New Media and YOU – Farewell

imageAlas, our class is coming to its semester end, and sadly, so is our blog :-/ But fear not! We will not leave you hanging. Over the course of the semester, our blog has featured various social media platforms and how your business/organization can use them to connect with your audience. Before we go, let’s go over some of the key points that similarily spanned across our posts. These are good things to keep in mind no matter what platforms you are using.

Social Media Tips Recap

  1. Be in dialogue with your audience
    The Web 2.0 is all about user-generated content. People like to be part of the process, so always show them that you’re open to that. Respond to comments as best you can, hold contests, and show you’re listening.
  2. Use tags
    Whether it’s hashtags, keywords, or @mentions, use the platform’s tagging capabilities. It makes you more searchable and increases chances of popularity and reach.
  3. Choose platforms wisely
    Finite resources makes everything a challenge. We have so much to do in limited time with limited money and limited people. Make sure the platforms you’re using to reach your audience has matching demographics and psychographics. For example, a small motorcycle accessories business might have a tough time on Wanelo, but Facebook and Instagram would probably have better results.
  4. Be transparent
    Many of our tips have suggested to do things like featuring employees or showing how a product is made. It brings the audience to the other side, and they feel included. Let them in on what your organization is about. Trust from your audience and the feeling of belonging goes a long way.

Blogs To Follow

We don’t want your knowledge of social media to end with this blog. So, here are some other blogs and sites we think will serve you well:

Personally, we really suggest Bill Crosby and Social Mouths – they’re fun blogs and full of great information. All of the above sites are great though.

Thank you to everyone who has followed, reposted, liked, and commented on our blog. We appreciate interacting with you and receiving your support.

~ Katie, Amy, Myah, Carley, Staci

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Pinterest and YOU

With 25 million unique visitors a month, Pinterest is quite the specimen. It’s a more niched social platform, yet it has massive traffic. Users can post links, recipes, and pictures on Pinterest, and it’s represented with a photo. Pretty unique social platform, huh?

Pinterest isn’t for every business. Motorcycle dealer?…maybe not the best place. But if you are a freelance photographer, this is probably a good site to use. Take a look at Pinterest’s infographic that better explains the user demographics of the site.

Tips for Pinterest

  1. Use AWESOME Photos
    How does Pinterest display its posts? With PICTURES! Users can decide in a split second to pass over your pin or click on it, and there is high competition for their clicks. No matter what content the link posts to, lead them to it with a high quality and captivating photo (Social Media Today). Get creative – use memes, infographics, panoramas, close ups, high-quality cameras, and color effects.
  2. Interact with People
    One of the best ways to get traffic to you is to follow, re-pin, and like. Just like other social media sites, people return the favor. It’s quite the symbiotic relationship (yes, we’re bringing science into this post). Be efficient with your time and focus on people in your target audience.
  3. Make a Good Title
    Pinterest doesn’t have a complex algorithm like Google – it’s very straightforward. So, if you’re photo has a picture of a black lab in it, it’s probably a good idea to have “black lab” somewhere in the title. Anything is better than IMG_325.
  4. Credit to Tech Crunch
    http://goo.gl/gw2lY

  5. Use Analytics
    Feedback on your marketing campaigns are important. No one wants to advertise to thin air – it wastes time and money. According to Tech Crunch, Pinterest offers a free feature for businesses that allow them to track the statistics of follows from Pinterest to their website.
  6. Be Positive
    Have you taken a look at the differences in attitude when comparing Pinterest to Twitter and Facebook? The latter two tend to have some snarky posts and tweets. Pinterest tends to stay away from that, so you should too. Be positive and profound; avoid the dark and gloomy. If you have to go down that avenue, use another platform.
  7. Go More In Depth…

    We don’t want you to feel limited by what we presented, so here’s a couple more links you can follow:

    Next Week

    Ever wish you could buy that adorable dress from that pin last week? Well, Wanelo makes it so you can. It’s Pinterest for shoppers! Check back next week to read about it.

