: ) Is Modern Communications Personal?

acronyms 2We live in a world of instant communication and information. While the power of this technology is awesome, we forget that it does come with great responsibilities too. How many times are we texting or talking on our mobile phones when we shouldn’t or are checking Facebook while we should be paying attention in a meeting.

Earlier this week Pope Francis asked Catholics to “get off the Internet and do something productive.” I guess even the Pope knows what a time-suck social media can be.

Long before there was an Internet and the idea of digital marketing was non- existent, when we needed to communicate, we spoke to each other. We picked up the phone and called, set up a meeting or talked at lunch. Instant messaging was however long it took the U.S. Mail to deliver a letter and e-mail was a typed letter, not handwritten. I remember seeing my first fax machine in 1992 and being amazed. What technology would be next? Turned out to be the pager which was a big pain in the butt.

As communications became faster and more powerful, it also became less personal. I remember my first conference call. I quickly realized that I liked to see faces when I spoke so I could gauge body language during conversations. I hated conference calls. Then email came out. Quick, fast communications but totally devoid of the tones we hear in voices that give us cues on emotion. THIS BECAME SHOUTING.

Today it’s texting which has its own language (LOL, OMW, IDK) and signs to show our emotion such as : ) Thank God I work with a team of 20-somethings otherwise I would still think that “LOL” means Lots of Love and “WTF,” Why that Face? I’ve learned the hard way that neither is an appropriate response when texting a friend who is going through tough times.

Communications and technology is a powerful and profitable business. Worldwide it has launched revolutions. Locally, it makes sure me and my team receive  a paycheck every two weeks. However, never forget the power of a phone call or better yet, getting up from your desk and talking to one another instead of sending an email or another text. Learn the power of reading faces and listen for emotion and tone.

Communication is personal, regardless of the technology that connects us.

What’s so “Super” about the Super Bowl?

Super Bowl 46 LogoFor football fans, it’s a holy day. For others, it’s just an excuse to pig out and down some brewskies. But, no matter the age, gender or motive, the Super Bowl represents a profound experience that makes it an “unofficial” holiday in our American culture. As each year passes, it seems as if the brains behind the Super Bowl operations look for the next big idea to take fans’ experience to the next level.

This year, the land of Peyton Manning, Touchdown Jesus and Bobby Knight is the new home of the Super Bowl and the first-ever social media command center created by the Indianapolis Super Bowl XLVI Host Committee to provide visitors with a whole new type of game-day experience. (It’s in Indiana if you’re still in the dark with those sport references.)

The Game Plan

The new social media experience angle of this year’s big game is spearheaded by a group of individuals from Raidious, an Indiana-based social media company, who are committed to giving “Hoosier hospitality” to fans and visitors of Indianapolis by monitoring social media outlets and answering questions about local attractions, parking and other Super Bowl-related topics.

Raidious Super Bowl social media command center

Raidious Super Bowl social media command center

The social media platforms which will be monitored include Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Flickr and Foursquare. The command center is giving others the play-by-play now through Super Bowl Sunday.

The Drive

But, there’s more to this social media-savvy event. The command center goes for a two-point conversion with its SEO efforts, and in my eyes, really puts those extra points up on the board. Not only will the individuals manning (No pun intended, but go Giants) the center monitor conversations occurring on various outlets, they will also use SEO to highlight keywords and phrases people are searching with to obtain certain information.  According to FastCompany.com, a list of about 300 keywords will be used to monitor all social media outlets as well as the Twitter hashtag, #Social46.

The End Zone

Here’s the bottom line: it’s all about customer satisfaction, which directly relates to the individuals’ experience. No matter what business you’re in or which event you’re preparing for, you want outsiders or customers to walk away with the “wow” factor. It’s like Thanksgiving dinner when your mom seems as if her head is going to pop off faster than the cork on a champagne bottle just because she wants everyone to have a great time full of memories.

This social media command center accomplishes that same goal because it reaches out and makes a connection with Super Bowl attendees and tourists visiting Indianapolis. By serving as the scouting team, individuals are left feeling valued and taken care of because the command center has the ultimate Super Bowl playbook. The best offense is a good defense, and by being a step ahead of the game, you are almost always guaranteed to cross the goal line. So whether you’re tuning in for entertaining commercials or watching to see which team will clinch the Vince Lombardi Trophy, remember it’s all about your experience and the memories you take away.

