Future Implications

The two most recent and prevalent factors that have displayed a significant impact on the social media strategies of companies world wide are social networking and mobile devices.  With Gen-Y, and the generations to follow, consisting of active consumers who want and expect to be able to participate in their favorite brands in one way or another, marketers today must go beyond just putting social media on a web page and going through the motions of being engaged.  Companies must actively engage with these consumers and build a community if they want to reap the benefits of their social media marketing investment.

Gen-Y, and their succeeding generations, are a community of consumers who are very selective about who they listen to.  This group of individuals get their information from one another, not from a company or from the media.  One of the primary places where this group is retaining this information is from their friends and family through social networking.  Gen-Y doesn’t care what a company has to say unless it’s been endorsed by those friends and family.  They care about what their community says, and take the recommendations of those in their network very seriously.  Gen-Y is known as an “experience” culture, meaning they want to experience the world for themselves and pass their own judgement, so in order to be respected and taken seriously by this particular group, a company must come to THEM, and social networking sites have become an extremely beneficial meeting ground between companies and these individuals.  Social networks, like Facebook and Twitter, are spaces where these consumers already spend a lot of their time connecting with friends and family, therefore, these social sites have become a dominant place where brands and consumers are connecting.

The rapid increase in the adoption of smartphone devices has also forced today’s marketers to shift from their traditional social media marketing strategies, with mobile becoming a more prominent channel for commercial transactions.  This means mobile-strategy has become a new priority for marketers, and it has become necessary that companies integrate content into their social media marketing strategy that is easy to consumer and interact with on the go.

Technological advancements have given rise to the development of social networks (via the Internet) and mobile devices, however, HOW and WHY consumers are using these social networks and mobile devices are categorized as behavioral changes.  Social networks and mobile devices are both technological and human behavior changes that implicate the need for change in the social media marketing strategies of companies world wide.

 

 

References:

http://www.startupnation.com/business-articles/9011/1/marketing-GenY.htm

http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/9-consumer-social-media-trends-that-could-impact-marketers/

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VIRAL MARKETING INITIATIVES

MKT 655 blog image VIRALDictionary.com defines viral marketing as a marketing strategy that focuses on spreading information and opinions about a product or service from person to person, especially by using unconventional means, such as the internet or email.  Let’s be honest, viral marketing via social media has become a viral method of marketing in itself.  Companies worldwide have come to realize the positive impact that social media marketing has on a brand’s presence among consumers.  If you aren’t integrating social media into your overall marketing campaign, then you might as well pack it up and head on home, because social media marketing has become one of the most dominating methods of promotion, advertisement, and consumer engagement for every company fighting to remain competitive in today’s market share.  In my opinion, there are five characteristics that a campaign should encompass in order to up the ante on it’s chances of becoming viral.  Make no mistake, the options of beneficial characteristics are multifold, the following are just a few of the most influential from my point-of-view.

CONTENT.  First things first,  a campaign should include unique, compelling, and authentic content that connects with an MKT 655 blog image BORINGaudience.  Let’s flash back to marketing 101, where the basics of marketing teach us that campaign content must be relevant and tailored to the defined target audience.  If the content in general does not stimulate the interest of the audience, odds are the campaign doesn’t even stand a chance of going viral.  In laymen terms, campaign content must be anything but boring.

EVOKE EMOTION.  Studies have proven that “virality” is largely driven by physiological arousal.  People are only going to share or recommend something that they care about.  So how does one get people to care MKT 655 blog image ROFLabout what their content has to say?  By supplying content to the masses that evokes a reaction from the reader, whether it be an “LOL” or a warm and cuddly feeling, always remember…emotions = viral.   Although emotionally evocative content is notably more viral, content that sparks high-arousal positive emotions (awe) is more likely to become viral, in comparison to content that sparks negative emotions (sadness).

INTERACTIVITY.  Not only should a campaign’s content be easily share-able (can be conveniently shared by users across other social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook), but viral content is content that is interactive.  Whether it’s allowing users to click on a link, or allowing them to comment on MKT 655 blog image INTERACTsocial media posts, interactive content enables users to better connect with a company and/or brand.  If you want to create something viral, create something consumers can easily participate in.

