Posts Tagged ‘digital media’

Social Bookmarking and Networking Strategies (ch.6 & 7)

April 13, 2010

 Social networking is a way to “build a strong foundation in the Social Web, not about how many thousands of friends or followers you can gather. Rather, it is about improving your reach to the people you are actually in your target market,” (A Survival Guide to Social Media & Web 2.0 Optimization).

LinkedIn is a “great tool for people wanting to connect with other professionals, or for those seeking professional positions.  It is also ideal for consultants and service firms seeking clients,” (A Survival Guide to Social Media & Web 2.0 Optimization). 

Twitter is a micro blogging platform that answers “what are you doing?” in 160 characters or less. Also, businesses using Twitter also can link their site on Twitter since other social sites have similar features that Twitter offers. 

Once a business has chosen social sites they wish to be a part of, it is also important to be able to know how to social bookmark, what it is, what sites are social bookmarking sites, and how it works.

“Social bookmarking is a way for you to save your favorite blogs into one web space and tagged them with specific terms so you could easily search and find them later,” (A Survival Guide to Social Media & Web 2.0 Optimization).

One of the top social bookmarking site is Delicious.  You can bookmark a site by clicking on “post to Delicious” and enter tags along with notes to the site you want to bookmark,”(A Survival Guide to Social Media & Web 2.0 Optimization). With every social web tool, there is a strategy in utilizing social bookmarking.

Keep in mind what social web is all about: interacting, sharing, and collaboration. It’s not about self-promotion. In other words, choose a couple of social bookmarking sites first such as Technorati and StumbleUpon.  When you use these sites, you can bookmark your blogs, your company’s or business site, as long as you bookmark with others who share the same interest as you. 

After doing all of this and social networking and bookmarking, how do you know if your company or company’s site is successful and not getting left in the Social Web world?  Well, there are sites such as Digg that use crowd-sourcing. Crowd-sourcing  is a site that allows users to determine what news stories, blogs, or websites are popular (A Survival Guide to Social Media & Web 2.0 Optimization). 

Digg encourages its users to “digg” stories they like, and as a result, determines if that story is popular or not through a voting or a rating system.  Once users “digg” stories that appealed to them, then the site will “dugg” up stories or blog posts closer to the front page of the site.  In other words, the more users “digg” social web content (blogs, news stories), the closer the content will move up to  the front page of Digg, (A Survival Guide to Social Media & Web 2.0 Optimization). 

So there my friends is why  and how business can decide how popular their online social web presence is along with their social web content.

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Optimizing your blog (ch.3)

April 12, 2010

It wasn’t until I subscribed and have an RSS feed to Paull Young’s blog did I understand what an RSS feed is and how it works.  RSS (Real Simple Syndication) “is a way of sharing information across the Internet, according to A Survival Guide to Social Media and Web 2.0 Optimization text. An RSS Feed is similar to a newspaper delivered at your doorstep. The content that a visitor subscribes to allows visitors to have the feeds in one place on the Internet than going to each site. Here are some ways that an RSS Feed works:

  • the “feed” is available for subscription to visitors
  • the subscriber can read each story without having to go to the original site

One RSS feed is a blog.  For example, I subscribed to Paull Young’s blog and the feed is on my yahoo page and I am able to read his blog on my yahoo page.  It is very  easy to use and can’t believe an RSS feed is this simple to use.  With RSS Feeds becoming a popular social media tool, it is important for bloggers especially but for any social media user to have effective, creative, and simple titles, descriptions, categories, and links.

“Your item descriptions may be the only thing a potential reader sees before they make a decision to read the full story,” (A Survival Guide to Social Media and Web 2.0 Optimization).  Categories, links, titles, and descriptions have to have a “hook” your reader in a proper way while still describing the story. 

