Social Media

“In the beginning Tom created the My and the space. Now Myspace was formless and empty, layouts were plain and boring, and Tom was surfing the internet for inspiration.

And Tom said, “Let there be friends,” and there were Myspace friends. Tom saw that friends were good, and separated a select few that he really liked from the others he just knew. Tom called the select few the “top 8” and the others simply remained friends.

And Tom said, “Let there be a bulletin so that we may view each other’s useless info and meaningless surveys.” So Tom made the bulletin and everyone started posting there answers to all of life’s most meaningful questions like the last time they talked on the phone with number 6 on their top 8. And it was so.

And on the 4th day Facebook opened up to all people and everyone forgot about Myspace. And public relations professionals looked upon new social media sites and saw that they were good.”

-Social Media Genesis 1:1-5

While social media started out as a way to connect with friends, it has evolved into much more. Individuals, companies, and organizations have a far greater reach. Communication can happen on a much larger scale at low costs.

Social media may present some challenges, for example having to respond quickly and wisely when negative information goes viral, there are many benefits to being able to use social media for public relations:

  • New relationships can be formed and maintained with people all over who can also interact.
  • It makes it easy to listen.
  • It makes research easier. (Also, measurement tools may be useful.)
  • It’s quick and easy to update.
  • It is a cost-effective option

In “The Future of Public Relations and Social Media” Erica Swallow discusses how “niche, industry-specific networks will be of greater value in the future” than mass social platforms. While Facebook can filter through things like sex, age, location, and what pages people like, so far this is only accessible for advertising. If public relations professionals find different social media sites that are unique to certain demographics it could be very helpful to them.

Also, while a vast majority of the PR people out there are using social media as a broadcasting tool for sending out press releases and recent client news, it will make an even greater difference once PR professionals use social media as a listening and communicating tool.

There is power in social media and it is important for both marketing and public relations professionals to be aware of how social media influences people. The infographic below displays the affects social media has.

Interesting infographic about the role social media has in the power of influence.


Once Upon a Tweet: An Introduction to Storify

With so many social media sites out there now, we are beginning to see ways in which they are being brought together. At first, it came with such capabilities as connecting your tweets to your facebook statuses if you so desired. Now there are sites like Storify, which enables you to create stories by using content from social media. You can take tweets, photos, and videos from an array of social media sites and bundle/organize them however you want to in order to tell a story. You are also given the option of adding text to tell a story. With tweets, statuses, photos, and other elements constantly being updated, Storify gives you the ability to not loose ones that really matter to you and ones that you want to share in the form of a story with others.

Storify is easy to use because you can just drag and drop elements. In just one click, you can notify all the sources in the story. Anyone who reads your story can choose to retweet something in it or respond to any of the sources on their own. Storify is also easily added to any site by embedding it. Even better, Storify works with your WordPress!

A great feature to Storify is the Google Chrome extension. This extension allows you to drag the “Storify This” option from the bottom of Storify to your book mark bar. This allows you to highlight anything and click the bookmarklet so that it is added to your story and cited. You can also choose to Storify the whole page.

Storify would be great to use for bringing all kinds of perspectives on an event or topic together. It is similar to tagging in this way, however different in that you are telling a story through all the perspectives and different bundling of elements.

Make sure to also check out the Storify blog for more helpful tips and up to date info.

For those of you who have 20 minutes to spare, I will leave you with this interesting interview with the creators of Storify. One of them has a heavy French accent that makes it all the more interesting. For those of you who just want to get started, forget the video and go for it!

The creators talked about some of the ways that they have seen people use spotify so far, such as during elections and for a wedding. What are some creative types of stories people could use storify for?