COM0015, Blog 2: Photography on Social Media: The Good and the Not-So-Good

Perhaps the strongest social media strategy I’ve been from a follower’s perspective is at the National Gallery of Canada. They share a lot of information about what exhibits they have, retweet what other people are posting and only occasionally make a sales pitch. The National Gallery has Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest, and Instagram accounts, making full use of the major social media platforms. What makes their social media strategy so impressive is how they use each platform differently, with little overlap of images or other content. A Facebook post about the new Canadian Photography Institute provides interesting information and images. They retweet quite a bit from their followers and following, and not just my share of their tweet on the Josef Sudek exhibit. Of course, it is the season for gift giving and the National Gallery does do some sales promotion, but it keeps the sales to a minimum.

Not quite as good is ViewBug because it shares articles freely and highlights many different photographers, not just the winners of its contests. It has Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn (although just launched three months ago with three posts and nothing more) accounts. But what surprises me from a photo-sharing website, is that ViewBug has an Instagram account. I mostly monitor ViewBug’s Twitter account, which is often repeated on Google+ (an area that needs improvement), not only shares serious articles like Photography: From Hobby To Full Time Job and Top Tips to Become a Great Fashion Photographer, but has fun sharing photographers’ images.

One would never know by visiting the Vistek website that they even have social media accounts because there are no logos or links to their Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+, YouTube, LinkedIn and whatever other platforms they may use. As well as having too many advertising posts that directly sell to followers, Vistek spends more time with drones than cameras. Even its Facebook posts to its own blog is direct sales marketing. Its YouTube channel provides some how-to videos, which can be handy, but they end with a statement to “Pick up a [insert product here] from http://www.vistek.ca today!” Rarely does Vistek retweet messages. Having a constant stream of ads only leads to people unfollowing them. Vistek needs to spend more time interacting with the photography community and joining or starting conversations. They need to start listening to the various conversations. Once they have a feel for that, they should start commenting and sharing their expertise on those conversations. All of this will help inform them about what photographers want and need to be able to provide that. Asking for feedback would also help them engage their audience.

B2C Case Study: Vistek

As one of Canada’s larger photography chains, Vistek communicates to its audience online much like as other photography stores, manufacturers and magazines. It’s all about making sales, not engaging with photographers.

Vistek’s social media presence is barely visible on its website. An RSS feed logo beside the word “Blog” and an 180× 80 pixel ad for its YouTube channel are all that exist. Missing are the Facebook and Twitter logos, which many other photography websites leave for the bottom of the page with the sitemap, terms of use and copyright information—must-have pieces of little importance.

vistek-blog-banner-fw_

The blog URL http://prophotoblog.ca does not include “Vistek”, which is a missed branding opportunity. The majority of posts read like advertisements promoting products, complete with bulleted specifications, prices and quotes from the manufactures. Upcoming Events are Vistek seminars and tradeshows it will attend; there is nothing outside of Vistek. The “Tips and Tricks” section includes links to products being sold. None of these engages the community.

Vistek continues its sales pitching on its Twitter and Facebook pages. It has 5,352 Twitter followers (following 1,118) with 1,328 likes and 7,350 Facebook page likes. The only engagement is encouraging followers to visit the Vistek booth at various tradeshows.

Vistek’s YouTube page has a series of how-to, product promotion and speaker videos from a recent tradeshow. Community engagement has resulted in two comments from four years ago and visitors liking 11 of the 74 videos.

There is so much more Vistek could do to communicate with photographers. An “Ask an Expert” call for questions would not only position Vistek as an expert but also encourage followers to answer each other’s questions. Offering a $50 gift card as a prize in a monthly photography contest would not only have followers submitting images but also voting for their favourites. Vistek staff could periodically post photos with common novice errors and ask followers to provide constructive criticism, which could generate discussion and help photographers analyse their own images more critically.

Vistek could probably increase sales if it softened its sales pitch.

COM0015 – Assignment 1 -Blog 4 – Out of the Box

Combining everything that we already knew about SOCIAL MEDIA with all the cases we’ve studied and all the best tools that are to be had: it feels like I’m only ever getting half-way to a solution.  Before starting this program, I thought I had a hunch about a few tools and programs out there in the real world of business meets social media… but.. wait a minute: ‘Things are changing… how will I ever keep up?’

LISTENING + LEARNING + STAYING IN ACTION  = keep to keeping up with trends and generating new ways of looking at the world through the lens of #SocialMediaMeetsBusiness.

OutsideofBox.png

So what do I hope to accomplish with social media?  Is it working? Well, I’m constantly learning new tricks.

From what I gather, I’m using platforms that are suited to my particular field and/or project(s.)  I’m learning from others about the varied style of communication using social media = the ins and outs of sharing your message.  What works for some people is worth a try but it might not quite work for me.  I guess it’s all a question of finding a style and sticking to it..

GOING MOBILE?  Here are a few tools that might come in handy…

I’m always looking for social media inspiration: taking free webinars and online courses.  I have found a whole bunch of useful information about how mobile apps come into play

Instagram can house short videos… Hilary Rushford, of Dean Street Society, hosted a webinar called: ‘Doubling Your Instagram Following.’

Distributing a free workbook, her program talked about free tools for editing and posting images on Instagram.

VSCO CAM = where you add a photo to your library and she talked us through using the editing tools.

@HilaryRushford also talked about the PERISCOPE App = live mobile video streaming; which works really well when you’re sharing content on a road trip, from various locations.

Another useful tool that I’ve grown to love is HOOTSUITE Suggestions...

Right from my iPhone, I am able to call up HOT TOPICS that I can easily share on my Twitter and Facebook accounts.

FYI>> It gives you THREE topics to search for and you can assign unlimited accounts… so make sure that you tweak the settings before posting on multiple accounts.  Be #strategic in what you post and where.  Double check your postings on each platform to catch anything that goes wrong.  If in doubt, delete and give it another try.  Skill takes practice.

Puzzled by PINNING?

PINTEREST is a social media platform that would appear to have limited application to business… but Melanie Duncan’s webinar gave me a whole bunch of information about optimizing this platform to steer traffic from PINS back to your company site.

> The type of material you PIN is part of the formula.  Inforgraphics are the most popular format (they spread like wild fire.)

Melanie also suggest the following tools:

PICMonkey =  Protecting your content with a watermark

Easily creating infographics = www.infogr.am

Getting a Pinterest tab for your Facebook Page = www.woobox.com/pinterest

Pinterest stuff = Courtesy of Melanie Duncan (www.powerofpinning.com/course

> The BLOGEME poster thingy I built (featured image)  still lives on scribd.com which I’ve embedded on my personal blog (backdoor access = click expand button on bottom corner) http://ow.ly/MFQx302Y1sy

COM0015 Post #5: #Brandcast

Last year, I had the incredible opportunity to attend a mass social networking event in New York City, at Madison Square Garden. It’s focus was to promote and celebrate the content creators of Youtube, the many benefits advertising on Youtube, and the value of creating partnerships with Youtubers, as well as finding an engaging audience, and creating a strong brand. This event was known as #Brandcast, and gathered together a massive community of advertisers, marketing heads and CEOs of brands (including Toyota, Nintendo, Universal Studios, Buzzfeed, Activision, Sharpie and more), Youtube content creators, Youtube executives, Google executives, and fans. It was one of the most unique events I have ever attended, and I thought it would be one that would be amazing to share with you all, as we are all students in a program that focuses on the power of Social Media, and how it can benefit so many different companies, brands, advertisers, and people across the globe.

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My friends and I in front of the stage after the event!

