according to emily zager…

Posts Tagged ‘Social media

It seems like every time I read the news or peruse the digital sphere, Apple takes over the headlines with announcements or a glimpse of a new product. This time around, the press the company has been receiving is – gasp – leaning to the controversial and unexpected side. I came across this article via Computerworld this afternoon that puts it perfectly: buzzkill. Apple, are you leaving your customers and fans feeling a little sour today?

iWant or iCanWait?

For those of you who haven’t heard or stumbled upon the news yet, Apple is going ahead with the launch of the iPhone 4Gs, leaving many loyal consumers dissapointed. Talks of a potential iPhone 5 have been dominating the social sphere in the past few weeks – but the technology and product will not be taking shape, at least at this present time.

Author Gregg Keizer writes, “According to Bellevue, Wash.-based Visible Technologies, 69% of the comments it tracked on Twitter concerning the iPhone 4S were negative, a turn-around from what the company said were usually “rave” reviews for Apple and its product introductions.”

The majority of my technological products are Apple and I’m an avid follower and participant on Twitter. I have definitely noticed the sarcasm, rants and general disdain for this development, and can see where some individuals are coming from. I agree that it’s uncharacteristic to witness a harsher response from the community.

Sidenote: pleasant news for those who belong to the Sprint family. Consumers reap the ultimate rewards of this development with the ability to secure an unlimited data plan. I’m a loyal Verizon chick so I won’t be persuaded… yet. I guess I’ll hold out for hopes of the elusive Number 5… someday. It’ll come, people! All things in due time.

What are your thoughts? Do you think Apple’s announcement and the discussions over 4S will hinder the company’s success in this endeavor?

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As a lifelong performer, it’s been interesting to observe how dance has become a driving force in popular culture. The movement continues to expand, flourish and grow.  A snapshot of today shows how mainstream media embraces the diversity and energy of dance styles in movies, reality television shows and other outlets.

The struggles, feats and successes of dance have been featured in movies such as  “Save The Last Dance,” “Center Stage,” and “Step Up.” Hollywood actress Jessica Alba portrayed an up-and-coming choreographer in “Honey.” Recently, the representation of drama and classical ballet earned dance thriller “Black Swan” Oscar nominations and awards while impacting audiences worldwide.

Seasoned artists and dance crews across the country compete and showcase their talents and personalities season by season on major networks such as Fox and MTV.  Popular and prominent companies like Apple are known for utilizing dance in memorable advertisements. Who doesn’t enjoy the AT&T flash mob commercial?

It’s exciting to see how outreach and marketing efforts are broadening audiences and enlightening people of all ages to a skillful, inviting and evolving art form.  Dance in movies and media has certainly come a long way since “American Bandstand,” “Fame” and “Soul Train,” and some of these beloved blasts from the past have been recreated (“Hairspray” and “Footloose”). Years later the premise is still the same: Style, attitude, confidence and a willingness to put it all on the line prevail.

However, a more competitive edge has been added to the mix – which only heightens the excitement and dynamics of dance in media. Today, audiences young and old have a say in the fates of performers on reality shows such as “So You Think You Can Dance,” “Dancing With The Stars,” and MTV’s “America’s Best Dance Crew.” A nation of observers deem who is worthy to compete and continue to fame and glory through phone calls, text messages and voting online.  Social networking communities unite to discuss and dissect episodes and results of shows.

The ratings are high for these shows, and today’s media allows for the exposure of an endless spectrum of dance styles ranging from contemporary jazz, salsa, the waltz and break dancing.  The humor, the talent, the tears, frustrations and triumphs – all displayed from contestants and hopeful individuals, front and center on your TV screen.

What aspects of dance and performance in media excite or inspire you the most?

My article of the week comes to us via PR Newswire. Kenneth C. Wisnefski, of WebiMax, discusses the “success of social media and the recent IPO of such firms.”

Which social media companies do you feel have the greatest potential of growth? Which branding efforts resonate most or are most memorable to you?

The values are rising...

The values are rising...

