Sunday, June 17, 2012

Social Media

We hear about social media all the time in today's culture. If you're a part of the marketing field you have definitely heard about how important it has become for businesses. As I mentioned, I have been totally geeking out reading articles. In the past few days I have read dozens of articles on Mashable about social media. I quickly realized a few things: First, I had no clue what the point of Pinterest was. Second, there are way more social networks out there than I think any of us realize. Third, social media has opened up way more possibilities for creativity. Also, there's an article for everything.

Pinterest. What. The. Heck. I heard about Pinterest awhile ago and I just did not get it. To me, it sounded basically like reblogging on Tumblr. So, I started reading! In one article it was described as 'combining the power of visual and social media to create a search-friendly referral engine every business needs'. That was probably the most intriguing thing I had heard about the site. After awhile I realize that (obviously) there is more to it than just posting photos, no wonder they have had over 18 million unique visitors. Now the question is, how do you use Pinterest in a way that's effective for your company? Thankfully, the internet has all the answers. The most important thing I found is to make your image more than just an image. This means incorporating your brand into the image and having related content linked to it. A majority of activity on Pinterest is users "repinning" images. It isn't difficult to have an interesting image that gets passed through the world of Pinterest but if all it is an image, that is not going to do your company much good. By putting your brand name on the image and attaching content that will actually inform users about your company. All in all, I have realized that Pinterest does have its place in the social media marketing world- as long as you can do it right.

When we think of social media there are a few big ones that come to mind: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Tumblr, so on and so forth. I always knew there were others out there but I had no idea how many! Maybe I have been living under a rock when it comes to a few of these. Ever hear of Viddy? I hadn't. Viddy lets you "turn your everyday moments into perfect little movies". I first discovered it when reading about how Project Runway has been trying out more visual social networks. Viddy creates 15 minute videos that are simple to make and share. Project Runway is planning to use it this season to give fans a look at specific designers and behind the scenes content. Some other ways Viddy can be used is by creating videos that include promo codes at the end or that offer contests, both of which ShoeMint has tried out. Another interesting thing that you can do with Viddy is create a custom filter that integrates your brand. Viddy has the option to put filters (like Instagram) over your videos and brands can create custom ones, such as Snoop Dogg's Smoke filter, that integrates the brand name. People use your filter over their video and along with that plaster your brand's name across the screen for all of their viewers to see.
Besides the social networks that seem to be the next up and coming site, I discovered that there are a large amount of niche sites. For example, Care2 is a social network for people that want to "make a difference". Their goal is to connect people and organizations working towards the same causes to each other. Along the same page Wiser is a "The Social Network for Sustainability". On the less serious side of things there are sites like Dogster/Catster for you pet crazed individuals. Those of you that make Facebook pages for your pets, listen up- There are sites specifically made for creating a profile for your pet! Another fun one is the app Untappd which lets you "drink socially". It is for those beer enthusiasts that want to share and read about all types of beer.

As for the note on creativity, a bunch of the examples I talked about earlier should be pretty explanatory. Web 2.0 has made it so that we can actually interact with brands online and connecting through various social media sites that each have a unique layout takes this even further.

Now, even though I've been going on for awhile this is only a snapshot of everything I read about social media (and trust me, I did not even read a quarter of it). The world of social media has grown to be so vast. If learning more about it interests you I'd really recommend check out some articles on Mashable. I spent hours reading! Or if you're just starting to get plugged in to social media check out their "Beginners Guide" to a few different sites.

This time I'll leave you with a silly Tumblr that I stumbled across through one of the articles I read, Alligator Sunglasses.


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