Category Archives: Recreational

Socialnomics and it’s uses Today

I had my own thoughts on social media before reading this book. The book was published in 2009 and covers a lot of aspects of social media. I will say though, that a published book about social media in sort defeats the message. This is not an updatable source, and it is very traditional. Yet the content is critical of traditional methods. The books gives some great examples of successful social media and web 2.0 business operations. The ones made up by the author are a little disappointing and far-reaching in my mind.

Going in I held this belief- Social Media is not a new concept. It’s a new medium, that’s all. Everything we’ve done before social media, on a basic level, is being transferred to the social media medium. The difference doesn’t lie in what we do, but how we do it. The Internet allows us to do more things in a faster way, and social media helps us in that process. After reading, I still retain my belief.

Avoiding Information Indigestion:

It’s in the news and

Coined in the book “Socialnomics,” the term refers to receiving so much information that you can’t keep it all down. So with access to vast amounts of information at a whim, how do we not experience this? The answer is actually simple; we don’t care about the stuff we’re not interested in. Are you going to read every article on MSNBC or FOX news? Probably not. You’ll ingest the information you care about. Carry that idea over to social media

it’s what we watch so

The model of broadcast television is to bring 1 show to millions of people. You can watch all the Spin City reruns or Madmen you want, as long as you watch it when it’s being broadcasted on the television. DVDs bring many shows to 1 or more people whenever they want to watch it together. Youtube, Netflix, Hulu, Vimeo, and any other video site brings unlimited amounts of videos to you at any point you chose. The model went from 1 show to millions at a specific time, to multiple shows at any time, to Millions of shows to any 1.

what does this do to us?

Think of the things you like. If you say you like everything, that’s a lie and you just don’t know what you like. So because we have a vast amount of information we can access at a whim, what are you going to look into? Something you like. Then, because you like that thing, you will probably like things that are similar to it. Without knowing it, you’re making a niche for yourself. This niche is how web 2.0’s interactivity works. Your Pandora station won’t play hard rock if you don’t “like” hard rock songs. We are unknowingly limiting ourselves to information that we have free and vast access to.

Things you didn’t care about

Who cares about Fantasy Football it’s

So we’ve established that we only care about a certain perception of things. Now, it’s important to realize that there is something outside of what we care about that exists. Not only that it exists, but the advancements being used there translate over to what we care about. Two ESPN anchors realized that fantasy football was becoming a huge success in the mid 2000s. So much of a success that they talked to ESPN about running more segments for it. ESPN noted the phenomenon, but did not want to incorporate any more airtime to the subject. Instead, the network gave the two anchors free reign to create side content, as long as it continued the ESPN standards. They came out with weekly podcasts and the number of downloads and listens increased as they continued their broadcasts. The great things about this were, consumers were able to receive the content they cared about, when they could access it, and move on whenever they wanted to. ESPN was not the first to create podcasts for their content, but by using podcasts, they gave their audience the access to the content they wanted. This is a good example of businesses properly using the tools available to increase value of their product. Even if you don’t care about fantasy football or sports, what ESPN did was more than-

just a bunch of guys talking about stuff I don’t care about.

Traditional Mediums are Taking their Advertising Methods Down with Them

An example of approaches to Past Philosophies in Marketing

1.         It’s all about the message and brand of imagery
2.         We know what the customer wants because they don’t know
3.         We develop messages in house and send those to the public

compared to Marketers Philosophy Today

1.         It’s important to listen and respond to customer needs
2.         We don’t know what is exactly right for the customer so we adjust the message accordingly
3.         Our customers send out messages about us more effectively than we do

in two different podcasts.

BestBuy bought advertising rights to the CNET’s technology podcast Buzz Out Loud. BestBuy took a past philosophy to advertising this message to its consumers. The podcast played commercials at the beginning, middle and end of it’s content. BestBuy did not update their advertisement for seven months wanting to maintain a consistent message. What BestBuy found was their ads were 1: Disruptive to the flow of podcast content 2: Not innovative 3: A traditional approach to a nontraditional medium

Two different companies (Charles Schwab stock brokers and marketers behind the film Eagle Eye) were interested in advertising during the ESPN podcast. So how would ESPN and the two companies handle this? Well, they were much more innovative than BestBuy. Instead of traditional blocks of advertising, the two anchors incorporated the advertisements into their show. Charles Schwab was incorporated in the segments by the anchors telling the audience which players Chuck (Charles) had for the week as definite starters. This works well for the stock aspects as brokers are picking stocks to do well much like fantasy football partakers are picking players to do well.  One question asked on the show was a direct metaphor for stocks. An emailer asked if they should a certain player. The anchors responded by saying Chuck knows when to sell high and buy low, and encouraged the trade. Eagle Eye was mentioned in the podcast in a similar fashion. Anchors would talk about specific games or players and say they had their Eagle Eye them. The companies found this to be 1: In tune with the flow of the podcast 2: Innovative 3: A nontraditional approach to a nontraditional medium.

Traditional Marketing is not the only thing Outdated in the Marketing Department

Companies spend a lot of time in small focus groups asking

Imagine you’re asked to participate in a focus group for a company. The company will compensate you for your time. You will be in a room with a group leader who directs the conversation. It’s a small room full of strangers and you’re supposed to talk about this company in depth. This approach is outdated. Marketers don’t need focus groups to tell them about the public’s appearance of the functionality of a product anymore. The Internet is full of this material.

questions that can be found on social media sites.

Sites like Twitter, Blogs, and Facebook allow users to talk about their consumer experiences when they want. Marketing researchers may not get the same responses from people in the focus groups as they would from an online forum.

Mike likes this product from this brand and I want it because he likes it

Sixty-Seven Percent of 1977 Purchases derived from word of mouth advertising compared

It’s true that we listen to what other people say about a product and make our judgments about this product based on what this person said. We don’t trust companies, they have a motive. They want you to buy their product and they will do everything they can to convince you their product is best. Since we have this predisposition, how can we be sure their product is the best for me? This is where word of mouth advertising, and social media, comes in to play.

to 92% in 2009.

You can ask any of the friends on your network about a specific purchase they made. Their judgment of the product’s value will be the determining aspect of your view of the product. Suppose you are interested in the best hotel in New York. You’ve had some friends who went there and can tell you about their experience. So, you could listen to your friend’s testimony, which you will believe is as credible as your friend, or you could check online reviews from strangers, some of whom could be rival hotels bashing on the site.

Interestingly enough, while I’ve been working at KHS, we’ve noticed our Spay/Neuter services receive more customers who know we offer the service because of word of mouth than anything else. I’ve only been entering the survey results for nine months now, but it is a huge portion.

So because you’ve listened to your friend’s testimony and bought the product, that’s all that the company wants from you. Wrong. You will undoubtedly talk about the investment you made in a positive or negative light. In a positive light, and you continue the cycle that you were on the purchasing end of. In a negative light, and companies can use your feedback to properly alter their product. An example would be a hotel stay. Let’s say you had a good stay and blogged/tweeted about it, you may have other friends who now can see that you’ve had a good stay and this may increase their interest. On the flipside, you could blog or tweet about it, and the hotel can 1: Contact you to see if they can repair their damaged reputation 2: Fix the problem, and thus provide a better product.

The most famous form of testimony almost did not exist. The Subway campaign featuring Jared was originally paid for by an ad agency. They knew the story was great and could help the Subway image. Jared appealed to customers as a person, not a corporation. Social Media allows so many success stories to be heard and shared now. Jared’s successes vastly improved the image of Subway, and this testimony is being done every day now. Status like “mmmm…I’m eating Chipotle now.” are great for businesses because they aren’t the ones sending the messages.

BAAAAAAAAAAAA

Social Media is a new world that we are just experiencing, but it is helping to improve our everyday lives.

