Marketing in the Making

Marketing; Thoughts and Questions

Archive for the category “Facebook”

What’s New Facebook?

I feel as though every time I sit down to write a post about a specific platform, it is always Facebook. I know I have written about others like Google Plus and Pinterest but, Facebook just keeps coming up in the news.

What is the latest you ask? Hmm… Let’s see… Facebook is now being traded on the NASDAQ, Mark Zuckerberg got married just days after Facebook went public, the new app called Airtime and of course the constantly changing privacy settings. Don’t worry, I will at least touch a little upon each of these.

As I was thinking about what to write for this post, I knew Facebook’s stock was almost a must but my only problem with that is I am not very knowledgeable about stocks. So, instead of trying to explain to you what is happening with Facebook’s, I will simply summarize so neither of us get confused. The starting price on day 1, May 18th was $38 and at close it was only $38.23. Since then the stock price has been less than amazing. Based on my research, investors are less than impressed but rather cautionary about their investment in Facebook. Because of this, Facebook is left with a lot of work to do to impress investors. Needless to say, I don’t see myself investing any money into Facebook anytime soon. Take a look at this article in The Economist to see what is happening and learn more.

Mark Zuckerberg apparently got married just one day after Facebook went public to Priscilla Chan… Personally, I would at least wait a week to get married after my multi-billion dollar company went public…but that’s just me. Really though, congratulations to the newlyweds!

Has anyone heard of this new app for Facebook that came out called Airtime? Well, it is similar to chat applications like Chatroulette and Omegle that connect you with other strangers using the application. The only difference here is that Airtime is through Facebook and the app connects people based on similar interests listed in your profile. Users can share videos with one another as well. You can also choose to be anonymous until you “add” each other and then you can determine additional privacy settings. I personally have not used this application yet, but a friend of mine has and seems to like it. She said she even spoke to one of the creators, Sean Parker…very cool! Please check it out and let me know what you think! I will try it too.

Facebook always seems to update their privacy settings, so I just feel that it is necessary to mention. A friendly reminder here to check your settings again to make sure you have all your bases covered.

As always, please make sure to comment! Maybe you could teach me about stocks and update us all about how Facebook is doing.


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Facebook To Twitter And Back Again

Lately, I have noticed a lot more of people interchanging Twitter and Facebook lingo.

Initially, it was the “@” symbol when speaking at somebody, which Facebook eventually integrated into their platform. Now people are using hashtags on Facebook…and actually in every day speech. I wonder if Facebook will now be incorporating the “#” to their platform. I mean, they are changing enough as it is, why not just tack this on as well?

Even if the platforms do offer different things, social network vs. micro-blogging, their affects on the general public clearly are crossing over. There is no direct line. The trends are passing from one platform to another. Although, I do feel like it is inevitable, I am not sure if I am ready to edge it along. I am still a sucker for the originals of Twitter and Facebook. I still even prefer hand written things like to-do list or calendars than electronic ones. But even with that the new forms are really exciting.

Are you using hashtags on Facebook?

Happy Birthday!

Today was a day of birthdays. It was my brothers birthday and Mashable’s. I know what you were wondering, “what did you do for your brothers birthday?” Good question! We went to this really good barbeque place called Redbones in Somerville. It was amazing! I definitely recommend it if you are ever in the area.

Oh, was that not the question you had in mind? I guess you would rather read about Mashable (except for my brother–he was my first subscriber).

In light of Mashable’s birthday, I thought I would share some things I have noticed. For those of you who don’t know what Mashable is, it is “The Social Media Guide” and it has everything from news about technology, social media and design to jobs. In short, it is my go to website (After email, Facebook and Twitter of course). I recommend checking it out every once in a while just to stay in the loop. You can even follow it on Twitter, Facebook and Google+.

If you have a Twitter and follow a lot of Marketing agencies and even companies from other industries (like me), you will notice how a lot of them will post something about the same article and many times it will be from Mashable. Now, I want to make it clear that there is nothing wrong with that. It just makes me realize how we are still all very new at using social media for marketing. We are filling our pages with the same information as the people down the street.

It makes sense. It is time consuming to leaf through thousands of news sites, article, images and anything else that your followers may find interesting. But in the end, leafing through all that, I believe actually pays off. The key is finding an efficient way to do that. And that is where we are today.

What do you think?

Google+ vs. Facebook

Google+ finally made its debut at the end of June and is slowly becoming available to more and more people. I just got it a few days ago. The invites are coming out in slow waves (not Google Waves!) as Google continues to test it out.

I have had the chance to play with it and am still trying to get used to it. I find myself consistently comparing it to Facebook. The first large question I approached was the concept of “the wall”. I was trying to figure out if you could actually write on somebody else’s profile. You can choose who gets to see the post, as well. It can either be a single person, an individual circle, multiple circles, multiple people or everyone. This is done by clicking in the space below the Stream title, where it says “Share what’s new…”. You can also tag a person in a post which makes it a little more like Facebook.

One of the major differences I noticed is Google+’s use of circles. With Facebook, you have the choice to either limit who can view your profile to some people and not others. But Google took it one step further. They made it possible to split up all of your friends into groups and through that, choose who can see what you share.

Even further, Google+ has a “Hangout” feature where up to ten people can participate in a video chat where they can utilize chat and YouTube features at the same time. I think this feature is truly excellent however there are still some kinks. Once these kinks are ironed out, I think it could be really amazing

Take a look at this article on Technorati about Google’s Social Media Marketing Plan. They say that it was one of the first steps in bringing Facebook and Twitter to the table. Google hopes to encourage these platforms to open up their information to Google indexing. Facebook has rejected them and Twitter just recently rejected them. To me this is interesting and a little disheartening. What does this mean to you?

At the same time, Google is definitely creating a buzz and limiting the number of invites is making the network that much more special. I hope that it doesn’t end up like Buzz and Wave and just flop. It has the potential to beat Facebook but not right away. Such a strong following like Facebook has won’t disappear overnight. Google+ means stepping out of our comfort zone and learning something new which is not an easy thing to convince someone of.

It is true that there currently is not any advertising or companies on Google+ yet but I wonder how long that will last. Facebook started out that way as well but it was just a matter of time. Companies will be looking to follow the crowd. Google makes money off of advertising and it is only a matter of time before Google+ will need to prove that it is a viable venture for Google.

Even with all this, I don’t see myself deleting my Facebook account any time soon.

Word of Mouth Marketing is Not Dead

The most valuable way to get the word out about your company and/or event is through word of mouth. It has been a long lasting successful tool. According to a study by Yahoo! in the end of 2010, word of mouth as a marketing tool still proves valuable in passing along that all important message about your company.
The study also pointed out that although social and new media in marketing is growing, when people are discussing the brand, they reference the company website more often than the various social media platforms. To me this makes sense, since the most concrete information needed about a company will be primarily on their website. However, social media has played a role in assisting word of mouth.

Yes, you can still turn to your friend down the street and ask about where is the best place for some clam chowder, but social media allows you to get more opinions and options. Your friend down the street only knows maybe a few places, versus asking your friends on your social media platforms through a simple tweet or status can give you back even more places to choose from. Having this ability to ask so many people so easily gives you a better chance to find what you are looking for. Why would you trust these people? Because the idea of your friends on these sites is that you have built a connection and a relationship with them that provides you with a reason to trust their recommendation.

Word of mouth marketing is what I believe, as well to be one of the most valuable marketing tools available and luckily cheapest as well. The key then is to find the right people to pass the word on to…but I will leave that up to you to discover.

Social Media in the Workplace

Even with the growth of social media, there are still countless companies who block social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter from company computers.

There have been multiple reasons including protecting company information and taking away from employees actually doing their work.  I understand these reasons yet at the same time, I also see it as somewhat fearful.  That fear is certainly warranted and expected but worth fighting.

In today’s world, it is practically a necessity to have a footprint in social media.  Yet even with this, there are still countless companies who block their employees from visiting these social sites at work, even when they themselves have profiles.  How does this make sense?  Yes, allowing employees on these sites during work time can be counterproductive but it is also hypocritical to have profiles on these sites but not allow your employees to look at them.

