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

Advertisements

Instagram and YOU

Credit to Idea Verse: http://goo.gl/AJi1M

Credit to Idea Verse: http://goo.gl/AJi1M

Instagram, acquired recently by Facebook, is one the most popular photo apps to download for Apple and Android users – boasting more than 100 million users. It’s as easy as open, snap (or choose from photo library), and filter. The app currently offers 17 different filters to help transform your photo, everything from black and white to “kelvin”. This app is like heaven for hipsters and trendy social media lovers alike. After choosing your filter, you can post your photo to Instagram where it can be seen on the feed of other users who follow you, or by users who find you in searches using tags.

What’s also cool about Instagram is the outreach to other platforms. Once you upload the photo to Instagram, you can also upload or embedded a link to Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Flickr, or email . You can tag a location to your “photo map” and add names of venues or locations. Instagram has a social nature set up much like Facebook, where users can “like” and comment on your photos (About.com).

Instagram Filters: http://goo.gl/e87Sb

Instagram Filters: http://goo.gl/e87Sb

How to Rock Instagram

Instagram is a more niche platform than we’ve talked about before, but that doesn’t mean you should shy away. It is owned by Facebook, after all. People love seeing what’s going on with your business, and Instagram is a great way to stand out from the sea of photos out there.

You have to be smart and sneaky in order to catch the eyeballs and interests of social media users. They are no longer just a bunch of curios people trying to find their way… The best promotion is the promotion that doesn’t look like promotion. ~Bit Rebels

Using Instagram allows you to showcase your brand, target specific customers with tags, and interact visually and text based with customers. You will be able to show users the qualities your company possesses. Many users probably haven’t even heard of your brand. So try these tips (and add a little creativity) to boost your business’ exposure and create a following.

Instagram Tips:

  1. Engage your customers
    Feature customers using your products- appeal to their vanity. Ask them questions, respond to their comments, let them know they are valued.
  2. Snap behind the scenes
    People like to feel intimate with your business or your brand. Show how a product is made, what the raw materials look like, and what can be done with the finished product.
  3. Hold contests to generate engagement
    Photos attract users, but conversations engage them. Provide a close up and ask them what they think the product is. Another way to engage them is a photo submission contest – have the users submit a picture on Instram of them using the product. You’ll be surprised how creative some people can be…
  4. Showcase Employees
    Social Media Today suggests you should give your customers an idea of who they’re working with. By putting a face to your brand, you’re giving them someone to trust.
  5. USE TAGS!!
    As with many other social outlets, tags are the number one way to attract users to your product/brand, to help them find it, and to help promote you. Instagram tags are similar to Twitter – the hashtag (#). Use creative and descriptive tags so people can search for you, just like you would with a website and Google.

Additional Tips

This video does a pretty good job covering all the bases of how to use Instragram best for your business. Check it out.

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 Twitter’s new app Vine. For this week, what are your thoughts on Instagram? Do you like it or not? Will Facebook’s ownership of Instagram affect its future positively or negatively?

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: