Pinterest, and YouTube, and Vines…Oh My!

pinterest_featuredimage

Can I just say I love Pinterest! You can find anything on the site (for those who understood my Wizard of Oz reference…probably not a brain, a heart, or courage though). I enjoy looking up new recipes to whip up in my kitchen, how to redecorate my home, the next outfit I hope to purchase, and so much more. Pinterest has introduced me to a whole new world of retailers! It has exposed me to retailers and brands I would have otherwise not heard of or found. Because of this it is essential for retailers and brands to take advantage of Pinterest!

Companies often turn to Facebook and Twitter as their main source for social media. With such a single-minded approach these brands will miss an audience on Pinterest that is open to buy from anywhere! In fact, 70% of Pinterest users visit the site for inspiration for their purchases. I am definitely part of that 70%. I’ve bought clothing and home goods off the site from retailers located all over the country. Pinterest users trust each other.  When we repin an imagine we have automatically endorsed it. By not being a part of this social media platform companies will miss the chance to establish trust with their audience, but also miss the opportunity to expose themselves to new clients.

0Another outlet brands need to incorporate into their strategy is YouTube. YouTube is wildly popular. YouTube has over four billion hours of videos watched each month! Research has shown that consumers trust YouTube over Facebook. I think when consumers can hear what’s being said and see the person saying it it helps create trust. YouTube also allows brands to be creative and let the consumer see a more personable side of them. For instance, a runner I like to follow on YouTube, The Ginger Runner gives advice on training, apparel and nutrition to fellow runners. He is hysterical and pretty creative! I trust him because I’ve seen him training for marathons via YouTube and know that he is a reliable source. Brands will be able to impact consumers immensely if they include YouTube in their social media strategy.

vine1-645x250Images resonate with people, videos inform an audience, and when they are combined they have proven to be unstoppable. This was the case for the Boston Marathon tragedy when over 19,000 vines were tweeted. Twitter’s video source, vine has transformed video sharing; on average one is created every five seconds. Personally, I have never found vine to be that compelling but with so many people using the application companies should join in the trend and reach consumers.

Using social media isn’t just comprised of Facebook and Twitter. It is important for brands to reach the consumer who enjoys spending time on content sharing communities such as Pinterest and YouTube. From my experience my audience enjoys when I share pictures with them. Continuing to utilize Pinterest and other image sharing sites like Instagram will be a key component in my social media strategy. I’ve dabbled with YouTube, but I think it will take me a while to find out what kind of content my audience enjoys watching. As for vines, I’ve never done one but I guess there is a first time for everything!

What about you? It’s important to use all of these social media platforms but which one do you think will be the most beneficial to your audience? Do you think Twitter’s vine will continue to grow in popularity or is it just a trend?

Advertisements

My Honest Mistakes on LinkedIn and How I Plan to Change Them

keep-calm-and-update-linkedinOk, I’ll admit it! I am guilty of “making connections” on LinkedIn with people I barely even know just so that connections number on my profile looks big and helps justify my popularity on the site. Until this week I thought having recommendations and gaining as many connections as possible would help me excel on LinkedIn. Wrong! There is so much more I can be doing that will make me marketable and gain new business connections.

I’ve read the articles and listened to the advice from this week’s studies and have already started implementing some of the recommended practices. I updated my headline to include “Up and Coming Social Media Expert.” I also updated my summary to include keywords like search engine optimization, social media marketing, brand building, ect. I included a link to my blog so recruiters and businesses can see my application of what I am studying. I’ve taken the right steps to becoming a highly searchable and marketable person on LinkedIn.

While all of this is great I’ve only started covering the basics. I love that we have been encouraged to update our status on LinkedIn. I have seen people do it but didn’t think about the impact it can have. Updating my status will give people the opportunity to see my personality. Participating in group discussions also allows users to see I am active on the site and it gives them a look at my perspective on topics discussed. I determine my success on LinkedIn. Armed with a Master’s degree, experience, recommendations, and stellar connections isn’t enough. By staying active and engaged on the business platform I will set myself up for success in the future.

Bottom line: we are all in this Master’s program because we want to advance our careers and be successful with our future endeavors. Whether you’re looking for a new career path, wanting to advance in your current company, or hoping to make new business connections incorporating practices that set you apart from the 225 million users that are on LinkedIn will be essential. It’s a commitment, but one that will pay off if you work at it!