Blogs however, “is a tool for posting information chronologically and allowing others to comment” (A Survival Guide to Social Media and Web 2.0 Optimization).  Before a blogger begins blogging, it is vital for bloggers to know their audience.  Once  a blogger knows his or her audience, then he or she can decide what their purpose of the blog is. For example, my blog site discusses social media and how public relations is transforming an adapting to social media web 2.0. therefore, my blog site’s purpose is to share my knowledge based on what I’ve learned throughout my public relations college career with other colleagues, professors, and professionals. 

Blogs consist of interactivity, sharing, and collaboration, which are three general areas of A Survival Guide to Social Media and Web 2.0 Optimization.  Throughout the social web, users are sharing information freely which pertains to sharing. Even though users share information freely, the information is only effective if other users interact by giving feedback and post blog comments. Futhermore, this is when collaboration takes place. Twitter for example, gives Twitter users an opportunity to collaborate in sharing information creating and generating other ideas for blog posts.

There are tools provided by WordPress that can help your site become more visible. One tool is called excerpts.  When I was reading about excerpts, I could only think of an excerpt of a paper or a novel.  I just began using excerpts this past week.  “Excerpts are used to summarize your post, and to use as a good “hook” to get readers interested in your entire post when they stumble upon it in a blog directory,” (A Survival Guide to Social Media and Web 2.0 Optimization).

Other blog tools are :

  1. Tags: used to help organize and group blog posts and are used by RSS feed and blog directories as key terms, so you want to use tags wisely
  2. Categories: is a way to organize blog posts by topic. Readers are able to click on a category and see all the posts related to that one category
  3. Trackbacks: method of notification between websites.  “They are a way for you to comment on someone else’s blog from your own site, and have your entry show up on their site as a comment or as a notification on their WordPress dashboard. In order to use this, cite the blog you are commenting on and send a “trackback” to the blog you are citing. Then, your post will show up as a comment on the “trackboard” blog post,”  (A Survival Guide to Social Media and Web 2.0 Optimization).

Shift Happens: Viral Videos

April 11, 2010

“Just what is it that makes a simple little video like “David After Dentist” become a Viral Video? Also, share links to (or embed) at least two of your favorite videos that went viral.”

People learn in different ways. Some people have to visually see the information to retrieve information while others can only hear it once while the other people only have to read the information to comprehend the information. Thus, is why we as public relation practitioners have to  be able to create podcasts, embed our podcasts and videos in our blog posts. 

Social media is dependent upon people communicating and participating throughout various social media websites. The most exciting part about social media is that people are able to communicate through blogs, Twitter, and other sites. One of the social mediums that is forgotten that people can communicate through is viral videos. 

YouTube allows their viewers to search videos by most popular and by categories in addition to searching trending topics. Videos similar to blogs, have to gain a mass audience in order for it to gain popularity.  Anyone can post a video on YouTube, but only a few videos go viral or in other words, become popular and gain a mass audience.  Like a movie, videos have to be unique, creative, and in a sense, have a good sense of humor. Watch  Evolution of dance, for example:

Evolution of dance has more than 138 million views. Jud Laipply, a comedian is discussed on Time.com.  He became popular because he captures his audience through his personality by imitating various dance moves from Vanilla Ice to the chicken dance to different “Grease” dance moves.  This video made the top 50 best YouTube video list. 

However, on a serious note, I have watched this video in different classes. This Did You Know? video and ,  has inspired me to think more deeply on an intellectual level about technology, intelligence, and other ethnic diversities.  Compare these two videos:

with

What amazes me is that the Evolution of dance video has more views than the  Did You Know? video. Why is that? Why is it that I’ve only seen the Did You Know?only in two classes and has less views than the Evolution of dance? Both videos have a point.  Why do you think Evolution of Dance is more viral than Did You Know? 

 This post is dedicated to all of my professors, colleagues, and Twitter followers who have helped me throughout my public relations career including @Mgroover, @Barbaranixon, @rdfrench, @paullyoung, @chrisbrogan, @kmatthews, @missrogue (The Whuffie Factor author), @GingerCM, among many others and to the creators of Twitter. If it wasn’t for you, I wouldn’t know what a podcast, wiki, or a blog is.

