Virtual Events- Pivoting During Covid

Why online events will be around long after Covid

Gone are the days of stuffy banquet halls, bland food, and socializing with strangers-at least for now. As Covid continues to run rampant, it is hard to imagine a time where we will ever go back to in-person events. However, this unfortunate circumstance has facilitated creative solutions in the virtual event sector.  

Plus and Minuses of Online Events

According to superevent.com, the benefits of virtual events go beyond virus safety to include “(l)ower operating, marketing, and staffing costs, (being) easier to manage, (and) no need to worry about catering, human logistics, or health and safety.” Additionally, more people feel inclined to speak at the events because they do not need to travel. The events can also be organized more efficiently because there is no give people a significant heads-up beforehand. Furthermore, there is no stress of finding the perfect venue location. 

Logistically, virtual events are much easier to execute than in-person events. There are few reasons to say no to an event when you can participate from the comfort of your own home. Nevertheless, it is much harder to keep an audience engaged. Try encouraging participation through questions, breakout rooms, and fun backgrounds

Perfect Example

Earlier today, National Charity League hosted its annual Fashion Show online. The silent auction, which funds local college scholarships, took place on a custom link from the mobile bidding website GreaterGiving.com. The fashion show then streamed online at vimeo.com. Although it was disappointing that this event could not be in person, the organization still raised a significant amount of money for its philanthropy.

What’s next?

In the future, virtual events will still be an asset. Post-covid, many events will be considered ‘hybrid.’ This means that they will feature an online and in-person option to attend. As a result, the introduction and wide-spread use of virtual events will provide the opportunity to reach people on a global scale.

Music Copyright Rules on Instagram and Facebook

Instagram and Facebook have certain rules that users must follow in regards to music usage in live-streams and posts. Here some music copyright rules to keep in mind:

Music on Instagram Stories

Instagram encourages its users to share music through Instagram and Facebook Stories. In fact, the platforms have made it easy for you. Share music through external apps like Spotify, SoundCloud, or Apple Music. Your audience will be able to access the song as well.

Concert Videos

Live music is a drastically different experience compared to studio music. When you post a video of a song during a concert, Instagram and Facebook have a harder time noticing if you have used a song that does not belong to you. Both platforms fully permit the use of live music in posts. Share your concert experiences with your followers.

Use Shorter Clips of Music on Instagram

The more you use full-length studio music in your live-stream or posts, the more likely it will be muted or taken down. Use shorter clips of music. The safe zone is 15 to 30 seconds of recorded studio music.

Have a Visual

Create a visual element to go with the music. You cannot post a recording of a song with no visual component. Consider creating a video or photo montage to go along with the music clip you want to share.

What happens if you don’t follow the rules?

If you see this notification, adjust your post or live-stream to adhere to the music copyright rules on Instagram and Facebook.

If you use an excessive amount of full-length copyrighted music, your live-stream may be interrupted, or parts of your posts may be muted or taken down. Instagram and Facebook will send you a notification during your broadcast or upload that warns you if you are using more than the permitted amount of copyrighted music. Receiving this notification allows you an opportunity to adjust during your broadcast or before your post is uploaded. Take the time to switch to non-copyright music or stop playing music in your live-stream altogether.

Musicians want you to promote them.

However, they also want to get paid. The best practice for following music copyright rules on Instagram and Facebook is giving just a teaser of a song. Give your audience just enough of the song that they will want to go find it and listen to the song in its entirety on their own.

Remember to be respectful of the artist’s rights to their work. Creating music is how they make their money. If you really feel inclined to share an entire copyrighted song, create a cover of the song, add your own twist to it, or simply create your own music from scratch to use and promote.

Youtube in Digital Communications

It feels as though the world is inundated with social media platforms. The utilization of social media is constantly evolving and so are the applications that professionals in digital communication need to master in order to succeed. Nevertheless, the captivation that Youtube has on our society does not appear to be subsiding any time soon. Keep reading to find out how one in digital communications can leverage this infamous platform for their benefit.

