Category ArchiveSocial Media

Marketing &Media &Social Media 20 Jul 2011 11:50 am

Google+ versus Facebook for Marketing your Business

As Google+ supposedly reached its 18 million user mark late last night, critics are beginning to wonder what amenities the social media website will offer within its business profiles.

The search engine giant has deleted most of its Google+ business profiles, which has left many companies and corporations anxiously awaiting Google’s next big idea. So as most revert back to their Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter accounts, the question on everyone’s mind is whether Google+ will trump Facebook Pages?

Granted, Google has incredible search capabilities that Facebook can’t match, and has even outdone Facebook’s video chat capabilities with Google+ Hangouts. But what can Google+ offer to force social media execs to make the switch?

“Allowing businesses to chat directly with their users will assert Google+’s dominance over Facebook for business functionality,” believes PC World journalist Ilie Mitaru, “It will take us one step closer to customers and companies actually interacting in real time.”

There has also been recent criticism over limited room for creativity on Facebook Page layouts, leaving the social network vulnerable to Google programmers. “To dress up your Facebook Page, you generally need to know Facebook’s FBML coding language,” says Mitaru.

And as the Google-Facebook war wages on, a win is in sight for its consumers. Whether big or small, businesses will capitalize on such competition by having a great social media marketing tool at their fingertips.

Andrea Garcia

Ann Arbor, Michigan PR Firm &Corporate Communications &Journalism &Social Media 29 Mar 2011 04:54 pm

A Big Step Forward for Newspapers

On Monday March 28, The New York Times announced that it would instill a pay wall into its online content. Content that readers used to receive for free from the paper’s website, on smartphones or tablet apps will now be charged as subscription packages. If the pay wall is successful for The New York Times, it could mean that future changes lay ahead for other newspapers as well.

Arthur Sulzberger Jr., the paper’s publisher, announced the launch of the digital subscriptions and explained its parameters. Home delivery subscribers will have access to all of the Times content both online and on a cellular device. International Herald Tribune subscribers will also have full access to content. Yet non-subscribers will be required to pay 4-week packages based on the amount of content they wish to access. Additionally, readers will be limited to 20 Times articles a month if they don’t have an online subscription.

In my communications class Monday, we discussed the pay wall and what it might mean for the Times and the survival of other newspapers. My fellow classmates both argued in favor and against the pay wall, some saying that they wouldn’t pay for news content that used to be free, while others said they would be willing to begin paying because of the paper’s superior qualities.

The Times appears to be targeting long-time readers of the paper and readers who value and often read its content, and therefore are willing to pay the subscriptions. The new pay wall will certainly be a test of whether the Times will benefit financially and long-term from the online subscriptions, or lose readers to other publications.

If the pay wall is successful, other newspapers and news outlets may follow suit and charge for their content. Publications that cannot retain their readership after implementing similar pay walls may fail completely, since online advertisements are no longer sufficient sources of revenue. Free access to news online may soon become a thing of the past entirely, and although the Wall Street Journal has been charging readers for a while now, the success of the New York Times online subscriptions could be a big step forward for newspapers in an increasingly online and digital society.

By Dana Prainito

Social Media 11 Mar 2011 02:46 pm

Social Media: Redefining Message Influence

In the communications industry, influence can be defined in terms of breadth, depth, and time. In essence, material that reaches the most amount of people, is most thoroughly discussed, and connects to the audience quickest is more influential than information that does not. Social media has been most successful in imparting information because, unlike other media, it has mastered two of the more alluding aspects of influence: breadth and time.

Facebook is a prime example of mastery of influence by breadth. According to Social Media Today, 2010 estimates predicted that 41.6% of the US has a Facebook account. It is because of the sheer size of their audience that advertisers are looking to profit from social network sites. Apart from company advertising opportunities, the targeted audiences also benefit from social media. Because customer opinion can now be widely and quickly spread, companies are held more accountable for bad products and poor services. Since friends’ recommendations are consistently one of the top considerations that customers use when making purchasing decisions, according to The Economist, companies are warned not to underestimate the power of social media.