Implementing Social Media Tools without knowing it

April 7, 2010

 It is difficult to get lost and be invisible within the Social Media Web.2.0 era, but there are helpful and free (yes free) social tools that are helpful to publishers and companies to become visible within social media. The tools  I will be discussing are widgets and badges.  I was unaware that I was using widgets and badges without knowing what these tools are provided by WordPress.  What is a Widget? According to A Survival Guide to Social Media and Web 2.0 Optimization, widgets are used to add interactive features to blogs or websites  that can be customized.  For example, I use sidebar widgets such as  my calendar posts, search box, archives, tags, categories, and blog subscriptions provided by WordPress.  I was not aware of how many widgets  that have  specific functions.  Widgets are interactive because they can be customized, help visitors find your site through the social web, and suggest other related content your readers would be interested in. Some of these widgets are Digg, Delicious, and Lijit. I have not heard of Lijit until the required text A Survival Guide to Social Media and Web 2.0 OptimizationLijit is a widget that operates similar to a search engine for the readers. The catch is that you are able to decide what will be included in the search engine.  One among many benefits in using  Lijit is that it allows readers to search all over the social web for your content.  Widgets are a valuable marketing tool  if they are popular and can be used in different ways.  Widgets are different from badges, which will be further discussed below.

A badge “is an icon or logo that has a link back to its source, which serves as a way of  displaying one’s membership or presence in a community on the Social Web,” according to  A Survival Guide to Social Media and Web 2.0 Optimization.  I really thought a badge was more difficult to explain than that, but it’s that simple.  For example, if you’re a PROpenMic member, you have a badge so that other users are able to see that you are a member and can connect with you.  So what’s the difference between widgets and badges is what you’re asking yourself. Badges are logos that can be used as widgets and both social media tools have the same purpose, which is to provide additional interactive features for your readers (blogs) or for your customers on the company website.

Behind the Scenes of Social Media

March 30, 2010

    Being able to collaborate social media and traditional  public relation skills  is one task  that public relations students need to carry out and bring to the table since that is what public relation agencies, companies, and organizations are looking for today, according to Co-Founder and President of Palette Public Relations Inc., Martin Waxman. Throughout the interview ( an-interview-with-martin-waxman), Waxman discusses the importance of traditional PR, life in the PR agency, and the digital footprints that are taking place.

      Integrating social media strategies is the biggest challenge Waxman faces with his clients because clients have to know their target audience ( who they want to reach) and what type of community are they part of, which are all traditional public relation strategies. Understanding how to use social  media tools is just as important as the company has to understand their target audience. For example, just because your target audience is using Twitter, doesn’t mean the company has a deep understanding of their target audience and are able to use Twitter in one day effectively to reach their target audience. With various social media tools that are available, you (the client/company) have to understand what social media sites stand for, the purpose of the site, and most importantly,   how people are utilizing the social media tools and are communicating to each other.

      Not only do you have to knowledgeable of how to use various social media tools, but students and future public relation practitioners must  have   a general understanding of the major communication bloggers, who  the top communication people are, and stay current in what’s happening within the social media world.  For example, even though I follow @paullyoung, @Peter Shankman, @chrisbrogan (just to name a few), I must know what they are discussing, how they communicate/”tweet”, and what  type of professional work they do or have accomplished and not having them just as followers.  Also, after completing a social media monitoring report, I am now aware of what types of social monitoring sites are available. However, just knowing and having a general knowledge of those sites won’t effectively help me know how to use the sites. I have to explain which site to use and why, which has been an interview question.