The book provides an analogy for social media. The consumers are sheep and the shepherd looking over them are the companies. The fence holding the sheep in breaks and some sheep are now in a new, never before explored pasture (social media). The Shepherd has 2 options: 1: Chase after the sheep 2: Ignore the sheep that wandered off. If the shepherd choses option 2, the sheep will be either lost/confused and not return or be picked up by another herder (the book says wolf, but this feels more apt), one that isn’t afraid to venture into an unknown world. If the herder choses option 1, the sheep, and herder will engage in a process of communication that benefits both parties. The shepherd can talk and observe each sheep directly, and the sheep can provide feedback on the products. This constant communication is efficient because you no longer have “experts” talking about what consumers want or need, rather you have the consumer telling you. Having said this, there are a number of companies that did not chase after their sheep.

For Every Poison there is an Antidote

I got that above line from a really bad movie I watched called Spider 2.

What are the downsides of this perceived positivity? There are two major ones: 1: Social Media puts it’s users in a preventative behavior type mode 2: Social Media removes physical experience. In case number one, a bad Facebook post or tweet can and will be seen by lots of people on an immediate basis. This forces us to watch what we say and, in a way, the mass media engages censorships. Compromising pictures, videos, status, or opinions can be viewed by mostly anyone and thus are subject to scrutiny. Think about Anthony Wiener… In case number 2, we see little value in experiencing things in a physical sense because we can just have someone tell us about it. Why waste the money going to New York if you can just view pictures of it online? Not only that, but we decrease our interpersonal communication skills because we are communicating behind a monitor. And we’re communicating with other’s presentation of themselves. We all boast a little and extend the truth, how certain can we be of the validity of the person we’re talking to (unless we’ve known them before of course). I’m going to leave on one last note. Think about Australia. What do you imagine? You probably think of something you’ve seen online that someone posted. Your subjectivity is completely dependent on what that person framed. You do not have the experience of going to Australia, but you have another person’s experience. Social media is a great tool for accessing and spreading information, but we need to be careful no to remain subjective based on our experiences on a matter, not just recycle another person’s words. Who knows, maybe Spider 2 wasn’t a bad movie and I was just saying that so you would question your own belief and see for yourself?

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searchengineoptimization_and_you_/

Do I see myself doing something similar to Brandi Koskie?

No and yes. I don’t see myself writing, updating, and optimizing diet websites. I do see myself writing, updating, and optimizing other sites.

Search engine optimization is hard to pinpoint. In order for Googlebot to find your site, then rate it based on keywords typed in the search bar is a hard algorithm to understand. Koskie’s site dropped from first page search results to second page right after Google updated their algorithm.

The advantage of being on the first page? More web traffic. The advantage of more web traffic? More advertising money you generate.

So how does Koskie interpret the Google algorithm, then act on it?

Google gives great SEO tips

How did SEO take off

The “Spiders” are little feelers that go out and determine, based on Google’s algorithm, how credible your site is. Some of the categories include:

Content: Content is king on websites. Static content is like the stagnant water in your ditch. It looks worse each time you go by it. Blogs are great tools that can be incorporated into your website to increase content. By updating your website’s content, you’re updating your readers with any new information.

Metatags: This data is hidden within the categorization of your web pages. You have a home page and then pages that feed from there. If you title these pages, page2 or page_2_100432, the spiders will not assess this a decent structure. Besides, what good does this do to people interested in clicking on the link? The user just sees numbers that feed back to somewhere. While the numbers may feed back to a credible source, page_2_all_about_diets looks better and spiders pick up on that much more.

Linking: So you have this cool site that everyone wants to see. Do they? What other sites are you linking to and from, and how credible are those websites? This moves your webpage up and down along the Google algorithm based on your content, the content you chose to place from other sites, and how other sites (and their credibility) use your content.

These are all really great things that will help you improve your website as a whole anyways, but now that Google is requiring it for improved search engine results, it went from an aesthetic to an utmost necessity.

One of the things about rules and algorithms, people try to find ways around them. So what does Google do to combat this? Google doesn’t have someone sit down and observe your webpage and click every square inch of it. Rather, the spiders are “trained” to look for shortcuts or loopholes people may use in order to boost their site’s search rankings:

Hidden text: Some sites will link to other sites using white text on a white background, or by placing the text behind a picture. This allows websites to link to other sites without the user seeing the links. This may not seem like a big deal, but it’s deceptive for someone to blast their page with hidden links. You’re not using the source, rather you’re using the rank from having it on your page.

