The Rules to the Social Media Game

Sports, school, jobs, traffic…what do they all have in common? The answer is rules. In anything that you do, there are rules to be followed. Social media marketing is no different. There are actually 10 rules to follow when regarding social media marketing. However,  out of those 10 rules only three are the most important:

1) LISTEN – Social media is a place where your audience openly discusses their needs, wants and issues. They voice when they’re upset about something. They voice when their happy about something. They voice when they’re sad about something. When marketing on social media, it is important to understand what your audience desires so that you can maintain your audience’s positive attention or gain new audiences.

2) Develop Relationships – If you post relevant, useful content that is tailored to a specific target audience, they will interact with your post by sharing, retweeting or reposting your content. They may even respond to your post directly. It is important for you to interact with those audiences. Make them feel welcome. The more you are able to do so, the better chance you have of getting your content seen by others.

3) Networking – Social media is also a place where you can network. Connect with “online influencers”. They have the ability to share your content with a mass audience. Just like you send a news release to a major news outlet to inform, you can share content with online influencers who have the same power.

–Ashli Harris

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Don’t Forget the Red Tape

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Social media has become a key player in the realm of business marketing. While having a social media marketing plan is undeniably valuable, they can often lead to trouble for the company if they aren’t carried out correctly. Cheryl Conner, content writer for Forbes Magazine, poses a question that PR professionals easily overlook: Is your social media plan legal?

Conner’s article details a campaign featuring “Ring Pops” in which the company encouraged teenagers to post social media pictures of them wearing the edible jewelry. With the hashtag #rockthatrock, young people were posting pictures that bordered on inappropriate and the company ended up receiving a lot of backlash and legal trouble. The company was ultimately found to be in violation of the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act. (see the article for full details)

Instances like this are a dime a dozen. Company’s view social media as a relatively “tape-free” entity in which they have the freedom to do whatever they’d like. Katie Creaser, VP of PR firm Affect, proposes that PR professionals ask the following questions in regards to their social media plans.

1. Does our plan follow FTC guidelines?

…don’t pretend you know every single guideline set forth by the FTC because you likely don’t. Which leads us to our next question..

2. Has this social media plan been looked over by legal counsel.

Legal professionals know social media legalities. So let them look over your plan and give you the go-ahead.

3. Is there a plan in place to respond to negative feedback?

Learn from other companies’ mistakes and be prepared for your plan to backfire.

Chelsey

Where We’re Going, We Don’t Need Roads

“This is it! This is the answer. It says here… that a bolt of lightning is going to strike the clock tower at precisely 10:04pm, next Saturday night! If… If we could somehow… harness this lightning… channel it… into the flux capacitor… it just might work. Next Saturday night, we’re sending you back to the future!” That’s right, folks. We are headed to the future, the future of social media that is. Even Dr. Emmett Brown doesn’t know what is in store.

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“So wait, you’re telling me you built a time machine out of a DeLorean?” What are we going to find when going 1.21 gigawatts? Great Scott!

Videos. It looks like micro-videos are going to blow up. As we all know, millennials love images and interactive content. What will be the next best 10 second video?

Content Marketing. Social media platforms continue to become less of an afterthought and more in the forefront of marketers mind, consumers will continue to see more brand engaging content. Their sole purpose will be turning thoughts into things, to drive continuous and measurable brand engagement.

Mobile optimization. Mobile access is a big step towards the future. Wearable and portable devices allowing us to be constantly connected are far from science fiction. Additionally, voice controlled devices will become increasingly common.

Communication. Similar to Marty Mcfly’s experience, the future of social media may hold some familiar trends. Marketers will always be attempting to sift through the noise. Consumers will continue to pick up trends and drop them just as quickly, making life for marketers just as fast paced. Methods of reaching consumers may change, but efforts to communicate ,engage and build distinct relationships will not.

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A wise time traveler once said “If you put your mind to it, you can accomplish anything.”

Brooke

Ello?

It’s been said many times, but it’s true, social media platforms come and go. Predicting the next successful social media platform is essentially a crapshoot. My previous post discussed a few up and comers. However, at least one of the platforms discussed has since gone defunct. So, where does that leave us? The up and comers seem to have been struck down; or have they? One social media platform refuses to quit, even after facing much criticism regarding it’s layout and policy according to an article from Observer.com . Ladies and gentlemen, allow me to introduce you to Ello.

Image courtesy of Valleywag

Ello is similar to Facebook, with only two real differences. The first being that Ello is apparently a much more “cleaned up” version of Facebook. Meaning that it has an extremely simplistic design. The second major aspect separating it from the Juggernaut that is Facebook is the fact that Ello has no ads. That’s right, zero, zip, nadda, none, no ads whatsoever… In theory of course. The creators refuse to let companies promote their businesses through the use of advertising. However, I’m sure people will find ways around this idea.

Ello is currently in it’s beta phase, and is reported to be ready to go public soon. Will Ello finally be the young whipper snapper that uproots Facebook? Or will Ello go the way of so many social media platforms who had much promise, and merely fade into obscurity? I love the idea of keeping it ad free, and it is definitely a noble idea, I just don’t know if that model will lead to success or failure. Only time will tell.

– Chase

Restaurant Social Media Marketing

It is finally Friday night! TGIF, right? You and your bros, or gal pals, are in dire need of a wild night on the town. There are two new happenin’ places downtown and your friends are torn. Margret said she heard from coworkers that one place has a great ladies night special. Carl is boasting about the dance floor scene at the alternative location.  What do you choose? Your instincts tell you to check social media for reviews and possible promotional content.

For restaurant owners or managers, social media should be nearing the top of the list as a strategic communications tool. But, there are so many voices on social media. How can restaurants utilize social media platforms to directly increase in customers?

First thing is first – know your customer. As with any strategic communication tool, the marketer needs to know what the target group of individuals desires. If the restaurant is a dive bar and grill with great drink specials, speak to consumers on social media searching for a Friday night hang out.

Use multiple platforms. Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are three popular social media sites. Important and necessary, yes. But, these sites are not the only places target audiences are located. According to the National Restaurant Association, nearly 79 percent of diners are using Yelp to read reviews and suggestions about restaurants. 4 out of 5 diners are using TripAdvisor to decide where to eat. As mentioned before, know the consumer and their needs.

Be visual. By using photos and hashtags,  a social media platform can improve greatly. According to Wishpond, posts with visual aspects increase views by 94 percent. Consumers are 60 percent more likely to view a business’ page if the post includes a photo.  Additionally, using hashtags can increase brand recognition as well as search engine optimization.

Social media is a vital tool for communication. Both listening to and engaging with consumers improves relationships with consumers. Individuals across the nation and around the world develop a bond with a restaurant, the food and even the staff. By strategically communicating with past, current and potential cliental, a restaurant is catering to their needs (ba-dum-pss).

Brooke Todd

Welcome to AmeriKKKa, where Black Lives DON’T matter….

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Every day, I have the same routine before I jump out of bed to start my day. I wake up, pray, then grab my phone to check social media. As I am scrolling down my Twitter timeline, I stumble across the name Walter Scott. Within one minute of scrolling, I continue to see the same hashtags numerous times: #BlackLivesMatter #RIPWalterScott #WalterScott #NoJusticeNoPeace. Of course, the love for my culture and my curiosity ran high as I feared that it would be yet another case of social injustice and police brutality. I hoped it would not read about another Eric Garner, Oscar Grant or Michael Brown case, in which a police officer murders an unarmed black man. Then I stumbled across a video with heartbreaking footage of an unarmed black man being shot to death by a white police officer eight times. As I shed tears of sadness and anger, that unarmed man ended up being Walter Scott.

While I was doing my research, I reviewed the original article discussing the incident. Just like in the case of Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown and Eric Garner, the officer Micheal Slager states that he feared for his life. He states that the victim Walter Scott, attempted to reach for Slager’s taser. Then the video was released days later which showed an entirely different story. Not only was Walter Scott unarmed, it was Walter Scott who feared for his life as he attempting to run from Slager, who continuously attempts to violently tase him. Being several feet away, the video reveals Slager shooting Scott eight times from behind. Slager then proceeds to handcuff the lifeless Walter Scott and drop an unidentified object next to Scott. My tears continue to flow in disbelief of what I was watching.

Fortunately, justice will be served for Walter Scott thanks to the anonymous bystander that recorded the heartbreaking event. It is quite clear that several white police officers across the nation have a disgusting desire to kill black men. Trayvon Martin. Oscar Grant. Eric Garner. Michael Brown. Tamar Rice. And now, Walter Scott to be included with several others. With this being a digital era, my question is why are police officers not forced to wear cameras on their uniforms? It is sickening that in America, blacks fear the individuals that are suppose to serve and protect civilians will stop them for something as simple as a broken tail light and be killed. Technology has become nearly crucial to human survival and with the recent events that have surpassed, with police officers feeling the need to kill innocent, unarmed blacks, video cameras that show constant police brutality, racial profiling and racism should be apart of their uniforms. My heart weeps for my people as we all ask the same question, will we ever be treated equal and if not, which one of us will be next? #BLACKLIVESMATTER #WALTERSCOTT #RIPWALTERSCOTT #NOJUSTICENOPEACE

Ashli Harris

Social Media Platforms To Watch Out For

It’s safe to say that sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram have a pretty good grip on the social media landscape. However, there’s always the chance that another platform could come along and add it’s name to that list. Remember Myspace? Of course you do. At one time it was the most popular social media website. My how the mighty have fallen. An article from California State University Northridge’s campus newspaper discusses four upcoming social media sites that could make a big splash.

Sulia

Sulia allows users to post and comment on topics that they are interested in. Imagine if someone mixed Reddit and Pinterest, that would be Sulia.

Learnist

Learnist is also similar to Pinterest, except it’s geared more towards people who are interested in learning something new. Users can post a need for something, such as a recipe or the answer to the questions, and another user can help the original poster. This could become very popular among college students.

Medium

Medium is a site meant for writers. It allows people to post stories and for other to comment on them. That’s about it. It could be great for up and coming writers, but I don’t see it having much success outside of that.

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Thumb lets you ask questions and give feedback on the little things that can cause a quandary in every day life.

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Thumb is simple but interesting. The idea here is that if you’re indecisive about something, such as what movie you should see, then you can post your dilemma to the site and people can chime in with their opinion. Users can give you’re question a thumbs up or a thumbs down to help you decide.


After I read this article I did some research on the platforms and found out that Sulia had since shut down. Another victim to the crowded world of social networks.

-Chase