Twitter utilizes time to the fullest in promoting their influence. Twitter messages are brief, concise, and most important: instant. Admittedly, I was initially skeptical of the influence Twitter could have because of its resemblance to Facebook’s “status updates.” Still, with its recent usage in Tunisia and Egypt, sharing information to organize rebellion despite governmental censorship, I am beginning to rethink the benefits of Tweeting. Whereas previous communication held delay, Tweets are unpolished, bare, and in the moment. In addition to sheer speed, it is the website’s instantaneous nature that opens the door for frequency; messages can be repeated often. Twitter provides a new definition of the term “current news.”

Social media is redefining influence measurement in the communication industry. In particular, Facebook and Twitter are setting new benchmarks on communication speed and audience breadth. This becomes especially apparent when comparing the social media with a traditional form of media, such as a newspaper. Examining breadth, newspapers reach a largely pre-determined audience each circulation period. Often the reach is not international, as is the case with Twitter and Facebook. Considering time, many newspapers are circulated every 24-hours. Therefore, information can be at least a day old before reaching its audience. This isn’t even taking into consideration the disadvantage of the newspaper as a secondary source of information meaning an accompanied time-lapse between event occurrence and newspaper receipt of news. In contrast, with Tunisia and Egypt’s use of Twitter, news emerged from the source of the conflict; information is often direct when using social media.

Breadth and time have been discussed extensively, yet social media incorporates depth, or the extensiveness of information and discussion about a topic, successfully as well. With the websites discussion threads and invitations to comment, social media is a hotbed for depth. Still, depth is less alluding to traditional media. Newspaper is seasoned in providing depth; articles and opinion pieces boast a vast source of information. The difference between depth in traditional and social media: traditional media is one-way communication while social media is a community-generated knowledge market. Ultimately, these social media sites promote more intense interconnectedness, allowing us to be better-informed consumers of information, whether that be social, political, or commercial.

Jackie VanSloten

About Eiler Communications &Michigan Public Relations Firm &Social Media 10 Feb 2011 04:20 pm

Small Businesses Have The Advantage With Social Media

When it comes to Facebook and Twitter, small businesses – the 10,500 members of SBAM — actually have an advantage over large corporations when communicating with their customers.

A former editor of Computerworld and a highly knowledgeable social media specialist (author of Secrets of Social Media Marketing and The New Influencers,”Paul Gillin blogged for ShopTab “Social Media: The Small Business Owner’s Unfair Advantage”), he cited five reasons why small businesses should engage in social media.

1. The cheap and often free cost of social media and their ease of use. “To get started, all you need is your computer and an Internet connection. If you’re passionate about your work, it costs nothing to start telling people about what you do,” Gillin said. Anyone can own and operate a Facebook or Twitter account. However, big corporations shy away from using social media for legal reasons, even though it is currently more valuable than traditional media sources.

2. Search engines are the “great equalizer” for companies. “Google doesn’t care if you’re The New York Times or Joe’s Hardware Store as long as you have the best content…A small business with great content on its website can compete with a company many times its size.” Gillin also said blogs that are routinely updated and attract links appear often in Google search engines.

3. Small businesses are personal. “Big corporations don’t have personality; they have brand,” whereas people who work for a small company are the brand, and customers know them personally. This is a huge advantage because “customers relate better to people than they do brands,” Gillin said.

4. They’re the fastest way to expand your geographic reach. After creating your blog, install a free analysis tool like Google Analytics to see where your visitors come from. Gillin said the majority of visitors will come from outside your geographic area because “the Internet is global and hyperlinks know no geographic bounds. What a great way to expand your market.”

5. They’re fun. “Social media is a great way to expand your network of relationships, and relationships lead to business,” Gillin said. “In addition to hearing that your business and expertise are important to others out there, engaging in conversations “will broaden your perspective, give you new ideas and make new friends.”

-Dana Prainito

About Eiler Communications &Social Media 03 Sep 2010 10:42 am

Where is Googling Going?

Where is Googling Going?

Google CEO Eric Schmidt had a lot of people’s wheels turning after his interview with the Wall Street Journal, suggesting young people will one day be entitled to their names upon adulthood to escape the uninhibited comments and unsavory photos of their younger years posted on social media sites.

As a young adult studying PR, watching what you post on social media sites was always stressed to me in my communications classes. Some friends of mine use fake names to escape being found on social sites like Facebook or Twitter. But the real question is how can you escape from an image?

Google already has the technology to recognize faces. According to David Petrou, staff engineer at Google Labs, it chooses not to do so out of concern for privacy issues. Since Google has the technology to connect your image to information about you, it’s only a matter of time before it is used on the average individual.

“I don’t believe society understands what happens when everything is available, knowable and recorded by everyone all the time,” said Schmidt. The real issue is going to be how comfortable our society will be with sacrificing privacy for instant information access. We live in a time where what is posted on the Web can be linked to our geographic location. Apps like Mologogo can be downloaded to your mobile phone allowing you to use GPS to track where your friends are in real time.

Currently, Google has three general areas of business – search, advertising and applications (apps). It is most known for its search capabilities and Google AdWords (a pay-per-click system which allows you to create and run ads for your business quickly and simply). Google also has numerous apps like Google Calendars, Google Docs, Google Analytics and Google Talk.

With technology’s ever-changing nature, Google is looking to find what’s in store for the future of search. However, search is said to be slowly fading into the background with all the social media platforms and mobile phone apps that take users where they need to go without using a search engine. In the interview, Schmidt expressed his to desire to be one step ahead of search by providing users with recommendation technology. “They want Google to tell them what they should be doing next,” said Schmidt.

In order to do that, Google would have to collect enough information about you to not only know what you do for a living, but the daily habits of your personal life as well (in addition to tracking your location in real time of course). It’s tough to say how society will feel about mobile technology having the power to direct our behavior. On one hand, you could have your mobile device reminding you to pick up the milk you almost forgot; on the other hand, it could result in a bombardment of targeted ads as you turn every street corner.

Ashley Smith

Social Media 16 Aug 2010 11:51 am

Social Media- Big Tool for Crisis Communication?

It seems every day there is a new installation in social media- whether it be a technological advancement, a policy change, or a different way the platforms are being used. In recent years social media has been used frequently as a communication tool during crises. What if, eventually, social media completely takes over traditional news mediums in crisis communication?

In a survey done by American Red Cross, which asked over 1,000 American Adults aged 18 and older questions about crisis communication and social media, 18 percent reported they would use digital media (e-mail, Web sites or social media) to give information out in an emergency if 9-1-1 was busy.
People aren’t just using social media as a fallback during a crisis. They’re using social media to give and receive information about loved ones. In the Red Cross’ survey, nearly half of responders said they would use social media to let loved ones know they were safe.

This doesn’t surprise me, though. I did a research paper last semester about crisis communication and social media. My findings? Currently, people are using social media as a supplement to traditional news sources during crises. The usage of different news mediums during disasters has evolved over time. On the days following 9/11 in 2001, the Internet stopped working for a period of time because Web sites got so many hits. People turned to the television to get news.

During the Virginia Tech Crisis in 2007, students texted and emailed each other to find out if their peers were okay. In a forum online, students put together a list of names of those who were killed before authorities did. Social media allows people to gather information and collaborate quicker than if they weren’t using it.

During earthquakes around the world in the past five years, people have twittered about the effects of the shocks. There are Web sites devoted to these conversations. At the time of China’s 2008 Sichuan earthquake, people were twittering about the earthquake a good three minutes before the US Geological Survey reported it. Is social media simply the easiest way to get information about crises? On a personal level, it might be.

The American Red Cross survey found that 55 percent of responders would mention emergencies or events on their social media channels. The bottom line is that social media is simply one of the fastest way give out information. Of all of the social media channels, the survey reports that 75 percent of responders would use Facebook to post information in the event of an emergency. This is no surprise either.

Using social media during a crisis isn’t just a fast way to get facts, but it is also perceived as effective. Three out of four responders to the survey said they would expect help to arrive within an hour if they posted a request on a social media website. Granted, social media usage during crisis has negative aspects. The Internet can be used as a Petri dish for false information. For the most part, though, it can be a great way to communicate to with other people. As for whether it will overtake traditional news sources during disasters, stay tuned.

Rachel Krasnow

Marketing &Marketing Communications &Social Media &Uncategorized 16 Aug 2010 11:41 am

Millennial Marketing

The Millennial Generation, aged 18 to 29, is a group that has grown up with technology instilled into their everyday routines. They are Internet junkies, multi-taskers, and demand personalized technology. They want to genuinely connect with others online.

Millennials are significantly different from their parents in the Baby Boomer generation in numerous ways. At cause of these lifestyle and fundamental distinctions, marketers are struggling to accommodate to millennial needs. However, Brand Amplitude, LLC, a market research firm, has launched Millennial Marketing, an online concept that provides a series of tools to understand Millennials and research to explain where the future of marketing lies.

Millennial Marketing pinpoints the generation. They are more diverse than the baby boomer generation and have a variety of needs in technology and communication areas. Due to multitasking, Millennials are consuming more media than ever, and they are more dependent on technology. Ninety three percent of American teens ages 12 to 17 go online; a Pew Research Study found that while using the Internet, 40 percent of US Youth ages 18 to 24 watch TV, 34 percent text, and 29 percent talk on the phone.

More Millennials than baby boomers have enrolled in higher education. Approximately one third of male and 40 percent of female Millennials have had some college education, compared with 25 percent and 23 percent of Baby Boomers, respectively. Yet a college education puts students in debt largely due to student loans.

The average millennial debt is $21,500, and 32 percent of Millennials feel they are “barely making ends meet.” Furthermore, there’s pressure to do well financially, but the recession has made it difficult to so. In fact, the recession has played a role in the millennial spending. Almost half of Millennials say they have changed their shopping habits somewhat, and others are questioning the need for an expensive college education.

It’s pretty clear: Millennials have different values than the Baby Boomers. They have been shaped by the recession and demand a higher degree of engagement pertaining to technology. As a result, marketers need to tailor their marketing campaigns to their different mindsets.

Millennials are price and value conscious, and they hold the products they spend their money on to high standards. They are highly skeptical of advertisements having been exposed to them their entire lives, and they use a discerning eye when it comes to purchases. Doing a quick internet search before making a selection is second nature to Millennials.

Without a doubt, the most significant shaper of the Millennials has been the internet. Something that can be both a blessing and curse for marketers is that the Millennial generation is always connected. Not only do they utilize the internet for product or service information, but as a broad communication platform as well. When a baby boomer has a bad experience with a business, they casually complain about it the next time they see their friends. On the other hand, when a Millennials has a bad experience, they share it with 800 of their closest Facebook friends. So how can brand managers channel insight into Millennial’s different lifestyle and values into a successful marketing campaign?

BrandAmplitude, LLC offers advice on how to connect with Millennials and their unique mindsets. First of all, a brand must be authentic. Millennials see right through false claims. Also, a brand must position itself as a necessity in order to appeal to Millennials. Due to the recession, this generation believes that they are strapped for cash and will be far more likely to purchase things they deem to be valuable necessities.

