Social Media

#DietCoke on #SocialMedia

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            In 2014, social media is not only intended for individuals to connect through different platforms. However, social media has evolved for brands to become apart of the online engagement. After analyzing several companies’ social media performance, I have found that Diet Coke has done a phenomenal job with managing their online social presence. It is critical for brands to create social media accounts on every platform. Why? Because these brands are trying reach out to all their consumers and keep up with what is #Trending or what is being said about them. Diet Coke is present on many popular social media platforms that include Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. These are the three essential platforms that a brand wants to be recognized on because these three tend to be the most popular across a wide range of demographics. The key to keeping a successful online social presence is how will being online tap into the psychographic aspects of all consumers?

            Diet Coke is currently completing the latter task. On multiple of their social media platforms, they are tapping into the buying behavior of their consumers. Recently, Taylor Swift was apart of their advertising campaigns. One can agree with this because the campaign is reflected/seen through all their social media platforms. It is important for your consumers to remember what statements the brand is trying to make and it seems that Diet Coke has been successful of this. Not only do people refer Taylor Swift as being apart of Diet Coke, but also they are encouraged to buy the product because of it. This is what we call successful marketing and quality social media practices.

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            As I previously mentioned, Diet Coke is present on multiple social media platforms and here are a few screen shots to of their online social presence. Notice how many people are liking, following or keeping up with their accounts! The images speak for themselves; Diet Coke is not just a beverage but is blowing up on social media. I personally follow them on all three social media platforms I have included. I really enjoy reading their tweets because they are clever and actually really do subliminally make me want a Diet Coke. This brand is successful at not just only sending out call to action messages, but encouraging their online audience to interaction and engages in conversation.

            However, there is always room for improvement. I do feel that Diet Coke does a wonderful job at maintaining a fabulous social presence, but I don’t know if someone is monitoring the accounts with detail. If you look at the Twitter screen shot above, it is very hard to read their ‘about’ section on their profile. The brand’s colors are red and silver, as seen as the background image on Twitter, but the white wording makes it hard to read on the silver background. Their audience is missing out on what they are trying to say about the brand at first glance. If the audience can not read their about me section, will they continue to read their tweets? Design and formatting issues are simple things to take care of and need to be professional and readable, to say the least.

            All together, Diet Coke is represented online and obviously is an admired brand in the world. They have over a million viewers on their social media accounts, and are reaching out to so many different countries. I enjoy reading and seeing the content that they send through all three platforms and so do many of their other consumers. Good job #DietCoke on keeping your #SocialMediaGame on point and interactive.

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Snap Chatting is Cool?

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Social media is evolving constantly and growing more rapidly in 2014. There are so many more social media platforms besides the basic Facebook and Twitter accounts that one updates on a regular basis. Having a smartphone in today’s world is like having a constant connection with everyone around you. One can update the world on where they are or what they are doing through their fingerprints. These updates are occurring on multiple social media networking sites/apps a million times a day and the options are limitless. What is the hottest app out right now that is increasing the interconnectivity of everyone? That would be Snapchat, my friends.

Snapchat is an app that is compatible with the iPhone and android. It creates a connection with all the contacts that one might have in their phone and allows users to interact with each other in a unique way. One would open the app and ‘snap’ a picture of something and then send to any users in their contact list within the app. There is also video capability that can be shared with your contact list. However, the catch is that these images or videos can only be seen for a certain amount of seconds that the admin controls. Also, if a one is sharing a picture and the receiver ‘screen shoots’ the image an alert will be sent to the sender that this has occurred. Snapchat is a new innovated application that college students have their hands on!

Mashable just wrote a blog about how brands can increase their Snapchat game with this younger audience demographic. Furthermore, Mashable say’s the app’s core audience is aged 13 to 25, so tapping its marketing potential is a challenging, though highly worthwhile, endeavor for organizations (Knowblauch, 2014). Snapchat is specifically a new hot trend for teens and college-aged individuals. It is genius that brands are getting on board with the Snapchat train and increasing their brands’ awareness through the app. It is definitely interesting to see what brands associated with Snapchat are sending out and receiving to increase user engagement. Marketo just released a blog with interesting infographics that pertain to the effectiveness of the implementation of the app with the college-aged demographic. The infographics portray that seventy percent of Snapchat users are women and is used by eighteen percent of iPhone users. Snapchat users are sending approximately 400 million “snaps” a day. Pew Research also estimates that Snapchat has 26 million active U.S. users (Rothman, 2014). This constant interaction through sending and receiving ‘snaps’ is shockingly still continuing to grow daily.

Well it is no wonder why these brands have become apart of the Snapchat phenomena. Some of the brands associated with Snapchat are Taco Bell, Acura and Wet Seal. It seems that their “snaps” are very influential to their consumers because they are receiving fabulous feedback from their users. It is important for brands to keep up with the latest trends and stay up to date with what all different age demographics are doing. Staying connected and consistent with a wide variety of different audiences is important in this day and age. Especially when social media platforms are in control of sending and receiving all new types of news. Social media is inevitably apart of life and keeping on top of the different platforms is what will set one brand apart from another. Trends do come and go but it does not look like college students are going to break away from Snapchat anytime soon.

“There is only a slim number of active college students that don’t use Snapchat, it’s a growing franchise and will continue to grow”, says John Meldrum, student at the University of Louisville. John’s Snapchat score is 20,145 and what that number transfers to is the number of ‘snaps’ he has sent out since he first activated the app on his iPhone. He prefers to use the app to stay connected with friends and finds it more entertaining to “snap” than to text people on his phone. Creating new ‘stories’ that will be displayed to all users on his timeline has become a hobby for him and his friends in his fraternity.

The University of Louisville Athletic Department has also created a Snapchat account to increase their fans’ engagement with UofL.. There are other sport’s teams that have implemented the app into their social media plan, such as Ohio State and University of Kentucky. It is obvious that universities want to stay in the loop of things by activating this app because of the increased attraction among college students. Pro teams are also getting involved with the newest trend and sending out ‘snaps’ to fans regularly. Who knew that the ability to send out a picture that can only be seen by a user for a certain amount of seconds would become such a hot trend?

It is exciting to see a new emerging trend among college students that has brands interested in being apart of the ‘snapping’ process. It goes to show that companies want to be apart of the newest and latest innovations that seem so simple. The purpose of Snapchat is just to be able to send photos and videos to your friends instantly without them being able to save the content to their phones. This type of interaction has increased with brand awareness and sending out special offers for exclusive Snapchat users and followers. What a great marketing strategy that has surfaced through the interaction created by college students. If you or your brand doesn’t know how to ‘snap’ yet, you better get on it and be apart of the coolest app as of today.

 

 

Knoblauch, Max. “How to Boost Your Brand’s Snapchat Game.” Mashable. N.p., 15 Feb. 2014.

 

Rothman, Dayna. “[Infographic] Leveraging Snapchat for Brands.” Marketo Marketing Blog Best Practices and Thought Leadership. N.p., 18 Feb. 2014. Web.

HootSuite University: I AM CERTIFIED!

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            As a student and a digital native, I am very familiar with all different types of social media platforms. I feel as though “staying connected” is a part of everyday life. The first notion I have when I wake up is to check my text messages, Facebook notification, Twitter mentions and my LinkedIn’s timeline. Honestly, I could not imagine not being connected to the world through my fingertips on my iPhone. Social media has definitely been very rewarding to those who take full advantage of being able to utilize all the platforms to their fullest potential. Before taking Dr. Freberg’s social media course, I did not realize the infinite amount of possibilities that social media offers to the world. To be more direct, what social media offers to brands that want to make their online social presence visible.

           

During the social media course, all students have to become HootSuite Certified. What does that mean? HootSuite is another social media platforms that ultimately makes sending out multiples messages on different social media networks easier. The coolest thing I learned on HootSuite was that one/a brand could schedule all the messages they want to send out via social media directly on the HootSuite platform. I never knew that this tool was available to the public. Amazingly, I did not realize that multiple organizations were already utilizing HootSuite for their organizations. All of the possibilities are endless when it comes to this program. The analytics this programs offers is beneficial to the organizations tracking to see how their posts are performing on all the social media platforms they engage through. One can see what their target audience wants to interact with and what posts are doing better than others. Genius! The development of this site has minimized time spent trying to post on multiple social media platforms and maximized the brands potential for total outreach.

