Month: September 2013

HOOTSUITE

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Hoot what? Hoot SUITE! If you are not familiar with this social media platform, please keep reading! I hope this blog will be beneficial to anyone who is interested in social media for personal or professional purposes… 

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As a Communication major and social media student, I have found the Hoot Suite University Program to be a great tool to use for myself and for business purposes. Hoot Suite, in a nut shell, allows one to schedule timed posts on different social media platforms all from the Hoot Suite program. This is such a genius creation! It is a very useful tool when a brand is trying to get their name out in social media and, instead of having to wait and be available to post on different platforms at different times of the day, you can schedule the posts at the times you wish them to appear to the public! Genius, right?! 

In our social media class at the University of Louisville, we are required to become HootSuite University Certified. Why? You might ask… Becoming a certified individual in this program let’s others know that you have thoroughly examined and learned this program. Having this certification will set you apart from the million other applicants wanting to work in social media. The ability to know this program and go through the videos, lectures, and exams that the program provides defines you as being a dedicated social media professional. I am in the process of earning my HootSuite University Certification right now, however, it has been very useful and helpful. The video I want to share is a webinar that I found on YouTube that has also helped demonstrate some of the confusions HootSuite presents. Just like any other social media platform, you have to play around with the site for awhile to get the hang of things. However, the HootSuite University Program helps to show interested individuals how to exactly use the program accurately and easily. 

YouTube Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4hWyD2jyMQs

 

I encourage anyone who has a passion for social media to take into consideration this program. I know that it has been a huge success in my efforts of learning more about social media in general. I give HootSuite University two thumbs up! Can’t wait to have my certification!!!!

SWOT Analysis

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As a college student, the most beneficial piece of information I have learned so far in the higher education system is how to conduct a SWOT analysis. I feel that no matter what your major is or what job you hold, you should know the basics of how to conduct a SWOT analysis for a business/organization. When entering into the workforce, you will need to know how the business runs and how they can improve. I feel that this piece of knowledge is vital because when every employee understands how the company is running, then that might help improve their performance within. The ability to critically think and think outside of the box are vital when conducting a productive analysis. Research is primarily important before beginning the process. Start by looking at the organization strategically. Once you have the material gathered begin to look into the SWOT- Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats. What are the strengths of the organization? What are the Weaknesses? Threats? Opportunities? 

I like the term “Environmental Scanning”. I first heard my professor, Dr. Freberg, explain this term. Scanning the environment and conducting the actual research in a effective manor are what make for an effective/productive SWOT analysis. Look at every angle possible!!! Do not limit yourself to just scanning the surface of the material provided! In class, we are conducting a SWOT Analysis in regards to a social media campaign we are proposing for our University of Louisville based clients. We have to strategically examine each step. However, not just look at the surface of the organization, but dig deep to find information through interviews, articles, reviews, feedback, primary research and general observations. These analysis should be as detailed as possible in order to be most useful. The more detail, the better. I am in the process of conducting a SWOT Analysis for my client and, I have found it most helpful to talk directly to the people associated with the organization. I think it is beneficial to learn directly from the people involved in a company because they work with the business all day everyday and can give you personal feedback on each category. I then look at research and different sources to help back up with individuals portray. 

 

The SWOT Analysis is the starting point, in my opinion, to begin proposing change to a company. Lay out the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats in a efficient way to receive the best outcome. The picture below breaks down the SWOT into internal and external analysis’. Internal, meaning within the company and external, meaning outside of the company. It is very important to remember that when writing out the analysis. Internal and External are very different in terms of how the business runs and can improve. Furthermore, the key component is to take your time when conducting and keep your “strategic thinking cap” on through the process… Your results are unlimited!!! 

 

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[http://www.managementstudyguide.com/swot-analysis.htm]

 

Robert Young

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Today I had the pleasure of hearing a wonderful and insightful lecture given by Robert Young. Mr. Young is the Vice President of Public Relations at the Kentucky Derby Festival in Louisville, Kentucky. He came as a guest speaker to give his input on social media and the social media practices he engages in for his company to my social media class at the University of Louisville. The information he disclosed to the class really encouraged and motivated most of the students.