How Google handles some malusers

Other examples of shortcuts or loopholes include but are not limited to: spam, duplicate content, and broken links.

In sum of the question asked, I do see myself doing something like what Brandi Koskie does. I will not be updating a dieting website, however, I will be updating a site I chose. Using the tools Koskie talked about, and some of the resources around,  I feel as though I have a good base understanding of SEO. One thing about SEO though, is a lot of it occurs on the programming level. In order to manipulate things around in your website, you need to understand how the website works. Yes, having a blog link into your site will add to your content, but you have to have a place to put it. You have to program the metatags on your web pages. Websites are becoming easier to manage, especially considering we can create a basic one from a blog, but incorporating these changes into a bigger site requires knowledge, or someone else who knows, on how to make these changes. I completely agree with everything Koskie said, and I think the improvements on the website not only help you in search engine location, but help your website function better overall. I just think that we need to have an understanding of how to set all this up as well. We can say we need to change this page’s tag to make our content more worthy in SEO, but the actual practice of it takes an understand in website building.

On a side note for an appropriate ending: Is us changing our content/structure to fit Google’s search engine a good thing?  I say this because people are not changing their content to be more appealing to their customers, but to fit higher in the search engine rankings. We could say that rankings in the search engine location and appeal to customers go hand in hand, but are we changing how we want to do something just so we won’t fall behind in a governing system’s ranking or for the readers?

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Changes within Social Media and the Internet

Engage! explained marketing strategies in corporations and how the amount of money spent in marketing for the companies changed. Businesses are spending more and more money each year in online advertising. However, not all businesses are spending this money correctly. Simply putting more money into a social media campaign will not result in higher return on investments. There needs to be direction, a goal, a way to improve your marketing with social media, not using social media as the improvement. Too many businesses misuse social media, and it bites them back for doing so. A proper use can, when needed, effectively broadcast your message to thousands if not millions of people. I experienced the benefits first hand of proper social media use. This past summer, we had a lot of kittens at the Kansas Humane Society. We knew we had too many to give proper care to all, but we needed to find a way to get people in the door to adopt them. We decided to create a two-hour long free cat and kitten adoption event. Because we had little time to prepare for this, the only means we could express this message with were social media, and two television spots. I created a Youtube video, which we posted to our blog and facebook. Two days after posting the video, we had our adoption event and all of our cats and kittens were adopted. Using a nontraditional style of marketing, we were able to effectively reach our audience and reap the benefits. We continue to use blogs, social media and other nontraditional methods of marketing. Though, adopting all of our felines in two hours using mostly nontraditional marketing created that week is a remarkable achievement.

Social media is a cheaper, faster, and more efficient alternative to traditional marketing. This works as a double-edged sword however. Social media sites are free to join and many of the users engage with the community members. This means more money can be spent on the message and improving its quality rather than on its broadcast. Users can instantly see the message, and the message will remain on the site, and your profile for as long as you wish to keep it there. Broadcast spots, radio and print ads all cost exorbitant sums of money. Your ad on radio and television will only be broadcast for anywhere from fifteen seconds to one minute. Print ads show up in side columns and back pages of editorials. These costly ads are generated towards a group of people rather than one person, and deal with and act as a distraction towards listeners and readers. A detraction of social media comes from one of its positive aspects. Sure users can instantaneously view, share and critic other’s posts, blogs or statuses, but what happens when it’s not intended for release. Recently we saw the case of Anthony Weiner posting a picture that he vehemently denied being him, or his private region. With the immediacy of our media intake, Weiner’s followers were able to see this photo before he knew he posted it and he fell under scrutiny.