Youtube (which is owned by Google) has been one of the most popular platforms since its disruption in the social media world in 2005. Youtube was the very first large-scale online video sharing platform. The amount of content on Youtube can feel overwhelming- there is an abundance of “channels” on the platform which users can consume! 

As a professional in digital communications, keep in mind that the most popular content on Youtube tends to be short videos and presentations. Those in professional digital communications should make sure that the content which they are making on Youtube is easy for users to find, since the platform has such an enormous collection of content. Most of the content on Youtube is uploaded by individuals. However, networks and studios also contribute to the platform. Youtube as a company has also started to produce their own content on the platform- Youtube Originals. Youtube’s high user engagement makes it a platform which professionals in digital communications should focus on due to its large reach.

Whatever one is looking for, Youtube will have videos that will spark that interest. Youtube content creators have greatly contributed to the success of the platform and there is serious money to be made on the platform. The demographic on Youtube is truly comprised of all ages- proven by the diversity of ages among the 2020 highest-paid Youtube content creators. The potential reach that an organization has from being featured on a highly viewed Youtube video is astronomical.  

This glimpse into the world of Youtube is certain to help professionals in digital communications succeed in their use of the platform! A key piece of advice for all digital communications professionals, is to maintain a high level of engagement when on any social media platform. Come back next Sunday to find out more about the significance of TikTok and other well liked platforms within digital communications! 

TikTok and music: Giving talent, old and new, the chance to go viral

TikTok and music have undeniably merged together since the app’s popularity exploded last winter. TikTok’s entire existence relies on the use of background music, and for some lucky musicians out there, their music just so happens to be picked up by TikTok influencers and regular users. Both rising stars trying to make their big break and classic rock heroes alike have gained massive attention on the app, and as NME frankly states it: “TikTok now has a huge effect on the music industry.”

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TikTok Food Trends: Is TikTok Becoming the New Food Network?

Image Source: https://www.thrillist.com/news/nation/top-tiktok-food-trends-of-2020

There is no doubt that TikTok has taken over the social media landscape. The app has allowed people worldwide to share creative and entertaining content. One industry in particular that has seen a significant spike in content is the food industry. TikTok food trends have become a popular source of delicious entertainment while people are at home in quarantine.

Image Source: https://www.thekitchn.com/hot-chocolate-bombs-recipe-23123589

Accord to The Huffington Post, some of the most popular TikTok food trends include hot chocolate bombs, baked feta pasta, and the tortilla wrap hack. Hot chocolate bombs became a popular treat during the holiday season. The trend consists of pouring hot milk over a chocolate ball filled with marshmallows and cocoa mix. Not only aesthetically pleasing to make, but the hot chocolate bomb is also a sweet and tasty drink to make while isolating at home. 

Image Source: https://helloyummy.co/baked-feta-pasta-recipe/

Another trend that has become popularized over the past months is baked feta pasta. This TikTok food trend consists of baking tomatoes and feta in the oven. Once cooked, the tomatoes and feta are mixed to create a creamy sauce poured over pasta. This trend is a great dinner option as it includes limited ingredients. The baked feta pasta can be used with any cheese or pasta.

Image Source: https://plantyou.com/tortilla-trend-viral-tiktok-tortilla-hack-veganized/

Finally, the tortilla wrap hack is the most current TikTok trend. This hack consists of cutting a tortilla wrap halfway down the middle and filling it with different meats, cheeses, and sauces. The hack allows you to easily wrap your tortilla without all of the tasty insides to come out. This hack has been one of the most popular TikTok trends, as it is easy to make with various ingredients.

Is TikTok the New Food Network?

TikTok has become a great platform for culinary chefs and regular people to share cooking tips and tricks. As a result of many lockdown restrictions, cooking has become entertaining and fun for many, according to The Guardian. Due to the increase in cooking and baking while at home, TikTok food trends have gone viral. Now, people worldwide can share how they make their coffee, frost a cake, and wrap a tortilla. 

Organic Versus Paid Social Marketing: What’s the difference?

