A Semester’s Worth of Learning in One, All-Too-Short Blog

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My final blog of this Emerging Media series is one of a reflection of what I have learned to be highly important as a potential marketer in today’s world of 24/7/365 mobile technology. To me, content marketing is of paramount importance among every single social media platform that is at our fingertips today.

With content marketing being on marketers’ hotlists today, I would like to take a few minutes to highlight several insights into this topic. I came across a recent HubSpot blog that was very informative to me, and I would like to share it with you! Some of the highlights include:

  • When people hear information, they’re likely to remember only 10% of that information three days later. However, if a relevant image is paired with that same information, people retained 65% of the information three days later.
  • Only 27% of marketers have a process in place to aggregate, organize, and manage the visual assets being used across their marketing teams.
  • 9% of marketing professionals worldwide name video as the type of content with the best ROI.
  • Between April 2015 and November 2015, the amount of average daily video views on Facebook doubled from 4 billion video views per day to 8 billion.
  • Infographics are liked and shared on social media three times more than other any other type of content.
  • Articles with an image once every 75-100 words got double the number of social shares than articles with fewer images.

 

So, what is a common thread among these statistics and the lessons we have learned throughout our course? Mobile consumers are highly visual. They/We better respond to messages with visual content in a variety of social media platforms. Consumers are inundated with information from every direction possible at any given time. Therefore, we/they require brief, direct messaging that cater to specific interests, needs and desires. A brand/company’s transparency and authenticity throughout its owned media platforms are ever-increasingly vital to the overall trust of that organization. Lastly, multi-channel communication that provides consumers with the opportunity for positive engagement is crucial in the world of emerging media today.

I also came across this great graphic that truly sums up the vast concept difference of what I formally learned while studying for my degree in Public Relations versus what I am studying now in Integrated Marketing Communications.

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In both concepts, the consumer is the focus as both marketing efforts attempt to reach a brand’s audience. The key difference is in the two-way communicative relationship that emerging media affords each party today. That is exciting for both consumers and organizations.

I have learned a tremendous amount throughout this course that I am certain will benefit me. I am eager to apply these concepts both personally and professionally.

– Bethany

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Numbers: What is Your Ideal Number?

Numbers

In today’s society, we are constantly faced with communication. It is no longer two-way; instead, it is multi-channeled and multi-faceted and with a nearly infinite number of ways to communicate. With so many various ways we communicate today, whether we have personal or professional social media presences, or even if we manage both types, there are important numbers to remember as we create our content.

I recently came across an interesting infographic headline, entitled, “The Internet is a Zoo.” The headline itself grabbed my attention, and the information it contained held my attention. It provides suggestions from Facebook to blogs to YouTube to Google+. I will share the most insightful suggestions I found, and I encourage you to check this infographic out for yourself. I would love to hear which numbers you found the most interesting, surprising or insightful and the reason(s) why.

  • Hashtags: 6 characters are ideal in one hashtag.
  • Blog Headlines: 6 words. I took this to heart as my draft headline for this particular blog was simply, “What’s Your Number?”
  • Podcasts: 22 minutes is the average length a podcast listener tunes in.
  • Tweet Posts: Between 71-100 characters have a higher rate of engagement.

social-media-length-infographic

I hope this graphic is as insightful as I found it. It will be fun to see if any of you will alter how your social media engagement. Thanks for reading!

 

Bethany

Connection Obsession?

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Can you think of something you do 150 or so times every single day? After determining that I probably do not answer my office phone or emails quite that often (but many days, close to that), reading online articles, or something like laughing or smiling…I couldn’t think of anything. Then, I came across this infographic that informs me the average U.S. consumer checks his or her phone 150 times or more every day!

Mobile-Consumer-Psychology

That number was truly staggering to me at first. I just couldn’t believe that, even though my phone is used for both work and personal communication. Then, I calculated that that is just once every 9.6 minutes, and I realized that I just may be an above-average consumer!  Just for fun, tomorrow I am going to attempt to figure out what my number is, but in the meantime, I want to think about why consumers are so addicted to our mobile devices.

I think it would be very interesting to study the psychology of consumers. I think we would find a wealth of information about ourselves, with some being welcomed information and some being possibly slightly disturbing! I found a blog entitled, “Our Obsessive Relationship With Technology,” written by Professor of Psychology Dr. Larry Rosen. In this article, he states that he both loves to people watch and has studied the psychology of technology for more than three decades. Throughout these observations, he attests that we, as a society, have an obsession, not an addiction, to our smart devices. In his interesting blog, Rosen mentions that there is a relatively new phenomenon called FOMO, which stands for Fear of Mission Out. This, I think, is the crux of our mobile obsession. While I enjoy and appreciate the communication and information I gain from having my phone with me at all times, there still is a part of me that would love nothing more than to chuck my phone in the Ohio River to never been seen or heard again.

Please tell me I am not alone in this! Does anyone else struggle with loving instant communication and the ability to search any topic under the sun, but also sometimes wish we were not so “connected?”

Bethany

Mary Poppins’ Bag of Enchanted Objects: Voice Search Technology

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In 2016, one might think that the technology industry think tanks have hit the proverbial ceiling as far as smart technologies are concerned. That presumption would be completely the opposite of reality. In fact, it seems to me that the more developers delve into technological capabilities, the more possibilities they find! It reminds me of Mary Poppins’ magic bag in that new smart technology is being introduced and tweaked every single day. Just when I think there cannot possibly be a new invention or a basic item that has become smart or “enchanted,” I learn about something new and perhaps necessary for me to own!

While undoubtedly there are some misses – that shall remain nameless – on the grand enchanted objects list, there are just as many, if not more, hits that strike a chord with consumers. One such technology is voice command search applications. Our newest friends Siri, Cortana, Alexa, etc. have become somewhat essential to our lives. In recent months, I have utilized Siri for various search requests. Much of the time, I don’t use Siri simply because I’m not used to using that tool; however, I have made a conscious effort to use it as part of my research for the IMC course I am currently in. Overall, I have come to the realization that Siri is not my best friend yet; however, like a true friend, she tries to provide me with the help and information she thinks I am seeking. In reality, she frustrates me a good bit. As an example, very early this morning I asked Siri to set an alarm for me for 6 a.m., which she did without question, hiccup or issue. With such a smooth experience requesting this function earlier this morning, I again set it for 2:30 p.m.; however, this time, she tells me I do not have an alarm for that time. This was no news to me, as I was making an initial request to have an alarm set!

Eventually, Siri set the alarm properly, but I’m racking my brain wondering how I must have asked both requests differently in some way that she would be unable to interpret the same request I had earlier today. I’m still unsure what the confusion was, but it is clear to me that hiccups do exist in smart technology, such as voice command search. Since Siri’s introduction to consumers in 2011, many improvements have been made to better serve consumers, both from the Apple end to marketers who develop and create content online. I think it takes a team effort among technological developers, companies that have an online presence as well as the consumers ourselves to help distinguish what content we are seeking when we make voice searches.

I am sure in time voice search technology will be the most popular and useful way we seek information, as tweaks to the capabilities continue to be made. It will be interesting to see what technology creators are working on now and offer us in just a few, short years. Take a walk down memory lane at this Wavelink infographic showing a timeline of speech and voice recognition dating back to the year 1000 with the Brazen Head…wow!

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Bethany

The Small Pieces Make the Big Picture

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I have had a tough time thinking of a relatable topic to our lesson this week, which is about marketing campaigns in the general sense and our journeys as consumers in learning about new products or services. I guess I was getting too complicated in my thoughts, so I decided to take a step back. Then I asked myself what I thought makes or breaks a successful integrated marketing campaign. While I realize a great marketing mix is a combination of product, price, place and promotion, I think the key to successful marketing is the integration of it all. It is the connectivity or melding of every piece, which becomes better than the sum of its parts. It is in the combining of each marketing piece that makes the campaign successful. It forms a beautiful picture by incorporating each piece of the puzzle.

All the pieces of a multi-platform campaign form a type of a puzzle. Each complete puzzle must have the appropriate edge, side and middle pieces. Together, each piece has the exact fit that forms a unique puzzle. If even one of those pieces were either missing, duplicated or just a wrong fit, then the puzzle would be incomplete. Sure, as a consumer, you may still be able to see the vision and be affected positively by the puzzle/campaign, but it would have not met its full potential or impact.

I think successful campaigns must be relevant, consistent and convenient. I say relevant in terms of its target audience. If the message isn’t relevant, it can’t relate to the organization’s target audience. Consistency is also crucial in messaging across all platforms. Also, that message needs to go across multiple platforms in order to be convenient for consumers.

Today’s consumer requires quick, easily accessible information, from email to banking to news, and that includes branding marketing efforts. In a successful digital marketing campaign today, pieces of the puzzle would include:

Digital Platform Pieces:

  • Website
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Instagram
  • Pinterest
  • Snapchat
  • Vine
  • Blogs
  • SEO

Advertising Pieces:

  • Print
  • Direct Mail
  • Digital (pop-up, banner, etc.)
  • Television
  • Mobile
  • Email

Marketing Mix Pieces:

  • Customer
  • Cost
  • Convenience
  • Communication

It truly takes each of these pieces and many more that together create a puzzle that is unique, cohesive and tells a story. Take a look at this very long but highly informative Adweek infographic that may be beneficial in thinking on this topic.

launching marketing campaign 2016

Do you agree in my thoughts? What additional pieces would you incorporate into the campaign puzzle to make it more successful?

Bethany

The Deep Sea of IoT

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Hi everyone!

Let me start today’s blog by saying I certainly am glad this blog is more of a course/student blog. While I definitely do not or could not claim to be an expert or even well-versed on emerging media, I now know more than ever that the totality of the digital world that I am familiar with is miniscule to say the least!

After being introduced to the Internet of Things, commonly referred to as IoT, and enchanted objects this past week, I feel like a teeny starfish among an entire deep blue sea! It’s both intriguing and slightly startling at the same time as this topic itself is entirely new to me. In our course curriculum, we have conducted initial general research about IoT. After diving into the extensive world of IoT, I decided to take a step back to consider this topic from a more simplistic viewpoint. Take a look at this Xibor-g graphic. It helps depict a complicated idea into an easier-to-comprehend concept.

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The truth is that IoT can help make our lives easier and more streamlined. At least in theory, enchanted objects will literally help us work, play, even think in new ways that the technology we currently have and utilize on a daily basis can accomplish. Enchanted Objects author David Rose created what he dubs as the Periodic Table of Enchanted Objects, which demonstrates the possibility of where technology could and is heading in order to become more connected than we ever have been. As I stated earlier, this idea is both exciting and a tad staggering to think about.

EnchantedObjectsPoster

I’m curious to know which enchanted object you might be interested to see develop for your future use? It truly is an exciting time in the deep sea of IoT!

 

Bethany

Taking Over The Controller

 

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Remember when you were a kid, with essentially no cares in the world except the all-important video game match with your friends or neighbors after school? Whether it was a Nintendo, Sega, Wii or Xbox, we all wanted to be the one to hold that game controller and dare a friend to challenge us. We wanted to be the ones in control, no matter who our formidable opponents a.k.a. friends were.

Certainly, those were the days, weren’t they?! I cannot tell you the last time I even held a game controller of any kind. I wish that could be a main concern of mine today, but we all know that as we grow up, so do the concerns that take up our brains.

As I was thinking about this blog topic, I began thinking of how the digital world seems to take control of our lives. In theory, desktop computers, laptops, tablets, smartphones, and even smart watches are intended to make our lives a little easier by enabling us to find answers to our questions immediately so we don’t have to take extra time to seek information out in other ways (you know, through books, encyclopedias and publications). Yet, in my life, the online world seems to have gained control of me, especially regarding social media. Sometimes I just feel like a passenger when I log on to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and the like, merely reading, browsing and ‘liking’ photos and posts. Rarely will I post something myself.

After realizing this, I have determined it is time for me to take back that controller from my own social media accounts. It is not that I intend to create posts just for the fun of it; instead, I have realized I need to use my accounts to help brand myself. Article after article instills the fact that organizations must use emerging media platforms to help brand themselves. So, why do I not use these to benefit myself and promote my personal brand? What is my brand, you might ask? It certainly isn’t a cookie-cutter mold such as a retailer, non-profit or big corporation, but none of our own individual brands should be. It is in these posts, photos, videos, links, hashtags, etc. that help brand us. Social Media Examiner lists a few simple steps to help achieve this. It should be unique, sincere and accurately portray the essence of each of us. Use this Leverage New Media’s infographic as a quick reference guide as to what each platform’s capability is and the reason why it is important in the world we live in today.

I look forward to taking over my social media controller to discover my individual brand. Who knows – maybe soon my Twitter follower count will top 50?! I encourage you all to do the same, although you are most likely way ahead of me in the social media realm. Whether you already have the controller or are just starting to explore the expansive world of social media, your comment is more than welcome here! Tips, tricks, articles – anything on this topic – are much appreciated!

– Bethany

Digital Landscape: Changing and Engaging

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The focus of my next several blog posts will be on a variety of aspects of emerging media. How emerging media affects organizations, consumers and everyone in between is incredibly significant in the existing world in which we live. For the majority of us, the way we conduct ourselves, from our business to personal lives, has drastically changed in just the past few short years with the advent of this new buzz phrase “emerging media.” Essentially, emerging media deals with the way in which organizations communicate via digital technologies. Truly, the number of ways to communicate and interact increases and become more dynamic every single day. It is an ever-changing and ever-growing phenomenon that we have not merely embraced but have determined to be a necessary mainstay in our society today. It is an exciting time for both consumers and organizations, and it will be fascinating to see and be part of the digital evolution as we see it unfold and change shape constantly.

I love an infographic, and I found this one that demonstrates the digital changes from 2000-2011. Honestly, this info, although on a few years old, is amazingly out of date simply due to the rate at which the digital landscape endlessly changes.

Infographic 1

With emerging media technologies, engagement is the key word, in my opinion. Take a look at this AdAge article for some great insight regarding the direction marketers should be heading toward, especially if they aren’t already. I look forward to delving into this topic together throughout the next several weeks!

– Bethany

Kaleidoscope Epiphany

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Kaleidoscope Epiphany

Kaleidoscope Realization

When I was originally pouring over the general topic of my newly created blog that encompasses my personal and professional being, I have to admit, I found it to be a terribly difficult task. I thought to myself how odd that fact was, but it really was not easy to put the essence of me in a bubble that fully showed what I am all about at a glance. Maybe this means I am complicated, or rather, complex, in that there are so many things that do make up who I am and that that is was made it so hard to sum it up in one short blog name and topic even. I eventually settled It’s Positively Social because I try to be a half-glass-full-kind-of-girl, and I would like to believe that I shine a light to others and generously help others when I can even when it means I have to sacrifice something. I know that sometimes I may get off track with that – especially when I’ve got a to-do list a million miles long – but I have resolved to make a renewed effort in this because I don’t want to look back on my life only to realize I could have shown this friend or that stranger compassion and love. Maybe in a future blog I will expound on this, so stay tuned :).

The truth is that we all are complicated in our own right, and that includes me. There are many, MANY facets to me and all the lovely and sometimes not-so-lovely pieces of me, including my personality traits, activities, interests, passions, thoughts, feelings, actions, and the list goes on and on….and…on :).  In fact, I couldn’t even settle on just one kaleidoscope photo for this post – I had to pick three!

What’s great about this is that the digital world we live in is just as complicated as I am, and it has so many facets to it that can utilized to speak to as unique an audience as ever before. And the list of social media platforms continues to grow about every time check our email!

Applying my Kaleidoscope Theory Professionally

As for me in terms of thinking as a journalism professional – in whatever position I find myself – these complicated yet dynamic similarities in both me and in social media will only prove beneficial for me. Since before even deciding to go back to school for my master’s, I have wrestled with my thoughts (as I often tend to do).  I have wondered if this extra schooling in this specialty will really help in securing and flourishing in future jobs. I not only want this new, fancy degree to look great in my portfolio, but I want it to be applicable as well. I also wondered if someone will hire someone like me who is not the spring chicken I once was but who is a chick who has gained tons of great experience in my early career years. When I graduated with my PR degree, I was immediately hired by a PR firm, which turned out to be nothing short of an amazing dream of a job. “Trial by fire” is the loving and daunting term I believe they called the professional life of a PR agency employee, which is that and then some! I am realizing that loving my job there was probably in part due to the kaleidoscope that is me. I very rarely really worked on just one project at a time. Some days, I probably touched eight or so projects and corresponded with at least a dozen clients. I loved every minute of it, and I feel like I gained at least 15 years’ worth of tremendous knowledge just in working with such wonderful, experienced, knowledgeable PR, advertising, creative and interactive professionals in my six years there. At this point, I must sound like a rather elderly individual J While I’ve often been called an ‘old soul’, it isn’t like I’m coming out of retirement to rejoin the workforce. And, under no circumstances am I going to reveal my age here or anything crazy like that :). But realistically speaking, there are plenty of young, talented, more recent graduates who may appear to be a better candidate than I may appear. Then, I realize that I, in fact, have a Franklin Covey tote crammed with benefits to offer an organization. I’m armed with my journalism-related experiences as well as non-journalism ones. I have my personal experiences, and my viewpoint on many topics that have developed over time. I have a sense of self that I may not have had when I was first out of college. I do have plenty to offer after all! So, this is the thought I continue to grapple with, and I think that with time, I will come into my own in this regard more.

