Marketing in the Making

Marketing; Thoughts and Questions

Archive for the tag ““Twitter””

Advertiser and Fan

I hope that everyone had a great Thanksgiving and ate enough turkey to last the year. I know I did.

Lately, I have been thinking a lot about the difference between being a consumer and an advertiser. Yea, I know, pretty obvious at first glance, but let me tell you what I mean.

As a Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn user, I personally use my profiles in different ways than a lot of companies. I think that this should change. A big plug for social media is that it reaches the consumers and your target on their level, so why not use these profiles the same way as their consumers. It should be easier to get their attention.

Companies need to learn that posting about themselves all the time isn’t going to keep their fans interested. It is important to interact with their fans, make them feel important by responding and asking them questions. Also, talk about things that interest them in the news and such. Things like this actually give the fans/consumers a reason to keep you on their newsfeed and interested. In the end, you want your fans to not only read what you are writing, but take it a step farther. Companies want their fans to tell their friends to follow you and then actually purchase your product/service.

Luckily most companies seem to be understanding this more and more lately. They are playing the game that is social media the same way their consumers are playing it and even adding a little extra splash to it. That is how it should be.

Take a look at the great job Jimmy John’s is doing with their social media. They do a great job interacting with their fans and keeping their content relevant. Check out their Facebook and Twitter pages to get an idea. I love Jimmy John’s and just seeing the great job they have been doing on social media made me even happier.

Have you noticed any other companies doing a great job with social media? Let me know!

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?

A Tweet Here, A Tweet There

Recently, for one of my classes this semester, my professor created a Twitter account for the class to interact with. I think this is a great idea, for a few reasons. As Management students, I think it is important that everyone learns how to use Twitter and its possibilities. So many people are judging the platform without even understanding the platform. In addition, using this for classes allows students to easily ask questions and teachers to more easily send out information for the class and any other interesting items.

The only problem I do see with this at the moment is not only relevant for this class but companies using Twitter in general. Because everyone puts out so much information, the feed moves very quickly so a single tweet can be lost very easily. Even if the tweet is incredibly valuable, the only people who will see the tweet will be those looking at their feed at the time it was tweeted.

How can and is this problem resolved?

There is actually a lot of research about when is the best time of day to tweet. Take a look at The Social Media Guide and Predictive Marketing. If you read these, you will notice that it tends to be around 9:00/10:00AM and Noon. And this makes sense. At the beginning of your day, when you first get to work when you are getting comfortable you check to see whats new and then around lunch when you are taking a break and want to check out lunch specials.

Of course, this is assuming that your target audience is working a full time job. As students, for a class Twitter account, it is a little different. I would say that the best times would be in the morning, when we first wake up (around 9:00AM) and in the evening, around 7/8:00PM after dinner and before we start our homework.

At the same time, it is understandable that you will not always be on hand to tweet at these times and that is why tools such as Hootsuite have come in so handy. Hootsuite allows members to schedule Tweets and Facebook posts whenever you want. This way, you don’t need to actually be on to post. This is exactly how companies are able to post at all hours of the day. It makes it easier to actually reach your target market whenever they are on, rather then you having to be awake then to do it. Luckily, the basic service is free, so we can all use it.

 

Google…Whats New?

First off, Happy Holidays!! The holiday season is my favorite!  Everyone is happy this time of year and the decorations are amazing!

Do you all remember when Google came out with Google Buzz in early February of 2010?  Or, how about Google Wave?  I do.  I remember everybody being really excited about both of these.  Google did an excellent job promoting them…but perhaps too good of a job.

For those of you who don’t know what Google Buzz is, it is a Google’s idea of Twitter.  The idea is that you can update your status and be checking your email in the same place for primarily your Gmail contacts to see.

Google Wave came out in around October of 2009 and had a similar idea to instant messaging.  You are able to communicate with your friends on instant time and actually see what they are typing as they type it.  You can also interact with other Wave users in a chat room setting the same way and discuss various topics.  There are a few other capabilities of Wave as well, but these are the main points as I understand them.

Google did a great job of hyping up the progress of these services and making them seem like they would be great.  when it came to the actual introduction, I was left disappointed.  Google over extended themselves.  These came out at a time when there was talk of them competing with Microsoft.

