I encourage everyone to pick up the last issue of Fourteenth Street magazine — the cover story is about Facebook ruining lives. Actually, the feature highlights four different social media outlets — Facebook, Twitter, MySpace and LiveJournal. Four different writers put their personal accounts onto the page in a very telling manner — also tells us a lot about our generation and our relationship with social networking.
Check it out, it is a great read! Here is a link to the online version:
Essentially, as soon as you put those two little magical letters (RT) before reposting someone else’s tweet you are participating in viral marketing. While, it might just be something clever or thoughtful rather than actually promoting something, by retweeting what they said you are jut promoting them. That is all fine and dandy, but it is more, say beneficial, when you spread the word about a specific product or service.
I am more than guilty of participating in viral marketing concerning the Food Network. Actually, they should probably pay me. But, they dont and that is why it is so awesome for them because they know loyal viewers like me aren’t going to stop giving them free advertising.
On Twitter I follow the general Food Network account as well as many other celebrity chefs. They often tweet about recipes and about shows to be sure to watch. Like a good little food minion I retweet these so that anyone who is following me can be enlightened by the Food Network. Even better, if something is really good I wil share the link on my Facebook page so that even more people can see it.
I totally think that viral marketing is successful for products with network effects — if a product has a wildfire effect, we can’t just assume that everyone lives in California. (Get it, wildfire, california, yeah?) So, even if a product or a service as a following there is always someone who doesn’t know about it and viral marketing can find that person and get them to get their people to like it, too.
images: Google images
As everyone likes to note, my generation grew up with computers and technology. That little anecdote is getting old pretty fast, but being old doesn’t mean that it isn’t true. In my opinion, we’ve had the opportunity to be fully emerged in this great age of technology — even better we’ve watched, and participated, in the evolution of social media.
Back in the Jurassic ages of social media we didn’t even know that we were obsessed with is actually called “social media.” We started out on social media pages with the mindset that this is our private little space on the Internet that is only for us and those that we invite in. That is, clearly, not the case, but it didn’t stop us from thinking of social media in that manner. So what is new about social media? Essentially, back when we were using Myspace they were advertising to us, but we just didn’t notice. Now, when we have realized that nothing really on the Internet is totally private, we’ve accepted social media as what it actually is: media. They can craft advertising directly to me and even make me forget that is actually an advertisement. Therefore, is social media actually being media new? Absolutely not. What is new is us taking social media for what it actually is.
Something that is truly new and different with social media is its ability to integrate the consumer with the business. The two can connection with each other and interact, which is something revolutionary. Of course, there have been platforms where customers can comment on establishments, such as Yelp. But, Yelp acts as a middle person — you aren’t directly communicating with the business as you could by writing on their Facebook wall or tweeting at them.
It’s all fun and games (and lots of extra profit, right???) but, someone has to know what they are doing for social media to really work as a business tool. It’s not that working the Facebook platform is like writing Java script, but you definitely need to play around with the different tools in order to maximize the effectiveness of Facebook (or any other social media outlet). It’s all about consistency, being interesting and having proper social media etiquette.
Images: Google images
Why the Internet is awesome #789: Promoting yourself is not (always) considered narcissistic.
We might not all be living in public to the extreme that Josh Harris might have thought we would ( who is Josh Harris? WATCH THIS! ) but, it’s pretty damn close with the amount of information about ourselves that we readily post on various networks. The fun thing is is that it is totally normal to us — it’s actually encouraged! It is no secret that we spend all of this time blogging and posting because we are expecting someone, anyone, to take the time to read it and eventually interact with us. But, how will anyone know you exist if you don’t raise your arms and shout? Luckily, since this is the Internet we won’t have to scream to get heard — there are promoting tactics that is online networking equivalent to yelling.
This is something that I am trying out right now with this blog and it seems to be working — each time I have a new post, the link to my post is tweeted from my personal Twitter account. Before I set this up the only way someone would know about my blog is a) they are someone from class b) they Googled me, which probably doesn’t ever happen unless it is me Googling myself (it’s the Internet not narcissism! ) c) if I tell them look at my blog. Taking a-b-c into consideration it would result in no one ever reading my blog.
My posts being tweeted definitely changed my audience from 0-1 to at least…..5, which is great! My Twitter account is already pretty well established with a decent amount of followers. If people are interested in following me and they see that I have posted a new blog entry then they are likely to read it — if they love my 140 quirks why wouldn’t they want to read what I have to say with no character limit? That’s the idea at least. After a couple recent posts, I have had a few followers tweet at my about my blog. This is progress — the ideal is that the would interact on the blog itself, but any kind of dialogue created about my blog is a step forward.
