Shifts in Trends = Shifts in Tradition?

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Does a business need to know the demographics of its online audience? Is it necessary to use traditional marketing strategies in the digital world?
These are some of the questions the girls at Zeelous are asking…

Advancements in technology and our growth of the digital age means a business can access information and attract its audience in one humungous community: Social Media.
With numbers of users growing vastly, is there even a need for a company to gather statistical data about populations or age ranges?
Are businesses wasting time (and money) carrying out surveys on audiences’ religious beliefs and interests when it’s readily available with just a few clicks?

Zeelous appreciates the need for numbers and percentages – but if we were to think beyond tradition and towards digital –
is there a need to find the certain characteristics of your audience if they are ALL positively engaging with you via social media?
Of course a business cannot survive without knowing its audience and their needs, but social media has definitely turned traditional marketing on its head.

Here’s a link to another interesting article “Traditional Marketing VS Social Media Marketing”  (http://www.socialquickstarter.com/content/7-traditional_vs_social_media_marketing)

Tell us your thoughts; should we improve with technology or stick with our roots?

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How should you deal with social media hacking?

McDonalds Twitter

Burger King, the chain of fast food restaurants where recently hacked. The hackers took no time to re-brand the companies twitter feed to their rival McDonald’s logo. The followers of the fast food restaurant where treated to over an hour of videos and photos of dirty kitchens and offers from McDonald’s. The hacker also re-tweeted complaints from the public about their food and service.

So, who’s fault is it? The obvious answer would be the hacker, however we need to question the security of the twitter website. If it is that easy to take over a high profile for over an hour, twitter really needs to wise up if they want more well established businesses and celebrities to join the trend.  Burger King itself also will need to be more carful with whom they trust with their social media site, and the login details. A lack of management and monitoring enabled the hackers to tweet whatever the wanted for over an hour!  If Burger King want to be part of the social media hype they really need to manage their accounts better. Un-noticed for over an hour, by the time they had communicated the problem twitter there social media feed had already been ruined. Leaving it for such a long length of time could cost the companies brand reputation, big time.

Another bizarre thing, is that Burger King made a public apology – but on Facebook. Why on Facebook? Surely, it was their Twitter fans that they upset, why would they then make an apology on another social media site. How can they guarantee all their Twitter followers will be on Facebook too?

So what should companies do to ensure the safety of their public content?

1 – Be very careful who you give your login details to. Is this a reliable, trustworthy  employee?

2 – Ensure that your social media platforms are monitored and managed properly. It took Burger King over 1 hour to realize and report the problem. How much damage can one person do in 1 hour?

3 – If you are unfortunate enough to get hacked, apologize on the content that was hacked. Just a quick message to say we’ve been hacked! Service continues as normal – sorry to those who where offended! Its not that hard…is it?

Tell us what you think. Have you ever been hacked? What was the outcome? Any more advice? LET US KNOW!

Can Social Media become dangerous?

black-mirror

We at Zeelous love social media and all that comes with it. The connections, the sharing and the online social life we have built up. Twitter is the tool that helped us achieve success in our #Kindercow project and in the future we intend to keep using it, much like everyone else.

So what can be dangerous about it?
First and foremost we can see the personal implications that have been stressed to us over the years about being careful what information we share on the Internet and who we connect with. But what interests us at Zeelous is the power social media has over our society. A perfect example of the way that social media can damage our society is shown in a TV drama called Black Mirror. They’re all about the way we live now and the way we might be living in 10 minutes’ time if we’re clumsy.

Over the last ten years, technology has transformed almost every aspect of our lives before we’ve had time to stop and question it. In every home; on every desk; in every palm – a plasma screen; a monitor; a smartphone – a black mirror of our 21st Century existence. Our grip on reality is shifting. We have access to all the information in the world, but no brain space left to absorb anything longer than a 140-character tweet.
Black Mirror is a contemporary British re-working of The Twilight Zone with stories that tap into the collective unease about our modern world. The three stand-alone dramas are sharp and suspenseful tales with a techno-paranoia plot.

Without giving too much away we at Zeelous think Black Mirror is well worth a watch. Black Mirror shows dangers on society as a whole that can make the world stand still if we are not careful how we use social media. But are we past the point of no return?

The series was shown last year but next time it hits our screens have a watch or alternatively online at 4OD and tell us what you think!

Top Social Media Trends

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Social media initially wasn’t so much of a craze, but in the present day it is rooted in our everyday lives and the web itself. It has impacted communication in a way NEVER seen before!

The first trend we collectively agreed upon is Social Mobile, where we looked closely at the continuing rise of smartphones which allow us mobile synergy and social networks all in one, making the easy access to Facebook, Twitter and YouTube simple, yet very additive!
Figures show that over 50% of Twitter is from the mobile, a staggering 1.2 billion people have an internet connected smartphone and over 400 million Facebook users use their mobile to check in, which is very similar to the millions of YouTube views coming from the mobile.

We then decided on Socialisation of Search, and as Google is one of the TOP search engines we have gone with this example. Google appreciates that social networks are here to stay and as a result invested half a billion dollars in designing and developing Google+. They have understood that social networks need to be prioritised when producing search results in order to stay relevant. Google considers social as fundamental to its strategy and is using social signals when delivering information from search engines. (This can be seen from the top social networks appearing in the search results).

We ourselves think Google has done the best thing and for that we love it!

The next trend is Location-Based Marketing with Social, through this service is the help to spread awareness of a business and drive customers to the door (How clever!). Facebook offers the ‘check-in’ feature which demonstrates this trend. For instance, when you check-in at a place via Facebook you are not only letting your Facebook friends know “I am here!” but Google+ encourages users to leave reviews.
It’s not only Facebook either, but other social networks, which are entirely built around location-based services. They turn the process of checking in at various locations into a real-world game, complete with leader boards, and the chance to win rewards and discounts at participating locations.

We find this particular trend interesting as once the location check-in is established; it then comes down to customers leaving reviews and the help of word of mouth to gain more to the locations door, this however cannot always work well.

Social Apps is our final chosen trend. When coming to this decision, we also closely looked at Social Gaming since both of these trends amazed us. As for social apps, we found that 30% of all time was spent on these apps, including the likes of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Flipboard and Foodspotting. The example we have gone with is the ever growing popular Instagram which has a 10 million user following and is regularly seen on Facebook. This app is a free photo sharing app, which allows you to upload and share photos with friends and family.

With this app, we found that the option to share to Facebook from Instagram really keeps the app alive and brings more interest in it each day and everyday and for that we really enjoy using Instagram, it’s a lot of fun and so easy to use!

Getting social…

Social-Media-in-Business-Social-Media-Applications-Guide

Image is by permission of http:www.Socialmediainbusiness.com

In today’s thoroughly ‘data-centred’ lifestyle it is unusual to encounter an individual who does not have an online presence; whether that is through Facebook, Twitter or any of the other numerous forms of social media, cyber culture is evidently radically changing the way we live our lives.

However, what we at Zeelous find incomprehensible is that there are still many businesses in the UK and worldwide that do not use social media to further their reach and consolidate marketing efforts through other mediums. We believe that the utilisation of social media provides benefits for any business that are vital for success.
According to digital analytics source Comscore, 62% of adults worldwide are now using social media with the UK having the highest percentage of people online (85% = 53 million). Meaning the chance to increase sales and brand awareness is higher than ever, can your business afford to pass up on those statistics?
Social media use for business is a positive step in the right direction but we have compiled a few Do’s and Don’ts for first time users…

 DO

  • Plan out what you’re going to do/say before doing so

Although you may have just had a fantastic idea for a post or a link, running it through a draft system before it going live is always a good method of delivery. This minimises mistakes and concentrates the relevant content.

  • Emulate other brands and corporate pages you’d like to be thought of along with

By this, we at Zeelous mean in terms of structure, layout and to generate inspiration; be careful not to T.W.O.C (take without consent) – especially with copy and content.

  • Be consistent and engaging

Abandoning your social media output for even a short space of time can have disastrous results to any progress made. If you have a blog, great! But remember to post regularly, to update users on what’s going on. Same rules apply to Twitter, users don’t want an empty Twitter feed – they follow you for a reason!

 DON’T

  • Sell on social media sites or be ‘pushy’ with users

Social media is excellent for reaching new customers and building brand awareness but DIRECT USERS TO YOUR WEBSITE if you want to generate sales leads. Nobody wants to be directly sold to, otherwise it would be called SALES MEDIA!

  • Rely on just one platform

The beauty of social media is that there are mediums for every aspect of digital media. Try not to rely on just the big fishes of Twitter and Facebook. Get out there and explore the possibilities.

 Our main tip that we can give at  is to have fun with your social media output whilst remaining PROFESSIONAL! We all know what happened with the Waitrose fiasco of September 2012. Here are a few more social media fails courtesy of our friends at Econsultancy: http://econsultancy.com/uk/blog/11056-the-top-10-social-media-fails-of-2012