           

HootSuite is not something students are learning in the classroom. However, organizations are trying to further their knowledge about the program. I am so glad Dr. Freberg has made it mandatory that all students enrolled in the social media course at the University of Louisville become HootSuite Certified. The fact that young professionals have this certification and are knowledgeable about this program and all of its opportunities is putting us a step ahead of the game. Having this certification displayed on my LinkedIn, WordPress account, etc. shows that I am branding myself as being a professional in the social media arena. I am happy to know that when people come across my social media platforms that they will see my HootSuite certification logo and know I am capable of utilizing it for their brand.

 

Our class has already found it evident from our guest speakers that this site is used daily in local businesses in Louisville! Specifically, HootSuite is used regularly by Joey Wagner, owner of J Wagner Group. Mr. Wagner visited our social media class and talked about the challenges of monitoring his client’s different social media accounts and utilizing crisis communication. He discussed the importance of HootSuite and how it makes his job a hundred times easier. The ability to access all of different platforms these brands are present on and analyzing the interaction with all of its users is what makes crisis communication run more smoothly. One can target what topic of information needs to be addressed on any given platform by staying active on HootSuite. When Wagner said this, I as amazed. His guest lecture is what made me want to educate myself on all of the entities HootSuite offers.

 

I have thoroughly enjoyed taking Dr. Freberg’s social media course and learning about the realms in the discourse. As a digital native, I had no idea to what extent social media plays as a role in big corporations. HootSuite most definitely opened up my eyes to that. I do think all of the videos and exams are very educational. However, I wish we discussed in class more about the different techniques one can use on the program. I was a little hesitant at first to throw myself into the program because it can be a little confusing when you first start to actively engage on the site. However, I do think that the HootSuite University course is very helpful and beneficial. This social media platform has done a great job of educating those interested in managing multiple social media sites from one central location. I am excited to use the knowledge I have gained from this course and HootSuite University in my future career. I wish that all of these sites offered a educational course that HootSuite offers, because it makes it easier for those who are not fully aware of how to even start becoming active on the sites.

 

I am passionate about social media and all of the opportunities it offers to an individual and a brand. As Dr. Freberg has repeatedly told our class, “What are people saying about you or your brand?” and “How will you monitor the interaction?” The answer is to be active and present on all of these different social media platforms and utilize them to the fullest potential. I am excited to see how social media will continue to evolve and what is the next big social media network. Maybe I will be able to add it as another tab on my HootSuite dashboard. Thank you HootSuite for helping young professionals become more knowledgeable about your site and all of the opportunities it offers!

Crisis Communication and Social Media

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As a digital native, I have grown up being able to have access to any company via the World Wide Web. Consumers find this online presence of different business’ very helpful for many reasons. One can look up any type of product that would be of interest to purchase. People can look up different reviews on different products, interact with different users on online communities, and talk about the brand from which they are making a purchasing decision. Thus, the Internet and social media have evolved the nature of a business’ interaction with different companies and consumers. 

 

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[http://www.baerpm.com/blog/?p=952]

 

With all of that being said, what course of action do companies take if something negative is being said about their brand online? How do they handle customer service on all the social media platforms in which they are active on? The answer I have for one interested in this matter, is a company will participate in effective crisis communication in order to resolve an issue associated with their brand. 

Dr. Freberg has lectured about crisis communication to us students at the University of Louisville. The information she presented does not only help with companies, but also with individuals who engage on social media. 

Top 5 tips:

1. Post material that is not controversial

2. Manage the online social presence that is apparent of an individual or a company, across all platforms

3. Respond to a problem posted on social media within 24 hours… The sooner you respond and resolve the issue… The better!

4. Participate in strategic communications… Have a plan and strategy ready… Be able to act quick on your toes.

5. Be honest and hold a trustworthy reputation with your online audience… Build your credibility!

Whipple, Whipple, Whipple !!!

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Going into advertising? Then you have GOT TO read this amazing book by the advertising king, Luke Sullivan. Hey Whipple, Squeeze This. This book was introduced to my Creative Advertising class at the University of Louisville by Mark Rosenthal, Art Director at Creative Alliance. I have been in this course at Creative Alliance for about eleven weeks now and have developed a firm grasp on the key concept to advertising: creating an idea. However, an idea is not just created in a couple of minutes, it takes time to develop a really great idea that could potentially be the basis for a really great ad. 