While it was not possible for us to directly speak with any of the presenters or attendees, that did not take away from my experience at all, and the knowledge I ended up walking away with. At #Brandcast, I listened to presenters like the president of marketing at Universal Studios, Josh Goldstine, the chief executive officer of Youtube, Susan Wojcicki, and content creators such as Grace Helbig, John Green, and Justine Ezarik. The most fascinating presentation, in my opinion, came from Ze Frank, who is the president of Buzzfeed Motion Pictures. He discussed the early days of what we know as “viral content”, what it means, how to judge the kind of content that spreads “virally” in our society, how we can use that to enforce branding, and the results of that kind of spreadable content. He used an excellent example with an email chain that went viral between Buzzfeed creator, Jonah Peretti, and an unnamed sneaker manufacturer. That viral email chain landed Jonah and the CEO of the sneaker company on national television, debating the controversy that is sweatshop labour. He then went on to entertain the idea of why? Why do some things get shared so much with other people? What makes a certain piece of content more spreadable than others? He breaks it down to what people are saying when they share the content online. Some people share because it relates to them, and refers to them as “identity shares.” Some people share because it inspired them, and refers to these people as “emotionally gifting.” And finally, the people that share it because they believe it will inform others, and refers to it as “social information.”

All of the presenters provide some really incredible information on the topic of advertising, content creating and how they go hand in hand with each other, as well as the successes and benefits of this partnership. I highly recommend, if you have some spare time, to check out some of these presentations for yourself, as Youtube has graciously uploaded a couple of them to their Advertising channel. I’ll provide the links to the videos below. They’re about 10 minutes long each, so they won’t take out a massive chunk of your time.

Justine Ezarik’s presentation (iJustine on Youtube)

Josh Goldstine’s presentation (President of Worldwide Marketing for Universal Pictures)

Grace Helbig’s presentation (Grace Helbig on Youtube)

Ze Frank’s presentation (President of Buzzfeed Motion Pictures)

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I actually spotted myself in the crowd as I was reviewing these videos for this blog post! Naturally, had to add it in here 😉

No matter which presenter you listen to, they all the enforce the idea of a strong community behind them, that’s dedicated to their content. This is the most important factor of finding success as a brand, as a content creator, and as an advertiser. This is the strongest, and most valuable piece of information I have walked away with from this presentation, as without your audience, and a dedicated one at that, you are essentially nothing. Grace Helbig provides the greatest example of this in her opener for #Brandcast, stating her fears when she branched away from original platform to Youtube, as her own brand of content creator. She had no idea how dedicated her audience actually was to her, as Grace. But, luckily for her, her audience was passionate about the content she was putting out, and she was able to build up a name for herself once again, and achieve success on Youtube and beyond. Expanding on that idea, knowing who your audience really is is of the utmost importance, as the results may truly surprise you. We go through the importance of knowing your audience in this certificate program already, but Justine’s presentation enforces this point even more. She covered the gaming portion of #Brandcast, as Let’s Players have essentially dominated the Youtube scene these days, thanks to the popularity of creators like PewDiePie. The stigma behind video games and gamers is that they are young, adult males. However, Justine states that adult, female gamers have overpowered this stereotype, and are, in fact the largest demographic watching video game content on Youtube. Take notes, video game corporations.

I would love to attend an event like this in the future. Heck, I would go to #Brandcast again next year, if I’m in the New York City area, and they’ll let me. Not only did I walk away with some valuable information up my sleeve in regards to the power of marketing and online advertising with Youtube and the power of viral content, I also got to enjoy some incredible entertainment from the likes of Nate Ruess, Alyson Stoner, and Bruno Mars. Oh yeah.

To send this post off, I’d like to leave a quote from Justine that I thought was extremely powerful, well-spoken and a perfect summary of what it means to be in the world of online marketing today:

“I want you guys to remember the reason that this community is so strong on Youtube. It’s because you cannot find this content on TV. Gaming is fundamentally interactive, and only interactive platforms, like Youtube, can deliver the experience gamers want.”- Justine Ezarik

I feel this quote represents far beyond the gaming community. Interactivity is the basis of all online marketing nowadays, and social media platforms are the most valuable tools a brand can utilize in today’s society. The conversation people can have on a Youtube video, on a post sharing a Youtube video on a platform like Facebook or Twitter is so important to the reach an advertiser and brand can have. If you keep this interactivity and conversation in mind, I strongly believe that anyone can find success online.

Thanks for reading.

COM0014 – Blog # 4 – SWISHY CHUGging SOCIAL MEDIA: The Ellen Degeneres Story

NOTE (appears on the Scribd publication) –> Original Swishy Chug photo from http://pbs.twimg.com/media/Cb6almQWAAAlq2o.jpg:large

Re: “What Social Media Lesson we can Learn from Ellen Degeneres” and “What Kind of Content Has the Potential to Go Viral?” (by Mirian Slozberg) http://www.miriamslozberg.com/what-social-media-lesson-we-can-learn-from-ellen-degeneres/

RE: The PRANK–> as only Rollingstone can put it (covered by a whole bunch of e-magazines) http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/watch-adele-confuse-jamba-juice-workers-in-absurd-ellen-prank-20160219

Re: How JAMBA JUICE spun it http://www.eonline.com/news/742475/jamba-juice-responds-to-adele-and-ellen-degeneres-hilarious-swishy-chug-prank

 

COM0011 Blog 3 —Social Media and Poor Sleep: Cause or Effect?

Two recently completed research projects looked at the relation between social media use and sleep. While they came to two different conclusions, they seem to point to a potential spiral effect.

High social media use causes sleep problems

Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh studied 1,788 Americans ages 19 to 32 from across the country in 2014. Participants filled out questionnaires about the time they spent each day on Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Google+, Instagram, SnapChat, Reddit, Tumblr, Pinterest, Vine and LinkedIn and the frequency each week. Researchers also assess sleep disturbances with an established scientific system.

On average, participants used social media about an hour per day and 30 times per week. Nearly 30 per cent had high levels of sleep disturbance.

Adjusting for socio-demographic differences, researchers found that participants in the highest 25 per cent of use per day were nearly twice as likely to have sleep disturbances as those in the lowest quartile. Participants in the highest 25 per cent of frequency per week were nearly three times as likely to have sleep problems as those in the lowest quartile. According to lead researcher Jessica C. Levenson:

“This may indicate that frequency of social media visits is a better predictor of sleep difficulty than overall time spent on social media…. If this is the case, then interventions that counter obsessive checking behavior may be most effective.”

The researcher team suggests physicians consider asking patients about social media habits when assessing sleep issues. Interestingly, though, they acknowledge the possibility that participants used social media to pass the time when they could not fall asleep or return to sleep.

Sleep problems cause high Facebook use

While a significant amount of research has looked at how technology affects sleep, researchers at the University of California, Irvine (UCI) turned the idea around and looked at how sleep affected technology usage.

The researchers collected data from 24 male and 42 female UCI undergraduate students for seven days during the spring of 2014. Taking into consideration the students’ gender, age, course load and deadlines, the team of researchers measured students’ behaviour, activities and stress levels. The team did this by using sensors and installing software on the participants’ computers and smart phones that logged and time stamped when they switched from one application window to another or used their phones. Students also completed a sleep survey each morning and an end-of-day survey each night.

The UCI team found that a lack of sleep — which causes tiredness, irritability (bad mood) and distractibility — leads to more frequent online activities, such as browsing Facebook. According to lead researcher Gloria Mark:

“When you get less sleep, you’re more prone to distraction…. If you’re being distracted, what do you do? You go to Facebook. It’s lightweight, it’s easy, and you’re tired.”

Mark and her team found that the less sleep students had, the more frequently their attention shifted among different computer screens, suggesting heightened distractibility.

The UCI researchers say their results reveal a direct link among chronic lack of sleep, worsening mood and greater reliance on Facebook browsing. The Pittsburgh researchers say high social media use is linked to sleep disturbances. So lack of sleep can cause higher social media use, which, in turn, can cause sleep problems, which, in turn, can cause… a spiralling problem. The question now becomes how best to break the spiral.

COM0014 Blog #2- Storytelling and Communication Styles

Everyone has their own way of telling a story.

Some people like to embellish their tales to others with fancy words, and exaggerated details. Others, like to keep things simple. They only include the necessary parts of their tale, and don’t fret over the choice of words. Some stories are short and sweet, and others are lengthy and extravagant. Some stories are written down on paper, while others are shared through video blogging.

