The long reach of Social Media in Advertising

In these modern times, Organizations need new ways to reach consumers. While Newspapers and T.V. have long been traditional ways to advertise a product, both of these methods have their flaws. Papers can be passed over, and commercials can be missed.

However, with Social Media, you can reach a wide variety of people who might not normally be interested in your company. For instance, the Website Econsultancy reports that Fast food Brand Mcdonalds has pages on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Google + (that’s plus, not a lower case t) that they use for advertising their products, reaching out to customers, and overall getting themselves out there. The Facebook page has “more than 27m fans, and hundreds of thousands of likes, although it’s mostly advertisements and pictures and there are no responses to user comments. The Twitter page is where they respond to people, and has 995,000 followers, although a previous incident sees them mostly responding to positive posts only.

They are not quite as active on Pinterest or Google + (in fact, the latter has almost nothing being done with it) but they are still there none the less. The advantage of Social Media is not only being able to talk more directly to customers, but also being able to reach those who under normal circumstances, would not show much interest in their product. People who are friends with Facebook users are linked to the Mcdonalds Facebook page would see the advertisements, and possibly consider giving the food a try, as would people who follows those who follow the Mcdonalds Twitter page. With this, a company like Mcdonalds can advertise more directly to both current and potential customer, especially those who would miss Newspaper ads, or never see the commercials.

As always, Social Media can connect companies and their customers in ways that were previously impossible.

Sources:

Econsultancy: How McDonald’s uses Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Google+. http://econsultancy.com/ca/blog/62329-how-mcdonald-s-uses-facebook-twitter-pinterest-and-google. March 13, 2013, 10:39.

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The Long Arm of the Law is Longer with Social Media

The ability of Social Media to reach a wide number of people has been used in multiple venues: People use it to sell old junk, Companies use it to find new employees, and now most recently, Law enforcement is making use of it to catch criminals.

The Sept 19 edition of the Edmonton Sun reveals that Mounties in New Brunswick have taken advantage of the wide Social Media connections of the people to help catch a Criminal Pedophile who they have been searching for since 2005. Pictures of the video he made have been posted online, and Mounties are entreating residents to use their Social Media connections to close the net around him.

When you take the time to think about it, this is just a new variation on Posting Wanted posters of offending individuals, or a more involved way for people to help put away dangerous criminals beyond simply phoning a number they see on T.V. With the existence of Social Media, and the web of information will greatly increase the reach of Manhunts for Criminals. With such sites as Twitter and Facebook at their disposal, people will be able to quickly provide Law Enforcement with the information they need, and there is a greatly increased possibility of finding men like the aforemention Pedophile no mater where he hides. This is a huge benefit to civilians and Law enforcement alike, and merely one example of the benefits of Social Media.

Sources:

Edmonton Sun,  September 19th edition. QMI Agency

Social Media thwarts disasters

I remember hearing (or reading) about how people trapped in the rubble of the Twin Towers used their phones to text for help, or just talk with their families while waiting for rescue. I’m not sure where I heard it from, or if it is even true , but this makes me consider another possible benefit of Social Media and how it can have a positive effect on our world.

With everyone connected through Twitter, Facebook, Linked-In, etc, there’s a possibility of increased reaction time to disasters. It’s always possible that calling for help by Cell or Land line is not an option, or worse, you get put on hold; that’s not a joke either; it’s a possibility. With Social Media like Twitter however, you can always get a message out in theory; if you have followers, then there is always someone that will see your message.

“When Hurricane Katrina ravaged the U.S. Gulf Coast in 2005, Facebook was the new kid on the block… . By the time Hurricane Sandy slammed the eastern seaboard last year, Social Media had become an integral part of disaster response, filling the void in areas where Cell Phone service was lost…”.

Using Social Media, people can “keep informed, locate loved ones, notify authorities, and express support.” Even in the midst of disaster, we can stay connected. As a result, Disaster response agencies are looking for the best ways to take advantage of this change, as this new factor “has thrown the old response playbook out the window.” Once again, we see how Social Media affects and changes an already established part of our society in the best possible way.

