Over the past few months, we have been exploring “social media” including Blogging, Flickr, YouTube, FaceBook, and most recently Twitter.
Twitter – www.twitter.com/eracose
We have just started with Twitter recently. Twitter has a number of obvious values.
- The 140 word limit is its greatest asset. Sort of like “the elevator pitch” The writer has to think about each word to ensure that the meaning is clear and interesting.
- Its length ensures only one topic per posting. By experience, we have learned that people only focus on one topic per email – there is no point in including more than one. Perhaps because many people use handhelds to receive and send email. Twitter intuitively leads to just one topic.
- Its currency is another value. News stories are ofter posted to Twitter before they a posted to news services. In addition, people attending ongoing events can send moment by moment postings with photos and/or video.
- Because you can follow people you choose, you are getting the information that you want – as opposed to having to filter through useless information to find what you are seeking.
- Links to blogs, news articles, videos, and photos allows the reader to explore these options if he or she is interested in further information, if not it is easy to move on to the next topic.
- The ability to block is extremely important. We have found that certain posters seem to offer a gateway to others. They are fairly easy to recognize because they usually have 10,000+ followers and have made only 10 posts. You can remove a great deal of “noise” by blocking these people as soon as possible.
- Twitter brings many voices from everywhere. It is the best source of easily found, recent information in graphic design, website design trends and methodology, and search engine optimization. In just a few minutes, we bookmark a number of relevant links. However, it is less productive for other types of information such as tourism marketing and funding charities. Perhaps this because it is relatively new and because people involved in technology tend to use it more.
- From the point of view of marketing, it has to be done subtly and intrinsically, as opposed to overtly. Being bombarded with a sales message is extremely annoying on Twitter, just as it is in everyday life. Social media are just that.
- For clients, we sometimes upload links to websites, giving them greater exposure in search engines.
As a bottom line, we think Twitter is the best thing since Google.
Flickr – Baccalieu Consulting’s Flicker Site –www.flickr.com/photos/baccalieu/
Because of the quality and variety of Newfoundland Amateur Photographers who display their works on Flickr, we have been using Flickr for some time as a source for regional photos for both print and websites. After finding a suitable photo, we contact the person who has posted it and ask for permission to use the photo, assuring him or her that we will credit the work in any publication. Almost without exception, they have given permission. Two photographers whose work we have used extensively are:
Clyde Barrett – who lives in Bishop’s Cove – www.flickr.com/photos/clbarret2003/
Clyde, who lives across the Harbour on the Bishop’s Cove Shore, receives numerous awards for this photography through Flickr. His photos of birds, including resident Spaniard’s Bay bald eagles, are outstanding.
Dean Ducas – who lives in Quebec – http://www.flickr.com/photos/deanspic/
Dean and his wife, neither of whom we have met in person, are outdoors people whose interests include ecotourism and birding. We have used a number of his photos of the Bay Roberts Shoreline Heritage Trail. Last year we used one of his photos as the cover of our BAY ROBERTS TOURISM AND LEISURE GUIDE – 2008
Use of Flickr for Marketing We have started uploading more of our own photos and photos taken for client’s websites to Flickr. In descriptions of photos, we link back to clients’ websites. These links give clients another Search Engine entry, in addition to bringing people who look at the photos to the client website.
YouTube – Baccalieu Consulting’s YouTube Channel – www.youtube.com/user/eracose
Having seen how well YouTube videos index in Goole, we decided to add some of our own. We converted a number of MS PowerPoint, Flash Presentations, and other types of presentations to YouTube and uploaded them. For our clients, this offered another point of entry for persons seeking information.
Unlike Flickr and YouTube, FaceBook’s value to business is not immediately evident.
For the FaceBook that is mainly to use with Baccalieu Consulting, it has been possible to align network of contacts, most of whom are familiar anyway. We place links to work created for our clients, which again is helpful in promoting clients. However, we are not sure if the amount of time spent on FaceBook will translate into enough business leads to justify the expenditure of time.
FaceBook – Pigeon Inlet – Town of Bay Roberts – http://www.facebook.com/people/Mose-Mitchell/1155290376
The Uncle Mose FaceBook is a little different. The town of Bay Roberts, our most active client, has initiated the Bay Roberts Cultural Foundation. One of the activities will be host to a series of dramatic productions each summer called “A Time in Pigeon Inlet.” The production is based on the work of a well-known Newfoundland author, Ted Russell, whose main character was Unile Mose Mitchell. With the Uncle Mose FaceBook we have attempted to make contact with three main groups of people – those with an interest in Newfoundland cultural heritage, the artistic community (including musicians and actors), and journalists. We have added a Pigeon Inlet Group and have begun posting Pigoen Inlet events.
As the town is building towards this summer’s performances, we will have a good list of potential patrons and local media to inform. At the end of the summer, we will be able to determine the success of this approach.