Live from Anywhere

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Live streaming is the new “it” thing in the world of emerging media and a number of companies such as GE, Dunkin’ Donuts and Doritos are jumping on the bandwagon by incorporating live stream events as part of their marketing strategy. Today I would like to examine some of the pros and cons of different live stream platforms.

Facebook Live

Facebook live was only recently introduced and is currently available to iOS users. An Android version is expected to be released later this year. In order to live stream, simply tap the update status button and hit the live video icon on your mobile device. After adding a description of the steam, your broadcast will “go live”.

Yays: Facebook live is available through the Facebook app so users don’t have to download and learn a second app in order to access it. It is also simple to share such live events with people that you are already connected with on social media.

Nays: While Facebook live has been successful thus far, it is still limited in availability and not all iOS users have access to the feature.

Periscope

It is simple to create a Periscope account through your mobile phone number or your Twitter account. By tapping the camera icon, the user can live stream an event and can choose to make it private or public. It is also simple to view live broadcasts through this platform by pressing the TV or globe icon.

Yays: Periscope is only for live streaming and is a great tool for sharing what is happening at the very moment it happens. It is great way to view what is happening around the world in real time.

Nays: It is impossible for hosts to schedule live stream events or to record videos to be streamed at a later date.

Meerkat

Meerkat is an app that is simple to download and can be linked to both your Facebook and/or Twitter account. By using it you are able to set up an account using your mobile phone number and can schedule and stream events, as well as interact with viewers.

Yays: It is easy to build a following through Meerkat by connecting it to your other social media accounts. Through Meerkat you also have the ability to schedule live stream events 24-hours in advance.

Nays: While Meerkat offers a great service and is fairly easy to use, many users have complained about the site having glitches.

YouTube Live

YouTube Live users are able to establish an account using a verified phone number. On this specific platform, users are able to schedule or immediately stream live events over YouTube. YouTube is a very popular live stream channel for sports, tutorials, special events and news.

Yays: YouTube live is simple to use. It is also easy to interact with your audience on the platform. YouTube live is also now available to view on mobile devices which is a huge plus for the live streaming channel.

Nays: In my opinion, now that it is available to access on mobile devices, there are few, if any negatives associated with YouTube live.

Can you think of any other brands/companies that are effectively using live streaming as part of their marketing strategies? What other opportunities can you think of that are available?

 

Social Media Damage Control

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In today’s social media-focused world, providing exceptional customer service is a must. It is often said that before social media, when someone had a negative experience with a company or business, that person would tell one or two people. Enter the world of social media and now unhappy customers are able to reach hundreds, sometimes even thousands of people with a few simple clicks on a keyboard. According to J.D. Power, 67% of consumers today have used social media as a channel to address customer service issues. Today I would like to share my top five tips for dealing with upset customers on social media.

1. Acknowledge the mistake or problem and apologize

Listen and make sure you understand the problem or situation before you respond. Don’t delete complaints or negative comments on social media platforms. Doing so will likely create strong backlash from customers and will make your brand less trustworthy. Be honest and transparent from the beginning. While the customer may not always be right, take ownership over the situation. Acknowledge the mistake or problem, apologize with a sincere tone and offer to make it right.

2. Respond Quickly

When you’re dealing with negative comments and/or complaints, time is of the essence. A great goal would be to respond to your customers within 60-minutes. The sooner, the better. The longer it takes for a business to respond, the angrier the customer will get. Taking control of the situation early also lessens the chance that the complaint will spread, creating more negative buzz.

3. Maintain a positive tone

While businesses should always maintain a positive tone when engaging with customers on social media, it is especially important to be genuine and authentic when discussing a problem or complaint with a customer. The last thing that an angry customer wants to see is a generic response. Show empathy towards the situation and communicate in a friendly voice. Show your human side instead of your business side.

4. Respond publicly first

When a negative comment is posted online, often people think the best move is to take that conversation offline. Instead, show your sincerity online so that all of your followers can see the effort you are putting in to help remedy the situation. Once you have responded publicly, it is safe to move the conversation out of the spotlight by continuing the dialogue through a different channel.

5. Prevent online complaints before they happen

Know your customer well. Understand the most common sources of frustration and work to remedy such issues before they arise. Also make sure that your customers know how to reach you directly and as quickly as possible. By having your company’s contact information available, upset consumers will be less likely to post negative comments on social media pages. Remember that at the heart of this conversation is customer service. By always striving to provide the best customer service experience, you will likely prevent many online complaints before they happen.

Remember that when your customers complain on social media it is because they are frustrated and want for a negative situation to be remedied as quickly as possible. It is impossible to please everyone, but by responding appropriately to unhappy customers, you’re likely going to turn one individuals’ negative view into a positive one. This will help to establish long-term positive relationships with consumers.

