ViVid

Before I had my summer internship, I used to think that Facebook and Twitter combined is the new social media. But after my boss introduced me to Brian Solis‘ Conversation Prism, I realized that there’s more to social media than just Facebook and Twitter. So please repeat after me: New social media is not Facebook and Twitter.

Now Facebook and Twitter might be two of the leading sites of social Networks and Micromedia and they may be the first two websites that I log into first when I go online, but really, my favorite social media sites are Video Websites.

If I had to choose between watching a viral video and reading a really cool blog, I would definitely go for the video.  Now when it comes to integrating videos into a social media plan, I’d say it’s a great way to offer value to your audience. Not only are videos entertaining but they can also present positive value. They can advertise to promote their services, products, and brands.  Through videos, organizations can share through a more vivid and tangible experience.

What makes videos even greater is that they go viral more easily. It’s easier to think of videos that spread like wildfire than to think of a blog entry, a tweet, or a Facebook status that went viral.

Another plus for videos is the fact that communicators are not restricted to words. With videos, they can be more imaginative. Communicators can take on creative approaches to reach out to their audience. From approaches like celebrity endorsements, to fun tutorials, to inspiring clips, to charming mini-films, audiences can gain value in an enjoyable way. At the same time, creators can have fun in crafting these videos which are of course remain hinged on what the brand is, who its audience is and what compels them.

Here are some of my favorite clips:

I haven’t seen the movie but the trailer is just so nostalgic.

Amusing yes?

Sandwich! :)

What are your favorite vids?

If & When Sparks Fly (The Good Sort of Sparks)

It takes two to make that spark.

With a mission as an organization, brands utilize new social media and set out to court their target audiences. They begin with an idea. They strategize.  They communicate. In a perfect world, their idea makes an impact and creates that spark they want. Ideally, the audience falls madly in love with them that they have to act on their feelings. Occasionally, there would be public display of affection (PDA) through Mentions, Likes, Retweets, Shares, Re-blogs, etc.

Yes, it’s a love affair.

It takes two to make a spark last.

It’s no secret that keeping a relationship alive has become a challenge, and I’m not just talking about romantic relationships. Not only do organizations have to compete with other organizations for the attention of their audiences, they also have to raise the bar for their own selves from time to time .

Let’s say you’ve successfully reached your audience. The spark is already there but how do you keep it alive? This challenge confronting organizations are compelling them to constantly reevaluate their strategies. It’s just natural for organizations to care for their relationship, and speaking as a consumer, we expect them to do so. We consumers are spoiled brats like that.

Organizations should make sure their presence still excites their audience in the same way that their audiences’ responses enliven them. Some organizations may be consistent with their communication tactics, constantly providing customers information and updates through new social media while others ought to surprise their audiences once in a while. You don’t have to go to extremes to make the spark last. Or do you? How do you think should organizations keep that spark alive? :p

Dare You To Move

My blog entries have mostly been about how brands and profit organizations can use and benefit from new social media, but this time I’d like to share my thoughts on how non-profit organizations (NPO) can make use of it. :)

The infinitely wonderful world of new social media remains to be a Wild West for non-profit organizations. New social media is still relatively untapped by non-profit organizations even if it offers tremendous opportunities for them. Profit organizations have been adopting social media into their strategies and I believe NPOs should be doing the same. :)

New social media can help NPOs raise awareness.
We live in a connected world. We live in a world where anyone can connect with anybody, where NPOs can connect and collaborate with anyone. If NPOs use social media, they can share their advocacies more easily and conveniently. NPOs can create a Fanpage where people can like them and these people can even recommend it to their friends if they find it compelling.

New social media requires minimal spending.
Funding shouldn’t be a problem for NPOs since most social media tools are free of charge. And this helps because, the less NPOs they spend on promotional tactics, the more they can alot for their projects. :)

New social media facilitates collaboration.
New social media transcends organizational boundaries. NPOs can reach out to fellow NPOs or profit-organizations, perhaps for their CSR, and partner with bloggers and opinion leaders who can also impart their advocacy. :) An example of an NPO collaborating with other NPOs is Lights. Camera. Help?, a NPO that encourages other NPOs and cause-driven organizations to use film and video to share their stories.

The challenge for NPOs will be creating that compelling message to engage people on the internet. It’s easy to click that Like button or share that link but getting people to volunteer and donate is another story. If I may quote Switchfoot, NPOs should be

“daring you to move, to lift yourself up off the floor,”

and make people realize the distinction

“between who you are and who you could be, between how it is and how it should be.”

WoW!

I stumbled upon this interesting  report on the female Internet user. The report, entitled Women on the Web: How Women are Shaping the Internet, was released by comScore June this year.
I can’t blame comScore for being so interested with the Women on the Web (WoW), their digital habits and their participation in the global Internet landscape. After all,  women are such complex creatures.
Did you know that:

  • Over 50% of the population in the internet landscape is male. Meaning women comprise the minority in the global internet landscape. But interesting enough, women spend more time on the internet than men.

  • Women in all regions are more socially active on the Web than Men. We spend more time on Social Networking Sites, Instant Messaging, and E-mail than men. And While social networking has increasingly become a part of the digital habits of all netizens, it appears that it is more important to us, women.

  • Indeed, men are from Mars and women are from Venus. Men typically use Twitter to find political news and follow sports teams while women usually use Twitter to find deals, special prices, and promotions, and follow celebrities.

