Yes, your craft beer is awesome, but talk about something else on social media

Small businesses all over the world are using social media (primarily Facebook and Twitter) to market their business’ product or service and connect with customers, as my first post demonstrated with the seven craft breweries in Chicago: Dry Hop, Atlas Brewing, Finch’s Beer Company, Pipeworks Brewing Company, Revolution Brewing, Haymarket and Begyle Brewing Co. As much research demonstrates, small businesses, often with tight budgets that leave little to no room for advertising, can benefit greatly from using social media correctly as “cashless promotional campaigns” (Kaikati, A., and Kaikati, M. 47).

The problem is that research and usage also show that many small businesses do not have a plan in place for how and why they are using the social media tool, as Sam Dickey recommends as part of his tips in “Small Business Lessons: Getting the basics down” (22). This plan not only includes knowing which channels you want to promote yourself through, but also who you are marketing to, what exactly you are marketing, how you will attract followers, the image you want to create for the brand, and the type of content you will make.

For every small business, the type of content you put out on social media can have a major impact, both positive and negative. So, it is important to “add value” to any conversations, whether started or continued, that you participate in (Lacho and Marinello 132). And, just as no one likes to talk to someone who only brags about themselves, no one likes it interact with a company via social media if it’s all about them and there is no mutual benefit.

The last post I made pointed out that one of the challenges for small businesses is generating content, especially this content that is not promotional of just your own business and views. Such original and promotional content – expressing one’s one views only and promoting only the company’s services, other social media platforms, products, etc. – offers little benefit to anyone but the company, and it surely does not encourage users of social media to engage with the business. It’s therefore important that small businesses engage with users and others in the industry with a mix of content types, including promoting content other than their own, or what I will call “outside content.” Continue reading

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Celebrity Backstage Personas on Twitter: Performance Art or Artifice?

On June 4, 2013, Justin Bieber made Twitter history by becoming the first person to accrue 40 million followers on Twitter.  Like or dislike Bieber’s brand, his milestone is actually the envy and goal of the celebrity Twitterverse, and due largely in part to his construction of his backstage persona on Twitter . Continue reading

How to Market Your Nonprofit through Social Media: The Basics

Social media participation is a crucial tactic for nonprofit organizations as part of their communication and marketing strategy. As a low cost marketing option, a nonprofit organization’s participation on social media platforms can result in greater exposure to a target audience, increased fundraising, and relationship building with audiences. While many nonprofit organizations have limited funds to devote to paid advertisements and additional staff, by developing and implementing a social media strategy, the organization can market to and engage the public effectively without using higher-cost advertising.* This post will address how a nonprofit can establish a social media presence as well as suggested messaging and a few basic tactics for nonprofits using social media.

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Interested in starting a social media campaign for your small business? Read this first.

In this day and age, a website is not enough for a web presence. In addition to websites, there are now social networks available to connect small businesses with customers. According to Georgieva, social networks have the ability to reach over 50 million customers Facebook is recommended for personal profiles, groups and pages. LinkedIn is a professional network that connects new people, consumers and companies. Twitter is a social network for exchanging short messages and YouTube publishes videos. For entrepreneurs and small businesses, social media platforms can be used as a vehicle for communicating with their targeted customer groups (Zauner, 2012).

According to Georgieva, social networks have the ability to reach over 50 million customers (Pencheva and Georgieva, 2012). Advertising campaigns shows that Facebook is probably the most effective online advertising media for most business segments globally. Facebook has over 500 million consumers, while Twitter has 85 million. Additionally, YouTube is second behind Google for web searches (Pencheva and Georgieva, 2012).Social Media can be called a strategy and an outlet for broadcasting while social networking is a tool and a utility for connecting with others (Edosomwam, 2011).

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Social Media and Sports: A Winning Combination?

Don’t look now, but Facebook and the playbook, and Twitter and the designated hitter, may have more in common than you think. In other words, social media is affecting the business of sports and sports journalism. To what degree is sports impacted by the emergence of social media? This question is difficult to answer completely because the concept of social media in sports is evolving and there has not yet been time devoted to conduct comprehensive research with definitive results. This theme was mentioned in several of the articles I researched and reaffirmed in an email I received from Jimmy Sanderson, a professor at Clemson University and author of Its’ a Whole New Ballgame: How Social Media is Changing Sports.

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Athletes and Social Media

There is no shortage of stories regarding athletes and social media. Many fans follow their favorite athletes (college and professional). Approximately 19% of internet users in the United States are sports fans. (Phua 109) The surge of popularity of social media has caused many popular college and professional athletes to create accounts. For the most part, the media, educational institutions, and other professional organizations struggle with how to handle the issues that arise when it comes to athletes and their social media accounts. Continue reading