Tag Archives: social media and business

Social Media Trends 2015

social-media-data

Your phone vibrates. Ten years ago you’d be greeted by a near hieroglyphic text message ( “wubu2?” “nm u?” [1]) Today, you’re almost guaranteed to be looking at a tweet, snapchat or Facebook message. With over 1.7 billion users internationally interconnected across the globe on various platforms, today social media has the potential to permeate every single aspect of our daily lives. We are connected through it and to it. We are the ultimate captive audience and 2015 is the time to tap into the market.

Social Commerce (S-commerce)

In 2015, Facebook, Twitter and Reddit will be rolling out innovative new purchasing functions, integrating e-commerce within your daily social media browsing. With new ‘Buy’ buttons, companies will be able to connect posts, tweets and pictures with purchases, eliminating any need to guide potential customers along the fickle and perilous road towards their website and conversion. People will, with a few swift taps, be able to purchase anything from shoes to pizza to extremely obscure wall-art, all while chatting with friends and reading the latest inspirational story from Humans of New York. You can imagine the potential! Following trends and interactions, buzz words and opinions, in 2015, companies will be able to tailor their deals and products to match the ebb and flow of people’s wants and needs.

Real Time Social Media Marketing

For the longest time companies have felt monolithic; huge, imposing and silent. 2014 changed everything. It was the year of the viral. Be it through a photo, video or hashtag, last year social media undeniably transformed the dynamic between customer and company. Consumers now interact with brands publicly and 2015 will see an exponential expansion of this. Whether it’s damage control, engaging in a trending joke or offering thought leadership, there is now an increasing movement towards humanising company social media interactions. Ultimately, finding, monitoring and, most importantly, participating in trending activity on social media will become not only the new norm but also a necessity. Consumers demand it. In the coming year, the importance of likeability will be a huge driving force towards lead generation and the creation of brand loyalty. Having the most ‘Likes’ will suddenly mean a whole lot more.

Social Videos

There is no better or more powerful way to create an online presence than with your face and voice. An increasing number of social media platforms are either based on or introducing video functions. You’ll soon be able to post a video almost anywhere within the social media sphere and there is a reason for this. People don’t just love videos, they relate to them. Platforms, such as Vine, Snapchat and Instagram all offer users the chance to share their faces, their voices and their stories with the world. With 233,000 snaps, 540 vines and 5 million videos viewed on Youtube per minute, in 2015, the push towards companies doing the same will only increase; in fact, just this past January, Twitter rolled out their mobile video upload function. Want brand awareness? Create a powerful, funny or touching 15-second story campaign and watch it take the Internet by storm.

[1] wubu2: What you been up to?

Nm u?: Not much, you?

Image source: www.infinitdatum.com

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The FireFox and the PR Hound

– By Alyssa Sy de Jesus

As a wise man (Sean Tyson, Director of Strategy at Invoke Media) once told my BUS450 class at SFU: “Social media is like teenage sex. Everybody wants to do it, but not everybody knows how.”

Running on the theme of effective social media use and age, my colleague Nicole Freeston wrote about why it IS okay to trust a 23 year old with your business’ Social Media. But for this week, I’d like to build on that by discussing why it might be a good idea to trust public relations in particular with your social media.

Most businesses and organizations look to social media to grow their reach and reputation by means of positive interaction with the right audience. In this sense, using social media successfully for business is about public relations.

Now I know that “Firefox” is a browser and that some would not consider it a “social media”. However what I’m really getting at here is a beautiful friendship between two seemingly opposite but in actuality, complimentary forces between the free-flow interactive technology of the Internet and the specificity of communication in public relations. Also, I’m Disney fan.

The way I see it, social media is the fast and free fox that moves about in the vast and rampant terrain of technological information and interaction. And as for the PR Hound? Under the Magnolia Tree, we define the PR Hound as somebody who loves to go for the focused and targeted chase of communicating good stories and making great connections. The fox may run wildly and the hound may hunt sharply, but instead of chasing after each other’s tails, I believe that the targeted PR Hound can use its senses to help to strengthen and focus the agile fox in the wild terrain. The fox on the other hand, can lead the PR Hound into new territory.

