Future Implication!

Social media, the necessary evil, as I like to call it. I have a love/hate relationship for social media and trying so hard to lean towards the love, because I know how important it is to businesses. When I first joined Facebook in 2005, I barely even remember seeing ads and was able to enjoy my experience, staying in touch with my college friends and friends from high school who were away in college as well. Now, I can’t even see my friend’s posts, without seeing a bunch of ads. Although I understand that companies need to advertise on social media, the ads are started to get annoying and over populated.

With the way technology is and how the human behavior is changing, I can for see social media users being able to opt out of social media advertising. The same as viewers being able to block television advertising and radio listeners being able to do the same. Although Pandora is a free tool, you have the option to upgrade membership, to not hear advertising and only listen to non stop music. I believe that social media sites will start offering the same service, which will block social media advertising to those who want to opt out of it.

What that means to companies, is that they have to come up with ways of reaching those audiences through social media. That may mean paying even more for banner ads, which may not be opted out of. Because social media sites understand that they must have advertising to make money, they will find a way of sneaking in some un avoidable ads. They will in turn jack the prices up and companies will still pay for them, because they want to reach those potential customers.

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Viral Marketing Initiative!

A few weeks ago, I went in my daughter’s room and caught her singing and dancing to “Do it for the Vine.” I quietly taped her and sent the video to close family members and friends. Her father then forwarded the video to some of his family members. A few days ago, I saw the video on Vine, with a few hundred views. I was furious and immediately called my family members and friends and all of them said that they did not post the video. I called my daughter’s father and he admitted that one of his cousins posted the video and that he asked him to remove it. I was so furious, because I did not want a personal funny video of my 7 year old child on the internet. Although you couldn’t see her face, because I taped her from the back, I still did not appreciate it. The video was eventually taken down, but I still couldn’t believe how quickly the video went viral. Although my daughter’s video was not a marketing campaign, I decided to use the some of the characteristics for a viral campaign.

The first thing a campaign has to do is it has to evoke an emotion. Whether the emotion is happiness, sadness, jealousy, etc., an emotion has to be revoked. In my daughter’s video, it was humor that made it go viral. People enjoyed the fact that a little girl was in her room singing and dancing, having fun. The fact that she wasn’t even aware of the fact that she was being taped made it even funnier and “cute.”

A campaign also has to have a call to action. For example, “share,” “like,” “comment if you agree,” etc. The person that posted my daughter’s video had a call to action that read, “Share and comment if you think she is just the cutest kid.” I am not sure how many people shared the video, but a whole lot of people commented on the video.

A viral campaign also has to have the WITFM (What’s In It for me) effect. The WITFM does not always have to be a tangible reward, like a prize or money; it can also be intangible, like a learned lesson. In my daughter’s case, she probably learned to not trust mommy with the video camera. Lol.

A viral campaign also has to have a message. What message the campaign is trying to convey, should be clear. People should be able to see the campaign and know what it’s all about, to allow them to continue making it viral. No one likes to share a message if they themselves do not understand it.
Lastly, a viral campaign has to be short. Who wants to sit there and read a lengthy message or watch a long video? The shorter it is, the more viral it will become. If the campaign is short, it allows people to look at it in its entirety and share it with others.

Differentiation

sephoramacMAC Cosmetics in my opinion is one of the most popular cosmetics brand, if not the most popular. Maybe I am a little bias because I am a loyal customer and consider myself a “MAC girl.” MAC has the following social media accounts: Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Tumblr and Instagram.

Its Facebook page has close to 7 million likes and over 57,000 people talking about the company. MAC has 847,627 followers and following only 140. MAC has tweeted over 13.9 tweets. Have 510,000 followers and following 565. One thing that I noticed about MAC, is that only do they tweet several times a day, they also retweet tweets from celebrities and MAC customers.

I looked at some of the people MAC is following and realized that a lot of them were your “every day people,” which showed that they do care about their customers and keep them involved. The company’s YouTube page has not only videos of commercials and events, but also videos of tutorials and of customers.