Allowing employees on the sites allows them to interact with their consumers and create more of a personal connection.  Because that personal connection is so hard to find these days.  It could mean the difference of a life-long customer and a bad review because of the automated responses.

Allowing all employees on these sites can be scary, so try creating a list of guidelines that the employees must follow when relating themselves to the company on the social web.

When it comes to productivity; couldn’t it be just as bad if your employees have no drive to do the work?  This way they are given energy and the vast majority of the of people would keep up productivity.  What do you think?

Now, I want to hear your opinions.  What are the pros and cons of blocking social media sites like Facebook, Twitter and Youtube at work?

What is “Cool”?

When trying to decide how to best market a certain product or service to a group of people, one question that I imagine would come up pretty often is “what is cool?”  The answer to this question can either make or brake the possible success of a campaign.

Every group has a different opinion on what is cool so answering this questions gets to be difficult to pinpoint.  What deems something cool?  When I was in a business class in high school, I remember watching a PBS Frontline documentary entitled The Merchants of Cool which discussed just that.  The focus was on the teen generation, which seems to be the hardest to understand.  Companies such as the one featured, Look-Look make this research their main service.  Although the focus of this documentary was primarily on teens, the search for what is cool comes up in every generation, race, gender and group that a company would like to market to.

How do companies discover what is “cool”?

Market research seems to be the most popular method.  This includes not only surveys and focus groups, but shop-a-longs, one-on-one interviews and observation, to say the least.  From this, countless companies are able to learn how to best get on the “inside” with their market.  But, I am pretty sure the best way is to be immersed in the group you are learning about and be one of the followers or even a leader of what is cool.

Social Media-“Cool”

What brought upon my idea for this post was a conversation I had with my uncle just recently.  We were talking about how Facebook is considered “cool” now yet Myspace, which used to be is no longer “cool”.  Why is that?  Yes, we have already talked about how Myspace turned into the place for pre-teens, pedophiles and musicians (thats all I hear when people discuss Myspace).  But, what does that mean for Facebook?  Isn’t Facebook headed down the same path?  Especially with pre-teens and now even adding the one thing that seems to put a damper on coolness…parents.  Why is Facebook still doing so well?  Are we all just waiting for the next thing to jump on?  How is Facebook still “cool” even with all this?  Or, am I wrong?  Is Facebook no longer “cool”?

 

“The Social Network” Review

This past weekend was my fall break and I had the chance to see “The Social Network“.  In a previous post I had discussed what I thought it would be like, but now its time for my real review.

First off, I thought it was incredibly interesting.  There were some slow parts but certainly very interesting.  Jessie Eisenberg who plays Mark Zuckerberg did an excellent job acting.

What the film really made me think of though was how Facebook has evolved and what the story actually is.  How off from the truth was the movie?

Over the years, Facebook has certainly evolved.  It used to be only for college students from select universities, and now anybody can join.  In addition to the change in members, the format of the page has also gone through a make-over.

Facebook started with just the basics with a profile and soon evolved to have a wall, pictures, groups and pages.  Now, Facebook is used by everybody with the fastest growing age group being women ages 55-65 as determined by the blog Inside Facebook.  Facebook has certainly evolved; whether it is good or bad, you tell me.

When it comes to the story of the politics behind Facebook and Mark Zuckerberg, I wanted to find the truth.  The story with Eduardo Saverin does seem to line up pretty nicely according to Saverin’s Wikipedia page.  The biggest difference I found were the number which were off in the movie.  According to an article on ValleyWag, Saverin is still not credited as a co-founder of Facebook.

As for the lawsuits, owners of ConnectU have sued Zuckerberg for stealing their idea.  Zuckerberg did programming for ConnectU the fall before the start of Facebook in February 2004 and has been claimed to have stolen the idea.  The case has been settled once but since has resurfaced.

Overall, I thought the film positioned Zuckerberg in a bad light which was not fully necessary in my opinion.

What do you think about this whole mess?

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