SOCIAL CURRENCY.  The term social currency is derived from Pierre Bourde’s social capitol theory, and is about increasing an individual’s sense MKT 655 blog image SOCIALof community by granting them access to information and knowledge, helping to form their identity, and providing them status and recognition.  Simply put, consumers “share” things that they think will make them “look good”, things that will make them seem as though they are up-to-date on the “latest trends”.  Also, consumers tend to share things with their friends and other online users that make an individual feel good about their self, often motivating the user to spread the message with others.

MKT 655 blog image RETWEETPARTNERSHIPS/INFLUENCES.  If you’ve got connections, leverage them!  Make sure a campaign’s content is accessible from multiple sites, and is easy to read, share, and consume, then reach out to your web influences (ie. your Twitter pal with 6,000 followers) and ask them to share or feature your content on their timeline for a day,  And if you can get noticed by an A-C list celebrity, and can actually influence a “retweet” out of them, then you’ll definitely increase the chances of your campaign going viral!

So, let’s do a quick recap.  Remember kiddos, when it comes to viral social media marketing…content, emotions, interaction, social currency, and partnerships…these are a few of my favorite marketing initiative things!

References:

http://arnoldsoko.com/viral-marketing-initiatives/

http://makesociable.com/2013/06/03/viral-marketing-initiatives-5-ways-to-make-your-content-viral/

http://www.imediaconnection.com/content/33301.asp

Differentiation

The development of the internet has been one of the most innovative and rapidly growing inventions of its time, and one industry whose ways of business has significantly changed because of this invention, is the music industry. As a myriad of social networks continue to surface, labels and bands have begun using these networks to their advantage in order to meet the needs of music lovers around the world who want to share music with others and directly connect with the bands that they love. This increasing use of social media and social networks has diminished the gatekeepers to music, now allowing bands to share their music, update their performance calendar, and directly communicate with their fans on a more personal level. The rise of the internet has created a completely new grassroots music industry where the musicians and their fans are in charge, rather than money hungry corporate label executives.

Independent record labels have shown an extreme acceptance to social media and social networking, and the wide array of benefits that such platforms provide for the label and their artists. Hopeless Records and Epitaph Records are two California based indie labels who have gained an unprecedented amount of success from their incorporation of social media into their everyday marketing strategies, fostering a relationship between bands and their fans that is like nothing ever seen before in the music industry.  Sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube have allowed artists and their fans to communicate on the most personal level ever seen, giving fans a first-hand look behind the scenes and into the personal lives of their favorite bands.

Hopeless Records is an independent record label located in Los Angeles, CA whose artist roster consists of punk rock, pop punk, post-hardcore, and alternative rock bands.  Established in 1993 by Louis Posen, Hopeless Records is one indie label who has revolutionized their presence in the music industry with their impactful use of social media to connect the bands on their roster with their fans all across the world.  This label is a prime example of the successes social media integration can bring to a company when used the right way.  Hopeless Records has incorporated an extremely wide range of social media and social networking mediums into their marketing strategies, including Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, MySpace, Last.fm, purevolume, Instagram, and Vine.  Not only does the label have existing accounts across these platforms in which they have been able to connect on a more personal level with their fans and consumers, but most of their artists have created personal social networking accounts on many of these same cites that allow their fans to get a first-hand glimpse into the everyday lives of their favorite bands from their life on the road, to what they enjoy doing on their time off.  Social media has not only enabled Hopeless Records to gain a competitive advantage against some of the biggest major labels within the industry, but it has also been one of the most influential factors in growth and positive impact of the label’s non-profit sector, Sub-City, the charitable arm of the company that raises money and awareness for important issues like depression, suicide prevention, volunteerism, and cancer.

Epitaph Records is another independent record label located in Hollywood, CA whose roster consists of punk, pop punk, post-hardcore, and emo bands.  Epitaph, established in 1980, was originally formed as the vehicle for the release of Bad Religion’s self-titled EP. Since then, Epitaph Records has evolved into one of the largest independent record labels in existence today.  Being a label that has been around for decades, successfully embracing the changes and advancements in technology that have led to the much welcomed incorporation of social media into their everyday marketing strategies. Much like Hopeless Records, Epitaph records has successfully integrated social media and social networking sites, such as Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Vine, and their self-generated Epitaph blog, connecting their bands with their fans on a more personal and intimate level.  Although these two independent labels engage in many of the same social media platforms, they each utilized certain mediums in order to successful reach their company’s strategic goals and objectives.  Hopeless Records has found much success in their use of Last.fm and purevolume, whereas Epitaph Records has discovered that blogging is a beneficial medium in order to help their label exceed their company objectives.

