BlogPageWelcome to my blog -- Grace's Rantings

I have made a study of human communication -- interpersonal as well as mass media.  I am intrigued by tremendous changes in human interaction in recent years.  The computer, Internet, smart phones and social media have dramatically changed the way we interact with each other.  Human discourse hasn't changed, but the mediums by which we communicate have..."and that has made all the difference".

 

Please share your thoughts and join in the discussion. I welcome your input and comments!

 

One more tool

Social media is either the greatest marketing tool of all time, or a complete waste of time...or somewhere in between.

Don't get me wrong, I love Facebook.  I enjoy keeping in touch with my friends, colleagues, and even those people I barely remember from high school and haven't seen in many, many years!  Facebook allows me to let my friends know what is going on in my life and peer into their lives, in real time.  I think it is a great communication tool, and it is fun.

As a marketing vehicle, a business can use social media -- blogs, Facebook, twitter, e-mail newsletters as a means to communicate information about their business, and alert customers about special offers and promotional programs.  Social media allows a business to be more personal; to talk directly to their customers in a "friendly" way.  And it allows customers the chance to talk to the business and share their thoughts, feelings and opinions.  A business has to be careful to use social media for open and honest communication.  The fastest way to get yourself deleted, un-friended, un-liked, un-subscribed from, etc. is to use social media to sell rather than to share.  In this manner, social media is more of a public relations vehicle than a marketing or advertising one.

Social media is most likely here to stay in some form or another, and now in addition to television, radio, print, and outdoor advertising, a business has to run a social media campaign too.  Social media is just another tool in a marketer/advertiser's communication strategy.

Don't fear the DVR

A recent study by the consulting firm Millward Brown, published in the Journal of Advertising Research, showed that advertising recognition and recall was not affected by DVR use.   They believe this is due to the fact that while skipping through the commercials, the viewer has to pay close attention to the commercials in order to stop the DVR in time to see the program!   Compare this to people who watch programming in real time and use the commercial break to get up to get a snack or use the bathroom.  While watching a recorded program, you have to stay put and watch the speeded up commercials inorder not to miss the show.

The study found that if the viewer had seen the commercial before,  they had no trouble remebering the fast forwarded version.  So make sure your commercial runs initially in programming that is typically not recorded -- sports, news.

For more information: http://www.mb-blog.com/index.php/2009/09/07/dvrs-ignore-the-hype-focus-on-the-facts/

Weather can affect social media usage

A few weeks ago I suggested that as people got busier, their social networking would become less and less.  A few people disagreed.  Now I'd like to propose that as the weather turns nicer, people's social media usage will become less and less (at least on the nice days).  Don't think so, take a look at your personal facebook pages, I'm sure you'll see that on this gorgeous weekend, the status updates were way down!

The Paper Boy

I have a theory on the start of the demise of newspapers .... the loss of the paper boy (yes I know there can be paper girls, but back in the day they were pretty much all boys). 

When my neighbor's son used to deliver the paper he'd come to my door to collect his money each week.  I kept getting the paper if for no other reason than to help the kid(and my neighnbor) out.  But when the anonymous delivery company took over and mailed me my bill, it was very easy to write cancel and send it back -- no hard feelings!

Can you use 5 1/2 hours a Day?

According to a December, 2009 Nielsen Research report, people spent 5 ½ hours a day with social media!  That’s up from 3 ½ hours a year ago. 

Social networks and blogs were the top online category, with games and instant messaging ranking next in terms of time spent.  Facebook. With over 200 million unique visitors worldwide was the top social networking site with 67% of all social media users on the site monthly.  

Twitter is still the fastest-growing social media site.  Increasing from 2.7 million unique visitors in December 2008 to 18.1 million in December 2009 – that’s 579% growth!

For the full story go to http://blog.nielsen.com/nielsenwire/global/led-by-facebook-twitter-global-time-spent-on-social-media-sites-up-82-year-over-year/

Television Most Effective Medium

Canadian Television Bureau of Advertising Study recently released a study using biometric and eye tracking technology that shows television is the most effective medium at delivering high emotional and cognitive responses to advertising.  If you've been watching the Olympics, I'm sure you've noticed how the commercials pull at our heartstrings, especially Procter and Gamble's "Thank You Moms" campaign.

Results showed that television ads delivered:

  • 3 times more high emotional engagement and 3 times higher aided next-day recall than radio ads.
  • 1.8 times more high emotional engagement and 1.4 times higher aided next-day recall than online video ads.
  • 5 times higher aided next-day recall than online display ads.
  • 5.5 times more total emotional engagement and comparable aided next-day recall than newspaper ads.

For the full study: http://www.tvb.org/nav/build_frameset.aspx?url=/about/tvbcanada.aspx

Blogging: A Summary

First and foremost, your blog is not a platform for direct sales.  The purpose of your blog should be to build a community for the purpose of dialogue.  The dialogue is between you and your community, and between members of the community and each other.  Your community includes your customers, prospective customers, your friends and family, employees, other businesses and competitors.  The way you build community with these diverse groups is to provide relevant information that educates, provides instruction, entertains, and/or gives insight into your industry.  It must provide information that is interesting to your audience, remember, your blog is not about you, it is about your audience.

How often should you blog?  That depends on several factors.  As long as you have something to say, you should post to your blog at least twice a week.  (Please don’t count my weekly posts, it isn’t as easy as it sounds!)   More often is great as long as your posts are still relevant and interesting to your audience.  If you post less than once a week, your audience will begin to drift away.  If you aren’t loyal to your audience, they won’t be loyal to you.  The trick is to find a happy medium between overloading your readers and ignoring them.  Happy Blogging!

Blogging: Who are you talking to?

When you are writing your blog, you should keep in mind the audience who is reading your blog.  Of course you never know exactly who you are reaching, but generally, (in addition to your family and friends) your business' blog  communicates with:

Existing customers

Prospective customers

Past customers

Influencers (people who are  not in the market for your product or service, but give their opinion to others who are)

Employees

Prospective employees

Vendors,

and yes, Competitors

 

It is very important to provide information that is relavant and interesting to all of these audiences.  One way to do this is to invite guest bloggers from your industry, or to call on different people within your organization to write on topics of interest to them.  And always be open to readers comments.  Your readers will let you know what interests them through their comments. 

 

Another way to tap into what interests your audience is to participate in other blogs within your industry.  You can start right here.  Feel free to comment, or if you'd like to write a guest piece for this blog, let me know!

 

 

 

 

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