Do you have any social media damage control tips that you would like to share?

 Interested in what NOT to do? Please check out “5 customer service fails that will make you squirm”. Enjoy!

Ooops…I just butt dialed a pizza…

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It hasn’t happened to me yet, but with Domino’s new easy-to-order pizza app, it is now completely possible to butt dial a pizza. Yes, that is what I said. Domino’s has long been a leader in developing innovative food ordering services. I am sure you remember last year when the pizza chain encouraged its customers to order via Twitter.  In case you don’t, here is a nice little reminder of the many ways you can order Domino’s from a variety of digitally capable devices.

With the continuing development of its Domino’s AnyWare campaign, the delivery giant just released an app that requires ZERO clicking to order a pizza. Of course, in order to utilize the app, you must first create a Domino’s account that will include your favorite pizza toppings and credit card account information. Once that process is complete, simply open the Zero Click app and your order will be placed. That’s all you have to do. So what if you open the app by accident? You have 10 seconds to close it. Once the time hits zero, you’ll receive an order confirmation and your pizza will be on its way. What happens if you aren’t able to close the app within 10 seconds? You’ll still be responsible for paying for your pie. So if you are going to download the AnyWare app, I would suggest keeping your phone out of your back pocket and out of the hands of kids that may accidentally open it.

While this is certainly an innovative ordering technique that provides a clear example of how emerging media is taking over, I’ll be interested to see what type of response Zero Click receives. So what are your thoughts? Is Domino’s on to something with this new ordering system and do you think other restaurants will soon follow?

 

#HappyBirthday Twitter: Celebrating 10 Years with 10 Memorable Moments

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Social media giant Twitter celebrated the BIG 1-0 last month. On March 21, 2006, at 3:50pm, Jack Dorsey sent out the worlds first tweet, “just setting up my twttr”. With those five simple words, a social media giant was born. Twitter has revolutionized the way we receive news, watch TV and sports, make decisions and so much more. It has completely transformed the way we as a society communicate with each other. For this week’s emerging media post, I thought it would be fun to take a look back at 10 of the most memorable and impactful Twitter moments since 2006. Enjoy!

In no particular order…

10. During the 2013 Boston Marathon, more than 27-million tweets were sent discussing the bombings, the manhunt for the bombers and the spirit of what it meant to be #BostonStrong.

9. On March 2, 2014, Ellen DeGeneres tweeted the world’s most celebrity-packed selfie when she hosted the Oscars. Included in the shot? Jennifer Lawrence, Brad Pitt, Meryl Streep, Julia Roberts, Lupita Nyong’o, Angelina Jolie and more! Not a bad shot, Ellen.

8. On January 15, 2009, US Airways Flight 1549 hit a flock of geese while departing from New York City, forcing Captain “Sully” Sullenberger to land the plane on the Hudson River. Janis Krums snapped a picture of the downed plan and tweeted it to his followers. Shortly after, it went viral, changing the news landscape and proving that ordinary citizens could provide real-time news.

7. When Leonardo DiCaprio won the award for Best Actor for his performance in The Revenant during the 2016 Oscars, the Twitter world went nuts with users tweeting almost 440,000 tweets per minute. Congratulations, Leo!

6. In 2011, Twitter became a powerful platform for revolution in Egypt. Traditional news sources were only reporting information from a select few in power, completely neglecting the voice of the people. The Egyptian citizens and news organizations turned to Twitter to organize a pro-democracy, social uprising. The government of Egypt eventually turned Twitter off, demonstrating how much power the social channel had in connecting people during political movements.

5. On June 1, 2015, we were introduced to Caitlyn Jenner through Twitter. In a little over four hours, she gained over 1-million followers, surpassing the President of the United States as the fastest person to ever reach the 1-million mark.

4. On December 12, 2012, Pope Benedict XVI became the first leader of the Catholic Church to send a tweet. Pope Francis has since taken over the account amassing almost 9-million followers.

3. On May 2, 2011, Sohaib Athar, an IT engineer from Abbottabad, Pakistan, inadvertently live-tweeted the raid in which Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden was killed.

2. In 2007, developer Chris Messina tweeted something that not only revolutionized Twitter, but changed the entire Internet and social media landscape. Today hashtags are used across a variety of platforms to identify messages and to track specific topics.

1. On November 5, 2008, Barack Obama was elected the first African American president of the United States. On the same date, he became the first U.S. President to have a Twitter account. Twitter has played a vital role in the world of politics over the last 10 years and is likely to have an impact on the 2016 election.

So here’s to you, Twitter. Happy Birthday and congratulations on a successful 10 years!

Are there any memorable Twitter moments you would like to share? Enjoy this list of the 100 most followed people on Twitter and please consider following me @psu_danielle.