Some of you might be reading the title of this post thinking to yourself: Am I supposed to already know the difference between organic versus paid social marketing? The answer is maybe, but if you don’t, you’ll have a grasp on the topic in two short minutes.

You know when you’re scrolling on Instagram, or Facebook, or TikTok, and you come across a post on your feed with a little “Promoted” tag in the corner? That’s paid social marketing, and it’s what companies spend their precious money on for various different reasons (but we’ll get to those reasons later).

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How to Market to Gen-Z in a Digital World

The influence of Generation Z (Gen Z) has become powerful in our modern world. Surpassing Baby Boomers and Millennials as digital natives, digital communication is an integral part of this social generation. Gradually gaining the buying power, a business and organization must cater to their target audience. With this in mind, how can businesses digitally market to captivate their growing consumers of Gen Z?

The Gen Z Power

Gen Z Individual on their Phone
Photo by Charlotte May from Pexels

Though Gen Z may strive in digital communication, they do have a poor attention span of only eight seconds. With everything at their fingertips, complete with a bombardment of daily ads, it’s understandable. However, that doesn’t diminish their ability to make or break the potential of merchandise sales. After all, Gen Z has been at the apex of “cancel culture.” With a quick post, review, or LIVE video, brands have found themselves at the mercy of this generation. The goal? Hold brands more accountable.

This social ethos stems from Gen Z’s desire to leave a positive impact on the world. As detailed in “What’s Your Strategy For Attracting Generation Z,” organizations are held to a higher standard in which 94 percent of Gen Z participants believe social and environmental issues should be addressed by companies (2017). There is a corporate social responsibility (CSR) that must be highlighted. As an example, in the midst of a crisis, a company should take responsibility or even advocate for its younger audience. This could be a public apology and company change like the former Aunt Jemima pancake syrup or advocating for change like Nike’s support of Colin Kaepernick.

Authenticity

Ultimately, the end result of a company should focus on authenticity. With today’s pop culture and influencers, this can be fulfilled. A few influential Gen Z babies that are taking the world by storm include multi-talented actress, Zendaya, makeup guru, James Charles, and even YouTube vlogger, Olivia Guinnulli. These media influencers not only represent the rising generation but also represent themselves as real people. To further the success of a business via media, a story for the brand is imperative. When posting content, excitement should be palpable by the audience. This offers a chance to be a part of the brand itself or the experience. Donald Miller’s “Building a Story Brand” offers great insight on storytelling for a business and to gain customers to be a part of it. And for social media, eye-catching content that is interactive, fun, and raises awareness, is a plus. After all, by promoting authenticity in a product, Gen Z’s buying power is influenced.

The Driver: Concise and Complete Updates

How easy to read updates will take your social channels to the next level

Fresh April Content Ideas for Your Social Channels |

We ended last week’s blog by coining social channels as ‘the driver.’ Social media drives your audience towards your company. So what is social media? Social media consists of blogs, microblogs, social networking, social news, online communities, podcasts, video sharing, photo sharing, messaging, and streaming videos. While these are all important drivers, blogs, microblogs, social networking, media sharing, and streaming are our main focus. These channels are easy to read and navigate, making them the perfect driver for your company.

Blogs

Blogs originated as an online travel journal in 1999. However, today, blogs are a mix of text and graphics that tell a current or topical story. A good blog has a captivating title, intriguing feature lead, and concise and complete writing. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is almost as important as the content of your blog post. SEO is critical to making sure your blog post gets seen. The introduction and repetition of a key phrase throughout your blog post will increase SEO. The comments on a blog also provide an opportunity to communicate with your audience.

Social Networking

Each social channel comes with its own set of rules and target audience. According to Steve Lee, Digital Communications professor at Southern Methodist University, Facebook users are personal, attentive, engaged, and social. Facebook users interact with brands by liking or commenting on their updates, rarely sharing them. We recommend that the updates are in the third person, consisting of two to three concise and complete sentences. On the other hand, Instagram is where your graphics will shine because the photo is the main focus of the post. The channel is perfect for real-time marketing. Twitter users are informed. Opposite of Facebook updates, Tweets should be in the first person. Brevity and humor are essential in executing a successful tweet.

