Am I a Blogger?

In my final post to my blog, I listened to a recent podcast from Social Media Examiner: “Becoming a Blogger: Do You Have What It Takes?” Too bad it was not available when I started this course, as it provided some great tips on keeping a sustainable blog site.

A couple of takeaways from the podcast are: have an obsession with the topic, find the audience/need, and 5 traits bloggers need.

First, you must first find a topic that you are obsessed with. The speaker, Stan Smith, explains this obsession is much more than a passion about the subject matter. You need this because you are going to be writing about this subject matter four to five times a week, so you must be obsessed to sustain the topic over the long run. Obsession with a topic will also allow you to take other relevant news and events and relate it back to your subject matter. Keeping your topic fresh and relevant will keep people seeking your blogs for the latest news and information.

Second, Stan discusses how to determine if others are out there at might be interested in the subject matter and why this is important. Having an audience that is interested in your subject matter is of course critical for a successful blog. You will have a following and it will grow as they share your content with other similar people. The question is how do you find and retain these like people. One great suggestion he offered was to find other sites and forums of similar content. Offering advice within these forums can persuade readers to visit your blog.

Finally, he spoke about five traits that great bloggers need to possess.  It’s important to understand that you don’t have to have every trait, but you should at least find the one that you are best in and use that to create your blog. The 5 traits are:

  • Dreamers
  • Storyteller
  • Teacher
  • Persuader
  • Curator.

Of course having your content shared is critical to get more people to your blog. Just like I am about to do, sharing the link to the podcast, sharing content will get more people familiar with your blog.

If you’d like to hear the podcast you can visit



Stelzner, M. (2013, March 15). “Becoming a blogger: do you have what it takes.” Social Media Examiner. [BLOG]. Retrieved on March 17 from



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Marketing via SnapChat – Really Do We Think So?

It’s the latest social media app that certainly has received lots of attention – although some has been negative attention. But despite all of this, can marketers use this application as another tool in their large social media toolbox?

First, it’s important to understand that shapChat is most popular between a much younger demographic (Greenfield, 2012). So knowing this, brands must understand that successful campaigns would need to be targeted to that demographic at first. It might be considered for other audiences once the age broadens significantly.

Secondly, given the limitations with the amount of time the video or picture appears for the receiver, the marketers must think of messages that can be easily and quickly understood. One site suggests that the best and most effective campaigns are limited time offers (Gagrion, 2013). Sending your customer base that is part of SnapChat an offer with very straightforward restrictions is a possible best practice.

For example, a clothing brand that targets a younger audience could issue a limited, VIP sale experience for its customers. Let’s say a 30 percent-off sale off any shirt on Sunday from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. The customer just has to mention SnapChat at the time of purchase. Add a colorful picture of the latest shirts of the season, is that memorable enough to act – possible visit the store?

Could this type of offer work? Retail stores and many brands are already engaging in texting special offers. This would now expand that text to allow the brand to share a video or picture to support the promotion. Not to mention that because of the limited time to view the content, a sense of urgency might be added – especially when coming from a beloved brand.


Gagrion, A. (2013, March 10). “The only way to market with snapchat.” Business 2 Consumer. Retrieved on March 11 from

Greenfield, R. (2012, November 30). “A guide to SnapChat, the app that’s kind of like instagram, only with more boobs.” The Atlantic Wire. Retrieved on March 11 from

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So What, We are Listening…

Just as I’m writing about how wonderful emerging media can be, the following happens at my company on Facebook. A customer complains to their friends about our brand and of course we hear it. We engage in social listening – don’t all brands?

We reached out to the consumer to better understand the concern and to take corrective action. While you would have thought the response would have been favorable, a few minutes later she posted her disbelief that we heard about the complaint and secondly, that we responded.

According to Netbase, 38% of all consumers are not aware that companies are socially listening to what is said online (2013). And 40% believe that listening is a breach of privacy.

What makes matters worse is you cannot tell how the customer feels or understands about social media. Netbase reminds us that almost 50% of consumers feel that brands should listen to make product enhancements with 60% wishing for a response to online complaints (2013).

So with this data, not knowing how the consumer will react once a comment about your brand is made, how is your brand to respond?

So how do brands win?

Stay tuned as this will be discussed next.


Netbase. (2013). “Social listening vs. digital privacy, a consumer study.” Retrieved on February 16 from


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What is Social Media

Everyone is saying this is a consumer driven economy. Controlling the corporate message is very difficult, if not impossible these days. In Lon Safko’s book The Social Media Bible, he speaks about “A Fundamental Shift in Power” that has occurred with the introduction of new media (Safko, 2010). Consumers are changing the way they want to be communicated with and often the consumer is leading the communications effort.

Things have changed. The challenge that marketers face today deals with consumers and the lack of trust with the brand and organization. Once, consumers trusted the brand and company; however, today, the consumer trusts their social media friends. Consumers want information from people that they know, not the company. They don’t trust the advertising or the message issues by the company, but rather they trust their friend’s comment, tweet, or product review instead.

The time has come for brands to start to engage with consumers as a friend – in other words, you are not selling but instead becoming part of the conversation online.

The trick is how do you do this successfully as a brand? The long standing advice is for the brand to first listen, second understand, and then finally respond. The approach is difficult, especially as new media is always moving at a fast speed.

Safo, L. (2010). The social media bible. (2nd ed.). Hoboken: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

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So why is emerging media so important?

In an article written in the American Journal of Business, Michael Hicks attempts at answering this very question of why emerging media matters. The article was written in 2009 at a time when the minds of many were just on the “dot com” bubble and the financial consequences that it caused.

While I am not yet going to answer the question why it matters, I want to start this post by first exampling what it emerging media. It seems that many people have many different definitions of this widely used term.

In his article, Hicks classifies it all types of communications that is based on digital technologies with interactive components (Hicks, 2009). This seems to be a solid definition of the term today, understanding that as it emerges it can morph into something else.

Another thing is for certain the media is always changing and evolving. Just take for example the year 2009 and think of all of the advances we have seen since that year. Look at where mobile technology has taken us. There is a smartphone app that do just about anything for you. One positive on the marketing standpoint, is that the technology has helped to further build on the brand experience. I will touch on this in greater details in another upcoming post.

In my research of emerging media, one thing that is interesting is the amount of time it takes emerging media to surface. While it might seem that new media takes just days to catch-on is that really true? In my next posting, I will take a look at Twitter to prove my point. What seems like it just started yesterday, really translates into software that was started in 2006.

Hicks, M. (2009, Fall). “Why Does Emerging Media Matter?” American Journal of Business. PP 15-21.

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