This approach might only be successful if you have an active presence on Twitter but it is pretty easy to see if your attempt at promoting your Web site or blog is working. If people are replying to you on Twitter about your blog that is a great start. Also, you can check out your Google Analytics to see how many people are coming from Twitter to your page. If no Twitter conversations are started and you are finding that no one is really coming to your page from Twitter, well, then #fail. It’s OK, though — that’s not the only thing to do.
A good way to promote yourself is to attach your page to other pages that are doing well. For example, here at Temple there is a page on the journalism department’s Web site for student work. Here, students can request to have their personal blogs attached to the journalism department. That attachment is going to bring in a lot of visits since the journalism department page gets a lot of traffic.
Here is the trick: make sure you aren’t asking a blog that discusses the exact same topics as you to be linked to each other. Someone typically isn’t going to suggest to their audience to read another blog and risk losing readers if the suggested blog is very similar. For example, if you blog about iPhones specifically, find a successful blog about Apple, mobile devices or even just technology and see if they want to link to your blog. Therefore, you can get some of their traffic and they in return their page will be visible on yours. Just like with Twitter, you can see who is coming to your page from the blogs that you are linked to. Also, if no other blogs want to be linked to you it is a good indication that maybe you should step up your blogging game.
Out of curiosity, I checked out Apple. Does a company with such a following even need a strong social media presence? I assumed that most of their social media presence would be created by Apple users rather than an official presence. We all know what they say about people who assume things — but this time it looks like I was right!
Digging around on Apple’s Web site I didn’t find any kind of connection to Facebook or Twitter. No liking things, no sharing products with friends. Apple has such a following and their Web site shows that they don’t depend on social media to get the word out there about Apple products. To see what kind of pages have been created for Apple on Facebook, I did a general search for “Apple” under pages and there are multiple results:
134,189 people like “apple ”
65,027 people like “Apple”
23,154 people like “The Apple Trap”
277,054 people like “Apple Products”
All of these pages have been created by a random Facebook user, no Apple authority, and act as an open forum for people to post why the love or hate Apple.
On Twitter, Apple doesn’t have much of a presense besides people talking about apple. Tweets are abundant with “#apple” or any hashtag discussing Apple products. But, there is no verified Twitter account for Apple in general. I found an article claiming that the Senior Vice President of iPhone software, Scott Forstall, has a Twitter and was verified as being from Apple. The article, which can be accessed here, was the only way I was able to find any official Twitter connection to Apple. When you search for Apple on Twitter the only results you get are the verified accounts for iTunes TV. Funny thing is, Forstall has never tweeted.
Maybe we can attribute that Apple got “cool” around the same time that Facebook started to catch on. Furthermore, Apple was definitely at an established level of “coolness” before Twitter was in the now. Therefore, such a mega company with a cult-like following ( I am not judging, I love me some Apple) I can easily understand why they don’t think an official presence on these social media networks in necessary. Consumers and the media are doing all of the talking for them — for free.
In comparison, I want to look at something that is big in Philly, but next to apple an ant: the Reading Terminal Market. They’ve recently gotten into social media as a form of marketing and advertising.
On the market’s Web site the first announcement is encouraging visitors to follow the market on Twitter and be involved on the Facebook page. The respective “f” and “t” are there — actually that is all that is there. At this point there is no need to write out the full names, all you need is that little logo and everyone knows what to do.
In my opinion, the market is doing a nice job at keeping up with their social media voice. They are keeping the postings unique to either Facebook or Twitter and have a good variety of information. They often use pictures, too. Currently the market at 6,626 fans on Facebook and 2,398 followers on Twitter. I would measure the success of the market’s social media efforts not by likes, but my the dialogue that has been created. But, to mention the likes and followers, to see that many fans, likes and followers in a short amount of time is impressive considering that a large number of the patrons are older and more likely to opt out on the social media craze. Back to the dialogue, there are conversations happening on the Facebook wall, which I think speaks in volumes about the success of the network. People are “liking” what they see and returning and engaging in conversations that revolve around the market.
I will admit, I used to be very against foursquare. I was also very public with my hate of foursquare. Who cares where anyone is? Not me! Well, I guess I care now because I am totally into foursquare. Perhaps I didn’t fully understand what foursquare was during my hating days. Let me break it down just incase we have some haters on the fence.
Foursquare is a relatively simple social networking Web site. You create a username — it seems as if most people choose to use their full names. Once you have set up your account with your username and your location you can start “checking in” to difference places that you go. I’ve found that there is where most of the “who cares!?!?!” stem from. Why check in? A lot of establishments are starting to have specials if you check in. Let’s say you are at a bar and you check in — there could be a discounted price on beer if you show your server that you checked in at that establishment on foursquare. Also, people who check in there can write tips for other users: order this, don’t you dare oder that, this place is the most fun on Thursday nights. As a user, if you are not sure where to go or what to get you can consult foursquare users. It serves as a great business tool as well because you can see in very much real time what people are saying about your establishment.