The one takeaway that applies to every social channel is that each post, update, share, or tweet should be concise and complete. Because according to Time.com, we now have a shorter attention span than a goldfish.

Succeed in Snapchat and Twitter for Digital Communications

The number of social media platforms accessible to professionals in digital communications can feel overwhelming. The demands of social media are constantly changing, as more platforms come into the mix and others die down. However, the prevalence of Snapchat and Twitter does not appear to be abating any time soon. Keep reading to find out the uses and benefits of these key 21st century platforms for professional digital communications.

Snapchat

Snapchat is perhaps one of the most used platforms for social networking. As a professional in digital communications, keep in mind that Snapchat is best used for personal, expressive and short lived content. This content should always aim to create a quick visual memory for the viewer. There are many features on Snapchat which can be used to increase the awareness and engagement of an organization. These features include: filters, Snap map, news, special effects and much more. Those in professional digital communications should lean into Snapchat and all the benefits that it has to offer. Due to the personal and expressive nature of the app, an organization should make sure that what they are sharing on Snapchat not only humanizes their brand image, but also feels one-on-one to the viewer. While the demographic on Snapchat tends to lean younger, it is still important for all organizations to continually use the platform and share their slice-of-life moments with users in order to succeed. 

Twitter

Twitter is the perfect platform for communications and public relations professionals to showcase the personality of an organization. The quick, up-to-date and fun characteristics of Twitter make it a social networking platform that is great for engagement between an organization and their community. The demographic on Twitter is one which is truly comprised of all ages. The 280 character post limit is also something that professionals in digital communications need to keep in mind when creating content. Frequent engagement on Twitter is crucial for success on the platform. Professionals in digital communications must make sure that while they are creating great tweets for the brand, that they are also actively checking on consumer sentiment and quickly communicating with users who tweet about the organization. Tweets on the platform should be ones that are: relevant, clever, humorous, concise and entertaining. A prime example of an organization creatively using Twitter to increase brand awareness and engagement is Arby’s tweet poking fun at the famous musician, Pharrell Williams, for his hat choice at the 2014 Grammys. This one tweet “earned 384-times Arby’s normal reach on Twitter” (https://marketingland.com/guy-behind-arbys-tweet-pharrell-williams-rocked-grammys-72222). 

These insights into the world of Snapchat and Twitter are sure to help one succeed in their professional use of both platforms. As for any platform to succeed- engagement is crucial! Come back next week to discover more about the importance of Youtube and TikTok within digital communications!  

5 Tips For Increased Social Media Engagement

Social media is not only an incredible tool for connecting with friends but also is strategically used by brands to reach a larger audience and increase credibility. Here are 5 tips to help increase your platform’s social media engagement.  

https://socialmediaweek.org/blog/2017/10/10-tips-increasing-social-media-engagement/

#1: Be Active And Post Frequently

Brands can use their social media bios to include, links, account names, and hashtags to increase their social media engagement. A useful tip is to include relevant keywords and thought-provoking content related to your industry in your profile. By following the latest trends, a brand can stay on top of what other brands or products their audience prefers.

In order to maintain a growing social media platform, it is critical to post new content frequently. That being said, it is helpful to set reminders on your phone in order to post consistently and save time. Click on the following link for another article to better understand social media scheduling tools, https://smusmc.com/02/14/2021/three-best-social-media-scheduling-tools-for-communications-professionals/.

https://www.cosmopolitan.com/style-beauty/a12378/take-the-best-selfie/

#2: Set Social Media Goals

Your goal is what is driving your business and your brand’s social media strategy, and is the sole reason that you are on social media in the first place. Goals not only hold you accountable but also guide the road for improvement and success. “SMART Goals” is a popular goal-setting framework that can help create specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely goals. Individuals, brands, or large corporations can use the SMART Goals technique to set and obtain business or personal objectives.

http://www.findyourtailwind.com/blog/posts/2017/may-2017/choosing-the-best-social-network-to-reach-your-target-audience/

#3: Outline Your Target Audience

Make sure to identify your target audience and or who you are trying to get your message across to. When defining your consumer demographic, it is important to keep in mind what social media platforms they most use, and focusing on the platforms most preferred. A helpful tip is to do some background research about your target audience’s favorite brands, influencers, and some of the challenges that they face. This allows the organizations to better understand how to make their brand rise above the others and increase their social media engagement. 