Don’t get me wrong, Google is a great company and I would absolutely love to work for them one day but, there are a few things I would have done differently.  Ease up the introduction of the products and introduce them on a realistic level.  Even more importantly, if you are going to hype something up so much, keep the hype going even after its introduction and keep developing the product at a seemingly similar rate.  After their introductions, I feel like I never heard anything about them…they just sizzled.

I would have just recommended that Google focus on one service at a time and perfect it rather than trying to over-extend themselves.  What are your thoughts?

Can Google truly compete with Microsoft?

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?

Facebook: The Movie

They are finally making a movie about Facebook and how it all started.  The movie is called The Social Network and is set to come out on October 1, 2010.  See the trailer below:

I don’t know if this is going to be a good movie.  I definitely think it looks interesting and that people will see it but I don’t think it will be a hit.  People want to know the history but probably won’t flock to the theater’s on opening night to see it on screen.  The rle of Mark Zuckerberg is played by Jesse Eisenberg.  To some, a movie about Facebook seems over the top…maybe it is to some extent, but at the same time it is a brilliant idea!  Facebook has become a way of life and there is no reason not to take it as far as they can.

Not only did Facebook inspire this movie, but Twitter inspired a new sitcom.  Have you heard of the Twitter profile @shitmydadsays?  How about the book?  Well, now they are turning it into a sitcom on CBS which will be starring William Shatner and set to begin this fall.  Justin Halpern’s Twitter profile is what started it all.  I definitely recommend checking out some of his tweets, they can be pretty hilarious.  Check out the preview for the show below:

The show looks cute and I hope to turn in to a couple episodes but from the trailer it seems a little forced.  I don’t know if it is the acting but the jokes seem a little forced.  Maybe Sh*t My Dad Says should have only gone as far as the book.  None the less, I still look forward to seeing how the show pans out.

What are your thought about The Social Network and Sh*t My Dad Says?

Social Media, not Social Networking

First things first, the term “social networking” can NOT be used interchangeably with “social media” and “new media”.  Social networking relates to the use of social networks such as Facebook and Myspace.  Social media and new media relate to both social networking sites, as well as microblogging, blogs, video sharing, among others (but these are the main ones we usually hear about).  I heard somebody (who was presenting on the topic of social media) say this and I could not believe that they actually chose someone so unaware to present on the topic.

But, aside from that, I want to share with you some recent campaigns using social media that I have been impressed with.

1. Grasshopper

Grasshopper is the virtual phone system designed to help entrepreneurs stay connected and sound professional.”  During the Summer of 2009, they had the brilliant idea of sending chocolate grasshoppers to people around the country.  Not just random people, may I add, but important people with a voice.  The grasshoppers were sent to well known bloggers, celebrities and writers, all of which had a voice.  With the grasshoppers, came a link to a video which soon went viral, reaching thousand.  The video was what I thought an inspirational video for Entrepreneurs (see the video below).  Now, this is a strange thing to send but think about what it did.  It made people talk and share this strange idea with their friends and followers.  Everyone was interested.  I am not sure how much money they made from this but it definitely got people talking and made people aware of their brand which was brilliant.  See the Wall Street Journal for the full article.

2. Zappos

Zappos, the online shoe and now, pretty much everything else, retailer has created a brilliant execution of the use of Twitter.  Zappos has many of there employees twitter accounts connected in a way that you can see all of the employee tweets at once.  The tweets are also not just about twitter, but there personal lives as well.  People are welcome to ask any of them questions and they will actually respond.  It is great for customer service and transparent.  The response is quick, helpful, easy and nice.  It is great!  At the same time, it lets us as customers know how the culture is and gives the company more of a face than just a name.  It brings Zappos on a personal level.  Like Grasshopper, I do not know the ROI on this, but I do know that this is a successful use of social media.

3. Comcast

Like Zappos, Comcast also uses Twitter in an excellent way.  They have created the Twitter name @ComcastCares where anyone can ask questions about the Comcast problems and Comcast will respond.  The turn around is usually pretty quick and helpful.  If the person responding doesn’t know the exact answer, they usually point you in the the direction of where to find it.  Like Zappos, this shows great customer service and really shows that they “care”.  Next time your Comcast connection is having issues, go through Twitter, it may be faster than calling.

Have you seen any examples of great uses of social media or even just great examples of marketing?

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