Tag Archives: social media

DeGeneres Crashes Twitter the Wrong Oscars Headline

Oscars Group Selfie Sets Twitter Record

Oscars Group Selfie Sets Twitter Record

What was the big headline from the 2014 Oscars telecast?  “Ellen DeGeneres Broke Twitter.”  That’s not the best headline.  Instead, the big headline from the Academy Awards should have been, “Ellen DeGeneres Proves Power of Social Media.”  Millions played a part acting to support the lesson and promote multiple brands worldwide.

Midway through the show, the Oscars hostess walked down an aisle of stars and asked actor Bradley Cooper to take a selfie with her.  As they both crouched in front of Cooper’s extended arm, several other stars sitting nearby quickly crowded around Cooper and DeGeneres.  In a matter of seconds, the group photo, including Kevin Spacey,  Meryl Streep, Jennifer Lawrence, Kevin Spacey, Brad Pitt, and Angelina Jolie.  It was about to go viral on Twitter and be seen by millions.

A few moments later, DeGeneres uttered what the social media world had already known as their Twitter feeds froze for twenty minutes due to all the retweet activity.  “We crashed and broke Twitter.  We made history.”

Former Obama Record Retweet

Former Obama Record Retweet

Before the end of the broadcast, the star-studded group selfie had been retweeted over 2 million times, breaking a record of 781,728 retweets set by President Barack Obama with the picture of him hugging First Lady, Michelle Obama, after his 2012 re-election.

Which brands were the beneficiaries from this comic interlude? 

Of course, Twitter scored big.  The short message service specializing in 140-character bursts of thought proved it is not all about words.  It was the photo that generated the activity proving there are many ways to send a message others would be interested in receiving.

Samsung Electronics Corp. enjoyed the value of product placement as it was their electronic device that snapped the picture of the moment.  Their One Samsung advertising deal with ABC television included an agreement to take ten promoted tweet selfies in the green room at The Oscars and send them to the world.

Obviously, Ellen DeGeneres bolstered her brand image and savvy know-how of social media use.  Her @TheEllenShow Twitter account grew by a 47x factor the day of the Oscars broadcast compared to an average day and now boasts 27 million followers.

Finally, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences proved it was hip to a new generation of social media users.  After the brief Twitter outage, when services were restored, @TheAcademy sent a tweet of their own saying, “Sorry, our bad.”  It generated 4,211 retweets.

What should your brand learn? 

Watching advertising’s best on the big stage can provide your business with a few takeaways:

  • Create memorable moments.  What unique photo or situation can you create that will be fun to share and get people talking about your brand?  Mix words about your brand, with images and video.

  • Plant your product strategically.  Let your product or service be seen by others so they can interact with it and comment on it.  A paid placement sponsorship or a few product giveaways cannot hurt.

  • Get involved with social media.  It’s new.  It’s a bit untested and wild west.  It’s here to stay.  If the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences can be trendy after being in business for 86 years, so can you.

Leave a comment

Filed under Audience, Content Marketing, Marketing, Social Media, The Writing Process, Twitter

Communication Theory in a Social Media World

by My Web Writers

Social media has changed the landscape of communication redefining how “e-relationships” develop and are perpetuated. Ultimately, we stand at a crossroad facing the choice to use the available technologies of social media to facilitate communication or “miss the bus” entirely. From SEO content specialists like those at My Web Writers blogging about trends in e-commerce to educators debating the role social media should play in the classroom, the basic system still hasn’t changed. Whether written in caves or transmitted electronically, messages have been encoded, sent, decoded, and returned.  Inevitably, theories were developed to study these systems and help explain how and why they function. The means used to accomplish this vary but the road traveled will always be termed communication.

Communication Theory begins Face-to-Face

Basic communication theory focuses on the conversation or “face-to face” interaction.  A person has an idea they want to share. This idea is encoded (put into words) and transmitted through a channel (voice-to-ear) to another. That individual decodes the message and encodes feedback (verbal or nonverbal) indicating their understanding, or lack of it, to return.  This process is repeated until the interaction was complete. Its overall effectiveness is also dependent on noise (physical, psychological, or environmental) and context.

First Impressions of Social Media

Initially, many considered Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and the like had forever changed that. People worldwide believed this “machine system” had altered some crucial element adversely affecting the character and quality of messages being sent and received. Feedback was delayed or simply nonexistent; the channel was comprised of masses of electronically generated “ones and zeros”, and the context was imaginary.  Social media was deemed undisciplined and potentially dangerous.

Positive Impact of Social Media

Social media hasn’t changed communication theory but rather illuminated a different facet.  According to Northern Illinois University’s Dr. David Gunkel, social media “…has returned us to a part of communication theory that we had forgotten about.”  He cites James W. Carey’s opinion that communication isn’t just transmissional, as described above, but also “ritualistic”.  Social media help build, enhance and reinforce the rituals that comprise our “communities” defining who we are with a speed and immediacy that traditional methods can match. Gunkel points to the entomological relationship between “common”, “communities”, and “communication” as evidence of that link.

The photos of family events that once had to be sent through the mail can now be put in a scrapbook on Pinterest or posted on Facebook.  Video of a child’s first steps can be seen on Youtube within minutes. Updates concerning events of every type reach interested people within seconds via Twitter. Resumes can now be viewed by employers all over the world 24 hours a day via LinkedIn.

The Changing View of Communication and Social Media

It’s tempting to focus only on the negatives of social media but it’s also unrealistic.  Educators shouldn’t lament the passing of teaching techniques once employed but rather rejoice in the greater insights it can offer and the benefits it can have for students. Simply plugging in different terms into the traditional communication model shows us that the basic structure hasn’t changed. Substitute keyboard for encode/decode and screen-to-screen for channel. We are still both sender and receiver worrying about correct feedback. What used to happen with facial expressions and body language is now accomplished through emoticons and internet acronyms.

Social Media Conclusions

The emergence of social media is an important facet of traditional communication theory.  We do more harm than good by denying its significance and positive role they play.  Do we exploit the benefits or bury our heads in the sand? Social media will always wield the power to harm, but we owe it to ourselves to at least have a better understanding of its benefits as well as dangers.  Think of what can accomplished not just for how we communicate with each other but how it enhances the rituals of our families and  in turn, society overall. Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook are simply tools in the communication toolbox.  If and how we use them ultimately depends on us.



Filed under Education Strategy, Social Media

Build Your Social Media Profile

by My Web Writers

Building the best social media profile is important for your company’s SEO. Try these easy tips to boost your company ranks:

• Load up your updates (posts, Tweets, etc.) with your site’s keywords

o Make your updates frequent and relevant to the keywords on your webpage.

• Link to your social media pages

o Providing links that customers can visit provides “link juice” for those pages and helps with your ranks

• Link to your webpage from your social media pages

o Give your followers plenty of opportunity to access your website

• Keep a handle on your “followers”

o Having a larger number of followers boosts your rank. Be sure not to follow more people than are following you. The idea is to have an equal number of followers vs. people you are following.

• Update your bio or actual profile often and include plenty of your site’s keywords

Your website’s search engine ranks will rise to the top of the charts if you follow these simple tips. Of course, updating often and staying on top of all the SEO changes can be an overwhelming task. If you can’t find the time to keep up with the social media train, it may be best to bring a set of content providers and/or social media PR writers along for the ride.


Leave a comment

Filed under SEO (Search Engine Optimization), Social Media

Why Content Should Still Be King in Your Court

by My Web Writers

“Content is King” has predominated the internet marketing world for many years. However, with the popularity of conversing via social media, some have questioned whether content has just become one of the guys and lost its position as king. It is an intriguing question. Conversation has entered the court and, for some, it challenges online marketers’ determination of where their marketing efforts are best served – conversation or content. In my opinion, content trumps conversation. The fact of the matter is that if you have nothing of quality to share then you have nothing to offer the conversation.

Imagine that you have effectively joined the conversation through Twitter, Facebook, Google +1, LinkedIn, etc. and your target audience is now knocking on your website door. What will they find? Will they find lackluster, thin, and sterile text or will they find engaging, well-organized, and helpful content? You see, your content is much like a story and the transaction is the end of the book. If the story is boring, confusing, and poorly written, the reader puts down the book and looks for, not only a different book, but a different author. If the story intrigues the reader with an interesting and convincing storyline, then the reader reads all the way to the end. Make the story really great and the reader will even look for more of your books. Make the story really, really great and the reader will do much of the conversation work for you when they tell others how great it is. However, without great content the conversation won’t go far, the storyline will be abandoned, and you won’t get the desired results.

Let me illustrate. My son generally hates reading. I take him and my other children into a book store and he just wants to leave while the others could browse for hours. However, on our last visit we picked up Suzanne Collin’s book “The Hunger Games.” My kids had heard great things about the book so they wanted to get a copy. We found the book, brought it home, and my son read the entire book in one day! I couldn’t get him to stop. He found the storyline to be that good!!!! Now, not only did he enjoy the one book, but he wants to get the entire series. To go even further – not only does he want to read all of the books, he wants to see the movie. The content or storyline of Suzanne Collin’s book is so engaging and convincing that my son is now a devoted fan. Even better for Suzanne Collins, he likes the book so much that he will tell all of his friends about it which, in turn, will bring even more people to look for and be won over by “The Hunger Games”‘ storyline.