  • Women are seen as more conversational and relational, however, comScore’s report shows that men post tweets their own tweets more, and Retweet more.
  • Men spend far more time than women watching videos online. However, video consumption on YouTube is higher among women than men. I wonder where men watch their videos. Hmmm…

  • More and more older women are starting to engage in social activities online. Perhaps this is happening due to the influence of the younger generation? Or the older generations are starting to realize the benefits and accept new social media.

So what?
MEN SHOULD PREPARE FOR WOMEN DOMINATION!!! Just kidding!
All these things may seem trivial to a lot of people but it is this kind of information that everyone from advertisers to content producers to agencies to non-profits to politicians and policy makers should be researching. Information of this sort will certainly help communicators craft and position their messages effectively.

If communicators are able to understand the global internet landscape through a gender-specific lens, or through any specific lens for that matter, it would be easier for them to target specific campaigns. But of course this is only one of the many possible ways of looking at your target audience.

Organizations may also study them according to their demographics, geographics, technographics or psychographics. Depending on what an organization’s goal is, they may analyze their targets’ age, gender, culture, employment, location, behavioral qualities, emotional qualities.

The bottomline is, a good campaign starts with research. Understanding our audience, their needs and Internet usage is key to be able to come up with the right strategy.  Whether your target audience are young females, old males, kids, gays, lesbians, widowers, single moms, yuppies, sports fanatics, fashionistas, techies, foodies, etc, you ought to be specific to know them and understand them.

The Gleek Sneak Experience

Yesterday was such a blast thanks to my Gleek friend Mina Loyola. We were two of the lucky Gleeks who got to watch Glee’s première episode in a full cinema experience at the SM Mall of Asia’s Center Stage. I was supposed to update my blog that night but it was just too hard to resist Mina’s invitation (bullying). But I certainly have no regrets! :D

The gates were supposed to open at 7pm but oh the excited Gleeks we were, we got there two hours too early. So we decided to stroll around for a bit just to kill time since we were uhm two hours early. HAHA We came back at around 6:20 and saw that a lot of people were already falling in line, so that’s when we (panicked then) decided to claim our tickets.

You’re probably wondering what this has to do with social media, well let me tell you. Mina used new social media to win us some tickets and it’s what ETC also used to help promote Glee’s new season. :>

ETC or Entertainment Central, the channel that airs Glee in the Philippines, made the most out of new social media to keep the Gleek’s hype for the new season. Since there was a break before the last few episodes of Glee’s first season and before the second season, ETC made sure to keep the fans excited about Glee.

GLEE OFF TO HOLLYWOOD, launched last April this year, was the first promo ETC launched. Yes they are giving one Gleek a chance to go to Hollywood this November, meet the entire Glee cast, and become part of one Glee episode. (Turning green with envy as I type this). The lucky winner was even greeted in a video by Mr. Schuester, Finn, Artie and Mike.

It was also in April when ETC announced the GLEE SING OFF, a contest for glee clubs. Now this was my first Gleek escapade with Kim and Mina. Last June, the three of us got to watch the finals where three glee clubs sang their hearts out à la Glee. Before the end of the event, The Company surprised the audience with songs from the awesome series. (I became a fan of The Company after this.)

After the Glee Off to Hollywood promo, and the Glee Sing Off contest, ETC would not let the hype for the second season go down. ETC made sure Glee still stuck to our minds by posting videos entitled The Gleeks Take the Quiz! on Facebook which also air as TVCs on their channel. And the latest promo ETC did was the GLEEK SNEAK.


Gleeks simply had to post a message on ETC’s Wall saying they should be invited to the premiering of Glee on the big screen and then ETC would post an invitation on their Wall. And that was what Mina did. Mina’s wallpost got us two tickets to watch the première episode of Glee on big screen. :D

I’d have to say ETC’s campaign to promote to Pinoy Gleeks and keep the hype for Glee was a success. :D Aside from the fact that Charice was in the première episode, ETC made an excellent use of social media to reach Pinoy Gleeks. From the start, the goal for ETC was very clear and I believe this is the reason for being able to successfully meet it. They already had good material in their hands to start with (Glee is pretty amusing), but they didn’t stop at that. They knew who their target audience was and they knew where they are so ETC reached out to them. Their campaign wasn’t all TVCs, billboards, and postcards, nor was it entirely comprised of Facebook statuses or Tweets. They worked out social media into their strategy effectively, and integrated it with events marketing and traditional media to create a balanced and targeted mix for their campaign.

The line was pretty long. Good thing we got back early.

Going back to my Gleek Sneak experience… After claiming our tickets, Mina and I fell in line. At this point we were feeling pretty anxious, and it’s not because we were excited for the Glee episode. Let’s just say we were camera-shy. HAHA Unfortunately Mina and I had to fulfill some Gleek duties and ETC-winner responsibilities thus, we had to ‘cheer’ in front of the camera. Mind you, the cameraman took at least four takes. :))

When we finally got to the reception area, the place was completely jam-packed with families, teens, and yuppies! Before entering the movie house, we had to stop by the photobooth of course. There was free food and drinks, and if you know me well, you know I wouldn’t pass up chances like this. But because Mina was being a (charming little) brat and she didn’t want me to leave her, I wasn’t able to get any. We waited for at least 90 minutes before the show started. I think the Gleeks got too busy eating free food outside. :))

Told you it was jam-packed!

Before the episode played, there were dancers who came to the stage and to the aisles of the movie house à la flash mob and danced to the tune of a Glee song. The end of the dance cued for the lights dim and for the film to roll. As much as I would want to share in detail what happened in the first episode, I won’t because I want you to see it yourself. But can I just say, Charice’s awesomeness was just !%@&^!$@&^$!!!

Til my next Gleek escapade! Kudos to ETC! :D :D :D