Emerging media can be an asset in the classroom

Emerging media has changed the world in many ways. The various emerging media platforms give us a means to express ourselves, communicate with each other, and discover new things. Internet use is particularly popular among teens; it is estimated that 92% of teens go online at least once a day. Since teens are so connected to the Internet and social media it makes sense to use them as tools in the classroom.

Using emerging media in the classroom could be beneficial, because it allows students to collaborate and connect with one another outside of the classroom. They also have the ability to research various topics from different social, cultural, and political perspectives. It could also help to generate more student engagement, especially for students that aren’t very excited about school.

Here are some ways to incorporate emerging media in the classroom:

Twitter: Interacting on Twitter can be a strong educational tool. It can be used to have the class research current events from different cultural and political perspectives, or they can participate in discussions of relevant topics through their own accounts. They could ask relevant questions to their followers (or use hashtags to reach a wider audience) and report on the answers they get back. Another option would be to have them write creative short stories in 140 characters.

Blogging: Students can learn a lot from keeping their own blog. The topic of the blog can pertain to the class it is for, and it will be up to the students to create their own posts. They’ll have to do research, write the piece, and then promote it.

Facebook: The benefit of Facebook is the ability to create groups that connect all of the students in a class together. The instructor can create questions and have the students discuss them through the Facebook group. This would be particularly useful for schools that don’t have online learning platforms.

YouTube: Similarly to the benefits of a blog, students can use YouTube in the classroom to create personal vlogs. Another use for YouTube would be to have the students create creative videos to increase learning. For example, an English teacher could have their students create scenes from novels they are reading and then upload them to YouTube. YouTube can also be used to research cultural and political events, which would help to enhance the learning environment.

With all good things, there are negatives. Some instructors fear that using social media in the classroom could be distracting. Additionally, it could easily be used inappropriately if the students are creating their own content. Another reason to be wary is that it could take away from the person to person social interactions that students need. Personally, I think if it used correctly, and it is not used to replace in-person social interactions than it could be an asset.

What are your thoughts on emerging media in the classroom? What are some ideas you have about how to incorporate emerging media into lesson plans? What other platforms could be used and how? What do you you think about the pros and cons?

Should YouTube worry about Twitch?

If you didn’t already know, Twitch, a subsidiary of Amazon, is a video streaming and social media website primarily for gamers. Traditionally users could stream live video content of games, tutorials, and walk-throughs. The most requested feature that users wanted was the ability to upload videos. On September 30th, Twitch finally acknowledged the user requests and they unveiled their new upload feature. Twitch’s recent changes are significant for a few reasons. Two notable benefits are that users don’t have to be online for all of their interactions with viewers and users that may not have a desire to use live streaming can still be successful on the platform. It is becoming more desirable for anyone to use Twitch, which means it is becoming a competitor of YouTube.

YouTube is the most popular video streaming/upload service available on the internet. There are some notable competitors such as Vimeo and Dailymotion, but YouTube has more active visitors and users than any other service. The new changes to Twitch could create more competition for YouTube, especially in regard to the gaming community. Recently, YouTube made some big changes (demonetization as a result of censoring), and users are less than pleased. Twitch has made their changes at a perfect time. YouTubers that are upset about the changes may leave to use Twitch instead. Time will tell if non-gamers will start to flock to Twitch, but I think we can expect to see a shift in video streaming service platforms in the near future.

Twitter modified how content is counted toward the 140 character limit: What does it mean for you?

On September 19th, Twitter officially changed the way they count content toward the 140 character limit. Now, instead of all of the content (GIFs, images, polls, etc.) counting toward the 140 character count, only the actual text is counted. They are going to be changing how “@” names are counted as well, but that didn’t make it into the most recent update.

The 140 character limit has been a key feature of Twitter since it was first launched. The reasoning behind it was so the messages could be shared by an SMS message and still allow a little bit of space for the user. Twitter users have found tricks to navigate around the limit by tweeting multiple posts in a row (Kanye is known for doing this-example below), and by typing a message into a separate app and then taking a screenshot to post it.

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The new character extension will increase the ease of composing posts that are short, engaging, and meaningful. So, what does this mean from a marketing standpoint? How will the new character count modifications impact the way businesses can reach their audience?

The most important benefit that comes from the character modifications, is that users won’t have to decide between interactive media, and a meaningful message. They can have the best of both worlds. Rather than having to decide between using an image to accompany a tweet, and having a more targeted and meaningful messages, the user can have both. It is a positive thing to include interactive media, because it is more engaging for followers, and it helps to create a more relational bond. For example, if a company wants to do a giveaway to engage with consumers, they can write a tweet that promotes the giveaway, include a photo of the items being given away, and include hashtags that will bring awareness to more people. Before the extension, they wouldn’t be able to do it all since images counted toward 22 of the available characters.

