Tumblr to help Brands

The blogging platform Tumblr has exploded in the last year.  Tumblr is a microblogging platform and a social networking site allowing users to post multimedia and short-form blogs.

Many brands have already taken the plunge and placed their brands on Tumblr, using it as a communication tool to reach consumers and share goals of the company to share success and achievements of the brand with consumers firsthand.

Tumblr has the potential to be used as tool to reach consumers on a new level and share the story of the company.  Consumers look to make a connection with a brand and find a common theme which the consumer shares with clients.  A blog can allow a company to tell its story and share the inner workings and motivations of the company.
Tumblr has become so popular among many brands already because of its outreach and successful communication methods.


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Cause Marketing Meets Social Media

Cause-related marketing has made strides on social media platforms thus far, and look to extend their outreach and spread awareness on a large (online) scale.

It has come to the attention of the CEO of SocialVibe, and many other marketers, that the reason for success of cause-related marketing on social media platforms is not due to the brand itself, but rather for the idea of supporting a brand that does good in its community and world.

Campaigns combined of charity work and donations with social media aspects to create a buzz.  It is in the future cause-related marketing on social media and the goal of future cause-related campaigns to utilize social media sites in a way so that the consumers, rather than the companies, are the ones spreading the word of the cause and influencing future supporters.


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Does the Cause Say it All?

How does cause-related marketing differ from regular marketing?

“Cause-related marketing is arguably one of the first “fields” that brought the nonprofit and for-profit worlds together for mutual benefit” (Rachael Chong, Huff Post).

Cause-related marketing is very similar in theory as normal marketing campaign, however, what is unique to cause-related marketing is the emotional connection that drives a consumer to purchase and support a cause.  Cause-related marketing builds on the base of a social movement that engages consumers to donate and give expenses to cause as a global citizen.

People become involved and informed of a cause-related campaigns through similar campaign strategies as a regular campaign, however, the extended loyalty and commitment to a cause-related campaign is driven further through compassion and extension of sharing the success and impact of cause.



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Social Media ROI and Effects

As social media continues to increase as a presence and communication platform between clients and their consumers, the knowledge and awareness spread among consumers is continually growing and expanding.
Social media is a platform that allows for a more expansive and widespread reach to consumers, sharing knowledge and spreading awareness.  Through social media, a company possess the power to reach numerous amounts of consumers while maintaining a cohesive brand culture and knowledge.  The ability to spread awareness through social platforms allows a company to reach millions of consumers worldwide.

The ability to calculate ROI through social media has also become an available commodity to companies, both large and small, as a means to confirm the accuracy and purpose of marketing and monetary expenses in social media.
“According to a MarketingProfs study, 80% of CMO’s reported customer suggestions help shape product decisions.”  Therefore, communication between consumer and client is crucial to the success of company and communication tools such as social media sites like Twitter and Facebook allow for broadcasting and listening from a client and create a two-way communication channel.

Social media has the potential, if used strategically, to create a vast knowledge of a brand and bring an awareness more expansive and viral than previously possible without such social media tools.


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Marketing online with a Low-budget

Holly Berkley, a San Diego Internet Marketing Consultant and Author stays that with the right strategies and tactics, online marketing on a low-budget can be and easy and ideal way to target a clients consumers.

In her book Low-Budget Online Marketing for a Small Business, Holly conveys that with the right tools and strategies, online marketing for a low-budget or small company can be just as influential and effective as it could be for a large corporation.
To be successful in marketing on a low-budget, Berkley says that there are seven main key goals and skills that must be learned and used:  Targeting your campaign, Generating free advertising, Email marketing, Building Web communities, Successful co-branding strategies, Banner advertising, Web-design basics.
Marketing for a low-budget will use a lot of social media because of its easy accessibility and its low-cost use.  Social media, combined with thorough and strategic plans to operate for the necessary budget can create a high profile campaign for a low-budget cost.
Social media sites such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Pinterest are all low-cost sites that can be used strategically and effectively in a marketing campaign.

For example, Walmart used its Facebook page to promote a new online, social media campaign to drive sales of school supplies and room supplies to college students before a new school year.



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The Future of Public Relations and Social Media

Public relations practitioners were among the first people to truly embrace the power of social media, as a communication and outreach tool.  As the internet speed and use has increased over the past few decades, so has the effort and process of a public relations practitioner changed to adapt to the new consumer mold.
PR professionals have had to adapt to the new social forums and progressively learn and grow with the new technology and generations of change.

The Press Release
The press release has long been written and formatted in a traditional and unchanged way.  It wasn’t until online content and devices were created to make the process smoother and quicker, that pr practitioners allowed a transform of the traditional layout and messaging outlets of the press release to be more tech savvy.  A new press release called the ‘social media release’ uses services like PitchEngine, PressLift, and PRX Builder to enhance the online experience and attractiveness of a press release to digital formatting.

The Evolution of Social Platforms
Though there are many popular social media platform sites, such as LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook, it is extremely crucial that the client’s target audience is present on that platform and willing to engage with the client.
“”Really, it’s more about PR pros becoming better PR pros and understanding their clients’ businesses, as well as what their clients do … Social media is not a one-size-fits-all solution, said Cara Stewart, founder and principal at Remarx Media” (Erica Swallow, The Future of Public Relations and Social Media).”

Current Limitations and Solutions
Though PR practitioners are experiencing much respect through social media, there are still many areas of improvement and places that client’s have not been able to reach; on a social forum. 
For instance, the communication level of a pr practitioner on social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook have been heavily information based; client’s are distributing press release and media releases to inform the public.  However, ideally the communication level of the pr practitioner and its consumers on the social platform will build more of a listening and communicating relationship base that will allow for a stronger, deeper connection between the client and it’s consumer.  As well as targeting and communicating with the specific audience the client is looking to engage.

Connecting with other PR professionals
As the online networks increase, more and more independent PR firms along with larger firms are building a presence and network of professionals online.  Social media has been a huge driving factor in building those relationships and allowing for faster communication possibilities.  Twitter chats have been among the top forums for PR professionals to reach and communicate with each other.

Saving Money & Making Good Use of It

Social media platforms have the ability to save clients, companies, and practitioners a lot of money in outreach and messaging strategies.
“”For PR professionals, social media also saves time and money by yielding higher response rates to pitches. VanScoten explained:  “It’s amazing to me that I get a MUCH higher response rate when pitching reporters via Twitter than e-mail. I would actually go as far as to say that every time I’ve pitched a reporter via Twitter, I have gotten some sort of response (often resulting in a story for my client). Via e-mail, I have maybe a 50% response rate. The phone call response rate would be my lowest” (Erica Swallow, The Future of Public Relations and Social Media).”

The Human Factor
Regardless of the tools or platforms of communication a practitioner uses, the most important factor to a PR practitioner is the human factor.  The reason PR is there and communication is necessary is to build and maintain a cohesive relationship between the client and its consumer.  PR practitioners are there to maintain a social bond and increase the mutual knowledge and understanding of the client.
Social media has the capability to connect clients and consumers in a relationship style that has yet to reach its full potential.  PR practitioners now have social media tools that can allow for an outreach potential greater than ever before, using new techniques and interactive media to engage consumers in new ways.

The future of public relations and social media has a big and bright future ahead of it if the right methods and tools are used for the job.



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Pinterest to Boost Nonprofits

I wanted to start off my cause-related blogs writing about April’s Top Non-profit companies using social media to boost company awareness online. Once I started to research however, I found something else that caught my interest a little more.

Pinterest is a virtual, online dashboard where the user is able to post and share pictures, videos, and quotes with one another creating somewhat of an online identity.  Pinterest has shared a lot of online content and connected people in ways that never existed before.

Companies have started placing resources and company content on Pinterest and have been able to reach people in the masses.  Pinterest has gained national recognition and companies are able to reach online users and share content more extensively.  Nonprofits have taken notice and are building their presence on the Pinterest dashboard of many users.

I think the Pinterest has potential to take companies to an awareness level with a faster turn around than has been possible prior to social media sites like this.


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