It’s Not all About You: Giving Your Audience What it Really Needs

I am an avid runner and I love it! Signing up for races gives me a goal to work toward and a time to beat. I also love reading about running. As soon as I began subscribing to Runner’s World (RW) I was opened to a new world of running, not just through print but social media as well.

RW is excited about something most people dread…running. To be honest I used to feel the same way, the only reason why I signed up for my first half marathon two years ago was for accountability to work out consistently. RW helped change that. I have relied on RW for advice, motivation, and information. RW’s goal is to help its audience achieve their running goals. When subscribers reach a new running milestone RW has ultimately reached a goal for themselves as a company.

imagesRW makes me feel like I am part of something special. I have used their training plans and eating guides when training for my first three half marathons and plan to use them again in the upcoming weeks when I start training for my first marathon. Bottom line: people trust them when it comes to running.

One of my favorite things about RW is that they use their most beneficial resources when it comes to social media…their employees. RW actually has their employees tweet while they run races. This proved to be an advantage for them in the Boston Marathon. Their tweets were some of the first to come out regarding the attack. Runners, including myself, flocked to their most trusted running source to get information. They later dedicated the whole month of July’s edition to the Boston Marathon and met their readers needs: they shared what people are doing to overcome the heartbreak and responded to questions readers had.runnersworld

RW is a great example of what I hope to achieve. They have targeted their audience. They know what gets them excited and what keeps them coming back for more.

By following and examining media outlets I trust I can see what works does and doesn’t work for them. Employing social media is a science. I love that we are experimenting with posting articles, using hashtags, and are tracking engagement with what we post. Seeing what my classmates comment on and post pertaining to this class has really showed me what our different interests and objectives are when it comes to social media. This has helped me understand what I can do better to drive traffic to my blog and social media sites, not just with my classmates but also with my friends outside of school.

Questions to Consider:

1)   Guy Kawasaki says he will tweet the same thing up to four times a day. Some of our other readings have said not do be redundant and not to push a message on the audience. Do you think this is a good idea for him to continue this practice?

2)   In Pam Moore’s article (50 Ways to Energize Your Social Media Community and Audience) she says to help your audience achieve their goals and you will achieve yours. This really resonated with me. How do you plan to help your audience reach their goals?

Employing Your Audience Through Social Media (Lecture Reaction)

People log onto their social media outlets because they want to connect with people and see what’s going on in the lives of those they follow. With the exception of LinkedIn, most people are looking for an informal way of connecting with others. Facebook and Twitter have made it easy for companies to connect with their customers. I really enjoyed the Lays example and looked further into their “Do Us a Flavor” campaign and how it relates to this week’s lecture.

Lays “Do Us a Flavor” campaign to introduce new flavors in other countries was so successful that they tried it in the US. I know I enjoyed all the commercials and bought all three of the flavors in the running. The key for today’s marketing is that companies need to have their consumers work for them and to word ads as though you are giving the consumer something. Lays gave the consumer the choice to vote for their favorite flavor and gave the winner who suggested the flavor a one million dollar prize. The consumer gave Lays practically free marketing on Facebook and Twitter (via shares and likes) and another successful ad campaign. Jon Goodman referenced that for every Facebook like a company gets it is equivalent to as much as $174 over the lifetime of the person who liked it. Lays has over six million likes on Facebook. Doritos has just over four million. Those two million more likes can translate into a lot of revenue if Lays continues to engage the consumer.

Lays is the perfect example of how to leverage Facebook and Twitter. The company used these outlets to get over one million votes for the next chip flavor, but knowing how to reach your target audience and how to keep them engaged seems to be the hardest part of social media. Seeing the break down of time spent and demographics for each social media outlet is very interesting. For example, companies get so wrapped up in pushing their message across on Facebook they forget women are the majority of the users and that we get annoyed with multiple posts and eventually unfollow or stop “listening.”  I know I have personally stopped following people on social media outlets like Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram because they continually post irrelevant information. This week’s lecture impressed upon me that it is essential to utilize your audience to help spread brand awareness.  Whether it’s voting for a chip flavor or just sharing a picture you post, understanding how to employ your audience helps determine how you utilize social media.

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What is Your Goal When it Comes to Social Media?

Social-Media-BrandThis weeks articles really impressed upon me the importance of building myself as brand, finding my unique voice on the Internet via social media, and helped me realize that doing all of this is going to be a long term investment.

I have always been a very goal oriented person. I have utilized the S.M.A.R.T (Specific, Measureable, Attainable, Realistic, Timely) method when pursuing personal and professional goals but never thought of employing it with social media until I read Be Honest: Do You Have a Social Media Strategy? Social media and the Internet aren’t going away. They are only becoming more prevalent in our society. I understand that having reachable goals and a strategy when it comes to social media is important but what is it that I really want to get out of these outlets?

The concept of companies using social media to get to “know” their applicants opened my eyes to a new reality and also what my goal in social media should be. I am taking this masters program because I want to advance my career in social media. I need to employ social media to show recruiters this is what I am passionate about and I am good at it. When they view me on social media outlets I want them to visit my blog and read what I have to say about social media. I want them to realize that what my resume may lack in comparison with someone with 20 years of experience I make up for with my real world approach to the most influential (and potentially lucrative) media source out there…social media.

The Hidden Benefits of Social Media Marketing article helped me realize that I am on the right track. I have a community of followers that I have instant access to. Why am I not tapping into them and using them to get my message across? We aren’t “businesses” connecting with “consumers” we are people connecting with people. People want to talk to each other not automated voice systems. As I continue to position myself as a social media expert I need to find content that will keep me “human” and not just push a message across. Ultimately I need to focus on building relationships with my followers and have them help me get my message across!

In this social media journey I have embarked on I know not everyone will understand or condone what I am doing. I hope to embrace and listen to them just as Makers Mark listened to their consumers. Not everyone will agree with what my goals in social media are but it is up to me to listen to them and respond appropriately to have a better understanding with my community.

Your Response

  1. What do you think of companies now using social media for recruiting purposes? Are you in favor of companies getting to know the real you or do you feel it is an invasion of privacy? How far is too far when it comes to “investigating” potential employees?
  2. Everyday we are bombarded with ads and other nonsense posted on social media sites. As you work on branding yourself, or your company, what are some methods you plan to use to not be overlooked on social media?