Additionally, the content itself can be more targeted to reach a wider audience. As a result of the extension, Twitter users will have more freedom to be able to connect with their followers in a more intimate way. For example, if a company wants to share a pointed question that includes a poll they can make sure the question makes sense since they won’t have to shorten the text content to accommodate the poll.

The 140 character limit is a good thing. It allows for more rapid posts and responses. It forces people to be creative and thoughtful about what they share. Additionally, people are more willing to read a microblog as opposed to a full length blog due to the time it saves. The extension is making it easier for Twitter users to utilize the 140 characters in the best way possible, but it still preserves the microblog culture.

What do you think of Twitter’s new modifications? How do you think it will benefit marketers?

YouTuber use of other social media platforms is essential to their brand

YouTubers spend hours a week creating content for their channels. You would think all of that hard work on one platform would be enough. Well, it isn’t. YouTubers need to be just as active (if not more) on other social accounts to build a strong fan base. Viewers aren’t going to be satisfied with watching one or two videos a week. They also want to have updates in between. It makes me think of the Jim Carrey movie, The Truman Show, in which the whole world is obsessed with following Truman’s life. In regard to YouTube, viewers are constantly tuned in and interested in what the creators are doing.

With the help of social media we can watch videos of YouTubers a couple of times a week, we can look at photos of them on Instagram, read their opinions on Twitter, and be filled in on everything in between with Snapchat, blogs, and Facebook.Now that live streams are gaining popularity, viewers can even sit down with them and ask questions in real time while they answer the questions. Not only should YouTuber’s be taking advantage of other social accounts, but it is necessary for their channels to grow. The most important part is to be consistent and engaging. Followers want to feel connected, so YouTubers should respond to comments, post videos by a weekly schedule, and take their viewers’ ideas into account.

A great example of a brand that stays connected is Hot for Food, a vegan cooking/lifestyle YouTube channel. The channel is an extension of a website/blog that is packed with vegan recipes. Hot for Food exists to prove to omnivores that being vegan is easy and delicious and to share amazing recipes with the world. They successfully do that, in addition to successfully engaging and interacting with their followers.

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The minds behind Hot for Food, Lauren Toyota and John Diemer, do a great job of creating an authentic and natural line of communication with their followers. They stick to a consistent schedule of posting a new video every Wednesday, and they are quick to respond to follower comments (on all social channels). Their follower count rises by the day, and I think a lot of that can be attributed to their ability to reach people in many different ways, and to keep their invested followers engaged throughout the week. Even though they only post one Hot for Food video a week it seems like they post a lot more. Lauren shares videos on her personal channel, and she stays active on Snapchat and Instagram stories throughout the week.

YouTubers that are looking to grow their channels should take note of how Hot for Food has taken advantage of every resource at their disposal. Using other social sites isn’t just helpful for spreading brand awareness, but to also make followers feel like they are a part of something.

What are some brands that have caught your attention for their successful activity on various social media websites?

 

Augmented reality isn’t going anywhere

Pokemon Go is nothing short of a phenomenon. Since the app launched, millions of people have been actively playing the game. You can’t go to a park or walk down the street without seeing people walking along with their phones in hand. Businesses that are located near Pokestops have already had the pleasure of seeing an increase in foot traffic. I have noticed businesses create Pokemon specific menu items to bring in players. There are so many ways to use Pokemon Go in marketing. You can find more ideas about that here.

Even though it does seem as though the Pokemon Go craze has settled a bit, there is a still a strong future ahead for augmented reality in general. Companies have the opportunity to create interactive worlds for their customers through augmented reality apps. With the help of AR, consumers are able to experience different products first hand. Ikea has already taken advantage of augmented reality and created an app that allows customers to see what different items will look like in their homes.

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Sephora has also started utilizing augmented reality to allow customers to “try on” lipsticks without having to go into the store. That level of convenience allows customers to make quicker buying decisions. Additionally, it will help to drive online sales because people won’t have to go to the store to see if they like a product or not. I would be much more inclined to shop for lipstick through Sephora, because I can see what I like without ever going to the store. I prefer to online shop, so augmented reality will encourage me, and people like me, to shop more often.

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These features allow consumers to fully immerse themselves to experience products first hand. The emotional connection that is established helps to create stronger brand loyalty. The more consumers can interact with a brand, the more likely they are to remember it the next time they need to make a purchase. The options for augmented reality are endless, and so many companies and marketing agencies can benefit from tapping into this resource.

What do you think about augmented reality? Will it stick around, or do you think something better will come along? What have been some AR apps that have impacted you?

Five reasons why your nonprofit should be taking advantage of emerging media

Emerging media platforms create so many opportunities for easy and efficient communication. Many business and organizations already use emerging media, and take advantage of all it offers them. It is even necessary to achieve success in a lot of ways, considering the average internet user spends about 106 minutes using social media each day and teens use about 9 hours of media in general a day. It is important for business and organizations to stay relevant by capitalizing on the vast amount of use.

