Social media should not be a chore

This may be quite an embarrassing disclosure that I am getting ready to share with all of you but I am curious to see if anyone else feels the same way. Day in and day out, we breathe marketing. Whether we are combing through the ever changing landscape of trends and best practices or buried in analytics across multiple platforms, social media is a living and breathing organism to us. But here it goes…

I only utilize Facebook on a consistent basis. I do have a Twitter account but couldn’t even tell you what my twitter handle is. I lack a personal Instagram account and I never post on LinkedIn. Before anyone judges me, there is a huge laundry list of famous people, to include Bradley Cooper, who are also on this bandwagon.

But what does it mean when a company still to this day, does not have a social media presence? The following article from 2014 outlines 4 very well-known companies that still do not have official social media platforms; Trader Joe’s, Marlboro, Apple and Viagra. Interestingly enough, Viagra cited in the article that their lack of social media is primarily a result of FDA regulations.

The following infograph illustrates several benefits of social media. Can you think of any others?

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When digging deeper into the subject, the consensus seems to be compelling as to why a company SHOULD be using social media and very little focus on those who are not. But the emphasis is if you are going to do it, do it right. So I leave you with this… At the end of the day updating my own personal social media accounts seems like a chore. The last thing I want to do is sit in front of a screen longer than I already do. So if I am not going to give it my all and stick to it then perhaps I am wasting my time. Companies are the same way. Don’t spend time analyzing trends if you aren’t going to engage with your audience on a consistent basis.

Happy Tweeting!

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Discover Something New.

Since the first day that I decided to go back to school and pursue my Master’s Degree, I have been happy to learn something new everyday this year. However, I recently discovered the term, “Internet of Things.” I would never ever consider my self a tech savvy individual. I am lucky if I can go six months without carrying around a smart phone without a gigantic cracked screen but when researching the Internet of Things, I discovered a world unknown to me. We are truly living in a technology driven era where our lives, if we choose (or can afford) to live this way, can be solely reliant upon enchanted objects. An industry that is set to grow $2.5 trillion in revenue by the year 2020.

For the sake of ease, I will focus on one particular object that tickled my fancy: The Google Latitude Doorbell, created at the MIT Media Lab, chimes a tune when a family member is approaching the house. While my husband would hate this because then he wouldn’t catch me watching “Gray’s Anatomy” for the 1,500 time. But honestly, it truly scares me to think what other devices are capable of tracking our every move.

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Sometimes without acknowledging that are giving up a little bit of our private selves, we name our exact location on social media. It was reported that 31% of users location tagging simply because it’s easy to do, so why not?

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Perhaps given the opportunity, I would choose the convenience the doorbell offers but will our privacy be at risk or comprised? It was reported that 40% of Millenials over the age of 35, are more than willing to share their personal information in exchange for something in return. So although enchanted objects are exciting, they offer a service we have never had access to. Only time will tell what information about ourselves is collected and how it is used. So I leave you with this. Discover something new. If you could choose, what would be your ideal enchanted object? No matter what you say, just think about what you would be giving up. Would you trade it for a fun new toy?

The evolution of the #hashtag

Since its infancy, the hashtag has become a widely adopted part of our linguistics. I remember when I was growing up AIM talk was all the craze, BRB, LOL, etc. But as a society we have not only evolved with our social language but we have watched it morph into the brand language of businesses, government included.

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The ability to analyze the business of the hashtag has now crossed into the boundaries into ownership. As marketers we are continuously monitoring what works or doesn’t work on our social media channels. As people, we joke with our friends using hashtags such as, #nofilter, #wineplease but what happens in another 6 years of evolution?

Just the other day I read an article that stated “In 2015, after a total of 1,398 hashtag trademark applications were filed across the globe, according to new research from Thomson Reuters CompuMark.”

Companies are now taking the extra leap, to trademark hashtags as a way to protect their brand. For example, Pepsi registered  #sayitwithpepsi

 

Pepsi

The question becomes what does that mean for the private consumer? If businesses have the ability to trademark, can anyone? Will their be regulations in place regarding what constitutes a trademark worthy hashtag?

Whatever the future holds for the next phase of life for the soon-to-be commercialized hashtag, we will always get a chuckle out of this: Jimmy Fallon and Justin Timberlake: #Hashtag

 

 

How much privacy are we giving up in the name of social media?

Having social media at the ready certainly is convenient. We stay up to date on EVERYTHING; what is happening in the news, the presidential election, what our friends had for dinner the night before, and so much more! But have you ever really sat down and thought about what you are giving up in exchange?

For the sake of ease, let’s focus on Facebook. Facebook outlines what information they collect from us and how they use that information. Can you think of anything else not on this list? I can’t.

