Tag Archives: marketing

Social Media Marketing Overload

I log onto my Facebook account. Another fan page request, this time for a cosmetic product I don’t even use. And even if I did use it, why on Earth would I feel the need to let everyone else on Facebook know that I am a passionate fan of this shampoo?

Many companies have begun infiltrating social media in order to promote themselves, gain new customers and create an online “presence.” Many of these companies aren’t using social media tools to their full potential.

Those in the public relations field know that PR is about building relationships, not selling products. It’s about building an image, not creating immediate revenue. Basically, there is no instant gratification. Similarly, social media is also about building relationships. That is the reason most individuals sign up for Facebook, Twitter and other social networking sites: to build or maintain relationships. So companies should look at these tools in the same way.

Contact Media, a company that helps small businesses with marketing strategy, stated in one of its blog posts, “Just because your customers are congregating online doesn’t mean that it’s appropriate or effective to interrupt them with promotional messages. In fact, that’s probably the single most annoying thing you can do.” The post continued, “It’s not about how many fans, followers or friends you can accumulate, it’s about how much value you can add to the conversation.”

In a BusinessWeek article, “Beware Social Media Marketing Myths,” Gene Marks addressed the many misconceptions about social media. He pointed out that most users are teenagers, and that most adults on the site “are merely nostalgic to check out boyfriends and girlfriends from youth to see how fat and bald they’ve become; whatever they’re doing on Facebook, it’s typically not engaging with a small business brand.” A tad dramatic, but his point is clear.

Companies should use social media to build relationships with consumers, not to annoy or inundate them with multiple “invites” or “friend requests.” Social media can be a great PR tool for raising awareness, generating excitement and quickly responding to certain situations. If the customer doesn’t feel that you are trying to sell them something, or that they are just another number or friend, then social media can go a long way.

But please, please stop asking me to be your fan if I keep rejecting you. You’re making me never want to use your product, and I don’t even know what it does.

By Jaclyn White

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What Not to Wear

Possibly the hardest part of the transition from the classroom to the field is the dress code. College life is full of sweatpants, tee shirts and UGG boots. Unfortunately none of these things are appropriate in the working world. Knowing what to wear and when to where it can be difficult.

As Lizzie Post notes on her Web site, wearing the wrong thing can often cause an interviewer to pay more attention to your clothing than to you. A suit is always the best choice when going on an interview.

Business casual is quickly becoming the norm for many offices. Business casual usually consists of dress slacks, skirts and collared shirts. Low cut or cleavage-bearing shirts are not appropriate. Open-toed shoes are usually inappropriate as well. Try to find a comfortable shoe that you can stand in all day long. Jeans and shorts are never dressy enough for the office. Be wary of wearing oversized or too much jewelry.

The Platform Editorial Team created this video to showcase some of the biggest business wardrobe mistakes that we have witnessed. So grab your popcorn and please, don’t ever be caught making any of these irrevocable mistakes.

For more information about dressing appropriate and general business etiquette, please visit Lizzie Post’s Web site via the Emily Post Institute.

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Marketing God

My grandmother takes the Great Commission to heart and even though she is ninety years old, she asks everyone who comes to her house one question, “If you died tonight, where would you be going and how do you know?”
Evangelism. It is a fundamental part of Christianity. Many denominations take it to the extreme, “selling” God in a prepackaged box complete with your own Bible. But is all that really effective?
TV evangelists, megachurches and all the life-changing books have one purpose—-reaching others for Christ. All of these are different outlets that some Christian groups have tried to get to average people to catch their interest and let them hear the testimony that will captivate and help them discover Christ. But with many books left on the shelves and people skipping over religious channels faster than if they were commercials, Christianity is branching out and looking for newer outreach tactics. As Christians seek out these new tactics, the question on their minds is, how do you market God to reach more people?

Sharing with the World

The world has entered a new era of technology in which podcasts, blogs and twitter are everyday words. Christians need to tap into this resource. Many churches have already established themselves online with their own Web sites, but how about utilizing Facebook as a social media network, recording a sermon and putting it online as a podcast or even sending out an e-mail newsletter or invitation to church events? Part of reaching people is meeting them where they spend most of their time, which, in this day and age, is increasingly the Internet, the final frontier. The world is globalized, and as society is more interconnected, why not reach more people by using a tool anyone anywhere can access?

Reaching a Target Audience

Another public relations must is building relationships, keeping in mind the target audience. As Christians try to reach people, they need to meet people where they are, and not just technologically. While inspirational books are inspiring to those who read them, is the average non-believer going to pay twenty bucks to learn how to turn their life around? Instead, there are many groups subtly encouraging people to be open to the message and a lifestyle of faith without charging them for it. For instance, Chick-Fil-A is closed on Sundays, emphasizing church as an important part of a lifestyle. Also, many Christian bands share God in their songs, having the opportunity to reach people as they listen to the music more willingly than a sermon. Furthermore, Christians should impact people. A religious organization on the UA campus this year provided pancakes at one in the morning to an area known for bar-hopping. By keeping the target audience in mind, christians realize they should go to the world instead of letting the world come to them.

Bringing the Message
One of the most important ideas of public relations is offering a consistent message, being open and honest, looking for two-way communication. Christianity is known not only for its televangelists, but also unfortunately for its hypocritical followers. If Christians are striving to reach people, they need to bring a consistent message to the table. St. Francis of Assisi once said, “It is no use walking anywhere to preach unless our walking is our preaching.” It all comes down to living intentionally the life of love Christians profess. Christians can establish relationships by investing time in people so they know they aren’t a mere number on the list of believers. Christians shouldn’t be afraid to listen to what others have to say. Public relations assures us that two-way communication is a necessity. Christians aren’t going to make any progress if they just tell others what to believe. Every testimony and person is unique, and so is his or her reaction. Christians can instead show that there’s something more to live for, and reaching others through love will reap its rewards.
by Molly M

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