Future Implications

Many social media specialist are polishing off their crystal balls to make their predictions for 2015. I went into my attic and found that old box with the crystal ball into to see the future, however my crystal ball had inexplicably transformed into a Magic 8 Ball. As I shook it and asked if some of my visions for 2015 would come true, sadly the ball said, “Cannot predict now.” At glance, I thought it was broken, but then I realized my 8 ball was a genius. Technology now a days changes so quickly in this space, it just couldn’t possibly keep up with each current trend. Regardless of this matter, below you will find my top 5 social media implications for brands. Keep in mind that, these are the ones that were more likely to get a reading from the 8 ball.

1. Social media marketing will finally shift from nice to have to must have. Brands that haven’t embraced the medium will understand that social media marketing is not about slapping a brand page on Facebook and hoping for the best. Efforts will start with a sound strategy, a commitment to participate, and a willingness to listen and respond. This may seem obvious, but there are brands that still aren’t fully engaged. As more brands like Ford and Pepsi hire heads of social media to lead the charge, 2015 will be the year that brands realize that social media is no longer a novelty; it’s serious business.

2. Location-based social networking is here to stay: More consumers will use smartphone applications to tell their friends where they are and who they are with. The year 2015 will be the year for brands to figure out how to market to them. Local bars/restaurants have been the main advertisers. However, opportunities shouldn’t be limited to food. For example, luxury retailers could target consumers checking in at upscale restaurants and invite them to sample sales or give discounts.

3. Experimental social media budgets are key! How can you predict what’s going to be the Twitter topic of 2015? You can’t. But that doesn’t mean you don’t have the opportunity to be a pioneer. Creating an emerging media budget will give your brand the flexibility to participate in communities and embrace technological platforms before your competitors do.

4. The division between the virtual world and the physical world will continue to blur. Digital technology enables consumers to understand the world around them as well as others. These advancements are accelerated by smartphone usage. You’ll see more companies using simulations and augmented reality to provide users branded text overlays and 3-D virtual demos on their phone viewfinder.

5. Crowd sourcing will turn social media into a direct sales channel. Social media is typically thought of as a vehicle for branding and relationship marketing, but there are direct sales opportunities. For example, Best Buy celebrated opening day for the movie New Moon by asking its Facebook fans what their favorite vampire-themed films and books were. They put 50 of those items on sale on BestBuy.com. Many fans thanked Best Buy for listening to them and readily purchased the products.

The most important thing for brands to remember is that we should spend less of our efforts trying to predict “what’s next for 2015” and focus on adapting quickly to changes in consumer behavior and technology. The one certainty is that social marketing strategies will have to evolve with whatever comes our way next year.

 

 

Advertisements

Viral Marketing Intiative

You may have heard some stories about businesses gaining followers and popularity because of one tweet, or video, or post that went “viral”, but what exactly does that mean?

Dictionary.com defines viral marketing as a marketing strategy that focuses on spreading information and opinions about a product or service from person to person, especially by using unconventional means such as the internet or email.”

There have many several  viral campaigns in recent memory such as Oreo  Super Bowl tweet, Old Spice “What does your man smell like” ad, and even the Dove’s women soap commercial. What makes something go viral? Viral marketing is a science that requires a high level of market research and practice. However some may not have a multi-million dollar ad firm on your payroll, but that doesn’t mean your company can’t go viral. Listed below are five ways to make your company’s content go VIRAL!

Be Quick-witted

In Oreo’s case, overnight viral success was actually two years in the making. The company had established a set of approval rhythms between the marketing, legal and agency teams which allowed them to act swiftly when the Super Bowl opportunity presented itself. Allowing your marketing or social media team to make quick decisions when it comes to social media content is imperative.

oreo

Be Involved

Can anyone tell me why videos like Soulija Boy Superman and The Harlem Shake go viral? The answer is simple, they are relatively simple videos and dance moves that can be easily recreated and uploaded by thousands of people. There was a YouTube video, a little while back called “Sh*t Girls Say” which went viral and then generated millions of spin-offs including “Sh*t New Yorkers Say”, “Sh*t Cats Say”, and even “Sh*t Nobody Says”.

