The Promotional Powers of Social Media

Read about how companies and influencers can make the most of social media for promotional opportunities.

By: John Flynn

When the topic of promotion is thought of in today’s day and age, the first thing that comes to mind is social media. Social media is crucial for any company, brand, or influencer to have, but are they using it to their full potential? A major problem with the social media for many companies is that they have it, but are not using it in the correct way or using it with all of its features and stand out capabilities. I personally have worked as a social media intern at three very different companies with very different targets and products. From a security company to a dog collar company, it was challenging to make these brands stand out on social media. What I have found is the importance of being active with social media as a way to build and promote one’s brand, not just posting pictures and videos.

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Just having social media accounts with posts is not enough anymore for an ever-changing and demanding technological generation. It was first used more as advertising with not much strategy behind it. Consumers and users don’t want to just double tap a photo of a product, they want to interact with the product and have a voice. With new features like Instagram Live and virtual Snapchat filter ads, it is more important than ever to think outside the box and have one’s social media stand out.

One industry that is changing the way promotion is partnered with interactive social media is the beauty industry. Many hair and cosmetic companies are turning to their social media pages to allow consumer input on the product and become their own promoters for their brand. By allowing social media followers to give their opinions, it breaks down the barrier of just seeing and buying and instead creates an interaction and connection in a new model for public relations. Social media was intended to connect, and with new features like Instagram Live, it allows a direct connection between brands and followers. CEOs and influencers can talk more personally with their fans through video chats, filters, and interactive posts.

John2A perfect example of using social media interaction promotion to the fullest is celebrity hairstylist Jen Atkins, the CEO of Ouai Haircare, going to her followers for them to pick the names and look of her products. Jen created a successful hair product company by using her social media as the tool to promote her products that are just for hair. She just recently had an Instagram Live where she gave her fans a sneak preview of a new hair fragrance line and asked them if they should be named after streets or cities. This five-minute Livestream made headlines, resulting in extra promotions, and brought in thousands of fans to chat about their ideas and input. This isn’t the first time Jen has asked her own fans to help promote and give their strong opinions. In the past, Jen has asked her followers which packaging option the company should choose, input on what is working and what is not for their products, and hiring her own fans to help with social media take overs. By opening up an interactive space on social media it has leveraged the company to new heights and success, with her own promotion tactics.

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In sum, using social media for promotion is important, but the tactics of usage and interaction are key. Public relations and social media should be used for companies and clients to create a connection between the products and brand with their followers. It will be interesting to see what other interactive features will be added to social media and to see the new and innovative ways companies promote their products through social media campaigns.

Sources:

http://www.vrmintel.com/using-social-media-build-brand/

https://www.allure.com/story/jen-atkin-ouai-fragrance-sneak-peak

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If You Don’t Have Anything Nice to Say (or Post), Don’t Say Anything at All

Read about how to learn from celebrity mistakes and the importance of staying professional on social media.

By: Bethany Edwards

Social media sites have become increasingly popular in recent years and play a large role in the public relations industry. Sites such as Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat allow its users to stay connected and share important events and news. In addition, many celebrities use their accounts as a way to appear more personable and relatable, as well as keep in touch with their fans. While most celebrity social media accounts are run by publicists or managers, some celebrities such as Kim Kardashian or even Donald Trump take pride in managing their own accounts and controlling their posts. As a result, there are many instances in which celebrities have been called out for inappropriate or offensive posts, or they have given their fans a front-row seat to some of the greatest celebrity drama to ever occur. Here are a few tips for practicing professional etiquette on your social media accounts- since you never know who is going to see it.

1. Don’t use social media to fight your battles.

Plenty of celebrities use their large amount of social media followers to sway or manipulate how they are viewed by the public. For example, Kanye West and Taylor Swift have had a rocky relationship ever since the time that he interrupted her VMA acceptance speech for “Video of the Year” by arguing to a live audience that Beyoncé was the clear winner. The conflict came to a boiling point last summer when Swift used her platform at the Grammy awards to call out Kanye for taking credit for her success. Kanye’s wife Kim Kardashian came to his defense by posting a series of videos on her Snapchat that exposed Taylor for lying to the press about her involvement in Kanye’s latest hit. The incident was then taken to Twitter when Kardashian posted a Tweet that was speculated to be about Swift, and the rest is history. Taylor’s reputation took a big hit as a result of the conflict, and Kim was accused of being overly petty.

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2. Don’t use social media as an emotional outlet.

Take a page from Selena Gomez and Justin Bieber, who after having a very messy and public breakup, continued to bicker with each other via Instagram. Bieber posted a photo with his new girlfriend, which disappointed many of his fans, and he wasted no time fighting back with them. Gomez used the conflict as an opportunity to point out Bieber’s faults and explain the demise of their relationship, forcing fans to choose a side. Gomez has since revealed that she was embarrassed of her reaction and shouldn’t have gotten involved.

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3. Think before you post.

Another example featuring Taylor Swift! Around the time of her feud with Kim and Kanye, Taylor and Calvin Harris had recently broken up, and it was revealed that she was one of the cowriters of his recent single “This is What You Came for.” Harris posted a series of (now deleted) Tweets which questioned Swift’s character and revealed his stance on his ex-girlfriend’s role in the media. He later expressed remorse for the Tweets and admitted that it was an immature and impulsive way to handle the situation.