BrandAmplitude, LLC also recommends using social responsibility to appeal to Millennials. On average, Millennials are more socially conscious than previous generations, and they have been prone to use the presence or absence of corporate social responsibility as a tiebreaker during purchase decisions among similar brands. Millenials care that no animals were harmed in the production of a product or that a percentage of a company’s sales are donated to charity.

A brand that the Millennials can connect with needs to be shareable via social media. Due to the fact that Millennials spend a large portion of time on these sites, a relevant brand to them has what BrandAmplitude, LLC calls ‘Social Currency’. This means that a brand is social media compatible and can be exchanged on platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.

Lastly, BrandAmplitude, LLC recommends portraying a brand as an experience. Millennials are more apt to spend their money on doing interesting things instead of having interesting things. They perceive experiences as a form of personal investment.

Even though the Millennials have strikingly different values and lifestyles than baby boomers, it is not difficult for marketers to reach this target market due to their dependency on technology. Marketers simply have to take the time to understand the Millennials and ensure that they are delivering a message that they will respond to.

Rachel Krasnow & Emily Rozanski

About Eiler Communications &Business and Economy &Corporate Communications &Environment &Rescue &Social Media &Wildlife 25 Jun 2010 12:24 pm

The BP Oil Spill & Social Media

As oil spills into the Gulf of Mexico, destroying land, ecosystems and livelihoods, social media is in the forefront. Whether it is the general public demanding a resolution, government officials seeking containment and public support or BP trying to restore its image, social media has spread the latest oil spill news faster than ever before.

Within hours of the British Petroleum and Transocean rig explosion, media personnel and the general public used Facebook and Twitter accounts to pass word of the explosion with friends and followers. Many of these social media users wondered who was to blame, what would happen to the fish and sea creatures calling the ocean their home and what affect the spill would have on those who fished for a living. Outrage and concern has continued to resonate throughout these social media sites following the explosion on April 20, 2010.

Thousands of BP critics have launched social media attacks for BP’s failure to prevent the disaster and its inability to stop the flow of oil. Hundreds of Facebook pages exist asking the public to boycott BP, while a fake BP Twitter account making fun of the company has reached a popularity well beyond that of the company’s actual Twitter account.

At the same time, the public has been posting and tweeting ways for others to help relief efforts in the Gulf. Posts telling people where and how to make donations have circulated the Internet.

The crisis communication carried out by the company is something that should be carefully observed. BP’s president, Tony Hayward, made several statements that have caused public outrage. Hayward belittled the scope of the situation in May and suggested that the environmental impact of the spill would be minimal. The company has yet to admit to doing something wrong but claims they are taking responsibility for clean-up efforts. In public relations, the best thing a company can do is to be completely honest about screwing up. BP was not.

The lack of interest and concern BP has shown is evident. The oil spill was a fantastic opportunity for BP to use social media as a communication tool right from the beginning. The company has made some effort to be active through social media- it has a Facebook page, Twitter feed and a channel on YouTube, which cost $250,000 to brand, according to Taylor Buley of . However, the problem is not what outlets of social media BP is using, but exactly how they are utilizing them.

BP should be using their Twitter feed and Facebook page as a forum for discussion as well as a way to answer questions and concerns from the general public. Instead of providing customer service and giving feedback, BP merely gives updates to what’s new in the Gulf. Courtesy of BP, there are plenty of informational videos about cleanup efforts and claims made against the company, but there is no channel of communication in which the public is asked for suggestions about the oil spill.

The company’s social media outlets have become a place for bashing the corporation instead of a forum for people to voice their opinions about a possible solution.

BP’s lack of care for the public’s input is apparent in their social media campaign, and it is a taking a toll on their reputation. If social media is going to be used during a crisis, in order to be successful, it needs to be facilitated so it is clear that the company is listening to its customers.

Jaclyn Klein and Rachel Krasnow

Ann Arbor, Michigan PR Firm &Business and Economy &Contributors &Social Media 25 Jun 2010 12:20 pm

Vote for Operation Never Forgotten to Receive a Donation from Chase Community Giving!