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Rosenthal teaches this “idea” philosophy based on Luke Sullivan’s writing in his class. Sullivan says it all starts with a great idea. His book gives the reader different tips on how to better the idea creating process. Brainstorming and researching are essential aspects that factor into the process. Do not stop at just a few ideas… Come up with as many as you can possibly think of. Write the ideas out.. Draw them with pen and paper. This is the process of where a great ad is grounded. I highly recommend this book all interested in the advertising business, whether that be creative or on the business side. Truly a fabulous book! 

 

PS: Buy the fourth edition… Includes Social Media! 

Viral Content and Event Planning

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What does it take for content to go viral on the Internet? Dr. Karen Freberg, social media professor at the University of Louisville, gave five steps to make content go viral. Let’s just say it doesn’t happen over night…

1. Planning

2. Story

3. Distribution

4. Momentum

5. Measure

All of these steps are interdependent. You have to plan, first and foremost. How will you decided what your target audience is? Figure out the audience you want to target with the content for that will generate activity and interaction amongst users on the web. Secondly, you have to illustrate a story… Typically a story would consist of originality, emotional triggers and will generally compel conversation… Easy to do? Not quite. A lot of planning goes into what content and creation will go into a material that will hopefully become viral. Third, one must post the material on the right social media platform that will ultimately give the content the right grounds to go viral. Whether you decide to post on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, etc. make sure you are hitting the right platform directed toward a centralized target audience. This will give you the ability to see positive results. Fourth step is momentum. Post your content on multiple platforms that seem consistent… Don’t be afraid to share information because your target audience could appear on more than one platform. Lastly, one will want to measure the analytics of the viral content. Dennis Yu, CEO of BlitzMetrics, guest lectured in our social media class at the University of Louisville last week, and taught our class a “short cut” to Facebook analytics. This step is very crucial to creating viral content; one should measure the material one posted and how many users it reached. Thus, this will give you an idea of how to better target your audience in the future. 

What are you waiting for? Try to post something viral!

Crisis Communication 2

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As I have mentioned in my blog before, I am a resident of Louisville, Ky. I was born and raised in Louisville and grew up as a Cardinal fan. Obviously, these factors went into my decision when choosing a college to attend. I wanted to be apart of the University of Louisville and be an actual “cardinal”. It was so weird to be on campus with the athletes I watch at the games and on TV in “real-life”! I was in heaven! Words can not begin to even explain the excitement I had when both football and basketball won major bowl/championship games last year (2012)… Year of the Cardinal! I could not believe that I will remember these two events as being a student during these memorable times for UofL athletics and Louisville as a community. 

Although, the latest story in the media about a UofL basketball player has made me realize that sometimes your favorite college players will not always excite you. Chane Behanan, UofL athlete, was recently indefinitely suspended from the University of Louisville basketball team. Needless to say, I was in shock as was most of the town. People have said that he was previously suspended, but I still could not get over the fact that Pitino has said “it is not probable” that Behanan will be rejoining the team anytime soon. I think my heart sunk a little after reading that line. 

 

 

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[ http://college-basketball.si.com/2013/04/09/chane-behanan-still-speaks-loudly-but-now-its-on-the-court/ ]

 

Louisville basketball has not won a national champoinship since 1986, until last year when Behanan and the rest of the team succeed in winning the title again. The whole town was in amaze. It was HUGE! All fans are in utter excitement for basketball season to begin again until we all were informed with the latest news about Behanan. 

With all that being said, I would like to talk about my opinion from a communication student’s standpoint. This whole situation is a great example of where crisis communication is needed. We have learned about this topic in Dr. Karen Freberg’s strategic communication and social media courses. Yes, Pitino did make a statement to the media about the university’s decision on the suspension. However, I think it would have been more beneficial and reputable for Chane to make a statement. I do understand that he is a “student-athlete” and there are limitations, but I think it would have hushed a lot of the talk going around town and help maintain his reputation if this young man would have made a personal statement. As we have learned, effective crisis communication occurs only when one acts fast and makes a truthful statement to the public by explaining and taking full responsibility their actions that are being attacked. The public tends to think more highly of those who take up for their own actions rather than hearing someone else explain them. 

I personally would have liked to hear what Behanan would have to say about everything being said about him in the news. It does not have to be detailed or too personal but just a statement coming from him. All together, I think that if he were to utilize crisis communication, in his own personal voice, all the buzz in the media would die down. I am hoping Behanan is not going to be suspended indefinitely, due to the fact that he is one of the fans’ favorite players. He is a cardinal. We all hope to see #21 appear at the Yum Center, once again, to bring home another championship title.