    In the meantime – do you think Pinterest will ever bring in more men? They make up for only 1/3 of the visitors. Think that will change?

YouTube and YOU

iTunesArtwork@2xSo many people, musicians, actors, and businesses have thrived because of the viral potential YouTube has. One big reason is because YouTube is the 2nd largest search engine, behind Google. Another reason is that seeing is believing – we love seeing things, not being told about them. But what if you’re not a video guru? Luckily, with today’s technology and tech-savvy youngsters, it’s not too difficult to find freelance help at a reasonable price.

This post isn’t about how to produce videos, but it’s about how to use YouTube for PR and advertising for your business. So if you’re at the stage where you’re ready to use YouTube, here are some tips to help get the best results.

If you’re not sure whether or not YouTube is for you, check out Reel SEO’s statistics and Pros and Cons of YouTube – it might help you make an informed decision.

YouTube Tips

  1. Create a Branded Channel
    Just like you brand your name in other platforms, having a channel that is cohesive will help brand your business. A customized channel gives you the opportunity to showcase your company’s branding with specific colors, information, and links to your other media platforms. Viewers can also subscribe to your channel. It’s a feature of YouTube Social Media Today points out is often overlooked, but it shouldn’t be:

    Your YouTube channel is basically your house for the videos you create and upload, the videos you have selected as favorites, and those that you have organized into a playlist. A customized channel gives you the opportunity to add and showcase your company’s branding with specific colors, information and links to your website and/or relevant social media pages. A channel also gives viewers an option to subscribe to your content with the click of a button.

    Additionally, choose a user name that reflects your brand for your channel URL.

  2. Humanize Your Business
    It’s something that’s little, but don’t be afraid to introduce staff members to add authenticity. Show results of someone using your product/service. Show your business in action! Hold contests, answer questions, have vlogs.
  3. Have a Purpose to your Video
    Capture3
    Just like every other advertising and medium out there, content is king for YouTube. Make sure your videos are created to engage and draw viewers in. Business Reader has a couple central ideas you can focus your videos around.

    • Advertise
    • How-To’s
    • Product Demo
    • Entertain/Connect with Audience

    As long as you remember to keep each video on one idea and don’t drag on beyond that, you’re headed in a pretty good direction. No one like a long, aimless video.

  4. Make your Videos Findable
    There is so much content out there in the Internet world. There is a heck of a lot to compete with. So how do you stand out in an ocean of similar fish? Optimize how you are found.Social Media Today has three ways to make yourself findable.

    • Title: Make the first few words of the title the good ones. Make sure they’re the key words related to your video. A little trick – add a colon and rephrase your title for max effect.
    • Description: Start the description with a URL since that will never be cut off. Then, describe away.
    • Tags: Include any and all related keywords. Even think of all the weird obscure words other people may think of. Our brains all operate a little differently with the semantics of language
  5. Advertise
    There are numerous ways to straight up advertise on YouTube, but this obviously costs money. If this seems like something your business wants to do, consider some options:

    • YouTube Homepage: a large spot at the top YouTube’s homepage for interactive advertising (…this method might break the bank)
    • TrueView: the ad, normally 30-60 seconds, lets the user skip the ad after 5 second. The advertiser only has to pay if the entire ad is watched.
    • TrueView In-Search: (formerly promoted ads) a smart way to advertise before a video with keywords related to your ad.
    • In-Search Video Ads: just like a Google search, your video will appear at the top based on the keywords in the search
    • Display Ads: text ads that show up on the sidebar or at the bottom of the video.
  6. Don’t Exist in a Bubble
    All other new media platforms have the expectations to react and respond promptly to current events. That’s what Twitter is all about! There’s been a good handful of times I learned about a big event via Twitter before hearing it on the news. YouTube should be treated the same. Acknowledge what is happening in the world, and if a crisis occurs within your business, address it. It humanizes your business, and it adds a nice personal touch.

Go More In-Depth…

We never want you to feel limited to only what we’ve posted. Here are a list of other articles you can check out:

Next Week

We’ll look into Instagram next week. If you have any opinions or questions about YouTube and advertising, feel free to comment.

Google+ and YOU

When you think of advertising, Google+ might not be the first thing google_plus_logothat comes to your mind. Facebook and Twitter have such a stronghold on this notion. However, there are people on Google+, and they just might the kind of people you need to be targeting. According to Mashable’s infographic, the primary users of Google+ are single male students. If your target market is along those lines, then consider these tactics.

Google+ Tips

  1. The Ultimate SEO
    Every smart business knows importance of being searchable on the internet – Search Engine Optimization. Naturally, Google is looking out for its own social network. CaptureRandfish has an excellent video talking about why every marketer needs a Google+ strategy. In his video, Randfish points out that if you have a G+ account and someone linked to you on G+ searches you on Google, your G+ profile will list above all other content. Imagine how much that will help your SEO endeavors!

    To show an example, I searched “Paul Levinson,” a book author I am connected to on G+, and a snippet of his profile showed on a majority of my results page. Watch Randfish’s video for more information on how your profile can improve SEO for your business.

  2. Create Circles with Meaning
    G+ circles improves the quality of your audience. By choosing people relevant to your business (based on demographics, topic, and income) to be in your circles, you can increase the power of your network. Set up a criteria for each circle and follow it. Unbounce has a great infographic on how to use G+ effectively (seems like G+ is the hot topic for infographics).
  3. Hangout with your Audience
    “Hangout” is probably G+’s standout feature that allows multiple people to video chat at once. Roger Friedensen, president and CEO of Forge Communications points out how Hangout can help a business:

    Hangouts offer an amazing opportunity for businesses to engage in a highly personal way with clients, customers and industry-thought leaders. Plus, employees in remote locations can hold team meetings to brainstorm with one another from an interface that affords them immediate and easy access to share and collaborate on most of the information materials they might need, such as documents and spreadsheets.

    A drawback of Hangout is the technical limitation. Video chats take up more bandwidth than normal internet usage, so someone who has a bad connection can miss out on the Hangout or have a bad experience.

  4. Brand your Name

    Branding is crucial for a business/organization, and Google+ can fuel that. Social Media Online has 64 branding strategies that you may want to consider implementing. No, not all 64 – but pick and choose some strategies you think your business can manage.

    Google-Plus-Branding-Strategies

Getting Started

If you haven’t created a page for your business and you want to, use WikiHow to take you through setting up a profile.

Go More In-Depth…

We never want you to feel limited to only what we’ve posted. Here are a list of other articles you can check out:

Next Week

We’ll look into YouTube next week. If you have any opinions or questions about G+ and advertising, feel free to comment.

Facebook and YOU

Facebook started as a social network for facebook_logocollege students in 2004 , but it has evolved into so much more. Games, fan pages, public and private groups, and now…businesses. Since the startup cost of launching a page for your business with Facebook is $0, the network has become a huge tool in PR and Advertising for small businesses. There is a lot you can do with your business on Facebook, but there are a few things you don’t want to ignore.

Facebook Tips

  1. Make Graph Search Your Friend
    A relatively new addition to Facebook, the Graph Search acts a lot like SEO (Search Engine Optimization), except it’s a little cooler. According to Ad Age, the results show up in a user’s search are based on their friends’ likes. CaptureCertainly changes your thought about “likes” and “check-ins,” doesn’t it? Graph Search is taking “word of mouth” to the nth power, and Nielsen’s Q3 survey in 2011 showed that a whopping 92% of people trust their friends for recommendations. Generate genuine “likes” (don’t just buy them), and you’ll see the self-perpetuating benefits of using Graph Search.

