in Facebook from the company’s page.  Or maybe I can choose to reply to an email every now and then and not have the response fall on deaf ears.  New marketing is very consumer-centered because engagement with the consumer has become a crucial aspect to a successful IMC campaign, and if email is going to remain successful, it needs to reconsider its voice and consider putting the consumer in the center of its actions.  

Reading Response 5: Google vs. Facebook – The Social Search

FacebookGoogle

            Prior to this week, I believed that most activities on the internet could be divided into two unique categories: social and informational.  When I wanted to be social, I would log in to services like Facebook and Twitter and see how my friends are interacting with the social side of the internet.  Then, when I had information to gather, I would switch to services like Google or Amazon to collect data, make purchases, and basically read the infinite amount of information the internet had to offer.  Recently, the line seemed to get more and more blurred with the addition of social buttons included on most websites allowing users to share purchases or content with friends on social media.  Little did I realize, not only has the line blurred more than I ever imagined, but in fact, it is almost non-existent with the use of social graphs and Google+.

In the first few articles of this week’s readings, particularly the one by Dickinson, we are GraphActionObjectintroduced to the social graph (shown right) and are given our first indication of the level of involvement with the user at the center and all of their different interactions with the internet surrounding in the form of different actions.  Our interactions are then assigned different scores based on level of engagement and whether our friends are connected to the same interaction.  If a site or link or company earns a higher score, their post is more likely to show up on users’ news feed and stay there for longer.  It is here that we begin to see the implications of this social graph and the way we interact with the internet as a whole.  In the Forbes article, it is clarified that this practice currently only stays internal to Facebook and its operations, but author Shel Israel suggests that this may not be the practice for long and may spread outside the walls of Facebook and into the larger internet, evidenced by Facebook’s collaboration with Bing.  In the article from Broadsworld, we look deeper into the scoring system and realize that almost all of our interactions with Facebook are important to companies even when we “Like” and never return.  Therefore, as users of Facebook, we become marketers for companies that we “Like” and share without even knowing it.  Knowing this valuable information, we are then given tips for improving engagement with our users through content that encourages “Likes” and comments.  As a common theme in our readings, even simply asking for engagement can be a successful tool in building engagement.

From the information gathering end of the spectrum, we are also introduced to Google+ on a more in depth basis and read of the ways it has changed Google search to encourage human interaction and sharing.  Google has put more of an emphasis on authorship in its search results and the best way to prove authorship is through Google+.  By confirming authorship and even being a part of many “circles” Google has changed the way it makes search results relevant to the searcher.  In the article by Brian Clark, positive and negative effects of this strategy are discussed but the overall message is apparent: the times are changing and that change is inevitable.  For content builders, these changes should be looked at as positive and a challenge to create good content should be accepted and even accompanied by enthusiasm because both new worlds seem to be rewarding our desire to engage with our customers and have our content read by people who share that interest.

What do you think of this “mixing” of the worlds?  Should you social media life play a role in what you see when you search online?

What are potential pit falls to this model that you can see arising?  Is privacy a concern?

How does knowing this link between the two worlds effect how you plan to “use” the internet in the future?

In Your Words 4: Hypebeast (cont.)

In Your Words 4: Hypebeast (cont.)

hypebeast-magazine-bape-uk-online-1

            Last week, I discussed the brand that is Hypebeast and the way that the company keeps it brand consistent through an IMC marketing plan and social media.  Now I would like discuss content dispersal and the way Hypebeast keeps its audience engaged and returning to the web site.  Hypebeat does this utilizing push and pull marketing techniques as well as other social media content and interactions that drive users back to the web site.  With the interesting goal of trying to capitalize and create traffic while being known for their free content, Hypebeast has utilized many techniques that have allowed it to be successful in these aspirations.

            Hypebeast utilizes push and pull techniques to distribute content on a daily basis and tweetallows its users to interact with its brand as much or as little as they would like.  Once a user has followed Hypebeast on Twitter, interact with other users who may have common interests.  This also becomes a pull technique because the shared tweets often pull new potential customers to the Hypebeast web site.  Users also have the opportunity to sign up for an email newsletter and have fresh content pushed to them on a varying basis and even can be specialized to highlight certain categories of products.  Off site, Hypebeast purchases advertising space on web sites related to the content Hypebeast is publishing in the interest of drawing people with similar interests to the Hypebeast store.  Social media plays a large role in the Hypebeast marketing and the features on Facebook for example are also ways

Hypebeast also has many features that help it be successful in driving in new customers and keeping them engaged on the web site.  One way they have done this is by realizing that not all of their customers are browsing Hypebeast from a home PC and are often “on the go” when picstitchtrying to view content.  It is for that reason that Hypebeast also includes a “no frills” mobile version that is simply about the content and is arranged in an easy to use, simple to load format that still allows the company to add accompanying pictures to articles.  Also, Hypebeast’s user forum allows members to go online and interact with people that share the same interests as them.  While this may sound like something that can be done utilizing social media techniques, the forum is actually a crucial addition because users know they are speaking ONLY with people of the same interests rather than hoping some of the Facebook or Twitter friends share an interest.  The forum creates another great reason to return to the Hypebeast web site.  Overall, while being known for its ability to curate content and editorials, Hypebeast has done an excellent job utilizing push and pull marketing techniques and social media interactions that have helped contribute to traffic and make for a successful web store where many of the featured products can be purchased. Hypebeast also utilizes social techniques to pull new users to its site.  By allowing Facebook fans to comment on and “Like” products from the Hypebeast website, Hypebeast automatically has the opportunity to pull in new users simply by allowing its current customers to interact with its content.  All of the product editorials can also be shared on an individual basis by readers with the use of social interaction tools at the bottom of each editorial.  Platforms including Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, and relative newcomer “The Fancy” are all supported on Hypebeast’s website and allow users to share content that they wish to. new content is pushed daily to them in the form of abbreviated editorials on products and links to purchase items featured on the web site in the Hypebeast web store.  Since the content is pushed in the form of a Tweet, followers are able to comment on products or

However, this is not to say there is not some room for improvement and I do have a couple very minor suggestions for helping Hypebeast improve its brand and continue to grow traffic.  First off, I think Hypebeast could stand to have more of a presence off the of the computer and smart phone screen.  Hypebeast has a very characteristic Black/White contrasting logo and a very interesting name in “Hypebeast.”  Why not put this logo out more on maybe shirts or other products designed to get Hypebeast out in the “physical” world.  Even GQ gives away free t shirts every now and then for new subscriptions.  Secondly, looking towards the future, Hypebeast needs to make sure that it remains current in the way users are able to curate and share their own content from the Hypebeast store. It is never going to be “enough” anymore to just publish good content.  The new age content web site allows users to interact with the content and share it in any way that they want.  Hypebeast does a good job of this now, but with the dynamic nature of social media and content “sharing” in general, Hypebeast needs to make sure they continue to do a good job in this area.

Intro to Social Media Week 4 Lecture Response

Week 4 Lecture Response

            This week, our lecture focused on the social media platform that in my opinion is the most intriguing, Twitter.  Twitter is the town square of social media and allows users to come together to discuss anything and everything.  The great thing about Twitter in my opinion is that it allows users to be as engaged as they would like to be or also an unengaged.  Users can choose to follow whoever they would like and can choose to keep their engagement through Twitter to exclusively reading tweets of those they follow.  However, Twitter also allows users to read tweets on common topics through the use of hashtags and analytics that show what users are talking about.  One of the great things we learned about Twitter during the lecture is that anything can go viral, and that I believe is one of the most powerful aspects of Twitter.

            The example of the Aaron Hernandez brick being removed on the UF campus is an example of how material can go viral.  A professor simply tweeted a picture of the tile being removed and though he did not have a huge amount of followers, the tweet was eventually picked up on a national broadcast and discussed on multiple networks.  THAT is the power of Twitter.  A tweet can go viral simply by being retweeted by enough followers.  An individual then, does not have to have thousands or even millions of followers to create viral content if the content is good enough, as was the example of the tile. 

            Our lecture also gave advice for gaining followers and increasing engagement on Twitter.  One of the early pieces of advice was to ask questions and to respond to other questions.  By asking questions, we allow others to share their thoughts on our questions and hopefully publish their thoughts on our questions to their timeline.  Once our tweet or question has made it on someone else’s feed, we too become a part of their feed and possibly exposed to many new people who we may not have previously had the opportunity to engage with.  The ideal would be that a new person responds to our question as a result of seeing the question on someone else’s twitter feed. 

            Tweets still need to be composed of good content, however, and this is the aspect of the lesson that I found myself the most intrigued with.  Even if an individual is not part of a larger business or looking to sell something personally, they still need to define their voice if they are going to be successful on Twitter.  Only celebrities have the luxury of being able to tweet mindless things and have followers engage with them.  The rest of us must decide what purpose we are going to serve on Twitter and should create content that reflects that purpose. 