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Social media can be very useful in allowing someone to build their personal brand and begin gaining publicity for their achievements. However, if used incorrectly, it can be damaging to the user and possibly haunt them in both their professional and personal careers. These celebrities learned the hard way that it can be very bad for their image to use social media in a nonprofessional way, even though it may be entertaining for their fans. Don’t do the same on your account!

Sources:

https://www.forbes.com/sites/ilyapozin/2013/01/09/social-media-etiquette-12-step-checklist/#6d21a6fa7d06

http://people.com/celebrity/a-timeline-of-the-complicated-relationship-between-taylor-swift-and-kim-kardashian-west/

https://www.teenvogue.com/story/selena-gomez-justin-bieber-instagram-sofia-richie

http://www.billboard.com/articles/news/dance/7850101/calvin-harris-taylor-swift-breakup-twitter-rant-british-gq-interview

What I Learned at the Internship Panel

If you weren’t able to attend the 6th Annual Internship Panel, read about some of the key takeaways from the panel.

By: Lena Verga

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On Monday October 30th in Emerson Suites, IC PRSSA hosted its 6th Annual Internship Panel. The event, which was co-hosted by IC Women in Communications, featured a diverse panel of upperclassmen who shared with the audience some of their best experiences and advice from past internships. The panelists included Laura Amato, a senior IMC major, Katie Baldwin, a senior TV-R major, Elijah Greene, a senior applied economics major, Jake Goldberg, a senior TV-R major, Brett Levine, a junior IMC major, Nadja Perez, a senior IMC major, Maddy Schoap, a senior IMC major, and Kyle Stewart, a senior journalism major. The panel was moderated by Lexy White, a junior TV-R major.

Here are some key takeaways that I gained from the panel:

1) There are many ways to find out about and obtain internship opportunities – you can even use Ithaca College as a source!

Katie Baldwin, who interned at the Ellen DeGeneres Show last semester, knew from the beginning that she wanted to work for Ellen, so she used her Park school connections to help her get into contact with the show. This included going around and asking professors, advisors, and other resources in Park if they knew anyone who worked at Ellen. When Kyle Stewart interned in the U.S. Congress, he found the opportunity through Cornell’s Washington D.C. program. Elijah Green attended a Cornell Career Fair, and used the IC Alumni services for his opportunities at Goldman Sachs and BlackRock.

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2) Always do your research.

Research the companies and position that you are applying for. Make sure you know all the ins and outs of the organization, because it will be impressive during the interview. Brett Levine told a story about his interview with AMC Networks. He had never watched an AMC show before, and decided the night before to watch the pilot of The Walking Dead. Good thing he did, because he was asked which AMC character he felt he most related to. Lexy White added that if you know who is interviewing you, research them as well. This will impress the interviewer because it not only shows that you know your stuff, or that you are really interested, but that you also went to the lengths to relate to the interviewer and their background. Use tools like LinkedIn or Google, and make sure you know your facts before you go into the interview. And if you can do research on the company or interviewer, they can easily do the same for you. Which leads me to my next point…

3) Be smart with social media!

Maddy Schoap got her interview with Kardashian-West Brands through the Ithaca College Los Angeles (ICLA) internship database. She said that the brand followed all of her social media accounts so they could see what type of a person she was. This can make or break an opportunity, so please, be smart about what you post. Think to yourself before you post: Would I want my grandmother to see this?

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4) Your internship does not decide your career.

You’re there to learn at your internship, and if you don’t like it, it’s okay. Through her internship experiences, Nadja Perez discovered that she prefers smaller agencies more than a larger one. She has worked at agencies like Young & Rubicam and Rosie Labs, LLC. Nadja is interested in creative and likes the smaller agencies better because she found it easier to hop onto different projects. She also found that her work was getting more recognition. Kyle Stewart also found that he didn’t like working in Congress, but it gave him a unique advantage when he applied for Roll Call, a broadcast company that covers the news of Congress. Lexy added that you shouldn’t be afraid to turn down a permanent job that could come out of your internship, especially if the experience wasn’t for you. You want to wake up happy every day because you are going to a job you love. An internship helps you determine whether or not that job is for you.

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5) Make the most of it.

A typical internship lasts for about 10 weeks. You will be incredibly busy and won’t have that much time for relaxation or downtime. But when you do get the golden hour of not having much work, make the most of it. Laura Amato interned for Carat and the Make-a-Wish Foundation. Whenever she got a break from her work, she would do research on their client’s competitors or keep up with industry news. Because Laura was knowledgeable about the industry and the company, it gave her a competitive edge compared to other interns. Jake Goldberg worked for NFL Films and the New York Redbulls. Whenever he had downtime, he would ask if he could shadow other editors and producers. Jake asked questions relating to editing techniques, got opinions from professionals in the field, and networked within the company. It is important to make the most of your internship. It’s a learning opportunity and you are there to learn as much about that field as you can. Don’t be afraid to offer help to the other people working at the company/organization, or to just start doing some research about the company, the clients and the competitors. It will pay off in the end.

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I personally found the panel very helpful and insightful. Everyone had unique experiences and takeaways from their internships. Application season begins in February…I think I’m ready.