#4: Use Tools to Monitor Social Media

Social media monitoring programs provide data and analytics that prove extremely useful for better fulfilling the interests of your target audience. Better targeting and interacting with your audience leads to increased engagement, followers, and overall social media presence. Social media monitoring platforms such as Hootsuite, allow brands to analyze all mentions across their various social media networks in order to better organize their social media activity and engage with followers. 

https://www.prdaily.com/why-you-should-invest-in-social-media-monitoring/

#5: Create Personal Relationships With Followers

Another way to optimize your social media presence across your brand’s various accounts is to create relationships with your followers. Responding to customers quickly is essential for maintaining happy customers and strengthened relationships. When customers trust and respect your brand, word of mouth will spread regarding your brand’s products or services. Some useful tips for creating relationships with your audience are by addressing them by their first name when possible and being friendly.

By following the latest trends, a brand can stay on top of what other brands or products their audience prefers. With the use of social media, a brand increase their overall social media engagement while also reaching a larger audience.

Instagram Stories as a Marketing Tool

58% of users surveyed by Instagram say they have become more interested in a brand or product after seeing it in Stories. Instagram Stories can be a useful yet often overlooked marketing tool that can increase audience engagement with your profile. It is also useful to help you sell more or spread information more quickly. Here are a few ways you can use your Instagram Story as a marketing tool to your organization’s advantage:

The Swipe-Up Function

If your organization’s profile has over 10K followers, you have the ability to use the swipe-up function on your Instagram Story. With the swipe-up function, you can embed a link to your story so your audience can swipe-up and visit the webpage. Many organizations will embed a link to their product page or their ticket site. This gives the audience a chance to learn more about the product, performance, or service before deciding to buy. 50% of Instagram users surveyed say that they have visited a website to purchase a product or service after seeing it in Stories.

The swipe-up function is the most important marketing tool to use on your Instagram Story if you qualify. Instagram for business accounts will give you insights into your Story’s engagement. It will show you who and how many people viewed your Story and how many link-clicks the Story received.

Additional Content = Additional Eyes

If your organization only relies on regular Instagram posts to get the information out there, you miss out on additional eyes that may miss your regular posts. Years ago, Instagram would show posts in chronological order in people’s feeds. They now use an algorithm that places certain posts in their feed based on other engagement factors, so regular posts are more often missed than before.

Once you have over 50 views on your Instagram Story, yours will be placed first on the list of Stories. Since Instagram Stories are at the top, most people will look at Instagram Stories first before their feed. It is important to create additional content specifically for your Instagram Story that is visually different from your regular Instagram posts.

Engagement Tools

You can find the Instagram Story Countdown Sticker when you tap on the smiley square at the top of your screen as you are making your Story.

Instagram offers a variety of marketing tools that will increase audience engagement with your Story. One popular tool is the Countdown function. Organizations can post a Story using a Countdown sticker to incite anticipation and excitement for the organization’s next product launch. Countdown stickers are most effective when they are posted within the 24 hours leading up to an event. Instagram allows you to choose the color or gradient of the Countdown sticker so that it matches your content. Just set the date, and the sticker will begin counting down by the seconds to your organization’s event.

Increase engagement with your audience by using the Instagram Story Question sticker.

