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Welcome to the class blog for Social Media and Online Communication. This is where we’ll be sharing assignments, recommended reading and other useful things during the course.

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Safeplace 2017 report

For our social media campaign we decided to use our project as an opportunity to raise awareness and increase understanding about mental illness. We chose this campaign because we feel very passionate about this topic and we think it’s important to talk about it and to make other people talk about it too. We wish for our followers and contributors to feel like they are not alone by posting re-tweets from people who want to support and show their compassion for the people who might need it. We chose the name safe place because that’s what we want our account to be, a place where anyone who feel alone in their struggle can go and get inspired, find motivation and see that they are not alone. Our audience is all ages and gender, whoever that stumble upon our page are welcome to share their thoughts and be a part in our campaign. No matter who they are or where they are, everyone is welcome. We also wanted people to show their support and be apart of the discussion by encouraging them to share their safe place by using the hashtag #safeplace.

We found Instagram to be the most suitable platform since we wanted to use pictures as a way to communicate to our followers and target audience, it’s one of the most common one and it’s easier to spread the word about our campaign through the same app as well. The hashtag we want people to get engaged in and it’s a great way for our benefit to get noticed when someone uses it.  We decided that the content should be a mix between posts with information about mental illness in the UK to show how common it actually is, mixed with inspirational and positive posts and pictures from people who wish to share their safe places with our followers. The content and the tone will be soft, caring and supportive with relevant and realistic statistics and information. We wish to build a platform that can help people who suffer from any mental health condition feel better if only for a second by looking at our posts and to tell them where they can get help if they might need it.

So our content is a mix between our own content & our followers. We want to get the followers to engage in our campaign and post pictures on their Instagram accounts of a place where they feel safe and a short comment on why with the #safeplace. We will then repost it on our own Instagram page. Also as administrators we going to upload informative post about mental illness and how to get help to encourage our followers that no matter what they are getting through they are not alone. The ideal would be that our followers comment on our pictures and help each other out with tips, ideas and stories about how they are dealing with their mental illness to support each other as well.

We decided to post facts about mental illness twice a week, inspirational quotes once a day and repost as frequently as we get pictures from our followers. We began by using our own account to spread the word about our new page and tell people what it was all about, we then asked them to help us spread the word and a lot of people actually contributed with pictures on the first day, and  on the second day we had 31 followers and our posts had a total of 64 likes.

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We began researching mental illness statistics in the UK and we also found organisations that worked for the same cause as we do to be able to tell our followers about them so that they could get getter help then we can provide if needed. Since it’s such a serious topic this is something that we felt was really important to research thoroughly.

It worked out pretty good if you look at the number of followers we gained on such a short time and who kept following us for the whole time (as of today we have 32 followers) even though we didn’t get the amount of pictures we needed to make the feed as consistent as we hoped for. We still feel like it’s a very important topic and that an account like this is needed, an account that is not to formal and that shows a lot of warmth and support, the people we spoke to have been very positive to the idea and most of them wanted to help us spread the word of safeplace2017.

One thing that didn’t work was our schedule of updates, we didn’t get as many submissions from our followers in the end of the period as we did in the beginning. And because of bad communication we didn’t post as frequently as we should have, we should also have used other platforms in the beginning to help spread the word about the account, we could also have used different platforms for different things, for example using Instagram for the contributors #safeplace pictures, twitter to inform about mental illness and Facebook to market the website and have our followers talking and supporting each other. This would probably have helped us if we wanted to gain followers faster but in the same time we wanted to keep it simple and have everything collected on one social media platform to make it easy to access in a short amount of time.

The next step in our campaign would be to make a better schedule between the administrators to divided the work and make the uploading of the posts more consistent. We would also need to start interacting more with our followers to see why they follow us and what they wish we would post more of on our page, since the word of mouth strategy worked out pretty well we would continue using this strategy to gain more followers, when the contributors posts their picture and tag us it also becomes a way of word of moth promotion that has been proven to work in our advantage.

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By: Miccaela Larsson & Jessica Roos

London Life Tips

For our Social Media Campaign, we chose to create an Instagram account called London Life Tips letting people know about restaurants, coffee shops, museums, events, etc. around London. The reason we chose to create this account was because, as students living in London, we understand how difficult it is to find great places and interesting events around such a large city without locals there to help you along the way. Since we have been living abroad in this amazing place, we have found great places around the city and have figured out how to find what’s happening around every part of London, so we wanted to spread the knowledge essentially becoming our follower’s helpful “locals”. With this campaign, our goals were to, of course, spread our knowledge of London and gain a good following.

When figuring out what social media platform we wanted to use, we knew we needed one that had a wide reach of users. We ruled out Facebook as an option because as users, we know that sometimes posts can get lost in a sea of cat videos. Using Twitter was also an idea, but it didn’t seem like a fitting option for the campaign we wanted to use. Comparing Twitter with Instagram, users know that a good way to search for places and things to do is by searching on Instagram. Twitter isn’t exactly the place that most people use to find suggestions for things around a city. We also compared them with each other in terms of the amount of users on each social media platform. Twitter has about 300 million users while Instagram has double that amount. We felt that with this information, Instagram would be the best choice for our campaign.

We deSunsettermined that our target audience were young adults who wanted to explore the city and have fun. These people could be those who already live in London, just moved to London, or are simply visiting. They are males and females who are outgoing and want to have a fun time. To try and gain followers, we started by following popular accounts and people, hoping to gain a follow back. Being Instagram users ourselves, we know that people search certain hashtags when they want to find specific things. We made sure that in our descriptions under our pictures we added relatable or popular hashtags such as: #LondonLife or #FunNightOut. We also tried getting our followers involved by asking them to tag us in photos for a chance to be featured on our account. Alongside that, we asked our followers to tag friends in our pictures to spread the word of our account. We posted pictures three to four times a week.

Starting out with our idea, we knew that we would have to find something that set us apart from the rest of the London Instagram accounts out in the world. Starting completely from scratch, it was going to be difficult for us to really gain a following. We started to talk about what makes us different from other accounts, and we figured out that since there is two of us, we offer a broader perspective of options considering our different interests. Some of our posts featured art events while another featured a beer festival. Some of our posts talked about a really great pub and another talked about family activities. We found it important to keep a wide variety in the things we posted so that more people would be able to relate to our page. Another thing that helps to set us apart is altering our tone. If we target our tone to appeal to the audience we want to reach, we are going to stick out to others.

So far, since we haven’t been onFollowersline for toimage1o long, our following is good. In the three weeks we have existed as an account, we have gained a total of eleven followers. We can see that our approach has worked because a couple of our followers were accounts that we had mentioned in our post that liked what we said and followed us back. The first week we were active, we had four followers by the end of the week. By the second week we had around eight and in the third week had reached our current eleven followers. Our first post we made, which featured a picture from a local photographer, got seven likes which was the most likes out of all of our pictures. We had three other posts that reached six likes. We found that the ones that had the most likes were where we used a large amount of hashtags, set the location, and mentioned a group in the photo. Keeping this in mind, if we apply this to every post we make, we can get a good amount of exposure. If we keep going with our strategy, we very much believe that we could gain a huge following.

Although our following is still very small, we have a lot of room to grow. In hindsight, a good strategy for us would have been to post more often. In the world we live in today, people are always looking for something to do and something to see. Giving them those resources multiple times daily would have done a better job at fulfilling their needs. Another thing we could have done differently would have been to comment on other account’s posts, telling their followers to check out our page. Although that doesn’t have much more of an effect than what we had already been doing, I still think it would have contributed. One major thing we need to always remember is to stay unique. Since there are so many other accounts out there, it is easy to get lost in the midst of them. If we keep a tone that really connects with our followers and people in general, we will be able to differentiate ourselves from the rest. Keeping all of this in mind for the future, we could really evolve into an influential account with a huge following.