Environmental Pros and Cons of the Internet of Things

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The Internet of Things has been a heavily discussed topic in the world of technology, communication and business over the last several years. This concept includes everything from cellphones, to household appliances; small electronic beacons to gigantic machines. Chances are, if you can turn it on and off, it connects to the Internet and/or transmits data of some kind, it falls into the vast category of Internet of Things. Sure these new technologies provide many advantages in today’s world, but at what cost? Today I would like to briefly examine some of the environmental pros and cons of the Internet of Things.

Let me first start by saying that I think the Internet of Things provides an abundance of opportunity to help people, businesses and society on a daily basis. These types of technologies assist with personal safety, help individuals monitor their health and well-being, have improved the travel industry and have revolutionized the way humans preform every day tasks. Yes, the Internet of Things has certainly changed the way that we live. With such advances in technology, I think that it is important to take a step back and to examine the bigger picture. Are these technologies safe? How secure is our personal information? What effects might this type of development have on the environment?

The Internet of Things has completely changed the energy industry. Opportunities to address environmental issues like air pollution, energy consumption, landfill waste and clean water have significantly increased in the last five years. Smart home technologies, like Nest thermostat, help individuals consume close to 20% less energy in their homes. Inventions like Air Quality Egg have made it possible for users to gather important real-time data measuring the effects of air pollution on towns and cities. This relatively new invention has the potential to provide an in-depth look at carbon emissions on a global scale. The transportation industry is also being improved by the Internet of Things. Smart parking lots and road systems are reducing fuel consumption by shortening the amount of time individuals spend in their vehicles. While machine-to-machine communications are being used to improve the environment, what happens to these smart devices and gadgets once they are no longer useful?

According to a study conducted by United Nations University, 67-million metric tons of electrical equipment was put on the market in 2013 at the same time 53-million metric tons of electrical equipment waste was being disposed of on a global scale. These staggering numbers have only increased. In a world where over consumption is prevalent and companies are urging consumers to buy the latest and greatest of every product, such e-waste is quickly being disposed of in landfills, polluting the environment, creating hazardous waste, and adding to the effects of climate change. Will the disposal of so many digital devices negate the positive effects of smart technologies?

In order for the Internet of Things to have a positive impact on the environment, it is vital that companies manufacture products and materials that are sustainably sourced. Innovation will be the key in developing eco-friendly electronics and sensors that can easily be disposed of in a “green” way.

Do you think that the environmental pros of the Internet of Things outweigh the cons?

Making Six Seconds Count: Brands Effectively Using Vine

Did you know goldfish now have longer attention spans than most humans? Scary, but true! A recent study by the Microsoft Corporation highlights the affects of an increasingly digital lifestyle on brain function. In the world of marketing, it has become more important than ever to capture the audiences’ attention in a short period of time. Many large and small companies are utilizing the six-second video-sharing app Vine to quickly connect with consumers. While pretty much any business can create a Vine, there are few companies that are doing it well. Today I will share my five favorite brands that are cutting through the digital clutter by publishing creative and fun videos on Vine.

5. Dunkin’ Donuts

The donut and coffee giant has created a series of cute, colorful and fun Vines that feature the company’s products in an imaginative way. The company has been especially successful in leveraging its use of this digital media during special events and holidays.

4. Disney

When Disney launched its Vine account in 2013, the company developed an engaging competition called “Show Your Disney Side.” Disney invited fans to create their own six-second Vines, highlighting their love for the company and all things Disney. The winner of the incredibly successful campaign was invited by the Disney Corporation to create a series of “Disney Side” videos for the brand. Disney takes pride in having the “most magical Vine account on earth.”

3. Target

Target has been very successful at using Vine to promote its products, and typically uses the platform to publish videos themed around promotions and events. Last spring the company developed a series of Vines celebrating the release of Avenger: Age of Ultron.

2. Mashable

Mashable, the leading global media company for the digital generation, produces a wide variety of content on Vine to speak to a number of different demographics. The company has a staggering 73-million loops!

1. Lowe’s

Perhaps my favorite company using Vine as an effective marketing tool is Lowe’s. Lowe’s “Fix in Six” Vines offer followers home improvement tips and tricks in a quirky, lighthearted and useful manner. The company has generated over 52-million loops and has over 35-thousand followers. Lowe’s “Fix in Six” campaign impresses me because the company finds a unique way to make home improvement and hardware supplies engaging and exciting.

What brands do you follow that effectively use Vine as a marketing tool? Also, I invite you to read this great article I found on effective video marketing: 10 Video Marketing Lessons from the Top 100 Global Brands. Enjoy!