Both Hopeless Records and Epitaph Records are two independent labels who have become outstanding examples of companies who have not let the invention of the internet and the infamous music piracy impediment that struck fear into the hearts of all label executives from embracing such a technological innovation that has now become one of the most beneficial and impactful developments for the industry to date.

 

References:

Hopeless records. (2013, June 27). Retrieved from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hopeless_Records

Epitaph records. (2013, June 15). Retrieved from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Epitaph_Records

Bonney, M. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://lamusicblog.com/2012/11/news/social-networking-music-industry/

Serafini, G. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.customerinsightgroup.com/marketinglibrary/how-the-internet-changed-the-music-business

SOCIAL MEDIA IN THE NEWS

I ran across this story about a current investigation that is occuring in the city in which I live, and thought that it seemed fit to share this with my fellow classmates. For many years, since the rapid advancements in technology, and corresponding growth in social media and social networking platforms, cyberbullying is not a term that we all have not heard. When I think about how I would have read this story before I took this class, and how I interpreted it now that this semester is coming to an end, I couldn’t help but stir past learning modules in my head, and relating everything that we have learned about social media this semester as I was reading this article. It goes to show just how powerful these tools can be, when used for good AND for bad. And how easily something such as one small tweet can reach thousands of other users in a matter of seconds, and spiral out of control. This made me realize the importance of brand monitoring, and just how powerful of an effect social media really does have on everyone in the world today!

 

http://www.wect.com/story/20120601/students-protest-coaches-suspension-via-twitter

VIRTUAL COMMUNITIES

Virtual communities are defined as social networks of individuals who interact through specific social media, potentially crossing geographical and political boundaries in order to pursue mutual common interests or goals. These virtual communities have emerged with the recent advancements in technology and the internet over the last decade. The communities have become a means of providing a community for those who are dispersed geographically, and resemble real life communities in the sense that they provide support, information, acceptance, and friendship between strangers. There are several different forms of virtual communities available today.

MESSAGE BOARDS: Message boards are online forums where people can discuss thoughts or ideas on various topics.

CHAT ROOMS: Chat rooms allow people to communicate with one another in real time with whoever is online at the same time.

SPECIALIZED INFORMATION COMMUNITIES: These communities centralize a specific group of users who are all interested in the same topic. Users can contribute consumer information relating to their interest or hobby, and additionally participate in further specialized groups and forums. Specialized Information Communities are a place where people with similar interest can discuss and share their experiences and interests.

SOCIAL NETWORKING SERVICES: Social Networking Services are the most prominent type of virtual community. These websites or software platforms focus on creating and maintaining relationships amongst users (ie: Facebook, Twitter, and Myspace).  Their users create a profile account, and add and follow friends, allowing users to connect and look for support using these networks as a gathering place.

VIRTUAL WORLDS: Virtual Worlds are the most interactive of all virtual community forms. In these virtual worlds, people create avatars, and connect with others living in this computer-based world. These communities are similar to computer games, such as The Sims, however there is no specific goal or objective required for the “players” involved.  Several companies have even created business based virtual worlds that have stricter controls, and allow functionality such as muting individual participants, desktop sharing, and/or access lists to provide a highly interactive and controlled virtual world to a specific business or group.

There are several different factors that drive the increase in use of these virtual communities by companies today. Virtual communities provide the ideal medium because information can be easily posted, and response times can be very fast. This is key to a businesses survival in today’s internet-obsessed consumer market. These communities allow companies to communicate and interact with their consumers on a more personal level, as well as respond to negative groundswell in an timely and effecient manner, allowing these companies to build and protenct their brand name. Consumers also generally feel comfortable with making transactions online as long as a seller has a good reputation within a virtual community, which allows businesses to gain the advantage of disintermediation in commercial transactions, cutting company costs and eliminating pricy mark-ups by allowing a more direct point of contact with consumers and manufacturers.

