communication

Who Needs Muscles When You Got Twitter. How Are Social Media Users Powerful? (And How Organizations Should Use It)

Social media has been part of my life for a long time. I have Myspaced, Facebooked, Twittered, GooglePlused (Ha! Just kidding), and whatever came out that sparked my angsty teenager self. For years, I sat down and posted misspelled statues with absolutely awful pictures to try to make me look cool. I was pretty seasoned in social media and all I did was put my bootay on some sort of surface and browsed. And browsed. And for some reason, I never got bored. However, thinking about the platforms brings a great point…why? Well, I guess it’s because I want to be constantly connected with people who matter to me and my world.

Nah, it’s about the power and influence, man.

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Think he is losing in life? His 4,000 friends on Facebook will tell you different.

 

 

You might be confused, and quite frankly, I’m confused too, but stick with my banter and you’ll be rewarded with a cute picture of a sloth.

The power aspect is interesting because it’s hard to see at a personal level. Nevertheless, if you take a look at some of your own habits on social media, you kind of see it. For example, you share a controversial post on Facebook about orangutan abuse in Spain and all of a sudden, your mother and 5th best friend from preschool are having a great conversation about it in the comments. How is this power? Simple, you influenced an exchange that may have never happened. You created something and that feels nice. Have you ever been in a group of friends and one of them always get’s the group talking? That person has the ability to influence the creation of communication which in it’s own manner is powerful.

Confused still? Well this is only a small amount of power. Add a few hundred more people and we got something good! When many people in a social media platform combine and push for something, it can create a huge wave of power. Think of an army of peasants armed with long pointy sticks. Enough of them becomes a force to reckon with. The best example of this hive mind of power is during any internet firestorm. A firestorm is a rapid discharge of protest or attack on a person or organization quotes Social Media #facts. Firestorms used to be somewhat a non-threat, something that only happens with a small group of people, but in modern times, it’s much more serious. A firestorm can absolutely destroy a person in terms of presence and credibility. A great (and local) example of this would be the situation with a Purdue staff member and his comments. If one person would have yelled to the big Cloud in the sky, no one would really care, but if a bunch of people scream, you can shake some foundation. In this case, the internet firestorm caused him to quit. Plus, his credibility crumbled like a crappy dollar store cookie. That is serious, that is power.

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Well, that’s a “hot” topic….GET IT! HAHHAHAHAHAHDHFKLD:AJS:JDJFKAS

That is only one example of power. There are tons of examples of power! There are users on social media that created so much “conversation” that they now have an enormous amount of power. Take Jerome Jarre, a Vine star, for example. He had practically nothing at first. After months of working on his Vine game, he gained power! So much, that he started to do things that are stupid for views. In 2014, he was detained for a prank he did on a plane. Yeah, that’s a bit much, but he wouldn’t have done it if he didn’t realize he had power and influence.

Yeah yeah, there is power, but how can we utilize it? More specifically, what can organizations do to use it? Well that’s easy, nothing.

What?

Yes, nothing.

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I SAID DO NOTHING!

Organizations themselves already have some power. They have money and manpower, two parts to success. No matter how much of either you have, you will not be able to control people of social media. Using social media can be great for organizations. It can make a company into something it never imagined like Wuju Hot Sauce. However, you cannot force users to comply. For example, Woody Harrelson did an AMA on Reddit. It is a great place to spread a message (once again, Wuju). However, the users were getting frustrated by the forceful advertisement of a new movie and back lashed. It didn’t work and, if anything, hurt the organization (in this case a person) bad. What organizations should do is let the social media users come to you. Don’t try and get them, but make a space for them for “conversation.” There is the word again! Conversation is powerful and it will always be powerful for years to come.

There is still some points that I would have liked to brought up, but I think you get the point. Give a comment in the box if you have an argument and or an agreement! Oh, and here is your prize…

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Actually…this is horrifying.

One Like Equals One Vote. How has Social Media Overhauled the Election?

Note: r/SandersForPresident is being overshadowed r/The_Donald i.e. the Donald Trump support subreddit. This is an interesting development……

Elections. Social Media. What do these two have in common? They are both full with loud mouth people that say things for attention. What happens when you combine them? You get a monster. A large politically hungry monster. Now now, I know that you are grabbing for pitchforks because I have done a similar topic. In all honesty, it has some shared points, but it is a completely different position. So put those long forks away and read along…

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I don’t know about you, but I think megaphone guy may have a tiny advantage. Words do damage bro…words do damage…

This year for the elections will be one for the record books. Not only is it the first time that we had a person with  Jewish background in the running, but we also have robot running for president. Just kidding, Marco Rubio, that’s what the internet says. However, that is exactly the point that I have to make, the internet is more important than ever to deciding who is deserving the spot of President. If the users of the internet (hint: practically everyone) find one mistake, they will haunt the life of the candidate. The statement “the internet never forgets” has never been truer. Nevertheless, social media is a polar situation in the campaigning world. There is the good and there is the bad. Let’s dive in the Democratic side and see what we find.