Eiler Communications has been providing pro-bono PR services to Operation Never Forgotten (ONF) since 2008. ONF is a national non-profit, non-partisan awareness campaign to commemorate fallen heroes, wounded warriors, deployed troops and the families that love them. The organization helps bridge the gap between our military and civilian world through public service announcements (PSAs) which can be seen and heard in the Mall of America and International airports across the country, on highway billboards, through television commercials and on the radio.

ONF has had to recently turn down troops and their families’ requests for PSAs due to an overwhelming workload and shortage of funds. Realizing that they were only scratching the surface to ONF’s mission and what our heroes deserve, the organization solicited Eiler’s expertise in social media marketing. Eiler is hoping to capitalize on a donation opportunity for ONF presented by Chase Community Giving. Through a Facebook voting application, Chase is giving away $5 million among 200 deserving charities. We need your help to ensure that ONF secures a spot in the top 200. Anyone can vote by simply clicking the link- Vote Now. Polls close July 12. Please help this worthy cause!

Emily Rozanski

About Eiler Communications &Ann Arbor, Michigan PR Firm &Blogging &Code of behavior &Social Media 10 Jun 2010 04:00 pm

Online Content Management: Does an Age Divide Exist?

Ann Arbor, MI, June 17, 2010 — In a day and age where people are leading parallel lives via the Internet, it’s not shocking that researchers are frequently finding new trends pertaining to social media. It’s also no surprise that with so much new information available to the public, controversy surrounding Internet privacy has surfaced. Eiler Communications finds that with the social media being such an important tactic for marketing, it is imperative that company employees manage their online content. Failing to do so not only puts your personal reputation at stake, but your company’s as well.

“As new media is evolving as another public relations tool it is imperative that clients are educated on proper usage,” explained Larry Eiler, Chairman of Eiler Communications.

With that said, the younger half of the millennial generation has been accused of putting too much information about themselves on the Internet. However, new research from the Pew Research Internet and American Life Project suggests that part of this age group (18-29) is savvier with regulating their online content than their elders.

Not just bosses and friends are interested in checking out your photos, lifestyle approach and posts online. Given that the younger millenials are putting a ton of information on display, they are limiting what other people can see. They are more likely than any other age group to remove names from photos with beer cups and delete embarrassing rants with friends.

The study done by Pew found that 44 percent of young adult Internet users limit their personal information online, while only 33 percent of users ages 30-39 claimed they did the same. The numbers lessen as the ages of users increase. In the same study, 71 percent of 18-29 year-old social networking users surveyed said to have changed their privacy settings, almost 20 percent more than those surveyed aged 50-64. The youngest age group also beat out the other age brackets in other categories such as deleting unwanted comments and removing names from photos.

At Eiler, we endorse monitoring your online content. Although privacy settings differ with each social networking sites, and some privacy policies can be complicated (Facebook). It’s an area worth looking into. Just because young Internet users have grown up using social networking sites doesn’t mean that older users aren’t capable of limiting their personal information too.

It seems Internet users ages 18-29 are motivated to manage online content because they are likely trying to find a job, internship or other work-related gig. This means that these users are consistently aware of what content their potential employers could find. In fact, 26 percent of working Internet users have employers that instill policies about online content.

If you’re not changing your privacy settings out of caution, do it for love. The Internet makes it
simple for everyone to do scouting reports. People are checking up on their love interests. According to a study done by McKinsey, 1 in 8 of couples married in the U.S. in 2006 met online. Pew’s study shows that 16 percent of all Internet users search online for additional information about somebody they are dating or in a relationship with, and about one-third of those using dating Web sites check out their dates online as well. If you wouldn’t want your potential mate to see it, it probably shouldn’t be online.

Hats off to the young millenials; they’re keeping their content controlled- and it’s for their own benefit. Let’s commend them and copy them. It won’t hurt.

Rachel Krasnow

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