Sunday, March 17, 2013

Social Media Marketing - Effective Use of Facebook

Effective Use of Facebook

I had given a set of criteria in my previous post for good use of social media, and that is what I will be using for effective use of Facebook, though with 3 new pages this time.

Dominos: A. They show off some custom pizzas people have made, as well as artistic shots of other ordered pizzas.  They keep their customers informed of current deals and frequently post new content.

Rock Band: B.  They keep their customers informed of new products, and post new content rather frequently, but they do not feature links of some of their other content on Facebook, such as an app that actually links to your Rock Band 3 and Rock Band Blitz games. As well, most of their content is simply about them, rather than what fans are doing and saying.

Subway: B. While they do not have the additional content that Rock Band did with their app, Subway is good on their Facebook page, though a bit one-sided.  Their content is fairly varied and artistic, but its all them, rather than a showcase of what fans are saying and their own content.

Comparing Facebook and Google+ from a Business/Marketing Perspective

Google+ and Facebook have grown very similar over the years, but there are still some very distinct differences between them.  

Google+ Pros:
  • Easily created user groups
  • Using these user groups, its very simple to target specific users with your posts, and thus only make certain posts to specific users...  For example, one post for your customer base, and another for your business partners.
  • Google+ Hangouts are a very effective video chat tool integrated with the service, though only 10 at a time may be on video.  Many more may be in the chat, though.
Google+ Cons:
  • Smaller user base than Facebook
  • Cannot show posts to friends of friends, only to those in your selected circles or to the public
  • Cannot choose which friends to show online to
Facebook Pros:
  • Large customer base, with many sites already including integration
  • Has a larger install base for games and 3rd party applications, users are much more likely to use these applications on Facebook
  • Can select which users you wish to appear online to
Facebook Cons:
  • Less specific privacy settings than Google+, and the ones they do include are less easily implemented
  • Chat is text-only, rather than a group application.
  • Not as easy to post specific updates to specific users
Overall, what this means is that Facebook is good as a general public front, showing off generic information. Google+ is much, much better at segregating your user base, and sharing specific updates. As well, they have much better tools for group-sharing, Google+ Hangouts allowing for easily integrated desktop sharing, video chat and document collaboration.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Social Media Marketing - Effective Blog Use

Classmate Blogs

  • Ian Burleigh's Blog:

    I've chosen Ian's post on Social Media Planning for Week 4. This is for the fairly simple reason that he goes into a great amount of depth and gives plenty of reference links to back up his information. He states his points simply, getting into enough depth to make it understandable at the same time and provides great images to illustrate his point.
  • Oliver Wlodyka's Blog:

    I've chosen Oliver's post on Effective Social Media for many of the same reasons as above: the points are illustrated well, giving a sentence to summarize the topic while expounding on it in the following paragraph and giving more than enough information to give somebody an excellent idea on what guidelines to follow when you're doing your planning.

Blogs about Social Media Marketing

  • Hubze:

    I've chosen Hubze because it was one of the top-ten social media blogs in a list that was on top of my google search, and many of the articles seemed interesting, going over many things I hadn't really thought about before.

    On Hubze, the first article I've chosen to feature is 4 Ways That Instagram Can Improve Your Business.  This article talks about Instagram exclusively, and while I knew about the service, I had all but dismissed it as a platform for business use, thinking it more like an image upload service.  However, now that I've read this article, I'm a believer.  So long as you have a story to tell in photos, you can make great use of it, especially with location recording of the pictures in the service.

    The second article I've picked out is The Renewed Importance of Facebook Check-Ins. With the additional features built into Facebook's search, getting people to Check In at your business is even more important.  Fortunately, Facebook allows you to do many things to give people incentives for doing so.  The benefit to you is that your business is more likely to show up when people search for where their friends go for certain things, the simplest example being a restaurant.  Facebook offers a framework for offering a variety of types of coupons, or donating to a charity for instance.

Blogs used to Market

Criteria: Spelling/Grammar, Frequency of Posts, Interaction with Customers, Variety of Posts

South Park: C.  While they post often, more often than not, its just a clip of the show with a quote.  They rarely have customer created content featured.  When new episodes are airing, they do link to the site that allows you to stream their episodes for free, but its not very interactive with the customers save for some 'Where is this quote from?' posts.

Sonic the Hedgehog: A.  Maintained by Sega, Sonic's page is a mass of content of all different types.  They not only post updates on the latest Sonic-related products, but also share a mass of fan-made pictures and videos, as well as posting links to their giveaways on Twitter.

Halfbrick: A. They pass all the same criteria in the same fashion that Sega did: By posting relevant news about their products in combination of fan-made productions and various giveaways.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Social Media Marketing - Crowdsourcing and New Plan

Crowdsourced Presentation

Link to follow: Developing a Social Media Plan

I find that this presentation tends to agree with everything previously discussed, and think it is a good resource to follow. Just remember that all social media is, first and foremost, a discussion. One that's already in place. Putting your part in is simply joining the existing conversation. Though there are so many forms of social media, its important to concentrate on a few. But keep your ear open for any conversations happening already, and concentrate on the ones that they appear in most often.