Another popular engagement tool is the Question and Answer sticker. This sticker gives your audience a chance to interact with you by answering a question. Most organizations will use this sticker as a feedback marketing tool. For example, let’s assume your organization is a professional dance company. Posting a question sticker on your Story that asks for your audience’s feedback on the performance will result in engaging responses that you can share onto your Story for other people to see. If someone in your audience answers your question with a question, you can share the user’s question and provide an answer through video or type. The Question sticker allows for stronger two-way communication with your audience.

The Possibilities are Endless

There are many other engaging marketing tools that Instagram Stories have to offer. Hopefully, you will use this blog post as inspiration to help you get started. Use your Instagram Story to your advantage and begin increasing your engagement, growing your following, telling more stories, showing more information, and strengthening the two-way communication between you and your audience with these marketing tools.

TikTok: The New Marketing Tool of 2021

Image Source: https://www.lessingflynn.com/blog/best-tiktok-marketing-ideas/

The Power of TikTok

TikTok has become a household name in 2020 and 2021. According to Business of Apps, TikTok has 689 million users worldwide. Those users vary in children, teenagers, adults, businesses, and brands. With a $50 billion value, TikTok has become one of the most powerful apps downloaded within the last two years. As a result of TikTok’s massive online presence, the app can be seen as an effective marketing tool for companies.

TikTok in Business

Image Source: https://recurpost.com/blog/is-tiktok-marketing-the-next-big-thing-for-social-media/

It is clear from the above statistics that TikTok reaches a large audience. As a result, many businesses and brands have taken to TikTok to promote their products or services. There are many different ways for companies to use TikTok as a marketing and promotional tool. According to Social Media Today creating brand channels and utilizing influencer paid promotion on TikTok are two primary marketing tools used today.

Brand Channels on TikTok

TikTok’s versatility attracts users of all different ages from around the world. Creating TikTok channels for brands is a great way to reach a larger audience. Whether the company is a makeup brand or a car dealership, the TikTok possibilities are endless.

Another great attribute about TikTok is that the posts are only 60 seconds long. Therefore making TikTok a great marketing tool to promote quick and interesting videos to viewers.

TikTok Influencer Marketing

Image Source: https://edm.com/features/tiktok-influencer-marketing

Influencer marketing is another great tool for companies to use. Lately, influencers have used TikTok as a marketing tool when doing paid promotions for brands. TikTok allows influencers to post creative and authentic videos promoting a specific product or service. As a result of the large followings that influencers have, TikTok marketing is an effective tool for brands to reach a larger demographic.

The Future of TikTok Marketing

In conclusion, TikTok is a great marketing tool to use for any brand or service. The app is unique and allows its users to be creative and fun with their posts. Their versatility in videos is a great way for companies and brands to reach a larger audience to promote their products.

Cracking the Code of Digital Communication and Social Media

Social media is not only used for sharing, learning, and marketing but also allows users to feel involved. Understanding social media uses can not only allow a brand to better connect with its audience but also benefit from increased engagement.

2.89 billion people use social media and 3.8 billion use the Internet, according to research conducted by the London School of Economics, in 2017.

What is Digital Communication?

Digital communication is characterized as anything that involves any form of online or digital communication carried out by an organization or individual. This includes all forms of media and communication that is necessary to maintain and manage the reputation of an organization’s clients. This communication can be in the form of an email, Snapchat, social media post, tweet, text message, blog, or even videoconference message.

Who Are You Trying To Talk To?

In terms of digital communication, it is important to keep in mind, who you trying to get your message across to. More specifically, who are your current and potential clients, what do they like or dislike, what communities are they a part of and how do they influence these communities? These are known are the target audiences or key publics. Knowing the target audience or key publics is critical in order to create your goals and messages, communicate effectively, and receive the most engagement and positive results.

Social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram allow for instant communication with the click of a button.

Social Media and Usage

Social media is often used to keep in touch with friends and family, share photos and ideas, discover trends, but also is utilized to promote brands, products, or individuals. Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube are among the most popular platforms used by hundreds of millions of people daily. With the advancement of technology, these platforms have become increasingly user friendly, making instant digital communication more convenient. Click the following link to read another blog post about further understanding social media, https://smusmc.com/02/14/2021/digital-communication-101-where-to-start/.

Misuse of Social Media

Even with all benefits that digital communication can provide an organization, it can easily be misused. When creating a personal social media account, there is a possibility that individual privacy is lost, and that the account could be hacked. Misuse is also present when there are individuals, ambassadors, or employees misrepresenting the organization’s views on social media.

Monitoring Digital Communication

In order to best engage with your target audience, a helpful tool to track social media conversations, mentions, and feedback is to use a social media monitoring program. These programs allow organizations to better connect with their consumers, analyze sentiments, listen for mentions and reach a wider audience. The use of data-driven analytics is essential for measuring engagement, brand mentions, identifying strengths and weaknesses, and critiquing digital communication strategies.

Some of the most popular and influential social media platforms used my millions of people across the world.

Gotta Have a Gimmick for Your Social Presence

In our ever-evolving world of digital communication and varying platforms, connecting with others is as easy as point, click, and post! But the amount of time, energy, and know-how can be overwhelming to a social media amateur. Especially, when promoting a brand or public figure. Luckily, here are some insights into success concepts for one’s social media presence.

Branding

We all are probably familiar with the phrase “consistency is key.” As emphasized by Forbes, consistency assists in laying the foundation for one’s brand building. This consistency in style, aesthetic, logo-design, and hashtags has the potential to become a recognizable name to one’s audience. Brands like Nike, McDonald’s, and Whataburger fulfill this with memorable designs and catchy slogans.

However, classics like Coca-Cola launched a #RefreshtheFeed campaign (2018) to reboot with a positive twist to promote optimism and kindness. Whereas, Lay’s took the world by storm in their 2019 Lay’s Smile Campaign. This campaign optimized success through product packaging, influencer partnerships, and storytelling. It’s even detailed in a case study of more than 750 influencers. Throughout their revamp, Lay’s stayed consistent in their products, mission, and hashtags to ensure public interest and engagement.

Engagement

Photo by Georgia de Lotz on Unsplash depiciting Instagram Insights

Like Lay’s Smile Campaign, marketable branding comes with the need for engagement. To better understand this, one must analyze their current engagement. Platforms like Sprout Social can offer a detailed summary throughout various applications (i.e. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and the like) to better understand analytics and know what suits the audience. This can assist in narrowing down specific times to post, what content the audience prefers, and how to creatively evolve by creating the fear of missing out (FOMO). This FOMO and fun engagement are a result of giveaways, limited-time products or offers, brand partnerships, and celebrating holidays or a company launch.

Relevance

There’s no doubt that social media has grown within the professional field and has transformed lifestyles since the early 2000s. With the fast pace of technological developments, it can be difficult to stay abreast of trending styles and customer expectations. One cannot choose to stay stagnant in their own feed and refuse involvement in trends. Failing to stay abreast of the happenings of the world can lead to its demise.

As such, signing up for specific blogs, sites, or choosing keywords via Google Alerts can be helpful tips to compete with a platform’s algorithm. Furthermore, by publishing consistently, partnering with influencers, and targeting the right audiences, the brand will become notable and memorable. Some great partnerships with beloved celebrities include Justin Bieber and Calvin Klein, Michael Jordan with Nike, and Jennifer Aniston with Diet Coke or Aveeno, and the list could go on.

In the end, branding, engagement, and relevancy are just a few concepts to keep in mind when posting or redefining a platform. For more information on branding and setting oneself apart from others, look into IU Kelley’s School of Business Professor’s Tedx Talks.

Three Best Social Media Scheduling Tools for Communications Professionals

Save Time and Stress with These Social Media Scheduling Tools

Communications professionals know how important it is to have a strong social media presence. However, maintaining this strong presence across several platforms can be overwhelming and time-consuming.

That’s where social media scheduling tools help. Effective use of these tools can boost your overall social media management process. Look no further – here are the three best social media scheduling tools to save you time and stress.