Although I am very impressed with every social media account MAC has and believe they are doing an excellent job at keeping them updated and interactive, I do believe that it should add more social media sites. With so many other social media sites out there, including Path, Pinterest, Flickr, Myspace etc., the company should utilize all of them and not only target the most popular ones. Especially with some of these sites being very popular in other countries and MAC being an international brand.

Sephora another popular cosmetics brand have been doing an excellent job on social media and reaching out to its customers. It has a presence on the most popular sites, such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Pinterest, Tumblr and Google+. Unlike MAC who doesn’t have a Pinterest account, Sephora has lots of pins on their site and over 293,000 followers. These are people that may not be on other social media sites that MAC may not be reaching through social media. With over 1 million followers on Instagram and 614 posts, Sephora seems to be very update with its posts.

Sephora seems to be leading MAC in following on Twitter with over 1.29 million followers and I attribute that to them following a lot more people and tweeting a whole lot more. Just the few minutes that I spent on its page, Sephora tweeted four times. A lot of its tweets were makeup tips and discount codes, which is sure to keep customers and prospective customers interested and involved.

Although I am more of a MAC fan, I was more impressed with Sephora’s social media efforts. They are on more social media sites and utilizing them very well. I will offer the same advice to Sephora as I did with MAC, to create a presence on more social media sites, to reach more people. The good thing about a lot of these social media sites is that they are completely free and free advertising is always good advertising.

Do rules really apply??? Well maybe to some extent!

RULESWhen I think of blogging, I think of someone just sharing their thoughts or feelings with others. Honestly, I don’t think there should be any rules when it comes to blogging, but the reality is, there are rules.

The first rule to blogging, is to be casual. A lot of people who read blogs expect it to be more conversational and casual  as possible. Correct grammar is necessary, but the extensive vocabulary is not necessary all the time. As a Broadcast News major in college and actually writing television scripts, we were taught to write at a 6th grade level, which should be the same with blogging.

As a blogger, it is necessary to stay updated and current of the issues you blog about. Giving accurate information is the key to establishing and keeping credibility amongst readers. People don’t want blogs to be perfect, they just want it to be accurate. The one time you give readers inaccurate information, the day you lose all credibility. That can lead to people not reading your blogs and end your career as a blogger.

Being a consistent blogger is also the key to staying relevant. It is important to blog on a consistent basis, even if the blogs are not as long and detailed all the time. That at least gives readers the notion that you are passionate blogger and not not a blogger who blogs sparingly.

When blogging, it is essential to promote your blog on social media sites. The reason for blogging is for people to read what you wrote and what better way to do so, than to let people know about it through social media. That will get more readers to your blog and keep your blog engaging and fun.

The radio industry heavily uses these blogging guidelines. As a matter of fact, I believe they use it more than a lot of other industries. For example, radio personalities have their own blogs, that allows their listeners and fans to read about experiences and their lives. One radio personality at one of our radio stations, blogged about her entire pregnancy. We actually had advertisers calling the station to advertise on her blog spot. Blogging in the radio industry keeps listeners interactive and remain listeners for a long time.

Social Media and Radio go together like peanut butter and jelly!

PNJEvery day, I deal with customers who want to cancel their radio advertising, because they claim that social media advertising works better for them and that radio listeningship is going down. The biggest misconception, is that radio is dying down, or that people have stopped listening to the radio completely. Yes, radio may not be as popular as social media, but it is not a dying medium.

The radio industry understands that social media is a very intricate part of society, so it also uses it to advertise and promote its products. During the 2013 radio conference in Las Vegas, data was released to radio executives, that points to an opportunity for $90 billion broadcasting industry to increase their appeal to both consumers and advertisers by leveraging social engagement. I have yet to come across a radio station, that does not have a social media presence.

As a marketer, I always advise my clients to utilize every media platform and not to spend all their advertising dollars on just one form of media. For my advertisers who tell me they advertise on social media and do not want to advertise on radio anymore, I tell them to compliment their social media advertising with radio. Not only are they reaching the radio listeners, they are also creating more traffic to their social media advertising or accounts, by making reference to it on their radio advertising. For example, the “like us on facebook” or “follow us on twitter” could be used at the end of their radio advertising.