Proposed Plan Changes

For proposed changes, I'd like to follow the suggestions made by You Don't Need a Social Media Strategy, especially when it comes to Proposed Content. I think that we need to show which tools we would plan to use in joining the existing conversation, and then how to unify the efforts of all of the available tools, both social and non-social media. After all, one cannot just post a blog and make posts, and expect people to come. You need to join other social networks, and make sure you keep your conversation with your customers casual.

So the changes must be two-fold: You should come up with a plan for at least two different social media sources and include why you think they'd be effective in use, and then develop a plan for how you'll integrate those social medias into either existing or future normal media sources.


Now, I feel that proposing these changes is a wonderful idea. This keeps the assignment fresh as new concepts rise up as social media develops further and further into peoples' lives. Taking suggestions from the students ensures this and keeps a fresh perspective. Now, its important to filter the new ideas, and consider which ones will be effective: not all students will have brilliant ideas that are effective to grade in an academic setting. They might be good for business use, but not necessarily for an academic setting. But it is important, nonetheless, to consider these ideas to ensure your assignment stays fresh.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Social Media Marketing - Marshall McLuhan

The Tetrad

As stated on Mind Before You Mine and here on the link provided by my instructor, McLuhan's principal of 'The Media is the Message' is plainly seen by a tetrad of effects that happen simultaneously with the introduction and application of the medium. Keep in mind that, according to him, media is an extension of the human mind, much like tools are an extension of the human body. Due to this, we see these four effects:


The technology must enhance some capability of the person.


The result is a retrieval of some earlier service or capability that was lost and is now brought back into play in a new form.


What is pushed aside and made obsolescent.


If the new media is taken to extreme what will result that reverses the original characteristics of the media when it was first introduced.

Now, we can apply this to the internet as a whole, or individual aspects of the internet such as social media, and get completely different results. This is due to, as previously discussed in earlier posts, each form of social media relaying a different message. And positing that a form of media carries a message in and of itself, we see those differences coming to light in the form of this tetrad.

For instance, applying this principal to the Internet as a whole, we'll find that the internet itself Enhances thought due to its quickly accessible nature, and how quickly we can share ideas. However, the Reverse effect of thought would be thoughtless acts. Because of the instantaneous nature of the internet, we can often find ourselves typing a thoughtless and careless comment or article, even more so than if we were to say it out loud. Because of the text-based nature of many websites (though not all), the early web made Obsolete books, magazines and other forms of print media, Retrieving the old idea of the Athens Forum, where ideas would mesh and mingle together freely.  Let's try applying this tetrad to another form of social media that I haven't talked much about yet on this blog: YouTube.  I will be applying this tetrad myself, using only my opinions, but to illustrate the idea of the concept.

YouTube is a place where personal videos can be freely uploaded and streamed by the internet, where others may comment on your videos, subscribe to your feed and so on. As such, I feel that YouTube Enhances Opinion and Creativity.  However, the Reverse of this is intellectual theft and ignorance, due to the open nature of the medium. Ideas can be shared, regardless of if they're correct or even yours in the first place.  Of course, the principal of YouTube Retrieves the principal of the talent show or art forum, where your talents and ideas can be shown to a wide mass of individuals at once, though makes Obsolete the television. When a program can be freely retrieved, and commercials more specifically targeting their audience, you make television redundant. If all shows became available on YouTube (or similar service more oriented to TV shows and movies, such as Netflix or Hulu) the day they aired, then only those who hadn't adopted the newer technology would still watch on their television. As well, anybody can make programming for YouTube, unlike television. Though you could record your own video and put it on tape or DVD, YouTube reaches a much greater audience of 'anybody that can stream video on the internet' rather than just who you give the tape or DVD to.

I feel that McLuhan's principal of the media making the message holds true, even today, and as such we need to take an extremely close look at what message the media we market in sends. Keep this tetrad in mind when you're choosing the forms of media you plan on utilizing. Does it fit your goals?

Monday, February 11, 2013

Social Media Marketing - Effective Guidelines

Listed below from my research of how others use their Social Media outlets are 5 recommended guidelines for the use of your social media.

  1. Know Your Demographic:
    The primary thing to keep in mind regarding which form of Social Media to utilize is knowing your audience. Certain platforms are more effective at certain kinds of communication. Sally Whitwell, musician, comments how her text entries are far less popular than when she posts excerpts from her songs. This could be because of her platform on Tumblr, which is slated more towards music, pictures and video, or this could be due to her demographic. She produces an artform, and as such, sharing that art and using platforms which facilitate that will be far more effective than just sharing her experiences by text.
  2. Effective Use of Your Platform:
    As stated above, a platform like Tumblr is made for more media based sharing than text based sharing. Know the strengths and weaknesses of your platforms. Wordstream notes the strengths of many of these different platforms.  Facebook and Google+, while being similar, have very noted differences with each other. Both allow for the sharing of text, videos, pictures and such and both have a very casual atmosphere. Google+ allows for an easy segmentation of your user base using their Circles, allowing you to target specific people with specific offers. As well, they have Hangouts, which allow for voice, video and text chat in a shared environment, as well as several tools built into it such as the sharing of YouTube videos and Google Drive documents.

    Yelp and Foursquare are more location-based, giving your brick and mortar retail space a place where users can relay their opinions on your goods and services. As well, you can offer special discounts to those who 'check in' to your business, sharing with their friends that they're visiting your establishment.

    Twitter, on the other hand, is extremely communication focused and is best for creating a dialogue between businesses and their users. Comment on what people have to say about your business, thank them for what they have to say and answer their questions! Sally Whitwell, as stated above, notes the importance of using your platform effectively.
  3. Communicate with Your Social Media Manager:
    Eva Lucien of the Women's Flat Track Derby Association notes the importance of making sure management communicates with the social media team about what they would like to focus on when making their content. Lacking coordination means that the media you control might not necessarily be the first to post news on you, and you want to be able to drive that news towards your website. As well, all forms of your social media should be coordinated in their efforts, making sure to effectively use each platform, or even cross-reference them if one provides a better means for your goals, like Sega of America does with their Facebook and Twitter accounts, especially concerning Sonic.  Wordstream also notes the importance of maintaining a consisted brand image across your platforms, and this communication helps facilitate that.
  4. Regularly Post Content:
    Copyblogger and Wordstream both note the importance of quality content. Remember that you are here to communicate with your user base, and that means creating content that they actually want to view and share with others. Make how-to videos, interviews, contests, things to grab your user bases' attention! Content is King.
  5. Communicate with Your Audience:
    Remember that you need to communicate with your userbase. Don't just post, talk. Your customers are going to have questions, comments and concerns about you. Talk to them, but remember to use your time wisely when it comes to this! Forbes notes that you should never attack your users for their negative reviews. Instead, apologize and be political about it. Its far easier to lose customers than it is to gain them, and going on about how they're wrong and you're right won't help your image. After all, this is SOCIAL media, and when you attack your user base, others will see it.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Social Media Marketing: What is it?

Defining Social Media

To begin to define Social Media Marketing, one must first define social media. One could say that any site which allows a social interaction between users, but it is also something more than that. Just putting a 'comments' or a 'forum' for communication doesn't really make your site a Social Media site, but it is the beginnings of one.

A social media site purpose is to interconnect its users with each other, to allow ideas to propagate throughout itself, and the web at large. Sites like Google+ and Facebook have allowed others to simply put a link on their site which allows you to '+1' or 'Like' a page, displaying it on their user profile just by clicking that button. Twitter is designed around keeping your messages short and to the point, thus being quick to read and to write, making it easier to send ideas to each other. Tumblr is more a showcase of talent, meant to show off your art and shout your opinion to the world at large!

Utilizing Social Media in Marketing

Notice how different each of these sites are from each other, and yet we still consider them each social media sites. Utilizing each of these sites' unique ways of handling user interaction is the point of Social Media Marketing. Yes, you could just put yourself on each of these sites, spouting your company's latest news, but each site is more than just a way to reach others.  They have different user bases, which would determine your audience and if you should even bother to put yourself on that site. They have different approaches to how information is shared, which would determine which information you share.

Put your more complicated posts on the sites which expect a large post format, such as Google+, Facebook or your own personal Blog.  Use your short and sweet messages on Twitter, and be sure to respond to users who are talking about you, both positivelly and negatively. Social Media has turned into Customer Support for many companies using it! If you've got a video to share, post it on YouTube, and be sure to link to it on your blog, Facebook, Google+, Twitter and any others which support posting such links.  Embed them if you want, that's what YouTube's for!

Just remember to keep in mind what the purpose of each site is when it comes time for your company to start connecting with its userbase, and don't be afraid to link between them.  Each of them has their strengths and weaknesses, and merging them together by interlinking between them can help raise awareness for your product.

Examples of Companies using Social Media

Halfbrick Studios, makers of Fruit Ninja and Jetpack Joyride, uses Twitter to announce new give-aways  post short links to relevant information and directly respond to some of their users' tweets about them.  On the other hand, they use Google+ and Facebook to post pictures that some of their fan base have made of their games, as well as some they've made themselves to promote said games.  They also make some of these games available on Facebook itself, promoting them for their mobile counterparts. This is most definitely an effective use of these wildly different social media sites.  

On Twitter, each of your posts shows up on your own timeline, regardless of if its a response or if its a new post. As such, when you reply to somebody's Tweet, not only is it shown on their timeline as a response, but also on yours as a tweet, linking back to the original statement.

Sonic Team also uses Twitter and Facebook, tied hand in hand, for their marketing stunts.  They occasionally hold contests, which are announced on Facebook but are entered into via Twitter. Again, Twitter is used for things which need only a line or two of text while Facebook is used for posting fan-made pictures, announcements of their products and similar things.  They even go so far as to separate their Facebook pages for specific franchises, for instance, giving Sonic his own page to post specific information about his franchised games.

Both of these examples are using the sites' inherent abilities to their logical conclusion. You can't really get into detail about an event on Twitter without just giving people a link to a description page, and while Facebook does some of the same things Twitter does, entering into a contest via Twitter shows up on that user's timeline, and links back to the contest entry, giving you more publicity about it to those who follow that particular user.