Online marketing efforts need to function the same way. Make the content king. Focus on your message and, with the target audience in mind, write that storyline content out in a way that appeals to that reader’s characteristics, lifestyle and needs. Once you have generated the kind of content that wins over your target audience then initiate your real-time marketing strategies through social media and get people to visit your site. Impressed by the quality of your content, those visitors will turn into satisfied customers who, by word-of-mouth, will bring even more people to your site.

If you, excited by the marketing potential of social media, are poised to enter the conversation but have not created truly quality content for your website then step back and make that your first priority. If you are concerned that your content is not up to par, outsource that task to a company like My Web Writers who makes it their business to make sure that your content is king.


Leave a comment

Filed under Content, Social Media

Harnessing the Voice of the Consumer Leads to Successful Marketing

by My Web Writers

The voice of the consumer has never been more important to a company than now. Marketing has traditionally functioned on a top-down model. That is to say that companies used all their resources to come up with a logo, slogan, and static image that appeared in commercials, magazine ads, in-store display material, and brochures. How times have changed!

With the advent of the Internet and social media tools, the nature of building your consumer base has evolved. Marketers can no longer win over customers by manipulating them with catchy lines and controlled taste tests. I remember the commercials where a company would pit its product against the competition in a taste test. The unbiased participants would taste both products labeled with A or B and say which one they thought tasted best. The commercial would allow us to watch the person say that the sponsor of the commercial’s product tasted best and then, at best, hear a five sentence statement on why it beat out the competition. The company would rely on those “testimonials” to sway the public to purchase their product.

Taste test testimonials have now been replaced with consumer-generated forums, blogs, reviews, tweets, Facebook, and other social media postings. These powerful tools have, in essence, taken away business’ power to dictate the communications agenda and placed it squarely in the hands of the consumer. So what is a company to do? How should it approach its marketing strategy given the new voice given to the consumer? Marketing agencies and departments need to shift from the traditional top-down, static positioning of their product or service in front of the eyes of the consumer, and join in the discussion. Here are some specific bottom-up, conversational, marketing ideas:

  • get a Facebook page,
  • put a review or feedback section on your website,
  • provide as many different “contact us” options as possible,
  • make online chat a possibility,
  • post a video on YouTube,
  • invite customer’s to submit an original commercial that you’ll put on your website,
  • get Facebook, Google +1, Tweet, and share links on your page,
  • participate in forums,
  • give links to positive reviews written by a third-party, and
  • address negative reviews in a positive manner.

These are just a few ideas of how to join in. Embrace the empowered voice of the consumer and make it work to your advantage. Instead of devoting resources to generate the profile of your customer, let the true profile of your customer come to you. Monitoring the social tools that are being used by your customers helps ascertain a true, organic identify of your audience. A company may think that their product or service targets a specific audience without realizing that it is actually meeting more success with another audience. Another benefit to embracing and encouraging the voice of the consumer lies in the fact that free and open discussion has the potential to create additional buzz about your product or service.

This leap of faith in acquiescing some marketing power to the consumer is definitely a leap of faith. Control freaks can barely imagine letting go of the reins to such an extent. However, joining the company’s voice with that of the consumer does not ultimately result in “letting go of the reins” but in harnessing and monitoring the opinions and comments of those that the company is trying to please anyway. So, get out there and join the conversation. If venturing into the virtual world of social media and Internet dialogue seems too foreign or new to you then solicit the services of content companies like My Web Writers to handle your social media needs.


Leave a comment

Filed under Customer Profile, Marketing, Social Media

Revise for Mis-Tweets – A Social Media Marketing Story from Bill Hybels and Willow Creek

by My Web Writers

A Marketing Example- Effective Social Media

Recently, I summarized my experience at Willow Creek Association’s 2011 Leadership Summit.  While attendees flocked to various simulcast sites throughout the United States to learn from and be inspired by highly engaging business and church leaders- there was a glitch.

Howard Schultz, the Founder and CEO of Starbucks, was slated as the keynote speaker, but backed out of his contract a week prior to the event.  Bill Hybels, senior pastor of Willow Creek, had about a week to simmer emotions and to prepare a speech addressing the last-minute, speaker change:

I outlined my thoughts on this change in Hybels, Starbucks, and a Teen and noted Starbucks’ clever burying of bad PR with good PR that week.

Jim Mellado, Willow Creek Association President, debriefed with Bill Hybels about the 2011 Leadership Summit and asked Hybels to describe how he crafted the speaker change announcement.

The Writing Process & Your Marketing Team

Hybels wrote a draft. He then asked for input from his wife, a professional writer and editor. He took the draft with changes to his daughter who added a youthful editor’s perspective. Then, he presented the draft to the Willow Creek Association team, church development team, campus pastors, and elders. Each group fine-tuned the document.

Consider Social Media & Mis-Tweets

Finally, the day before the Summit, after he thought his document was complete, Willow’s social media expert approached Hybels and suggested, “Just for fun, go over every single phrase and see how it could be twisted or mis-tweeted.”

“Oh my,” Hybels responded looking upward, “that’s another layer in all this, isn’t it?”

He took the manuscript home and “changed about a half a dozen other little phrases” for Twitter.

Willow’s perceptive leadership, content, and social media team helped Hybels to draft a graceful and memorable leadership statement.

Who reviews your most important speeches, articles, and press releases? You might not always have the time needed for feedback, but when possible, do accept input from others. Expert marketing, social media, and editing teams are invaluable.


1 Comment

Filed under Marketing, Revising & Proofreading, Social Media, The Writing Process, Twitter

Google Plus and Content Marketing

by My Web Writers

Google Plus has received a lot of buzz since its release. A lot of the attention has centered on the speed at which Google Plus reached milestone levels of members, its fresh and exciting platform, and its role in the entire Google brand. Almost as quickly as it gained members, businesses were clamoring for the opportunity to create a Google Plus profile to take advantage of the benefits Google Plus has for content marketing.

What features make Google Plus ideal for content marketing?


Google Plus fosters an environment where users easily get the latest information about what interests them. To receive links to interest-based content, one simply indicates those interests in their profile and Google, drawing from its massive search index, automatically displays a piece of the latest articles, blogs, videos, and any other relevant content to that user. Google Plus users no longer need to initiate searches to find the latest buzz about a product, activity, service, company, or current events. Google Plus brings it right to the user. All the user has to do is click through to view the content in its entirety.

How can content marketing benefit? Online companies, hoping to strengthen their presence on the internet, have yet another reason to make sure their SEO content marketing practices get results. Rising to the top in Google’s SERP now means more than just making it onto the top of the first results page, it also means that Google conveniently provides the user a sampling of the content in Sparks.

As a result, those in charge of content marketing must make it a point to

  1. correctly identify the target audience,
  2. choose their keywords correctly, and
  3. make their content attractive to the search engine algorithms.

Accomplishing these three things means that your content marketing efforts will get to the right people, will match the keywords of the Sparks interest category, and be picked up by Google to pass on to the Google Plus member.

Hangout and Circles – the ultimate content sharing platform

Not only is Google dialoguing with its members via Sparks, but members are sharing content with members via the circles, hangout, and huddle features. Circles are a big hit because members can segregate their social networking acquaintances based upon relation, interests, and geography. Hangout appeals to those who love webcam conversations while providing features, like watching YouTube clips viewed during an online video call, that are exclusive to Google Plus. Huddle integrates texting as another way in which people of the same circle can initiate and facilitate group texting. All of these features cater to the need to share information.

How can content marketing benefit from these sharing features? Word of mouth has always been one of the most effective methods of spreading information and finding new customers. Google Plus members are speaking. Use Google Plus’ active sharing environment to spread the word about online competitions, new products, upcoming events, and special pricing promotions. Finding a voice within the sharing features of Google Plus effectively magnifies your content marketing efforts as word travels in an organic fashion.

It is important to point out that viewing Google Plus’ sharing capabilities as simply a powerful way to disseminate your marketing campaign would deny you another great benefit that Google Plus has to offer. Nate Riggs suggests that Google Plus, because it encourages so much sharing, also serves to inform online companies about what their target audience is saying. He states “This provides an opportunity for you to set up specific circles of the individual users who share content that’s most relevant to your customer audience.” Savvy online content marketers know that they need to hear what consumers are saying and Google Plus provides the perfect opportunity to listen.

Using Google Plus In-house

I have shared a few of Google Plus’ features that make this bandwagon a great spot for content marketing. However, the benefits of Google Plus in content marketing are not exclusive to the company-customer relationship. Because Google Plus takes the ease of social networking to a whole new level, businesses can benefit from its features to coordinate and discuss content marketing strategies within the company. Google Plus is not a social networking phenomenon just within the United States – it is a global player. Imagine how much more productive online meetings can be using hangout. Imagine how much easier it will be to update relevant company personnel of the buzz about your latest content marketing campaign with circles.

The marriage of Google Plus and content marketing practices represent a match made in heaven. Content marketing is all about reaching the target audience and creating a buzz. Google Plus is all about creating a social networking platform where buzz and sharing have free reign. Take the time to familiarize yourself with Google Plus and recognize its potential impact on content marketing. Although Google Plus has yet to invite businesses to “set up shop” on this platform, take advantage of the waiting period to set up personal accounts, to start listening, and to get sharing.


1 Comment

Filed under Content Marketing, Google Plus