Archives for posts with tag: social media

JMC 327 has been one of my favorite college courses, and I’m not just saying that.  It has taught me about programs, ideas and terms that are applicable for the real world; things that I will use on a daily basis for the rest of my life.  We learned terms that I’ve never heard of before, developed a social media plan, blogged, tweeted, learned about Klout scores, Socioclean, LinkedIn, Foursquare, metrics and many other social media ideas.  Before this semester began I had never known about most of the things that we discussed in class.  I had a Twitter and a LinkedIn profile, but I never knew how to use them or how important it was to use them on a regular basis.  When looking for a job people actually care about how you use social media.  Lately I have been searching for jobs, a daunting task to say the least.  Some of the companies that I have interviewed with have asked me about my LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook accounts.  I have also had a company ask me about my Klout score.  If I hadn’t taken this class I would not have been as prepared as I am till this day.


I’m really excited to say that I learned a lot!  In most classes that are offered in college you learn, but I’ve never had a class where I was able to gain this much knowledge.  By using Twitter, I have been able to follow a wide variety of individuals to learn about current events of all kinds.  I was able to create a social media policy, content strategy and plan.  I have been able to learn about social sites that I have never heard of including: Digg, Reddit, Tumblr, Posterous, Qik, Ustream, Slideshare, Twazzup, Instagram, AllTop, Klout, Delicious, Alexa, Listorious, Quora, Google Place, Quarkbase and Google Alert.  I recently used my new Storify account to create an amazing presentation about Internet memes for my English class.  My professor was astounded and had never even heard of Storified before.  This semester I have been able to start using my Twitter.  I have started to follow about 250 people and gained 120 followers.  I have been able to navigate LinkedIn skillfully and have reconnected with many people who I have met in my internships and professional life experiences.  I started the semester without having a Klout score and currently have a Klout score of 31.  That’s quite a lot to accomplish in one semester.  I believe the most valuable thing that I have learned is how to constantly search out different forms of social media.  Social media is in its youth.  It will be very exciting to see how it grows in the following years.

My advice for my journalism friends and colleagues is to try social media!  If you don’t try it, then you will never know about and how it could change your life.  It’s a great idea to explore the social media world and learn about the different types of networks and presentation forms.  If you don’t explore the social media world, then you will inevitably fall behind.  The world is moving at a fast-pace and the only way to stay updated is by joining the social media expansion.

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Storify is about creating and documenting a conversation about events as they unfold.  It is a type of online storytelling that incorporates all forms of social media.    Instead of copying and pasting status updates, tweets and pictures for static print, people can use Storify to create a versatile “story” that viewers can interact with.  Storify is free and easy to navigate.  You no longer have to just read an article, you can actually interact with it and add your own opinion, links and pictures.

I believe that Storify has become popular and will gain popularity because of citizen-reporting.  It seems that everyone has a phone and can upload material to the Internet.  With all of this information it is often hard to sort and read through the content found on the Internet.  Storify makes this easy to do with it’s content management system.  You can type in any term that you want and immediately find what you are looking for.  Then all you have to do is click, add and create text.  Then BAM!  You have your own interactive Storify article.

A lot of events in the news are ongoing.  Storify is easy to use for these events.  Content can be updated easily and people can add pictures, quotes, links, YouTube videos and opinions.  Reporters can incorporate citizen-journalist’s media and create a conversation instead of a static article.  That’s the beauty of Storify, with the birth of social media comes the interactive nature of this movement.  Why keep news stories to a static format especially if they are being put on the Internet?  Things are different on the Internet.  People can incorporate all sorts of interactive media into their story.  News is no longer about just reporting.  News has expanded into interacting and engaging.  Storify makes interacting and engaging easy for everyone involved.

Top 10 Ways Journalists Can Use Storify  According to Zombie Journalism:
1.  Organizing reaction in social media:
Able to gather reaction from Twitter and Facebook to create a clean and approachable Storify that is easy to put togehter.
2.  Giving back-story using past content: Can give the back-story and use curated social media reactions.
3.  Curating topical content: Can use Storify to create RSS feeds that pour into websites to create up-to-date reviews, reactions, media and information about desired content.
4.  Displaying a non0linear social media discussion or chat: Create a discussion that incorporates followers and writers that goes back-and-forth.
5.  Create a multimedia/social media narrative: Can use to see how a story progresses.
6.  Organize live tweets into a story:
Can use your tweets from real-time tweeting to create a story when the event is over.
7.  Collaborate on a topic with readers:
Readers can add context.
8.  Create a time-line of events: Easy way to pull-in text and other content to create a nice looking time-line.
9.  Display audience content from across platforms: You can ask readers to send you media across multiple platforms without having to re-post your request.
10.  Live curate live tweets from the stream: You can pull together live tweets to create a story that makes sense.  You don’t even have to use hash-tags or post them in the order you want.  Storify lets you create your own time-line afterward.

