Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Facebook and WhatsApp. What's Up with That?

Last Wednesday, Facebook made news by announcing the purchase of a popular messaging app thats available for iPhone, Blackberry, Android, Windows Phone and Nokia called WhatsApp.  This is the largest purchase that Facebook has ever made -costing a whopping $19 billion.  Just for comparison, the last purchase Facebook made was in 2012, buying Instagram for $1 billion.  Google offered to buy WhatsApp but the $10 billion offer was turned down.

WhatsApp is very popular - about 450 million people use its service each month.  WhatsApp is a great messing tool because it has the ability to message people without being charged like a standard SMS.  Facebook's Messenger app works the same way, connecting millions of users on multiple platforms through this data-based messaging.

So the question is, why would Facebook want to buy virtually the same service?

Mark Zuckerberg announced the next day, that Facebook's mission "is to make the world more open and connected." Read more of his statement here.

Brian Grenne, a writer and editor for PR News translates this as "We want to own the Internet and what you do on it you will do through us. Or, more to the point, we want to know everything you say and do on mobile because we think mobiles the future." For Facebook, it's not about the money. It's about influence and control.

According to WhatsApp chief executive, Jan Koum, WhatsApp has the plan of adding voice calls to its production the second quarter of this year.

In 2012, when rumors were circulating about the potential purchase, Distimo came out with a report showing WhatsApp's popularity globally in comparison to Facebook. 

Check out this picture from 2012 below.

These are some pretty bold moves for Facebook! What is Facebook going to do next? Let us know what you think! 

Monday, February 17, 2014

Social currency equals "free" Marc Jacobs' products

Picture via Mashable

In this day of social media, companies are becoming more and more creative when it comes to utilizing this technology and making their brand known. One of the most creative campaigns I have seen recently belongs to Marc Jacobs and consists of "trading social media mentions for products" at a temporary store. The promotion was done to correlate with New York Fashion Week and stir up conversation surrounding the brand. 

People were encouraged to tweet, like Facebook posts, and Instagram pictures featuring the brand. In essence, this social currency put forth by consumers would allow them to receive free Marc Jacobs products including perfume, necklaces, and handbags. The idea was rather innovative and received a lot of media attention, as well as increased adoration from fans.

According to Forbes, this Marc Jacobs campaign "spells the end of trying to put a dollar value on social media campaigns". They have concluded that although social media aids in making a brand known and unique, it is hard to determine its correlation with sales increases. All in all, this initiative is just another interesting example of how social media is shaping the retail world and I am interested to see what else these forward-thinking brands have in store.

Monday, February 10, 2014

21 Tips for a Great LinkedIn Profile

LinkedIn is the most powerful professional networking tool around.  According to TopDog Social Media, "Having a great LinkedIn profile is a critical component to your ongoing success" and with spring right around the corner, the seniors at Marist College are in various stages of the job process. 

Jeff Bullas' says, "The resume has changed forever... Resumes just like many things are migrating online. In the past you had a few sheets of paper that you mailed or faxed to potential employers to obtain that important interview. Today you are “Googled’ and your online resume is now a collection of “search engine results”. This means your activity online needs to be well managed and optimized. How many times has a person lost that important job due to a poorly considered weekend Facebook update or Tweet?"
This week's blog post will provide helpful tips to create a well-organized LinkedIn profile from Melonie Dodaro
1. The section for your name should only contain your name.
2. Your headline should be catchy, and include key words and phrases that you would want to turn up in Google search results.
3. A professional photo.
4. At least 500 connections. Social proof is important online. It leads to credibility and authority on the Web. 
- Personally, I think that having 500 connections is a lot.  Set a more realistic goal of making 100 connections in your first month and then use your networking skills to be introduced to other LinkedIn members to strengthen your network.
5. All relevant contact information.
6. Customized website names to attract your target market.
7. Customized profile URL.
8. Daily status updates to provide value to your network. Share your latest blog post, presentation or content worth passing along.
9. Key words and phrases under which you want people to find you.
10. Write in the first person.
11. Speak directly to your target market so they can identify with what you say.
12. A video or slideshow. Many people prefer to watch rather than read.
13. Tell people they must click to play a video. It's not that obvious.
14. Load your "skills and expertise" section with key words and phrases.
15. Highlight free reports or downloads in the "projects" section. Showcase the products and services you promote here, too.
16. Load the "work history" section with key words and phrases.
17. Load the "experience" section with key words and phrases.
18. Post at least 10 recommendations.
19. Mention your volunteer experiences, including causes you support.
20. Significant media awards, recognition and achievements in the "honors and awards" section will enhance your credibility.
21. Join 50 groups that are relevant to your professional field.

Check out this Infographic Melonie put together showing how to put these tips directly into your profile! 

Monday, February 3, 2014

PR Specialist makes US News 100 Best Jobs

Picture via US News

You will all be happy to know that PR Specialist landed a spot on U.S News' ranking of the "Best 100 Jobs". It came in number one on the "Best Creative Jobs" list and number 85 on the "100 Best Jobs" list. The post is informative and gives great insight into the profession. The job additionally received 5.6 stars out of 10 and was given an above average rate of upward mobility.

Although the salary for PR Specialist ranks lower than many of its creative competitors, it was still ranked as number one and that is a very reassuring thing. This could perhaps be due to the fact that PR is set to see an employment growth of 12 percent between 2012 and 2022. It is also estimated that during this time period, an additional 27,400 jobs will become available. This makes it a very desirable field for young professionals and those looking to get their foot in the door of a booming industry.

According to US News, PR Specialists require the ability to "generate positive publicity for their client and enhance their reputation". They must maintain fruitful and mutually beneficial relationships with bloggers, journalists, and and opinion leaders in order to get their stories, products, and news releases out. In order to be successful in the field, a strong knowledge of social media and the Internet is essential. This is becoming increasingly important with the rise in technology. Finally, the highest paid in the profession reside in Washington, D.C., San Francisco and San Jose, Calif. To read the full article, click here.