Here are two reasons as to why I think that the FireFox and the PR Hound can be good friends and why using social media for business is something that comes naturally to PR:

1. Understanding the “Media” in “Social Media”

While I am admittedly a social media enthusiast, I do not see it as the Holy Grail with the Midas PR/marketing touch. So first thing’s first: social media is a media outlet. This means that it’s all about figuring out how to best use it according to one’s specific needs and goals. Using social media effectively is a lot about customization and who better to intuitively figure that out through skill, expertise, and experience like a PR Hound? PR is about identifying a business’ or organization’s story and finding the best way and avenue to tell it from. Along with picking the right outlet, a PR Hound can figure out how a great story can be told through both a 14 page print feature or in 140 characters or less.

2.   Understanding the “Social” in “Social Media”

Social media echoes of and adds to the immediacy and fluidity of conversations between people. But besides being able to feel people out and discover the stories that resonate with them, PR Hounds are also great at immediately responding to and making the best out of a situation. In short, PR Hounds can keep up with the pace of social media interaction because of their improvisation skills. Magnolia team member, Hanah Van Borek, wrote about the importance of improvisation in PR and the same tips on “agreeing, contributing, and making statements” go for social media. However, improvisation in social media and PR is not just about building on connections but creating something positive out of the negative as well. As Kristina Lee’s  post on how people have forgotten the letter and taken to Twitter points out, social media is now an active place for customer feedback. A PR Hound would immediately know what it takes to handle negative customer feedback on social media, where interaction happens at the speed of light, and improvise based on their people and business know-how.

From a PR perspective, social media is all about figuring out how to effectively use the technology according to the ways in which people interact and connect on it. Social media provides a range of information and potential for PR outreach and storytelling. PR can help to strategize a productive and efficient direction for your social media trail to take. Together, the FireFox and the PR Hound can really go places.

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Trust Us! – A Response to “11 Reasons a 23-Year-Old Shouldn’t Run Your Social Media”

– By Nicole Freeston

Hollis Thomases, President & CEO of Web Ad.vantage, wrote an article that was posted on Inc. on August 10, 2012, listing 11 reasons why you shouldn’t hire a recent graduate to manage your company’s social media accounts. Thomases uses the example of 23 year olds, which may be the average age of new grads; however as someone on the verge of turning 23, and the one who oversees all of Magnolia’s social media, I, of course, had to respond to this.

Excerpt from Hollis Thomases article on Inc.com

I can’t say this for all of us who are 23, or almost 23, but I love the fact that I was born in 1989. Unlike children born in the mid-late 90s, we didn’t necessarily ‘grow up digital’. Of course this is a big generalization to assume anyone born after 1989 is obsessed with technology and social media; I mean to say that we did things the old way for a while. I spent half of my childhood without a computer, didn’t have my first cell phone until Grade 11, and didn’t join Facebook until I was almost done high school. It is definitely a little disheartening to find that we’ve been thrown in with all of those who were born digital.

Since I have lived a portion of my life without social media and explored its uses and misuses while in University, I’m able to be critical of it. I may be generalizing again, but I’m assuming that anyone like me, who has studied Media or Communications, has been exposed to similar things. When a recent graduate applies for a job to manage social media, they are most likely someone with that particular background. We also learn to use social media to market ourselves and are careful what we post, so wouldn’t we do the same thing for the company that hires us?

Of course there are youth that fit the stereotype that Thomases proposes. I understand that “being good on Facebook,” doesn’t mean anything when it comes to the online identity of a big company. I’ve shaken my head numerous times when I see people treat Facebook or Twitter like a diary. However I assume and hope that these people are never going to apply for a job managing social media.

Like most job openings, there is some sort of an interview and training process. If employers are fearful of these negative qualities associated with youth and social media, find out during the interview if there is anything to be afraid of. If your company has a particular way of using social media with regards to language, etiquette, or general policies specific to your brand, there’s nothing wrong with hiring a new grad and letting them know about these rules, just like you would do with any position, with any person, of any age. A new hire needs to learn the company’s procedures, culture, and products, regardless of what position they are in. It’s not necessarily viable to use age as a reason to expect less from a recent grad. In fact, a 23 year old may do a better job managing social media than someone older. Having grown up using social media, as well as being old enough to see its misuses in those younger than us is an advantage. We know the uses, the trends, and the important roles social media should play in the industry.

I don’t fully disagree with Thomases. There are youth that fit the mould she describes, but these individuals are not representative of all new grads. Most of us know how difficult it is to land any kind of gig in this industry and are eager to learn and work hard. So, trust us!

Read Hollis Thomases full article HERE.

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