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“DESTROY, DESTROY, DESTROY…Ahem, I mean Obama knows exactly what he is doing.”

The Good

Social media has brought great success for at least one candidate: Bernie Sanders. Bernie Sanders has dominated the good part of social media campaigning. And do you know why ? Millennials believe in him.The millennials support him whole heartily and will push for him on any site possible. He has wonderful presence in all forms of platform. Reuters is stated that during the Iowa Caucus, he gained the largest amount of followers on Facebook for that day. He gained an impressive 15,685 followers, “trumping” Trumps 10,704 followers and destroying Hillary Clinton’s 6,210 followers. He was king and he didn’t even win (well…we’ll get back to this in a second).

One the best examples of his support is on Reddit where he has a subreddit, /r/SandersForPresident, dedicated in his honor. Within this section of internet heaven, they discuss strategies to convert people to his side. It’s a literal virtual campaign office that, in reality, has no personal affiliation to the man himself. They spend hours of their own time to help a man they truly believe in. Reddit is known for cat pictures, but also for being hard political pushers.

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This man might be “old” but he caught the hearts of the “young” #motivational #feelthebern

The Bad

Even though she is considered the front-runner for the Democratic party, Hillary is dying in the social media world. There is one thing people on the internet hate more than Comcast; they hate dishonest people (not saying Comcast isn’t dishonest, they are spawn of evil). Hillary has got that reputation this campaign and oh boy, it has been feeding the people on social media with complete and utter disdain. Ever since she was caught lying about using an unsecured server for classified E-mails, people have kept a very large stink eye on her. Because of that, they have caught her flip-flop in positioning. Just recently, Twitter had a hashtag #WhichHillary. People were calling out her fuzzy agenda and how it hasn’t been straight her entire career as a politician. Wired explains 88,000 tweets were posted with #WhichHillary from the period of Thursday morning to 1:00 P.M. the same day. That right there folks is what we call a firestorm.

I am not trying to down play Hillary whatsoever. I am just analyzing how her presence has been to the people and as I just explained, it is not great. Even her followers have been called out as liars. During the Iowa Caucasus (told you we would come back), a series of events caused people to wonder if the vote count was accurate because the head of the Caucasus was a Hillary supporter. Take a look at the video below and tell me what you think.

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C-Span didn’t have a way to embed this 😦 I linked it though!

In conclusion, social media is extremely important for the election process now. In my previous post about government and the internet, I explained how social media won Obama the election. The question is, will it win it for Bernie?

 

*Smile* *Flash* *Cringe* repeat. How Has the Selfie Always Been About Branding?

This is going to be an interesting topic to go over and I’m excited to share my findings. But first, let me take a selfie.

Er, well, put some on here.

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Wow!

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OH MY!

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Awwww!

Those are some nice pics, dawg, but why oh why did I post them? Think about it for a second. What do all these pictures have in common? Sweatshirts? No. Heights? Well kind of but no. How about the location? Well, I hope not! There might be some obvious similarities, but what is the overall theme that these and all selfies have? Simple, branding. Not just any branding, personal branding.

“Objection!!!!” you ring in with god awful shrill, “Selfies aren’t for ‘branding,’ they are for just fun!” Oh really, fun???

Well you are wrong…kind of.

I had fun once. Or twice. I dunno, maybe like…seven times?

Selfies are one of the most “complicated” trends of recent years. A selfie is defined in a couple of ways. Oxford dictionary states that it’s simply a picture taken of yourself, by yourself. That’s not really right, is it? Urban Dictionary (which over the years has become more credible than most news sites) defines selfie as taking a picture of yourself to post on social media to show that you have no friends so you hope that the picture brings in waves of friends. Admittedly, that definition takes it to another level of obscurity and sadness, but they are right. A selfie is not something you take for yourself, it’s something you take for everyone else.

