Sunday, November 24, 2013

The Power Of LinkedIn

Let's take a moment to admire how LinkedIn silently dominates among social networks. For many college students LinkedIn is simply a formal social network where you can dump your resume and hope to be contacted for internships or jobs. However, LinkedIn is in actuality much more than that.

This social network goes beyond just a host for your information. As you scroll through your Facebook newsfeed and Twitter feed you are constantly bombarded with advertisements.

Go and take a look at your LinkedIn right now. How many ads do you see?

LinkedIn Sidebar (Personal Profile)

When you look at LinkedIn you tend to only see one advertisement. The rest of the space is used to suggest tools and people that coud help you increase your profile visibility and possibly advance your career path.

Now go on to your Facebook, YouTube or any other social media account you may have and compare the results.

YouTube Advertisement Header - Main Page

Advertisement before YouTube video  

Numerous Advertisements on Facebook Newsfeed 
The obvious observations are that in comparison LinkedIn doesn't bombard us with constant ads. Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr and YouTube all invite different people and all hold different types of content. Similarly, LinkedIn has it's own rules and guidelines and operates in their own unique way.

LinkedIn has become a place where companies can market themselves, sell, and recruit top talent. This means that it's a social network that can have a direct impact on the growth and success of a company. It's a unique position where LinkedIn as a network can monetize in a predominantly ad free way. They do this by pushing business users like sales people, marketers, corporate recruiters towards premium accounts. It's an another interesting example of how a social network can be a viable business.

In other words, don't just let your LinkedIn account sit there. Utilize it and update it to your advantage. Just like we post articles in our Facebook groups and tweet them out, don't be afraid to become an active member of a more professional community. 

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Tumblr Is Much Simpler Than You Think

Tumblr is often seen as one of the most misunderstood social media platforms out there. However, it is a platform that should not be ignored by businesses. There is a huge audience on Tumblr the trick is finding the right way to connect with them. It's not always easy to thrive on this platform but if you pay close attention and follow the proper etiquette you could become "Tumblr famous".

Essentially Tumblr is a microblogging website that is now owned by Yahoo! Inc. The platform allows users to "reblog" images, videos, music, or short-form blog posts. The content of the users you follow is what makes up your dashboard (similar to a newsfeed), from your dashboard you can add the posts that catch your eye to your own blog. People often obsess over the notes on their posts (equal to likes and shares).

I have been on Tumblr for about four years now. It is not an account that I use to keep in touch with my friends or update people on my day to day. I use this platform to express myself through images and quotes. I tend to keep my Tumblr separate from my Twitter and Facebook. I find that the Tumblr community frowns upon combining other social media worlds with that of the blogging site.

Tumblr is part of my online identity and it can be said that it's part of my brand. While I don't have a large following I still believe it allows me to connect with a different group of people I would not otherwise reach on other social media sites.

That being said, Tumblr is a platform brands should highly consider, especially if they are brands that rely on the visuals.

Mashable recently put out an article about the "15 Brands Rocking Tumblr".

It's a good list to go through in terms of companies that use Tumblr in different ways yet the right way.

Calvin Klein is an excellent example of how simplicity and a sleek layout attracts people on Tumblr. They use their account to provide consumers with sneak peaks of clothes, info on models and photo shoots while still integrating their own ads.


The Daily Beast is another brand that is properly utilizing Tumblr. Their "Cheat Sheet" tumblr gathers news from all over the Internet and gives you the gist of things with some awesome pictures included. 


Last class I was amused to hear Professor Talan say "Tumblr is blogging for lazy people". Which essentially is true but many people that use Tumblr would be offended to hear that. When I really get to thinking about the reason I love tumblr so much is because I don't have to sit there and read paragraphs on paragraphs of something. It's all visually appealing and takes up minimal time.

Now, the debate about whether people on Tumblr can be considered bloggers is a whole different discussion. Let's just leave it at Tumblr being the go to destination for those who appreciate visuals.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Who Doesn't Love Twitter Parties?

There are thousands of articles on the web that catch people’s attention and motivate them to click that share button. My daily task of scrolling through my infinite Facebook newsfeed introduces me to memes and articles my friends found interesting or amusing. It’s hard to avoid the numerous Buzzfeed articles our friends and family love to share.

Just this morning I clicked on a link one of my close friends posted titled: “This Is The Best Twitter Conversation You Will Read Today”. Being a social media obsessed fiend, I clicked on it. Little did I know, I was clicking on one of the most entertaining articles I would ever read on Buzzfeed.

We are all aware of the massive power Twitter has in terms of two-way conversations and personal expression. We also know that companies can leverage this platform in impressive ways. One of the first things you learn as a Public Communication student is how important it is for companies to have a clear and concrete presence in the Twitterverse. 

This brings me back to the Buzzfeed article. Here is the gist:

It all started when Ricardo, a Tesco customer, tweeted the following to Tesco Mobile

So a customer tweeted this to Tesco Mobile.

Just like the Buzzfeed article points out, Chloe's Facebook post doesn't make a whole lot of sense but just go with it. 

Brands often use Twitter for damage control and they respond with their deepest apologies to those customers that are tweeting negative things about them. Not only did Tesco use Twitter to address the situation (somewhat) they used it to start one of the most epic Twitter parties of all time. 

Tesco replied to Ricardo and formed a relationship with this said customer:

But Tesco Mobile replied in memorable fashion.

At first I was concerned that Tesco's original response would get them in some trouble but when you read the whole conversation you get lost in this world of awesomely hilarious back and forth. Who cares if Tesco Mobile indirectly called a hater crazy? 

I'm not going to post the whole conversation since you can see it all here but things got even more interesting. Yorkshire Tea, Jaffa Cakes, Cadbury UK and other customers joined in on the whole convo:

It became a party, and more companies joined in.

Now the question is: Was this a smart move for Tesco and the other companies that joined in? 

Personally, I'm totally into it. The companies involved have now become way more approachable. I read somewhere that the internet runs off of sarcasm. When you look at websites like Buzzfeed and Reddit, the contributors all thrive off their witty commentary and sarcastically genius input.

Let's be honest, and I don't mean to offend the older generations, but I think this type of conversation is viewed positively among the younger generations. The older generations just might not understand the tone and take it in the wrong way.

Whether or not this was a good move on Tesco Mobile's part is really up for discussion. Anything you post on the internet can be hit or miss it all just depends on how people interpret it. Let's see what people say about this convo as time progresses.

One last note. As I was reading this article I immediately thought about one of my favorite twitter accounts: @NotCoatFactory.

Originally they were under the name @BurlingtonCoatFactory but they were not the official account for The Burlington Coat Factory store. While they were not verified by twitter many people thought this was the official account linked to the company.

The twitter account went viral after it started tweeting some very strange yet hilarious things.

After conflict with the corporate offices of The Burlington Coat Factory the twitter account was deleted. But much to everyone's delight they are back! Check out some of their latest tweets:

I know that these are two different situations seeing as the Tesco tweets were actually from the company but it's still a good example. People love sarcasm and people will be willing to join in on a conversation where they can show of their wit and make people laugh. Wittiness gets retweets and favorites. Funny gets retweets and favorites. I think Tesco got the memo and so did the geniuses behind @NotCoatFactory.

Monday, October 7, 2013

iPhone, I Love You

The whole idea that we are obsessed with our smartphones is not a new phenomenon. I think the majority of us are aware of the unhealthy relationship we have with our phones.

In class last week we talked about how some people hold their breath while checking their email and those phantom vibrations that make us think we have a new text. We are connected every minute of every day and we are now unable to relax without being around technology. Our phones have become an extension of our bodies. When I am sans iPhone I can’t help but become anxious and slightly stressed out.

Becoming aware that we are living in a perpetual state of fight or flight is almost as stressful as your phone dying and having no way to charge it.

So now we are not only dependent on technology but we are also constantly stressed. This stress makes us eat more and when we eat more we get fatter.

This is just a theory of course, it does sound a bit silly to say that your phone is at fault for your extra cushioning.

My point here isn’t that our phones are making us fat, but rather that phones have become such a crucial part of our every day life that they are now being blamed for health issues.

A few days after we talked about this in class I was hanging out with one of my friends. We were out on my balcony and both of our phones were inside. We couldn’t make it more than two minutes without searching for our phones. My friend kept going in and out because she could have sworn she heard a phone ringing. Not only does this relate to the phantom vibrations, but also it proves the idea that humans can no longer just sit there and be human.

We have to know what’s going on all the time because FOMO has no mercy and will eat us alive. We were unable to enjoy the view and the sunshine because we were too preoccupied worrying about our phones.

Let’s just take a moment to ponder on the fact that apps have been created in order to let people walk and be on their phones at the same time.

I went on Twitter to see how many people obsess over their phones. I found that most people are okay with professing their love for an inanimate object on the inter-webs.

At the end of the day, our eyes probably get more screen time than normal au naturale time. So let’s make an effort to detach ourselves from technology occasionally. Let’s stop being those reliant, needy girlfriends to our iPhones and become more independent!

Jess clearly likes her iPhone more than our friendship...

Monday, September 9, 2013

What's Going On?

As I embark on my senior year of college at American University, I begin yet another exciting communications course. This semester I am taking COMM-552 Social Media Strategy & Tactics, taught by Professor Scott Talan.

Talan's class always go beyond readings and papers. One of our many assignments is to create a blog in which we speak about the varying topics discussed in class. Everything on this blog will apply to the materials used in class and current social media issues.

Stay tuned for more posts and vlogs!

In the mean time I will leave this interesting info-graphic here for your amusement!

Stay Social,