The impact of social media is HUGE! Mr. Young conveyed that central idea through all the facts and figures he presented today. I was shocked when he said during the two weeks that the festival runs, a revenue of $127.9 million dollars is earned!!!! I still cannot get passed that number! That is awesome! Mr. Young advocates strong and centralized social media activity. The platforms he engages in for the organization are mainly Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest. The fact that we are in a information overload time period with the media is important because we can communicate more than ever to the public and make that HUGE impact count. The reasons to use social media to aide this constant communication are demographic targeting, enhanced communication, enormous audience, and cheap CPM (cost per thousand). All of these key points were highlighted in Mr. Young’s notes. The ability to use social media for a company is utter genius. You are hitting so many different people on different platforms and can potentially analyze how many people are viewing and giving direct feedback to the message you are sending out. You can shape the brand through the platform you partake in… Powerful! 

One statistic that Mr. Young presented stood out in my head all day long:

“Nearly 70% of U.S. adults are “more likely” to comment via social media than to email or make a phone call” 

That is insane (in a good way). This statistic just reinforces that impact social media has on the world today and always remember to participate in smart social media posting choices. Mr. Young also reiterated to track your online reputation management. Always remember what are people saying about your brand and how are you portraying that brand to the public. Social media has a huge impact and we need to be advised of what we want that impact to be on people. Also, always remember to have a strategy when posting! Try to always have a central idea with one post and make the most of it! 

All together, Mr. Young presented a lot of useful information and tips for professional social media posting and helpful insights on social media etiquette. I am very thankful and grateful to have had the opportunity to hear his thoughts and practices on social media. Thank you Mr. Young and Dr. Freberg for relaying your professional intuitions to us social media students!  

Online Reputation Management

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Have you ever tried googling yourself to see what comes up with your name? If you answered no, then you need to do that as soon as possible. There are many other sites (http://socialmention.com/) that you can type in your name and find different information, photos, and more associated with you online! The web is a powerful tool, to say the least. Once you post something on the world wide web, it will be there forever even if you think it disappears when you delete something you are unhappy with. 

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[ http://www.orange-county-seo.com/online-reputation-management-infographic/ ]

 

I can not begin to stress on the importance of searching your name on different search engine websites to see what is available for anyone to see. What do you think your online reputation would consist of? Do you have pictures of yourself on the web that you would not want people to see? Are you associated with anything on the web that you would not want people to know? These questions need to be a reminder for everyone who might be posting or tagged in material that you would not want to be public. Even if your social media profiles are on a privacy setting, anyone can access any information associated with your name. Privacy settings do not hide everything from individuals who can get past them. Keep in mind, if you would not want people to be able to see the content you are posting, then do NOT post it! 

Your online reputation is vital in today’s growing digital world! Future employers can access any social media platform you are on, and as I previously mentioned, even if your page is on private. Scary? No, just stating the facts and making you as the future professional aware of the matter. Try to remember before posting/commenting if you would want a future boss to read/see what you are saying/doing. Keep up with a positive online reputation and your life will be much easier and successful. It might be difficult to explain to someone a picture that got on the web that is questionable, how would you explain it? Take caution, participate in positive social media behavior!

 

Great articles on Online Reputation management & tools for you to follow by:

https://support.google.com/accounts/answer/1228138?hl=en

http://outspokenmedia.com/guides/orm-guide/

http://socialmediatoday.com/pamdyer/1458746/50-top-tools-social-media-monitoring-analytics-and-management-2013

The Social Media Today article is my favorite one by far! This article lists the top 50 social media monitoring sites that are available to you. Read the objectives associated with each of the sites and figure out which platform would be best for you to monitor yourself on! You might be surprised what you find out about yourself! I hope this blog has been helpful to any college students or young professionals that are try to improve their online reputation management! Good luck! 

Home Improvements

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Work is never done when it comes to owning your own home. I bought my first home this past summer and have found myself spending all spare time working on the house. The best piece of advice I can give to people buying homes is make sure that you love the foundation/layout of the home because it is much more difficult to knock down a wall to create a bigger space than to paint a room. Basically, trying to create a bigger room is more expensive than painting the whole house so you need to love the room layout of the home. If you are indecisive like I am, then choosing a paint color is impossible. I could not decide what color to paint any of the rooms. You always hear from people that using neutral colors is the way to go and will re-sale faster in the long run… However, I wanted to choose colors that I love… Bright! Boy, was I surprised when I saw what the colors would actually look like in the house…

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[Sherwin Williams]

That’s right, I was able to see what the colors would look like on each wall before buying the paint and being disappointed. I downloaded the Sherwin Williams app to where you can test paint colors on your house. Man, I LOVE social media (makes everything so much EASIER). The app is genius! You take a picture of the room you would like to paint and then select the color you want to see and it gives you an idea of what the end result will ultimately look like. Needless to say, I strayed away from my first paint color choices of all bright colors. I highly recommend this app to anyone looking to paint exterior or interior projects. It saves you time of trying to guess what color would match, you have the answer in the palm of your hands!!!