Consider this information below from the Pew Research Center:

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Nonprofit organizations can take advantage of emerging media to spread awareness of their message, and to generate donations. Many nonprofits generally do not have a large budget for marketing, so emerging media can be a great affordable tool for them.

Nonprofit organizations traditionally utilized marketing methods such as radio, news, and television advertising. Additionally, the primary donor appeals would be sent out through mail. The traditional methods are still useful in a lot of ways, but there are more opportunities for growth.

Here are five benefits nonprofits can glean from using emerging media:

Closer donor relations. Donors from all generations use emerging media. Even though more mature donors may not value it as much, there are still opportunities to reach them through emerging media. You can see in the graph above that over 30% of people 65 and older and 50% of people ages 50-65 use social media. Furthermore, donors that feel connected to the organization will continue to donate. By using emerging media the nonprofit organization can not only stay fresh in the donor’s mind, but can also take opportunities to show appreciation by thanking donors over social media and even calling out individuals that went above and beyond.

  • Feeding America periodically posts donor and volunteer spotlights to show their donors and volunteers appreciation, but to also inspire people to support the mission.Screen shot 2016-08-31 at 10.01.58 PM
  • Here are some ways you can thank donors with emerging media.

Establish new donor relationships. Emerging media can also be utilized to establish new donor relationships. If the nonprofit uses emerging media to authentically share their story, and successfully reflect the mission, new followers may feel compelled to join in on the cause. For example, by sharing success stories or clearly demonstrating the need for the organization followers could become interested in supporting the organization.

  • The Malala Fund uses personal stories to inspire change. They frequently post real women across the globe that are fighting for their right to be educated.Screen shot 2016-08-31 at 10.04.03 PM

Increase one-time donations. Another benefit of using emerging media is to increase one-time donations by establishing an immediate need, selling merchandise, or sharing a wish list if the organization collects items as well as money. Followers that may not be interested in joining the team as a long-term partner, may be interested in buying a shirt or even helping by donating to an immediate need.

  • Kitten Lady, a neonatal kitten rescue organization, utilizes Instagram to sell merchandise that supports the organization. Additionally, if one of the kittens is very sick there will be a one-time request to support that specific kitten. Orphan Annie was given a second chance at life due to this strategy.Screen shot 2016-08-31 at 10.07.30 PM.pngScreen shot 2016-08-31 at 10.08.39 PM

Spreading awareness/educating about the cause. Awareness is another reason it is important to utilize social media. Brand awareness is built after the target is exposed multiple times. Having a social media account that is active will allow followers to be exposed to the organization in addition to gaining a better sense of what the nonprofit does.

Build community around the cause. Emerging media can be used to help build a community around a cause by encouraging interactions. If donors feel connected it can secure retention, and if potential donors feel connected they may decide to become committed donors.

  • The END IT Movement is a coalition of organizations that are fighting to end slavery. The movement has created a community of followers that participate by drawing red Xs on their hands and sharing photos to various social media platforms. Not only does The END IT Movement raise awareness for the organization, but they also allow their followers an opportunity to interact and to feel like they are contributing.2c95cab8a9f33bc4e3c9f0d7d9557904

Emerging media is an asset to nonprofit organization, and could make a big difference in donations, donor relationships, and spreading awareness about the cause. What do you think of these five benefits? How else can emerging media help nonprofit organizations flourish?

How National Park Service is using social media to reach minorities

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This past year NPR published an article about how the National Park Service (NPS) was making a strong effort to reach minority groups. The NPS has been having trouble engaging with minority groups for years. Even though minorities make up 40% of the U.S. population, they only make up 20% of the NPS visitors.

One of the issues that the NPS faces is that people from minority groups didn’t grow up going to the parks, so they aren’t bringing their children. It is a big fear for the NPS, because minority populations are growing rapidly, which could lead to low park attendance in the future. The NPS has traditionally marketed attending the parks as an independent experience, and that isn’t very appealing to collectivist minority groups. They want to have experiences with their whole family around.

Some of the other problems minority groups reported were being busy with work, not having the money to pay park attendance, and not knowing much about the parks. Last year the NPS started the ‘Find Your Park’ social media campaign to target a diverse audience and to create awareness. Since beginning the campaign, they have seen record attendance at the parks. Since social media channels such as Instagram and Twitter are more popular among minorities, this was a good strategy to reach more people.

Even though the NPS has begun engaging with people through social media, there are still a lot more opportunities for them to reach minority populations by using emerging media. Perhaps they could approach prominent minority emerging media influencers (bloggers, YouTubers, etc.), and have them spend a day at a nearby park and then share the experience they have with their followers. Or maybe they should could seek out a celebrity endorsement through social media that would appeal to minority groups. ‘Find Your Park’ has been a great start, and I hope to see the NPS build on that momentum!

How do you think the NPS can improve its presence on social media to engage minority groups?

Here is a screen shot of some of the photos from #findyourpark!

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