Social Media Report
This week I will be looking at various different social media networking sites and how each platform is unique in their strengths, weaknesses, origins and specialities along with how they have had an influence on society.
Galin Education ‘Managing your social media presence’ (2015)
Kiri Walton NOLA (2016)
Amongst the success of Twitter as a social networking site for friends and celebrities to share information, it has also become a very useful marketing platform for companies to freely advertise their work. However, trying to grab the attention of potential customers isn’t easy and with the 140 character limit each tweet aiming to market something needs to be carefully worded. One of the main ways in which companies can gain attention is through hash tagging. An example of this component bringing success to a company is when Starbucks came up with the ‘#freestarbucks’ campaign in which anyone with twitter would be able to simply tweet the hash tag in order to receive a free drink in the mornings. The reason a campaign like this would have been successful is that Starbucks would gain an extensive amount of customers especially around the time of day that is most likely not busy for them. Once these twitter users have gained a free drink from this establishment they may be likely to return to Starbucks in the future if they were pleased with their experience, therefore meaning the company will have gained customers through a free campaign. Twitter is also useful for tweeting links, for example someone may tweet a link to their website in which they sell clothes, anyone they follow would then be able to see the tweet and click on the link to directly take them to the website. However, for this to work successfully you would need to have a fair amount of followers on your page already for people to be able to see the link. This tactic would also work for music groups as they could easily link their music to a tweet and through their fans RTing the tweet the link can be shared around twitter to a wide range of people that may also be interested.
All platforms of social media have become well known because they each specialise in something different and have varying components that make people keep using them. For twitter the main speciality would be sharing information quickly. This could include someone tweeting the link to a new song that has just been released or a brief explanation of a new related incident that has just occurred such as a death. Once a piece of information is put on twitter though RTing it can be quickly shared around to a great amount of people. Twitter can also be used to let an audience know when something is going to be released, such as film production company announcing the release date of a new film along with a trailer that can be easily shared and watched. If an already established director tweeted about a new upcoming film, fans of their previous films may also be interested in any updates they have and would be a quick way for the director to freely promote the upcoming film to the right audience. A similar idea is using twitter to offer discounts or coupons to your target market, for example saying that if people RT your tweet promoting something, they could win something you are offering, such as a clothes company offering a 10% discount if people share the link to their website. This would be a good way of spreading word of mouth about your product, however in order for it to work you would need an already established twitter with a reasonable amount of followers for people to see it.
Singer Ariana Grande has allowed herself to grow as an artist through the use of twitter. She has used techniques such as posting small clips of her upcoming songs on the site so that only her twitter fans can hear, along with taking time to tweet her fans directly, allowing her and the fans to share the excitement of upcoming projects. Not only does this help to promote her music but allows people on twitter to feel more of a connection with her as they have the chance to have a conversation with her through the platform. I would say twitter is one of the main social media networks that has expanded celebrity culture and the site has become an easy for fans to see what their favourite celebrities have been doing and how their feeling. Users of twitter find it very interesting seeing celebrity’s global lives on a personal scale and now for people in the public eye having an active twitter can do you many favours. One of twitter’s weaknesses when it comes to this however is when to people are having a conversation the other person’s username or ‘@’ must be tagged in order for them person to directly see the tweet and as this takes up a fair amount of the 140 character limit it doesn’t leave much room for you to write a detailed response and any conversation over twitter must be brief.
YouTube was created by three ex-employees of the company PayPal, Chad Hurley, Steve Chen and Jawed Karim. On valentines day 2005 the three men had decided there needed to be a video based sharing platform online that was user-friendly. However, they were unsure of what the purpose of this platform could be and came up with the idea of a dating website in which single people could upload a short video of themselves talking about them and their interests.After the founders had gone against the dating idea they changed YouTube’s original name ‘Tune In Hook Up’ to the well known name people know it by today. Little did the founders know that YouTube did not need a primary aim such as people wanting to date, and instead would become a success simply by people having the opportunity to upload a video of everything and anything they like. Today we now have a platform with over 1 billion users in which anything imaginable can be uploaded and watched and has proven to be on of the most dynamic innovations in the history of he internet. The first YouTube video was then uploaded called ‘me at the zoo’ and despite it being only a 18 second clip of YouTube founder Jawed at the zoo, it now has over 30,000,000 views due to its significance.
The main strength of marketing through the platform YouTube would be the immense amount of people that use it, with users watching 4 billion hours worth of footage each month. This means that through uploading on YouTube there is a high chance that with the right promotion tactics you can gain a large audience. The fact that it is a globally recognised platform would also mean views are likely to be higher than if you were to upload something on another video based sharing platform such as Vimeo, which does the same job as YouTube but is not as well-established. The downside of YouTube being so successful would mean the competition on YouTube would be intense and if you were to upload some of your work such as a short film, it could easily become berried amongst other short films in the depths of YouTube. This means that in order for your video to do well on YouTube you need to produce a video title and thumbnail picture that will immediately grab the attention of your audience. This is often known as ‘click bait’ as many people will over-exaggerate the title of their video in hope of more people clicking on the video.
YouTube statistics.jpg (2015) Fandom
As technology has developed it has become much easier for companies to advertise through YouTube as this is ultimately how the website’s revenue is produced. YouTube and companies wanting to market can work together so that YouTube will play their advert before a viewer is able to watch the video they have originally clicked on, therefore the viewer has no choice but to watch the advert before they can move onto their chosen video. Usually an advert is something people do not enjoy watching and is simply made to help promote something, however the company John Lewis has been able to use YouTube to post their short film type adverts in which millions of people have been able to watch and enjoy through YouTube. It has become a tradition for John Lewis to upload a heart felt Christmas advert each year but it is unlikely the adverts would be as popular without the £7 million campaign to show the ad over every aspect of YouTube, especially with it being so easy to fast-forward television adverts these days, so YouTube showing the ad at the start of other well watched videos and along with word-of-mouth, the video went YouTube viral.
YouTube is also a very easy way to categorise all of your work. For example if an upcoming musician that had released a new song which became popular on YouTube, viewers would then be able to easily go onto the artist’s channel and see other projects that they have uploaded, therefore allowing more of your work to be shared and recognised. However, there is a lack of security on YouTube and elements of your music posted could be copied and used by someone else without you knowing if it wasn’t properly trade marked.
YouTube’s main speciality is of course visual communication, whether that’s a video or images, it would not be the place for getting across pieces of quick information and instead everything posted must first be filmed and edited before being uploaded. The platform is however perfect for someone wanting to upload something creative and in recent years has become a basis for people to make their living. Each year more and more YouTubers, or creators that continuously make content for YouTube, become well known and are able to make a profit from videos they make such as challenges or vlogging, which is ultimately when someone films their everyday lives for people to tune in and watch. Vlogger Jonathan Joly set up a family vlogging channel in 2009 and has gone on to film everyday of his life through the past 8 years along with his wife who also makes fashion and lifestyle videos aimed at girls of all ages. This is only one example of how YouTube has lead to become a creative platform for people to express themselves in a variety of different ways. Along with the art forms that can be posted such as music, DIYs and tutorials it has also become a place for people to give advice that viewers may be able to relate to and along with the forum that comes with every video people are able to comment and chat to each other and it has meant the network has become a profound community.
The name tumblr originated from a movement in the blogsphere called ‘tumbelogs’ which was ultimately just posts of short streams of consciousness often using mixed media. The creators of Tumblr wanted be the first to fully exploit the idea of tumbelogs which is why they wanted their brand name ‘Tumblr’ to reflect this. David Karp, founder of platform was only 17 when he moved to Tokyo to develop his eye for computer coding and technology. Being only 17, Karp was somewhat embarrassed about his age and would portray a deep voice when speaking to clients, however his age did not matter and in 2007 he was ready to found Tumblr and did it all from the bedroom of his mum’s apartment. The site gained over 75,000 users just in the first 2 weeks and today has more than 42 million blogs for everyone to view and share.
As Tumblr’s main attribute is visual communication and the main thing people tend to re-blog is pictures, the platform has become an easy way for companies to market their products. However as the main point of Tumblr is to create your own blog many people only want aesthetically pleasing pictures on their page, therefore in order for companies to be successful on Tumblr they must put the effort into creating pictures of their products that look nice and are blog worthy. An example of a company that has a continuously growing and popular Tumblr page is the shoe and clothing brand Vans. Vans know their audience well and know that the majority of their customers will be young people probably using Tumblr. Their content reflects their audience and the pictures they use of their products will often be at photogenic locations such as the beach. The images they post generally depict an adventurous lifestyle that Tumblr users will be likely to take an interest in and though re-blogging will evidently spread awareness of the products featured. Despite this being free advertising, it would be time consuming and someone would need to be hired specifically to keep the Tumblr page up to date and also to create the photos that are being shared. In order for photos to be successfully shared they also need to be creative and of high quality meaning you would need the right equipment and a smaller business trying to share their products on Tumblr may not be as successful.
Although it can be easy to showcase products through images, as Tumblr is so focused on visually pleasing content trying to sell something ‘boring’ on this platform would be difficult as people would not be as interested in Re-Blogging pictures of practical items such as a hoover, which is why Tumblr is not for all brands and is associated with a younger generation. Along with pictures there is space for users to write a caption to go alongside it therefore making it easy to add a link to your website next to a picture of what you are selling, making it more accessible for users to find your page. Tumblr can also act as a portfolio as its an easy way for freelancers such as a photographer to show all of their work in one place This would be an easy way for them to present their work to fellow artist and if successful could be seen by art galleries wanting to present their work. The text option also would allow there to be a short description of each image and as you can customise your blog to how you want it many people have songs you are able to listen to while looking at the blog, therefore attracting people to keep looking at your page.
Tumblr has helped to bring people from all around the world together and the platform is openly known for being a very accepting place in which nobody cares about gender, race, sexuality and so on. It is known as a place that people can be themselves which is reflected in users being able to re-blog any images they want that they feel represents themselves. The Tumblr community as a whole sees the platform as a way of showing people to have good morals and what is right and wrong when it comes to different values. Many users of the site decide not to use their real name on their blog in order for them to stay anonymous and can therefore be as creative and free as they want. This does however bring up the point that Tumblr may be seen as unsafe as it is easy to pretend to be someone else and through the chat forums young vulnerable individuals may think they are speaking to someone who turns out to be someone very different.
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