Shit-white-Girls-Say

Be #funny

Humor is a great way to create traffic. People love a good laugh break in the middle of their work day. Take for example this commercial for the Sour Patch Kids commercial and just laugh.

Sourpatch-TV-advert-still

Be Controversial

You’ve heard the expression “All PR is good PR”? Well, the same applies with viral marketing. Recently clothing retailer Abercrombie and Fitch CEO, Mike Jeffries went on record saying that he doesn’t want larger people wearing his brand. The news quickly went viral across social media networks, becoming a Google+ and Twitter trending topic, and even spawning another viral video. Enter #FitchTheHomeless campaign:

Be Cute

Kittens, puppies, and even dancing ponies equal viral magic. One video that I really love are the Charlie the unicorn videos, because they are so stupid and yet so adorable.

unicorn

Differentiation

th

Brans are increasingly turning to visual content to engage with their fans on social media. Larger cover photos on Facebook, more pictures on Twitter, and visual specific mediums such as Instagram and Pinterest are the hot trend right now in the social media landscape.

Recent studies have shown that people on social media engage more with pictures and video than just written text. The rapid popularity of Pinterest and Instagram reaffirm that people want to see visual content.

Quick Facts: Pinterest hit 10 million monthly unique users faster than any sight in history. Instagram went from 1 million accounts at the start of 2011 to 27 million in just three months.

In the social media world it might actually be true that “pictures are worth a thousand words”. It makes sense that in today’s fast paced and mobile world, people are drawn to look at a quick picture for a concise yet descriptive depiction of a product or event. Pictures are allowing brands to create a visual story that consumers are drawn to engage with.

Food is one of the biggest and most popular categories on Pinterest, with food connoisseurs being some of the first users of the visual social media site. “These foodies used boards to plan dinner parties, collect holiday baking ideas, and create their own virtual cookbooks.”

On Pinterest, Starbucks’ page is entitled “Starbucks Loves” and consists of seven different boards, 546 total Pins, and 116 Likes. Their boards consist of “Coffee Moments”, “Real Food”, “Coffee DIY”, “The Way I see it”, “Inspiring Spaces”, “Beautiful Objects”, and “Coffee Roots”.

Starbucks uses their Pinterest to not only post pictures of their own products, but to create a brand personality and share with consumers what Starbucks actually “loves”. Whether it’s a recipe or a picture of a bunch of coffee beans, Starbucks shares with others what inspires and interests them, giving fans an intimate look into what the brand stands for.

Dunkin Donuts’ Pinterest consists of 16 Boards, 362 Pins, and 72 Likes. The Boards include: #DDPumpkin Effect, Our WorlDD of Donuts, DD Swag, Creativity Runs on Dunkin, The DD Mothership, Keeps Us Running, All-Day Every day, Cuppy & Donut, Words of WisDDom, Dunkin Offers, Keepin’ It Cool, What Are You Drinkin?, DD Time Capsule, DD’s Around The World, Cooking w/Dunkin’, and Dunkin’ Chicago.

Just like Starbucks, Dunkin Donuts uses Pinterest as a vehicle to create a personality for their brand and to get consumers engaged and interested in what the brand has to say. Re-pinning other’s pictures as well as pinning things from various sources makes Dunkin Donuts seem more accessible and more human. They have a specific taste that is represented in their pins.

Unlike Pinterest, Instagram is a medium for people or brands to take and create their own unique pictures and content. By creating interesting scenes and photo opportunities, brands are able to take pictures and then use filters to make each photo special and look “cool”.

On Instagram, Dunkin Donuts currently has 24,000 followers and 88 photos. Starbucks dominates over Dunkin with 871,000 followers and 221 photos. Both brands have implemented Instagram driven campaigns to engage with their followers as well as post pictures of their products (coffee and donuts) in interesting places or unique situations.

When comparing these two brands on Pinterest and Instagram, they are both doing the right things and producing content that is interesting to their fans. I personally follow Starbucks and Dunkin Donuts on both sites and I have to say I thoroughly enjoy looking at both company’s pins and Instagram pictures. By numbers alone, Starbucks is the obvious winner with more followers and both sites.

