Week14R

Chapter 26

While reading through the last chapter of Engaged, we are able to link the reading to our current project of creating a social media plan for a company. I found this to be very helpful when thinking of our plan for The Rocket, and how we could show our ROI through SM. Solis gives us not only a way to put together a SM plan through steps, but also shows us several ways to prove what we are doing is working for a company and worth keeping around.

I fully related to this chapter to our projects, and reading through gathered ideas for our own ways to expand on our PPT slides what and why we are putting together a plan, and how to show those measurements through engagement, volume and action. Those three ideas alone could be the reasoning behind keeping a SM plan around for a company. If people are engaging and being active with the SM, and in turn bringing them into your stores, or shopping online for your product, that to me in itself seems to be a win when considering the minimal amount of cost that is put into putting a plan together.

While you may have to consider how many hours are put into SM versus other work tasks, you also have to consider if those other work tasks are actually working to bring in customers. If your company is stuck in a lull of little to no customer interaction through the store, maybe it is time to reach out to social media to see if it will make a difference. The amount of time people spend on the internet, let alone social media, is astonishing. If you are reaching out to the right people, it could make a big difference in the amount of foot traffic you get through your shop, which increases sales revenue.

I found this chapter to be very beneficial, and a great one to end the semester on, especially since it correlates so well with our project!

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Week13R

First off, let me say how awesome Thanksgiving break was! No classes and lots of food! In all the excitement I forgot to post last weeks blog post…..oops. So on we go, to the next blog post!

Chapter 25: Twitter, Twitter, Twitter!

What I gathered from this chapter is: Use twitter, use twitter often, and use twitter well.

Being able to target your audiences, get your fans and friends to follow you, appreciate you and actually gain something from it is what the social media/workplace is all about! Here we see hard numbers-proof that for many companies, social media works! “on April 23, 2009, Naked Pizza reported that Twitter accounted for fifteen percent of total sales that day.” Reaching out to your public, getting tem involved and giving them something for it, such as a discount or free item, can have a huge impact on your businesses customer expansion.

Companies that may not be able to gather tweets organically can “pay per tweet.” Upon doing research, it seems that this can be gone about in a way that is not completely falsifying the idea. “Final control still lies in the hands of advertisers, so that they can ensure quality, sincerity and that the tweet is in line with the advertiser’s core values and message before it is tweeted, thus maximizing the value of the tweet,” an article posted on Adotas, an advertising company, called Pay Per Tweet: A New Twist on Affiliate Marketing elaborates a bit more on the idea of paying per tweet, and how it can be left up to the users what they post about,and even leaving which companies they want to talk about up to them. To read more from this article visit:

http://www.adotas.com/2012/08/pay-per-tweet-a-new-twist-on-affiliate-marketing/

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Week11R

Chapter 23 seemed to be an overall view of how to put together a group to become more engaged in social media. This was a bit vague to me until I got to the example of the new media board of advisors, where it lays out the actual role of the media board of advisors and how this will make a difference when trying to show that social media is necessary for a company.

While I understand that companies need to engage with social media, I do not think I agree with Solis in the matter that every part of the company needs to be fully engaged in it, such as assigning legal or IT a part in the daily activity of social media, unless it really pertains specifically to them. Parts of the company where social media is something they need to pay daily attention to are positions such as HR, marketing, communications, and branding should be involved, and could give different views of the company. Granted, I think everyone should play a part by agreeing to interviews for stories, giving their input on topics, or even volunteering to post something on a big event that is happening with their part of the company, but not every day since it is not necessarily related to their field of work.

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Week10R

facebook

The Numbers Don’t Lie

Chapters 21 and 22 are probably the most influential chapters for me so far in this book. As I was reading through the chapters, I couldn’t agree more with what was being stated about Facebook and Twitter, and how it is absolutely changing the way companies take on customers, and states just how large it is through facts and statistics. We are in an era when social media is of the utmost importance, and it is slightly surprising that there are companies who turn a blind eye to this. When comparing our bike shops social media to that of other bike shops, I am amazed that we are actually coming out on top in the area. As I become more submerged in social media, I am fascinated with the reactions and interactions I gather from others. The thing I enjoy most is knowing people are paying attention, and not only just paying attention but taking the time to interact with me (the company) about ideas, events, and concepts that I am putting out there or bringing to their attention. I have definitely noticed an increase of interaction since taking over the social media, and I love it!! Sometimes I wish social media and communications were the only things I focused on at my job, because it doesn’t seem to be nearly as interesting for anyone else.

The Breakdown

In chapter 21 Solis does a great job of giving you a step by step plan on HOW to make a change in your company, regardless of your size, and how to prove it is worth their time, money and dedication to get involved in social media. I will definitely take notes from this chapter if I ever have to put together a social media plan. The outline is fantastic! I love that he goes step by step from the summary to the conclusion, whom you should be focusing on, what stats you need to be including, what the company will expect to see (why should we care/what benefit does this REALLY have) and how to counter those disbelievers. I can definitely say these have been my favorite chapters so far. Way to go Brian Solis!

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Week9R

KNOW you are connecting with your readers

As we begin to emerge as Social Media experts within companies, it is important to not only know how to reach users but how to gather information to prove that what you are doing matters. In chapters 19 and 20 we learn about how to connect with readers “as social architects and engineers,” with what tools we can use to maximize our chances of being heard, how the “human network” connects, and again, gathering that information to  show you are making a difference via social media for your company. All of this is important, especially knowing how to connect with readers, as we have discussed throughout this semester, showing that a company is not only professional, but personal (without being too personal) can make the difference to consumers.

In chapter 19, we are reminded that again, we must look at what we are writing as consumers first, and then as the company. This allows us to show the most authentic and relatable personality through our writing, and that is what readers respond to. Readers do not want to engage with you if you are simply trying to sell them something, so make sure to show who you are, and how to do so professionally.

Using Tools Improves Your SEO

While this is important, there are tools to help you make sure you are doing a good job of  reaching the public. In chapter 19, Solis gives several companies that use tools to monitor what they are putting out and who/how consumers are responding to it, and how we can edit what we are putting out there to correct our writing if it is not being perceived in a positive way, or how to reach a wider audience if what we are saying is getting out in a positive way, but not many people are seeing it.

Solis names tools such as Tweetdeck (which we have discussed in class several times to use in your twitter to help organize and understand groupings), Scout, and CoTweet, as well as several others that can help you find keywords, reactions, and what people are linking to help YOU put out what is relavent to the social media community, allowing you to be found and useful!

Social Media Builds Bridges to Connect Different Networks

In chapter 20, Solis discusses what is known as “The Human Network.” He states “Our human network comprises both of professional and personal connections and they differ from each other on the basis of shared interests as well as established relations,” meaning, while we are connected to many networks, not everyone is looking for the same information. Your personal network could be searching for much different topics than your professional network. There are ways to track what your networks are writing about, and ways to see who your readers are and how THEY are connecting with each other, even if they are not in the same networks!

I think this is truly fascinating  because it is what social media is all about. Even though two people you know may have never met each other before, their interests may be the same. So when you post a blog or tweet something that is relavent to both parties, they are then connected by that. Before social media, this would have been very difficult to do. Time, space and even medium may have prevented this from being possible, but with todays technology, we are able to reach an endless audience with our writing if we are writing about the right topics.

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Week8R

Questionable Social Media

Over the years social media has been questioned as a form of sharing information. While it allows us to connect with others on a personable level, it sometimes can be used irresponsibly. When professionals use social media in a way that is unprofessional, such as posting personal feelings or views on the companies social medias, it can cause conflict, and sometimes can infringe on the companies security.

In chapter 17, we briefly touch on this when the Army beings using social media. Admiral Michael G. Mullen, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff maintains a Facebook profile and Twitter account. When the benefits of social networks are questioned Mullen wrote “Obviously we need to find the right balance between security and transparency. We are working on that. But am I still going to tweet? You bet.”

I think this is a great example of how even though you may be in a position where it could cause conflict, you are taking responsibility through these medias and using them in a professional way. Many companies should view social media like this. Knowing your boundaries and what you should and shouldn’t be posting (regardless of your personal feelings) should always take priority when it comes to social media. Keeping an image clear of judgement and negative views of the public by following the “Intel social media guidelines”  can make a big difference when comparing your company with other companies who do not take it as professionally as you do.

Listen before you Speak

One great way to see how you compare to other companies is to “first be a consumer before a marketer…” so making sure to listen to what your consumers have to say rather than telling them what they want can make a huge difference. Like chapter 18 says, “listeners make the best conversationalists,” and this is shown through the ways that consumers communicate, and where we should be focusing.

Regardless of where we stand within the company, we should always consider the consumer first. Where they go, we should go. What they say should greatly affect the way we communicate with them, the products we produce, and every other aspect of our workforce. Once we begin listening and allowing consumers to tell us what they want, that is when we become great companies.

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Week7R

Inbound Marketing Video: PR for Inbound Marketing

This week we watched a video about how media has changed, and how we can use it to our advantage as companies. Most of the information that was included in this video is exactly what we have been discussing, experiencing and viewing in our class- How are companies getting involved, and are they doing it right. Last week we paired up and looked at companies and what they are doing in social media, what people are saying about them and how they are reacting to what the companies are putting out and what we thought about these companies.

The inbound marketing video tells us what companies should be thinking about, and how to go about putting out information that is going to be relevant and important to readers. I was a little surprised at how companies are expected to post every day. Right now, for my job I am the only person in charge of social media, as well as communications. Knowing that I should be posting every day is a lot of pressure, especially when I am required to wear so many hats at work, and having shorter hours because of school. It was good to know that we are not required to post NEW things every day. Retweeting, commenting and adding insightful information to the community that we hope to get traffic from makes it a little easier.

It was good to see more examples of what sites companies are using to study and review their own websites or forms of social media to see what kind of traffic they are getting. I have not yet done this for my company (frankly, I am a little nervous to do so….) but I now have a list of websites I can refer back to when I decide to take that leap and see what is working and what is not, to make the changes that are necessary to gain more traffic and involvement in the community.

After reading about SEO, discussing it in classes, and watching this video that heavily relates to it, I am now realizing how important it is to optimize your chances of being found. It is no longer about marketing, it is about how easily people can find you. In order to do this, you have to put yourself out there (every day) and gain influencers that are going to mark you as reliable and credible. This seems challenging, which is probably why most companies are struggling to find their way to the top of social media. Knowing how to use the proper key words in your website, posts, and blogs and knowing how to not over do all of this could mean the difference between gaining an audience or turning one away.

Homework Assignment:
Consult a hypothetical client on how to create an effective inbound PR campaign. What content would you create?
What channels would you use? Why?

My client is looking to advertise for a new product line of cycling clothes that wicks away moisture quicker and keeps you cool or warm while riding in all temperatures. Based off of the video, I would certainly advise my client by using several methods of communication to reach the public. Using Twitter, Facebook, podcasts for personal interviews, videos, and blog posts. Also, it would be a good idea to be involved in other relevant posts by retweeting them, commenting or reposting them to get your product information out there and build traffic to your pages. Making sure to do this every day will get your name out there and building credibility.

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