The Big Social Media Question…

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How young is too young to use social media? This is seriously a loaded question that we could discuss for days, but I feel like almost weekly I hear negative stories about the social media habits of teens and young adults. Thinking about today’s youth and their interaction in the digital world scares me a little. I doubt I’m alone. The people I know that are parents to pre-teens and teenagers struggle with answers to these tough questions: Mom, can I have Snapchat? Dad, when can I get Instagram? Mom, do you think I’m ready to have a Facebook account.

Generation M2, highly tech-savvy kids between the ages of 8 and 18, are exposed to a wide variety of emerging media apps and websites that include texting, micro-blogging, live-streaming, meeting and even self-destructing/secret apps/sites. While Screen Shot 2016-03-10 at 8.55.38 PMmany of these platforms have parental controls that can be put in place, today’s youth are exploring new platforms daily. It is becoming increasingly hard for parents to keep up. According to a report conducted by the Pew Research Center, 71% of teens are active on more than one social network. Out of all of the various social media sites, Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat are the most heavily used by teens between the ages of 13 and 17. Twitter, Google+, Vine and Tumblr are not as heavily used, but still make the list.

So what is the big deal with all of this? Let’s first examine the pros of social media and its influence on teens and young adults…

Positive things social media can do

  • help improve education and access to resources
  • facilitate social and political change
  • create employment opportunities
  • inform and empower people to make an impact
  • allow people to communicate more easily
  • create awareness and provide information about breaking news

Now let’s take a look at the cons of social media and its effects on teens and young adults…

Negative things social media can do

  • effect college admission and employment opportunities
  • harm productivity
  • make users vulnerable to crimes
  • create privacy issues
  • enable cyber-bullying
  • put individuals at higher risk for medical issues such as depression, anxiety, eating-disorders and low self-esteem

Where exactly does this leave us? In a world where youth are using more and more digital tools and have easier access to social media sites, it is important for parents and guardians to monitor social media accounts. I bet you’re wondering if I’ve answered the question, “How young is too young?” Well again, that is a loaded question, but I would argue that kids should be at least 13 to use the majority of social media sites. I also strongly believe it depends on the specific child and his or her maturity level, and even at 13, children should be very closely monitored by parents and/or guardians.

If you would like a list of appropriate digital sites for children under the age of 13, please review this Parenting.com list.

How old do you think children should be to use social media apps and sites?

Emerging Media Madness

The explosion of the digital world has changed how we do absolutely everything. Social media, apps, video streaming, mobile media, digital media (the list goes on and on) have completely taken over. We are constantly exposed to emerging media from a vast number of sources. So what exactly is emerging media? I thought you’d never ask! Emerging media encompasses ever-evolving technology as it relates to information and communication that is happening NOW. This includes the following elements: online shopping, social networking, apps, mobile marketing, and much, MUCH more. As a society, we are bombarded with limitless options when it comes to pretty much everything, thanks largely to the role that new media plays in today’s world. Traveling is one of my passions, so today I would like to discuss the ways emerging media is changing the travel industry.

Whether it is for business or for pleasure, travel has been completely revolutionized by emerging media trends. I remember a time (not so long ago) when an airline attendant printed your boarding pass. You had to call to make a hotel reservation and once you arrived at your destination, you had to ask for dining suggestions from hotel employees or area locals to find a good grub spot. Yes, times certainly have changed. Today, emerging media has made it completely possible to book and to take an entire business trip or vacation without really having to communicate with anyone. You can purchase your airline tickets on your mobile phone or tablet, request a car service on your phone, and search for dining options with the help of review apps like Yelp and TripAdvisor. The do-it-yourself (DIY) craze has taken over and sites like Pinterest, and travel blogs now make it easier than ever to plan that picture-perfect vacation at an affordable price, in a matter of minutes.

These revolutionary changes have been beneficial to both companies within the travel industry and to consumers. It is now easier than ever for consumers to get exactly what they want, when they want it. Businesses have recognized the importance of adapting to industry advances. The features of social media and review apps allow consumers to easily connect and engage with companies with both positive and negative feedback. Anyone and everyone is now able to make a review with just a few short clicks on a smart phone. Generation connect has a voice, and it will be heard.

Perhaps the biggest change in the travel industry is the way in which people are now documenting their experiences and connecting with other travelers through social media. According to a recent survey, 97% of millennials are using social networks while they travel and on average, over 50% are anxious to meet people staying in the same location. The vast world of social media also allows for individuals to share their travel experiences with friends and family through check-ins, photos and status updates. I will be the first to admit that my Instagram account is on fire when I am on vacation. There is something about sharing my experiences with the digital world that just makes me feel good. I hope that by posting photos of my own experiences, I will encourage my friends, family and whoever else may be listening, to get out and explore the world.

Please enjoy this fun article I found on Huffpost Travel: The Way We Used to Travel: 12 Ways Travel Has Changed in the Digital Age.

Are you feeling as nostalgic as I am right now?