     Three vital characteristics that his company were founded  upon are simplicity, energy, and integrity.  In other words, simplicity meaning to make it easier for both his clients and for his agency. He won’t give up on his clients until he or his clients get results, which defines energy.  Out of all these qualities that Waxman founded his agency upon, I believe that the last one “integrity’ is the most important quality, especially today.  According to Waxman, “integrity” is being up front and honest with your clients. Having integrity is essential in becoming more transparent in social media.  ” When we started agency, media relations at our core” said Waxman.

Word-Of Mouth Marketing to Podcasts

March 21, 2010

       We have all heard of downloading podcasts from iTunes..but exactly what is podcasting? Podcasting is a downloadable audio from iTunes on cell phones, computers, and iPods that people can listen to on their own time. As I have studied and researched this topic for my Social media & Pr online class to create my podcast, I am having a better understanding to why  podcasting is an essential feature that is becoming a phenomenon that’s taking over the communication field. Companies can now create their own podcasts so that their customers and employees can access the podcast through Twitter or email, which people can receive via cell phones.  Furthermore, podcasts are another way of being informed in real-time and engaging with customers. 

     It is not uncommon today that companies are implementing social tools such as blogging and viral videos for their company purposes along with social monitoring and tweeting. With that being said, podcasts can be uploaded to the company’s website or blogging website which then can be automatically linked to Twitter. In other words, once a company creates a podcast, the company can then upload the podcast link to their company website or blogging website. Why would a company want to upload the podcast to their blog? Well, we all know the benefits of blogging, but customers and the company’s employees can respond by leaving comments to the podcast blog giving the company instant feedback.  Linking the podcast into the blog and having it automatically generated to Twitter increases blog traffic and online visibility. What does this all mean?  For example, if I see Coca Cola’s blog link with check out this new podcast about our product launch on twitter, I can not only give feedback, but “retweet” the link to my “followers” giving the site more online visibility similar to the traditional word of mouth marketing. If I share the link with one follower, the word will spread rapidly.

 Let’s recap why podcasting is an essential social  tool companies can benefit from:

  1. Podcasts can be uploaded on a company’s website or blog post
  2. Podcasts can be shared via social websites, especially Twitter creating instant feedback and blog comments
  3. Podcasts are  the traditional “word-of mouth marketing”

Work Dynamics Changing due to Social Media

February 26, 2010

Work today consists of utilizing social media to engage with customers through blogs, react to their comments via Twitter, and to market the company through Facebook.  As I become more of a “social media junkie,” the“Social Media: Friend or Foe?” podcast  made me think about how  social media is changing the way people work in offices and at home. 

Employees can  use their personal Facebook and Twitter accounts to  ask their friends/followers for ideas and tools they’ve used before to help them with their current work strategies. Also, workers are able to have their Twitter followers “retweet” their questions and as a result, receive links, posts, and discussion boards to help them with their projects.For example, I am planning a kids’ fashion show charitable event for C.A.S.A (Court Appointed Special Advocates) and my Facebook status was “I need fashion show “themes” & titles for a kids’ fashion show..any suggestions?! I asked on Twitter if anyone had any kids fashion theme ideas while I was in the office. I was working utilizing the Internet to create ideas and search how others planned a fashion show. Employees aren’t wasting time on Facebook, Twitter, or on various blog site on the time clocks. What they are doing now is asking their friends or followers ideas, advice, and solutions to problems that others can help them with. This is how people are working today and it’s certainly proper as long as employees are actually working and  not using the Internet for personal purposes. 

Social media is becoming the “customer feedback/suggestion box,” which is where social monitoring comes into play. Company employees  can use social monitoring sites such as  Addcitomatic, IceRocket, Samepoint, Social Mentionpostrank,along with social media monitoring tools such as  tweetgrid, Twazzup, trendistic, to discover what is being said  about their company in a real-time format. So, if there is negative feedback about a new product launched, companies can immediately respond to their customers with solutions to the problem. Even though employees may not seem like they are working or doing their job because they are using the Internet for company purposes doesn’t mean that they aren’t working effectively; it’s just another way of how work is being complete and accomplished outside of the internal company offices.

