Posts Tagged ‘social 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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Lessons social media websites have taught me

April 11, 2010

I’m an active LinkedIn user, Twitter user, along with other websites before I enrolled in Social Media & Public Relations online class with Nixon.  What I didn’t understand was the power of a background on twitter, twitter usernames, and what information is on certain social media websites can be extremely powerful.  For example, I chose my username Leh1185 from my e-mail account because I was not comfortable using my first and last name on all these websites. In a way, it is my trademark name since my username is used throughout all the websites I am on.  Of course, some people might disagree or criticize my username, but it works for me and makes me stand out throughout social media. LinkedIn is similar to having a resumé online. I didn’t understand why we had to get a LinkedIn account until I began to use it to my advantage.  For example,  I was in the hotel business room lobby finishing up some schoolwork which is when I met the vice president of Ameristeels in Florida while I was out-of-town for my sister’s soccer game. The first question he asked me was do you have a LinkedIn account? Of course I said yes, which was then I thanked my professor for requiring us to have a LinkedIn account.

Another lesson I’ve learned utilizing and being active in the “social media world” is that you have to understand why you’re using various social media tools and websites, what the purpose is, and how you can relate to people who follow you or read your blogs. In other words, not just having followers for “follower statistics for bragging rights,” you have to understand why do you follow those users and know their professional background.  I use Twitter to ask other professionals, professors, and fellow colleague  questions about various topics from resume tips to assignment questions, to general questions such as should you have a ring back on your cell phone when you are job searching or job hunting? .  LinkedIn however, is beneficial to me because it allows me to have various widgets and applications which my friends or connections can look at along with my resumé.”  One application I have on Linked In is amazon reading book list so that my connections can see how I am staying up to date and current within social media trends. PROpenMic was the first website I used in researching for internships.  It allowed me to discover what general public relation agencies and companies are looking for in potential interns, who’s hiring, and what skills I need to have or improve to market myself for that particular internship or job.

Blogging has been a challenge for me due to my writing since it is a weakness of mine. I didn’t know how to blog, what to blog about, and not knowing what to put into a blog. But, since blogging is a requirement for my Social Media & Public Relations class, I became better at blogging. I am coming to understand that blogging does improve writing skills along with understanding that blogging can consist of videos, various media tools, and widgets. Blogging gives me an opportunity to express myself through my unique writing and to discuss what I’ve learned throughout my college career.  I am now able to link my blog post to my Twitter, LinkedIn, and Weebly account so that others can see my personality and challenges that have helped me grow and become more professional and not just being portrayed as a “college student.

Below is a summary of what I’ve learned:

  • Usernames and backgrounds can impact your professional background
  • Understand your followers, who they are, and what their professional background consists of
  • Blogging is an opportunity for anyone to express themselves and improving their writing skills
  • Blogging allows anyone to discuss their topics using various media tools such as videos and widgets
  • Being active on different social media websites has increased my professional skills, confidence, and to show others that I’m not afraid of new social media or technology tools.

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”

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?

The REAL Meaning of “Social Media”

February 11, 2010

At http://publicrelationsmatters.com/2010/01/15/t-o-w-prca-3030-topics-of-the-week/, we are to blog about  the list of definitions that were provided to Adam Vincenzini on Twitter and discuss our interpretation of social media. Before I begin, here are a few that stood out to me:

@anna8988 (Part A) Allows you to socially and professionally communicate online with those otherwise out of your reach in the real world*

@hermioneway ”Media that’s social …it’s about everyone taking part and having a voice.”

@fruchter: Social media consists of the five C’s. Conversation, community, commenting, collaboration and contribution. Social media is story telling.

@juliebodart Social media is a new way to interact and share. It’s (new)conversations taking place. It’s a revolution!

I have learned so much using, engaging, and interacting in the “social media” world.  My first social media engagement was using Facebook to re-connect with old highschool friends.  Then, I was required to take part in Twitter, LinkedIn, and PROpenMic along with blogging. PROpenMic’s founder, Robert French  surprised me by responding to mehimself. This applies to all the others I’ve interacted with through social media.  For example, on Twitter, I’ve had responses not only from my professors, but other public relations practitioners. From there, I’m able to connect with them through blogs and Facebook. As this was happening to me, I said to myself : Now, I know why my professor Barbara Nixon required us to do all of this. 

  I am nervous transitioning from the “student life” to professional student. Of course, I have lots of questions that needed to be answered, which is why@anna8988 (Part A) Allows you to socially and professionally communicate online with those otherwise out of your reach in the real world*stood out to me.  Being active throughout  social media, I’ve been able to network with various professionals in all different fields, teaching me something new every day, every moment, and every time I have something to say within the community, which leads to me the next comment.

