Erica Lynn

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Archive for the category “Mrkt 3211”

Social Media and Business in 2013

Deborah Sweeney of Social Media Today says “2012 was definitely a year of growth” and that “usage on the sites will undoubtedly continue to grow” in the article titled Where Businesses Meet Social Media – Predictions for 2013. She suggests the following will improve social media practices for businesses in 2013.

A Slightly More Personal Touch
By now we as marketers have figured out social media is not just another channel for promotion. But rather a two way communication tool between customers and companies. Sweeney predicts more CEOs and owners making personal accounts on social media platforms to interact with their business’s customers. By doing this CEOs can forge a personal connection with their customers and be seen less as a corporate entity but more of a helpful friend.

A Blurring of the Borders between Business Websites and Social Media
Sweeney states “currently, there isn’t much of a connection between business websites and social media”. By position the company website as the hub for all social media content and overlapping posts on social media platforms we have begun to blur the line. Sweeney suggest as social media use continues to grow “businesses will begin trying to blend their social media presence and their website. This could mean giving customers the option to post what they just bought on Twitter and Facebook, à la Amazon, or it could just mean that websites are going to be a bit more intuitive and streamlined so jumping from a business’s Facebook account to its website is not such a shock.” To achieve this integration it will be important to marketers to understand not only what the company wants from social media usage, but the customers as well.

Higher Expectations for Employees to Play Along
The incorporations of more of the human element (mentioned earlier) is important to a company’s social media presence. Sweeny suggest one way if doing this is by “asking employees to both promote and interact with the company online”. This suggestion is dependent on the nature of the business of the company and attitude of the employees. Sweeny mentions “some businesses already monitor their employees’ social media accounts, and there have been reports of people being fired for badmouthing their employer online”. But in order for any business to succeed (with or without social media interactions) relies on business owners, CEOs and employees will being team players and supporting the business they work for.

Source: http://socialmediatoday.com/deborah-sweeney/1076211/where-businesses-meet-social-media-predictions-2013

Other links of interest:
http://www.forbes.com/sites/ciocentral/2012/12/11/5-ways-social-media-will-change-the-way-you-work-in-2013/
http://www.meetup.com/SEM-San-Diego/events/84908212/

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How to use Social Content

We talk about marketers using content on social media platforms like it’s a new thing, but according to Lee Oden author of the article 5 Deadly Sins of Social Content the “B2B world has used content to romance customers across long buying cycles with great success for many years. But with increased importance among consumers, search engines, and social platforms, online marketers are emphasizing content in the marketing mix now more than ever.”

The article suggests there are 5 common mistakes made when using social media content and why they are important to avoid.

  1. Have a plan

Like anything else in marketing (or business for that matter), there needs to be a strategy. The article states that “experimenting with social media applications and platforms is a practical first step” but, it cannot be seen as a strategy. The article makes an excellent point in mentioning that the strategy should not be ‘set in stone’ but rather be adaptable and able to keep up with the changes of that particular social media platform, or changes in technology in general. I think this is very important to note because the social media landscape changed daily and this uncertainly forces the strategy to be solid and fool proof as possible, some things I believe makes for a great strategy.

  1. Take it personally

The article states that “companies that view social media platforms simply as a distribution channel fail to create value for the very audiences they’re trying to reach.” This mistake is often made by companies.  Examples can be found very easily during a 15 minute surfing session on Facebook or Twitter. The article says “people don’t typically use Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, blogging, Pinterest, and other social applications for keeping tabs on corporate press releases, product announcements, and promotions. Reasons for social media usage are most often personal.” When I think about myself using Facebook or Twitter my main goal for usage is to keep in contact with friends and family (Facebook) or get the news in real time (Twitter). I am not actively looking for ads, deals or promotions on my favourite products or services. Oden suggest “marketers can achieve much better success with social content by empathizing with customer needs, interests, goals, and pain points.”  The good news here is that not many companies are doing this properly so that leaves room for the companies to do it right and get notices (and sales) because of it.

  1. It’s a community, not dictatorship

The social media community has proven to be fickle and sometimes illogical. The reason I say this is that it seems the common laws of marketing are not always followed in the space, and it is often difficult to predict the outcome. The article suggest “provide(ing) something of value before expecting anything in return.” and  “it’s smart to find out more specifically what consumers and those who influence them find valuable as inspiration for a social content plan.” This idea or model is built on that fact that it’s a ‘give and take’ relationship that by providing customer with something of value (content) they will be more likely to give something back to the company, wither that be a simple thought of a purchase, trail run of a product or complete loyalty to a brand.

  1. Promote it, even if it has legs

The article suggest “a lot of marketing budgets have invested in creating content for companies but many purists feel that great content should be left to attract attention based purely on the quality of the information. There’s a feeling that if content is really good, it will attract traffic and engagement all on it’s own.” This may sounds like a no brainer but its easy to assume that everyone in the community will think the content is as great as you do, and will love it just the same. That might be true, but the content still needs to be promoted and supported through other ways. The article states “with a hub and spoke publishing model, themed content is published into a repository that represents a “go to” resource for topics that the brand wants to be known for. At the same time, that content can be promoted through spokes or social channels among communities that are interested.” I think this is also a way to be seen as an information authority at the same time as showcasing great content through multiple channels.

  1. It never stops changing

As previously mentioned the social media platforms are always going to be changing and having an adaptable strategy is important. But it is also important to continuously monitor and analyse the content that is published on these platforms. The article states “As the community grows, even more sharing of links and traffic is involved with brand content. The increase in engagement, search visibility, and social sharing provides a rich set of data with which the brand can improve content creation. It’s a cycle of hypothesis, implementation, and analysis that can improve how effectively a brand is able to refine social content effectiveness at inspiring business outcomes.”

Sources: http://www.clickz.com/clickz/column/2163384/deadly-sins-social-content

Other links of interest:

http://www.clickz.com/clickz/news/2156596/brands-content-marketing

http://contentmarketinginstitute.com/

Managing the Communication Process

What I’ve Learned

Managing the Communication Process has taught me the importance of a company to create and maintain a strong communication strategy that mirrors a companies existing overall corporate strategy. This course gave me the skill set needed to analyze and interpret current communication processes and formulate recommendations for improvement based on the core principles of good communication.

Through out the course I was exposed to the entire process of communication and how to manage it, from the step of creating/executing a creative brief to potential issues management. During the course I looked at all forms of communication, including non-traditional and traditional media and analyzed their specific features and how they communicate tone, message, credibility and reach. Managing the Communication process also allowed me to understand how the channels of communication are changing with technology and how to best utilize the most appropriate forms for separate situations.

Course Work Completed

While completing Managing the Communication Process my team and I reviewed a company’s communication process and made recommendations for improvement based on the skill set we acquired in the course. This project allowed me to see not only how important external communications are, but also how important internal communications are and how the two processes should link together under the corporate strategy.

My team and I also analyzed a number of ad campaigns and how they utilized certain communication tools to broadcast their message. Some of these companies included Starbucks, British Airline and Kellogg’s cereal brand. Through the evaluation of these ads my team and I were able to see how some companies have gone wrong and how they could have improved their communications based on the core principles of communication outlined in the course.

While attending this class I was also able to participate in  a number of debates that discussed modern day issues such as wither or not traditional media was dead, if companies were guilty of ‘Green Washing’ and if food companies are partly responsible for childhood obesity by not communicating the contents of their products. These debates made me very aware of how fast the role of communication is changing and how as a marketer I need to be aware of the changes.

Career Development

While completing this course I was able to obtain a job in the field working as a corporate communications assistant for Ritchie Brothers Auctioneers Canada. The skills I learned in this course allowed me to fully understand the duties of myself and co-workers while working for the company. While working for Ritchie Bros I am able to utilize these skills I have obtained and apply them to a real corporate environment. I look forward to being able to use my skill set and knowledge obtained in Managing the Communication Process to further my career development at Ritchie Bros Auctioneers and else where.

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