I came across a fun article yesterday in the Wall Street Journal discussing how a heightened presence in the social media realm has specifically impacted a bakery in New York. There’s something sweet in hearing how small businesses are becoming even more in tune with their consumers, eagerly willing to engage them in fresh and inviting ways.

I’m all about small businesses opening up communication to consumers and clients through the digital sphere. This article focuses on Spot Dessert Bar‘s recent social media campaign that, through strategic planning and the utilization of innovative ideas, has led to successful results. According to the article, “the shop has seen a 15% to 20% increase in sales since it started the social-media blitz” (Rex Ree, Spot Dessert Bar’s general manager). The local bakery succeeds in allowing its personality to shine while generating awareness through great branding and accessibility. I visited their Facebook page and the site offers a myriad of links, images of their products as well as news about discounts. It’s a well executed formula.

You have 1 Friend Request...

Check out the article here. What local restaurants, businesses or shops utilize social media platforms successfully? What companies and services do you connect with via Facebook or Twitter?

Stuart Elliott of the New York Times posted an interesting article yesterday discussing yet another marketing scheme via Denny’s.  The popular restaurant chain, known for their Grand Slams and other assorted All-American breakfasts, currently faces a little bit wrath due to a new promotional endeavor.  I’m all for innovative and unique reasons and methods to promote products and corporations, but when it comes to utilizing the anniversary of Ireland’s historical FAMINE?

Re-read that a few times.  Confused? I am.

I admit, though I’ve been exposed to Denny’s TV and radio advertisements, I haven’t bought in to them or made an appearance at a restaurant in a very long time.  As in… probably more than a decade or so… but I digress.  Denny’s is now popularly known for their publicity stunts promoting free breakfasts – remember the Super Bowl ad? Tempting, tempting.

Denny's Breakfast Promotions

The ads are often humorous, eye-catching and worthy of taking notice; I definitely had more than a share of friends taking part in the free-food adventure.  Although I don’t have a Denny’s in my vicinity to snatch up some free eggs and pancakes, this new pitch has rubbed me the wrong way like many of my fellow consumers.

Elliott writes that the spot’s purpose is ” to recognize the 150th anniversary of the end of the Irish famine, Denny’s would serve French fries and pancakes in all-you-can-eat portions.”

Yum, but… come again? Put the bacon down and get back to the drawing board.

Like the majority of well-known corporations, businesses and chains today, Denny’s facilitated Web 2.0 the best way they know how by infiltrating Facebook and other social media embassies to spread the word about this new promotional stunt. I’m not a fan of the restaurant chain on Facebook, but as a pretty active presence on Twitter, I looked into see if anybody was buzzing about the endeavor:

Twitter results image

Results for "Denny's" search via Twitter, 3/6/10

Side thought: funny this is occurring as St. Patty’s day looms right around the corner. Sorry, Denny’s, whether or not that was a purposeful decision, this is just all executed in bad taste. I’m  glad the chain has attempted to apologize (check out the article for more information)… but let this serve as a lesson for companies out there that encouraging a wee bit more of research and tact before putting something like this into motion doesn’t hurt anybody.

Thoughts? Complaints? Anybody hungry?

Irish Countryside

In the near future, social media technologies, platforms and programs will advance and thrive as a major facet of contemporary culture and communication. Technology will continue to open up more opportunities for individuals and companies to connect with others, share and collect information, initiate dialogue as well as craft online identities.  This outlook calls for a change of approach in social media services as well as a willingness to commit to such progress.

Advancing technologies are challenging developers to create social media platforms and programs that continually promote cutting-edge points of engagement.  Worldwide, social connectivity is revolutionizing the way every industry connects to its stakeholders and supporting communities.

With this in mind, fresh possibilities and developments in social media will occur inside of the “golden triangle.” The Golden Triangle offers a visual metaphor of trends and characteristics that fuses together aspects of social media applications, devices, networks and relationships, regarding mobile, social, and real-time segments. This illustrative example encourages agencies and businesses to take a more active approach towards their respective target audiences and clients.

Check out more regarding the Golden Triangle in a great article by Brian Solis.

In my opinion, the leading player of the mobile trend is the iPhone, due to its presently dominant influence and positive trajectory.  The iPhone, one of Apple’s signature and most recognizable products, crafted a reputation for its multimedia capabilities, touch-screen functions and sleek interface.  This smartphone provides the standard voice and text features of a phone while inviting users to update their Twitter and Facebook accounts, research and access breaking news as well as the download the latest up-and-coming official and third-party applications.

With its 3G and upcoming 4G networks which enable fast connection, the device parallels the role of the computer in the palm of one’s hand.  Despite lacking “Smartphone” capabilities of the official iPhone, the iTouch enables wireless Internet and digital connectivity with the similar ease of its touch screen and hand-held size.  In fact, these devices seemingly will eliminate need for the laptop computer.

In the future, Apple’s iPhone will work diligently with location-based social networks, especially with the dawn of location-based tools and platforms.  Today, users are beginning to describe their favorite local destinations on Foursquare.  However, this may be just the tip of the iceberg, as the iPhone may initiate an influx of not only mobile gaming and networking, but mobile commerce as well.

The leading player of the Golden Triangle’s social angle is Facebook.  Since its launch in 2004, Facebook has been a major contender in the realm of digital communication and social media. With over 350 million users worldwide, the social networking site is a powerhouse program that aims to increase the flow of information between people and promotes connectivity on a personal level.  The recent launch of Facebook’s chat enables instant, real-time communication messaging with users, and its surge of users has surpassed the popularity of its rival, MySpace.


With the program’s ever-growing collection of tools, games and other features, Facebook may need to utilize brand advertising. Companies seeking to gain attention or interaction with their target audiences need to adjust their focus towards crafting a presence on the social networking site.  In the future, companies and businesses who utilize Facebook will do so to strengthen – not create – their brand focuses, and to actively reach out to others in a similar sense with Twitter.  Facebook could also benefit from forming trustworthy alliances with other key digital media programs in order to maintain professionalism and profit.

The major trend associate with the forefront of the Golden Triangle’s real-time segment is Twitter.   An important leader in social media web technology and communication, the messaging service promotes immediacy in user presence as well as conversation on a global level.  Twitter’s current influence is reflected not only in a time-sense, but in the way the microblogging service has expanded over generations and purposes.  Users who “tweet” are accessible via Google and social search engines.

In the near future, more companies will utilize the free service to research consumers, build brands and provide real-time insight to users.  The service will continue supplementing other Internet services as it expands with larger encompassing programs, such as TweetDeck.  The microblogging site would benefit by creating, executing and organizing a “home page’ of sorts, which would segment main features of the site.


This could include a more accessible search engine to seek out news-based Twitter accounts, individual Tweeters, official company accounts as well as social media Tweeters.  There’s also a lot of multimedia to monitor, including television and radio content that is increasingly easy to find online. Both Twitter and Facebook may encompass these abilities.

Although communication has always been at the pinnacle of successful business, the advancement of social media will force companies to repurpose and restructure their methods of conversation.  Companies need tangible as well as digital connections to their target audiences in order to develop long-term loyalty. Since all forms of new media are currently at a changing point, companies will need to be realistic in embracing the social media movement.  In fact, in order to maintain a presence ahead of the movement, people need to remember to not only be “business savvy” but “social savvy” as well.

I came across a great video this week that I’d like to share with all of you social media fans.  The short minute clip covers four major social networking applications (HootSuite, TweetDeck, Ping.fm and Netvibes)  The educational yet fun video offers a great overview as well as beneficial tutorials.

Check it out:


Emily received her BA in Advertising & Public Relations from Loyola University Chicago in May 2010. She is inquisitive by nature and loves to surround herself with new situations, people and the world around her.

Emily is a lifelong dancer, a current ballroom dance instructor, and lover of all things social media. She's currently searching for a new career opportunity in PR, event planning or advertising. Take a peek at her musings about media, branding & the PR indsutry.

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