DESIGNER HANDBAG SURVEY FOR CONSUMER BEHAVIORISM CLASS

***NOTE TO MKT 555 CLASSMATES: THIS IS NOT MY WEEKLY BLOG FOR OUR SOCIAL MEDIA CLASS! BUT FEEL FREE TO TAKE THIS SURVEY FOR RESEARCH IN MY CONSUMER BEHAVIORISM CLASS IF YOU LIKE! THIS IS NOT MY WEEKLY BLOG FOR RESPONSES, I JUST NEEDED SOME WAY TO SUPPLY THE LINK TO FRIENDS ON FACEBOOK REQUESTING THAT THEY COMPLETE THIS FOR ME!***

Girlfriends! I need your help! I am currently looking for participants to take a survey about purchasing designer handbags for my Marketing Consumer Behaviorism class group research project. I need at LEAST FOUR participants, but more than that would be greatly appreciated. I have provided the link to the document file below, so if you could download the file, answer the questions, save your version with your answers, and then email them to my school email. The questions are all answered by just selecting the ranking in which you feel about each question, so if you would like to just highlight your answer, change the font color, or make your answer bold font then that would work just fine, as long as I can just tell which number you chose. Once you have completed the survey and emailed it to me, please comment on my Facebook wall that you have done so, that way I can recieve the notification on my phone. It shouldn’t take more than about FIVE minutes to complete the survey, and I need to get them back by tomorrow night (Saturday, November 10, 2012)! Please email your answers to kristi.barnes@snhu.edu

Thank you SO much for your time and participation! I REALLY appreciate it!

Consumer Behaviorism: Designer Handbag Purchasing Survey

SOCIAL MARKETING BRANDS & RISKS

With her designs dating as far ack as 1915, “Chanel” is still the name on the lips of every buyer during the most iconic week known to mankind every year, NY Fashion Week.  Although deceased since Jan. 10 1971, Gabrielle Bonhuer Chanel’s (more commonly known as Coco Chanel) fashion legacy and couture brand lives on today.  With the emergence of marketing opportunities brought forth by recent advancements in technology not only presented this company with an entire new channel of distribution and advertising campaigns to their consumers, but also presented the brand with one of the biggest risks and obstacles faced by all popular couture brands, the growth of the replica and knock off handbag black market.

Chanel designer handbags can be recognized by almost every woman by its trademark “CC” logo, checkered print sewn into the outer leather material, and the newly updated version of the 1980’s original design that includes woven leather through the bag’s shoulder chain.  Although easily recognizable, this design is being copied and more easily sold at a much cheaper price than the authentic handbags because of the emergence of the internet and consumer access to the black market online. In an era where consumers are doing everything they can to save money, and designer knock offs are getting harder and harder to decipher from authentic bags, many consumers are choosing to purchase replica bags online over the original.

The emergence of the internet opened a window of opportunity for high end couture fashion brands to expand their products to a larger consumer base, but with this opportunity came the increase in knock off and replica bags online as well. Consumers no longer have pursue purchasing one of these knock offs while in few locations, such as NY and the Bahamas, now there are thousands and thousands of online sites that customers can purchase these bags from right from the comfort of their home, and for a MUCH lower fraction of the cost as the authentic bags cost. And with the current recession, and authentic looking replicas, more and more consumers choose to purchase the knock offs because they are near impossible to spot unless someone were to open the bag and see that there is not serial number sewn inside. This is costing these couture brands thousands and thousands of dollars each year in sales and revenue.

The penalty for saling fake designer bags is a violation of the federal trademark law which is commonly known as the Lahman Act, and this is the only amo that these companies have against these black market retailers. However, not every country forces this law and its punishment like the next. And with many of these black markets being ran by criminals, some law enforcement in certain countries turn their heads as to not have to become involved with such a high risk, dangerous individuals. Brands such as Chanel are filing charges against these black markets everyday, unfortunately, it is impossible to completely end them selling their replicas because more and more black market sites are emerging everyday.

MOBILE SOCIAL MEDIA APPLICATIONS THAT DRIVE BUSINESS SERVICES & PRODUCTS TO CONSUMERS

ScanSee is a mobile application available in the iTunes App Store that quickly finds store, product, service, daily deals, coupons, discounts, cool places, and much more for users right from their iPhone. Customers can use the many features provided by ScanSee to conveniently shop for any product or service that they may need any time, anywhere. The ScanSee features are as follows:

FIND: Locate any product, service, or information you are seeking, whether nearby or online. Find special sales, coupons, deals, and loyalty discounts instantly. Information can be sorted, filtered, and classified to reflect your interests.