After reviewing each brand closely I have to pronounce Starbucks as the winner in this battle of coffee brands on visual social media. Although it was an extremely close race, Starbucks beat out Dunkin by a thread. I think their Instagram pictures accurately depict the brand and their pins on Pinterest are stand out and give followers a mixture of interesting things to look at and read about. Even though I chose Starbucks, I still recommend following both brands on Pinterest and Instagram, as they are both exemplary at using these visual sites.

The risky business of social media marketing….

What are the inherent risks of using social media to promote the growth of your bottom line and of your brand in general? Some may consider negative feedback or a technical malfunction to be the brunt of the potentially bad news here, but it can actually get a lot worse.

Whether or not you hire a social media marketing consultant to assist you in operating your campaign, the fact is that you can find out about most of the hazards with some simple research. Start by focusing on these factors below if you want to understand some of the risks associated with social media advertising.

A Security Breach

Do you think that hackers have decided to leave social media alone? They’re browsing social media sites in large numbers, and it’s not always about your company information or your finances. Some basement-dwelling hackers just want to get into your accounts in order to wreak havoc. They think it’s fun to spam your fans and to screw with your profile page. People can get your information if you’re publicly displaying your email, clicking on links, keeping the same password, etc. Be mindful of your security to help minimize a potential breach.

Offending Your Audience

Some of the risks associated with social media marketing are just risks you have to take. You can handle the social media management after the fact with some of the situations, such as offending your audience. Unfortunately, we live in a hyper-sensitive world, where many people truly believe it is their inherent right to not be offended. These individuals actually seek to be offended just for the claim. And, of course, even if that isn’t the case, you may end up inadvertently releasing material that offends some. It’s just another form of a PR crisis that you’ll have to stay out in front of if you want to keep it under control.

Sticky-Fingered Competition

When operating online, you’re always at risk of your competition stealing from you. There are different “levels” here, for lack of a better word. For instance, another similar brand may simply find some inspiration in what you’re doing, emulating the tactics. That’s fine; that should even be encouraged for you to do. But others will run the exact same promotions, post the same material with their name inserted, and mirror your activities. It’s rare, but it’s still a risk you have to be aware of.

Legal Implications

Focusing on staying within the boundaries of the law is now more important than ever. What you do on social media will be around permanently in some form or fashion, and an ad you released a year ago may be pulled up to be used as evidence in some type of litigation. This risk is handled by understanding the law and by operating a clean campaign. But you have to realize that the risk is there.

The more risks you’re aware of in social media, the better equipped you will be at handling them. The risks mentioned above only cover a small number of the many potential issues you could face. However, understanding the main categories will give you the proper frame of reference for dealing with most of the inherent risks.

 

Why would people use mobile apps in the medical field????

                                                    medical app

Mobile apps have been around for some time and there is a lot of hype around the different markets. But how sustainable is this development, and where does it lead? In current research shows that mobile apps will eventually be as important for companies as web pages are today.

The main reason for the increase of mobile app in healthcare are?

1. Ubiquity of smartphones: Smartphones will increasingly replace feature phones in stores. Nearly everyone will be able to use smartphone apps,  business people, social networkers and gamers.

2. Manifoldness of possibilities: Smartphones are small computers which are becoming more and more powerful. They will be suitable for an increasing number of tasks which have previously been restricted to laptops or desktops. Today smartphone apps are used by companies to promote their brand or product, or to provide access to their existing products.

3. Ubiquity of app stores: Smartphones will always depend on the app store. If you have a smartphone or advanced feature phone you will have easy and convenient access to the world of apps.

4. Unmatched user-experience: Apps offer a user-experience which mobile Websites or widgets are unable to provide.

5. Proximity to customers: Mobile devices, especially Smartphones, are much more personal and intimate devices than a laptop or desktop device. For most users their phones are never further than 1 meter away 24/7. Imagine how attractive it is for consumer goods, food, and myriad other companies across the economy to be able to place their products and services so close to consumers.

6. Better visibility: Although there is a lot of clamor about the discoverability of apps, especially in the Apple App Store, standing out among 140,000 apps is much easier than being found amongst millions of websites. In addition, these distribution platforms are stores, and unlike the web or its search engines, they are designed to sell and present products. Cross-selling and promotions are components of their core features.

