Tag Archives: Social Media

What is Google+ and What are the Benefits?

26 Jul

Google+ seems to be the next big social media frenzy when compared to Facebook and Twitter. Although Facebook does not restrict the amount of characters used in whatever you’re trying to say, some still seem to find the platform a little “less sincere” than that of Twitter. With Twitter, it takes a little time to come up with exactly what you want to say in 140 characters. For some, it’s easy to summarize, but for others, there’s just TMI to include!

Google+ allows people to connect in a more intimate environment, giving the user a chance to group their friends or family members into different categories. Google+ also includes a “Hangout” application, where the unplanned meet-up comes to the web for the first time. Google+ claims that until teleportation arrives, it’s the next best thing (although, personally, I don’t see much difference when compared to FourSquare).

One of the most fascinating things about Google+ is the user’s ability to share videos and pictures in an instant with whoever you’d like to share them with. On Twitter and Facebook, everyone can see what you upload, unless you send a private message. Google+ allows users to be more discrete with who they would like to share content with, which is definitely a benefit when taking privacy into consideration.

Another feature of Google+ that I find to be interesting is that they have embedded what looks like a Google search bar called “Sparks” where you can type whatever interest or topic you’d like to read about, and Google+ will provide you with everything you’re looking for. You know how you get bored on Twitter and Facebook if no one is uploading anything? Google+ will not disappoint.

Lastly, Google+ includes a BBM-like message thread called “Huddle” where you can include whoever you’d like to talk to. Planning an event or get together could not be made easier!

According to an article on cnet news, “at the same time that Google+ has captured 20 million members in just a few weeks, many have complained about the site’s requirement that they must use their real names in their profiles, rather than nicknames or pseudonyms. Many have also seen their accounts automatically suspended over such policy violations.” Google+ is currently working on the problem and has recently apologized for anyone who has had their account suspended.

I don’t know about you, but I’m pretty excited to get tons of people on the Google+ bandwagon!

Linnea

Social Storytelling

3 Mar

Lisa Geddes, former VP of Marketing for the Rick Hansen Foundation, spoke and inspired my communications class about corporate and effective storytelling. She pointed out that storytelling has been the main communication channel since the beginning of time, referring to tribes, William Shakespeare, movies and music. Storytelling is truly the basis of everything we do. She feels that storytelling is “how we’re built to communicate,” which is why it is so effective in the corporate world. However, companies are having trouble communicating stories about their history to consumers, and are still focusing on quantitative values rather than personal values.

Lisa emphasized the fact that stories should always have a protagonist to introduce the story, a crisis or event in the middle of the story, and a moral to conclude the meaning of the story. Generic, inhumane company background stories do not capture the attention or interest of consumers. According to Lisa, good stories must be in alignment with your company, and must be authentic. They should avoid emotional dissonance by starting fresh from where the company last left off. Stories should always explain “why” and have a good reason for telling the story in the first place. The audience is only going to be engaged if they can relate to the story, so companies should know their audience’s interests and lifestyles in and out. Good stories should be emotive, informative and entertaining, and must contain a central message, while providing context.

Companies are still failing to produce authentic, engaging stories about their background and values because they feel that consumers are already doing so by using social media. Little do they know, if they have a presence online and engage consumers with their own story, consumer input may change for the better, and more positive stories could be generated by consumers on a daily basis.

Lisa then went on to explain that in order to “change your culture, change your story.” She also mentioned the theory of opening a story or message with the line “let me tell you a story.” According to Lisa, it is proven that when this phrase is mentioned before telling the story, a part of the brain opens up and prepares itself to listen carefully. Lisa’s presentation was very inspirational and highlighted the power of storytelling, especially in the corporate world.

Social Media & Culture

24 Feb

Because I chose to focus on social media and its effects on communication for one of my class presentations, I was intrigued to find an interesting opinion article on Mashable by Josh Rose, which highlights how social media is positively impacting our culture.

Josh questions if social media channels make you feel closer or further away from people, and explores the effect of the internet on our humanity. He points out that the majority of people feel closer to people they are further away from, but further away from the people they are closest to. Josh explains that this confusing paradox where two conflicting realities exist side-by-side draw us nearer and distance us at the same time.

In the New Yorker, Adam Gopnik explores cultural truism in his article “How the Internet Gets Inside Us.” He categorizes three viewpoints: the Never-Betters, the Better-Nevers and the Ever-Wasers. Each group contains people that see the social media evolution as good, bad or normal.