In addition to these things that I have come to realize I can offer to others, I have – through my first New Media Studies graduate course – indirectly learned that I can apply all my experiences to these platforms in my professional life. In fact, I believe that having this kaleidoscope of things that make up me tremendously benefits me professionally in determining when and how to appropriately and most successfully maximize social media tools. AND…knowing that fact makes me a viable candidate for any future job position I could ever want. So, no more wondering or worrying about my viability…ready for new chapters, opportunities, and experiences! They all will be welcomed with open arms and will become part of the kaleidoscope that makes up me – every part of me. Just as the digital world is ever changing, so is the makeup of my own kaleidoscope pattern.

Discover Your Kaleidoscope

If you have stumbled upon this blog, I encourage you to take an inward look to find the essence of you and determine the makeup of your kaleidoscope. Simply reading the definition of it may inspire you: http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/kaleidoscope. I hope you will comment below or share your thoughts via your favorite platform: Facebook, Twitter, or even this blog?! I would love to hear your thoughts.

The Edge of Enchantment

Professor J’s Book Club
By Bethany Ross

The Edge of Enchantment

Recently, I was able to join a book club, which is something I have never done before. I have always secretly wanted to be one of those people who loves nothing more than finding that perfect book that seems extremely interesting to me and who is just waiting for that perfect rainy, chilly day to curl up with a blanket and coffee and immerse myself in said book. Sadly, I’m still waiting to become that person, but I have hope today because I – in fact – did get to read a book recently that I really enjoyed reading.

Enchantment-Cover

Guy’s Enchantment
I picked up a book by Guy Kawasaki called, “Enchantment: The Art of Changing Hearts, Minds and Actions.” This book is enchanting in itself, which tells me that this guy (pun intended) truly knows what he is trying to convey. The best way I can explain what enchantment means is the art of transforming one ordinary situation into an extraordinary one through small but very effective ways. His exact explanation is “the process of delighting people with a product, service, organization or idea.” Simply and honestly, smiling with our whole face is one way to transform this experience. It sounds so simple, yet when I take time to think about that, I realized that there are many times I could have done this incredibly simple task that could have made those missed moments enchanting.

There are so many seemingly simple concepts we can maximize to help create enchantment, and truly, most of these are ideas that we can and should use throughout our everyday lives. As I said, this book itself is enchanting, and I am enchanted by the author Guy Kawasaki, so I am convinced he is seriously onto something with this idea!

My Enchantment
My personal takeaway is to make an effort to effective transform everyday situations into enchanting experiences that make our day/the world just a little brighter. This may sound simple and abstract, but truly it all ties into all aspects of our lives, including personal and professional. We only have one life, and with so many of our professions, these two can become intertwined without effort!

Become Enchanting
I encourage you to pick this book up. It is such an easy read, and that is coming from a wannabe bookworm! Let it transform the way you act and interact with others. I plan on reading this book again soon. I am certain I will learn more by reading it again and thinking of even more ways to apply it to my life. I encourage you to help make the world one ray of sunshine brighter by transforming the ordinary to extraordinary. I guarantee it will benefit you just as much as others.

I would love to hear what books encourage and inspire you! Feel free to share with me as well as others books or authors that you love. Maybe there is hope for me to become a bookworm yet!

P.S. – For the non-bookworms out there, you can find interesting and inspirational books at your local bookstore, Amazon or your local library (mine is Cabell County Public Library) ☺