Although there is still a long way to go before many companies learn how to benefit from and how to engage in this exciting new market, but it won’t take long before it becomes standard business practice, especially for media, consumer goods, automotive, and food companies to communicate with their customers via an app.

Using Social Media In Healthcare

                                           social-media-in-health-care

Social Media Uses in Healthcare:

Social media may be used for a number of ways within the medical industry. Social media sites, including social networking websites, have grown tremendously and have become a popular way of communicating, networking, and growing a business. New uses for social media are being developed every day, particularly in the medical industry.

Many books and articles have been written about how to use social media. However, there is not a great deal of information specific to the healthcare industry. There are several ways that medical professionals may utilize social media, or social networking sites in the healthcare industry.

Medical Job Search and Professional Networking with Social Media:

Several websites provide excellent networking opportunities. Some are general in nature, and some have been created specifically for medical professionals. The general sites can also be helpful, especially if you know where and how to find other medical professionals. Also, the general sites are great for reaching out to patients and consumers.

Clinical Applications for Social Media:

Social media is taking on clinical uses as well. Hospitals have started utilizing twitter as a teaching tool, as well as a marketing tool, “tweeting” each step along the way of a surgery.

Additionally, Sermo, a networking website exclusive to physicians, offers a unique, confidential environment where physicians can informally consult on medical cases and share valuable information.

Administrative Uses for Social Media Tools in Healthcare:

Some medical office managers and thought leaders in the healthcare industry feel that some social media sites could be an excellent notification method between providers and patients. For example, Twitter could be used for scheduling appointments, appointment reminders, practice updates, or public health notifications.

 

Who will win in a fight? FACEBOOK or TWITTER

images

Some people believe that facebook is for getting connected with the people you went to school with and twitter is for people you hoped you had gone to school with. Facebook is a multi-purpose social networking platform, allowing users to chat, create notes, post photos and play different games. While Twitter is built around the posting of short 140 character messages. These two web sites are the two most known social networks in the world.  Below is a comparison that looks at their history, growth in user base, strengths and weaknesses. Then you can decide which one is better.

Facebook Twitter
     Features Facebook features include the, Friends, Fans, Wall, News Feed, Fan Pages, Groups, Apps, Live Chat, Likes, Photos, Videos, Text, Polls, Links, Status, Pokes, Gifts, Games, Messaging, Classified section, upload and download options and others Tweet, Direct Messaging, Follow People & Trending Topics, Links, Photos, Videos
Introduction (from Wikipedia) Facebook is a social networking service launched in February 2004, owned and operated by Facebook, Inc. As of September 2013, Facebook has over one billion active users, more than half of whom use Facebook on a mobile device. Twitter is an online social networking service and microblogging service that enables its users to send and read text-based messages of up to 140 characters, known as “tweets”.
Upload photographs Yes Yes
Instant messaging Yes No
Key people Mark Zuckerberg, Founder and CEO; Dustin Moskovitz, Co-founder; Sheryl Sandberg, COO; Matt Cohler, VP of Product Management; Chris Hughes, Co-founder Jack Dorsey, Chairman; Evan Williams, CEO; Biz Stone, Creative Director
Play games Yes No
Advertising Advertising supported in the form of banner ads, referral marketing, casual games Advertising supported in the form of promoted tweets
Founded by Mark Zuckerberg Jack Dorsey
Languages Available in 70 languages Available in 29 languages
Launch date February 4, 2004 July 6, 2006
Headquarters location Menlo Park, California, United States San Francisco, California, United States
Users express approval of content by “Like”, “Share”, or “Comment” “Retweet” or “Favorite”
Number of users 1.28 billion (monthly active, March 2014) Over 500 million
Number of employees 6,818 (as of March 2014) 3,000 (as of 2014)
Add friends Yes No
Reblog posts Yes Yes
Follow trending topics No Yes
Current estimated value $104 billion $10 billion
Written in C++, PHP, D JavaScript, Ruby, Scala, Java
Revenue $7.87 billion (2013) $664 million (2013)
Edit posts Yes No
Users express opinions about content by “Comment” or “Reply” “Reply”
Mention users by Just the name (e.g. “User”) The @ sign and then the name (e.g. “@user”)