Who knew that social media and the Web2.0 would have such a major impact on the  future of working?

Twitter Benefits: You Should Have Them Too

February 25, 2010

Barbara Nixon discusses why she requires her students to take part in utilizing Twitter http://publicrelationsmatters.com/2010/02/24/10-5-ways-for-pr-students-to-get-the-most-out-of-twitter/.  I didn’t even know what  Twitter was or how to use it “properly” and “professionally,” until Barbara Nixon came along to tell us why we should use Twitter.  I’ve been an active user on Twitter for almost a year now(@Leh1185 ) and I love it!

Why do I love Twitter and why is it  beneficial to students? Here’s my story and maybe this will persuade more Public Relation students to use Twitter other than class requirements. I began using Twitter without having any knowledge of how to present myself on Twitter, who to follow, and what do people “tweet” about. Then, I began to follow my technological savvy professor (@barbarnixon) who follows various professionals in all areas of public relations. This is where my REAL story began. I began to follow the “prestigious” Twitter users and responded to their tweets even though they didn’t then respond to mine (or even know I existed). But, the more I responded, the more responses I received from them.

For the first time I thought to myself  Wow they responded to me! Why me (out of all people)?! These professionals still respond to me because I am active on Twitter without being required to do so. I also ask professional questions and general advice to them. For example, my “tweet” the other day said this: to all PR Pros: When job searching, should you have ring backs?  Not only did I get many responses from professionals, but they told me “good ?.”  The more questions I asked the more they could see how interested I really am in learning about anything from professionalism to being a team player to preparing for the “real world work force.”

As a result of being transparent on Twitter, I developed “connections” with these professionals, which is why I love Twitter and other social media tools. Now, they follow me (wahoo!) and know that I exist and not just another Twitter user. In other words, I stand out by being genuine, professional, and having a sense of humor. Some of them I now talk to not only on Twitter, but on Facebook and even Skype, which lead to exchange numbers. I’m not the most outstanding student, but I take what I learn from my professors and implement them without being told. From there, I ask other professors about various assignments, topics, and general discussions.

Being active on Twitter shows others that you are willing to try new technological advances and are open-minded, which goes along with the old saying “you never know until you try.” For me trying out Twitter was all about asking myself “why is Nixon teaching us Twitter when we should be educated on PR writing?” Let me experiment with Twitter until I give myself an answer to this question. Once I gave Twitter a try, I expressed my gratitude to Nixon and told her this: now, I know why you want us to use social media.

Students: You need to be well-rounded in social media because this question will be asked in interviews: What do you do to stay current in social media trends? If you’re only on Facebook,  what is your response going to be when you are competing for a job if the only social media site you use is Facebook?  You have to stand out and being active on Twitter is one way to do that (along with your resumé of course)!

I didn’t know about Twitter and I still don’t have that much knowledge on utilizing Twitter, but I read various novels to educate myself in how to use Twitter more efficiently and what other apps that can be used for your “Twitter” profile that Twitter doesn’t offer. For example, it was required by Nixon for us to read a novel on our major. For that assignment, I chose “Whuffie Factor” (@missrogue )  and then over Christmas break, I read “Twitter Power.” These two novels taught me how to improve my social media skills. I recommend every student to read a novel because another interview question that’s being asked is “what books do you read?”

  

The Next BIG “Customer Feedback” Method Already Happening

February 23, 2010

    Rather than using traditional marketing research, companies are able to listen, engage, and share internal thoughts with their customers through blogs/blogging. Blogs are a tool that gives companies the opportunity to build relationships between the company/organization and its customers, allowing the company to become more transparent due to social media during Web 2.0. In other words, companies have a chance to propose the culture, processes, and people in the organization to the customers through blogging.  customers are already having conversations about companies, which is another reason for companies to blog.

