Say Yes to Facebook and Twitter

Looks like there are going to be some changes made to Facebook and Twitter in the new year.

Would I still recommend these platforms for clients to use? Absolutely.

When it all comes down to it…I think that regardless of the privacy issues that may be different…Facebook and Twitter are still incredibly important in reaching audiences. Although it may be more difficult to do so in the future, I still think both platforms are necessary. It is important for brands to continue utilizing Facebook and Twitter even if it is just for all of the loyal customers out there or the people who are already on their “side.”

Think about the new kid at school that you invite to eat lunch with you. Well, once the new kid branches out and makes new friends, you don’t just stop being friends with the new kid?

Not sure if that metaphor makes the most sense in this situation, but my point is that Facebook and Twitter are classic and easy ways to reach audiences. People still want to see posts and “like” pictures from their favorite brands. I would highly encourage my client to continue to use these platforms especially if it is going to make customers happier by respecting their privacy more.

Advertisements

Social Media on September 11

It is hard to believe how much has changed in the media from September 11, 2011 until now. It is hard to imagine a world without people’s faces being glued to Twitter, Instagram, Facebook. Tumblr, Pinterest…the list goes on and on. But, how might social media have changed the “coverage, engagement and reaction to September 11?”

I think if the present social media we use today was around on September 11, 2011, a lot would be different. For one thing, people would hear about news much quicker. But, with that also comes many more rumors and false stories circulating on the internet. There would probably be extremely controversial posts on personal Twitter and Facebook pages and I cannot even imagine the Instagram pictures that people might find worth “filtering.”

Honestly? I am glad that the social media on 9/11/2001 was not how it is today. On that horrifying day people were not glued to their phones or staring at tiny screens. Instead they were surrounding themselves with those that they love. People were living in the moment. As awful of a moment as it may have been…there were no intense facebook conversations, no aggressive statements that could be created behind a screen, no want for validation from a post. What happened instead was people watching the news, listening for phone calls, emails, text messages. Traditional outlets allowed people to focus on what was important at the time. Sure, social media would be a good way to keep people updated and connected…but I also cannot imagine the negative gateways it would open as well.

One of my favorite movies, Love Actually, has a brilliant quote at the beginning: “Whenever I get gloomy with the state of the world, I think about the arrivals gate at Heathrow Airport. General opinion’s starting to make out that we live in a world of hatred and greed, but I don’t see that. It seems to me that love is everywhere. Often, it’s not particularly dignified or newsworthy, but it’s always there – fathers and sons, mothers and daughters, husbands and wives, boyfriends, girlfriends, old friends. When the planes hit the Twin Towers, as far as I know, none of the phone calls from the people on board were messages of hate or revenge – they were all messages of love. If you look for it, I’ve got a sneaky feeling you’ll find that love actually is all around.”

That second to last sentence always hits me hard. For this post in particular it made me think. People weren’t turning to Twitter or Facebook to connect…but rather individuals that they could be with face to face whether that be a family member or a stranger.

Social media in 2001 would have really challenged the idea of face to face human connection at a time when the United States needed it most.

Is Google Plus a Minus?

I am almost positive I wanted no part of Google Plus when it was first introduced nor did I have any major desire to join it presently. But, after learning about it in class, reading the NYT article, and finally joining the program for myself, I can see why it is of value to Google and other companies.

Although the popularity of Google Plus can’t be compared to the likes of Facebook or Twitter, it certainly excels in terms of identifying the interests of its followers. While I personally find this to be invasive and used simply for  advertising and marketing efforts, I realize that it is also genius for Google. Being able to know more personal information (such as something so specific like what friends are most important to you) is key when targeting you audience; and Google can easily do that through SEO and every interaction that occurs on Google Plus. This information is not only good for Google, but allows other companies to be interested in Google Plus because of how valuable that information is in regards to companies’ consumers. Followers of Google Plus have personal experiences, and in turn, Google can easily get information and attract a number of corporations to the site. Pure genius.

Like I said before, I never really had an interest in joining Google Plus because it personally never appealed to me. I am already so hooked into (aka I waste so much time) on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest that I did not want to add another social media platform to my schedule. Although I am all about being personable in real life…Google Plus’ usage of being personable is too personal, and not for the right reasons. The way I see it: it’s just one marketing/advertising ploy after another. Your internet browser shouldn’t know anything about you…that’s what humans are for.

Google Plus is as personal as a friend…but for all of the wrong reasons.

