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5 Social Media Tips to Begin 2015

January 6, 2015

By: Austin Ambrose, @tex_ambrose7

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Starting a new year allows for the chance to start fresh, and there is no reason this shouldn’t apply to your social media life too. Now is a perfect time to rethink your media strategy, and make some changes for the year ahead. With a little time and effort, you can have a completely revamped and improved plan for 2015.

Evan Lepage, a blogger for Hootsuite, discussed five tips for social media renovations. Taking from Lepage’s discussion, I’ll add some personal experiences of my own to bring the discussion closer to home.

1. Declutter and Drop the Weight

  • There are times when you scroll through your news feed on the accounts you manage, or maybe your own, and realize that you have no idea why you follow some r accounts. Drop that weight. Stop cluttering your feed with people who aren’t aligning with your goals, or who aren’t supplying the information you are looking for. Get rid of them, and move on. Also, cancel those accounts that you never use. If you aren’t updating that Google+ you made when you signed up for Gmail, end it. People shouldn’t find that and follow it, if you are never going to update anything on it.

2. Set Realistic Goals

  • Be smart about what you plan to achieve this year with your social media accounts. Don’t get your hopes up, saying you are going to gain 100 organic new followers on Instagram in a month. Chances are this probably won’t happen. I know that I have created goals for one of my accounts to post every other day on a Facebook page, and have 5 new likes in two months. Since education reform is a narrower interest group, I knew not to expect a lot, but hopefully gain some new followers.

3. Build a Follow List

  • While you are setting your goals, it might be a good idea to think about what information you hope to receive from your accounts. Once you know what you are looking for from your account, find new accounts that will provide you with that information. Don’t follow the people that retweet the information, follow the people who are first to send it out. Make a list of these people, and know who to look for to increase your effectiveness.

4. Update Profiles

  • Not having an updated profile is a real buzz kill. People are looking to learn more about you, but if you never update that Linkedin, then it becomes difficult. And yes, people still check Facebook, so make sure that is updated as well. Even if you don’t use it, have it up-to-date, or get rid of it.

5. Learn, Learn, Learn

  • Social media could be described as the fastest changing medium. New platforms are created all the time. It’s important to know what the hottest new app is and how the old ones have evolved. Stay current and do your homework. Make an effort to learn as much as you can about the sites you use and how they are changing. Also, make it a point to be on the look out for what is up and coming. You don’t want to be the last one to the rodeo.

Tumblr: Less is more

December 31, 2014

By: Gabrielle Gamad, @gabbygamad

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While procrastinating in the library, I discovered why one social media site is taking the field. Archive after archive, I began to see an abundance of things Tumblr did better than the more popular social media platforms.

For starters, Tumblr hits the hard-to-reach demographic, teen to twenty-something year olds. According to the Business Insider, GlobalWebIndex’s survey reported that 34 million Internet users, globally, said that they contribute to, or use Tumblr on a monthly basis. Nearly half, 46%, of these users were between the ages of 16 and 24. Tumblr appeals to this age group by keeping posts simple.

I can confidently say a majority of my newsfeed is Parks and Recreation memes (usually Leslie Knope inspirational quotes), dancing babies from Vine and GIFs from old 90’s movies. Under all the fluff of my favorite memes and GIFs is something every person interested in PR can take away. Going into 2015, people in PR should consider that sometimes less is more when trying to target the 16 to 24 age group.

Hear about “The Woman and Black 2” coming to theaters January 2nd? There’s a GIF for that. What about the Hawaii vacation give away contest St. Ives is promoting? Yeah, there’s a GIF for that too. Instead of watching a three minute movie trailer, there is a couple of highlights from the movie, conveniently located to the right of your newsfeed. Also, a picture of two sandy feet in the ocean is a lot more appealing than a list of reasons why you should pay attention to St. Ives. We live in a fast paced world where advertisements are long and attention spans are short. Quick GIFs and images gets advertiser’s point across without wasting the time of their audience.

Scroll through Tumblr, you can immediately see there is an array of multimedia content that appeals to our microscopic attention spans, keeping posts short, sweet and to the point. Tumblr is similar to Twitter and Instagram in the way they distribute their content. What sets Tumblr’s apart is the ability to have multimedia, and various other mediums, on a newsfeed. Instagram is strictly pictures or videos, and Twitter is 140 character posts and pictures. Tumblr is all media you need concentrated into one area.

Tumblr began utilizing their unique multimedia abilities when native, sponsored posts were created in Spring 2013. Since then, they have been revolutionizing the way companies are promoting themselves and engaging with consumers. An example of the paid advertisers Tumblr has is the telecommunication company, AT&T.

AT&T is currently on a journey to look at the way humans are evolving and connecting through mobile devices, which they call, The Mobile Movement. Anyone can track their journey on AT&T’s Tumblr. Students, artists, innovators and every day people can share their stories about their networked life through customer created GIFs, making it personal and relatable. AT&T is connecting with their customers in a way that no one else is.

Even their sponsored post is simple, a text bubble that reads “when you know what you want call me.” AT&T is bringing life to their brand by using reblogs, GIFs and memes to connect with their customers personal loves and experiences. That is the most significant difference between Tumblr, Twitter and Instagram. Tumblr has the ability to bring people together through experiences and human insights.

Those in the PR field should begin prioritizing Tumblr as a primary social media platform, maybe even more than Twitter and Instagram. Tumblr is quickly increasing the number of companies they are sponsoring, as they continue to revolutionize the way companies engage with young consumers. When it comes to targeting young consumers, Tumblr proves that simple multimedia posts are most appealing.

Four Easy Tricks to Up Your Insta-Game

December 24, 2014

By: Alicia Collins, @aliciacollins_

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In today’s society, the amount of Instagram followers a person has relates directly to the value of that person. This may be an exaggeration. In the public relations field, the number of Instagram followers your account holds will not hinder your success. That’s because the average Instagram user spends upwards of 275 minutes a month consuming the popular social media site’s content.

If you’re like me, however, you could spend 275 minutes scrolling through your feed in just mere days. For us ‘insta-addicts’ and wannabe publicists, increasing our follower count can be a daunting and timely task, especially when you’re not a Kardashian, (or Jenner), with millions of followers. To assist those looking to increase their following, here are a few tips and tricks compiled from expert Instagrammers and a recent study.

1. Expert Instagrammers agree, aesthetics matter.

Amy Stone (@amy_stone), global community manager of Gap clothing stores, with over 116K followers, told Marie Claire Online that color palette, subject matter, and mood all contribute to making your feed appear more cohesive. She is attracted to cooler hues in her posts, making her individual photos stick out while also making her feed as a whole encouraging you to press follow.

2. Contrary to popular belief, the time of day you post a photo does not matter.

According to a study released by Piquora, a social media analytics tracking company, the time of day does not necessarily impact the amount of likes or comments one receives on a photo, however, the day of the week does. The study found Thursday as the most popular day to post and Sunday as the most effective. Interactions on photos were found to be the great on Sunday.

3. Use hashtags.

Some may presume the usage of multiple hashtags on one photo to be a bit much, but researchers disagree, finding surprising results. According to Piquora’s study, larger Instagram accounts, with over 1,000 followers, receive an average of 21.21 interactions per photo. On the other hand, Instagrammers with less than 1,000 followers that post a photo with eleven hashtags received an average of 77.66 interactions.

4. When choosing a filter, choose Mayfair.

The most popular Instagram hashtag and filter is undoubtedly “#nofilter.” Research showed that going without a filter may not be the best choice. Filters are not only my personal favorite attribute of one of the most popular social media apps, but they are what make Instagram unique. On average photos using the Mayfair filter receive 23.044 interactions, while photos without a filter only receive roughly 18 interactions.

Athens Boutiques Get Social With Their Media

November 6, 2014

By: Corina Rolko @corinarolko 

Athens is widely known for being home to Ohio University and its popular annual festivals, but many are finding that the gorgeous brick streets also boast modern and unique fashion boutiques. Uptown Athens has a wide array of shops, but a few have boosted their popularity through a strong social media presence.

kismetFigleaf Boutique, a women’s clothing store on North Court Street, has a fan base of almost 4,500 people who view their daily posts. The shop mixes media with photos, look books and simple sale announcements to entice customers to stop in and shop their regularly changing selection. To engage with customers, they also host giveaway contests on their Instagram, Facebook and Twitter – creating a fun and fashionable environment online.

Just up the street from Figleaf, Artifacts Gallery uses colorful graphics, enthusiastic tones and infuses humor into their social media. Their Facebook page has over 600 fans and their photo-driven approach engages customers and brings them into the story. They also have a Twitter account where they showcase photos and important sale information.

Screenshot_2014-11-06-14-28-54Kismet, a newcomer to the Athens fashion scene, is a women’s and men’s clothing, accessory and home goods boutique located on West Union Street. Kismet has taken off on social media with Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and Instagram accounts that are constantly engaged with customers. Their Twitter page has a following of almost 500, and they consistently post links to their blog where readers can learn about the newest trends and see new pieces in the store. Their Instagram account shows pictures of pieces to draw in customers and promotes contests that give followers chances to win gift cards or unique items from the store. The different platforms could easily become overwhelming, but instead of posting the same information and photos, they work together to promote events and sales in different and innovative ways. For a sidewalk sale in April, their Facebook account ran an announcement in the morning, while their Twitter account posted a photo of the set up and the Instagram account posted a photo of new bracelets that were available for purchase.

In a town where the target market is college students attached to their smart phones, fashion boutiques have to be smart in using social media if they want a free and effective way to bring in new and returning customers. While the fashion selection in Athens continues to grow and expand, its certain that the social media presence of each business will become more and more important in marketing efforts.

 

Instagram: Pro-Private vs. Pro-Public

September 5, 2014

By: Kelsey Miller @Kelsey_65

instagramIt’s the debate of the century: should I keep my Instagram private? This question may be tossed around for generations to come, but I am a true believer in keeping it public, no matter your career profession. My only exception to this belief is if you are under the age of eighteen, simply because you are a minor and probably aren’t pursuing a career.

Go Public

Although Instagram is the main focus, ALL social media accounts should be kept public (unless you’re inappropriate on those accounts). Many pro-public people believe in the power of feeling as though they can be free and uncensored to say and post anything they like without any consequences because they approve who can and cannot see their posts on Insta. Trust me, I see where these people are coming from, but I always find myself thinking that the generation before us was able to survive without showing everyone and their sister (whom they would approve) to look at pictures that would otherwise be embarrassing to show a potential employer.

Our industry in particular is very social. As future PR professionals, we must sell our image and knowledge as to how we want to be presented. If you want to be hired as a representative for a specific agency or brand, you;re a full-time worker in the way that you are portrayed online. No one wants to be judged, but the harsh reality is that we live in a judgmental society.

Pro-private Instagrammers feel that because Instagram isn’t considered a blog or micro-blog such as Facebook or Twitter, it slips under the radar and can remain private without scrutiny. This may be true with some employers, but most people should count on PR and ad agencies to be social media savvy enough to think to do their research on all social media outlets they have. When an employer sees that all of your outlets are private, they will automatically assume you have something to hide. If you have kept all of your outlets public except your Instagram, they will be just as suspicious. The sheer morbid curiosity of what a private Instagram account holds makes most employers pretty apprehensive. Those employers have been through college, but they don’t have public proof of it online…

If you are embarrassed of the pictures on your Instagram account, then you probably shouldn’t have posted them in the first place. If you aren’t embarrassed about what you have posted but feel that a potential employer may not approve, then that job wasn’t meant for you anyway. You want an employer that likes you for your personality and your work. There will be employers that have no problems with pictures that other employers may cringe at the sight of. Although if they are interviewing you for a job or internship and are a good fit for their company, it is also up to you to do a little interviewing for yourself to see if that company or agency is a good match for you as well.

Don’t sweat about the social media accounts, whether you are pro-public or pro-private. I know that there have been pro-privates that get the job over pro-publics. Do yourself a favor though, pro-privaters,, and think about going public even if it is only for a week. Does that make you feel embarrassed? If it does, then maybe you should rethink what you post. If you aren’t embarrassed in the least, then what is there to hide? The ultimate decision Is yours.

How to be #instagood

June 25, 2014

By: Angela Keane @angela_keane

TRENDInstagram is growing quickly and hasn’t shown any sign of slowing down. There are about 200 million monthly active users and more than 75 million daily Instagram users. Although the app is pretty straight-forward, most users won’t attract thousands of followers. Many users simply don’t know how to optimize Instagram to the best of their ability but I have a few tips and tricks to get you there.

Connect your Instagram with Facebook

A few months ago Facebook bought Instagram for a billion dollars and now it’s easier to integrate your photos into Facebook. Having your Facebook account connected to your Instagram opens you up to all your Facebook followers who see your photos and are more likely to follow you on Instagram. Here’s a hint, Instagram allows you to auto-follow or “follow all” of your Facebook friends!

Think of quality not quantity

Do not post more than five times a day. People get annoyed when someone is taking up their entire newsfeed. When taking photos with your Instagram, pay attention to angles and where you are placing the camera. Use filters! That is why Instagram became so popular so fast. Filters give each photo an inspirational or memorable appeal and people will be more likely to engage with your photo.

Hashtag, Hashtag, Hashtag

Use hashtags to your advantage but don’t be excessive and post more than two or three per insta-photo. It is important to always use relevant hashtags because people use it to search for interesting photos. *Note: General hashtags receive more views

Engage with your followers

Don’t treat Instagram as a one way communication tool. Treat others the way you’d like to be treated. If you want to get a lot of likes, comments and followers you should be engaging with your followers. Like and follow other users to gain a following. Be active. The more active you are, the more exposure you will get and more potential to gain more followers.

Combine multiple photos

These type of Instagram posts can tell a story. Use apps like PicStitch or Instasize to combine photos to make it more engaging. Make sure it is a great picture/story – good content is key!

Taking Over Selfies, One Brand at a Time

June 19, 2014 2 Comments

By: Megan Newton @_megannewton

Instagram – an app so popular it manages to obtain 150 million active users and even score itself a reference in the hit song “#SELFIE”.

To this day, over 16 billion photos have been uploaded to Instagram. With an average of 55 million uploads each day, sure it’s a lot of selfies – but it also means a lot of money for brands that use the extremely fast-growing social network.

Before we get into the business of things, I’m going to ask for some reader participation here. Ready?! Take the time to say “one-Mississippi” out loud. Okay, go! —– In the time it took you to say those short two words (approximately one second), 8500 likes and 1000 comments occurred on Instagram – contributing to the overall total of 1.2 billion likes per day.

According to statistics, as of December 2013, 17% of all online adults are on Instagram – comparing with 18% who use Twitter, 21% who use Pinterest and 22% who use LinkedIn.

With 43% of accounts posting photos/videos more than once a day, the ability to connect brands and audiences is becoming a reality. Many find it simple to understand the popularity of Instagram for personal use but fail to understand the significance of the app for brands and businesses. This graph shows a quick and easy to understand representation of the industries who have decided to adopt Instagram into their social media strategies and marketing plans.

instagram satsAs the popularity of Instagram grows for personal accounts, it also does for brands and companies. Brands post an average of 5.5 times a week, allowing a perfect amount of engagement that is active, but not too overwhelming for followers and fans. According to the stats, 67% of the world’s largest brands now use Instagram. Most brands choose to stick with Instagram’s original purpose – photos. Only 4% of content is composed of videos.

In terms of connecting with their audiences, only 14% of brands were found to be including User Generated Content. If you want to highlight your customers as your audience, find more ways to incorporate UGC into your posts.

So brands, if you aren’t already using Instagram as a part of your PR plan, it’s definitely time to start considering it. You’d be surprised how easy it is to connect with your audience and should be willing to jump at every chance you get to do so.

Instagram: To be Professional or Not to Be

May 22, 2014 2 Comments

By: Morgan Peterson @mopeeeezy

instagramWith summer in full swing, I know everyone is happy to get a little loose, and with this comes a surge of Instagram photos to document the fun times. Just like the average college kid, I have a lot of trouble trying to distinguish what is appropriate to post on my Instagram and what is not. To me many of these lines are blurred, making it hard to separate the two especially working within Public Relations. The battle with being authentic is where many people get into trouble. Even though social media is for you to express yourself, sometimes every moment isn’t “shareable” on the Internet. Here are a few tips on how to manage your instagram personally and professionally.

Define Your Personal Brand

Your personal brand is what people are going to know you by when they see you on the Internet, so be cautious but yourself. Everyone’s personal brand is different, so once you know what yours is, it’ll be easier to know what’s appropriate for Instagram. Instagram pictures help make and enhance your personal brand. Remember, just because someone else posts something that you don’t agree with doesn’t necessarily mean it’s wrong, that might simply be how he or she wants to be portrayed.

If you don’t want your Mom to see it, don’t post it

I think this is a really good rule of thumb. Essentially you want to post things that you want to be known for. So if you don’t want to be known as a party girl, don’t post pictures of you always at a bar. I know sometimes that can hard considering a lot of Ohio University social life is centered around Court Street and fest season. You want to post a picture of you having a good time, but it’s not always the right thing to do. If you feel like you could be hindering yourself from getting a job or internship then don’t take the risk. Another option is to just make your Instagram private.

Show your work

Instagram is a great tool to show others what you’re working on! Lifestyle pictures are great but also try using Instagram as a marketing tool to show people your talents. For example, one of my friends is an artist and all they use instagram for is to promote their artwork. This shows companies that you’re serious about what you do, and you made it easy for them to view it.

Be yourself!

Be mindful of things that you post on the Internet, but at the end of the day the right job or internship will find you. If you feel like you can’t be professional and personal on Instagram, then that might not be the right platform for you to use. If you feel like you’re too scared or restricted on Instagram, then try and find a platform that fits you where you feel like you can be yourself while being professional.

Hope some of these tips help! Happy posting!

Measuring Instagram with these Analytics Tools

May 13, 2014 2 Comments

By: Gentry Bennett @Gen__andTonic.

There are many options for measuring Instagram analytics. Since Instagram doesn’t have an in-app analytics system, multiple third-party programs can give you the information you need.

Iconosquare, formerly Statigram

A free, web-based site for measuring Instagram analytics, Iconosquare is leading the way for data concerning the popular photo and video sharing app. What started out as a site called Statigram, now has users such as Coca-Cola, Victoria’s Secret and Starbucks. Not only does it tell you the best times to post to your followers, but also tracks which filters get the most interaction, which hashtags have been most beneficial, the common times and days you post and much more.

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Just Unfollow

What seems to be a run-of-the-mill followers app, Just Unfollow is much more. As a mobile app you can view your updated information nearly anywhere, and it gives more information than who isn’t a part of #TeamFollowBack. With the new launch of their admirers section, you can see the users who interact with you the most. You can also view your “fans” (those who you don’t follow back), and it has a handy friend-check feature to easily view your relationship with another user.

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SimplyMeasured

Another web-based site, SimplyMeasured gives top-notch graphs and charts. While Iconosquare is mostly about content and community, SimplyMeasured is all about engagement. Some of its most unique features are tracking engagement of the photos you shared to Twitter and Facebook, top cities you’ve posted from, top keywords and the best time to post for engagement. You can get a free trial and then look in to plans and pricing

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Followers+

Found in the App Store, Followers+ is free to download. Basic data scrolls across the screen when you first log in, and a statistics button leads to two different packs being available. Both are in-app purchases of 99 cents. The Engagement Pack shows your followers, comments and likes analysis. The Insights Pack shows who is posting relative to your location, who is new to Instagram and more. Both packs are worth the cost if you want to have mobile access to the data they provide.

Followers+

No matter which program you use for measuring Instagram analytics, it’s easy to see the benefits Instagram can have for your brand. As a top app with almost entirely mobile-based users, Instagram brings a lot of potential for any user.

 

A Lesson from Warby Parker: How to Use Instagram Effectively

April 22, 2014 2 Comments

Warby Parker is an amazing eye-glass company that sells unique and stylish frames for $95 (yes that also includes the lens)! In addition to the amazing price point for every pair that is sold, a pair is given to someone in need. Aside to being known for its trendy glasses, outstanding customer service and exceptional prices, Warby Parker is also known for its social media – namely its Instagram account.

Warby Parker has mastered the use of Instagram and is a perfect example of a company who uses the platform effectively.

Culture

Looking at Warby Parker’s Instagram account gives a customer not only a look at their product, but an insight into what the company and its employees are like. It showcases their interests in books, favorite places to dine and amazing scenery from the company travels.

Instagram provides an all-access pass into WP’s company headquarters by documenting days at the office. Snapshots focus on behind the scenes work at photo shoots, company uniforms for WP’s “Spirit Day” and office pot lucks!

Promoting Events

Any event that WP is attending or hosting is usually featured on Instagram, accompanied with an awesome photo and unique hashtag.  There have been many events, such as The Warby Parker Class Trip (#wpclasstrip). Employees were sent on a road trip across the country in a renovated school bus to bring WP glasses to areas where there aren’t any showroom locations. Photos of their road trip were featured on Instagram – allowing users to follow along with them as they made their journey across the U.S.A. Other events and promotions have included #whereswarby and #warbyegg.

Earlier this year, WP celebrated another milestone: its 4th birthday. To commemorate the company’s birthday, its Instagram was filled with pictures capturing employees and the four founders when they were 4 years-old.

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2Promoting the Product

The ultimate goal of brands being active on social media platforms is to push their products. WP is no exception. However, its advertising is not as obvious or in-your-face as most brands. Photos of the glasses often appear on its Instagram surrounded by numerous other items such a books, newspapers, food, candles, coffee, etc. For these Instagram photo shoots, WP tries placing the glasses in an environment that they would typically appear in if a consumer had them.

People may feel uneasy about buying glasses online and that is why WP lets you pick out 5 pairs of frames, ships them to you for free and gives you five days to try them on and decide which frame you like best. This can be a tough decision! WP uses social media as a way to connect with its consumers who are struggling to select a trendy frame. Customers can upload pictures of themselves in the different frames, and by using the hashtag #pickapair, WP specialists will step into help! WP also features employees who are stuck deciding between frames and allows the customers to give their input.

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WP has even been praised by Business Insider and IMPACT Inbound Marketing Agency for its content on Instagram and other social media platforms like YouTube and Facebook. The company has set the standards for brands on social media, and given them a model to aspire toward.

Follow WP on Instagram: @warbyparker 

Kathleen Marincic is a junior studying Strategic Communications. You can follow her on Twitter at @KathMarincic.

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