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Twitter

A.  Defining the social media channel

Twitter is an online social networking service that allows users to send and read short 140-character messages called “tweets”. Registered users can read and post tweets, but those who are unregistered can only read them. Users access Twitter through the website, Short Message Service (SMS) available in certain countries or mobile device app. 

Users may subscribe to other users’ tweets, which is known as “following” and subscribers are known as “followers”. Individual tweets can be forwarded by other users to their own feed, a process known as a “retweet”. Users can also “like” individual tweets.

Users can group posts together by topic or type by use of hashtags. The “@” sign followed by a username is used for mentioning or replying to other users.

A word, phrase or topic that is mentioned at more than others is called a “trending topic”. Trending topics become popular either through a group effort by users, or because of an event that prompts people to talk about a specific topic. These topics help Twitter and their users to understand what is happening in the world and what people’s opinions are about it.

In late 2009, a “Twitter Lists” feature was added, which allowed users to follow ad hoc lists of authors instead of individual authors. On October 21, 2015, Twitter began to roll out the ability to attach poll questions to tweets. Polls are open for 24 hours, and voters are not personally identified.

B. History

Twitter began as an idea that Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey (@Jack) had in 2006 during a brainstorming session at the podcasting company Odeo. Dorsey had originally introduced the idea of Twitter as an SMS-based communications platform.

The original project code name for the service was twttr, which was an inspired by Flickr and the five-character length of American SMS short codes. The decision was also partly due to the fact that domain twitter.com was already in use, but six months after the launch of twttr the domain name was purchased and changed to Twitter.

The first Twitter prototype, developed by Dorsey and a contractor named Florian Weber, was used as an internal service for Odeo employees and the full version was introduced publicly on July 15, 2006.

The company experienced rapid initial growth. It had 400,000 tweets posted per quarter in 2007. This grew to 100 million tweets posted per quarter in 2008. In February 2010, Twitter users were sending 50 million tweets per day. By March 2010, the company recorded over 70,000 registered applications. As of June 2010, about 65 million tweets were posted each day, equaling about 750 tweets sent each second, according to Twitter. As of March 2011, that was about 140 million tweets posted daily.

From September through October 2010, the company began rolling out “New Twitter”, an entirely revamped edition of twitter.com. Changes included the ability to see pictures and videos without leaving Twitter itself by clicking on individual tweets which contain links to images and clips from a variety of supported websites including YouTube and Flickr. Also a complete overhaul of the interface, which shifted links such as ‘@mentions’ and ‘Retweets’ above the Twitter stream, while ‘Messages’ and ‘Log Out’ became accessible via a black bar at the very top of twitter.com. The company confirmed that the “New Twitter experience” had been rolled out to all users as of November 1, 2010.

On December 8, 2011, Twitter overhauled its website once more to feature the “Fly” design, which the service says is easier for new users to follow and promotes advertising. On June 5, 2012, a modified logo was unveiled through the company blog, removing the text to showcase the slightly redesigned bird as the sole symbol of Twitter. On December 18, 2012, Twitter announced it had surpassed 200 million monthly active users.

C. Who Uses the Channel (Target Market)

Of Twitter’s 271 million active users in 2014, 95 million were between the ages of 18 and 29. The site is also popular with older adults, with 54 million users between the ages of 30 and 59, and 44 million over the age of 50.

Internet users living in urban areas are more likely than their suburban or rural counterparts to use Twitter. The majority of regular Twitter users are male. The percentage of users with college educations and incomes over $50,000 is much higher than those of Facebook or Instagram. Twitter users are also quite diverse, with 20% of online Caucasians and 28% of online blacks and Hispanics being regular visitors.

D. How to Use the Channel

Here’s a video that gives technical instructions on how to use Twitter:

E. Built in Analytic Tools

Twitter has built in analytics to measure and boost your impact on Twitter. Twitter Analytics lets you measure engagement and learn how to make your Tweets more successful. You can explore the interests, locations, and demographics of your followers and track how your Twitter Cards drive clicks, app installs, and Retweets.

F. Business Models for the Channel

On April 13, 2010, Twitter announced plans to offer paid advertising for companies that would be able to purchase “promoted tweets” to appear in selective search results on Twitter’s website.

In April 2013, Twitter announced that its Twitter Ads self-service platform, consisting of promoted tweets and promoted accounts, was available to all U.S. users.

G. Strengths, Weaknesses and Example

Strengths:

  • Communicate with audience instantly
  • Great way to research audience
  • Network efficiently with a large group of people

For example Twitter polls that allows feedback in 24hrs.

Weaknesses:

  • Number one spam site
  • Limited to 140 characters
  • Can become addictive

Keeping up with everything going on in your timeline can become very distracting.

H. Channel Integration

Slack:

Many companies use Twitter as a one-way broadcast of corporate news, while customers may prefer to get support or request features. In other words, customers want have a conversation on social media.

