Information Overload

Every time we look at our social media platforms, we see marketers trying to sell us something. Whether a blogger is paid to wear a product or a brand is promoting its image. Social media is a marketing gold mine.

Although social media can be very useful for marketers, there comes a point where enough is enough. As a society, we are overloaded with information. From the time that we wake up in the morning, to the time we go to bed, we have unlimited access to anything we want to know. Thus, we are all perpetually experiencing information overload.

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Recently, we’ve seen a trend in social media content marketing. What’s the trend? There’s always more of it. There’s so much brand noise on social media, but do we really know if it’s working? Research conducted by the Content Marketing Institute says that only about five percent on business to business (B2B) and six percent business to consumer (B2C) brands are successful at tracking their return on investment (ROI). That is time, money and content thrown out the window and into our exhausted brains.

The most relevant part of social media marketing is finding content that matters. It is important to know and understand who we’re trying to reach. Study and analyze what is important to the brand’s influencers and customers. A common misconception is that when a brand posts to social media, it is posting to everyone. That is not the case. When a brand posts to social media, it is posting to its consumers.

If a brand is able to produce less content that reaches all of its consumers, that is better than producing a ton of content that reaches a small group. People like to see patterns and themes. If a brand is truly in tune with its social media strategy, it will produce a greater and clearer ROI.

Facebook’s New Boundaries

Have you ever seen something on Facebook that you wish you hadn’t? Recently, Facebook clarified its standards regarding bullying, nudity, hate speech and harassment. The easy to read Community Standards page has been divided into four sections that carefully describe appropriate conduct on the social media site.

Throughout the Community Standards page, Facebook encourages users to report any questionable conduct. The first section is titled “Keeping you safe” and addresses issues such as bullying, harassment, threats and criminal activity.

“We don’t tolerate bullying or harassment. We allow you to speak freely on matters and people of public interest, but remove content that appears to purposefully target private individuals with the intention of degrading or shaming them.”

About 2.2 million students experienced cyberbullying in 2011. It is important that these students feel safe and comfortable reporting their harassers. At the end of the Community Standards page, there are guidelines on reporting abuse. This tool has the potential to decrease cyberbullying.

Nudity is a topic that has been questionable on social media sites across the board. Facebook outlines that genitals, fully exposed buttocks and breasts are not allowed. Don’t worry, breastfeeding and surgery photos are still okay.

blog post from the Facebook newsroom addresses the new Community Standards versus laws in other countries. “There are also times when we may have to remove or restrict access to content because it violates a law in a particular country, even though it doesn’t violate our Community Standards.” It goes on to say that there is careful consideration while removing this content.

Facebook seems to have a more vested interest in keeping its users safe from harm. I think that the Community Standards page should be a model for other social media sites that do not have a specific outline for appropriate conduct. Since people feel more freedom behind the computer screen, it’s important for users to know what is and is not acceptable.

Tips and Tricks for Social Media Business

Social media has been around for almost a decade now. Facebook, Twitter and Instagram have billions of users, which has revolutionized the way that we communicate. It’s time to stop writing it off as a millennial trend and start using it as a business strategy. Many brands and businesses have jumped on the social media bandwagon, but may not be using its full potential. A recent study by Millward Brown shows that 96 percent of advertisers have been increasing their social media engagement. Unfortunately, 50 percent were unsure how well it’s paying off.

There are some important things that businesses must know in order to be successful on social media.

1. Know what social media platform is best for your business. Each platform has very different functions. Facebook has five page options and is good for long messages, photos and promotions. Twitter sends fast messages to the audience. Instagram is a clean photo sharing microblog. They all function differently and should be used based on the audience.

2. Social media is not free. Even though it may be free to sign up to a social media platform, there has to be a person or team that creates content for the pages. For businesses, there should be a budget for social media.

3. Look at what people are saying about you. It’s important to know what people are saying about you and about your competitor. Keep up with comments, mentions and questions made about your brand and your competitor’s brand.

4. Engage. It’s not enough to have a social media page that has updated posts. There has to be engagement between the brand and the consumer. If someone comments on a post, comment back. If someone likes the page, thank them. Have an open dialogue. It will make the company seem open and transparent.

