The end: or is it?

It’s hard to believe that my IMC 619 class is coming to an end. For the past nine weeks I’ve been keeping this blog to share my thoughts, impressions and hopefully a little inspiration about emerging media.

I’ve learned a great deal about search engine optimization (SEO). I’ve been forced to take a deeper look at the ethical concerns surrounding consumer information. And I’ve explored the world of blogging and social media in ways I hadn’t before.

Among my favorite lessons was the work I did on Disney’s official and unofficial blogs. I learned that there is great power (and some really good insight) on unofficial blog sites.

 With that in mind, let’s take a look at the unofficial Disney blog.
DIS is an unofficial and unbiased blog about all things Disney. This site is not affiliated in any way with the Walt Disney World Company or any of its parks or products. The blog covers everything from Disney World and Disney Land, to the Disney Cruise Line and Universal/Sea World. It also provides information about dining, merchandise, photos/video, entertainment and events. The authors have their own page which features biographies and an archives of each blogger’s posts. They all appear to be average people who enjoy Disney.
The posts include personal observations, commentary, information and photos/video that relate to the blog topic. If there’s any “running theme” I guess it’s personal experiences shared for the public benefit. My husband and I enjoy trips to Disney and now we’re adding this blog to our list of resources as we plan our next visit!
We’re also going to be sure to use the official Disney blogs that apply to our visit (As you’re about to to see, there are many and not all fit into our plans.)
When you look at Disney’s official blog, you quickly learn that there are actually multiple blogs. As I searched the Internet, I found:
The Disney Parks Blog – (also located on Facebook)
Disney Blogs – Includes Disney Style, Oh My Disney, Disney Insider and Disney Playlist
Disney Post – The official blog of the Walt Disney World Company
Whew!
I noticed that there are more frequent and recent posts on the official sites (a number in just the few hours prior to this posting). You can tell the posts are more strategic in terms of marketing. For instance, this post that tied into Earth Day featured Disney staffers’ picks of the best attractions from the Animal Kingdom.
OK – that’s a look at one of my favorite assignments for IMC 619. It’s one that I know I’ll be putting to use very soon. I’ve had a great time in this course and can’t wait to get started on my next class.
IMC 612 Audience Insight, here I come!

Game changer: Wearable technology

Technology has always driven changes in the way we communicate and interact. Think of the telegraph, phonograph, telephone, radio, television, Internet and now wearable tech.
Let’s talk about Google Glass first. Eyewear that has similar functionality to a smart phone. While you’ve no doubt seen it in action, let’s review how it works.
Google Glass uses an Android operating system built into eye glass frames. It can record, take pictures, search, text, make phone calls and have your online schedule. The screen is positioned in the upper right view in order not to obstruct your view. The wearable device takes commands via voice command, taps and gestures. If you want to connect Google Glass to your phone, just download My Glass App in order to sync the two systems.
Google Glass is pretty neat to be sure, but I think Apple Watch is even better (and provides more functionality). However, I must admit that I might be biased because I don’t have Google Glass but I do have an Apple Watch.
It’s the latest mobile device game-changer to hit the market. Perhaps the biggest change coming with Apple Watch is the impact to the privacy of your health and medical information. Ahead of the Apple Watch’s launch, the company took some steps to put consumers in control of how their data is shared.
You can choose to share health information with third-party apps like Lark via Apple’s Health app, which comes with the device. Your health data, collected via the Apple Watch or the iPhone, is stored on Apple’s HealthKit. How do you feel about Apple Watch? Do the pros of the “Activity” and health monitoring features outweigh the potential privacy concerns?
Information should be given and received via mobile devices. And technology like Google Glass and Apple Watch will only increase the ability and popularity of this type of information share. I think the key here is consumer education and awareness.
More information about the FTC “Do Not Track” campaign is available in this article from NBCNews.com.

Tweet, tweet, tweet!

I’m a little addicted to Twitter.

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Yes, it’s part of my job. I post about West Virginia University, retweet from the @WVUToday account and share tidbits from my day. I also track news, keep up with professional counterparts and get a sense of what people are talking about.

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That’s the way I use Twitter, but did you know social media has a strong impact on the rankings for search engines? Google and Bing take note of this activity when putting together the search results. Google and Bing include links that are tweeted when determining the the ranks in the search listings. Google uses multiple signals to determine the rankings, for example the amount and quality of tweets and re-tweets will increase or lower the ranks on the page of the search engine.

How Does This Work?
When a tweet includes a link, Google and Bing will determine the subject matter of the tweet. The same process is used as in anchor text on a website, a keyword is better ranked when the keyword is in the anchor text. So, if a tweet has a link to a website where they keywords are similar to the keyword search, then the page results will be higher.

How to Use Twitter to Your SEO Advantage:
1. People with higher reach are the best to Tweet and re-Tweet messages because this will offer a higher reach. “Google and Bing both say they look at the author’s authority or quality when evaluating links that appears in your tweets.”
2. Have an avatar, spammers usually don’t have an avatar
3. Have as many followers and those you are following

So now that you know how I use Twitter and how search engines use Twitter, the only question that remains is ‘How will you use Twitter?’

Happy tweeting!

Facebook is power!

Throughout this IMC 619 course, I’ve really been forced to think about how and why I use social media. More importantly, I’ve thought about how these platforms are becoming essential to brand marketing.

When it comes to social media, I really only use Twitter and Facebook. They’ve quickly become an indispensable part of brand marketing. I want to talk about Facebook here. This video kicks things off with one word – quality.

What Does Facebook Do?

Facebook gives a company an opportunity to share group photos, integrate loyalty program deals, feedback, success stories from the booster campaigns, weekly contests, latest news, and new products – its about investing time into the customer. The Facebook page should reflect the interests of the customers and the fans of the company. This can vary from page to page, but the control should be held by the marketer with opportunities for collaboration by the customers. This means the company should allow for comments by the customer in order to build the trust and become brand ambassadors for the company.  Zappos has used social media, Facebook in particular, to great success. It’s employed sponsored posts, calling them a “necessary evil.”

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Maximize Your Facebook Posts

  • Peak time for Facebook use occurs mid-week between 1 to 3 p.m. This is a great time use Facebook for more important posts.
  • Thursdays and Fridays are the highest two days of the week. The engagement is 18% higher according to Zephoria. Again, this is a good time for important times.

Keep in mind, what a company wants to achieve with its marketing plan will drive the way it uses ANY social media platform. Once the marketing strategies are created, it is up to marketer to customize their Facebook page to reflect those goals.

Next time I’ll talk about my obsession with Twitter! See you soon.

Blockbuster Marketing Drives BMW – Are you Along For The Ride?

I love movies – especially action films with lots of excitement! As a result, one of my favorite lessons during my IMC 619 course was all about the power of film in marketing. When I started investigating companies that have led in this type of marketing, I was THRILLED to learn BMW tops the list. I drive a BMW 528i… and love it. SCORE! I’ve now combined two things I love – movies and BMW.
BMW is credited with being a pioneer in film marketing.
 
It launched a series of eight short films in 2001 called “The Hire.”  The series includes “Ambush,” “Chosen,” The Follow,” “Powder Keg,” “Star,” Beat the Devil.” Hostage” and “Ticker.” Each film runs about ten minutes in length. They starred a number of famous actors, singers and models including: Mickey Rourke, Forest Whitaker, Adriana Lima, Madonna, Don Cheadle, Gary Oldman, James Brown and Marilyn Manson. Every film featured Clive Owen as the “Driver”, and highlighted the performance aspects of various BMW automobiles. The plots of each of the films differ, but one constant remains: “The Driver” must get from place to place (in presumably rented BMW automobiles), hired by various people to be a sort of transport for their vital needs. The concept was essentially about the high endurance and durability of the BMW cars, showing the cars in an action packed films.
You can find all of the films in the link to the BMW blog, which explains the concept and includes a “Making of the films” link and “Driving Techniques” link.
These films show the power and effectiveness of this type of marketing. They garnered about 11 million views on YouTube in just four months and BMW reported sales numbers went up by 12% in the year after the series appeared online. The company also stated that two million people registered with the website. According to BMW,  the films proved so popular that BMW ended up producing a free DVD for customers who visited certain dealerships.
In fact, it was so successful that BMW announced plans last year to revive BMW films according to an article in AdAge. Yay!

Someone’s following me – everywhere I go

Yes, someone is following me. My husband and I were on vacation last week. We took a trip to Florida (a brief escape from the snow, cold and overcast skies). I posted a few photos to my Facebook timeline the day we arrived. That’s when it happened. Within a few hours I noticed a change in my Facebook timeline.

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Notice anything? Yep, a West Virginia University, Mountaineer loving inspired post – with a Florida focus. “Never Underestimate the Power of a West Virginia Girl who Lives in Florida” showed up as a sponsored post.

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There was also this sponsored post for a local restaurant. Maybe we’d like to try it during our visit?

These kinds of posts on Facebook aren’t new to Facebook. The company started inserting them into users’ timelines in 2011. The social media giant uses your “Likes,” posts, keywords and more to target ads for products and services you’ve already used, are similar, or it believes you’ll respond to. It’s an emerging media that some people accept without question and others hate.

For those of you who don’t want to see these ads  – there are ways to block them.

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For more tips – check out this link to an article from lifehacker.com. Some pretty good stuff – if you don’t want someone following your every move online.

If you’re not social, you’re in trouble!

My first blog post (after an initial site introduction) is focusing on social media and how it’s changed the game when it comes to brand marketing. Emerging media is characterized by interactivity. Social media platforms provide a fantastic way for consumers and brand managers to have multi-way communication. It’s driving rising revenues.

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But it’s no longer enough to put your message out there and hope that consumers act on it. And…. it’s no longer enough to  simply post brand messages on social media platforms. Here’s a look at some of the trends to watch for in 2015:

The Huffington Post also put together its predictions for big changes in social media marketing. Among the highlights:

Pay to Play – Leveraging Content Creators – Posting Better Content

For a full list be sure to click this link.

Social media is an excellent example of emerging media. It’s all around us. I use Twitter constantly to share information and keep tabs on current events and trends (just check my twitter widget below and you’ll see what I mean).

Whether it’s an ad from White House/Black Market on Facebook that gets “Shared” and “Liked” by thousands, or a Tweet from Dropbox that scores endless “retweets,” it’s clear that social media is a powerful tool for brand marketers. The trick will be to keep up with the changes.

DARIN Media – Emerging Media and IMC

My name is April and I’m a graduate student pursuing my Masters degree in Integrated Marketing Communications at WVU. This blog is an ongoing assignment for Emerging Media & the Market.

We’re not using the term “new media” because it’s always changing. I’ll be discussing a variety of emerging issues during this course. It’s possible that something I blog about this week will be considered “old media” by the end of the semester. is a constantly evolving term, there will be a variety of subjects covered in this blog.

Let’s start by explaining why I decided to call this blog DARIN Media. It’s an acronym which reflects the attributes of emerging media:

DIGITAL: emerging media does not utilize analog technology.

ADAPTIVE: whether it’s augmented reality such as Google Glass, facial recognition billboards or use of other technology, these vehicles are constantly evolving. As approaches and technology change for example, new legal and ethical questions emerge. “The Federal Trade Commission has brought several cases against companies for violating laws protecting consumer privacy, which include prohibitions on targeting children online. But government regulators have struggled to catch up to the fast pace at which data analysis is evolving. Last month, Jessica Rich, director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection, called for updated privacy and data security legislation to help “level the playing field” for consumers.” (2014, Childress)

RESPONSIVE: it’s all about interacting. Consumers are spending more time in front of the TV with digital and mobile devices, and social media is the main way people are interacting with TV content. It’s become clear that social TV is, for all intents and purposes, Twitter TV. There will be other platforms, like Facebook or other niche networks, that will now amplify their presence in the space and may expand the arena; however, Twitter will continue to define social TV in the immediate future. (2014, millwardbrown.com)

INFORMATIVE: the purpose and goal is to share information.

NODE: in order to share information and set up opportunities to share and respond, there must be way to expand the marketing footprint. In a network, a node is a connection point, either a redistribution point or an end point for data transmissions. This is key to creating, receiving or transmitting messages.

I hope you enjoy this blog. Let’s learn something together!