SCAN NOW: Scan barcodes and QR codes to find, shop, compare, read reviews, rate, and leanr more about a product, service, or retailer.

SHOPPING LIST: Application automatically finds, filters, sorts, and displays coupons, rebates, and loyalty discounts for products on your grocery and shopping lists, as well as other items that you purchase on a regular basis.

HOT DEALS: Finds you local, regional, and national deals, and presents them to you by location, product, service, and category. Hot Deals can be filtered and classified to reflect your interests.

WISH LIST: Add any item to Wish List and the application finds savings and discounts on these items for you, then alerts you by email when they are found.

PREFERENCES: Customize the application by submitting information about what you like. Information is used to exclude products and services you have no interest in.

MY COUPONS: Application finds coupons, rebates, and loyalty discounts for you. Provides easy and convenient organization and access to these coupons when you are ready to redeem them.

This mobile social media application has displayed much success amongst the customers who utilize this tool. ScanSee has obtained a 5-star review rating in the iTunes App Store, and users can review other customer reviews regarding this application that have been submitted via the App Store.

Developers of ScanSee use this customer input, along with feedback from companies regarding consumer business that has been generated by this mobile application.

During a time where majority of today’s society are being forced to save on expenses in every way possible due to the recent recession, ScanSee has provided a direct resolution for consumers who are looking to save every extra dollar that they can on even the most basic essential products and services utilized on a day to day basis, and conveniently helps these users store and organize the information retained from this application so that the user always has access to whatever need be in order to generate those savings.

SOCIAL MEDIA TOOLS THAT SIMPLIFY MY LIFE (MULTIMEDIA)

This week I will continue my discussion on the use of social media tools that I use to simplify my life. This week I will elaborate on the multimedia tools that I use everyday.

Music probably one of the biggest passions that I have in my life. Born the daughter of a musician, I was brought up listening to artists such as The Rolling Stones, The Beatles, Rod Stewart, The Hollies, Gregg Allman, Steve Miller, Fleetwood Mac, and the list goes on and on. I love all genres of music, but there’s nothing like the music created by a band, the guitar, bass, drums, everything being made by the artists, and not some computer. There’s nothing more thrilling than hearing a musician rip a guitar during a solo during a song, it gives me goosebumps every time. I have a huge respect for underground music, and love listening to and discovering music that isn’t mainstream, or that many people haven’t heard before. That’s why I think that the multimedia based social media tools are probably my favorite, and most used tools that I use day in and day out.

RHAPSODY:

Rhapsody has, by far, become my favorite social media tool that I use every single day of my life, though I recently (within the past 6 months) discovered just how beneficial this app is for me. Since the emergence of the internet, I fostered my music collection, as many others have, by downloading mp3 files from Napster, BearShare, Limewire, and Frostwire. I think would burn the files to a CD or download them onto my mp3 player so that I could listen to the songs while driving, working out, you name it. As technology advanced, CDs became a thing of the past, and mp3 files were the “new way” of listening to music, and rightfully so. We no longer had to sort through countless CDs while trying to drive in order to find the songs we wanted to listen to. MP3 players allowed us to store thousands of songs on one device, and create endless numbers of playlists for any occasion. With immense growth of smartphones in society today, mp3 players also became a recent distant memory, as smartphones came equipped with mp3 players built into their software. Now users could have their cellphone and mp3 player all in one, no need to keep track of both. Being an android user for a few years, I loved that I could download free music from apps available on the phone, which were stored to my device, and made available to listen to and place within a playlist just as my Sony Walkman mp3 player had allowed, without the hassle of taking the extra step to transfer the files from my computer to the device. But just like we have all experienced with free music download software such as Napster and so on, these apps only exist for a short period of time before they are removed due to “pirating music”. Sure, another app is created to take the place of one deleted, but it became a hassle trying to find one that I liked and actually had legitimate files to download. After becoming an iPhone user, iTunes was the way that I obtained music for my mp3 player, but with my overwhelming passion for all kinds of music, paying $1.99 everytime I wanted to download a song became extremely pricey. Granted there are other apps that I would use for free to listen to music, which I will discuss later in this post, but there are often times that I want to listen to specific songs, and internet radio applications did not provide that feature. I was introduced to Rhapsody by a friend who thought that it was the perfect social media tool to meet my personal specific needs. Although it costs $10 a month for a subscription, I can confidently say that it is well worth the investment. Rhapsody allows me to search artists, album, or tracks of every artists I can think of. I have even found some of the underground artists that I love, that were not available on iTunes. I can then listen to every single track created, listed from most popular to least, listen to an entire album, or listen to the artist radio, which is similar to Pandora and iHeart radio. The features that make Rhapsody my favorite social media tool out of all that I use are the ability to either add songs to playlists, and then stream them later, or I can download the songs to my phone so that I can access them later. This is a great feature to have because, let’s say I am taking a flight somewhere. All airlines make you turn off your phone, or put them on airplane mode. With Rhapsody allowing you to download the song, you can still listen to them just as you would on an mp3 player, from your phone when the data feature is turned off. One of my all time favorite features or Rhapsody is there “related artists” feature. This is GREAT for me because it directly meets my need to discover new music that is out there now. By clicking the related artists tab, I am given a full list of similar artists, and all of their music created. Rhapsody allows me to utilize the same features that iTunes gave me in terms of downloading music, as well as the same features that Pandora gives me by providing the artists station. And in addition, it provides me access to related artists that I may not have discovered and fallen in love with their work otherwise. Needless to say, I get much more than $10 worth of usage out of this application each month.

PANDORA:

Most of us are familiar with Pandora. It is a free internet radio application that was first made available via the web. This is one of my favorite applications because it allows me to pick an artist that I love, and then listen to songs that are of the same genre by other artists. I first began using Pandora on my computer, but definitely began utilizing it more with the development of the Pandora application on my smart phone. I can’t even tell you the last time that I listened to the radio in my car or in my house. Pandora allows me to hear all the songs that I love without flipping through the stations, and only plays a few 30 second advertisements while I’m using it. Pandora also allows me to skip songs that I do not like, click the “thumbs up” feature so that the application is sure to play that song again later, and other songs similar to it, or “thumbs down” to the songs I just do not like to ensure they won’t be played again later. And with the ability to add 100 artists radio stations to my personal list, I have access to all of my favorite tunes with just the tap of the screen. No more flipping through hundreds of radio stations trying to find good music to listen to!

SHAZAM:

Shazam has become one of my favorite multimedia social media tools that I use daily as well. As I stated before, I love discovering new music and different artists that people may not have heard of. Shazam is an app that allows me to identify any song that is playing, no matter where I am. One of my favorite TV shows is One Tree Hill (I mean it was filmed here in Wilmington, NC!). But one of the biggest reasons that I am such a fan of this show is because of their incorporation of some really amazing music. Bands ranging from Fall Out Boy, to Jimmy Eat World, and Jack’s Mannequin had their first big exposure by being featured in this show. They also use a lot of really great underground music as background music to many of their scenes. If I am sitting on my couch watching the show and I hear a song that I really just fall in love with, but have no clue what it is or who it is by, I can pull out my phone and utilize my Shazam app. In a matter of seconds the application shows me what the song is, who the artist is, and provides direct links to the lyrics, YouTube videos, and iTunes for download. I can then turn around and search the artist or song in my Rhapsody app and viola! I now have that song on my phone to listen to at any time. I have even been shopping in the mall and heard a song come over the speakers in a store that caught my attention, and all it took was the tap of a button on my phone and I have instant access to all the information about the song and artists I could ever need.

There are thousands of other social media tools that are available to consumers in order to meet their multimedia needs, and there are others that I use, but these three are my “go-to” social media tools that I utilize at least once every day of my life, because they meet my personal needs and desires when it comes to my love and passion for music.

What social media apps do YOU use to simplify YOUR everyday life?

What Social Media Tools I Utilize To Simplify My Life (Social Networking)

I have taken into consideration the comments and suggestions made by my fellow classmates, and have decided to break down the social media tools that I have chosen to discuss throughout the weeks in order to include more detail of my personal use of these tools.