Information they collect:
1. Things you do.
2. Information you provide – including what you look at!
3. Things others do that may mention you.
4. Your networks and connections
5. Any payments through their in-app games or donations.
6. Your device.
7. Third-party websites.
8. Third-party partners.

For more on Facebook’s data policy, click here.

Now that they have collected all of your information, what can be done with it? Advertisers are already constantly collecting as much information as they can. Whether they are discovering your purchasing habits, tracking your website visits, etc. but now they can use who you are and find people just like you.

Behavioral target marketing
One way to social media sites is through target marketing and custom audiences. In particular, Facebook’s Lookalike audience feature. All that is required is finding a group of clients, customers, etc (Facebook recommends a minimum of 100 to get the best results) and upload into Facebook as a custom audience. From there, they will go and find people who resemble current customers. And for marketers, it’s working. It was reported that one particular online retailer saw a 56% lower cost-per-fan acquisition cost. This is just one of the many ways our information is being used.

But the question remains, do we as Facebook users care if what we are being exposed to is something that would probably interest us? According to the infograph below, 25% of users don’t bother with privacy settings. At least now, we may have a better understanding as to why certain advertisements are showing up in our news feed.

My best advice is to invest the five minutes it takes to check your privacy settings. Compared to the countless minutes we spend daily after all, what’s another five minutes?

 

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Marketing in a millennial age

One of the best ways to be efficient at our marketing jobs is to look at it from the consumer’s perspective to understand what works, what doesn’t and in what way we can expect challenges. As a millennial myself, the one thing I respect from any company is transparency. I mentioned in my last blog post about clutter. But despite that clutter, we know when we are being exposed to advertisements or marketing tactics.

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So what works? If you are actively trying to sell a product, than own it. It was reported that 1 in 5 millennials share the same loyalty to brands as their parents. Sometimes more times than not we already have our minds made up in some form or fashion whether our best friends’ sister uses your product and hey, if it worked for our best friend’s sister, than it must work for me too!

So what separates you from the competitor? Social media matters. Engagement matters. Be apart of the conversation. Your willingness to put a halt to your day for as little as three minutes to respond to a tweet or comment on Facebook will take you a long way. Knowing that you have time for me means I will remember you.

So let’s reverse the roles. Now that I know you don’t want to be treated like you are anything less than intelligent and you want to feel special, my job is to get to know you even more. By using the abundance of research at our fingertips, we have to get to know you before you get to know us. So I leave you with this… What other pertinent information must marketers know about millennials?

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P.S. Here is a little millennial humor for you!

FUNNY

Emerging media & the world around us

Have you ever thought about how truly inundated you are with the media? Whether you wake up and watch, Good Morning America, Spend time scrolling through Facebook on your lunch break or the random advertisements that show up in your Google search, we are constantly bombarded with clutter. It once was predicted by the year 2015 that consumption of media in the United States would increase to 15.5 hours a day. That’s a whopping 65% of our day. Emerging media matters because we are living and breathing it. And the countless breaths don’t begin at adulthood. We have reached a generation of guaranteed exposure within our youth.

Last November, my 9 year old child was exposed to the Hour Of Code, a global movement of empowering children in computer science.

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(Image Source: Hour Of Code)

Already at a young age of kindergarten we are exposing our youth to technology. I personally wasn’t introduced to the worldwide web until high school, outside of Solitaire or Notebook on a bulky Macintosh computer. (That was the apple I remember!)

Who remembers this?

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(Image Source: digitpedia.com)

Almost 20 years later, I am holding a lens to a multi-faceted, rapidly evolving media landscape dissecting what I hope is what people want to see when they flip and open browser after browser of clutter. In the profession of marketing, we have to redefine our brand strategies to acclimate to trends within our society. It’s not enough to just have a social media presence or a melting pot of marketing tactics, we have to be able to tell a story if we are going to capture many generations to come. With the knowledge that they will have when they are our age, it has to drive emotion and resonance.

One campaign that resonates with me as a child is “Got Milk.” I remember all my favorite characters dressing up, showing off their milk mustache. As an adult, I can appreciate that the “Got Milk” campaign was conceptualized to bring “a certain kind of irreplaceability to milk…” According to Jeff Goodby of the advertising agency Goodby, Silverstein & Partners. For me, at any age, it was about brand association. The simplicity of the campaign but the flexibility in the various athletes, models and actors who donned the milk mustache made the campaign all the more versatile.

We all had a little boy band in us!

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(Image Source: www.gurl.com)

So what do we want our children to remember? What hilarious Super Bowl commercial will they share across social media as their #TBT (Throwback Thursday) when they are our age? Whatever it is, for the next 20 plus years, I hope to become a part of marketing history.

-Sarah