Where is social media going?

Now that it’s nearing the end of 2014, I’ve summarized my thoughts below:

  • People are spending more and more time connected. This is no longer a space that is an add-on for brands, it deserves attention, expertise, and resources. The brands who don’t realize this will be left behind and miss out on earned reach social media brings.
  • Many core platforms have become “pay-to-play” platforms focusing on reach rather than organic engagement. Facebook is now essentially an ad platform – content does not perform (and only reaches about 2% of an audience) without a paid boost. To be on the platform, you must have a budget.
  • The social space is becoming crowded and each platform now has a unique role for consumers. Repurposing the same content across various platform no longer works.
  • Consumers will have more power to control a product/brand in the future. They have opinions, they hijack campaigns, and they aren’t afraid to tell brans what they want. If you’re not listening to your consumers via social media, you better start now.
  • Content is influencing SEO more than ever before, and social media platforms provide more places to publish branded content.
  • The “internet of things” is something to think about when thinking about products and marketing campaigns. People are connected in a variety of ways, with a variety of devices – how to we touch our target consumer in all of these digital touchpoints?
  • Social Analytics can be used to make solid business predictions. We use social conversation data (volume, content) to make decisions on things like timing of campaign launches, or the next product innovations we can explore.

10 Reasons why Public Relations Professionals should consider an MBA

I’m often asked from my friends in public relations, journalism, and communications “why did you decide to get your MBA? Is it worth it?” I 100% believe this was one of the best decisions I have ever made as a public relations professional. In this slideshow, I share 10 reasons why I think public relations pros should consider earning their MBA

Using Social Media as a Business Professor and as a Thought Leader

Yesterday I co-presented a session on how to use social media both in the classroom and as a thought leader with Leon Fraser at Drexel University’s Business Professor Teaching Summit.  We had a great time hearing other speakers and meeting some great people. We were very excited to share what we’ve done at Rutgers Business School with social media, and the thinking behind it.

Here are a few of the great questions we got from the audience about social media and the answers we gave:

Would you encourage professors to use social media to promote their own brand?
Yes. Creating insightful comments on blogs, having a Twitter account that is specific to your expertise or area of research is very beneficial to promote your work and your school. Signing a comment with your name and your university affiliation shows you are a credible source the media can go to when they have a question or need a quote for a story, again promoting yourself and your school.

What if I have privacy concerns with connecting to students on social media?
Social media sites often have privacy controls that you can manipulate to your liking. You can customize what your visitors see. On Facebook Groups for Schools, you don’t even have to “friend” (or connect) with a student to actually work with them in a group space, keeping all of your Facebook content private from them. With services like Edmodo, Yammer, and My Big Campus, you can create a community completely customized to the school/class instead of using a medium with existing personal data.

What if people say negative things about a brand?
When brands are open, honest and responsive to a complaint or to negativity in the social space, consumers are responsive. BOSE does a great job hunting down and relieving dissatisfied customers, making a very public display of engagement and customer service with their customers, which will keep existing customers happy and lure in potential customers.

View the PowerPoint slides and feel free to contact me or comment below with any oter questions.

After the conference, I got to spend some time with friends in Philly 🙂

Digital Trend: “Going Photo”

Last night, for Social Media Week NYC, I went to the Instagram Community Party at the Tribeca Grand Hotel, which was a blast. Great music, people, and conversation. Instagram was projecting photos being posted to Instagram during the party in real time on the walls, which was pretty amazing. As we all stared at the pictures moving around and excitedly pointed when we saw ourselves and our friends, I started thinking about a growing trend in the digital space: “going photo.”

Photos @ Instagram Party, NYC 2/15

Ok, so I’m particularly interested in this because I’m a visual learner, thinker, and dreamer. I always have been. The days of the week are color coded in my head. I dream in vivid color (which can be terrifying when you dream of zombie wars, but my mom says means I am creative).

And that, combined with my being a marketer, is why I am completely infatuated with the way digital design and content is going.   Think about it:

Social Media 
With sites like Pinterest, Tout, TumblrInstagram, and YouTube, we have more visual stimulation than ever. We are sharing content, telling stories, and showing off in a more visual fashion.

Site designs 
Look at the websites of NYU Stern, or Rutgers-Newark, or Livingsocial or Groupon. Stories are now being told through beautiful high resolution photos which are trumping text. Content blocks are turning into big photos with small text teasers.

NYU Stern's Website

Memes & Infographics
Both are retweeted/shared/emailed like hell. From the Ryan Gosling Memes to the “What I really do” Memes…we are obsessed with seeing a picture relate to a short – and usually witty – message.  And it’s like when we see that [INFOGRAPHIC] word next to a post, we NEED to see what it says. Infographics summarize interesting data in a visual way, which is great when you’re surfing the twitter timeline hungry for “infosnacks.” At social media week I even saw “real-time” infographics, which were updated as the event went on!

So, as a visual person, I love it. As a marketer, it makes me think: Are photos the new headline? Should we be investing in infographic design instead of writing that story? Should we invest in that professional photographer and make more photos accessible of our products/brands for sites like Pintrest?

Yes, I think so. After all, a picture’s worth a thousand words.

And in case you’re curious:
Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday.
And I did not choose these colors, its just the way they were set up in my brain 🙂

Content is key

Recently I’ve read some articles saying how poorly the majority of marketers work online. It’s as if they’ve lost all their skills when they touch a mouse. I think because this is more of a word of mouth communications tool that when used right, turns into a great marketing tool. This communications tool doesn’t exactly mean you can just pump out messaging all you want as a marketer. That to a user would be like watching a reel of commercials.

Give users value.
Content needs to not only attract the reader but needs to keep them engaged. Are you offering them a deal? An exclusive? Inside information? Expert advice? Networking opportunity? Why do they care to subscribe to you, follow you, listen to you?

I told my mom, a filmmaker passionate about her latest project, that for every 1 (“shameless”) plug she makes, she should interact with 3-5 people publicly, or answer questions, or make an editorial comment 3-5 times. She is an expert in her field, has amazing resources and surrounds herself with incredibly knowledgeable people. By sharing this knowledge and expert insight into the issues she films, she is able to attract and retain an audience who may look at her work.

Content, content, content.
Comment on things! React to the users! Give an opinion, a voice, a quote, an idea. Whatever your industry or field, creating interesting and engaging content will keep your audience more engaged and loyal.

MBA Student Perspective on Social Media as Rutgers Business School embraces the online conversation

Because I am very interested in Social Media and I see the need for it in marketing now more than ever, I have worked to launch a social media strategy and presence in my department (Communications and Marketing). Here is an article I just wrote about this online, hott off the press for you:

Student Perspective on Social Media as Rutgers Business School embraces the online conversation
December 15, 2010

Did you know Rutgers Business School (RBS) was ranked among the top 10 business schools on Twitter? We were also one of the first business schools on the microblogging site beating out some of our prestigious neighboring b-schools in NYC. How about that top companies use the RBS Twitter feed to post internship and job opportunities for RBS students? Or that you can watch videos of RBS activities on YouTube?

I work in the RBS Communications and Marketing Department and I am also a part-Time MBA student here at RBS. As a young professional, I find myself in two worlds: the world of traditional business and the world of new and social media. I don’t remember the last time I bought a printed newspaper. It’s not that I don’t read the news; it’s that the way I get my news is no longer the traditional way. I get my headlines in Tweets, Diggs, and real-time Facebook status updates.

I’m completely immersed in and obsessed with social media. I found out about Michael Jackson’s death on Twitter while on my BlackBerry. I found out about Flight 1549 landing in the Hudson River on Facebook. I learn about my college alumni events on LinkedIn. And it’s not only news and events that I learn about on social media. This morning, I was told via Facebook that I should wear a hat and gloves for my commute. Social media is a huge part of my life and I’m certain it’s becoming a huge part of yours. According to Socialnomics, Social Media is the #1 activity on the Web, Facebook tops Google in weekly traffic in the U.S., and YouTube is the 2nd largest search engine in the world.

Since RBS is a top school that is known for delivering the business, science, and technology credentials global companies demand, we recognized that it is important for the school to have a strong online presence as well. Not only do we have a brand new web site and interactive experience (virtual tour) on the way that will launch in time for the spring 2011 semester, but RBS is now on various social media sites for your advantage. As the person behind the keyboard and a student, I can tell you there is a lot to “like” and “follow” from Rutgers Business School. DegreeUs even ranked the RBS Twitter account among the best news feeds for all “business savvy students” in 2009.

We have a fan page on Facebook, a feed on Twitter, photos on Picasa, an MBA Student Blog and a channel on YouTube. We plan on adding a Foursquare and LinkedIn resource very soon. Now you can learn about all the great things going on in more ways than ever.

Many of our expert faculty members are also on Twitter. Professors Jeffrey Robinson, dt ogilvie , Judy Iskovitz and Wayne Eastman talk about current events and topics in business on their Twitter Feeds. The Center for Urban Entrepreneurship & Economic Development and The Institute for Ethical Leadership also have Twitter feeds.

We have a lot to be proud of, and a lot to communicate with family, alumni, students, friends, and employers: Our Undergraduate Program business major is ranked #3 by The Wall Street Journal, Our MBA Program was ranked #17 in job placement rate 3 months after graduation by U.S. News, our EMBA Program is ranked # 21 in “Top 25 EMBA Programs Worldwide” by The Wall Street Journal, and more. We have great speakers and events. We have great companies looking to hire RBS graduates. These social media platforms will integrate with our brand new web site and let people know in more ways than ever what great things go on here at Rutgers Business School.

Hannah Redmond is a part-time MBA student concentrating in Marketing and Editorial/Media Specialist & Webmaster in the Communications and Marketing department at RBS.