SOCIAL NETWORKING SOCIAL MEDIA TOOLS

Facebook

Facebook is a social networking site that is used by millions of users around the globe. I utilize this social media tool for personal and business use. In terms of personal use, Facebook allows me to connect with friends and family that I have located all over the nation. I have a specific group of girlfriends that I met years ago, before the development of such social networking sites. In the past, we remained in contact by phone and mailing letters to each other. Over the years, many of us lost contact due to changing phone numbers, or moving to a different address and no longer having the correct address to mail our letters to one another. After the development of Facebook, many of us were able to regain contact by simply searching a long lost friends name, an adding them as a friend on the social networking site. Since then, we have all been able to remain in close contact with one another, as well as share our lives through Facebook’s feature that allows us to upload and tag pictures and videos It’s such a great experience to be able to share your life with your friends who are across the nation with just the click of a mouse. And now with the development of mobile applications, we can instantly reply and share our lives straight from our cell phones at any time, from anywhere. I also use Facebook for business purposes as well. My mother and I own a gift and accessory boutique that we run from inside her home. Instead of paying a monthly rate to maintain a website for consumers to access our products, and place orders, we utilize Facebook’s Page feature to do all of that work with much greater ease! This feature has also allowed us to outreach customers with our advertising campaigns by allowing us to instantly send links and requests to our current users based on their location. Also, we don’t have to wait for our consumers to access our boutique’s webpage to see our new products that we post every few weeks, because with the Facebook Page feature, all of our friends see our new product pictures as soon as we post them to Facebook. Everyone stays connected to their Facebook pages, so this allows us to touch our consumers while they are browising and networking on Facebook. With the mobile applications, I recieve a notification on my iPhone immediately after someone messages our boutique’s page and places an order. This allows us to interact and respond to our customer’s requests in a timely manner, assuring that we are proviing the best business possible to all of our consumers.

Twitter

Twitter is a micro-blogging social networking community that has raipidly grown in popularity over the past three years. I also use Twitter for personal and business usage. Twitter has become increasingly popular, and provides users with the ability to connect with friends and family via social networking, as Facebook does, but with different features, giving the consumer a different experience than Facebook. Many of my friends use Twitter over Facebook, and I have found mysel utilizing Twitter for personal use, and my Facebook more so for business use. Twitter allows users to send and recieve 140 character “tweets” that are similar to the Facebook status feature. One can mention either one friend, or several friends in a tweet that is viewed by others on their timeline. Twitter also allows users to upload photos and videos to be included on their timeline. One cool feature that Twitter has is the retween feature. Often times my friends post witty, humorous comments on their Twitter, and the retweet feature allows me to “retweet” that comment so that it shows up on my timeline as well. I have a personal Twitter account, as well as an account for my mother and I’s boutque. The Twitter mobile app allows users to activate multiple Twitter accounts on their cell phone at one time, enabling them to switch between accounts with just the touch of a button. Being that the boutique’s Twitter account is much newer than my personal account, I do not have as many followers on my boutique page as I do my personal page. I can post a tweet about new products or specials that the boutique has running, and also attatch a photo of that product, then turn around an retween that comment so that it shows up on my personal twitter account, and is viewable to all of my personal followers. This has been a tremendous asset in terms of advertising and promoting for the boutique because it allows my users to simply select the tweet that I retweeted from the boutique’s page, and it takes them directly to that account’s timeline. This has helped us to grow followers much quicker than waiting for people to discover the boutique’s account on their own through searching.

Instagram

Instagram is yet another new social networking application. The unique thing about Instagram, is that is strictly for photo sharing. I use Instagram for just my personal use at the moment, but have plans of developing a boutique Instagram account to share photos of our products and their prices to other Instagram users! Instagram is fun because it allows you to “photoshop” your photos by adding filters, or applying focal points to specific areas of the photo, or adding a cool frame! Users can like and comment on other photos posted by users, or mention other users so that they are notified when a photo that they are mentioned in is posted. I LOVE this app on my mobile phone, and probably use it more than I do the other two social networking tools. The really neat thing about Instagram is that this mobile application also allows you to link your account with other social networking applications that you have on your mobile device. Any picture that I post to Instagram, I can also post straight to Twitter or Facebook! The fun thing about Instagram is that it is a social networking site that allows you to share your life, and your interests through photographs, so that your followers can experience your life as if they were there with you, from anywhere in the world. I think this was a really great invention because it allows users to not only stay connected and share photos with friends, but it is an online network that you can load memorable pictures that you will always have access to no matter what happens to your phone! If I lost my cell phone tomorrow, I can be at ease knowing that the memories I have uploaded and shared on to my Instagram will be there for me to access whenever I like. I will never lose a memory that I have taken a photo of with Instagram!