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The Grand Social Media Experiment. We learn by doing.


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THE LATEST and the GREATEST

Each TED lecture is about 19 minutes.

I heard this presentation on NPR radio. Since I have an interest in 

Linguistics, i checked it out again.  The visual map created by Deb Roy was intriguing, but the very end was exceptional (14:00)-when Roy created a 3-image of the lines of social media created from Obama’s state of the unions message. He links a sample of 50,000 individuals with a ‘content raft’ made up of mass & social media channels he creates a picture of a conversation through social media. 

The first part of the talk explains the model of communication created by Roy.

Enjoy!

ZT for PRACTICAL PR

 http://www.ted.com/talks/deb_roy_the_birth_of_a_word.html?source=facebook#.UZjp-yV-mUl.facebook


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Choosing the Right Social Media Channels

I am going to end my blog posts on a more personal note for a change of pace. As part of a recent fellowship experience, I was asked to create a Facebook page for my church. The problem is, the demographics of our church consist primarily of two groups not inclined to use Facebook: seniors and very young kids.

 The truth is, our church is best served through a simple website at this point in time. But creating this Facebook group was a requirement, so I did as I was asked. But as of today, we have four members in our group. And I am really the only one who posts anything. It’s exciting stuff…except not really.

The process of putting together this page was useful, however, because it made me think about which social media channels, or setting within a social media channel, is best for an organization.

With regards to Facebook, a private group as opposed to a page made more sense considering our size. This way we can communicate among ourselves, share pictures etc. and it is private. We simply do not have enough members to make the time spent updating and trying to engage through a page worth the effort. However, if we were a bigger church, a Facebook page would be more appropriate to engage the public.

I should add that there are a few more members of the church who want to join our group page, but don’t know how to use Facebook. Sometime next month I have committed to hold a little workshop for those who want to set up a personal Facebook page and learn more about how to use the channel.

So, instead of four members, our page may end up with a whopping six!! Hey, it’s a start, right?


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Kmart Gets Smart: Social Media Listening and Monitoring for the Win!

By now we’ve all seen Kmart’s “Ship My Pants,” ad that went viral (17 million views on YouTube) and then aired as an ad on TV.  Well, they’ve created yet another ad that’s become a viral hit:  “Big Gas Savings!”

Kmart really had nothing to lose by running ads like these—the store has been left in the dust by Target, and Walmart, especially, over the years. So ads like “Ship My Pants!” and “Big Gas Savings!” help to change the perception of Kmart as irrelevant; getting people talking about the store again is half the battle, the second half is to promote its goods. These ads accomplished both:

The company was looking to promote its integrated retailing approach, one where customers can seamlessly decide whether to have items shipped for free to their homes or to any store they choose. It’s a fairly dry topic–if very important for the retailer–and Kmart wanted to bring this to life in a memorable way.

How did Kmart do it? According to Bill Kiss, Kmart’s chief digital marketing officer, they employed social monitoring and listening to test the waters first online:  “[we] build some content and put it out there, and let America react…We’re very nimble and when we push something out there we watch very carefully how America reacts to it. We were tallying sentiment, which was overwhelmingly positive…We did that deliberately. We wanted to make sure that this wasn’t off-putting to our customers,” explained Kiss.

Kmart took a chance on a sensational ad, monitored the flow and patterns of data, and then listened to the reactions and feedback to see the ad was doing what they hoped it would do: shake up their brand and deliver the message of free shipping….and now big gas savings! Kmart employed a smart media strategy of monitoring and listening and thus are enjoying their first win in decades.

Having said that, I do think it might be wise to change up their ad campaigns now. The reason why these two ads were a success is because of the element of surprise. Both ads go against the grain of Kmart’s image. But over time, the jokes run thin…and…..ah well, who am I kidding?! Anyone care to guess what body part/bodily function will be punned in Kmart’s next ad?


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A closer look: Macy’s maximizes social media channels to reach customers

I find it’s easier to understand concepts when I have an example in mind. So, I am going to use Macy’s as an example of an organization that utilizes certain media channels to promote their products, and creates relevant and meaningful content to keep their customers tuned in.

The key to Macy’s social media success is that they do not use one blanket engagement method, but tailor their messages to fit each social media channel. One of the most successful tools of engagement for Macy’s is their “Backstage Pass” program. Through the use of QR codes or a photo, a video of a celebrity partner is queued to offer advice to customers.

Macy’s further encourages the use of the “Backstage Pass” initiative by offering a chance to win a $500 shopping spree that day. There’s nothing to lose and $500 to gain, right? Also, I’d imagine the celebrities enjoy getting a more hands-on experience with their base to give their particular brand more authenticity.

Macy’s uses their YouTube channel to expand the “Backstage Pass” feature, loading up all of their videos for consumers who want more extensive information. Macy’s also maximizes its Facebook page by promoting featured items with bright, bold pictures, and posing questions to engage their Facebook friends.

On Twitter the approach is different, as Macy’s routinely Retweets consumers, gives real-time info about events or product launches, and holds contests. Twitter doesn’t display photos as easily as Facebook, so Macy’s tailors its message to the strengths that Twitter does have.

Lastly, Macy’s and Pinterest go hand-in-hand, as Pinterest’s users are primarily female, and fashion is one of the top topics on that particular channel. You better believe Macy’s loves Pinterest and utilizes it to its fullest!

Overall, Macy’s promotes the same products on its social media channels, but tailors its message to exploit the strengths of each channel.


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Selecting the Right Channel

A way, course, or direction of thought or action; is the one of the definitions Webster gives for the word channel. When deciding to select a channel(s) for sending out information you must consider the following.

1) You must first understand what each of the channels do and how they are used buy your audience.

2) Second you must understand what your company’s goals and vision are for sending out certain information (What are you trying to accomplish by sending this information out?

3) Third how is your audience going to receive this information (computer, tablet, phone) must make sure information is presented the way you want it on each device.

4) Create content that is meaningful with that channel. If the channel requires short and sweet info make sure it is, if it requires you to have it lengthy then do so but make the content appropriate for the channel

Deciding what channel to use is difficult but as long as you do some research first it will make it a lot easier to do.

 


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Using Social Media

The use of social media is here to stay. The use is not new but it is now on a new platform. When deciding to use social media. Each company must first decide who are their audience, because not all forms of social media work for all consumers.  Just like in the past  you had to chose from the following media newspaper, radio, direct mail. It all depended on who you wanted to see your information.  It is the same now. We just call it social media still a form of media just digitized. Information goes out faster but it is the same when deciding which one you will use.

1) Who is your audience

2) What message are you trying to present

3) When do you need to have information out

4) How does your audience receive information

When answering some of these questions you might have more then one answers. You can put a square peg in a round hole. What works for one might not work for another. So you must do your homework and find the right fit for your audience