Besides check-ins and surfing through the tips that other users post you can have friends on foursquare and then you can see where they check in at. And what’s the purpose of that? It is just fun to see what they are doing.
To get started just visit www.foursquare.com and set up your account and then you can download the appropriate mobile app so that you can actually use your foursquare while you are out. I think that you can even set up your account on your cell phone, but I just prefer getting it started on a computer because it is faster to key in the requested information.
Want to be my friend on foursquare? My username is just my name: Samantha Krotzer.
photo credit: Google images
Ever want to put a PDF on Facebook but you didn’t know how do it??? issuu.com is your answer!
It is super easy — all you have to do is make an account (free!) and then you can upload PDFs onto your issuu library. From the library it creates a link and then you can share it on multiple media platforms, not just Facebook.
I uploaded the first issue of Fourteenth Street magazine onto my issuu account so that when the issue is released I will be able to post the entire magazine on the magazine’s Facebook wall.
I will show you just how easy it is to do today during my presentation!
I’m the editor-in-chief of Temple’s student run magazine, Fourteenth Street. I can confidently say that our organization is mostly a decentralized organization.
As I am essentially in charge I do have a co-editor, but we don’t really bark orders so to speak. When we make decisions it is very much a group process and I prefer if we can all work out a solution together rather than just me deciding how we are going to do things whether they like it or not.
Why we are decentralized is mostly because we all have equal power in a sense — we all need each other in order to put out the magazine. The section editors need to produce content and the photographers need content in order to know what to take photos of and then the designers need all of the content in order to create the magazine. And, therefore, the designers need the section editors and the photographers in order to have anything to design. Here is where a sense of centralization comes in. While the section editors have freedom to find their own content for their section, I have the power to step in if their ideas aren’t the strongest and change them. More importantly, my job is to make sure that everyone is moving along and meeting deadlines. To summarized, they figure out what they are doing (with my approval) and then I tell them when to get it done by. If everyone puts in real effort then essentially they have a lot of creative freedom and all I have to do it to tell them when it is due and help them along the way with anything that they need.
Of course, it never runs that smoothly, but that is the outline of how it would work if everyone worked hard at their jobs.
P.S. the magazine’s first issue of 2011 comes out Tuesday (March 29) grab a copy! It will be distributed as an insert to the Temple News.
Maybe not 12, but I can think of four. Four can easily turn into 12 in a few months, right?
When Christine Cavalier talks about the “fellow believers” I definitely think that there is a connection to the ideology in the decentralized organizations. The ideology describes a sense of belonging and a feeling of purpose. This closely links with the idea of having “believers.” Creating an environment where one is surrounded by others that accept you and make you feel as if you are part of their group, or community, is the same thing as saying being surrounded by people who believe in you and your cause. I think Cavalier just describes it a bit more blunt.
In Cavalier’s post, what made the most sense was the last “S,” support. I feel as if meeting people and initially getting them to “believe” in you is the easy part. Where a lot of people slip up is when they don’t support each other and don’t maintain the relationships that they create. The more often that a person creates these networks with people and then doesn’t bother to work on keeping the relationships current and positive quickly gets a bad reputation. Having that said, if people think that you are selfish and only want to benefit from others without helping anyone then initially getting anyone to “believe” in you is going to be a difficult task.
In regards to the post overall, I agree with her definition of “community” in this context. However, I can’t say that I was in love with her delivery of said information. That’s the thing with blogging, the blogger can have really unique things to say, but if they toss in little unnecessary quips it makes the reader, me, want to stop reading even if I will find out something new if I trudge through. Thus, if I didn’t need to read all of this she would have lost me before she even got to the S3 approach. Ignoring my personal qualms, her content hit the nail on the head. If who is part of the community is confused with non-community members the significance and purpose of the community is almost void.
(images: Google images)
Doesn’t it feel great when you “Google” something and exactly what you were looking for was one of the top hits? It feels awesome. Well, the New York Times technology blog, Bits, reported that Google “made a major change to its algorithm in an effort to improve the rankings of high-quality Web sites in its search results — and to reduce the visibility of low-quality sites.”
Real the full post here.
How great is that? Google is listening to Punxsutawney Phil and doing a little bit of Spring organizing. On a side note, check out that the New York Times is still using “Web site” instead of the current AP Style spelling of “website.” Go, New York Times! I don’t think they should have changed it in the first place.