Change Your Business. Change Your Life. Use LinkedIn.

imagesWhen I graduated from undergrad in 2011 my mentor encouraged me to get a LinkedIn account and to get as many endorsements and recommendations as I could. So I did what he told me. When I met with him a few weeks later he was happy with my progress but told me to still stay active and get on everyday. I tried to heed his advice but eventually I started spending less time on the network. About six months ago when my boyfriend graduated with his Master’s and started using LinkedIn to connect with recruiters it hit me, LinkedIn is not just about displaying your resume. LinkedIn has the ability to transform your business and your life.

If you need more proof that LinkedIn is changing our professional landscape look at Pepsi Cola Company and Starbucks. Pepsi and Starbucks say they use the platform as a main source for job candidates through LinkedIn’s “talent solutions” (recruiting program). Half of LinkedIn’s $972 million profit last year came from “talent solutions.”One in six people have landed their current position by using social media. Companies are investing lots of time and money into this social platform. It’s time for you and I to start utilizing LinkedIn!

images2 LinkedIn is about more than making connections. Making basic changes like having a professional profile picture (no partying, no kids, no dog, just you), not broadcasting your every move when looking for a new job (turn off broadcast), and using spell check (54% of recruiters don’t like spelling and grammatical errors) will improve your profile. But the BEST thing you can do for yourself on your LinkedIn is to have a STRONG headline! This is something I am really going to focus on creating this week! It is essential to have a headline that says who you are, who you help, and how you help them. Have your headline include key words you want to be discovered by. This makes users want to read your profile and see how your experience and recommendations prove your headline! Not having a powerful headline is one of the Top 5 Mistakes Journalists Make on LinkedIn. Don’t let it happen to you!

Another powerful change to make today: have a meaningful summary that has a call to action at the end. Give people a place to go next and a reason to go there. Even if you don’t own your own business make it clear what your career goals are and how people can reach you for more information. Include your website, Twitter handle, and email address. With more and more business deals happening on LinkedIn this will pay off for you!

What are some improvements you plan to make on your LinkedIn page this week? How do you foresee these changes impacting you professionally? What is it you want to accomplish on LinkedIn?

 For me it’s going to be all about my headline. I want to develop a creative and informative headline that interests people and makes them want to read my whole profile! I’m also going to start updating my status more. I want to connect with people on a personal and professional level. I want people to know what I’m working on! I want to prove I am a valuable asset to my company. I think these improvements will increase traffic on my page and make me more searchable. I love learning and I love growing I hope this is what I can accomplish by making these changes.

Good luck everyone!

Do You Know How Social Media Really Works? (Lecture Reaction)

Social media is a science. Sometimes when I tell people I’m earning my Master’s specializing in social media I get the response “You’re paying people to make you post on Facebook.” After learning about the power of Facebook and Google+ and the opportunities people have on social networks I would say that statement is the furthest thing from the truth!mediatraining

Many people don’t understand what EdgeRank is and how to utilize Facebook to increase it. I was one of those people until I started this program. When I logged on Facebook I would always wonder why people’s post from the day before were at the top of my newsfeed, now that I understand EdgeRank I know why. Using Facebook and creating post that generate interaction and shares is essential to effectively leverage the social media site in your favor. Now that I know the details involved with ranking on the site I will be employing them and look forward to seeing the results!

Google+ is arguably the most overlooked social media site of them all and in my opinion it houses the most power. Prime example, I posted my reading reaction blog on Facebook and it was completely overlooked, but when I posted it in a social media community on Google+ I got more response than I could’ve imagined (7+s and 9 comments, that’s amazing for a Google+ newbie like me)! Google+ allows you to target your audience. I can put people in groups and post things that are relevant to those groups. I can show people my work in the communities I follow. I can author my work and increase my SEO. The possibilities are endless!googleplus

As I continue to market myself as a social media expert strategy will be the key behind every post I will be making on social media sites from here on out. I recently spoke with a recruiter at HSN and asked her what the biggest thing she looks for when it comes to potential social media professionals. She told me she wants someone who understands how social media really works and has a portfolio to back it up. By gaining an understanding of how Facebook and Google+ work and how they influence each other I can utilize them to take me to new heights professionally. I will continue to strive to build myself as a brand and continue to implement social media into my work to prove social media isn’t about posting, it’s about strategy.

Realizations of this Week: It Seems I May Have Overlooked Google+ and Facebook “Likes” Bing

Some friends of mine flew in from NYC this weekend and while at lunch we began talking about social media. One of my friends said he believes social media will die out. Another one didn’t know what Google+ was, and my boyfriend said Google+ was a waste of time. And so began the in-depth conversation we had about the benefits of Google+, the pros and cons of Facebook and Google+, and the relevance of social media.

We started with Google+. I feel like everyone has overlooked Google+. Reading the statistic that Google+ has 90 million users v. Twitters 100 million proves it is a relevant resource. Like any social media site its important to use images and create engagement but what really sets Google+ apart from any other site is its ability to increase SEO.