  2. “Content is King, but Engagement is Queen”
    Ramon Ray is the man of technology and business. We recommend reading his book “The Facebook Guide to Small Business Marketing,” which actually came out only a couple days ago. We’ll let Forbes’ excerpt about his book do the talking:

    “Content is King, he says, but Engagement is Queen – simply having a Facebook business page is of little more use than a static internet calling card. Businesses should use contests, polls and questions to keep their customers and prospects engaged. Killer photo images of products are highly essential. Video can be vital as well. Visual social media and compelling content – not just information about the product and service – is key.”

  3. Consider Offers
    Offers can help fuel sales and traffic to your website or store. The best way to describe an Offer is…a coupon. Whether it’s a discount, a freebie, or to enter in a drawing, fans can use the Offer to redeem in your store and/or on your website. Aria is one success story that used Offer to make 671 reservations for 1,585 nights. Be careful with Offers though, the larger audience you want to reach, the more you have to pay. Define your audience specifically and powerfully.

  4. Be Aware of your Public Personal Life
    This one is pretty straightforward, but it’s easy to grow complacent about. In fact, we might have even overlooked this point if a CBS News article hadn’t brought it up. Consumers want businesses to be transparent, but that doesn’t mean we should embarrass ourselves. Be conscientious of pictures you’re in and what you say on your personal Facebook.
  5. Manage your Time
    This is another tip that’s so simple but so overlooked. How you allocate your time is crucial. We’ve all had those times where we go to Facebook just to check notifications, and two hours later we’re elbows deep in someone else’s profile. The same can go for running a business. Try not to let running a Facebook page prevent you from actually running your business. Have a schedule; set a time limit; do what you need so that your work is efficient.

Getting Started

If you haven’t created a page for your business and you want to, go to Facebook’s Business page, and they’ll take you through it step-by-step.

Go More In-Depth…

We never want you to feel limited to only what we’ve posted. Here are a list of other articles you can check out:

Next Week

We’ll look into Google+ next week. If you have any opinions or questions about Facebook and advertising, feel free to comment.

Superbowl Ad Recap

Ads and Social Media

Well, the 49ers almost made it. Ugh, so close. I could hardly sit still watching the 4th quarter. However, it’s fair to say the first half of the game was rather dull. Luckily, I was preoccupied playing “ad bingo” until things picked up.

This week is going to have a little less structure and a little more free-form talk. We just want to pull out some things we noticed this year with the Super Bowl ads. There were some funny ads, some grandeur, and others just icky (yes, Go Daddy). Also, Dodge’s “God Made a Farmer” ad had us Midwesterners all up in a nostalgic tizzy.

But what separated this year’s Super Bowl ads from the past? The emphasis on social media, the interaction between consumers and the companies, the attempt to connect – that’s what was different.

Twitter was King

According to Marketing Land, there were 52 national TV commercials during the Super Bowl. Of those 52 ads, 26 mentioned Twitter – that’s 50 percent! Facebook only got 4 mentions, and Google+ was left in the dust with none. But isn’t G+ reportedly the No. 2 social network in the world? Hm, interesting.

Let’s take a look into Twitter then, since it was the hot topic.

Hashtags

While 26 ads featured Twitter, did their hashtags actually work? Did Subway’s clunky hashtag “#15yrwinningstreak” find its way into onto our home feeds?

Super-Bowl-Hash-Tag-Infographic

^^Those are pretty good numbers for Doritos and CK, and as Sysomos mentions, the two ads that used their own name as a hashtag had better results.

If we look at those numbers on their own, thousands of tweets for Doritos looks great, but if you consider the millions of tweets in America every day, that’s actually a pretty small number. While many tweets were about the Super Bowl or the advertisements, few people actually used the designated hashtags.

That doesn’t mean people did tweet about the Super Bowl ads. Taco Bell received 215,000 tweets after their funny “Viva Young” commercial – and they didn’t use a hashtag.

So maybe the mentions of Twitter in the ads didn’t quite work, but Twitter mentioning the ads sure did.

