Keeping college buddies after graduation: how social media will help keep that community going

As graduation comes quickly around the corner I have often caught myself asking the question, “Who am I going to stay connected with after I am done with college?” The question goes through my mind quite often, but then I realize that despite the distance there is something now ah days that will keep me updated on their lives. That is the internet. And more specifically, social media.

It is hard to think about moving on from your little community you have made in college, but it is comforting to know that you will always be able to catch up with a friend or see how their lives are going from a picture they post or status they send out. It is funny how I used to sometimes make fun of parents for getting so excited about connecting back with old friends once they got their Facebook accounts. Little did I know I would be in the same boat come graduation from college.

I get excited about old friends from elementary school and middle school popping up on social media and I know this will be the same once I am 3-4 years out of college. With social media being an aspect in our lives that seems to just keep on growing I don’t see my community I have built here to completely be lost.

I am now trying to see social media in a more positive light. There are days where I want to delete my Facebook account when it is flooded with election opinions, random videos, or advertisements, but then I have to realize that I am also scrolling through to check up on the people that I am close to. I love seeing posts from people that have already graduated going on to bigger and better things.

In conclusion, there is no need to fret. Social media will continue to allow this little group you have grown to become a family with to stay connected throughout your life. Pretty awesome in my opinion. So despite maybe having no idea what you want to do after college just remember your people will be there by possibly liking of a photo, commenting on a status, or reposting a memory of you guys from freshmen year.

 

(My current status):

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REI’s #OptOutside posts are taking over and I #loveit

As an outdoors enthusiast, nothing makes me happier than seeing my newsfeed full of pictures of nature posted either by friends or companies I follow. It warms my heart to see people in love with nature, which is why I have been ecstatic by REI’s social media movement. They gave it the title a few years ago, “#OptOutside.” REI’s goal is to get people out of the mall and into nature for Black Friday. It has been growing and as every year passes I see more and more posts on Black Friday promoting this movement.

Don’t get me wrong, I have been there at the mall doors at 5 am with no sleep and waiting for the employees to unlock the doors. I have been apart of the rush to get the ‘best’ deals of the year. I put the word best in quotes because every time I seem to be so disappointed with what I end up finding at the stores. ‘Best’ deals of the year… yeah right. These few disappointing experiences have made me dislike the idea of Black Friday quite a bit.

That being said, the past few years I have been trying to lean towards this idea that REI has been promoting. This year more than all the others they have taken social media by storm, especially promoting the movement through their own site. Just look, they even changed their company’s Facebook cover page:

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This along with other posts like the one I shared the other day that you can see below have taken over my Facebook and I personally LOVE IT. Even if I wasn’t an outdoorsy person, I feel like what the company is pushing for is such an authentic movement that it has set them apart from competitors for sure. Their use of a catchy hashtag and making this something you can see on all their social media platforms is a genius marketing tactic.

I am so excited to see how many people on my own Facebook page post pictures on Black Friday that show them out and about in nature and not shopping. I can definitely see this #OptOutside movement turn into something incredible for not only the company, but for people all over. People get to enjoy the outdoors while the company gains recognition for the movement. Definitely a win-win situation 🙂

So are you going to #OptOutside this Black Friday? Comment below with your thoughts of this movement by REI!

 

(Here is the post I shared…)

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Advertising nightmare: why even getting through a single article can be a pain.

There is so much to read and so many things to learn on the internet now, but what is the biggest thing that is preventing us from reading on? Advertisements. Plain and simple. From a marketing student’s perspective I should appreciate these things, right? Wrong. Nothing has turned me away faster from reading something on a website, blog, or social media platform more than ads.

I have written about suggested posts and ads before on my blog and how I became a fan of these at times, but this form of advertising is different. I want to focus on the problems with the ads, this includes videos, pictures, pop up links, and so on, that seem to bombard you when all you want that time is to read something.

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A very recent example can be seen in the photos above. I was trying to find an article to comment on for class and immediately lost interest due to the several advertisements that were inserted right at the beginning.

At first this post may seem a bit like I am complaining, which I am, but my overall thought  and question I wanted to bring up is how will this bombardment of ads effect a website’s reach? Will this turn a lot of people away? Has it already turned a lot of consumers away?

I am aware that these problems don’t exist often on an actual company’s site, but when it comes to certain media platforms this advertising increase has been noticeable and quite frankly annoying.

Also, another topic comes to mind when I look at these imbedded advertisements, which is ‘content marketing’. As I have learned in class, this is something that has been around for a long time, but is recently finding it’s way back into several companies marketing strategies. How will these constant interruptions effect getting information to the consumers?

As time goes on I do see these types of advertising tactics being implemented in a better way, or at least I hope so. As a consumer I do not enjoy trying to read something online and having these types of things pushed at me. And as a marketing student I do not see this as a very smart tactic for companies to take. This goes back to the basics of push versus pull advertising. A company must assess how much these advertisements, pop ups, etc. are truly benefitting them. Could advertising and media budgets be spent in a different way?

What are your thoughts on these imbedded advertisements on websites, blogs, etc.? Comment your thoughts below!

The Evolution of Facebook’s ‘Like’ Button

Most of us in the undergraduate age range right now created our Facebook’s incognito. Back in the day we had to be a certain age to be able to make an account (which at the time many of us were not of age..). I remember when the requirement was you had to be at least 18 years of age. So what did my 12 year old self do? Pretended to be 18 and I got my Facebook as a 7th grader. Now almost 10 years later, it is has been cool to watch this social media site grow. Something I remember best was when ‘liking’ was NOT a thing. Most people my age who had their Facebook back in middle school remember this era. We are also reminded of this time when we look under our “On the day” events and see that no one liked those embarrassing statuses from 8th grade. (Maybe it was better to not have people be able to react to my embarrassing and pointless statuses from those days) Anyways, moving on to more important things…

We used to just scroll through our newsfeed and look at statuses or pictures posted by friends and family. That was the extent of what we did and could do. But then came along the ingenious idea of that button we all press SEVERAL of times a day, the ‘Like’ button.

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Implemented in 2009, the button started out as sort of a foreign territory for Facebook users. Was it truly that simple to communicate to someone how we felt towards their post? Yes. It had become as simple as one click. This little button has grown to a point that I don’t think most of us saw coming. The two largest trends I have noticed (personal and business wise) have been…

  1. The number of ‘likes’ is something that some people thrive off of on social media. This doesn’t stop with Facebook. It is popular on all social media (Instagram, Twitter, etc.) A lot of us have become absorbed into this type of acceptance by our peers. I have personally experienced great joy when receiving dozens of likes on a post, while also feeling some sadness from not receiving as many likes on other posts.
  2. Businesses are using the amount of ‘likes’ as a form of measurement. Marketing overall has had to make a large shift due to this skyrocket in social media. Just now when googling, ‘like button on Facebook’, I got dozens of sites showing me how implement the button onto my site, my advertisements, and so on. An example of social media marketing goal could be to reach 100 likes on this certain post by Monday. It has become a benchmark for some companies.

The next step Facebook took was the new and improved version of likes = ‘Reactions.’

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Those who have had Facebook for the past couple of years have seen this new implementation take off as well. After reading a few articles, it seems as though adding in this new feature took quite some time and extensive research (focus groups, surveys, etc.) I do not foresee this feature growing as rapidly as the ‘like’ button due to my personal page still being full of the likes and not love/sadness/anger/etc., but I could be wrong. This could easily be have been a chance for Facebook to create a new trend for social media sites where sites. Sites could slowly implement this feature and start to be able to see how their consumers are specifically reacted to their information online.

Do you think this ‘Reaction’ type of responding will trend like the ‘like’ button? Let me know what you think.

 

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Timehop: a world of reminiscing

Invented in the year 2011 by a man named Jonathan Wegener, Timehop is a simple app that has created a new buzz among social media sites within the past 5 years. Despite its original purpose as a business transaction application,  this company now sifts through all of your social media. These sites include Twitter, Instagram, Dropbox, etc. They do this in hopes to, as their site states, “reinvent reminiscing for the digital era,” as well as continue their creation of the “digital nostalgia category.”

When you read this company’s description they word it in a way that makes it seem much less intrusive than they are being. Do not get me wrong I do believe this is an awesome and smart idea for the company, but does that excuse the fact that the company is prying into our social media accounts? Or maybe we are now just more accepting of sites looking at our information?…

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Just as the title suggests, I do see people becoming more and more accepting with sharing information about themselves than ever before. I think that we have been told over and over that if something is posted on the internet, it is there forever and can be found again. Creator Jonathan Wegener has made taking parts of everyone’s digital footprints fun and not seem so invasive. Wegener was able to put his own twist this new age trend of sharing everything about our lives while also creating his own trend of looking back at all you have done on the internet in the past.

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Other social media sites, specifically Facebook, has hopped on this trend with their “On This Day” feature. At first I was annoyed by these notifications, but soon seeing my old 8th grade posts or who I became friends with 7 years ago that day turned into something to laugh at and have fun reminiscing on. I have also noticed my own mom as well as other older people on my page that are on social media LOVE this feature. It is kind of like their own way of showing off a digital version of traditional photo books.

I found the article below that breaks down a bit of the beginning of Facebook’s “On this day” feature and explains how Timehop’s CEO (Wegener) felt about Facebook adding this in. It was refreshing to hear that Wegener was not mad about the large company using a similar application as Timehop and he that he felt more confident in their app due to such a well-known social media site wanting to use their ideas. You can check out the article here:   https://techcrunch.com/2015/03/24/facehop/

Even though I have not seen the title Timehop floating around much more on social media than a few years ago the company has most certainly created a new social media trend of their own.

The perfect timing.

8 am while you’re sitting at work? No. Midnight right before bed? Nah. What about 2 or 3 in the afternoon? Will people be online? These are all questions we have asked ourselves when we’re about to post on any of our social media pages. Whether on Facebook, Instagram, or even the timing of our snapchats could alter the amount of people who see our messages. Just like the title of this page there seems to be this sense of “perfect timing” with posting.

I have personally gone through this process dozens of times. I have asked myself those same questions on several occasions. I found myself thinking more and more about this process and just how embedded it is now in my mind. It has somehow become a subconscious process for me. (Midday seems to be prime for me)

Kind of odd to think about, right? We take time out of day to plan out the best time of when to post something. Posting at midnight versus 3 in the afternoon could mean a large difference in the amount of likes on the photo, how many people see the post or the amount of shares we get. But it is not only everyday people watching out for that prime time to post, but businesses as well.

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I recently stumbled upon this article that gets nitty gritty about prime posting times for businesses and how to keep track of your business’ social media accounts. My personal favorite topic brought up in this article is “No one is checking LinkedIn on a Friday.” People are wrapping their work for the week and they aren’t interested in business when the weekend is right around the corner. When I read this I chuckled thinking some of these suggestions were plain common sense, but then I soon took that back. I remembered that we live in a time that is always on the internet. I pictured myself just scrolling past a company’s ad while I am tired versus happening to click on some suggested posts midday because I am more awake and paying more attention. Timing truly is VERY important with today’s social media.

Check out this article by Fast Company. Also, let me know your thoughts on your process of posting things on your personal pages.

https://www.fastcompany.com/3036184/how-to-be-a-success-at-everything/the-best-and-worst-times-to-post-on-social-media-infograph

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Confessions of two roommates and the Snapchat app.

It is an app that I thought would never become popular. An app that has people taking selfies or random photos of their food or dogs or anything at all. An app that gives everyone a little 10 second glimpse into your life. Of course I am talking about the new and extremely popular app Snapchat.

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According to Chris Snider, a digital media professor at Iowa, as of August 26, 2016, “Snapchat is on pace for 217 million users by end of 2017.” You can look at how this amount to compares other social media sites here: http://chrissniderdesign.com/blog/resources/social-media-statistics/

My personal experience with this app has been kind of like a roller coaster ride. I got it when it was less popular around 4 years ago and I quickly became obsessed. I would snapchat my friends more than I would text or call them. It was getting to be too much. I eventually convinced myself to delete my account and give it a rest. However, about a year later I got sucked right back into being a Snapchat addict. Again, after about six months I decided to get rid of the app on my phone so my usage would come to a stop. This time, though, I did not fully delete my account as I did before. You can only guess what happened after some time passed and a large amount of friends pushed me to get it back…Yup, I got the app back. There is just something about being able to take a quick selfie, a short video of your dog rolling around on the ground, or sending ridiculous filters to your friends that makes you feel a bit more connected to them than just a text.

I got the idea for this blog when I found myself sitting in my 2-person apartment one night with my roommate and we were going back and forth sending filtered selfies to each other and laughing very hard at each one. All I could think after was that we were in the same room. No, this isn’t as bad as texting in the same room or house, which I do occasionally, but still.. in the same room. This all ties into my thoughts of how much social media is constantly molding our interactions with other people.

On another note about this app, I have noticed that it too, like most of social media lately, has become a new and interesting source to receive news and updates. These could be updates about what is happening on our campus or news on a hurricane’s aftermath in southern Georgia. There is a vast amount of information within this app now, which I think I am beginning to enjoy. I like the creative presentation they have when relaying their news stories as well as the various topics you can chose from.

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All in all, Snapchat is growing quickly. More and more people are downloading it everyday. The company is even starting to look into alternate ideas to keep this expansion going. I recently read an article by blogger Ann Handley and she discusses the idea of Snapchat looking into creating their own magazine. Yes, a magazine! Is going from a screen to print a smart move for the business? Handley talks about this as well as other pros and cons of the option throughout her article. You can read it here: http://www.annhandley.com/2016/06/27/snapchat-launching-tech-magazine/

Let me know your thoughts about the app. How do you think it is changing our communication with people? Do you use it as a news source? And do you think going into the print business would be smart? Comment below.

A group without a group: How the Groupme app is redefining group projects.

We all have been sitting in class on the first day, a.k.a. syllabus day, and we hear the two words we seem to dread… “Group project.” I have had semesters where my group projects have been fun and helped me learn how to communicate with several different types of people. However, I have also had the semesters where my group projects made me highly dislike the class. I feel like I have had played a handful of different roles in each of the rougher group projects…

  • The leader role taken on because no one else will take charge, but it ends up backfiring on me. I have been the one to try and initiate group work and try to get the group motivated, but no one feels like chiming in to help. It is plain awkward and it is kind of like pulling teeth to get people to respond.
  • The sideliner who chimes in occasionally to make it seem to the group that I am involved but really they are all doing a lot more work than I am. This tends to work out by being the funny one or the one who plans the meet up times. (I also like to call this the strategic slacker)
  • The one thinking, “who does this kid think he/she is?”. This is where I, along with the rest of the group, have had no say in what has been going on while one person decides to take on all the responsibility on his/her shoulders. This person also won’t allow any of us to help.

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We have all played various roles in a bad group project. Most of the time the end result, the part that matters to your grade like the powerpoint or speech, ends up not being so bad. But man was it a rough ride getting there. With all this in mind, these group projects gave me a random thought the other day which was, “how did I survive these bad group projects before Groupme?”.

Don’t get me wrong, I get annoyed at the app because of the excessive amount of groups I have found myself in, but I often forget how much more annoyed I used to be by having to plan every group meeting time or having to text everything out via text (which there always seemed to be that one person who didn’t have an iPhone and they would complain about all of the separate texts they were receiving from various numbers).

Groupme has changed the group project game in college courses. Plain and simple. I have realized this during my last semester more than ever before. I was stubborn and held out on getting this app, like I usually do at first with any app, but it truly has helped me out in many ways this semester. My appreciation for the app skyrocketed when I realized I could also access it on my computer. Revolutionary.

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So how does this tie into my experience with bad group projects? Well because I have not had as many while having this app than I did in the past. Honestly. This app has actually held me accountable and up to date with what my group is working on. This app along with the ability to chime into google docs has made group work much more convenient. I have noticed that my group members are more likely to chime in and be apart of the group with this app as well because they don’t exactly have an excuse to not pitch in.

But this did get me thinking one last thought that I cannot seem to get out of my mind. Yes this app has made group projects much easier to balance in my schedule, but is it taking away from the communication skills I once learned from these assignments? I of course mean face to face communication.

I would like to know other people’s thoughts on how they think the Groupme app has changed the dynamic of group projects, negatively or positively. Comment your thoughts.

 

 

How Facebook has aided in my after graduation job search.

So has anyone ever noticed that our Facebook pages have slowly ‘gotten to know us’? Over the past few years I have noticed that any other sites I visit frequently or even just once could turn into an advertisement that pops up on my page. The internet has become more and more connected throughout the years. At first this used to annoy me. I did not like the thought of Facebook getting to know my personal tastes or even having suggestions for me… Let’s just say that I thought about getting off the grid, Ron Swanson style.

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Anyways, we all have seen this little number above an ad while scrolling through our home pages. I highly disliked these ‘suggested posts’ and would fair warn people not to click on them. In my mind, this was just a way for Facebook to gather more and more information about me, which I did not enjoy.

But then I started to notice something that actually would be beneficial to me. What was that you might ask? Well, this December I will be graduating from the University of Georgia and that calls for some job searching. I have recently had a spark in interest for the outdoors, so I have been considering some jobs that I could help me focus this passion. The problem was I had no clue on where to start.

As someone who loves the outdoors, I tend to spend quite a bit of time researching places to go hike, canoe, etc. on the internet. This is then translated over into pop up ads on my Facebook page. One day, though, I noticed that I wasn’t as hesitant to click on some of these posts.

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This created a domino effect. I was finding more and more resources and companies that I could see myself working for. It was great! This also meant more ads would be posted on my homepage.

From a few little clicks on my Facebook and researching some things on other sites, I have been able to find a handful of companies I could see myself working for all across the country.

Example 1: Seattle, Washington…

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So in the end, I do sometimes dislike how interconnected the internet has become but then awesome opportunities can also arise from this. I would say it is a love/hate relationship:)

Staying connected despite a minor setback.

August 5th was the beginning of yet another olympic games. There was no doubt that I was very excited to watch athletes from all over the world compete for gold, silver and bronze. I was even more excited to see all of my fellow Georgia Bulldawgs compete. Unfortunately, I ran into one large problem… I was lacking cable. Whoops.

I tried to looking for any way to watch these olympic games when finally I realized oh wait… I have so many other ways to connect than just watching these on a television. I immediately found an app created by NBC that could keep me updated on any event I wanted to know about.

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Along with this awesome way to stay connected to the competition, I realized that by following a few news and sports pages on Facebook I was receiving updates instantly after the United States won a medal, some of my favorite athletes won an event, etc.

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So despite not having cable (and no plan to get it anytime soon), social media updates and posts have allowed me to keep track of these olympic games better than any in the past. That made for one happy fan right here:)