@hermioneway ”Media that’s social …it’s about everyone taking part and having a voice.”  At first, I didn’t think I was “qualified or smart enough” to blog or to be active on Twitter. I was very intimidated (and still am to an extent) by others who have a more impressive Twitter Bio or who are more technological savvy than me.When I had a serious conversation with my professor and thanked her for requiring us to be a part of social media, she told me  “you present yourself very professionally throughout social media.” When I heard that, I was shocked and I gained more self-confidence in my professionalism along with always telling myself now that I will be successful one day (maybe not today or tomorrow). My point is that the more you take part and express yourself, the more knowledge you gain despite how new “social media” is or any other technological advancement.

I’ve learned that by utilizing social media beyond class requirements shows that I’m not afraid of technology to others. Social media is only beneficial if you engage, participate, and express your opinions with all the topics being discussed.

Social media only exists if people interact, collaborate, and communicate to each other like what this person says: @fruchter: Social media consists of the five C’s. Conversation, community, commenting, collaboration and contribution. Social media is story telling.” In order for social media to even exist is for social media users contribute to the topics by commenting to various social media communities developing a conversation. If all social media users would use social media using the 5C’s mentioned,  social media will become more collaborative more than what it is today. 

How does this pertain to me? Well, I joined various social media communities without participating in the conversations to get a feel of what people were/are saying. Then, I began to converse with others and contribute to the conversations. Once I did this, I began to notice that my Twitter followers increased (that doesn’t matter to me) along with my blog posts increasing traffic. The point that I’m trying to make is this: If it wasn’t for Twitter, I wouldn’t be networking and receiving advice from people who have been in my shoes. From there, I was able to link my blog posts directly to Twitter so my followers are able to see it. As a result, those followers are able to see what I’m all about due to my “About Me Page.”  One social media conversation can lead to readership, which can lead to friendships, then leads to endless opportunities. The more you interact and use social media,the more knowledge you gain.

@juliebodart Social media is a new way to interact and share. It’s (new)conversations taking place. It’s a revolution! This I totally agree with because it is a revolutionary change that is exponentially growing and changing how businesses,corporations, and non-profit organizations “do business.” Interacting is key to social media. Another example of how I benefited using social media is when I was on Twitter explaining I was working on a social monitoring report. I had many responses asking me “what tools are you using right now?” from people whom I’ve never engaged with.  Also, a University of Georgia Professor commented on my “how ethical social monitoring is, which led me to view her page where I found other tools to use for my report. Social media is all about interacting and helping each other out. For that, I’m thankful for using social media. So if you’re not using it now, what are you waiting for?

With all of this being said, my definition of social media is this: 

@Leh1185Social Media: a way to participate & interact with others on a professional and personal level leading to friendships and connections.

 I would love to know what you think, so let me know what  your “social media” definition is.

Blog Posts is about you, Blog Comments Are Not

February 5, 2010

Blogging to me is similar to communicating in a small group discussion. The group discusses one topic or issue while others listen attentively. Then, other group members voice their thoughts, ideas, and feelings on the topic giving everyone feedback on the issue.  Blogging works the same way on a bigger level of course. One person blogs about various topics hoping to receive feedback from other people, which are comments.  Every blogger has a purpose-  to put their ideas out in the “social media” world so that others can view them, bringing in traffic to their blog posts. However, even though blog posts are vital in the social media world, so is becoming part of blogging which is to comment on others.  This “rule of thumb” is similar to my other post discussing paying it forward.

Blog posts express a person’s individuality and to set them apart from every other blogger, but blog comments are not about that. Blog comments are vital and are part of the blogging world.  Every blogger need to have an open mind and comment on other peoples blogs, whether it’s on twitter discussing the issue or on the blog website. Comments allow a blogger to think outside their own box and receive feedback to help improve their blogging skills. Isn’t that what every blogger want ( to become more knowledgeable on each blog post and to receive more traffic each time?  Of course YES!! In order to do that,  a blogger has to help someone else out by putting themselves out into the blogging and social media world.

Here’s a recap of answering the question “so why should I take time to comment on other people’s blogs?”

  1. Commenting on other blog posts gives you readership to YOUR blog posts. If you comment on other blog posts, the same domino effect will happen to you.
  2. It’sabout respecting  others and not being selfish. It’s not just about you and your blog posts.  Blog comments just like blog posts expresses that you just don’t post your blog, you become an active blogger.
  3. Blog comments can give you (the blogger) ideas for other creative blog posts that people might want to read or discussed.
  4. Blog comments shows that you aren’t afraid of interacting with other people in the social media world and are able to become well-rounded in discussing various topics.

How Ethical is Social Monitoring

January 28, 2010

When I was given this topic, I didn’t know where to begin or how to formulate my thoughts.  I started thinking to myself, to answer this question in full detail, there are certain terms that must be clearly defined. For example, what is social monitoring? After researching social monitoring on various search engines such as Google and Bing, I came up with my explanation of “social monitoring.” Social monitoring is when companies/organizations are able to track various conversations, pages, blogs, videos, etc whether they are positive or negative. So, my next question is why would a company invest so much time and money (if any) into monitoring what people are saying about their company or “new product” they just launched? Think about it. For example, with the new Apple Ipad that just came out today, Apple can track their target audience and find what or how people think of their new Ipad by just using the Internet so that they can improve their company to satisfy their audience and customers.

The next definition that needs to be discussed is “ethics.” What is ethics and how can it be defined?  Throughout my college career at Georgia Southern University taking communication, sociology, and public relations classes, ethics is defined in various ways. To keep it simple, according to dictionary.com being ethical is being “in accordance with the rules or standards for right conduct or practice, esp. the standards of a profession.”  In other words, being ethical means being truthful and honest following morality principles in all aspects of life itself and is defined by what society says is ethical.

So is social monitoring ethical? I believe that social monitoring is ethical if it is done in an appropriate, proper, and honest manner.  In addition to surveys, companies can instantaneously search what Internet users are commenting about whether those comments are positive or negative. Today, most companies big and small are utilizing the Internet such as by being on Twitter, creating Facebook ads and fan pages. Thus, if companies are taking time to use social media sites to market their product or themselves, why can’t they monitor what people are saying about them on various social media sites?

Public Relations in Fight Against HIV/Aids

December 1, 2009

Throughout the decade, I have come across many non-profit organizations, advertisements, marketing strategies, and campaigns helping to raise money and awareness in the fight against HIV/AIDS. The best marketing strategy that stands out is when GAP went “red” by selling shirts throughout their stores to raise money for HIV/AIDS.
At the time, I didn’t realize how many people are living with AIDS, have died, and how common this epidemic has become on a global perspective. In the U.S. more than 1 million people are HIV positive. In South Africa, over 250,000 people have died from AIDS and 5.2 million people are living with AIDs in 2008 according to http://www.avert.org. According to the New York Times article “South Africa to Expand to Combat Aids, South Africa has more people infected with AIDS in contrast to any other country. 35,000 babies died last year and 330,000 people died from lack of treatment under Mr.Mbeki’s governement according to Harvard researchers. As a result, Pres. Zuma will be treating pregnant women and babies who are HIV positive. As a result, more people with AIDS will be living fuller lives.
On an international public relations standpoint, a public relations practitioner has to understand cultural differences, political and economic forces along with societal forces that influences the South African culture. The primary language is English along with 11 other official languages. A practitioner’s job is to work as external or internal public relations officers. An external agent would be consultants or advisors to a company where as in internal public relations officer performs multiple functions such as organizing, media relations, and production of media messages. In relation to the HIV/AIDS issue in South Africa, it is important for one to understand the background history and how a country operates as a whole. Public Relations has had a major impact in the country’s operations, especially with HIV/AIDS. For example, due to the many struggles of political and social conflict in South Africa, public relations has been a communication tool to help build trust among the various cultures within the region. According to Skinner and Von Essen (1991) “public relations has emerged in South Africa today as a sophisticated, multi faceted discipline able to help forge effective two-way communication between an organization and its various publics.”

Darfur Diaries: This Is Not a Nightmare, it’s Reality

October 19, 2009

 Chills ran through my body as I watched the documentary film on Darfur and using my knowledge from my International Studies course along with International Public Relations.  The conflict began  when there was an increase in citizens, farmers, and herders due to the large land.  In 2003, 40, 000 civilians died while there are estimated 2 million people are in refugee camps.  This film featured people who have been separated from their family and leaving all of their belongings.  These victims  are full of life and are proud of their heritage and culture. The Janjaweed, which is the  allied militias that are made up of Arab milita, have destroyed the villages in Darfur, raped women of all ages, and  have murdered civilians. In retaliation,  the SLA (Sudanese Liberation Army) was formed in 2003.  According to some of the victims, the “policy of the government is the problem. They are punishing the innocent and as aresult, the innocent are suffering mental problems. We want our freedom and peace. We formed the SLA to fight against the government for survival.”  The people in the film also felt that the government has humiliated and degraded them.  When the children were asked to draw pictures of what is happening in Darfur, they drew detailed pictures of the  Janjaweed buring their homes, killing their families, and brutally destroying all of what they worked hard for that has been in the family for many generations.  One main character who captured my heart is Ibrahim Yousef who is ten. His dad was murdered and his mother is with him in the refugee camp.  Yousef drew a picture of the Janjaweed (Sudanese Government)  bombing villages. “They came to our village to kill people.”  This film was created by three people to capture global attention since the media refused to discuss this prevalent issue. The children have dreams about the genocide, which is evidence on how big of an issue this is. One victim said that this genocide would never happen in America because we have nations that help us and are a strong country.Imagine you are not being heard by America and you were forced by the government to leave your home that you worked hard to establish leaving behind your possessions and your family is separated; some family members are killed for no reason and others you don’t know if they are alive. Day by day, you wait for this constant battle to end so you can return to your home. What would you do? I think of these children each  day and this issue should be brought to global attention.I’m amazed at how much spirit the children have despite their struggle.

<a href=’\”>’ >Darfur Genocide: A Present Reality