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/02/15/technology/the-plus-in-google-plus-its-mostly-for-google.html?_r=1

Chai for Charity

If there are two things in this world that can grab the attention of thousands, it’s Oprah Winfrey and Starbucks. Probably Oprah holding a Starbucks. Or maybe a Starbucks store with Oprah inside.

Or even better…an Oprah Winfrey Teavana Chai Tea that benefits “The Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls,” in South Africa. “The Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls,” was opened in 2007 and over $40 million dollars went toward the school with donations through “The Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy Foundation.” (http://news.starbucks.com/news/teavana-oprah-chai-tea-debuts-at-starbucks-and-teavana-stores-in-the-u.s.-a)

I’ve always appreciated Starbucks’ ability to playfully speak with its customers over social media. But, I was a bit disappointed in their low-key unveiling of the product via social media. Starbucks itself only has a few tweets about the partnership with Oprah and Teavana. More importantly, they often failed to talk about the important part of the drink-the charity attachment -until months after the initial release of the partnership. Teavana seemed to be good at promoting the drink leading up to its release, but slowly tweets become less and less as time goes by.

Oprah on the other hand seems to be doing much better with mentioning the tea in her tweets. Oprah has created original tweets, photos, and has retweeted customers who have talked about the tea. Leave it to Oprah to keep her Twitter game in action. Or perhaps she just has more of an emotional attachment with the charity than the companies do.
I guess what I am trying to say is that two powerful influences (Starbucks and Teavana) could have so much more power through a simple promotion post. I do recognize that I am looking back on these posts and tweets and that can certainly change my perspective. For one thing, I could have missed some tweets or posts. For another, at the time it may have seemed like Starbucks, Oprah, and Teavana were doing major promotion for the tea. It has also occurred to me that perhaps a person has more power over social media than any company could.

The first time I heard about the Oprah Teavana Chai Tea was when I walked into a Starbucks and saw a handful of advertisements in the store. Initially I thought plastering Oprah’s name to a Teavana tea and selling it at Starbucks’ across the country was just a big money making ploy—and perhaps it is—but at least it is for a good cause.

People are going to purchase the product regardless of what they see on the media because the advertisements in the store are so prominent. For that, I am grateful that a number of proceeds will go forth to a good cause. But, I wish more was said about the cause itself and I think social media could have really helped consumers see that.

Get Iced.

What do Miley Cyrus and the ALS ice bucket challenge have in common? Well, they sure as heck know how to get people talking. 

Whether you love the idea of the ice bucket challenge or hate it, one thing is for sure: you know about it. The idea behind the Ice bucket challenge is pure genius: use social media to raise awareness about amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. And people took to it like a fish takes to water (almost quite literally). For a while I could not log onto my Facebook newsfeed without seeing multiple videos of my friends having ice water dumped on their heads. For somebody who did not know much about ALS, my curiosity was immediately sparked and I visited the ALS website to find out more information. I am sure thousands of others did the same exact thing. Bingo.

There are currently many opinions about the ALS ice bucket challenge. I have had multiple conversations with people who either love or hate the idea. “People do the ice bucket challenge for attention.” Sure, I guess pouring ice on your head and posting it to social media will get you “attention,” but more importantly, it gets ALS attention. “It’s such a conformity thing…” Yes, exactly. That is the point my dear friend. To raise awareness about a condition that unfortunately affects many. “People don’t even know why they are dumping water on their heads.” It is true. I have certainly seen Facebook friends post the wrong abbreviation or even forget to mention ALS at all…BUT GUESS WHAT? I knew exactly what they were talking about because of how often I have seen it surface on social media….which is the point of the challenge; to raise awareness. “Get out of donating by pouring ice on your head? Seems a little…off.” Hey, guess what? Maybe you could do both. Pour ice on your head AND donate. And for those that don’t donate…they will nominate at least three other people who hopefully will! “It is such a waste of water.” So is running water while you brush your teeth. So is showering 20 times a day. But, guess what? Neither of those help raise awareness about a good cause and you do it anyway. “It is going to run its course eventually…” Yes, it will. And ALS research will have millions of more dollars than it did.

I guess what I am trying to say is that the negativity surrounding the ALS ice bucket challenge has always confused me. How could you have negative comments about a movement that has raised millions of dollars for ALS? I think often times people see the negative in using social media; how it is taking over our lives, how it keeps you from living your own life, how it is a big waste of time…but look at all positives a couple of clicks can do.

In the words of young Miley Cyrus, I am hoping “we can’t stop, and we won’t stop” the social media awareness movements.

Watch my ADPR4300 class get their ice on in the link below: