Tag Archives: social media

What’s the deal with ‘Ello?

17 Oct

Dubbed the “anti-Facebook”, ‘Ello is a new social network that is free of advertisers. According to their manifesto, “You are the product that’s bought and sold”. And honestly, that should not come as a shock to you.

Although it is sad that this fact is so blatant these days, it’s honestly no surprise that we, the consumer, have also become the commodity. And Facebook is not to blame. Ever since our online activity has become tractable, companies have used that information to target, remind, and serve us ads whenever and wherever possible.

I remember a few years ago, my mom kept asking me why she would always see the same Nordstroms ad no matter where she was looking online. My first question to her was, “Were you recently on the Nordstroms site? Did you buy anything?” She told me she didn’t, she was just looking at shoes. I explained to her that Nordstroms saw that, and they want her to come back and finish the purchase. So how is this any different from Facebook serving you ads from the sites you visit? Aren’t they, essentially, just another website?

Advertisers have tremendous technology that tracks every click you make, every online purchase, and every abandoned cart. With all this in mind, I honestly don’t see what the big deal is with ‘Ello (I should also mention that I don’t quite care for Facebook either). Facebook is a business, whose function is to make money, just like any other business. Yes, we could all talk about the “good old days” before it went public, but what’s the point in that?

Although the stand that ‘Ello is taking is admirable, at this point it’s too late. Online privacy is essentially non-existent, and will probably never exist again. The sooner this is accepted, the sooner we can move on.

Advertisements

The rise of movie companion applications

29 May

I’m not quite sure when movie companion apps started to appear, but recently, with the rise in popularity of TV companion and third-party applications, they have become more of a “necessity” when releasing a blockbuster movie it seems. The recent releases of Star Trek Into Darkness, the Smurfs, and Dark Knight Rises have all had movie apps accompany them, in an effort to drive more people to the theaters.

My question is: how much traction are these apps gaining with the general public? Early adopters, like myself, and die hard movie fans would jump on these like spots on a dog.  However, I don’t see the “average” smartphone user gravitating towards these apps – they might not even know they exist.

epicIn the past six months, eleven movies have been released with companion applications.  About half of those movies have been released in the past month and a half (or will be released this weekend), including Epic, Star Trek Into Darkness, and Iron Man 3.  As an avid second-screen and social tv junkie, I didn’t know about half of these applications (and I only saw two of the eleven movies).  If that’s true of myself, what does that say of the general public or late adopters of newer technology?

photo (1)

My sticker from checking into Star Trek Into Darkness opening weekend

In the iTunes store, it’s not that easy to find movie companion applications. Unless you know what you are looking for, or if the app is the featured application on the home screen, I doubt you would even know the app exists.  As a marketing strategy, it doesn’t make much sense to make people work to find your application.  If you know that there is a large audience on a second screen application like GetGlue, why not advertise there? You know people are going to check in when they go see the movie so they get the sticker.

Over half of cell phone owners in the US own a smartphone, according to a 2012 Nielsen study. Seeing as now it’s midway through 2013, I’m sure it’s more than 60% by now.  That being said, the App Store recently passed 50 billion app downloads – including apps for iPad, iPhone, and iPod.  In my brief research, I noticed that a few of the movie companion apps that came out in the past few months were iPad only. I don’t know the percentage of people that have iPads, but I can guess that it is much less than the percentage of people that have smartphones, or even iPhones – but more than any other tablet.  (I did look at apps available on droid – not all are available for both platforms).

Some new movie app releases are intended to drive hype for box office hits, while other movie companion apps are released in conjunction with DVD releases to drive in home purchases.  If the purpose is to get the public excited about a movie or DVD release, and willing to pay the $10-$12 to see the movie in theaters (or the $20-$25 for a DVD or Blu-ray release), maybe having a more thought out marketing strategy would help.

I’m looking forward to seeing what upcoming movies will be coming out with companion apps.  I can already tell you that both Man of Steel and The Hunger Games: Catching Fire both have companion apps.  Hopefully, with the proliferation of movie apps, they will grow in popularity, like social TV apps did eventually.  Only time will tell.

Researching #SocialTV and the #SecondScreen

1 May

This semester, I conducted research for my Social Media Theory and Practice class on Social TV and the Second Screen market.  Due to my past experience in entertainment and social tv, I was interested in what it could offer, and recently, there were a lot of changes.

The hardest part was trying to figure out where to start my research.  With the amount of information out there, I was a bit overwhelmed to begin with.  I had to take an angle in order to filter out the information, and obviously I couldn’t present everything in a 20 minute presentation.   I began gathering data from industry sources like Lost Remote, Second Screen Society, Trendrr, and more.
I decided, after looking at all the data I gathered, to examine the state of the industry.  As so much has changed so quickly in the past few months,  I wanted to represent what Social TV is like right now, as it could change in a week.
After determining what I was going to focus on, I needed to find industry leaders and experts to talk to and get their insights about the state of social tv.  At first, it was difficult to find experts to speak with. However, after I began tweeting about social TV, I started getting responses to my inquiries.  I had the opportunity to interview Mick Darling and Amy Greenlaw at Tomorrowish, as well as Michael Cupo at ESPN, and Kimber Myers at GetGlue.  Being able to connect with individuals from different aspects of the industry was a great experience, and gave me a different perspective on how each sees social playing a role in what they do.
As part of the collaboration process, I had a G+ hangout with my professor, Dr. Ward, to discuss the progress I had made in my research, who I had talked to in the industry, and other such things.  After going through my presentation, and making some notes, we went through the features that a Google Hangout can offer.  I had never really seen the add-ons before, but being able to watch a video together online, for example, is a pretty cool feature.
google hangout
In organizing and getting prepared for my presentation, we were encouraged to use pearltrees to organize the content we found.  Although many of the websites and articles never made it into my final report, it was useful to have all the content I curated in one location, so I didn’t have to dig through a folder to find everything I wanted to reference.  Below is my pearltree for Social TV.
pearltrees

socialmention metrics

After presenting on April 25, my #2ndscrntv presentation hashtag had almost 70 thousand impressions, with 56 thousand accounts reached.  But what does that mean?  Reach is the total number of unique Twitter users that my search terms were delivered to (#2ndscrntv).  Exposure is the total number of times tweets about these terms were delivered to Twitter streams.  There is no guarantee that everyone who was delivered tweets saw them, but the potential for audience is there.  Below is a Tweetreach and SocialMention report for #2ndscrntv less than 4 hours after my presentation.
tweetreach metrics

Learning from failure: Running a social media campaign Part 2

16 Apr

This year, I set out with a goal. It was quite simple really. All I wanted to do was raise money for the Special Olympics of North Carolina as part of the Duke MBA Games (and raise more than we did last year).  I thought that by using social media, I could raise awareness, and ignite passion in my followers to inspire them to donate to my cause.  I created a special Twitter handle and Facebook page for my MBA’s fundraising team to centralize our messages.  I thought, after doing all that, my teammates would assist in my efforts to raise awareness via social.  Perhaps it was a combination of my teammates lack of enthusiasm, or low interest in Special Olympics on social, I can’t be sure, but my campaign never really took off.

Before heading into this venture, I knew how to utilize twitter and implement hashtags, I knew that I should mention people that were influential in the cause (IE Special Olympics, Special Olympics of North Carolina), and influencers on campus (Syracuse University).  Some of my posts got good responses, but for the most part, there were only a handful of  people that interacted with the posts on a regular basis (including myself).  I rarely got responses from the university, or the Whitman school, even though I constantly mentioned them in my tweets. More often, I got interactions from the Special Olympics of North Carolina or Duke MBA Games.  Below are some key highlights.

april 11 tweet april 3 tweets march 19 tweet April 7 tweet april 1 tweet

In terms of Facebook, the key was getting people to like the page.  I thought that my classmates, especially those who were on the team in the past, would immediately like the page.  I was surprised to learn that very few of them took the effort to click “like”, even though it was such a simple thing.  Although many more of my interactions took place on Facebook, I thought they would reach a larger audience, with more people sharing, liking and commenting on my posts.

I had high hopes when starting.  I believed in the power of social media, and thought that I could use it to reach out to others who believed in this cause and encourage them to donate.  Perhaps, due to my naivete, I wasn’t fully prepared to handle what I was trying to do.  I also believed my school and teammates would be more involved in the effort, and would help try to spread the word on social.  Keeping people updated on what we are doing and our fundraising progress is what I would think people would what to see when donating to a cause.

Key learnings:

  • Have a plan, before starting on social
  • Reach out to key influencers to amplify message – create digital street team
  • Post multiple times a day, on multiple platforms, to remain top of mind – people don’t always see the post the first time
  • Create a campaign, not just messages, to create support

Although I essentially “failed” at running my first social cause campaign, I have learned what ‘not to do’.  In many ways, I believe that is just as – or more important – than running a successful campaign.  When doing something wrong, the lessons stick with you more, because you don’t want to fail again.  When you succeed, although you want to succeed again, you don’t know what it feels like to fail.  In a way, this might be the bigger win, and I’m glad it happened.

Social media and higher ed at Syracuse University

28 Feb
  1. .@Just_Kate, Syracuse native, talks to use about her background. She started @SyracuseU in Aug of 2011! #Newhousesm6
  2. After business school, a tech start up in Boston, Kate came back to Syracuse to head up the school’s social media.
  3. .@SyracuseU, as a university, follows a “best practices” policy for #SoMe, doesn’t necessarily have rules #newhousesm6
  4. 8 students work on SU’s SM accounts under the guidance of @Just_Kate, empowered to handle crisis situations! Cool! #newhousesm6
  5. Kate built a model in which students essentially run the social media accounts.  In crisis situations, students have the option to step off, but they are encouraged to stay on and are empowered with PR skills.  The only exception: campus safety. In those situations, Kate takes over and works directly with the appropriate department.
  6. The idea @Just_Kate says it’s about the student perspective as well as administration #NewhouseSM6 http://pic.twitter.com/GKenje3Rdn
  7. Social media in higher ed is about what your students what to talk about just as much as what the institution wants.  Both perspectives are necessary.
  8. Your social media team should go through extensive training before even touching the SM accounts via @Just_Kate #NewhouseSM6
  9. The social media team at Syracuse goes through training before ever touching a University account.  This includes tone of voice, and how to respond to users.
  10. To keep and nurture your audience, you need to create valuable content via @Just_Kate #NewhouseSM6
  11. “We RARELY put up anything on our FB that doesn’t have a visual element to pull the viewer in” says @just_kate #NewhouseSM6
  12. Kate defines “value” as visuals (photos, video) or linking to external sites.
  13. ROI = return on investment. In social, it’s difficult to measure. Kate measures it in Alumni donations, responses to individual posts, etc.
  14. Talking @Foursquare and @SyracuseU now – @just_kate in #NewhouseSM6 http://twitpic.com/c7kt7y
  15. Syracuse is on Twitter and Facebook, but also on Google , Foursquare, Pinterest, and Instagram.  That’s a lot to manage, but her model has it well covered.
  16. We hear @Just_Kate is dropping some knowledge on @DR4WARD‘s class, #NewhouseSM6. Take some notes, kids. She’s knows her stuff.
  17. Best branding techniques = Don’t be too obvious with content. Subtly goes a long way via @Just_Kate #NewhouseSM6
  18. have a plan, and plan your content BEFORE getting on #SoMe says @Just_Kate #newhousesm6
  19. Kate’s words of advice: always have a plan. Social media takes time, and takes content. Lacking in either will make your social campaign suffer.

What do you do with a Masters in New Media Management, Part 2

21 Feb

In July 2011, I began my masters program at Syracuse University thinking that I wouldn’t graduate with two degrees until at least May 2013.  As of December 2012, I have completed all the requirements for a Masters of Science in New Media Management, and have since received my diploma.  Despite the fact that it is somewhat unreal to already have a degree before actually graduating from graduate school, I’m surprisingly relieved that one of my masters degrees is already completed.

New Media Management

My New Media Management Masters degree, which I received yesterday

For the past two years I have focused not only my studies, but my outside work on social media marketing and strategy.  Last summer, I interned for the digital advertising agency 360i as an Account Management Intern.  During the summer, I learned how to manage a cross-functional team, work with a client, and manage a campaign on budget.  I was able to see the agency from all perspectives, as I spent a day with each department learning what they do.

This year, my MBA program is fundraising for the Special Olympics as part of a competition against other business schools across the country.  To raise awareness, and possibly to get donations from outside our own community, I created a social media presence for our team, and have been tweeting/facebooking about our events and fundraising efforts.  Through social media, I was able to get over 200 people to come to our first fundraising event, which raised over $200.

As part of a school project, I am working with an outside company, and examining the state of their advertising practices and social media presence.  Although the project is in its infancy, I am looking at how to best create a social media advertising campaign for a start-up with a clear brand message.  In addition to that, I am looking at how social media will be useful in expanding knowledge of the brand in our target market.

Now that graduation is less than three months away, and one masters degree is done, I’ve started applying for jobs in advertising, social media, and marketing.

What do you do with a Masters in New Media Management?

9 Feb

i gots a degree

As of December 2012, I have officially completed all the requirements for the Masters of Science degree in New Media Management.  With graduation only three months away, and one masters degree completed, I am thinking about what I want to do afterwards.  Many of my projects and outside work this past year have focused on Project Management, Community Management, and Market Research.

Although I’m debating between Social TV and Sports Social Media Marketing, I believe both areas of social media are innovative, and have a lot to offer.  Both TV fanatics and avid sports fans want to be connected all the time to their favorite show or team, and always want more information (whether its from the actors or the athletes).  I can see myself in either area, as both are fast paced, and are constantly pushing new boundaries.  No matter what I do, I want to be continually challenged in my career.

Applicable Skills:

Social Media networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, Instagram, Foursquare, WordPress, and Linkedin, as well as others

Knowledge of Analytics sites such as ComScore, Wildfire, Google Adwords, Google Trends and Google Analytics

Social Media Strategy

Account Management

Community Management

For more info, please see my resume, visit my Linkedin page, or contact me

What I learned running a Social Media campaign, Part One

16 Jan

team whitmanThis year I created, and managed, the social media platforms for the fundraising efforts of the Whitman Team for the Duke MBA Games. I believed that utilizing the power of Social Media would amplify our message, and would help our team gain more donations from outside the Whitman and Syracuse community. This experience has taught me more than any classroom exercise.

I started my efforts by writing an email to the school’s daily newspaper, The Daily Orange, telling them of our efforts, and of the launch of our social media platforms. Additionally, every tweet mentioned Syracuse University or the Whitman School, and all used the hashtag Special Olympics or DukeMBAGames. My goal was that anyone who followed that hashtag (mostly the Special Olympics, or any of the state Special Olympic boards), would see the tweets, and start following our handle, and retweet us.

I didn’t realize how difficult it was to gain followers if you aren’t a known business or cause. Additionally, without the assistance of the school paper or other news outlets on campus publicizing our efforts, most of the school community never knew of our efforts, either this year or last year. Even worse, we won last years games, and the majority of the campus never knew.

dec 4 tweetOur first fundraising event of the year was a ’70s themed ice skating event at the Syracuse University Ice Rink. In addition to making flyers, which were put up around campus, I advertised and reached out through social media. Using both the Whitman Duke Games Twitter account, and my personal account, I tweeted at the University, the Special Olympics of North Carolina, Newhouse, and other Syracuse accounts, using the hashtags #DukeMBAGames and/or #SpecialOlympics. By using these hashtags, my goal was that other universities would start to use them, and by the Duke MBA Games, one of them would trend. The ice skating event raised over $200, which we were very pleased about.

Jan 5 Syracue

After the ice skating event, I continued to reach out to the University to through social media, promoting our fundraising activities, the Duke MBA Games, and our donation page. In early January, the Syracuse University Twitter handle didn’t just retweet, but tweeted about the Duke Games (of course after I had tweeted at them).

I am still managing both the Twitter and Facebook pages for the Whitman Team, and will be until the Duke MBA Games in April. As I continue through the rest of the year, I am optimistic that we will gain a larger social media presence, which will increase our fundraising efforts. Additionally, as I continue through this process, I am sure I will continue to fail and I learn what doesn’t work, but I am sure I will succeed as well as I learn what does.

WHITMAN TEAM – DUKE MBA GAMES
Syracuse, NY, November 2012 – April 2013
Social Media/Community Manager: Syracuse University’s team to raise money for the Special Olympics of North Carolina. Created and managed the Twitter and Facebook pages for the Whitman team. From the social media pages, created awareness throughout the Syracuse University community.

%d bloggers like this: