COM0015: Blog post #4 – Out of the box

The fast paced world of the Web2.0 and all of its dynamic changes as it continues to evolve will certainly keep social media managers and businesses hopping through bytes and hoops. Having already learned so much about various applications and websites geared to assisting in that electronic, social journey, there have been a couple of surprising additions to my ever-evolving social media repertoire.

Lastpass

Old-school habits welcome new applications…

One of the very first things I had struggle with, especially with the addition of new opportunities to try suggested media and applications, was having to remember an entire stockpile of passwords. So much so, I’d had to post in the course discussion board for suggestions. Having a made-for-tv-movie kind of life, remembering to make dinner trumps eleventy-billion passwords on any given Sunday.

After hitting up my BFF, Google, I found my saving grace: LastPass. While there are other various “master password” vaults, this one works really well for me. The premise is that it is an application that remembers all of the passwords stored on your device and saves them all to one location, a “vault”, if you will, which can be accessed via one main password. Like any new, fandangled looking application, it took me a couple of days to adjust to how the process worked, but I can attest that it is a huge relief in an already over-processed brain *not* to have to add handfuls of new passwords to my own cellular vault.

evernote

One-stop-shop for content management

A second welcome addition to my social media repertoire has been the use of Evernote. Oh, I’d heard of it before, downloaded it…and let it sit to collect electronic cobwebs over the past few years. I have friends who swear by it, live by it, don’t-leave-home without it. I’d never really felt I had use for the application. I had Pinterest, and I clip/bookmark a ton of stuff of various topics in that one-stop-shop. BUT, what I hadn’t considered was this:

Now that my goals for Lupus Interrupted have been redefined, new opportunities having arisen for content…my brain is on overdrive with ideas…that come when I’m out shopping, the middle of the night, and generally any time I’m *not* sitting on the couch, laptop in hand. I’ve noticed ideas for content at my doctor’s office which I can look up, and clip for later. I’ve noticed links shared via Facebook that I can quickly add an idea to a note. After an adjustment period, I feel I’ve gotten the hang of it enough that it’s becoming habitual to clip and write content ideas. Now, for the harder part…making and crafting executing the posting of those amazing ideas. 😉

It becomes clearer to see how much the social web can overlap and intertwine. What kinds of unexpected applications have YOU found in your online marketing or social media journey?

Out of the Box

Prior to taking this course, my experience with social media was limited to Facebook. I have a Twitter account and have tweeted a grand total of 11 times in four years. I also have a Pinterest and Instagram account but, again, haven’t posted much of anything. So, almost every social media application was interesting or unexpected to me, the newbie.

And because I am not heavily active on social media for personal or business reasons, I had very little idea about the social media monitoring and listening applications. I had never taken the time to actually learn about them because, really, why would I? But eventually I did. And I was impressed.

The metrics and statistics, analytics and trends are all really fascinating. Listening and monitoring tools can tell you everything from where your traffic is coming from, to how long people spend on your site, to what they are saying about you and your site. These kinds of tools are priceless in that they are key to helping you continue to develop your site or blog in the best way possible. Nothing else can do that.

You need to know exactly what you want to monitor; what you want to focus on. Each monitoring tool has its own strengths and weaknesses. So you need to decide what to focus, do your homework, and then choose the tool that will work best for you.

Some of the tools that I stumbled across that made a good immediate impression were:

Hootsuite:

The dashboard is organized, streamlined, and easy to set up. It consolidates multiple social media networks in one place, which is helpful if more than one person is taking care of social media in your organization.

Tweetdeck:

This is very similar to Hootsuite, and very good for beginners. This dashboard is a snapshot of activity related to your Twitter account. It’s practical, easy to use, and free.

Google Alerts:

This is a great way to monitor web pages, publications, and blogs for any search term that you specify. The alerts are sent to your email.

 

Which social media listening applications do you like the best?

COM0015 – Assignment 1 – Blog 4 – Out of the box

bigstock-Hands-on-Whiteboard-with-Think-67538545.jpg

When I started this certificate I thought I knew a lot. I have a degree in communications and a Facebook and Twitter account, so I must know something, right? Throughout the last five courses I learnt how big social media is and how little I actually knew.

The digital media industry is one that is constantly evolving and with so many websites, tools, resources and applications it’s hard to keep pace. The traditional communications/marketing industry has a set communications formula, however social media has not settled into that status as yet. The biggest hurdle to overcome is that the communications styles are quite different to what traditional communications degrees teach you. For this old dog, it was a new trick that needed to the learnt – woof!