My engagements on Twitter, personally, have so far been rather interesting and I look forward to exploring the service.  In my spare time, I use Twitter to engage with friends and share content that I personally find interesting, but I need to understand that just because I feel it is interesting, doesn’t mean that others will as well.  If I would like to build a Twitter following, I need to find a voice and try to stick with it.

Intro to Social Media Week 3 Lecture Response

Lecture Response – Week 3

            The major theme for the lecture this week was content and its importance in building our social media presence.  After Professor Bornstein’s Livestrong example on the importance of content, we were introduced to figures and data that suggest a shift to content management and its importance on social media and in interactions with potential customers.  The most staggering of these statistics for me was the fact that 90% of consumer find custom content to be helpful and that 78% believed that companies that created custom content were interested in building relationships with them.  Basically, by creating good content, we have a better chance of converting our potential customers and creating mutually beneficial relationships with them.  Also, the lecture discussed the importance of taking in content and understanding what good content looks like and how content best impacts the market.

In my personal reflections on content and its importance in social media, I had two interesting examples that arose throughout the week that I thought showed the importance of content.  The first was a part of our social media assignment where we had to pose a question on Facebook about social media and track how much engagement we created.  I posed my question on Thursday morning and asked my followers what they thought the appropriate age was for a child to have their first social media account and if there was a “too young” for social media.  I thought the question was a particularly relevant question and was shocked to see that I did not get any responses as of the time I am writing this (it is exactly 10:44 AM on Friday).  In my reflections, I realized that timing is everything and think that may have been where I slipped on this social experiment.  In scrolling my time line, I realized many other students had already posed their questions and even had completed engaging dialogues with fellow classmates.  I just think I barely “missed the boat” on this one and learned a great lesson on the importance of timing when it comes to content. 

My second personal example is on a separate personal Twitter account that I set up recently with the specific goal of gaining completely random followers.  After watching the newest episode of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, I felt compelled to Tweet how much I enjoyed that particular episode.  In my reflections on building content, I first thought the best way to create engagement on this tweet would be to add hashtags, and proceeded to look up the hashtag that was most commonly used when discussing the show (#sunnyFXX).  So I started a tweet that gave my positive review of the show and realized I should try to add better content.  Therefore, I added a link to the tweet that would allow my followers to find out what channel Always Sunny was on for them as it had recently moved to a sister network of FX.  My thoughts were that this tweet would now be engaging, informative, and personal as I could still include my thoughts on the show.  We will see how it works out for me.  

(not sure why I forgot to post this to my blog last week)

Intro to Social Media Week 4 Readings Reaction

Intro to Social Media Week 4 Reading Response

            ImageThis week we began discussing the “new newsfeed:” Twitter.  The website began in 2006 and is the platform that I personally am the most intrigued about.  Our readings for this week gave us helpful tips for engaging with our audience on Twitter and even gave us some advice for starting out our Twitter accounts.  Finally, in an article titled “The Twitter Trap,” we read of possible downfalls to the Twitter generation and contemplated whether this new form of information sharing was overall good for people. 

One of the most prominent pieces of advice from the readings was about responding to any and all tweets that are sent to you.  Even the largest companies in the world can benefit from treating its consumers as individuals and responding to their tweets when possible.  This was a common theme in the readings and companies such as Comcast and General Motors were praised for their ability to use their Twitter accounts in a way that benefitted the consumer and allowed the company to look more personal for its audience, a practice favored by many of the authors we have read and the lectures we have viewed.  Twitter Chat was also discussed as a new way of engaging in dialogue with potential consumers by allowing us to jump right into conversation that could be happening about our brand or about the need that we feel our brand meets. 

An article of particular interest to me was one from Aaron Lee titled, “If I could start Twitter all over again, what would I have done differently?”  In this article, Lee discusses the importance of taking ones time when starting a Twitter and not mindlessly chasing followers.  This was good advice for me as I have started a separate Twitter with the goal of getting followers and have realized that in the early phases of establishing my Twitter, I should focus on my voice and creating solid followers and lists rather than just hoping to get more followers. 

Finally, “The Twitter Trap” asked questions about society and the way we ingest information and whether Twitter has taken away from our ability to retain important information.  In this article, Twitter was actually compared to the printing press on the merits of the way the press took away from the need to memorize as much.  The article pointed out that at one point, even full books were memorized and able to be recited.  Now, with the invention of Twitter and other social media, our attention spans and ability to memorize may have gotten shorter, but we can ingest more information at a time than ever before.  The author questions whether this is a good trade off and I find myself reflecting on this as well.

Do you think this is a good trade off?  Does #TwitterMakeYouStupid?

What piece of advice for a new Tweeter did you find the most helpful?

Have you had a good experience with a large company on social media?