Power Outage

Forbes had a clever line about the power outage – “Call it the Super Bowl of real-time marketing.” Usually viewers are wrapped up in the game and ads, but the power outage slowed things down. Since there were no commercials during the outage, people grew bored, pulled out their smartphones, and started chatting on social media – about the game, the ads, and who pulled the plug.

Smart advertisers knew what to do with the outage with a spike of tweeters online. Companies like Walgreens, Oreo, Tide, and Audi hit the Twittersphere and capitalized the opportunity by tweeting clever lines about their product and the outage.

The power outage was the epitome of real-time marketing.

tide-super-bowl-black-out-tweet

Oreo-dunk-dark-tweet17

Wrap Up

Maybe Twitter was more popular this Super Bowl because of its immediacy and simplicity. A consumer can tweet without talking too much attention away from the game. But why did Facebook lose so much attention? And why did Google+ receive no love for the second year in a row? Let us know what you think, and we can toss around ideas.

Go More In-Depth…

We never want you to feel limited to only what we’ve posted. Here are a list of other articles you can check out:

Super Bowl Sunday

Super Bowl and New Media

Think of the insane work that goes into only a few hours of national greatness called The Super Bowl. The food, the drinks, the stadium, the clothing, the uniforms….even the parking at the stadium. Millions of dollars in transactions are spent preparing for one night – check out some crazy stats from Time Magazine.

And then there are the commercials.


^^ Volkwagon’s Darth Vader commercial was one of the biggest hits during the Super Bowl.

Without the million-dollar commercials, it’s safe to say the Super Bowl wouldn’t be as glamorous as it is now. Some viewers watch more for the ads than the game. Even my focus shifts if the Packers aren’t the playing…

Advertising in a New Age

Technology changes drastically every year. Consumers want to be engaged more every year. Super Bowl advertisers don’t want to lose their connection with their 111.4 million viewers. So how are advertisers using new media this year?

Pick the Ending

    • Doritos is letting viewers pick which homemade commercial to air during the Super Bowl – a tactic they’ve used before. But ABC News says Coke is doing something a little different. They’re letting viewers pick the ending. And they’re meeting the viewer halfway. People don’t have to log in at Coke’s website to vote, they can also hashtag their pick on Twitter. You have to admit you are much more likely to cooperate when it’s through a platform you already have (Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, etc.). Whether or not this ends up working well for Coke or not, they’re catching on…

 

Sneak Peaks/Trailers

    • Some companies have tried showing entire commercials to consumer, which has worked, but marketers from places like Proctor & Gamble and Kraft foods are trying a different approach.

      ^^Tide’s “sneak peak” banner to create buzz for the real deal on Sunday.

      According to the NY Times, P & G and Kraft are offering up a sneak peak/trailer of their commercials. They are also encouraging consumers to spread talk about the sneak peaks on social media. Proctor’s goal is to generate buzz with their “teaser campaigns.” Will it work? We’ll find out after the Bowl if saving the big reveal for Sunday was the right move.

 

^^Kraft’s Mio Fit Sneak Peak

Premiere of a New Product

    • After the advent of the iPhone and Droid phones, the Blackberry has struggled to hold on to their market share. Research in Motion stated they will reveal the new Blackberry 10 at the Super Bowl. Other than that, they’ve been pretty hush hush. Volkswagon pulled a similar stunt when revealing the revamped Beetle design, but not many companies go quite that big. RIM needs a big move like the Super Bowl, because Blackberry is struggling. This is another campaign to keep an eye on and follow up after the game.

 

Go More In-Depth…

We never want you to feel limited to only what we’ve posted. Here are a list of other articles you can check out:

 

Wrap Up

Next week we will do a follow up of the ads aired during the Super Bowl – What worked? What didn’t? Did P & G pull of their sneak peak strategy?

Stay tuned, and if there’s something that interests you or you want us to talk about, let us know.