Using Slack to track every Twitter mention of a company’s @username is a good way to gain insight into how (and how often) customers talk to and about a company. It also means the team can talk about the best way to answer a tweet in your Slack channels before they “tag in” to answer publicly on Twitter.

Twitter integration is a powerful tool for a company and the setup process takes just a couple of minutes to complete.

LinkedIn:

LinkedIn has a specific application called Tweets that can help you keep tabs on the Twitter updates from your LinkedIn connections.

The primary benefits of the LinkedIn Tweets application are:

  • Follow your LinkedIn connections on Twitter
  • Post status updates simultaneously to both Twitter and LinkedIn
  • Monitor and interact with your Twitter streams from within LinkedIn
  • Create a LinkedIn-specific Twitter list

I. Articles or Website

Here is an article on How to Find Great Content to Share on Twitter:

http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/how-to-find-great-content-to-share-on-twitter/ (Links to an external site.)

Here are 5 Tips on How to Use Twitter for Business:

http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2383408,00.asp (Links to an external site.)

Sources:

“Advantages and Disadvantages of Using Twitter for Business – ABUS4023twitter2.” Advantages and Disadvantages of Using Twitter for Business – ABUS4023twitter2. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 May 2016. <https://sites.google.com/site/abus4023twitter2/home/using-twitter-for-business/advantages-and-disadvantages-of-using-twitter-for-business&gt;.

Graden, Kyle. “Advertising Insights: Personalization Benefits, Twitter User Demographics, Salesforce Ads on Instagram.” Salesforce Blog. N.p., 02 Sept. 2015. Web. 23 May 2016. <https://www.salesforce.com/blog/2015/09/advertising-insights-personaliztion-benefits.html&gt;.

“Integrations 101: Adding Twitter to Slack – Several People Are Typing - The Official Slack Blog.” Medium. N.p., 06 Apr. 2015. Web. 23 May 2016. <https://slackhq.com/integrations-101-adding-twitter-to-slack-d7a46b5425d0#.m1epowajs&gt;.

MacArthur, Amanda. “The History of Twitter You Didn’t Know.” About.com Tech. N.p., 16 Dec. 2014. Web. 23 May 2016. <http://twitter.about.com/od/Twitter-Basics/a/The-Real-History-Of-Twitter-In-Brief.htm&gt;.

Sammons, Stephanie. “How to Use LinkedIn With Twitter for Better Networking : Social Media Examiner.” Social Media Examiner. N.p., 23 Feb. 2011. Web. 23 May 2016. <http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/how-to-use-linkedin-with-twitter-for-better-networking/&gt;.

Sheley, Brandon. “Advantages and Disadvantages of Using Twitter for Internet Marketing.” Brandon Sheley. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 May 2016. <http://www.brandonsheley.org/advantages-disadvantages-twitter-internet-marketing/&gt;.

“Twitter Analytics.” Twitter Analytics. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 May 2016. <https://analytics.twitter.com/about&gt;.

Walton, Justin. “Twitter Vs. Facebook Vs. Instagram: Who Is the Target Audience?” Investopedia. N.p., 02 Oct. 2015. Web. 23 May 2016. <http://www.investopedia.com/articles/markets/100215/twitter-vs-facebook-vs-instagram-who-target-audience.asp&gt;.

What Is Social Media

Every business wants to grow and develop a strong client base. To do so, businesses develop effective marketing plans. These plans include both traditional marketing methods as well as social media marketing methods. While social media can help reach more people, there are advantages to using some traditional methods.

Social media marketing is the process of gaining traffic or attention through social media sites. This form of marketing implements several social media networks in order to achieve marketing communication and branding goals. Social media marketing primarily consists of social sharing of content, videos and images as well as paid social media advertising.

Traditional media marketing is any type of promotion, advertising or campaign. Methods of traditional marketing can include print advertisements, such as newsletters, billboards, flyers and newspaper print ads. Some other forms of traditional marketing include television spots or commercials as well as radio spots advertising.

Traditional media is one-way communication that does not create engagement or promote word of mouth. According to Nielsen, 92 percent of consumers believe word of mouth more than traditional advertising, which is why combining it with social media marketing is so effective.

However, social media marketing and traditional media marketing both have the same goal of reaching consumers. They should follow a marketing plan that is directed towards the consumers.

I just completed a marketing internship at the University of Florida’s Career Resource Center where I handled the social media marketing. Our target audience was UF students and alumni, which heavily use social media so our marketing efforts were more focused on this method. We created monthly content calendars that correlated with the marketing plans that utilized traditional marketing methods such as flyers. All our events were scheduled as Facebook events and tweets were sent out with information about events at least one day in advance. Digital versions of flyers were also posted to social media.

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Another great example of a company that integrates both media marketing platforms is the shoe company Lola Shoetique. This company promotes their sales across both social media and traditonal media so well that even if you do not need shoes or are not thinking of buying any, you will want a pair after seeing their promotions. They utilize multiple social media networks such as Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Snapchat. All of which they update regularly. Whenever you order from them, they include a flyer with new products and coupons in the the package. This is a great way to retain customers.

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Traditional marketing methods will never be obsolete. To truly reach the greatest amount of consumers, both social media marketing and traditional media marketing should be coordinated together in a marketing plan.

Sources:

http://smallbusiness.chron.com/advantages-disadvantages-traditional-marketing-25573.html (Links to an external site.)

https://blogs.adobe.com/digitalmarketing/digital-marketing/definition-traditional-marketing/ (Links to an external site.)

http://searchengineland.com/guide/what-is-social-media-marketing (Links to an external site.)

http://www.wordstream.com/social-media-marketing

Content Communities

Hands down, Instagram is my favorite social media channel. I feel like Instagram is starting to become a content community with all the new updates. I use my Instagram to interact to those close to me unlike Twitter where my profile is not private and I follow anyone and everyone. I think that this transition from social to content is a great move.

On June 23, 2015 Instagram added a whole new page for the app’s 7.0 release. Explore aims to make Instagram a place of discovery by showing you places and events that are trending through Instagram’s hashtags. This update was a step in the right direction for Instagram becoming a content community.

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Instagram can be addicting. It is the only social network I can leave and return to and immediately catch up. I sometimes find myself checking the app every couple of minutes, force-reloading to see who has liked my latest post or posted a new picture. I am sure most users my age feel this way as well.

I see various organizations here on campus use Instagram as a way to promote their events. When members of an organization all take to Instagram at the same time to post a flyer, hundreds of people are reached. If the event has a hashtag like most do, more people are drawn to the posts. Being able to link Instagram accounts to Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, etc. broadens the community that posts can reach.

If someone is trying to keep up with what is happening in the world, more than likely there is a hashtag on Instagram for it. If someone wants to follow an account that posts similar interests all they have to do is search the hashtag. The use of hashtags really brings people with common interests together.

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Instagram differs from most web standards. It disables hyperlinks, except for the one you can put in your profile. It also prevents you from downloading images, so re-sharing a friend’s picture requires you to screenshot it and re-upload. Re-Instragramming is possible, but requires a third-party app. Also, Instagram only lets you search photos by hashtag. Once these things are improved upon, I believe Instagram will truly become more of a content community.

Differences Between Classic Marketing & Social Media Marketing

classic-vs-social

Classic marketing methods are changing due to the introduction of social media marketing. I decided to compare and contrast the communication with customer and scope aspects on the chart because they play major roles in marketing.

Classic methods of marketing are more of a one way communication. The flow of communication through social media marketing is directed more towards the consumer, which allows for the marketing department to build lasting relationships with their consumers. If a crisis happens, a company can immediately respond to consumers via their social network sites. The responses are also fast and for the public to see compared to classic marketing where communication is well considered and reviewed. The results of social media are also measurable, which allows marketers to spot trends and make changes to their campaigns if needed.

Reaching consumers is a lot cheaper through social media than with classic marketing. According to Lyfe Marketing, social media is cheaper than any other form of advertising available today.

It is evident that social media platforms have a major influence on consumers. With social media platforms such as Google, Facebook, Twitter, and Youtube consumers are able to communicate amongst themselves and potentially reach millions of other users. According to Roland Berger, 90% of purchases are being made on the basis of recommendations or reviews. This demonstrates the extremely important role social networks play in the purchases made by consumers.

In some areas classic marketing is better. If an advertiser wanted to gain awareness of a new product nationwide then classic marketing would be better than social media marketing. Classic marketing is more suitable for reaching target audiences and markets. Therefore, classic methods are not yet obsolete. To truly reach the greatest amount of consumers, the two should be coordinated together.

Facebook Analytics of XYZ Company

Background: XYZ Company is a heating and cooling company (HVAC) and in Western Massachusetts. They provide installations, maintenance and repair. In addition to this Facebook page, XYZ Company has a website,Twitter account, Yelp page and Google+ page. This is a recently launched small business so all of these channels are being fine-tuned as this is pretty much a husband/wife team. Facebook is one of the primary ways they are advertising in addition to sending direct mail to a 30 mile radius. They do not have an email database yet.

What I am looking for: 

  • Who is the target audience and are we taking the proper measures to reach them?
  • Are the messages and content impacting the target audience and are they engaging with the posts?
  • Are there any links to other channels and how is integrated marketing communications being used?
  • What are the public’s opinion and views about XYZ Company that we can tell from the Facebook page?

Key Findings: 

The Facebook page has received a total of 549 likes as of March 20, 2016.

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The majority XYZ Company’s fans are between the ages 35-44 years old. The minority of their fans are under 25 years old. They have more women fans than they do men fans.

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These fans are more engaged with photo posts, video posts second and status updates last. The page reached 7,839 people, but only received 5 likes between March 13 and March 19 and only 729 fans engaged with the posts.

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The largest number of fans are online on Friday with the most views occurring at 9 p.m.

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The audience mainly accesses the page from a mobile device.

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Improvements to be made, parts other channels could play in boosting results and future campaigns or posts that could be effective:

Posts that were boosted had greater ROI than posts that were not boosted. To improve upon this, posts considered especially important should normally be boosted. Another suggestion would be to include videos or pictures with posts since they receive the most engagement. Posts should also be made more frequently on the Facebook page.

Posts referring audiences to the Facebook page should also be made. XYZ should hold contests and have fans “Like” their posts to be placed in a raffle to receive a discount on their service.

A key improvement to be made is the start of email marketing. They can send customers friendly reminders as well as information on any specials or promotions they are running especially during summer months when it is extremely hot.

Conclusion:

XYZ Company could greatly benefit from using Facebook Analytics. By including more videos and photos in their posts, posting at the most engaging time which is Friday at 9 p.m., promoting across all channels and building an email database they can improve their overall reach to customers.

Reputation Management

It is primarily the social media managers to respond to both positive and negative feedback on social media channels and blog comments. The PR manager should respond to the feedback on the public website.

Social media is a large aspect of the public relations/marketing department. A public relations manager may oversee all communications efforts but when it comes to day to day feedback the social media manager should be able to respond to both the positive and negative comments

A social media manager should be an expert in their field. Many social media managers have a background in public relations (like myself) so they should be well equipped to respond in the proper manner. I do believe that it is important for both the social media manager and PR manager agree on how they should go about responding to comments so that all channels and communications stay consistent.

Since social media managers are in charge of the day-to-day maintenance of the social media channels, website and blog, they have a better understanding of their followers and audience. Timeliness is also very important when it comes to responding to feedback especially negative feedback and a PR manager maybe too busy to check social media or the blog and the social media manager will more than likely be the one monitoring these channels so they will be able to respond quicker.

PR managers are the most equipped to deal with the public. It is in the company’s best interest that the PR manager is aware of the content that is being posted online. They are the ones that launch and develop the website do they would be the ones to have a better response to the public website comments.

Overall, the social media manager and PR manger should be on the same page when it comes to responding to both positive and negative feedback. Though each manager has their own niche to respond to, all the responses should accurately represent the company in a positive light.

Responding to Online Review Comments

*Below are two sample reviews of two different hotels. This is a sample response post for educational purposes only. 

Hyatt Regency Orlando

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Response:

Thank you for taking the time to leave us a review!

We strive to accommodate all of our guests’ room requests, however this is dependent upon availability at the time.

Unfortunately, we do have unpredictable storms in Florida during the spring and summer months. In the event of a storm, to ensure the safety and comfort of our guests, we try our best to clean up debris as soon as possible. If you experience any debris while at the pool, please feel free to let our staff know and we will promptly clean up the area.

I’m pleased to hear that you enjoyed the Spa and hope that you return for another relaxing service. The wellness philosophy at The Spa at Hyatt Regency Orlando is inspired by our guests.  Design your own treatment for a fully personalized experience or Book our Orlando Spa Getaway Package that includes a luxurious getaway in a spacious guestroom, spa services for two with a choice of 50-minute Relaxation Massage or 50-minute Organic Facial, $50 hotel credit, and complimentary valet.

For reservations and more information about spa and salon services, please call 407-345-4431, email TheSpa.mcoro@hyatt.com or reserve online.

I’m glad that you had a great experience at the B-Line and Fiorenzo. We strive to have guests with reservations seated as soon as possible, but on busy evenings guests may end up waiting a few minutes for a table. If at any point you find that your wait exceeds more than is expected, please feel free to speak to one of our staff members and we will do our best to accommodate you.

I’m happy to hear that you enjoyed the shuttle service. The $16 parking fee ensures that our guests’ vehicles are well taken care of in our covered parking.

We look forward to welcoming you and your family back in the future!

Sincerely,

Kimberly C.

Social Media Manager

Hilton Fort Lauderdale Marina

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Response:

I’m sorry to hear about your experience at our hotel. Thank you for taking the time to leave us an honest review.

Our staff has been made aware of your experience and are working diligently to make sure that this does not happen again. We value your business and would like a chance to make it up to you, your spouse and friends.

Please email me directly at marinareservations@hilton.com so that we may discuss making arrangements for your complimentary stay at the Hilton Ft. Lauderdale Marina.

Again, I apologize for your unpleasant experience during your stay and hope to resolve this issue as soon as possible. We look forward to hearing from you.

Sincerely,

Kimberly C.

Social Media Manager