Sources:

*How Social Media is changing Disaster response. http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=how-social-media-is-changing-disaster-response

Social Media helps Athletes score with the fans

Why do Football Teams like the Edmonton Eskimos, Basketball teams like the Los Angeles Lakers, or Baseball Teams like the New York Yankees do what they do? Well after you’re are done pointing out the money, we can point out that they want to entertain fans. What would these people be without the fans that cheer for them?  Athletes and the teams they play for need the support of their fans, so they have to take time to meet with these people and show said fans that their cheers and attendance are appreciated. However it can be difficult at times for these teams and their players to reach out to the fans who support them, and here is where Social Media once again comes to the rescue. Sites like Twitter, Facebook and the like provide a good way for individual players or entire teams to respond and connect to the fans on the same level when meeting in person simply isn’t viable.

Social Media can humanize teams, providing “human -to- human contact [that] is a game changer for professional sports organizations.” “Athletes have taken to Social Media like wildfire…” and many “are prone to responding to questions, retweeting fans, and generally interacting with people that idolize them.”

Once again, we see how Social Media can bridge wide gaps between specific groups of people who would not normally be able to reach each other.

Sources:  3 ways Social Media Increases Fan Loyalty, Part 2: Humanizes Teams and Athletes. http://blog.hootsuite.com/social-media-fan-loyalty-2/

Politics and Social Media

As we are all aware by now, Social Media is an effective way to connect people; Friends and family can gain a new way to communicate and keep in touch with each other over long distances, and Companies can speak directly to their customers, who in turn are able to talk more directly to them, leading to greater consumer satisfaction through user input.

And now, Politicians are taking advantage of Social Media. Here in Edmonton, Candidates in the upcoming Civil Election are taking advantage of Twitter to promote themselves. “Twitter users can get their account avatar –the photo associated with their tweets– overlaid with a banner showing which candidate they’re voting for.”

These are known as ‘Twibbons’, and “are the equivalent of virtual lawn signs.” There also Google Hangouts, hosted by Dave Cournoyer, Ryan Hastman, and Mack Male, where issues related to the election can be discussed through the Twitter Hash tag #yegvote.

According to Cournoyer, “this is another opportunity for candidates to engage with people and to engage with people who are actively discussing the issues discussing the candidates online”.

So here we see another way that Social Media can connect people. Through the #yegvote, people can converse with the candidates, and in turn, said Candidates can promote themselves. Politics can benefit from Social Media just as much as Friends, family, or Business.

Sources:

Edmonton Sun, October 1, 2013 Edition, Linda Hoang

Facebook gives face to Non Profit groups

The greatest strength of Social Media is it’s ability to reach large numbers of people in the name of whatever goal a person may have. In previous posts, I’ve already mentioned the effect it has had on Law enforcement, Advertising, and politics, but there is another area where Social media can do large amounts of good, and this is perhaps one of the areas where it is needed the most.

Non profit organizations can gain huge benefits from Social media, as sites like Twitter and Facebook are an effective way to reach potential backers who might not otherwise be aware of such organizations. By adding Social Media to their advertising methods, and using it alongside Newspapers and Television (such as putting links to Facebook and/or Twitter sites in their other ads) the number of people who can be reached and asked to donate can be increased dramatically. If there is one thing that I have become aware of since starting these posts, it is that Social Media is fast. Without enough word of mouth, and the right placement, Social Media can cover a very wide area and speak to a wide number of people in a short period of time.

For example, “A real life experiment by Facebook to encourage organ donation, adding one’s donor status to one’s timeline, sparked an immediate 2,000% increase in the number of people signing up as donors.”

Also, “an online presence … also gives the community the ability to share their feedback and opinions in a public forum.” In this particular case, the two way nature of Social Media strikes again. Imagine using Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or whatever site you use to help donate to a charity. Now imagine that one of the people you helped with this donation sends a personal thank you to your page. Suddenly, an act of kindness becomes a lot more personal, and in a very positive way. And that is just one example of how Social media can be useful for Non profit organizations.

Sources:

*Nonprofits: Drive behavior with Social Media. http://www.forbes.com/sites/rogerdooley/2013/06/20/non-profits-social-media/

* Benefits of Social Media for Non-profits. Volunteer Calgary. http://volunteercalgary.wordpress.com/2013/03/14/benefits-of-social-media-for-non-profits/