Radio stations are now dedicating staff to manage their social media accounts, so they can keep listeners engaged and also acquire new listeners. These social media accounts are used by radio stations to track their listeners, who were acquired by social media followers and subscribers.

With radio being one of the oldest form of media and social media being the newest and most popular form of media, the future of the two is very bright, especially when coupled together.

Facebook??????? Really??????

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A week ago, my team had a marketing meeting, focusing solely on social media. I was a little bored when the meeting first started, but was suddenly alert, when one of our guest speakers, who works for facebook, started sharing details about how facebook has helped not only the radio industry, but our radio stations in particular.

This man had data on how many more listeners were added to our count, who found out about our stations on facebook. He went ahead and showed us what our listening counts were before we created facebook pages and before we even started advertising on facebook. One of our station’s listenership jumped from 20,000, to almost 550,000, once the facebook “hype started.” Now for a new station which has only been on air for less than a year and also in a rural town, that is pretty strong and impressive.

Now what does that mean to us? That means our advertising client list has grown tremendously, which spells out JOB SECURITY for me!

Some of our stations have daily deals, and have reported that most of their deals have been sold out every time, once they started posting the “deal of day” on their station’s facebook pages. I honestly thought that radio was enough to push daily deals, but quickly found out that facebook was just the extra kick that was needed.

My burning question for the facebook employee who gave all the data that his company has helped grow our business was, how sure are you sir? How can you prove that facebook did this? He smiled and said, “I was waiting for someone to ask that question.” He pulled out a tracking sheet, that tracked every time a facebook using click on our stations’ advertising, pages or website links on facebook. The numbers were astounding, and if I wasn’t a firm believer of facebook really attributing growth to businesses, then I became a believer then.

Never again, will I look at facebook the same as I did before. You know, the “washed out social media site” I used to call it. Yes, I have a whole lot more respect for facebook now!!!!

Either you’re IN or you’re OUT!!

you_are_either_in_or_youre_out_t_shirt-rc27273b5b5504a24b0f4c10c87b24f70_804gs_324miller brothersSocial Media in my industry although very prevalent and relevant, is also causing a bit of a stir and even negatively impacting the industry. Not only does social media affect the Radio industry that I work in, especially my company, but it does so to the employees as well.

The CEO of my company pushes social media and encourages employees to recommend our social media sites to listeners and advertisers, but discourages employees to post about the company on their personal pages. This came as a result of employees posting pictures of “Beer Fridays,” an internal event the company hosts for employees in my building. Beers were served to employees and some got a little out of hand after a few beers, and did things that were not appropriate in the workplace. Although this was served after 5pm, the fact remained, that this event was held at the work site and some employees were still working. It was even reported that some employees who did not participate, complained about this event and even posted it on their facebook and twitter pages as well, poking fun at their drunk colleagues and blaming management for allowing such behavior. Clients also saw those postings, which caused a lot of complaints to be filed about the company. It even caused the company to lose money, because some advertisers pulled out their advertising.

The radio industry is a huge believer that social media is a great way to promote the industry and particular radio stations, so they use that to their advantage. I went on every Atlanta station’s website, and did not find one, that did not have links to their social media accounts. Not only that, a lot of radio announcers plug in a few seconds of social media reference to their airtime. As a matter of fact, this is even written in some of the scripts by us for the announcers, while writing their scripts in the morning. This is stressed during daily production meetings in the morning, so announcers will not forget to make reference to station’s social media sites, even if the writers forget to include it in their scripts.

One thing the radio industry does to improve their standing in the social media environment, is contests for listeners. To encourage listeners to become facebook fans and twitter followers, one of our radio stations post trivia on their facebook page and gives free prizes to the caller who calls with the right answer. That is a great tracking device for the station, because they know for sure that the listeners are also social media followers. As a matter of fact, one station close to 700,000 likes on facebook and trending very well on twitter as well.

Social media!!! The tool you either love or passionately hate. Or as my mother would put it, “the devil himself.”