COM0011 – 521 Blog Post #1: Social Media Tools & Technologies

Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIN, Instagram … I could go on forever. Those are just a few of the main social media tools that are available at our fingertips everywhere we go. Between my smartphone, tablet, laptop and desktop there is really no reason why I can’t be updating them constantly.  On a personal side, I really don’t update any of these very often. I check them constantly, but don’t post much about myself. I follow over 100 people on Twitter, but only have a mere 15 followers. On a business side though, I need to keep these updated and active as much as possible for positive results. It’s not hard to update, but it is hard to think of the best thing to say to capture an audience.

We use Facebook the most, as many others have stated. When I look into the analytics of all of our social media the only site that gets any attention is our Facebook, so I would consider that our best social media tool at the moment. In the back of my mind though I really want to focus more on Twitter.  Facebook is important, but Twitter can make your company explode from a single re-tweet from the right person. Being an online pharmacy, if someone with the notoriety of Dr. Oz re-tweeted one of our coupon codes or posts, I bet I would come into work with a lot of unexpected orders. It seems easier for Dr. Oz to recognize us on Twitter than it would be on Facebook. The impact would be much higher from a re-tweet from him than from him liking us on Facebook.

Something interesting that happened to our site back in 2005 was an article in The New York Times. We sell a certain type of sunscreen that has an active ingredient which is not yet FDA approved. New York Times did a piece on this sunscreen, and casually mentioned feelbest.com as an online store to get the sunscreen. The people working for Feelbest at the time (I wasn’t there yet) came into work on a Monday with 5000+ orders. This article really REALLY helped us, as we gained tons of repeat customers, who to this day call me and mention the article. We STILL get sales from that articles landing page. If something like that could happen to us again, and I was responsible for it, I would be beyond thrilled.

Aside from your typical websites like Facebook and Twitter, another tool we use is MailChimp. We send out a weekly newsletter featuring new products, sales and coupon codes. These get more hits and produce more sales than anything else we use. I have noticed a trend in some repeat customers that will buy from us as soon as we send them a coupon code, sometimes so frequently I don’t think they are low on whatever product they normally order, but are stocking up for the savings. We also name our coupon codes different so we can track how many sales each particular code has generated. The information we get from that alone is extremely useful.

So it is safe to say Facebook and Mailchimp are our best, and gives us almost instant results, but we could be doing much much better if we utilized Twitter to the best of its abilities.

-Alison Collins

COM0015 – Blog Post #1 Social Media Tools and Sources

154 Blue Chrome Rain Social Media Icons

154 Blue Chrome Rain Social Media Icons (Photo credit: webtreats)

The Internet is completely cluttered with social media, so it can be very hard to keep track of the updates and posts that are actually of interest to someone. My two favourite tools to keep me updated are HootSuite and my Facebook feed in general. In my business, I use HootSuite to track all of my social accounts. This allows me to monitor what my accounts are doing, who they are interacting with, who I need to reply to. Since my business is photography, I use mostly Facebook and Twitter. Facebook allows me to post pictures as well and keep them in different albums on my fan page.  I have my Facebook account linked to my Twitter so that everytime I post on my fan page, it automatically posts to my Twitter account as well.  I find that with the help of HootSuite to monitor my business accounts, I can spend time on my personal Facebook feed and Twitter to find the news that interests me. I look at the ‘trending’ section of Twitter to see what is going on. I appreciate hashtags and use them frequently so that perspective brides searching for #Ottawa #wedding #photography can find me with ease. I also scroll through my Facebook feed to see what stories are cropping up among my friend and business circles. Being directly connected to people I have a shared history with, or have met at mutually interesting events keeps me abreast of news that I would like to hear about.  I also receive updates from fan pages I’ve liked. With functions like these, it is obvious to me why Facebook is the giant in social media.

I also have an account with YouTube. This allows me to post slideshows of my works for my clients to share and to entice perspective clients. ( See www.youtube.com/jbphotocanada ) You Tube, or links to sites from Facebook to You Tube videos, are where I tend to find most of the news that interests me.  In fact, just today while I was scrolling through my Facebook feed I stumbled upon a TED event video. It was a young man talking about his fantastic idea to clean up the oceans of all the plastic waste that is clogging it up. (see below) This is something I never would have heard of without the Internet and my Facebook feed. You Tube allows for embedding video on to web pages, making content literally come alive. Although some You Tube submissions must be taken with a grain of salt, reposts from established broadcast channels make it so that an audience can catch almost anything they may have missed. By subscribing to a You Tube channel like the TEDxtalks channel, gives me access to the content I want to see. I prefer to watch news through You Tube as I don’t have cable or satellite. You Tube also allows me to watch videos that are educational and can help me with professional development.

Though it sometimes clutters my inbox, I do also like to sign up for newsletters. I, myself, use the free service MailChimp to keep my subscribers informed. To my business, keeping in touch with my clients through newsletters is paramount. Newsletters also keep me well informed of events that are of interest to me. For example, I subscribed to a newsletter that informed me about Creative Live, as service I never would have heard about otherwise. Creative Live allows you to watch experts in the field of marketing, photography, graphic design and more, give workshops over the Internet. Even more fantastic, is that these events are free to watch. Or, if you like to watch them repeatedly, you can purchase the event after you’ve seen it. Creative Live has helped me hone many of my photographic skills and I continue to watch segments today.

Newsletters may seem old fashioned, but they are also a great way to get free information from people hoping you will purchase what they are selling. I think the key to a good newsletter is not to go for the sale, but rather to have a goal of informing your subscribers. I subscribe to a few social media ‘guru’ sites that send out tips on how to maximize my social media. Once I am done with them, I delete them and always unsubscribe to any that I feel are not serving me well. My e-mail is the one thing I check every day, without fail. Having information delivered to me in this way is very convenient.

I prefer Facebook feeds, Twitter trends, You Tube and newsletters primarily because they are something I can scroll during the time I choose. I can search through my Facebook feed for either the top stories of the most recent. As I previously stated, using hashtags I can see the stories that interest me. You Tube is delivered to me on both these fronts and newsletters are sent straight to my inbox. All of these sources keep me well informed and my interests fed.

Jennifer Walker