Who is watching what you search online?

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It is scary to think that everything that you search online or on your smart phone, what you buy with your credit card, and what you post on social media is online forever. What is scarier is that companies are targeting their target audiences by tracking their searches and aiming their advertisements at them. I don’t know about you, but I feel as if that is an invasion of privacy in some sort. I am looking up so many different things a day, maybe for a class or maybe just something I am interested in and companies are able to find that information from where ever and target their products at me! It is a very smart tactic but how far is too far. 

“Some are selling consumer-specific data for purposes that fall right on–or just beyond– the boundaries of the Fair Credit Reporting Act and other laws.” (Brill, J.). The fact that companies are willing to sell information based on what people are searching is outrageous. I understand you are able to find your target audience and aim your advertisements toward them but selling information is a little too much in my opinion. “Still others are collecting and using big data to make sensitive predictions about consumers, such as those involving their health conditions, sexual orientation and religion” (Brill, J.) I believe that this is the best way to not invade consumers privacy but also experimenting with your target audience. 

“Social networking has enabled brands and organisations to become storytellers.” (Romo, J.) I feel that companies use the information that they learn from their target audience and aim it to attract consumers through social media. There are several different audiences online, companies use the information they find online and try to attract all of their audiences through social media. They try to find the best way to pitch their stories online that will attract the most audiences, by learning the most information about consumers they should be able to successfully do this. 

I am interested in who is selling my information and what companies they are selling to. If you were asked to find out what your target audience had been searching online, would you do it? Do you think it is fair that companies are getting this information in order to target their consumers? Do you think there is a way to protect ourselves from companies selling our information?

 

References:

http://adage.com/article/guest-columnists/data-industry-step-protect-consumer-privacy/244971/

Romo, J. (2012). Share This: The Social Media Handbook For PR Professionals. United Kingdom: John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

http://www.google.com

Companies are turning to Twitter to engage with the public

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“However, if you haven’t integrated Twitter into your influencer relations approach, rather than just using it as a channel to communicate with your PR peers, you risk being left behind or, worse still, left out of key conversations” (Parker, A. p.130)

Twitter is a great way to connect directly to a large target audience. In order to use it properly, companies must maintain and attract viewers attention. Many companies are turning to Twitter because of the number of users that are involved. Twitter chats are a great way to try and find information from your target audience directly and to gain new followers. Using less than 140 characters to get your message told and direct them to other sites for a company can be extremely successful. Many people share posts on Twitter and are always discussing what is going on, companies need to successfully create conversation in order to gain new viewers.

Companies can successfully use social media to target and communicate directly to their audience. “In April 2010, Performics and ROI Research found that 33% of Twitter users share opinions about companies or products at least one per week. More so, 32% recommendations while 30% seek guidance and direction” (Solis, B.) This shows how there are so many consumers turning to social media to express their opinions. Companies can successfully use this information given to them and make any necessary changes. “In fact, nine out of the ten stated that the most common reasons to follow a brand on Twitter involved the ability to obtain direct information from a company” (Solis, B.) Audiences are directly reaching out to companies in order to obtain more information and learn more about the company, making it easier for companies to find their target audience on Twitter.

I do not follow many companies, but the companies that I do follow, I follow because I am interested in their new products and I am a loyal customer to them. I really enjoy the companies that post more than just their products, but that engage with companies and post things that are outside of their company. If a company is constantly pushing their product in my face, it turns me away and I usually get a negative feeling toward them. It is important for companies keep a positive image toward the public and to keep their consumers happy, maintaing a Twitter is a great way to do so.

Jetblue has to deal with so many people everyday, I know many people that have turned to their Twitter because of some problems with their flights. Jetblue is always keeping up with their social media and always answers to those who are running into problems with their company. This is very positive to the customers who use Jetblue and to the friends who are seeing Jetblue handle their situation right away. In order to be successful on Twitter, companies must handle business positively and urgently.

Do you follow any companies on Twitter? If so, Why do you follow them? Have you ever complained or contacted a company via Twitter?

References:

http://www.briansolis.com/2010/09/twitter-is-home-to-the-most-influential-consumers-online-are-on-twitter/

Parker, A. (2012). Share This: The Social Media Handbook For PR Professionals. United Kingdom: John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

http://www.twitter.com/jetblue

Tumblr: A site where you can express yourself

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Blogs are becoming very popular lately. It is a place where users can post whatever they want and have anyone read it. “Blogs typically focus on a particular topic or industry and are usually maintained by an individual, or small group, with text, photo and video content published in chronological date order” (Waddington, S. p.93). They are a great place where you can express yourself and post anything that may be going on in your life. It is also a great way to tell a story and learn what is going on in your friends and families lives. Blogs are a great way to interact directly with the author and the viewers through comments. Blogs usually have a feature that let users post their blog posts on other social media sites, which engages more users.

There are many blogs that people are using today but the one that I am most familiar with is Tumblr. Tumblr is a blog that I have been using since I was 14 years old and I still know people who use it to this day! It is a great place to post whatever you want whether that be pictures, short posts, videos or quotes. Many of my friends have used it before and it is a great site to really get to know a person on what they truly like or dislike. I mostly use it to repost pictures and quotes, but from time to time I also like to post short blogs on what is going on in my life. I think many companies can use Tumblr by posting blog posts about what is going on within the company and by posting pictures that can enhance their brand. The great thing about Tumblr is you can Like, Share, or Reblog. It really helps make your page all about you and show what you like and what interests you. On Tumblr, you are able to customize your whole page, which really helps users become more interactive. I really like blogging and although I have not used the site lately, I think it is a great way to connect with users and post content you want everyone to see. 