Overall, I think that Storify has a lot of really innovative ways to create news content.  I can’t wait to see how it evolves and is incorporated into the mainstream media in the future.

Take a look around you.  It seems that every business, person or idea has their own Facebook page, Twitter account or YouTube video.  You can go to the gas station and see a sign flashing that says to follow them on their new Facebook page.  You can eat at a restaurant and be told to follow them on Twitter to receive special discounts.  You can even see videos that have been made by organizations on YouTube.  In a world where everyone is using social media you don’t want to be left in the dust.  However, in order to not be left in the dust you must have a social media strategy and more importantly a social media content strategy.

How to Develop a Social Media Content Strategy by Rich Brooks was a very nice article that was broken down into simple steps.  I really enjoyed this article because it was thorough and easy to follow.  I believe that anyone could follow these steps and have great success in reaching more people and expanding their “client” base.

In order to develop a social media content strategy, one must first know what a content strategy is.  Content strategy is knowing what content you are going to use in order to use social media effectively for your cause.  Brooks broke this down into three simple elements:

1)  You need to know what your audience wants to talk about and be able to engage in those conversations.
2)  You need to know where your audience has these conversations.  This could be Facebook, Twitter, YouTube or other social media sites.
3)  You need to be able to measure results.

Next, you need to know what your audience wants to talk about.  An easy way to do this is by examining keywords.  You have to be able to uncover the language that your audience is speaking.  If you are a music producer and you are talking about a venue and your refer to your rock concert as a show or a tour while your audience is calling it a festival, then you are not going to be able to connect to your audience.  The  conversation will pass you and your audience by.  It is best to understand your audience and what they are talking about.  You have to connect with them and be able to use the same “language” that they do.  Some great tools to use for keyword analysis are Keyword Discovery and Google Adwords.  By typing in a word or a phrase into these sites you will then get other ways to phrase or say what you want to.  For example, if you type in the word hat you will get results like ladies hats, men hats, fashion hats, caps, berets, beanies, warm hats, winter hats, cowboy hats, tops, crazy hats, military hats and many more ways to say hats.  So if you sell snowboard hats you may want to also use the word warm, winter or snow in front of the word hat.  It is important to speak the same language as your audience.

Next you must know where your audience hangs out online.  Once you know what your audience talks about you need to know where they talk.  Does your audience use Facebook, Twitter, YouTube or some other social media site?  Well it is a good idea to find this out.  If you are putting content out there, you want it to be viewed.  In order to find out where your audience hangs out Brooks suggests using Flowtown in order to visualize and break down where people get their content.  This is based on indicators such as sex, age, education level and many other sub-categories.  Brooks also suggest using listening tools such as Google Alerts and Tweetdeck.  Using sites like these will help you become part of the conversation on topics that you and your audience are interested in.  If you are looking for topics about bowling you can easily start groups on these sites about bowling and see what people are talking about about bowling.  It is very easy to setup, and it will give you ideas for content and conversation amongst you and your audience.

After finding out where your audience hangs out online you must implement your strategy.  To do this you can blog, tweet, Facebook, post a question on LinkedIn or create content for YouTube.  You must use what you have learned in your preliminary research.  You must use content that will contribute to you and your mission.  Once you have started to use your generated content you must be able to measure your results.  In order to do this you must measure the impact of your conversations that you have been having on your social media sites.  Some ways to do this that Brooks suggests are:

1) Measure how many comments and Likes your Facebook group page receives.
2)  Track how many follows you accumulate on Facebook on a monthly or weekly basis.
3)  See how many retweets you get.
4)  Measure how many comments and views your blog gets.  It is important to check the statistics out.
5)  Measure social media referral traffic.  This means how much traffic is sent from Twitter to Facebook to the other sites that you use?  It is important to connect them together and to try and get your audience to view all the pages.

Overall, Brooks says that you must listen, be patient and be flexible.  It takes a while to figure out what you are doing. If you would like to read some suggestions that others have left for developing a social media content strategy then you can read the comments that were left on this article.

I really enjoyed that Brooks broke-down how to develop a social media content strategy in such small and easy to accomplish steps.  I believe that a novice or professional could take away great information from this article and implement it into their own developing social media content strategy.

I’m going to examine the Facebook Page for Sullivan’s Steakhouse: Omaha.  I decided to choose Sullivan’s Steakhouse because I work there.  Since I have worked there for almost four years, I am able to see how the page has progressed through the years.  Sullivan’s Steakhouse started using social media sites in 2009 to help bring in business and produce a greater profit.  In 2009 the company had no idea what they were doing with Facebook or Twitter.  I can clearly see that Sullivan’s has hired a social media expert and the pages have been significantly improved.

 

I believe that Sullivan’s is using the Facebook Page very well.  Whenever Sullivan’s switches the menu, it is posted in advance on Facebook.  This lets the guest know what is available for them to enjoy.  Guests can also checkout the prices, which is beneficial while preparing for a nice dinner out.  Sullivan’s also has pictures of all of their food items.  Seeing a menu is great, but having pictures is even better.  Then there is no question about what you are ordering.  Sullivan’s also has pictures of events that are held in and out of the restaurant.  Sullivan’s Steakhouse is known for pairing up with organizations and charities to raise money or help out with community activities.  Sullivan’s has paired up with Susan G. Komen, The Omaha Blood Bank and many other local and national organizations.  Recently Sullivan’s made steak sandwiches and key lime pie for anyone who donated blood to the Red Cross.  The servers at Sullivan’s were also sent to the Red Cross to donate blood if they could.  There are pictures of all of these events posted on the Sullivan’s Page.

 

There are no videos on the page, but I believe that there could be some very nice ones to come in the future.  I believe that Sullivan’s should video tape their live jazz band on Swingin’ at Sully’s night when people are dancing.  Images like this will make people want to come in and listen to live jazz music while enjoying an adult beverage and having a night out with good friends.

There are a lot of discussions on the page, but I believe that there could be more interaction among the clientele and the company.  I believe that Sullivan’s needs to started replying back to their guests’ comments.  This way there will be a flowing dialogue on the page.  This is where I believe the biggest improvement could come from, more dialogue because that is what social media is about.

People would spend time on this page to checkout what the restaurant is “all about”.  They can checkout the menu, atmosphere and dress code on this page.  They can also find reviews, hours and directions.  In general, people would spend time on this site to find out general information about the restaurant.

I believe that people wouldn’t spend time on this page because it does not change too often.  Sullivan’s could update the page a bit more often and keep it “fresh”.  I believe that they should update it at least once a day.  One thing that they could post on a daily basis could be the lunch and dinner features.  This way if guests were interested in the features they could check the Facebook page instead of having to call the restaurant everyday.

I believe the biggest challenge that the organization has with this Page is the management team’s general lack of time.  The managers are extremely busy and do not have any time to update this Page as ofetn as they would like too.  They could possibly have one of the servers update this Page more often.

Sullivan’s also uses Twitter.  The Twitter account and the Facebook Page hold almost the same content.  I believe that if Sullivan’s were looking to increase their guest count that a social media ploy of coupons on Twitter would be an amazing idea!  I really enjoy working in the service industry and follow other restaurants on Twitter and Facebook just to see how they use social media.  Recently Loft610 was bought by a new company.  In order to introduce their new menu they started giving out coupons on Twitter to individuals that RT their tweets.  I think this is a genius idea to get a restaurants to menu known to the location and people around it.

The Sullivan’s Steakhouse: Omaha Page has less than 200 likes.  I find this a very small number of likes for how many people eat at the restaurant on a daily basis.  If Sullivan’s were to put a little slip of paper in the check presenters or have more of a social dialogue on their Page, then I believe that their amount of “likes” would sky rocket.

Overall, Sullivan’s has really improved in the last two years with their social media exploration.  However, I do believe that they have a long way to go and could use social media in ways that they haven’t even thought of yet.  I believe that they could create a position for a social media manager.  This person could run all the Sulllivan’s social media accounts for all 20 of the restaurants.  This investment could create the potential for a huge influx of guests.  (Hire me!)  I believe that Sullivan’s could also start using Facebook ads.  This might be a really great idea for the restaurant!  I know that Sullivan’s currently does not advertise in Omaha.  I know that there has been talk of advertising, but nothing has been done yet.  A very easy way to advertise would be through Facebook.  It is affordable and people really do pay attention to what advertisements are popping up on the side of their Facebook account.  No matter what, Sullivan’s is using social media, they just need to improve the way that they use their social media services to the best of their ability.

Sullivan’s Steakhouse: Omaha Facebook Page
Sullivan’s Steakhouse Official Website

 

Does social media create life or kill it?  Does social media isolate people from reality, or does it connect them in ways that we could have never imagined less than a decade ago?  I am very torn on this subject.  I see both sides on a daily basis.  I honestly believe that it depends on the individual.

After reading an article from the Guardian I lean more towards the side that believes Social Networking is not destroying social skills or isolating anyone from reality.  People have always been able to isolate themselves from reality if they wanted to do so.  The birth of social media has made it easier for people to do this, but there are always other ways to become a hermit locked in some fantasy world that does not exist.  I have some friends that I haven’t seen since World of War Craft was released in America.  I guess some people could argue that W.O.W is a form of social media, but I do not believe that it is.  It is a game just like Dungeons and Dragons.  I believe that social media is used to connect people together for positive reasons.  Some of my best friends live in different countries and if it were not for Facebook or Twitter I would not be able to talk to them because I wouldn’t be able to afford the outrageous price of a phone call.  I love Skype, Twitter and Facebook for this reason.  They are programs that are free and can connect me to family, friends, news, videos and world events.

A lot of people do not know what social media is.  Wikipedia has a great definition for what social media is.

I think it is amazing that less than four years ago I didn’t even have a cellphone that was capable to texting.  I actually just got a phone that could text last year and since then I have upgraded to  a smart phone.  I don’t know how I lived before this phone.  I can check my Twitter, Facebook and anything else on the Internet in a heartbeat.  I know that my mom and dad have no idea why I decided to buy this phone, but I feel like there is a whole generation that has no idea what social media is and how to use it.  I believe that it is this group of people that thinks social media is disconnecting their children and other people from reality.  Social media is reality, they just need to get with the times.

I believe that you always need to adapt and change.  Things are always going to keep advancing and it is up to you to know how and why.  Less than a century ago there were no cars.  The people who didn’t want to trade in their horse and carriage for a car probably fell behind the times too.  Not only that, but it took them longer to get places and learn about what was going on everywhere.  I believe this is how social media is and will be.  People need to learn what social media is and what it has the possibility to do before they just say that they hate it.

I’ve recently been working with my parents and their company to try and expand their “social media adventure”.  My parents own a construction company and they believe that business cards are the only way to go.  Recently I have been showing them how to use Twitter and also how Twitter and other social media tools could expand their company.  They don’t believe a word I say because they still don’t know what social media is and have no interest in it.  They think that social media is evil, thanks to my brother who is constantly glued to some type of screen.  They are going to fall behind the times if the do not learn how to change and adapt to current technology.

So overall, I believe that social media is connecting people together.  I can Tweet to my friend in Columbia about the situation in Egypt while watching a video that Anderson Cooper uploaded onto his blog.  Social media is making the world smaller and more accessible.  It isn’t making people become socially inept.  You actually have to be social in order to use social media correctly.  I do believe that there is proper etiquette to use while participating in social media and that is what my next blog post will be about.  I believe that social media is a tool that has more benefits than adverse consequences.  I believe that people need to learn about social media to a greater depth in order to fully understand what it is and how it can positively change the world.

I believe that social media is creating life and connecting people like people have never been connected.  Think about this: back in the 90’s people would have their CD player in hand and earphones snug tightly into their ears while sitting on the bus. They wouldn’t talk to anyone and would stay quietly in their seat.  Today we have our smart phones in our hands and the whole world at our finger tips.  In both situations I would not be talking to anyone.  Social media is not changing everything.  In both situations I would be by myself and trying to avoid human communication because I don’t like talking to most strangers.  However, nowadays I can surf the Internet while riding the bus instead of just listening to one CD.  The world is changing. It’s all up to you if you want to move with it.  I say hop on that surfboard and hit those Internet waves!