I am attaching a video editorial of the app, be amazed!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=

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In need of Crisis Communication

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As you all know, the media loves to draw attention to all celebrities. Whether a celebrity is wearing the right clothes (designer) or going to the right events… This brings me to the topic of conversation I would like to hit on in this blog post… How one particular celebrity, in my opinion, handled the media’s criticism in a effective manner by engaging in crisis communication.

I am sure that everyone has heard all the buzz in the news about Miley Cyrus. If you haven’t, Miley Cyrus is a 20 year old pop performer. She was a previous Disney star that had her own hit show, Hannah Montana. Of course now that she is trying to break free from that image the media pounces on her next move and judges her actions in order to sell the news. I am not agreeing or disagreeing with Ms. Cyrus’ actions or behavior in the media. However, I want to hit on her way of handling one particular incidence with the media bashing her and they way she effectively uses crisis communication to ease the public.

Cyrus recently dropped a new music video for her single, “Wrecking Ball”. The video displays her nude and behaving differently than she did in her tween TV days. She came out and decided to address the media on the deeper meanings of the behavior she has portrayed in her art (music video). I am going to attach the image below. Cyrus is up front with people about why she is behaving the way she is in the video and explains the message of the song to all viewers. The way she addresses the public is a great example of engaging in crisis communication. Her video dropped just a few days ago and she immediately saw the all the comments from the public on her performance. She addresses the public in a timely manner and wants to relay why she has created the video. Cyrus is a 20 year old trying to figure out the direction of her own life. The challenges she has faced and the situations she has encountered come out through this song. I believe that Cyrus handled this situation in a effective way because she tries to give everyone her insights  and reasoning in a productive way so that they have a better understanding of her actions. All together, this is a adequate form of crisis communication given by a young performer. 

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What is Social Media?

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As I have mentioned, in my last blog introducing myself, I am a senior at the University of Louisville. I am a communication major. I am currently studying different aspects of the major, which includes one of my favorite areas of study, social media. Before entering my social media course or even entering the University of Louisville, I only thought of social media as being Facebook and Twitter. These sites provided the ability for me to connect with my friends, family and different online communities. I never imagined social media to be bigger than the realms of these two networking sites. Oh, how I was misled. Social media is becoming a new growing empire for the world. There are over hundreds of social media sites that allow you to connect, sell, advertise, do business, and more. Therefore, social media is no longer just limited to social networking. It is now a career path! Social media has so many more roles and capabilities that are available to everyone in 2013. I cannot begin to describe how shocked I am as to how much social media has grown in just the past year. More and more apps are becoming the most popular thing to be on in one’s spare time. Instagram and Vine are new(er) apps (within the past year and a half) and are being used by millions of people. Having an iPhone is essential in today’s world. The meaning of having a phone is not only limited to talking to others through the device through your cell provider. An iPhone keeps people connected by social media to all parts of the world (well most parts). Facebook and Twitter are probably on most if not all smart phone users. Let’s just sum this up in a nutshell, we have come a long way since the beginning of the web. The web is now the platform which social media is easily accessed. I cannot wait to see what the future of social media will hold. The article I am posting examines the means of social media pretty well. Like I said, social media has become so much more since the early days of Facebook or Twitter. This article highlights that and gives you an insight as to how much social media has grown. The numbers are crazy yet, interesting.

Link to Forbes’ article “Social Media Usage Up 800% For U.S. Online Adults In Just 8 Years”: 

http://www.forbes.com/sites/steveolenski/2013/09/06/social-media-usage-up-800-for-us-online-adults-in-just-8-years/

I wanted to share a photo I also thought was very cool. This graphic from Business Insider’s website shows many social media sites. They also talk about how social media is not just about connecting with others… It is a new way of life!

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http://www.businessinsider.com/social-media-marketing-landscape-complicated-2012-5