Bloggers as Media Partners

How important is the role of bloggers with regards to media promotion today? Some are in the opinion that a lot has happened since social media was introduced which paved the way for this role. It has been widely observed that bloggers are now actually foraying into traditional media territory, something that cannot be ignored especially if they choose to tap into their established strength in terms of audience reach and unassailable authority.

Rosie the Blogger

Image Source: flickr

So why should businesses and PR companies consider bloggers as media partners?There are many reasons but here are some of the more important.

Bloggers’ Reach

Reach is not only about numbers. It is also about quality. Many media practitioners can claim an outstanding number as an audience but is the composition of that audience really the target market?

Reputable niche bloggers are in the enviable position of having a target audience, so much so that if a company that offers a related product or service chooses to tie up with them for promotional purposes, the chances of hitting the mark on a concentrated level is much higher. These are the bloggers that have successfully gained loyal followers mainly on the strength of the content they offer. They may not necessarily be famous in the common sense of the word, but famous they are in the world where they move. Eventually, word do get around for them to have enough credibility to have some claim to fame.

Personal Touch

Let’s forget about bloggers who spew out press releases and paid promotions in rapid-fire fashion. Let us focus rather on bloggers who take the role of media partner seriously. These are the people who always impart something of themselves to the product or service they promote. They are aware that their word will be taken seriously by their audience and as such, they need to be very discerning of the ideas they present to their readers.

Herein lies the personal touch of bloggers. Regardless of whether they are compensated or not for their efforts, they make sure to present a product or service from their own perspective. This is quite effective if the blogger succeeds in “owning” the product or service, sending a clear message to their readers that this is something they actually believe in.

Blogging has indeed brought media promotion to a very personal level, something that will always be unique to each and every blogger. Are bloggers effective media partners? Apparently they are.

The Science of Selectivity in the World of Social Media

In this time and age, it is so easy to believe that participating in everything that seems to be going on at the same time is the more productive way to go. The world of social media most of the times has such an effect that leads us to spend more time in it than what is actually useful for our business needs. Yes Virginia, there is such a thing as being sucked and stuck in social media updates.

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Image Source: flickr

Selective Social Media Participation

It all boils down to being selective when it comes to social media tasks for businesses to ensure that there will be enough time to do everything else. Social Media participation is just one aspect of doing business in today’s modern world. It is a mistake to think that it can completely take the place of good ol’ traditional work.

Because of its extensive impact however, social media has become indispensable in doing business. It is clear therefore that it cannot be ignored. Participation in it just needs to be tempered with common sense.

How Much Time and Effort is Right?

Social media participation will require time to be given and effort to be exerted and both equate to business costs. Even if the owner himself is giving the time and doing the work, there is the cost of not being able to do other business tasks while doing it. Thus, there is the need to balance everything.

The amount of time and effort put in social media work and promotion would depend on the goals set by the business. This goes as well in the manner of executing it. Although there are basic guidelines in carrying out social media tasks in business, each business entity will have to find its unique way of using it best for maximized effectiveness.

Why Be Selective in  Social Media Participation

The logic is quite simple really. Businesses cannot afford to concentrate only on one single aspect like social media. In social media, there is always the danger of “wasting” precious time in constantly looking into updates that are not exactly impacting on doing business. More so, if the “need” to respond arises.

In doing business, time is always of the essence. Every minute spent on doing something will have to be accounted for in terms of results. If it does not amount to anything, it follows that prioritizing tasks will have to be considered.

Can Brands Be Created Solely by Social Media?

Before social media exploded to command such influence and power, brand creation was done by traditional marketing strategists and agencies. Brand owners had to rely on strategies that can be costly and allow them some degree of control on how they are carried out. The advent of social media has given brand owners more options and control over costs and strategies. Has social media therefore completely taken over traditional marketing?

Traditional Marketing

Traditional marketing was and is still being performed by advertising agencies today for their clients. Usual strategies would include advertising in television, radio, magazines, and newspapers which can be quite expensive. Another proven strategy is to get a celebrity endorser which can likewise be expensive. The cost and the limitation as to location and time are the major setbacks of opting for traditional marketing.

Social Media Marketing

Social media marketing was first felt by consumers by marketing materials emailed to them with or without consent. The latter form became quite a nuisance to many because of email spamming that the effectiveness of even any legitimate marketing effort was greatly reduced. Then came the various social media platforms which allowed more options to provide and receive marketing materials.

What’s more is that marketing and promotion can be done mostly for free. Messages can also be sent simultaneously to all corners of the world without being limited by distance and time.  All at once, social media looked liked the answer to all marketing needs.

Is Social Media the Answer to All Marketing Objectives?

Companies that have used both traditional and social media marketing strategies could attest to the reality that traditional media cannot be totally eliminated from the options. It is also true however that at this time and age, companies who choose to ignore social media as an advertising platform will find themselves on the losing end. No business can ignore social media and not suffer from it, one way or the other.

Can Brands be Created Solely by Social Media?

There are admittedly many brands that have created quite a stir online and managed to make a name solely through social media. This can be a result of an entirely unique marketing idea, right timing, and the existing need of consumers. Sustaining continued interest though may prove more difficult.

Although businesses welcome creating brands “overnight”, they know much better to admit that much work goes into creating even so-called overnight sensations. Brand owners should consider combining the benefits of all options. This will not stop them from harnessing all the benefits that social media offers anyway.

How to Deal with Comment Trolls

When a site is incessantly assaulted by comment trolls, the natural reaction of most site owners and developers is to close the commenting option. While that may be one way of addressing the troll issue,totally shutting off comments may not be the most ideal for many sites. This is especially so if the site stands to benefit from active, real-time interaction with the audience through commenting.

What are Comment Trolls?

Comment trolls or Internet trolls for that matter are people who appear to derive extreme satisfaction from bashing sites and site authors. They do not merely provide an opposite view to that of the site or the writer which can be legitimate comments. Comments from trolls are rude, sometimes out of context in relation to the topic, and would often attack the site or author  with words that are meant to cut its recipient to pieces and provoke an argument.

There is no foolproof way of preventing their entry into a site just like with viruses. So if shutting off commenting permanently is not an option, site owners can consider these steps to “control’ them to prevent them from over-running a site altogether. Studies indicate that comments from trolls can be damaging to an individual or a business when they succeed in creating doubt. The sad thing is that they don’t even need to substantiate what they say. They just need to float the idea that the site or the author lacks the authority to talk about the subject matter.

Dealing with Comment Trolls

1. Moderate comments. Do not publish irrelevant and rude comments. If you choose to publish them, avoid encouraging the negative atmosphere by giving equally vicious replies. Deleting comments usually succeed in encouraging further bashing.

2. Acknowledge valid issues raised through comments and reply accordingly. Explain your point in a civil way. Remember that your reply will be seen by others and they can form their own opinions based on the word exchanges that occur. When handled excellently, you can make a loyal reader out of a troll yet.

3. Treat comments from trolls as just a part of being online. Do not let them dictate what you should do. Continue striving to do the best for your site while being more conscious of valid critique.

The Psychology of Internet Trolls

It would be difficult to react head-on to Internet trolls, the general reason for what they do being “they just want to do it”. Some point to temporary behavior quirks while others hint of serious personal issues like sadism. Whatever it is, do not allow your site to be a stage for their performance. Always maintain order in your site.

How to Be Social Media Savvy

Social Media is something you cannot turn your back on if you are participating in online interaction and activity. It is already there, whether you like it or not, whether you use it or not. Chances are the people you deal with use it in their everyday lives and they will most probably use it with dealing with you. So how do you become social media savvy or at the very least an acceptable social media user.

Observe and Listen

New participants in social media will find it impossible to know just exactly what to do without first observing first. Heck, even the long-time participants sometimes seem clueless on how to proceed in certain situations. This just means that you just have to observe enough to absorb the basics and then learn along the way by keeping your eyes and ears open to better practices.

Let the people you admire lead the way. Check out how they are doing it. Apply what you learn to you own situation.

Use Social Media

The only way anyone can get comfortable with anything is to use it. You cannot forever be observing and listening to others. You need to apply it to yourself and your activities online.

Explore the possibilities of each platform beyond the basics. You can do a lot better than your usual greetings on Facebook. Certainly you can do a lot better with your tweets. Most certainly you can show more interesting photos in your Instagram than what you are showing now. Being social media savvy is about knowing how to use the available platforms to better use specifically for positive promotion.

Look and Act the Part

The social media platforms we use tend to reveal more than we are prepared to at times. That is why it is important to act responsibly when we use them. Being savvy includes the whole package. It is not merely about appearing techie or updated with the latest technological innovations.

It is also about using them to promote yourself in a positive way. Learn how to get your message across effectively. It is very easy to be misunderstood when we are limited by the number of words we use. Social media usually allows for snippets of time and attention. Learn to use that window to develop you social media presence. Being social media savvy comes in time and with practice.

Using Social Media to Create Media Content

What does it mean when we get to see study results like “3/4 of a given population get their news from social media site updates rather than newspapers and television”? This equates to people sharing and commenting about events, personalities, and other news-worthy occurrences through their personal social media platforms as they see them. We are even seeing an interesting phenomenon where traditional media seems to be getting their news from social media sites. Isn’t it supposed to be the other way around?

What Makes Up Social Media?

Social media is not actually confined to the use of Facebook as many people are wont to believe. Regardless if it is still the most popular social networking site, social media as a whole includes blogs and microblogs, content communities, collaborative projects, virtual social worlds and virtual game-worlds. So Wikipedia is a form of social media, and so are Twitter, YouTube, World of Warcraft, and Second Life.

The commonality between all these platforms lie in allowing social interaction between people where information gets to be shared through virtual networks and communities. Internet users spend more time on social media sites than they do on other sites. Based on the staggering number of online users today, it is no longer surprising to hear claims that social media is on the way of replacing traditional journalism when it comes to getting the news.

Breaking News

One of the probable reasons for this claim is the fact that a number of recent important breaking news broke through social media even before traditional media got wind of it. It is like watching a blow-by-blow account of a boxing match, only this time there are many announcers and sources getting into the picture. Updates seem to overlap each other while news organizations try to put in their own take, hoping that it is not too late.

While social media has admittedly been crucial to many events that have unfolded and continue to unfold before us, it is still very important to verify information obtained from different social media sources. Traditional media has had its fair share of reporting mistakes in a much controlled environment. Imagine the chances of mistake when so many are doing the reporting using their own interpretation.

Social media has made it possible for news to travel much faster and sometimes even manages to make the news itself. Cell phones are able to penetrate venues where regular cameras will not be allowed. A few characters sent online can be the headlines. Social media can indeed be used to create media content but it will need to tempered by sense and responsibility.

Who Handles Social Media Tasks for Your Business?

Most companies would probably have a ready answer for this. Why Marketing of course, or the Communications Department or the person who has the least work load and therefore more time on his or her hands. There is something inherently wrong in these answers. While the first two tend to limit the scope pf social media to a particular business aspect only, the last reveals the lack of appreciation for its real potentials.

Default Social Media Handler

In many companies who decide to take on social media presence, the Marketing or Communications Department usually becomes the default social media handlers. This is obviously because of the basic nature of these departments which has something to do with creating a positive image for the company and promoting its products or services plus. Social media, as many are aware by now, has become an important tool to accomplish these goals. It is therefore such a mistake to assign one person to do social media tasks simply because he or she is available.

Putting Limits

When companies limit themselves to the default social media handlers, they in turn limit the expected results from something that offers unlimited potentials. Social media is not only about promoting one’s self or one’s business. It is likewise about creating authoritative and respectable online presence as well as telling customers that a company cares. It is everything that has something to do with the company.

Everybody’s Responsibility

With that proposition then, it can be safely surmised that everyone in the company should be involved in social media efforts. Whether it starts from top to bottom, the other way around, or somewhere in the middle, everyone has got to be more keenly aware of the fact that each can contribute to the single goal of creating an impressive online presence for the company.

Specific Audience

When top management speaks for the company in social media, it shows that they are leading the way. When specific departments are doing the social media speak, they do so targeting particular audiences. When individual employees speak on social media on a personal capacity, they are able to reach an audience that may not easily be reached through generalized marketing efforts. In simple terms, when each and everyone participates in social media according to the set guidelines as required by a single end goal, what comes out is a unified social media action that produces consistent results.

So who do you think should handle your business social media tasks?

Using Instagram to Create Added Interest to Blogs

How can the use of Instagram create added interest to blogs? Many people by now are aware that Instagram is an online photo-sharing, video sharing,and social networking service rolled into one. It makes sharing of images and videos in social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr a lot easier.

Image Source

Image Source     

Visual Come-On

A single image is said to be able to speak a thousand words. What many words need to accomplish, one visually attractive picture can do. Most of the time, social media participants are too much in a hurry to read even through short summaries of blog contents.

Blogs need to have traffic. If it doesn’t have one, it has to create it by showing the way. Instagram pictures can be very attention-grabbing. Bloggers need to harness this fact to the advantage of their blogs.

Connection Maker

It has happened and it continues to happen that new connections are made over social media between people through the incredible impact of pictures. What is especially noteworthy about this is that images can have such an effect that encourages people to discover further. Instagram users who have blogs will have much use for the created interest.

It is no secret that it is very difficult to create spontaneous reaction from an audience who barely knows the person behind the blog. Friends and family can form the seed for an audience but their number can go only go so far. Bloggers need to connect to as many people as possible and learning to use the Instagram platform effectively is certainly an ace up a blogger’s sleeve.

Presents a More Personal Side

Blogs started on a very personal level as some form of daily diary of bloggers’activities. The personal side has been a great differentiating factor of blogs from other written narratives particularly online. Sharing personal pictures through Instagram and the blog itself helps humanize the blog.

Readers are able to connect more to the blog and the blogger when they see a glimpse of a real personality behind what they read. As mentioned above, reading through a long article may require some form of encouragement or reason to take the time. Pictures have proven their worth in this area.

Do Bloggers Need to Be an Instagram User?

Not necessarily, but Instagram as a social networking platform can be used by bloggers to elevate their blogs to a higher level of interaction, communication, socialization, and monetization. Who wouldn’t want that opportunity?

How Many Social Media Platforms Should Be Used in Websites?

Look closely on websites and blog that you visit.   Do you notice those colorful buttons placed on a certain place or floating somewhere on the page. There are even some that are rather pesky and tend to shift the page unnecessarily when you happen to hover over them ever so slightly. These buttons are social media sharing buttons which are placed on sites to make it easy to share a post or an article online. So do websites really need to have those sharing buttons and if so, how many does a site need?

The Need for Social Media Buttons

There are several proposed reasons why websites are supposed to place social media buttons on their pages. One is to increase traffic. when posts or articles are shared through different social media platforms, exposure is expected to increase and widen. A natural expectation from this is increased traffic, granting that the people to whom the posts are shared to will see something interesting from the short link posted.

Social media buttons also facilitate more active interaction online between website owners as well as website owners and their audience. Clicking on a button indicates approval not only in saying that a reader like it but also that he likes it enough to share it to other people. The big number indicated beside the buttons is taken by many as a measure of social acceptance.

Possible Disadvantages of Having Too Much Social Media Buttons

Each social media button is placed in websites through JavaScript codes. Having too many can then result to slower page loading. Pages that load beyond the usual average loading time tend to be abandoned therefore resulting to lost traffic instead of adding to it. It has to be understood that the end goal is to achieve consistent traffic and not merely chance visits.

Having too many social media buttons can also be distracting and may affect the overall appearance of website pages. They may also result to no sharing at all especially if buttons succeed in confusing the readers. Many readers are very particular about what they share or the amount of access to personal information is possible in using the buttons.

So How Many is Ideal?

Rather than thinking by numbers, it would probably be wise to think on terms of use to the website. Check your analytics to determine in what platforms your site is demonstrating strength or weakness. You can choose to increase your activity in platforms where your site is strong and remove those that exhibit weak showing. You can also opt to do the opposite and put more effort where your site is weak , if and only if, you see any potential in doing it.

How to Do Effective Social Media Marketing

Social Media Marketing is not something you do on a whim or just because every person or business is doing it. Marketing over social media needs planning and development of interacting habits that will help in promoting an individual, a company, a product, or a service.It is essentially about connecting to the right people and entities.

Choose Your Social Media Platform

There are many social media platforms existing today. Each has its strength but not all will be applicable and suitable for everybody. The choice/s would depend on where an individual or company hopes to bring all marketing efforts to.

Is it to create awareness for a product or service? Is it for the purpose of creating sustained and long-term interest in a product or service? Know what you want to achieve and choose the most suitable social media platforms to use.

Interact and Converse

Social Media marketing does not begin and end with creating social media accounts. That only signals the start as participation will be the key to maximized use of the platform. You would need to interact as an individual or as a company to the members of each platform especially those who have already initiated communication. Converse with them by giving value for value.

This means not to limit interaction and conversation to purely promotional and marketing in nature. Make real conversations like commenting on personal experiences shared by others in the use of a product or presenting solutions if there are problems presented. Make recommendations for related products and services that will not contradict with your business. This can also be done through posting of relevant contents in a personal or company blog.

Follow and Get Followers

Following authority figures in a specific niche you are in will expose you to mainstream happenings, events, and ideas. Know what clicks out there and try to find out what works for you. Be proactive and do not just wait for followers to come. It might not happen for a while as you need to build some kind of reputation to attract some.

Do not just follow others for the sake of following and in the hope of getting followers. Sometimes, it doesn’t happen that way. Most of the time, you will have to seek out social media participants who may possibly be interested in the business or ideas you offer.