However, not anyone can “just” blog for companies/organizations. Corporate blogs don’t have to be posted by one person. Employees within the organization  who have “expertise” can blog along with being able to listen to what  customers are saying.  Corporate blog posts have to have follow-up blogs. What this does is it allows companies to become more visible to its customers along with really listening to the customers.

Companies can have a sense of control of their blogs by creating blog guidelines for customers posting comments.  furthermore, companies can now see how much traffic their company is receiving, what is the top post or page, and receive customer feedback through creating blog posts. Customers are able to see companies’ vision through blogs and it also gives companies an advantage to hear what people are saying and doing about the company.

How can return of investment be measured? was a question that was rasied during the conference.  Dell has a great commercial explaining this saying “customer feedback is priceless.” WordPress is a prime example in how return of investment can be measured through quality.  A company was advertising their products in a positive light in which a customer responded with negative feedback. As a result, the CEO responded hiring word press as one of the vendors for this reason. Thus, this is how WordPress was developed. The return of the investment is  creating a customer-CEO relationship.

Generally speaking, companies who have not done so should really consider having blogs for customers to post their feedback because like I said previously, the conversation is already taking place. Shouldn’t companies have a “place” in which customers can converse with the internal comany and want to know what their customers are thinking or doing? So, why not implement blogs as a social media tool that is prevalent in the workplace?

Search Engines: What They Are Good For

February 15, 2010

“Search Engines are the new homepages,(Edelman Digital).” Eighty-nine percent of U.S. adults use search engines and the top users are Gen. X&Y.  With that being said, companies are utilizing social search, which is “brands build out embassies in all relevant networks (places where employees work to serve the interests of their community, as well with their company.” In other words, social search is becoming more prevalent in usage combining social networks and search engines. Today, search engines are based on  relationships  with social content connection. So, how do companies embed search engines for monitoring their company’s content?  There are various methods to searches.

One method is reputational search in action, according to Edelman Digital. The goal of the reputational  search in action is to generate social media coverage to influence search engines. Reputational Search in Action’s tactics include press releases, media relations, and most importantly, blogger engagement. PR pros can create the messages do that those messages are based on reach or relevance. For example, a person who’s  searching  for “headache remedies, and not necessarily aspirin.PR pros and others can carefully adapt the messages to have a more well designed message.

Public Relations Professionals, Marketers, and other Company management can use free tools such as Wordtracker, GoogleInsights, the Google Adwords Keyword tool, and Yahoo Site Explorer. These tools help PR pros have a better understanding of what and how people search and use search engines.  Another way to become engaged in search engines is to  blog, post viral videos, microblogging, and social networking.  From there, there are websites (Technorati, Facebook Lexicon, Radian6, Twitter Search) that social monitor what’s being said in real-time format about a specific topic or company. All of these social media tools can help anyone “demonstrate an increase in searches around a given phrase or group of phrases,”(Edelman Digital).

JetBlue engaged in social networking by activating a Twitter account to react to customers in a real-time format.  They were very responsive to their customers’ complaints. For example, JetBlue customer posted a Twitter message “I need a wheelchair!” and before she contacted their customer service, a JetBlue Representative responded to her by referring to her to someone who could help her with her flight arrangements. Not only was JetBlue ranked in the top 10 results in an airline Google Search, but they also enhanced their reputation.

Search Engines aren’t just search engines today, they are becoming vital tool to use for social monitoring, marketing/advertising, and engaging in the conversations between companies’ and its customers. Search Engines are good only if you do not want to be lost in the digital media revolution. Edelman Digital provides tips to become more visible online, which are:

  1. Research- know how people search, converse, and work online
  2. Teamwork
  3. Planning-Reputational and Social Search takes time and effort to develop quality content & networked relationships
  4. Experimentation- While SEM and SEO are managed by others, there isn’t a reason why they couldn’t be used in a public relations context
  5. Benevolence- Google knows if you’ve been bad or good. So, the more you create value online and others recognize, the more you will be able to build a sustainable and online visibility presence