No matter how a story is shared, a good story has to include a few key techniques. These include things such as passion, clarity, structure, good grammar, good spelling and good punctuation.

For me, the most important part of telling a story is to have passion for the story you’re telling. If you don’t have a passion for what you’re writing or speaking about, it’s going to shine through your words no matter how practiced you are in communicating. People have a sense of these things, and it just makes for a better story if you truly care about what you’re speaking about. You really want your readers or listeners to understand what you want to communicate to them, and hope that you can get them to care about it as well.

Structure ties this passion together, of course. You want to keep your readers or listeners interested in what you’re saying, so it’s a good idea to bring in a mix of your most and least interesting points at the start of your story. The more interesting or compelling parts of your story hooks your audience in, and gets them paying attention to what you’re telling them, so that you can keep them interested while you communicate all of your points. Just be careful not to reveal too much at once- If you give away all your “juicy” content, readers and listeners will tune out after getting the main point of what they stayed for. You have to tease it in before you reveal it all.

And, of course, no one wants to read a story filled with poor grammar, spelling and punctuation, so please be sure to proof-read your content before posting. It’s worth the trouble.

Just for fun, I thought I’d share a Youtube video I found a few years back. This Youtuber, who goes by OlanRogers, dapples in a few different styles of video content, but his storytelling technique is one of the best I’ve ever heard.

I hope you enjoy, and thank you for reading!

YouTube (COM0011 – Blog Post #1)

YouTube is a great tool in the world of making videos.
It allows the everyday user to upload their videos for all to see and enjoy, as well as giving them a way to make money if they choose to become a YouTube partner.
You can find out more info about the YouTube Partner Program here.

It also allows for users to have a podcast or vlog (video blog) which are becoming more common. One well known vlog is BFvsGF hosted by Jesse and his girlfriend Jeana, as well as their vlog  Jesse and Jeana also have the YouTube channel PrankvsPrank where they post videos of pranks they pull on each other.

YouTube has also turned people that were unknown to the world famous, here is a few of them according to monetizepros.com.

The 1st one everyone should know is Justin Bieber.

While searching for videos of a different singer, Scooter Braun, a former marketing executive of So So Def, clicked on one of Bieber’s 2007 videos by accident. Impressed, Braun tracked down the theater Bieber was performing in, located Bieber’s school, and finally contacted Mallette, who was reluctant because of Braun’s Judaism. She remembered praying, “God, I gave him to you. You could send me a Christian man, a Christian label!” and “God, you don’t want this Jewish kid to be Justin’s man, do you?” However, church elders convinced her to let Bieber go with Braun. At 13, Bieber went to Atlanta, Georgia, with Braun to record demo tapes. Bieber began signing for Usher one week later. (For the rest of the article you can read it here.

Here is his cover of Chris Brown’s “With You” the video that made him famous.

Another young artist that became famous thanks to YouTube is Carly Rae Jepsen with “Call Me Maybe”

Although Carly finished third on Canadian Idol, it was not till Justin Bieber Tweeted that “Call Me Maybe” was “possibly the catchiest song I’ve ever heard.”

That got her well know.

The last one I am going to share with you is not on the list, but they are one of my favorites.
The Peterson Brothers have become famous with their agriculture-focused parodies of popular hit songs.
(https://www.youtube.com/user/ThePetersonFarmBros)

Farmer Style (Gangnam Style Parody) has hit over 15.5 million views since it was posted in 2012.

There are many reasons why YouTube is a great tool, I have listed 3 reasons above.
Feel free to leave a comment with a reason you think YouTube makes for a great tool when it comes to the world of videos.

