Monday, September 30, 2013

Leave Your Computer Chair: How to Play Social Media on Multi-devices?

Every day, you have to spend 8 hours on your office desk, 8 hours on your bed, 1.5 hours on your dinning table, 1 hour in your car, and maybe 1 hour in your bathroom. 

You see, you already spend 19.5 hours in a 24 hours day. Would you like to spend the other 4.5 hours on your computer desk for checking Facebook? My answer is no, and I want to move a step!

Let's Move A Step!

Yes, social media is a part of your life right now, and every one would like to connect with their friends on social media! But how can we leave our computer chairs when we are using social media?

Someday, a smart guy got an idea: why don't we move social media to other devices?

This idea had come true. Now we can enjoy social media on our desktop, laptop, mobile phone and tablet.

Sync, Sync, Sync.

Sync is a distinct characteristic of social media on multi-devices. It includes wide means in the social media world: 1) Log in your social media account on more than one device in the same time. 2) Find your previous action on another device, like the draft of blog. 3) Receive information from others in the same time...

Notification function is an simple example for sync. When you find a notification on the social media page your laptop, you can also find it on your phone. Once you check this notification, the "notification mark" will disappear form both of your laptop and phone.

Location - Mobile Devices' Exclusive.

For some social media, you can also find the location services on your desktop or laptop. But the real sense of location service only exists on your mobile devices. 

Base on the location service, you can use a huge number of practical functions on your mobile devices: receive local news, check current location on map, write status with location, label current location on your photo, get nearby recommendations on Yelp and so on.

If there is no location service, there is no Yelp. Because people would like to use Yelp in the following two situations mostly: 1) They are staying somewhere without restaurants and bars. 2) They are staying somewhere with countless restaurants and bars. In these situations, people meet problems in the geography perspectives, that is why do they need the help of location services. Obviously, location service become an important part of social media, it has a huge potential market.

Social Anytime and Anywhere.

More and more social medias concentrate on their mobile user experiences. Especially the social media apps, they got fast development in the recent years, because they can take the unique and satisfying services to users. This picture of statistic shows the development of social media on different devices in the last year. We can see that in the social media world, mobile apps become the most popular services. 

For some social medias, you can only use them on your mobile devices. If you know Wechat, you could know the unique charm of mobile social media.

This video is a brief introduction of Wechat. In China, young people love this social media a lot, because it is super convenient. 

Do Something that You Cannot Do on Your Desktop.

Do you know "Send Me to Heaven (S.M.T.H)"? This is a kind of social media app which can only use on your mobile devices. Click and watch this Teaching Video, and you will know why you cannot do it on you desktop.

As what we saw on this teaching video, "Send Me to Heaven" is an app which encourages people to throw their mobile devices as higher as they can. People can compete with their friend, or check their world ranking. When you compete with others, you will get the motivation to play it, and business advertising will get the chance to hug you. 

Running distance competition and nearby event, they are also great services on your mobile devices, but not on your desktop. More and more social media services are being designed, base on the special characteristics of mobile devices. More and more marketing and PR elements are also coming to this new field.

Thank to your mobile devices, and do not send your laptop to heaven. 

Social Media, Multi-devices, Marketing and PR Industry. 

According to the unique characteristics of each personal devices, companies will know their potential customers in more detail. When people are using their social media, the companies can record what kind of device they are using, in what time they are using it, and what content they are viewing. Base on the multidimensional analysis, companies will be able to design better marketing strategies, and find the right way to build relationships with the users. 

For example, I usually use Yelp's nearby function on my phone at 6:00 pm on Friday. This action might to reflect the following information: I like bars and restaurants after work, I have a group of friend who are gathering together usually, what styles of restaurant I would like to go. So Yelp can push the relevant information to me, give me some recommendations of relevant bars and restaurants. Of course, these bars and restaurants have cooperation with Yelp, and they will get increasing in their marketing and PR by this way.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

What are Our Roles in Groundswell?

In Groundswell, chapter 1 and 2 introduce the importance of social media in the modern society, and the "user manual" of the major social medias. These two chapters make us realized that social medias are changing the social communication structure rapidly. There is a video shows the big change by social media.

Chapter 3 illustrates the social technographics profile by different perspectives. In the end of this chapter, it shows why do people participate into groundswell. It is a good summary of the previous chapters, and it is also a good beginning of the following topics. Now, we are ready to make a plan in groundswell.

Chapter 4 introduces the strategies in groundswell, which include the five objectives that companies can pursue in the groundswell: Listening, talking, energizing, supporting and embracing (P 68), and the POST process (P 72). Chapter 5 and 6 tell us the methods and cases of listening and talking in the groundswell, for a group or a single person, they are more than input and output channels.

After read these six chapters, we knew that we are users in social media, or a participants in groundswell. However, if "users" mean people, it is far from enough, we also want to know what roles the people are:

When we are using social media, we would like to use "users" to name our self  "Users" mean that we have both rights and obligations in social media, it defines the participants by an integrated view. Actually, we are playing different roles in social media activities, not only "users". In the chapter 3 in Groundswell, it introduces a new way to explain our roles in social media activities: the social technographics ladder.

In the social technographics ladder, there are seven groups of participant relate to groundswell: creators, conversationalists, critics, collectors, joiners, spectators and inactives (P 43). What are the characteristics of each groups? There is a picture can illustrate them:

Through this picture, we can know that we are playing different roles in groundswell. For companies, the data of these roles can be the resources which are used to support PR and making marketing plan. For example, spectators are the biggest group in these roles (P 44), so we can see that most of the advertising in social media are existed in this area. 

Further, as a new way of communication, the using of social media has obvious age characteristics:

In this picture, we can see that the young people are more likely to participate in social media as different roles. The senior people are less likely to participate in social media, because they have long time traditional communication concept, and some new social media technology might be difficult to them. 

Base on huge researches of the roles of participants, and integrated specific business strategies, company can make an accurate value proposition in PR or marketing. Company knows that there are 70% of youth in 18-21 age stage are joiners, so they can design lively and popular elements in their PR and marketing, like pop music, fancy news and creative services. Once company knows who we are, what we need, and how do we touch information, it will be a big chance to build stable relationships in their business.

Friday, September 13, 2013

The Inspiration of Fitivity: Using Social Media without Loneliness

As a new social way, social media takes many efficient functions to us: posting, sharing, writing status and so on. Beyond telephone and mail, social media makes us can feel the benefits from technology development. Especially in the recent years, using social media become an important part in one's life, we can check our social media conveniently in any place and any time.

However, when you are enjoying this new social way, some other parts of your life is slipping away: "posts", "comments" and "likes" become the new ways to communicate with your friends, they take place of some "real social interactions". There is a word could reflect our feeling in this moment: Loneliness.

For this problem, Sherry Turkle, who is the author of "Alone Together: Why We Expect More From Technology and Less From Each Other", she made an psychological analysis around this phenomenon in Ted Talks. She mentioned several disadvantages of social media, and they are making people "hiding from each other", "alone together",  and "no one is listening". Her presentation illustrated how does social media make conversation becomes connection, then becomes isolation. The length of her Ted Talks presentation is 19min49s. It is a long one, but I believe you will thank for her if you would like to view it:

"Even loneliness is horrible, I don't want to give up my social medias because all of my friends have them. There must be a way to solve this problem!" Yes, you are right. The problem of loneliness does not come from social medias themselves, it depends on the way we treat, use and manage them. There is one thing we should remember when we are using social medias: No matter how powerful they are, they are always our tools.

Now, there is a good tool (social media) can keep our efficient connection without loneliness: Fitivity.

What is fitivity? Fitivity = Fit + Activity. It is an app which is used to organize or participate workouts on your phone. 


Fitivity is very easy to use, you just need to download and register an account on it, then you can choose your favorite workouts to organize or participate, like "let's play tennis together in the school tennis court at 2:00 pm on tomorrow!". Base on the location function, you can also find the workout events near you. Please click "here" to watch a demonstrated video about fitivity. 

Fitivity gives us an inspiration: if we can make social media and real social interactions support each other, loneliness would be eliminated. Don't let social media takes place of real party, but use social media to facilitate real party.

It is an simple logic: when people are using social media to plan an event, the process (use social media) and the result (attend to gathering) are both welcome. Using social media is an efficient and interactive way to plan an event, it gives people a period of time to decide whether attending or not, to get ready for it, and to see what is actually happening before this event comes. I think if people attend to gathering by this way, they would feel more comfortable with the help of social media.

Fitivity is not the only one of this kind of social media. Many mainstream social media are developing the similar functions now. A good example is the "Event" function of Facebook, it allows user to crate new events, share them, or invite friends. The "Event" function of Facebook can set different security level, that's why we successfully organized an surprised birthday party for my friend in this spring.

Think about human nature, people need the real social interactions. So "event function" would be a very popular part of social media, and it can be a trend of social media development. Along with the development of "event function", huge resources would come into this field. Advertising, paymium, subscribing and so on, all of them can motivate developers and investors to raise this field in social media. 

I believe more and more people would like to enjoy "event function". Try it, and let us use social media without loneliness!