I had never heard of the authorship and Google+ until reading “How Authorship and Google+ Will Change Link Building” and now I understand how influential it is. One of the friends I was with is an aspiring actor and when I told him he could post all the videos and scripts he wanted on Facebook but they would only be “relevant” on Facebook he seemed confused. The reality is Facebook and Google don’t get along. I told him if he really wanted to be searchable he needed to get a Google+ account, start posting on his profile, and “author” all of his work. I could see the wheels turning.facebook_vs_google

But what about Facebook? Everyone has one. Everyone uses it. It has no age limit. It isn’t going away. It still is important to maintain a presence on Facebook, especially if you are trying to build a following. But again, it comes down to understanding how the site works. With 88% of fans never returning to the pages they “like” you need to figure out how to spark engagement. Asking for feedback and “caption this” work but what does it take to stay at the top of users newfeeds for an extended amount of time?

 Facebook is like a popularity test. For every “like,” every share, every comment Facebook determines just how relevant your post is and where it ranks in importance in followers newsfeeds; in Facebook jargon its known as the graph search. While Google+ may reward their users with improved SEO for their loyalty Facebook is stepping up to the plate by continuing to implement graph search into their strategy. Graph search will become the biggest competition for Google. Since Facebook is blocked from Google they have joined forces with Bing (which has already taken away $2 billion in ads from Google). It will be interesting to see how Google+ combats Facebook.google-bing-facebook

Incorporating social media into your brand marketing strategy is essential. Knowing the benefits and perks each one has and how to utilize them is ultimately what will set you apart and help make you successful.

Questions

1)   Many of us didn’t know much about Google+ before this class. How are you planning to incorporate it more into your social media strategy now that we’ve read about its benefits?

2)   Now that Facebook has teamed up with Bing do you think it has the potential to overcome Google in terms of SEO and ads?

Is Twitter Making Us Stupid?

I believe Twitter has the potential to transcend the boundaries of the classroom and socialize knowledge.  –Patrick J. Murphy

I believe Twitter has the potential to transcend the boundaries of the classroom and socialize knowledge.
–Patrick J. Murphy

Has the importance of learning and education gotten lost in a world where Google can answer any question? Bill Keller poses this question and while he has some valid points I would like to believe Professor Patrick J. Murphy (see quote) is right, Twitter is actually enhancing our lives, especially from an education standpoint.

 I have decided to use this blog as a way to brand myself as a Social Media Expert, but this needs to go beyond my blog. Teachers in college classrooms across the country urge students to brand themselves and showcase their expertise to potential employers on Twitter. Twitter gives people instant access to your thoughts and ideas. Why not use this to capitalize your strengths?

While some of our readings this week discussed not limiting ourselves or enforcing strict guidelines there was one rule that was stressed, the 80/20 rule. I had never heard of this rule until this week. To be honest, I have struggled with how much social media material I need to post on Twitter and I have come to the conclusion that I am posting too much. I need to keep being myself, showing my personality for the most part (80%) and only post about social media two or three times a week (20%) so I don’t push my followers away. Today’s marketing has made it very clear that consumers don’t respond to shouting messages at them; they like to engage and find out information on their own. It’s time to start following this rule better.

Other useful guidelines: keep tweets under 100 characters (is that even possible?), join Twitter chats (#smchat, #socialchat, #SMmanners…what are these things?), build a Twitter list, get a tweet deck…this all seems so overwhelming to me. Until I started grad school I just thought Twitter was a cool way for me to follow my favorite celebrities and use hashtags…wrong! The good news is I’m not alone, otherwise there wouldn’t be articles explaining Twitter. We can all benefit from the growing pains these experts have experienced.

My favorite helpful hint provided this week was to respond to every tweet. I can’t tell you how many people I’ve tweeted and never gotten a response; it almost makes want to unfollow them sometimes. Earlier this week I got “favorited” by a lingerie line (thanks in part to Lesley) and it made my day on Twitter!  A little bit goes a long way with Twitter. Even just a “favorite” can show your audience that you acknowledge them and appreciate them.photo

Twitter has become revolutionary. It is touching and changing every part of the world we live in. By utilizing the advice from experts who’ve learned how to utilize Twitter to the fullest I will be able to perfect my use of this social media powerhouse and further enforce myself as a brand.

Questions:

1)     There were a lot of really great tips in this weeks reading. What piece of advice do you find most influential for your goals are Twitter?

2)     There are positives and negatives to every social media outlet. What field do you think Twitter has had the most positive and negative impacts (i.e. news, advertising, education, ect.)?