Still don’t believe me, take for example the first ever occurrence of the word selfie. Lexicographers believe that Nathan Hope of Australia during the far away year 2002 was the first person to use the word as we do today. Nathan was at a “mates 21” party and fell over after what I assume was three occasions of Edward Forty-hands of Fosters (I know, I know, Australians don’t really like Fosters that much). He busted his lip and took a picture of it. The article states that he posted a picture of a horribly unfocused fat lip in a forum with the text “…sorry about the focus, it was a selfie.” For you youngins’, a forum was like our Facebook but for a more specific audience like gun experts or lotion enthusiasts.

Let’s get to the fun stuff now.

'Sorry about the focus, it was a selfie,' Mr Hope said

This isn’t fun…this…this is not what I wanna see.

Right off the bat, Nathan Hope was pushing his personal brand. How? Easy, he posted it on a forum. A public forum. This isn’t a piece of art, this isn’t flippin’ Monet. This is a blurry picture of a twenty-something Australian male with a wound. He wanted people to see it because he wanted to tell his story, his experience, his *drum roll* brand.

Before I go all analyst on this, let’s get a quick overview of what a “brand” is. How I see brand (and I’m sure you will agree) is the image and expectations of a company/product/person. For example, when you think Apple, you think evil corporation with awful products. Just kidding, people think of reliable products with beautiful design. Also, very over-priced (that’s another argument for another time). That’s Apple’s brand. So what is Nathan Hope’s brand. No one knew until he posted this picture. So what is it? It’s that he likes to party and he is tough. That’s the brand he wants people to see of him in his picture. According to The Telegraph, Dr. Terri Apter says that people take selfies as “a kind of self-definition.”

Bam! 

A personal brand is 100% a self-definition. Well, more of a combination of looking glass self and ideal self. Looking glass self is the personal image for yourself that is indirectly created by others while ideal self is the image that you strive to be. In this case for example, you took a selfie in your Sunday best at a dance. You wanted to show the world who you are in the best situation possible. That is your ideal. However, no one likes the picture. Indirectly, those people changed your perspective on what you thought of yourself.

What, no one likes this picture!?!? I guess back to the drawing board you ugly person me.

Let’s go back to the selfies up top. The first one is pretty awesome. Taking a selfie while on a roller coaster with all your closest friends. See, it’s just for fun. Nope, that man in that picture is obviously trying show his personal brand as well as others. Look, he is the guy taking a dangerous group picture and wearing the same shirt as some others. This photo gives his brand a huge notch of “cool” and “fun guy” vibe. Let’s look at the next one. This is a stupid selfie, just taking that picture up there is illegal. Why? Those guys wanted to be noticed as “extreme” or something along those lines (a certain feminine cleaning product comes to mind). Lastly, that cute couple is my roommate and his girlfriend. Now this definitely is just a cute picture. Noooooo way, it’s definitely branding for themselves. I know for a fact that they took multiple pictures to make sure that both looked pristine. This is their brand, they are an attractive couple that travels. End of story.

Of course, people do take selfies just for fun. Nevertheless, they have some sort of intent to show who they are. People who got self-portraits back in the day did it to show that they are important and have some sort of status in this culture. The same goes with selfies. You take them to show your status in this world.

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I swear if she doesn’t like this selfie, I’m gonna give her a piece of me.

In the end, we all do it. We all know what a selfie does to yourself and to others. It can be good for us. It can be bad for us. Yeah, it is proven that it can cause poor judgment because of the thrill of narcissism. Plus, it isn’t exactly healthy for other people as shown in the issues of self-esteem. However, no matter what a selfie does, we still do it. We want to have a reason to be here in this world and oddly enough, selfies help that flourish. That reason, that self-definition, that brand.

 

 

 

 

Wubba Lubba Dub Dub!!! Did Rick and Morty Dominate in Social Media?

It’s 1:00 A.M. on a Friday night. All your friends are out drinking. Without you. Your parents are, as your father told you on the crappy phone connection, “mumble mumble Estonia mumble your life savings.” Your neighbors are playing loud music which can only be described as angst death cat metal or something ever so tempting like that. The love of your life is non-existent or with a person you hate. Lastly, your dog was so bored of you that it ran away. However, you are wasting away your night scrolling through Facebook. But is it a waste? Hark! Something catches your eye and you grab your mouse. With a slight grin, you press that greasy piece of sad technology. *Click* It’s 3:00 A.M. and you have no idea what happened. Really, you know exactly what happened. You found yourself amidst an engaging social media campaign.

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“…and in summary, I failed college but I really know how to tweet and like pictures and stuff”

Social Media campaigns are everywhere and it makes sense. According to Pew Research Center, approximately 76% of internet users in the United States use social media. That is about 250 million people. That is a quite a big boat. However, even with that large number of people, it still is difficult to successfully make a connection with that audience. Olive Garden (or “all of garden”) can’t just create an account on Twitter and hope that the bread sticks just start rolling in right away.