According to Josh, “people are not giving up long-form reading, considered thinking or social interactions. They are just filling all the space between.” Josh goes on to explain that the interaction happening through the internet and social media is not like an interaction we have ever seen before. I found this very interesting as Dave Olson would beg to differ. Dave believes that social media purposes are almost identical to what we have been using all along (telegrams, scrapbooking, photo albums).

Josh compares this intriguing interaction to “an intertwining sine wave that touches in and out continuously.” He argues that the internet does not steal our humanity, it reflects it; it doesn’t get inside us, it shows what’s inside us. Ultimately, social media is a tool that is hard to define, and is destroyed only at great risk. Josh’s final point emphasizes the fact that people should stop discussing how technology is changing us and forcing us to refrain from social interaction; rather, we should take a look at the unbelievable things we are accomplishing by using it.

Here is the full article on Mashable that I encourage you to read!

True Originals Campaign Gone Wrong

5 Feb

We’ve heard it all before. Social media is NOT meant to be used unaccompanied. It is meant to be used as a supporting tool to improve existing business strategies. Bacardi clearly did not get this memo. Last August, they launched a webisode series that was shown solely on Facebook. The campaign, called True Originals, featured multiple videos in which a mysterious character searches for the world’s most creative, original bartender.

In each webisode, the character orders a different beverage, or asks the bartender to surprise him. His expectations seem high, but all bartenders manage to put their own unique twist into each beverage, impressing him enough to reward them with a special chip that seems to be of implicit importance. At the end of each webisode, the video closes displaying the website for the campaign: http://www.trueoriginals.com. From this site, it directed the user to the True Originals Bacardi Facebook page. This page only displayed a disappointing 1000 fans, which could have been more effective if they were directed to the main Bacardi page, not a temporary page. Now, when you search the True Originals website on the web, it directs you to your Facebook home page, which is confusing to the user and looks bad on Barcardi’s part. The least they could do is direct it to their main Facebook page, right?

The idea behind these videos is fantastic, as it inspires consumers to buy Barcardi rum and put their own twist on classic cocktails, but the fact that Bacardi chose to use Facebook as the only channel to showcase these short films was a bad idea. Although bartenders on Facebook enthusiastically reposted the videos on their pages, the results did not generate many fans of the True Originals Bacardi Facebook page, or their main page for that matter. Lessons to be learned: Use social media to drive your original strategy and generate excitement about the product. Make sure the campaign is
consistent, easy for users to navigate, and most importantly, make sure you connect your campaign across all high traffic social media
platforms. Here are some of the webisodes from the campaign. Enjoy!

Social Media Marketing Unplugged

30 Jan

Yesterday, I attended Social Media Marketing Unplugged, a truly inspirational seminar about social media and the tactics used to go about handling this phenomenon. The speakers that stood out the most for me were the ones who told their story, shared their knowledge (and humour) and related it to all businesses in general.

An ongoing theme that resided with me throughout the seminar is that consumers want to feel something whenever they interact on the web. They may not even know they are looking to feel anything. The truth is, social media users get a sense of pride when they have a new follower, or a mention on Twitter. They are comforted with honest reviews from users just like them on sites such as Yelp, and feel intelligent by purchasing products and services at discounted prices from online coupon sites such as Ethical Deal. Users may not understand how much emotion is involved in their decision-making process online, but if your company creates an emotional hook that somehow reels them in, your business will definitely be talked about.

New connections are made everyday, and these connections are facilitated so easily with all of the tools provided on the internet. In my eyes, the most useful tool to organize all of these valuable connections is Hootsuite, which was praised about by the beloved speaker, Dave Olson. (Gotta love the owl!)

If I were to remember one thing of value from the seminar, it is that social media alone will not provide your business with success. It is to be used as a supporting role to your ultimate business strategy. As Marty Yaskowich mentioned, “You do not need a social media strategy. Use traditional media first to start and/or supercharge your business, then turn to social media.”

Overall, wonderful experience and well worth my time! Big thanks to all of the seminar’s wonderful speakers!

Intro to my life

13 Jan

My name is Linnea Anderson, and I am currently studying at Kwantlen Polytechnic University in my third year of the Bachelor of Business Administration in Marketing Management program. In order to gain more experience in the marketing field, I am participating in a co-op work term this summer. I hope to start my career at a well-known company in order to gain the knowledge and experience to start my own business. My interests include interior decorating, marketing, baking, yoga and running. I am very excited to complete my degree and learn more about online marketing and social media.