The most unexpected part I have discovered through this journey is the impact social media is having on every industry. Newspapers, not for profits and traditional businesses needing a social media presence and many industries don’t even know why. Social media is impacting the way we communication and has created a fundamental shift in how we do it. Many businesses are adapting and creating personal connections with their clients and the businesses that are embracing social media are seeing an impact on their bottom-line.

Oliver Blanchard describes the business return on investment for social media like this:
Investment >>Action>>Reaction>>Non-Financial Impact>>Financial Impact $$$ (ROI)

As the world of social media is so big, navigating every application would almost be impossible. Applications like Feedly.com, Social Spout, Hoot Suite and Google Alerts are streamlining information gathering and analytics. These applications are making it easier to keep abreast of information from many sources in real time.

As for business applications for marketing purposes, every business can benefit from social media strategies and platforms. Not all platforms make sense for every business, however if a business chooses the right social media platforms to engage, provide information and create top of mind awareness, they will see a return on investment as they build loyal customers.

In the simplest terms, social media is here to stay and ultimately impacts the bottom line of businesses. Social media – is your business embracing it?

COM0011 – Blog Post 6 – Mobile Apps

Mobile Apps – Increase revenue and engagement in 5 steps

apps

Going are the days were people look up your website online to see what you are about and to interact with you. Today’s market is an app based market. Although it can be hard to get consumers to download your app it is very easy to get them to delete you.

People are over whelmed with millions of different apps to choose from. You need to stand out amongst the masses to be the top downloaded app. Making sure that your app is appealing, and engaging will help win them over and encourage them to use your app versus another’s and endorse yours as well.

Here are 5 steps to follow to make sure you are not deleted and forgotten about forever.

  1. Build Trust to Onboard Effectively

It’s all about making a great first impression. Have an initial splash page to guide users through your app’s top features. Also motive new users to create an account. Having accounts make the check-out process on your app much smoother and encouraging to use.

  1. Provide Value to Encourage Engagement

Send relevant and valuable marketing messages with personalized recommendations based on ‘last brand viewed’ or ‘most recent purchase’.

  1. Inspire Urgency to Drive Mobile Conversion

They are now engaged and it is time to encourage a purchase. Creating a push and in-app message encourages an immediate conversion and making it specific to each user and what is in their cart will grab their attention.

  1. Offer Social Proof to Cultivate Brand Loyalty

Encourage sharing special VIP campaigns or special promos to transform your customer into a brand advocate.

  1. Find the Right Rhythm to Retain Users

Remember not to over message your customer. Build your push strategy around each user’s habits.

COM0015: Blog Post 4 – Get Out of the Box!

shutterstock_123899473Social media is the latest and greatest way to reach people. This may be on a personal level, giving you access to photos and information on family and friends but can also be used as part of a marketing strategy. Over the course of the last year, I have made a real shift to the see the value on the business side of things. I have always used social media as a personal tool but did not completely understand the true value of it in a business setting. I have seen a slow implementation at my place of employment as we begin to incorporate social media into our plan for online marketing.

Looking externally, I was surprised to see how active the government and politicians are on social media. This summer I stumbled upon this very interesting article that discusses “7 weird and wonderful ways that governments around the world are using social media.” I was shocked. Social media is helping to keep our streets cleaner and to detect earthquakes before they happen? Wow! I hadn’t thought about it that way. The police are also using social media to help solve crimes. The information that they can gain from someone’s Twitter-feed or Facebook page is substantial. Although I do not know the legalities around using that information, once again, pretty cool stuff.

On a more personal note, I recently noticed Facebook really ramping up their advertising. Now, when you visit the login screen, you will see a wonderful ad for a dating website. Although these ads are consistently changing, add it to the list of things that make me go hmmm. A dating website, really? I hope these ads are customized for my account because my 16 year old cousin does not need to see that.

Bottom line, the world is changing, the shock factor is a huge strategy right not as it is assumed the greater the shock, the greater the impact. Expected  is boring, unexpected is interesting and gets people talking. A lot has changed in such a short amount of time and I can’t wait to see what new applications and online marketing strategies the future will bring. Never a dull moment when it comes to social media, that’s for sure!

* Image care of: www.assembledchaos.com