Tag Archive | Twitter

Selfie Nation

A few years ago, I would cringe when I saw a selfie posted on a social media website, immediately thinking of the selfie bathroom pictures that frequented Myspace. However, the selfie has surged in popularity, with self-taken photos and videos being utilized as a tool for self-promotion and expression. Even Oxford Dictionaries highlighted the trend when it proclaimed the selfie to be the 2013 word of the year.

President Obama's famous selfie at the Nelson Mandela memorial

President Obama’s famous selfie at the Nelson Mandela memorial

Companies have released a wave of selfie marketing campaigns, aiming to transform their customer relations by focusing on individual experiences with their products. Instead of producing professional and poised photos, brands have tapped into user-generated content. Raw and unedited evoke feelings of trust, as consumers rely upon each other to identify new deals, brands, and trends.

Coach has launched a particularly successful selfie marketing campaign with its #coachfromabove hashtag. Customers are encouraged to share pictures of their Coach shoes around the world on Twitter and Instagram, with the possibility of being featured on the official company website. Other companies, such as Applebee’s, are using self-taken videos as a promotional tool. Applebee’s is giving customers the chance to be featured in national TV commercials by posting their reactions to new menu items on Vine with the hashtag #BeeFamous. Even museums have caught onto the selfie trend by promoting this past January 22 as #MuseumSelfie Day, sparking fun and ridiculous selfies posted by museum enthusiasts across the globe.

A selfie of Eminem with the Mona Lisa

A selfie of Eminem with the Mona Lisa

However, some selfie campaigns have drawn mixed reviews, such as Dove’s selfie film for their Campaign for Real Beauty. In the film, women exhibited self-portraits and wrote complimentary notes to one another. Although the video promotes redefining standards of beauty, critics have scoffed that the video is contrived – and obviously so, as the video is ultimately designed to sell Dove’s beauty products. Many selfie videos are artificial and contrived, such as the Turkish Airlines YouTube video featuring Kobe Bryant and Lionel Messi. The two athletes have a staged selfie shootout, and the fun and successful video has over 130 million views.

Celebrities have also come under public scrutiny for posting too many selfies on social media. In reponse to critics, James Franco wrote a defense of the selfie for the New York Times, emphasizing that the selfie is a legitimate and powerful tool for self-promotion. He wrote, “selfies are avatars: Mini-me’s that we send out to give others a sense of who we are.” Over the past year, I’ve come to terms with the selfie. I’ll send selfies to friends on Snapchat, and even upload a selfie to Instagram or Facebook every once in a while.

One of James Franco's many sefies

One of James Franco’s many sefies

A selfie I took in Havana, Cuba by the Malecon

A selfie I took in Havana, Cuba by the Malecon

Do you use selfies on social media? Should businesses continue to use selfies in marketing campaigns, or do you think there will be a new trend that will redefine social media marketing in 2014?

– Kara

Twitter’s New Role in Business

Despite Warren Buffett’s record of shunning new technology, the Chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway joined the social media trend and created a Twitter account, @WarrenBuffett.  Within 10 minutes, Buffett had 10,000 followers, and 3 hours later he already exceeded 140,000 followers. However, Warren Buffett remains wary of new technology and social media. Michael J. De La Merced of The New York Times reports that at Berkshire Hathaway shareholders conference, Buffett disagreed with the recent US Securities & Exchange Commission decision to allow companies and executives to release material information on social media sites, such as Twitter and Facebook. Not only is this a threat to Berkshire Hathaway’s press release service, Business Wire, but false information can mislead traders and investors.

buffett tweets

In the past, most firms on Wall Street shut off all access to social networks on their systems. In April, the SEC decided to allow public companies to disclose corporate information through social media. According to Bloomberg, it is the first financial information platform to incorporate Twitter into their system, allowing traders and analysts to monitor and analyze real-time tweets. Twitter updates by a select group of news services, financial writers, economists, and bloggers are streamed live to Bloomberg terminals, which are used by more than 300,000 employees on Wall Street. The Twitter news flow can be adjusted to light, medium, or heavy, and can also be filtered by company, industry, or market.

There are risks associated with relying upon social media for credible information. The New York Times reports that on April 23, a false tweet from the official Associated Press Twitter reported that an explosion at the White House injured Obama. Following the tweet, the Dow dropped 150 points and the S&P 500 lost $136 billion. The market quickly recovered when traders realized the Tweet was a hoax, and it was later discovered that the tweet was issued by a group of Syrian hackers. This has raised concerns about the combination of social media and electronic trading. Twitter accounts can be hacked, and the spread of false information can have serious consequences for high frequency traders who trade rapidly based on news and information.

Do you agree with the SEC’s decision to allow companies and executives tweet corporate information? What do you think the role of social media should be in finance and business?

– Kara

It’s a Tough Virtual Life: 5 Things You Should Know About Facebook

This summer in addition to interning with Appareline Inc, I also interned for Natty Paint, a contemporary women’s clothing line. As a Social Marketing intern, I developed content and managed social media accounts for the company’s Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. One of my primary goals was to increase brand awareness through these various social media sites. I aimed to increase the company’s Facebook “likes” by at least 60% while working at Natty Paint. However, to be honest, I struggled to reach 40%.

This being said, I’ve created a list of “5 Things You Know (but probably don’t) about Facebook”

  1. You become the SPAM you hate.
    Initially, to gain additional attention for the brand, I reached out to my social network by inviting friends to like the page, talk about it and view the website. Many of my “friends” did not respond in such a “friendly” manner to my posts. Apparently, incessantly promoting a brand on a social media page becomes more of an annoyance than a means of drumming up interest.
  2. Your social range has a threshold.
    Unfortunately, one only has so many friends. Despite possessing a well-developed social network, after about a 3-week period, I found that I had saturated my friend base. If by that 3-week period, a friend in the Natty Paint demographic hadn’t responded to my advertising, they probably were never going to.
  3. Myth: Facebook is free.
    Facebook limits how many people can view your posts. For your posts to reach more than a small percentage of your fans, you need to pay for a Facebook promotion. I did find that these promotions to be an effective way of increasing views and attracting traffic to the page. However, the expenses began to add quickly, especially for a small-startup company.
  4. Question the value of a “like.”
    What does a “like” really mean? As I mentioned earlier, I was able to increase “likes” by 40%. However, despite this and heavily promoting photo albums, website merchandise was still not selling. More people were viewing our page, interacting with content and viewing new collections, yet no one was actually making a purchase.
  5. You can’t (and shouldn’t) do it all. Don’t try tackle all social media platforms at once, instead focus on a select few. Trying to reach across too many social media platforms dilutes efforts. Instead, I recommend developing one platform with strong content. Then, work towards expanding onto other platforms after building a strong fan base. I did, however, find that supplementing Facebook promotions with email campaigns is an effective technique to involve fans and get them excited about the brand.

Hopefully you will find these tips helpful on your next Facebook marketing endeavor.

– Jenna