Privacy remains a barrier in the control of our social media platforms. Danah Boyd explains much of her interpretations of it in her speech Open Privacy. We perceive an illusion of control of our profiles because we can control the privacy settings. While controlling the privacy settings is important in filtering the information to sources, it will not completely filter it. It takes one slip-up and you’re Hannah Montana talking trash on other celebrities on Youtube because you thought the video was set on private. Besides, what is stopping one of the people who can see the material from publishing it? Further more, what stops someone from posting bad mouth or uploading a controversial about you? There are no privacy settings that exist to stop that.

Combining the topic of privacy settings and marketing, we end up with the idea of a new style, nontraditional marketing schematic. Using Facebook as an example, when you post your interests, activities, favorite foods, and other personal information, your intent is to post about yourself for others to see. However, what Facebook sees is demographic and psychographic analysis that can be sold to marketers. The sidebars on your profile page are not ads generated randomly and to an unspecified mass like a broadcast or print ad. These ads can not only be categorized based on demographics such as age, sex and location, but as well as psychographics like favorite food, favorite activity, and general interests. An example of a dynamic ad- Do you have a boyfriend, girlfriend or significant other? If your profile says yes, then you will receive ads based on this relationship. Popular ones that show up on my account are track your girlfriend’s location, where to go with your girlfriend, and what your baby would look like. However, if it says no, you will receive ads like where to meet girls/guys, top things guys/girls like, and so on. This dynamic shift in marketing is taking place throughout the world. Companies will be sending more messages tailored to you rather than a group. Another example of this comes from the online music station Pandora. When you create a station, you are telling Pandora a specific genre of music you listen to. By participating in the thumbs up and thumbs down filter selections, you are not only selecting certain songs to be heard, but you are selecting certain ads. If you’re listening to a station and Cage the Elephant comes on, but you click the thumbs down button, chances are you won’t hear the Cage the Elephant ad for their new cd.

Along with this change in marketing the public’s power in business to consumer communications changed. Jay Rosen highlighted certain truths and changes with this in his article The People Formerly Known as the Audience. The material is true; the consumer is now garnering more control from corporations. No longer is the corporation sending out messages with little to no feedback, but instead we can comment, like or retweet a message to spread the word and give appropriate feedback to the speaker.

Blogs enabled people to become their own printing press, Youtube allowed people to become their own broadcast stations, and podcast changed radio. The more subtle changes occurred with the addition of apps and widgets. The Internet we know now may very well be transformed from a free roam environment into an app happy, condensed, mobile world. Wired posted an article about this very thing

The Internet is not going to die or go away, but a lot of the ways we access it will change. Our Facebooks, Twitters, and Youtubes are all apps now. We don’t need to sign into browsers and go to the webpage, we can immediately find the information we want right there. This will change the future of marketing. It’s becoming more apparent that businesses need a website, a Facebook, and a Twitter, and maybe now an app to continue to flourish in the markets (I do realize that not every business needs a social media presence, and I feel that some are in it just to be in it). How cool would it be if QuikTrip posted an app that synched with the maps app on your phone to give you the nearest directions? Websites are transforming from bigger landscapes of information to condensed and mobile friendly. We log onto our accounts on our phones and ipads. These apps are not going to go away. It is my belief that the future of our social media lives and Internet consumption will evolve to this app friendly world.

It is apparent the marketing and social world around us is changing. Whether it is by company’s strategies, social networking updates and innovations, or a whole new way to access the web; changes, not only the ones we are experiencing now, are on the horizon. It is very interesting to think that fifteen years ago an entirely different beast dominated our media world. Television held a tight grip on the news world with 24-hour news, but now Facebook and Twitter allow us to instantaneously see what is happening at any given point to any given person. The articles we read for this class hit the nail on the head and defined a change that is currently occurring in our society. Brian Solis explained how businesses need, or don’t need to spend their time on social media marketing ventures. Jay Rosen wrote on the changes in media and the control the people now have. Yes it is true a handful of media conglomerates control most of the market, but blogging and other networking sites gave people a large chunk control. Danah Boyd explained the privacy issues within social media, and the illusion we see as control. Finally, Wired spawned a new thought into the idea of an ever-changing web and how we may no longer at a free roam Internet the same. Maybe apps are a fad, but a lot of the things we use now had the same stigma?

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