Social Media

By Michelle Hyland

What is social media?  The majority of people think of Facebook, MySpace, Twitter and LinkedIn when they think of social media.  However social media is much more than that.  Today, social media also refers to networking sites that include Flickr, YouTube, Tumblr, Commerce communities (such as Amazon and Craigslist), social bookmarking (such as Digg and Reddit) and collaborative projects such as Wikipedia.  Social media is everywhere and you can take it anywhere, allowing people to stay connected no matter where in the world they are.

Social media is bringing the power back to the consumer!  An important aspect of social media is that companies no longer are the sole generators of brand communication toward consumers.  Instead consumers are sharing brand messages and advertisements, changing the cost and control of marketing.  The internet allows for positive and negative marketing without company control over the content because consumers are free to share their opinions and thoughts online.  90% of consumers trust peer recommendations while only 14% trust advertisements.  Making it important for companies to monitor what consumers are saying about their brands because consumers opinions matter more than ever before.

Today companies do not have a choice whether they will participate in social media or not. This is why companies have to be ahead of their consumers by shaping conversations about their brands and inviting consumer feedback.  Companies are shaping conversations by creating venues online for consumers to gather information and provide feedback, such as a company Facebook page.  The advantage is being able to have a specific place consumers can go when they have opinions, whether positive or negative, making it much easier for companies to monitor.  This allows companies to respond to questions and concerns in a timely fashion while meeting consumer demands about their product or service.

By Michelle Hyland

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It’s all about the experience- Direct Marketing

Lindsey Anderson

Twitter: @LindseyJoyA


With a focus on direct marketing this week, it got me thinking of direct marketing techniques that influence myself. I can admit that I’m a sucker for marketing techniques that unconsciously make me build a relationship with certain companies. It’s as simple as the daily sample section at Trader Joe’s that motivates me to shop there over other stores to see what new foods or wines they’re testing. It really makes me think, why don’t other stores do this more often? It’s all about the experience from a consumer standpoint.

Lately, marketing on Facebook really seals the deal to whether or not I’m going to try out a new place/company or go back to a place I’ve already been. I love to see pictures of events places have hosted, new products they’re promoting, or simply pictures of the location. It allows me visualize what I would experience if I went there- regardless of what they sell or if their products are even good. If I want to try a new place for happy hour or test a new local restaurant, I always check their Facebook first- and that’s where what I’ve learned this week in MKTG 420 comes into play. Take Deschutes Brewery, for example:


The photos above are what they have posted on Facebook lately. I love their beer, but these photo updates on a daily/weekly basis that pop up on my news feed is a constant reminder to check in on what’s going on at their brewery in Bend and Portland. It also makes their company seem both personable and lively while making me feel like I’m missing out..

I can’t say that telemarketing, e-mails, or direct mail work for me. To telemarketers, I always say I’m not interested and I always dispose of mail I get. But, I can clearly say I’m guilty of good Facebook marketing. Lately, I’ve loved how companies directly involve their customers on Facebook. Deschutes Brewery motivates their customers to post crafty pictures of their experience while consuming their product. Customers have submitted the following photos in hopes of being named “Fan photo of the month”:

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How can this not make you want to sip on a Deschutes beer?

How can this not make you want to sip on a Deschutes beer?

Deschutes gets their customers involved with the incentive being “Fan photo of the month”, promotes their products without much effort on their part, and makes myself want to submit a photo or buy their product all at the same time. It also makes me want to buy a pack of their product before hitting the slopes or heading to the river.

If your on Facebook, you’ve probably realized that they aren’t the only company to reach out this way to consumers. Companies are constantly telling Facebook users to “Tell us what you think!” or posting that “the 1000’th ‘like’ gets a 50$ gift card.” This type of social media marketing makes the consumer feel good about buying from the company, involved by sharing experiences or giving feedback, and makes them feel apart of a culture or group. I’m curious to know whether or not this type of marketing works on others as much as it does to me. What do you all think? Does any other companies come to mind that unconsciously get’s you in the door to buy their product?

If you’d like to know more about Deschutes Brewery and be even more compelled to go to their brewery and see what the hypes all about, check out this video below. The history and perspectives from customers is also something to take to heart!



How to be Successful With Social Media- Zach Swan


Social Media is essential for businesses to interact with customers through comments, likes, shares, and tweets. Just like any other marketing plan, social media is a tool and in order to be used effectively it must be implemented tactfully. Here are some simple tips to make social media a successful marketing platform.

It’s Not Magic

Social media is not magic, nor is it a project that can go untouched. Creating a Facebook page and leaving it won’t make business boom the next day. Social media must be worked on every day to maximize communication. Most companies have teams of social media professionals to monitor their activity daily. Interaction with customers is the main idea behind social media, so make sure to post pictures, Vines, and Instagrams daily in order to spark some attention.

No Comment Left Behind

No matter how insulting the comment may be towards your business, negative comments must be addressed. It is important to establish a strong customer service appearance on social media so customers will return despite their bad experience.

Even a positive comment should receive a reply. These comments don’t need to be long just a simple “Glad you had a great experience with us!” does the trick.

Blog, Blog, Blog

Blogs are important because they give the customers the reviews they crave, which could solidify a sale. Pick a theme that matches your company’s product and blog about the latest trends, activities or anything related. For example, Coca-Cola has a successful blog because they use current ‘conversations’ as they call it to connect current news to their product. They used national donut day as an opportunity to make a campaign about Coca-Cola and donuts.

Different Platforms, Different Tools

The last tip is to remember that the different social media sites, need to be treated differently. For example, Twitter can have more posts than Facebook. Also, LinkedIn should be used in a professional manner to the other sites.

Oreo, is an example of a successful Facebook campaign because they create catchy photos and slogans to draw in customers.

Social Media is a cheap, easy way to help promote your business. If used correctly, your business is sure to become more successful.

-Zach Swan