“Tumblr, subscribes to the less is more philosophy and provides various forms of posting options including word posts, photos, videos, quotes, URLs, and IM conversations. Have something quick you want to say or share? Then tumbleblogs are the quick and easy way to go. It has all of the reach of standard blogs, with less of the physical and mental overhead.” (Solis, B.)

Tumblr is an easy way to interact with users and gives us the opportunity to post absolutely anything! It is a great social media site that has been successful for many years. What are your thoughts on Tumblr? Have you heard of it/used it before? How do you think a company could successfully use Tumblr? 

 

References:

Tumblr – Tumbling between blogs, twitter and jaiku

http://www.tumblr.com

Waddington, S. (2012). Share This: The Social Media Handbook For PR Professionals. United Kingdom: John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

Your Social Media Could Lead You To Future Employment

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LinkedIn is a professional website used for people to find employment. On LinkedIn, users can display their accomplishments and can connect directly with employers. It is a chance for users to find future employment by displaying their skills and characteristics. “LinkedIn sells itself as a platform to connect/reconnect, boost your career and find answers; simple really – just an online extension of our offline networks.” (Appleby, M. 2012). By being able to personally sell ourselves, it shows employers our professional qualities and what experience we have that we can bring to a company. LinkedIn is different than other social media sites. It is created to have professional connections versus Twitter and Facebook which is more socializing than anything. 

“Our recent study found that 75% of US companies will always or sometimes check out a prospective employee’s online profile” (Appleby, M. 2012). I think by having several different social media sites, it shows your true self. By having a Twitter, it shows how you are capable of communicating to the public successfully using less than 140 characters. On Facebook, you are capable of connecting with friends and family with pictures/videos and status’s, that all show your personal side. On LinkedIn it shows your accomplishments and skills that you may have. All these different sites can help an employer understand what positive qualities you display to the public and help decide if one would fit well in a company. 

I use LinkedIn to post my accomplishments, connect with friends, and hopefully create relationships that can help lead me to a future job. I recently created a LinkedIn and I was surprised by how many people I knew that use it. Most of my friends that use the site are college students, but many of my relatives and coaches are also connected. I am hoping by having a diverse group of connections on LinkedIn, it will lead me to interacting with different people who can help lead me to future employment. I really like how I am able to connect with other users and companies that are associated with Public Relations which will help create relationships. 

“LinkedIn caters to an older demographic that is more interested in cultivating professional connections and promoting expertise.” (Solis, B. 2009). I would absolutely agree with this statement, LinkedIn is aimed at those who have experience and are looking for employment. I believe that is why many college students and older are found on this site. Many adults are getting more involved in social media, but I believe that most are interested in LinkedIn especially if they are unemployed. It is an easy way to connect with friends and also be professional. Companies are using LinkedIn to find information about possible employees and can learn more about a person before or even after the interview process. It is important to display yourself positively on social media and LinkedIn is a great way to do so!

What do you think about LinkedIn? Do you think it can really help you connect with employers? How do you think it differs than other social media sites?

 

References:

http://www.briansolis.com/2009/01/social-networks-grow-up-more-adults/

Appleby, M. (2012). Share This: The Social Media Handbook For PR Professionals. United Kingdom: John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

http://www.linkedin.com

Facebook: The Global Phenomenon For Social Media

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Almost everyone these days has a Facebook. It is a place where family and friends can socialize with each other from all around the world. “Facebook already has 1 billion users worldwide and 44% of all internet users have a profile.” (Solis, 2013). The amount of users continue to grow every single day. Companies are creating Facebook pages in order to attract their target audience. It is a great way to reach their target audience precisely by narrowing it down by the users likes and placing advertisements on their pages. “8 out of 10 US companies now have Facebook pages, but the recent introduction of Facebook’s Global pages shows that the company is looking outside of the U.S. to achieve the same sort of figures” (Solis, 2013). 

It is important for brands to use Facebook correctly and to target the right audience correctly. In Share This, Chapter 7, Robin Wilson discusses the ways a brand can positively use Facebook to expand their brand. Building communities and engaging with fans is an extremely important tactic, brands are given a way to communicate with their target audience, one on one, and they are able to display the content that the consumers need to know about their company. They are able to sell the products directly to the customers and implement their message with social engagement between the company and the consumer. If a consumer has a problem or question, the company is able to answer directly to help fix the problem. The more interactive the company is with the consumers, the more impact they will have on the public. 

One company that I believe is positively using Facebook is Hollister Co. On their Facebook page they have over 10 million likes. They currently are engaging with consumers by uploading pictures of the latest clothing and posting questions such as “My friend_______would totally ❤ these Hollister Sweatshirts! Check us out on Instagram @HollisterCo and tag your friends!” This helps engage users and want to tag their friends that they think would like the clothing. They are not only drawing them into buying the clothing on their website but they are also sending them to look at their Instagram. Today they uploaded a picture of a new jacket for the Fall, they also mention that they will be uploading one of their new products every day. This shows how they are keeping up with their Facebook and always displaying new information. They are positively displaying their brand by showing new products daily and by also giving information about deals that are going on. Hollister Co. is always replying to any problems that consumers are posting which is extremely positive to other users to show how engaged they are and how they are always trying to keep a positive image for their brand. They are constantly engaging with the public and building communities. 

References:

Facebook: Can It Keep Growing?

https://www.facebook.com/hollister

Wilson, R. (2012). Share This: The Social Media Handbook For PR Professionals. United Kingdom: John Wiley & Sons Ltd.