 

Google Analytics – It Just Keeps on Getting Better

Real-time Google Analytics

Google’s infamous Panda updates and the launch of Google+ may have captured search headlines this year, but we’ve had our eye on a series of updates to Google Analytics that resulted in some very cool new tools for data-minded marketers. Here’s a recap of our favorite new(ish) features and how we’re putting them to use for our clients.

  1. Google Analytics Real-Time

    Google has always been great for analyzing past performance but we’ve often wished for a way to gauge the immediate impact of media hit, blog post or Tweet on a client’s site traffic. With Google Analytics Real-Time, we can see how many active visitors are on a site at any given time, which pages they’re viewing, and what traffic source sent the traffic.  Sweet!

  2. Social Plug-In Analytics

    Google Analytics Real-Time tracks Facebook "likes"

    Google Analytics Real-Time tracks Facebook "likes"

    With a tweak to the standard Google Analytics tracking code, it’s now possible to know which site pages, articles or blog posts are most commonly “liked” or shared, and from which social networks. You can track a variety of social actions, from Google +1 clicks to Facebook “likes” and Delicious bookmarks. And you can compare visitor engagement for visits that did and did not include social interaction to determine whether the ability to share content results in more in-depth site visits or more time spent viewing content.

  3. Using Events as Goals

    This one gets a bit geeky, so bear with us. Google Analytics makes it easy to track goals that are tied to a specific set of actions and an outcome (think adding an item to a shopping cart and checking out or completing a contact form). But there are a lot of other on-site activities that can indicate a high level of engagement and interest that aren’t so straightforward. By taking advantage of events as goals, it’s now possible to track PDF downloads, video views (including how many visitors viewed the complete video as opposed to only part of the video), use of site tools like calculators or quizzes or interaction with a slideshow (like clicking through rotating content on a home page).

    We can go one step further and tie these activities back into transactional goals, making it possible to determine, for example, whether visitors who view a video about a new product or download a PDF version of a brochure are more likely to complete a “request more information” form.

There’s a wealth of information buried in your Analytics if you know how to find and interpret it. With end-of-year review season rapidly approaching, we can’t wait to put on our spreadsheet goggles and get to work!

 

Lessons Learned from Two Girls in Pink Tutus


Back in September, a YouTube video featuring one eight-year-old diva and her shy, five-year-old lip-syncing cousin, uploaded a video of the two performing Nicki Minaj’s “Super Bass.” Within the month, this homemade video went viral and attracted more than 11 million views. This prompted Ellen Degeneres to invite the little girls onto her show to preform the song live. Little did they know that this was the start of something amazing.

Sophie Grace with Ellen Degeneres and Nikki Minaj

Sophia Grace and her cousin Rosie, both from Great Britain, sat down with Degeneres and made the audience go wild with their accents, maturity and pink tutus. After the interview, Degeneres handed the girls microphones and they performed the perfect a capella version of “Super Bass.” After the standing ovation they received from the crowd, Degeneres surprised the girls with a visit from Nicki Minaj. (If you have a few minutes, watch this video. You’ll be glad you did!)

On Tuesday, Degeneres invited the girls back on her show. During the interview Degeneres told Sophia that after she posted their video onto the Ellen Show’s YouTube channel, 23 million people viewed it over this past month. Degeneres then asked Sophia if she understood the number of views the video received, to which Sophia replied, “ it’s more than a thousand!” The girls went on to explain how they are now considered celebrities back home in England.

Why You Should Care About Videos

Even though the little girls can’t comprehend the impact their video has made, PR professionals certainly can. Now more than ever, companies are trying to create unique videos that will cut through all the clutter and stand out. According to a video from the Simply Zesty Simply Viral blog, a website that is correctly optimized with video increases the probability that it will appear on the first page of Google by 53 times. This video also claims that the effectiveness of an email marketing campaign will increase by more than 90 percent if it uses video.

The Cisco Visual Networking Index forecasts that in 2013, 90 percent of Internet traffic will be online video. PR companies should now, more than ever, be thinking of new ways to incorporate video into their strategies to enhance a clients’ reputation and brand image. To be most effective, the videos should give your audience the chance to interact and begin a relationship with the company. Then, direct your viewers to a social media platform, a blog or another website to further that relationship.

As for Sophia Grace and Rosie, their next adventure will be going to the American Music Awards and interviewing celebrities on the red carpet, all thanks to a little help from Ellen Degeneres and one very cute viral video that you won’t regret watching.