5. Visual content is key. In general, people are more likely to look at a picture than to read lengthy text. 44 percent of users are more likely to engage with brands that post pictures than other media. As our attention spans decrease, visual content helps us convey messages faster.

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Social media continues to change and evolve. The global village keeps us more connected than ever. By utilizing all that social media has to offer, brands and businesses are able to reach international audience and capitalize on a broader audience. Continue to keep an open mind to the endless possibilities of social media technology.

#Oscars2015

“We’re thrilled there are so many people that want to talk about the show, however they want to talk about it,” said Josh Spector the academy’s managing director of digital media and marketing.

During the 87th Academy Awards (Oscars), glamorous celebrities gathered on the red carpet as tweets began to fly in using #Oscars2015. Nominations for best and worst dressed, discussion about individual celebrities and other topics of information about the Oscars flooded social media news feeds.

“It’s a foot race to get out a joke about something that someone just messed up,” said actor and comedian Rob Huebel.

Kelly Osbourne apparently messed up while talking about Jessica Chastain’s red hair. “There are so few people that can rock red hair and be elegant and gorgeous as she is,” Osbourne said in an interview with E!. Although Osbourne was complimenting Chastain, she was inadvertently insulting other red heads.

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Julianne Moore, Emma Stone and other red head counterparts were elegantly rocking the red hair on the red carpet along with Chastain, But were red heads everywhere offended?

My bets are no. WIth the 2014 Oscars bringing in 17 million tweets, the expectations were high for this year’s Twitter numbers. Even if red heads were offended by Osbourne’s statement, there was more social media buzz around other things.

The famous Ellen Degeneres Oscar selfie was retweeted 3.4 million times, causing the Twitter server to crash for more than 20 minutes. This year, the Academy Awards is banking on social media to be their main source of advertisement, It doesn’t matter if it’s bad or good tweets, they are just interested in the trending topic #Oscars2015.

Luckily, Kelly Osbourne’s statement about red heads has basically fallen under the Oscar radar. With millions of viewers tuning in to the Academy Awards, there was more to talk about than Kelly Osbourne’s slip up.

Tweetchats Unveiled

“Oh, it’s just a Tweetchat. That’s easy.” I thought in Professor Bufkin’s journalism 4460 class.

As an inexperienced Tweetchat noob, I thought that my first experience would be a piece of cake. Naturally, I procrastinated. I didn’t understand how much planning it took to join a legitimate Tweetchat. The day before it was due, I decided that I should try to find one to join. Immediately, panic set it. I realized that I had no clue what I was doing.

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Here are a few tips to help you on your Tweetchat journey:

1. Start early. Look into what chat you want to join at least a week in advance. You can follow @chatsalad on Twitter or go to www.chatsalad.com. You can also find lists through the websites that professor Bufkins provided on the Twitter PowerPoint.

2. Join a chat that is right for you. Read the descriptions on a chat before choosing it. If you’re 50-years-old, you don’t want to join #pr20chat. Make sure that you are interested in the Tweetchat topic that you will be discussing.

3. Remember that Texas is in the central time zone. I can’t stress this enough. If the scheduled chat time is 7-8 EST, then the Texas time is 6-7 CST. You will completely miss out on a chat if you forget.

4. Make sure that the Tweetchat still exists. A lot of the chats on the schedules online are not actually active any more. Type in the hashtag that you are interested in to see when the last Tweetchat was. This will prevent any surprises when you go to join your chat of choice.

5. Use Hootsuite as your “chatroom”. Add a new stream using the Tweetchat hashtag to your Hootsuite home page. This will help you follow the chat better than Twitter. Make sure to add the hashtag to every tweet during the chat.

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Voila, you’ve officially joined your first Tweetchat. Make sure to introduce yourself within the first five minutes of the chat. The moderator will begin asking questions and you will answer them accordingly. Sometimes, you can even ask questions! Make sure you have fun with it. Tweetchats will increase your Twitter following and teach you a thing or two.