Nope, they need to be engaging.

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It’s funny because, you know, “engaging” and “engagement” and shes like “Oh Tom” and he’s like…just…just never mind.

 

I bet you saw my title and wondered if the lack of sleep is finally getting to you. Well, it’s not. Or it is. I don’t know in your case, but “Wubba Lubb Dub Dub” is 100% the phrase you are seeing. Where is this from you ask? That is easily answered if you reread the title one more time: Rick and Morty. This Adult Swim exclusive show has done a wonderful job with its social media campaign. Dan Harmon and Justin Roiland do not stray from their success. Their campaigning has a simple but effective goal: sell their brand. By brand, I mean their image as a whole and oh boy, did they do so.

The show is an animated comedy show with elements of science fiction. It has lots of moments where you have no idea what to think, but that is the beauty. The creators don’t care what you think and created a great show with a huge following. The biggest problem, however, is that they have to take a long hiatus between seasons for untold reasons so they have to keep their loyal audience. How? How in the world do they keep an audience for a year and half development process? Let’s go digging!

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“Just look Morty! In this dimension, I’m praised like a *burp* John Wayne or Salena!”

First, we’ll step into their Facebook page where I think the best examples of their engagement is seen. The page is constantly updated with posts that deal with some sort of announcement for the show, but that’s not where it shines in terms of engagement. It shines within the comment section. The administrators of the page have the freedom to reply to fans in a way which seems completely unprofessional. Nevertheless, this is where they keep current. Look at these examples that I have here. Forewarning though, NSFW language is present so use caution. Here are the links. These replies feed the people with what the brand is. A bunch of no cares who have some sort of attitude. This is what their audience wants, this is what they need. Overall, their use of humor throughout Facebook has made their page less of a nuisance and more of an actual place to find yourself interacting.

Oh, don’t let me undermine their posts either. They absolutely rock that as well!

 

Next, let’s look at Instagram. Oh, boring you might think. Everyone has an Instagram blah blah blah. But wait, Dan and Justin really did something crazy. Take a look at this.

An Instagram game made to work and be extremely interactive. Who knew! It’s an amazing tactic that I haven’t seen before. You can travel all over this well detailed world of Rick and Morty and every little bit of it is great. There is even a Tamagotchi type game in there that you can play. It’s actually really well thought out and found it one of the best ways I have ever seen someone use Instagram as a platform. The most intriguing aspect of using Instagram is that they continue with their consistency. By continuing with their attitude with full force, the message is still the same: “we don’t care and you know you love it.” All I have to say is well done Adult Swim with your budget and professionals. It still works if want to check it out. It is really neat.

Lastly, let’s take a step back for the craziness. Maybe you see that they are funny but isn’t enough. You feel almost like there isn’t any humanity in these guys and they are only in it for the money. You’ll be happy to know that you are kind of right, but they are nice guys too. By partnering with (RED), a very well-known anti-AIDS charity, they show they are more than just creators. By offering a part in their show as well as selling off some items like original art work or specially made items, they show that they care. They have heavily pushed this on every platform they run. Showing this humanity makes you love this show even more.

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“But really guys, you’re telling me you wouldn’t like it if your favorite show replied to you on Facebook and cussed you out? Thought so.”

In reality, they have done much more to spread their awareness. From doing a Hardee’s commercial to being part of a Simpson’s couch gag, they show their awareness to advertising. They even created a mobile game that has been very well received. Nevertheless, it’s their use of conversation, interactivity, and humanity that they not only retain their audience, they engage them.

If you would like to learn more, just watch the show. It’s free online. Go. Right now. Seriously.

My Mighty Return!

What…is this really happening? Am I starting this blog up again even though I barely used it in the first place? You bet your sweet butt I am and I got quite the topics to discuss! Obviously, there has been a total of like what, forty people who have read this blog. Nevertheless, I’m excited to return and share my opinion about interesting Communication topics that have been tossed around lately. This semester (yes semester, I started this for school so I’ll continue using it for school you judging Judy), I’ll be more centered on Social Media.

Fun right???

Of course it is since you are totally on your Facebook/Twitter/Pinterest/Snapchat/Instagram/YouTube/Google+ (Ha!)/MySpace/Match right now.

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You think that’s a face of surprise? No, that’s a face of utter fear.

Now listen up for the next few months and I promise that I’ll spark some sort of interest!

Glad to be back.

P.S. WordPress has kind of changed on me so my format might be a tad weird(er). Sorry for the inconvenience folks!