Social Media: How You Can Make Money Online – COM0011

The number of people who went from being unemployed and poor, to being famous, wealthy and successful on the internet is both baffling and interesting. Some of the biggest names on Youtube and all over the social media world have told their stories, and claim that you can work and make money on the internet. A few well known people are Shay Carl, Michelle Phan, Elle and Blair Fowler, Bethany Mota, Nikki Philippi and there are still many more. All these individuals started very small with a camera and a funny story, they entered an internet world which continues to grow and support them. So who can start a Youtube Channel? Who can find followers on Twitter and Facebook? Who is capable? Well, pretty much anyone can make money online, it doesn’t require a certain skill or education, the only thing that is needed is community and creativity.

In this new age, making money online doesn’t stop at Youtube, their are multiple websites which people can work for in order to gain a profit of some sort, there are two i would like to discuss today. The first is one i am currently trying out, it’s called opinion outpost a company looking for consumers to take multiple surveys so that large companies can get feedback on their products or services. The individuals who participate are called to take a profile test which either qualifies them or disqualifies them to answer certain surveys, so you are always filling out surveys that relate to you and your lifestyle. You make money, get entered in draws and wins bonu gift cards and merchandise. This is a hobby to many people and opinion outpost is doing a great job promoting themselves through big Youtube names. The other way to make money is less “job” and more “incentive”, it’s called Diet Bet. Individuals seeking to loose weight can make money as they loose weight, all you have to do is join a group, put some money in a pot and shed a certain percentage of weight  within a specified time frame in order to win and split the pot with the other winners. Diet bet is also a company mentioned in many Youtube videos. Speaking of product placement, that is one huge way that people on the internet make money, big “Youtubers” as they are known get contacted by multiple brands and companies to put their products or mention their services in videos. The product is sent out to the person to be reviewed and tested, if they enjoy their experience they give the company a mention and make a portion of the profit. Lastly, i’ll talk about monetized videos on Youtube. These are videos which contain an ad that appears either before or after the video plays, it can also appear beside the video. As people view and click on these ads, the owner of the video receives profit. The number of innovative ways for people to make money online are countless and growing.

So if you need extra cash or are out of work an “easier” way of making money is available online. Many people think that making money online is unfair, but it is no different than working in a physical work environment. The challenges and successes may be different, but the work ethic is the same. Sometimes, making money online is just a benefit to being able to express yourself and be your own boss. I have a Youtube channel that i feel very passionate about, and yes making money off of my videos would be very helpful, but that is not the sole reason that i put up videos. I love have the freedom to speak about things i love, i love connecting with other people online, and it’s a job that i would love to have. (If you’d like to check out my channel here is the link: https://www.youtube.com/user/TheMacgirl31)

COM0011 Blog Post #4 – The Best Tip I Received from someone on the bus … Use Hootsuite

 I remember when I first started my social media accounts thinking to myself, eventually this is going to become tedious and time consuming to manage them all separately.  Especially if,  in the future I was thinking about adding other Social Media tools to the mix.   The content calendar is a fantastic tool to use for organizing your posts, however I still had to sign in to my accounts separately to post.  Recently, I went to a lunch and learn at work and they talked about a social media dashboard tool called Hootsuite. You can use it to manage up to five accounts for free, and you sign up just as you would for any other social media account. All I can say is this TOOL IS AMAZING for managing multiple social media accounts and has key features you can use to be more efficient and save time when communicating with your audience.

This short story in this video highlights some of the key features of Hootsuite:

 

I haven’t used all the features of Hootsuite yet, however I have used the auto scheduler for tweets, monitored my mentions in Twitter so I can respond or retweet quickly, and I love the dashboard to be able to see at a glance what messages are coming in on my home feed,  sent tweets and any direct messages .  If you are the person sitting on the other side of me on the bus and you’re using Hootsuite what other features would you recommend?

Sources: Social Media is Sweet: A HootSuite Story – Youtube,  Giant Ant (http://www.giantantmedia.com) for producing and filming the video, Jon and Roy (http://www.jonandroy.ca) for the catchy song, G&F Financial (http://www.gffg.com) and Nelson the Seagull (http://www.nelsontheseagull.com) for providing a filming locations. Hootsuite image –  Super-fast Content Curation: Add Scoop.it to HootSuite and Go! www.business2community.comPage by Liz Wilson