Friday, March 25, 2011

Forever Students of New Media

Hello again, folks!

Today, I'll be delving further into Brian Solis' Engage, specifically chapters 3 through 6. These chapters explore Integrated marketing tools, blogging, crowd-sourced content communities, social bookmarking, livecasting, and much more.

As in my last post, there is once again a lot of really good information in these chapters, so I'll be doing my best to do it justice (if you haven't gotten the book yet, you should, though).

These chapters are in section II of the book, and belong to a chunk called The New Media University. Chapter 3 begins with Social Media 101, which Solis introduces with the thought that, "we are forever students of new media." He goes on to say that we learn it every day, through practice and reading, but states that social media is evolving so quickly that we "should never strive to master" it.

A key portion of the chapter explains the tools of integrative marketing:
-socialized networks
-audio livecasting
-social bookmarks

...and many, many more.

To begin, he defines social media as "a platform for the socialization of media." All of these tools he has listed (along with several examples of each) are very important in today's PR world. I use several of these, personally, including blogs (this one, as well as my Wordpress account), Wikis (for classes), and social bookmarks (Delicious + Diigo). I have found all of these to be beneficial both in and outside the classroom.

In the next two chapters, Solis takes an in-depth look at many of these social media tools. He states the importance of videos and images, as well as tips for using other sites (for instance, using URL shorteners on Twitter). I personally love It has helped me become successful at Tweeting links, without having the URL take up all of my characters.

I have only began to scratch the surface of all that was written, however I do feel that all of the tools described are important. Social Media Today has a great article talking about The 39 Social Media Tools to Use Every Day. How about you? Which tools do you use?


Here is something useful I found in explaining how social media works. Social Media in Plain English.:

Socializing On Mobile Phones

Let’s face the facts: social media has become very important in today’s world. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn…so many sites, and only 24 hours in a day. Our generation spends a LOT of time socializing on the web these days.

Personally, I’m quite aware that I spend many hours a day on Facebook, for example. This is not continuous use, though. I have a Facebook tab open while doing homework, or artwork. But it’s always there. In the background, calling. I will take breaks in my homework quite frequently to just sneak a peek at any new status updates or event invitations. It’s undeniable–social media had infiltrated my life. I can access it nearly anywhere, at any time. I can use my MacBook, or even my iPod Touch at hotspots. I’m constanly ‘plugged in’ even without a smart phone.

But what about those among us who have access to social media on their phones? A recent article from Ragan’s PR Daily states that according to Inforgraphic, Americans Spend 2.7 Hours Daily Socializing on Mobile Phones.

I actually find that number kind of low, but I guess it does make sense; we’re not constantly staring at out Facebook pages. We only check them briefly from time to time. The article provided an amazing visual to help explain:  photo.

What do you think? Does this number seem high or low to you? Or just right?

I don't dig texting.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Brian Solis says "Engage!"

Hello all!

Today I'm leaving the Groundswell behind and embracing a new text! One of the most well-known social media gurus, Brian Solis gives great advice in his book "Engage!" You should check it out or buy it here: Buy Me! 

The first two chapters of the book describe what Solis calls the "Social Media Manifesto" and goes on to discuss his "Case for socializing media, by the numbers."

In the first chapter, Solis makes some great points (these are just a few of them):

-the socialization of media is years in the making
-the future of communications and service is already here
-conversations happen with or without you
-build a bridge between you and your customers

One that I'd like to run with is that conversations happen with or without you. I entirely agree. This is a point that really needs to be emphasized, because I think some people believe that if they don't blog, no one else will. That is a far cry from the truth. The world of social media is expanding, and no matter how much you try to "stay out of it," the truth is that people will still talk--you just won't know it. Taking classes in social media and PR has taught me this. Therefore, I choose to be informed, and participate fully in Twitter, Facebook, and social bookmarking.

In the Second chapter, Solis gives many statistics. I know numbers are dry, but I'll just choose a few I think are key. Of the 7 billion people on Earth, 1.6 billion are Internet users. This may seem low, but is actually quite a large number. One of Solis' main points, however is that 2/3 of global Internet users access social networking sites. That's his point--social media is HUGE. He talks about how everyone and everything is being redirected to social media these days, and how it's making the world a smaller place. I can relate. Of all the things I do online, about 90% involve social media. Here's just some of my main hangouts: Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Tumblr, Diigo...and my e-mail. But that last one's just for school news, mainly. I literally hardly ever do anything else.

All in all, Brian Solis makes great points, applicable to our lives (mine, yours, etc). I love and embrace social media, do you?
P.S. Check out Brian Solis on Twitter: @briansolis


Unfollow Charlie Sheen on Twitter Day

Hello everyone! Glad to be back for some more PR blogging.