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Digital Communication 101- Where to start

Image result for digital communication

Digital communication is more important now than ever before. So let’s start with the basics. What is digital communication? Resaerchnet.com defines digital communications as “the physical transfer of data over Point-To-Point or Point-To-Multipoint communication channel. It is the transfer of discrete messages.” Digital communication is the cheapest, most accessible way to reach large audiences, making it essential to the quarantine lifestyle.  

The Digital Spectrum

According to Steve Lee, Digital Communications professor at Southern Methodist University, there are five categories of ‘The Digital Spectrum’: preparation, planning, content and/or channel management, monitoring/responding, and analytics. Preparation involves creating goals, measurable objectives, and audience profiles in conjunction with conducting preliminary research. The next step of the spectrum is to create either a digital communication plan or a quick (mini) digital plan to execute said goals. This plan should include content marketing, channel determination, blog/social writing, and social media monitoring. Furthermore, response management and customer relationship management are critical to maintaining a positive relationship with the audience. The last step is to measure the efficacy of the digital communication through evaluating the execution, monitoring the digital channels, and analyzing the analytics.

The Digital Diamond

The primary digital channels make up the four points of the digital diamond, each having specific uses. Starting at the top of the diamond is the website, the cornerstone of the digital world used for reference information. The second point is email, which is the most direct way to reach the public although it requires prerequisite permission. The third point is blogs that utilize their topical and storytelling abilities to captivate an audience. The last point is social media, perfect for its entertaining, compelling, and personal appeals. Social media is the driver providing a constant stream of content. Next week, we will dive into the most important social media channels when building your brand.

How to Disable Filters and Apply Backgrounds on Zoom

When the pandemic first started, schools, institutions, and organizations adopted Zoom as a means of meeting online. Over the past year, we have seen and heard many embarrassing stories about users with their microphone or camera on, users stuck with virtual face filters, and users who had nonsense going on in their backgrounds. We can obtain professionalism on Zoom with more robust user knowledge. Here is how to disable filters and apply backgrounds on Zoom so you can avoid embarrassment in your next interview or meeting:

Is your lawyer a cat?

This week, a lawyer appeared as a white kitten on Zoom for a live court proceeding in Texas. He had logged on to Zoom from his assistant’s laptop, which his assistant’s daughter had previously used to play with Zoom filters. Attorney Rob Poston announced that he could move forward with the hearing as a cat, but he eventually got the filter off with guidance from his assistant and the judge.

Face filters on Zoom are fun to play with, but before you log onto your next important meeting, make sure that the filters are disabled.

How to disable filters on Zoom:

  1. Hover your mouse over Stop Video. 
  2. Click on the upwards carrot next to Stop Video.
  3. Click on Choose Video Filter. 
  4. Select None. 

What does your Zoom background say about you?

Do you feel like you have a dark cloud looming over you when you are on Zoom? It might be the enormous dark-colored oil painting in the background above your head. You could solve that problem by taking the oil painting down or moving to a different location in your home. But what about the inevitable and unexpected distractions that come from your background?

If your goal is to keep your home-life private or keep your audience free from the unavoidable distractions in your background, Zoom backgrounds can help. Zoom backgrounds act as a green screen to help other users focus on you and take away minor distractions. Zoom backgrounds add an element of fun or professionalism. Make sure not to choose a background that is too distracting, which would defeat the purpose of a Zoom background. Zoom backgrounds are not hard to find; you can select one of your photos, search for “Zoom backgrounds,” or choose one of these to download:

Book Shelf Zoom Background

After you have chosen a professional background, here is how to apply it on Zoom:

  1. Hover your mouse over Stop Video. 
  2. Click on the upwards carrot next to Stop Video. 
  3. Click on Choose Virtual Background.
  4. Click on the plus sign to add an image or video. 
  5. Upload the image or video you want to use as your background.

Before your next meeting, check your Personal Meeting Room.

If you are worried that a filter or a non-professional background was recently used your computer, enter into your Personal Meeting Room on Zoom and disable filters and apply backgrounds to meet your professional standards.