Written by: Rachel Mueller and Monique Von Gabriel

Word Count: 1,012

Michael’s Podcast – Final Evaluation

The idea our group wanted to present for our final social media plan was the concept of introducing a podcast of key places around London to visit therefore geared towards the tourist type of consumer. Tourism has become such a big industry all over the world, especially here in London so we decided that going forward with this idea was practical and also unique in the structure/set up. It is a uncommon industry that as people over look because it is rarely on the mind of world travelers how much of a structured business it can be.
We chose to feature our British Cultural Studies professor Michael Czerwinski for several reasons. He is one of the most knowledgeable people we know here in London just through being in his class sessions. He has lived in many parts of the city, from being on the lower end side to having his own personal studio and separate living space – he knows it all! Through the podcast you will learn not only about what the area or structure may be that a consumer is visiting, but as well as the rich history behind it. The unique aspect to Michael is the way he can articulate a story to another individual can keep them interested in every single word he is expressing to someone. Therefore he was the best candidate to be the front man of this podcast segment. We also named the Podcast after him because it gives the podcast a more personal touch to it versus giving it a more corporate name, people will be able to relate more to the series if they feel they are connecting with a specific person.
The first way we thought of reaching our target audience was the through the popular social media application Facebook. Just in 2017 the amount of active monthly users is 1.86 billion worldwide. Through starting the campaign on this social media application can help us achieve a larger audience faster. People of all demographics and psychographics use this application because it is easy, and simple to use. Even though we considered other social media applications (Instagram, Snapchat, etc.) that are just as popular if not more, however they are not as popular among all ages. However despite the fact that our Facebook page is our main platform for the launch of the podcast, we made a Twitter page as well to be another outlet of communication with our potential consumers. Twitter as of 2017 has about 319 million monthly active users. Since that is application that connects more with a younger demographic and can be more popular than Facebook at times, we thought it was best to include this in our platform to reach consumers.
The posts or podcast episodes are to be posted on Facebook which will be attached with a link to our official Sound Cloud account, which is a popular website that allows individuals to stream music and post their own music or voice recordings for free. Since we are just starting out as a campaign with a low budget any way that we can reduce costs is a great benefit to us. Here are the steps that we followed in creating the actual Facebook page and everything:

  • Step One – create Facebook page in an engaging and aesthetically pleasing manner
  • Step Two – once the page is created all three of us members share them onto our own personal Facebook profiles to get awareness and exposure up
  • Step Three – post our first post with a link to the first official “podcast” with Michael on both Facebook and Twitter.

Our first post that was recorded with Michael was at the top of Primrose Hill (which is where he decides to have the final British Cultural Studies class of the semester) where he gave a background on the area, the city as a whole, and why it is an important place of significance to see in London. The official posting schedule for this podcast series would be once a week to keep interest up with the consumer and to help grow in the podcast following. Each podcast would be centered around a different area or location to go to for a unique and interesting experience while in the city.
We posted over a week ago on both social media platforms, and the results have been very small as of now. Facebook has generated the biggest response with 8 likes to the page as a whole, 8 new page likes, and 9 people talking about the page. On Twitter there is little to no response at all, with only one follower.

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Where have we gone wrong exactly? In our opinion we have not gone wrong at all, but the problem is we have difficulty reaching a national audience because we are self advertised and managed. This idea is solid and could achieve big popularity if it is managed under the right umbrella. A major tourist organization in London called Visit London would a great organization to partner with because it would be a win win type situation. With their assistant and exposure to the tourism industry it would assist us in reaching a larger audience, and by working with us they would have a new outlet to attract people to come to the city. Under the right circumstances this idea would blow up in our opinion, but since we have been working with a time constraint and we are just students, it is a big unrealistic to achieve the ultimate goal of this podcast. Going by the numbers that we have received during the duration of this campaign it would seem as though we have not succeeded but it is our belief that we achieve the precise goal of this assignment. We came up with a campaign that is unique, creative, and is rarely done in tourism to our knowledge. The Michael’s podcast campaign has been a success in the creative portion and with our response because we reached as many people as we could.

Word Count: 1,004

Written by: Zenobia Afeworki, Elizabeth Field, Hetsvi Kotak

Fashion house promoting campaign through internet humour

Arthur clenched fist, Evil Kermit, Pepe the Frog and that guy named Roll Safe who taps his head with the slightest bit of smugness. The iconic images accompanied by a caption in a plain front that’s relatable, silly and sharable with little to no context. It’s something that you can easily tap into our collective psyche or express feelings that we sometimes don’t know how to put into words and that’s the beauty of a meme, it speaks for itself; it makes you laugh in agreement, cringe from the realness or roll your eyes over the ironi.

It was only a matter of fact before the luxury fashion brand co-opted in an attempt to bring in more millennial shoppers. Gucci is one of the most talked about brands at the moment and launched a campaign called #TFWGucci a couple of weeks ago. The luxury fashion brand has played a risky game referencing the arrival of the new world of memes in their campaign promoting its line of watches. Designer houses from Comme Des Garçons to Chanel have already jumped on the social media train to promote their brands in a different way online and made emoji packs, but now Gucci is promoting this new bold ad campaign that dared to embrace internet culture and giving out the Gucci memes.

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Gucci’s creative director Alessandro Michelle revealed a “desire to engage with a wider creative community than that which traditionally locates around the world of fashion” when explaining the reason behind their latest campaign. The collaborative project #TFWGucci that some people are loving (how the fashion house’s foray into internet humour) many of its Instagram followers are not to keen about it and there’s been a huge backlash from social media users.

In an opinion column published at fashionista.com the writer is critical of the brands adopt of memes says that “when big business try to attract younger customers (we see you, Gen Z) in order to make a profit, it comes off as cringe-worthy, awkward and, to be honest ,a lot less fun”. Although in a recent article written by Wendy Syfret in i-D, the topic of discussion points out that millennials have increasingly used memes to help encourage the subject around mental health issues, a topic that have been banned to speak about in public before.

“Twin things make it easier to speak about difficult subjects: humor distance – qualities the memes naturally provide.”

In a way this campaign could have had more thought behind it and you could definitely see it from a two side view (something positive and something negative). But who would have expected to see the Arthur meme, or a post featuring the words “me vs the guy she says I shouldn’t worry about” in a Gucci campaign? I would still give Gucci a A+ for the effort and I really liked the idea that they provided to make something fun and edgy. It’s a new thing to do and not that many people or companies succeed with it like Gucci did.

Written by: Jessica

The platform of the future

As a social media and online communication student and user, I can say that, Instagram is, nowadays, the social media platform with more potential of growing. With more than 150 million users, the photo sharing app has been greatly explored by brands aiming to promote your products and also to be part of its consumers day to day life.

With the latest updates, Instagram delivers to its users a little bit of each social media platform, making them loose popularity, such as WhatsApp, with the direct messages. Snapchat, with the Instagram stories, and last but not least Vines, with the longer lasting video posts available since June 2013. With that in mind, social media users are replacing other platforms and using every day more their Instagram pages. On the other hand, since the last update, Instagram users are complaining that they are no longer able to see all of their friends posts as they are now giving preference to more relevant posts, and not on chronological order.

Brands are using fashion bloggers, celebrities and also digital influencers posts to reach out for their costumers all over the world and to make themselves known. Partnerships between brands has also been a interesting way to achieve your goals promoting your name. Another attractive way to advertise your brand is the paid tool available, that shows you products and pages you might like based on the people you follow, things you like on Instagram, your information and interests on Facebook and also websites and app you visit. 

Consumers are looking for more and more inspiration online and in digital influencers. Additionally as Instagram offers a lot of different ways to promote your brand, in my opinion is the most promising social media platform to gain followers and also reach for your target market.

Rafaela Gontijo Calicchio

ONLY TWITTER IS VACCINATED AGAINST THE YELLOW FEVER

I’ve always liked Snapchat the most, for me it is the easiest social media to use and it helps to keep you in touch with your closest friends and to see whats going on with famous people. In my opinion it’s not the best platform to promote your brands or events, but to maintain contact with your customers, building a relationship with them.

At the beginning Snapchat were just to send pictures to your friends, but there are rumours that it began with a sexual concept. Nowadays, it has a feature called “story” which you can upload videos or pictures that will only last 24h for your friends to see. It is a huge success, and due to it its competitors improved their features too.

It all started with Instagram, you are able to post stories, talk directly yo a person and even make live videos now, it’s a platform that includes a little of everything. A lot of people prefer to use this platform because it reaches more people than Snapchat, where you normally only have your friends. A large number of brands use this story tool to promote new collections, or post pictures mixing looks. It’s a great idea because you don’t have to scroll down to see the pictures; it’s already on the top of the page, which attracts more attention and curiosity. In my opinion a large number o users are migrating to Instagram.

Not only Intagram, but also WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger have included the story tool, however, with no similar results. The only remaining one is twitter.

I particularly don’t know how Snapchat are going to rise and come up with a new revolutionary idea to maintain its users. In my opinion there’s no more they can improve, just some bug fixes. Live videos, for example, are already a thing among other social medias, and Snapchat is all about pictures and videos, not long texts or written things, so this complicates when it comes to new ideas.

In a short time we will know if this platform became obsolete or magically appeared with a forward-looking concept that changed everything.

Isabel Avena

Pinterest – A forgotten place?

I think it’s (p)interesting how such a great concept like Pinterest is not used by more people and companies! Right now, according to smartinsights.com, Pinterest have 150 million active users, that’s 50% less then snapchat, which has 300 million active users. Ranked as our number one social media platform with 1,871 million active users is Facebook, that makes Pinterest’s 150 million users seem awfully small in comparison.

On Pinterest’s website you can read that it’s the world’s catalog of ideas, they state that their mission is to help people discover things they love and to find inspiration to do those things in their daily lives, now dosen’t that sound amazing?

I’ve been actively using Pinterest since 2012 and I think it’s such a good platform. Unlike snapchat that targets a young audience, Facebook that feels pretty outdated and Instagram that’s very elitist, Pinterest has the opportunity to capture all of those platforms users and even younger and older people who are not currently using social media.

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The thing that is so great about Pinterest is that they cover so many different spectrums of interests and hobbies. I’ve got 104 boards and a total of 5,318 pins divided on fashion, architecture, art, colors, materials, people, baby animals and a ton of other stuff. Because Pinterest is a great source of inspiration for anything from Recipes, Gardening and Kim Kardashian selfies to Cars, Travel guides and baby room interior DIY’s. It has something for everybody.

If we use my mother as an example, a 50 year old completely uninterested in social media, she dosen’t even have Facebook (which is pretty strange these days). I recently introduced her to Pinterest and she has now become an addict. She’s not that into technology and she often asks me for help with her phone or computer so one of the things she appreciated most about Pinterest was it’s simplicity. You just type in what you want to find, press search and just keep scrolling until you’ve found your perfect pic that you save to the board of your choice! Simple as that.

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I think, because in lack of knowledge about Pinterest as a social media platform, that Pinterest should start collaborating with already established social medias such as Instagram, Facebook, youtube and twitter to gain awareness about it’s existents and to get new users. They should also collaborate with companies, for example an online fashion retailer, where the users of Pinterest could be potential buyers for the company since you can use a picture as a direct link to a product and therefore create a conversation between customers about and on Pinterest where they could share their favorite products with each other. In a time where social media and social media presence is so important to companies I feel like it’s necessary to try to do something new and exciting to be one of a kind and to make customers come back to- and remember you. So how great wouldn’t it be for a brand to get customers to pin their products/brand which they then keep on a board that they share with their followers forever (unlike snapchat where product campaigns are only available for 24 hours and then the buzz is gone) and also give them the opportunity to buy it straight away with just one click?

Written by: Miccaela Larsson.