I'm fairly certain most of you have heard of the whole Charlie Sheen fiasco. If not, I will quickly fill you in. The actor Charlie Sheen (he's in Two and a Half Men, among other things) likes to hang out with porn stars while "banging seven gram rock," and apparently has "tiger blood" and claims "dying is for losers." In a recent interview, he made no excuses for his actions and when asked if he was proud of his actions claimed "what's not to love?" His publicist (who's reputation is probably eternally tarnished, by the way) quit, claiming he couldn't deal with Sheen (well...yeah). That sums it up.

This brings me to my next point. Charlie Sheen boasts about his wild popularity, pointing an imaginary finger (well, possibly literally, as well) to the massive amount of followers he's acquired on Twitter. Well, a recent article from the Village Voice brings to light a whole new way of ending this #winning, attention-drawing PR storm Sheen has created. The article claims there is to be an Unfollow Charlie Sheen on Twitter Day

Now that is truly winning, no hashtag required. The article goes on to say how everyone's had enough of the Sheen storm trending on Twitter, so on March 11th, everyone is supposed to go to Twitter and unfollow Charlie. Obviously March 11th has already passed, and looking at the numbers, he still has well over 2 million followers. So the event kind of failed a bit, but it was a valiant effort, in which ordinary people utilized social media, in my opinion.

Your thoughts?


and for laughs:

A "songified version." It's actually pretty catchy!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Energizing the Groundswell and Supporting It

This week in my Groundswell reading, I came across new, important information for any PR professional. The two chapters that I read this week were:

Chapter 7: Energizing the Groundswell

Chapter 8: Helping the Groundswell Support Itself

Before I get too far into my discussion, I want to define "Groundswell," in case there are some folks out there who aren't sure what that means (I know I used to be one of those folks, when I first ordered this book off Amazon). I think defines it well in saying that a groundswell is, "any surge of support, approval, or enthusiasm, especially among the general public." Therefore, I take the context of the book to be showing me how to tap into this "surge of approval" in my future career. 

Alright then, on to business. Both chapters were fairly lengthy and I don't want to test anyone's attention span, so I will try to summarize them efficiently, but feel free to read the book for yourself; it's quite a good read: Buy it on Amazon here!

Chapter 7 talks about ways of energizing the Groundswell. Some of the methods detailed include making sure to utilize word of mouth techniques; they are believable, self-reinforcing, and self-spreading. This is true. In one of my classes, I recently learned that word of mouth is still the most widely trusted source! The book's author makes a good point in saying, "Energizing the groundswell means tapping into the power of word of mouth by connecting with, and turning on, your most committed customers." --That beautifully summarizes the chapter. Specific methods? Ratings, reviews, and anything that involves the participation of your customers works well. The book cites EBags as an example.

Chapter 8 talks about helping the groundswell support itself. The author discusses traditional support vs. groundswell support, citing a Dell case study as an example. What are some great ways to find support? Forums. These include iRobot, Fair Isaac, and Linksys (What is Linksys?). We must remember that we live in a largely participatory culture infused with new media. The book suggests to build a community--this is critical. Reach out to active customers, and plan to drive traffic to your community. 

All of this information is compelling, because it can be applied to most modern jobs. I totally understand that technology and building an online community are crucial in today's world--I have so many accounts online to present myself in a way that will cause others to have a positive opinion of me. A similar principle applies in the PR business world. Building an online community will greatly help one (such as me, in the future) to be successful.

Well, that was a bit longer than I planned, but hopefully interesting!


People-Technology-Business Pictures, Images and Photos

70% of Local Business Owners Are Using Facebook!

A recent study by MerchantCircle shows that 70 percent of local business owners are on Facebook. I was reading my PR Daily news feed when I found this compelling article. I know that Facebook is really popular nowadays, so I expected the number to by high. I was a little sad to find that only about 40 percent use Twitter. I honestly expected that number to be a bit higher.

According to Merchant Circle, “Facebook has now surpassed Google (66 percent) as the most widely used marketing method among local merchants, and is almost tied with Google search (40 percent) as one of their top three most effective marketing methods, with 37 percent rating Facebook as one of their most effective tools.”

This truly shows just how much social media is being used in businesses today. With tools like Facebook Pages, which were actually recently updated to be even more user-friendly, both local business as well as large corporations can benefit from online exposure. This is useful information for everyone, even a PR student like me. In classes I am learning about how to utilize social media to benefit my future career. With this information, I will have a competitive edge. What many students do not realize is that older adults in the field are not nearly (if at all) knowledgeable in social media. Being aware of it, and how to use it will really benefit my generation of PR and business professionals.

Keep that in mind, folks!


Here is the chart created from the survey I mentioned: