Monthly Archives: September 2011

How to “check-in” properly without annoying others

I know this is annoying, when you open your facebook page, the whole page is about check-ins from your friends. “Foursqure” is becoming a more and more popular app. To some extent, check-in information is positive for local business. On one hand,  Restaurants and bars could read people’s tips and improve their qualities, on the other hand, the”check-in” is completing the addresses, it helps local facilities are more easy to be found.

Hereby I will give some advice on how to “check-in” properly without annoying others:

  1. Don’t connect your foursquare or other location check-in accounts with facebook or twitter. As we all know that facebook and twitter have already become the first platforms for people to obtain news. Thus, it will be very annoying if all your personal activities are shown on facebook and twitter, except your best friends, no one would really like to know this.
  2.  Don’t check –in every single time, just check-in in some really interesting places. Every one wants to be cool if they check in cool places, but not every time you need to tell people, especially when you check in at 7pm every day to announce the whole world that you have arrived at your sweet home.
  3. Want to win the badges? Then don’t be that blind ! There are some badges with the winning of the continuely five check in, thus, a lot of uses deem that they more they check in, they more badges they will win. However,  that is not the way to win badges. If you want to win badges, please check online to see in what conditions you can win them, some of them lies on the first time you check on board, some of them on the time when you check in in the mid of the night etc. Thus, don’t bother your friends in a crazily check-in ways 😉

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3 Ways for a Restaurant to Rise Business on Facebook

Recently I was helping my boss of the restaurant for his online business. He asked me to apply for a facebook account for the restaurant and begin to run it.  Though his restaurant is full of customers every day, I am still happy to offer some help. Social media is getting into every little part of lives, and there is no reason if we ignore the part on food.

How to rise business for a restaurant through Facebook? After some small research, I give three methods, hopefully it gonna be helpful:

1. Give discount or bonus card to your fans. I know this is not easy for a small budget restaurant, but no one in this world dont like free gifts. In order to attract more customers on facebook while encourage them to consume, a printable voucher image could be uploaded to facebook page, and let your fans print it and come for a dinner. Remember, Only for fans !

2. Give other information than  something solely about restaurant itself. For example, give valuable information on food itself. “What kind of food could help you lose weight?” “What kind of fruit is good for breakfast?” etc. Specific information on specific  restaurant is nice to post too. You can share article as how to make sushi for Japanese restaurant, share information about the history of Chinese dumplings for Chinese restaurant. They should be intereting enough to read.

3. Stories behind the scene. I remember when I was in China, McDonald once had an activity is to visit their kitchen. They opened their kitchen at specific time per week to welcome customers. An open kitchen proves a clean enviroment, no matter for junk food or healthy food. Thus, it will attract customers’ attention if there are some pictures about the kitchen, about how the kitchen cooks a specific dish, how the chef shopped the fish etc.

 

 

 

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How Social Media Helps in PR

PR is short for public relations.  Briefly speaking, public relation is an action of pomotion. PR agencies help companies build their favorable public images. When social media hasn’t become a part of our lives, PR is more likely focus on traditional media. But now, things changes. PR is is closely connected with social media, tradtional media is  no longer the main platform for building public images.

Today I want to make two points on how Social Media has helped PR:

1. Social Media helps you to find out where is your main audience. Though facebook and twitter are the most popular social network sites, there are still some different sites with different group of audience, which depends on countries, ages etc. The most simple way is trysocial media metrics tools to test where lies the biggest audience. A good research needs to be done, and the social media’s landscape in specific region needs to be considered.

For example, twitter is not the main social media network sites in Chinese speaking countries: including China, Taiwa, Hongkong, since they are more interested in using Sina Weibo. Thus, when thining of promotions in these areas, Sina Weibo should be a platform to be concerned.

2. Social Media helps PR agency talk with customers directly, which could lead PR agency to change their marketing plan on time after listening to customers. Social media is a channel for communications, not a marketing tactic. No matter how many fans you have , no matter the number is one million or one billion, you cannot ignore them. Social media helps you listen to them and let them take the actions. If PR agency communicate with customers more often, they will know more about what this market demand, and a better promotion plan will be built.

In a nutshell, social media could boast the efforts for PR agency. PR agency should start to research on how to make good use of it.

 

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How Chinese Weibo has Changed China

Weibo is the chinese name for “Micro blog”, which was born two years ago, but now has already reached millions of users. Because of the strict censorship in China, the birth of weibo is the same as the birth of “Xiaonei”, “kaixin”, which fills the vacancy of international social network sites like “facebook ” “twitter” in China. However, with the development of Weibo, Chinese internet has indeed brought lots of changes to Chinese social media landscape so far.

Social network is a highly free sharing network, which has never been real built in China. Chinese government keeps eyes on all tweets that Chinese tweeted in Chinese weibo. It has happened many times that “sensitive” tweets were deleted by the Sina weibo authority. Compare with the press freedom of Twitter, Weibo’s topic limitations are ridiculous, nevertheless, Chinese netizens are deeply impacted by the development of social media.

1. Chinese realizes that social media could be a first platform for them to receive news. Everyone can be a reporter through social media and the existence of traditional media in China (which is highly censored by Chinese authorities) is not highly trustful anymore.

2. “Sharism” is an important concept to be realized. “Sharism” is connected closely with the work “collective intelligence”, there are people from different careers in Weibo, politicians and celebrities might lead normal netizens to some different worldviews. Weibo is becoming the most popular site for chinese netizens to share knowledge, especially on current society news. With only 140 characters limit, Chinese people are so happy to discover a land that could spread the word. After the happening of Chinese train accident in the spring of 2011, Weibo even begins to own the “political” features: lots of Chinese netizens start to believe that the more they share, the better society will be.

3. Social Media could help business. Social media online campaign is still quite new for Chinese people. And in fact the online campaign has really set up yet, but it is still easy to see that a lot of companies are beginning to use weibo to communicate with their audience. A lot of business people are beginning to use weibo to do advertisement for their productions. Chinese market is becoming more and more active and colorful.

When I first came to Netherlands, every time my Chinese friends ask me what is my major, it is always tough for me to explain what is New Media. Once I mention the name of social media, they will wonder that why social media needs to be studied. But now, there are more and more people begin to do take part in the research of social media, a lot of companies in China begin to have social media department for their online marketings.

Although social media in China is still under an un-freedom environment, with the development of social media and the increasing realization of people, I hope the “free” day will come soon.

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A Basic Social Media Plan for Fashion Industry

Social Media is impacting every industry including Fashion.  Social media sites are becoming an important platform for fashion brands to not only communicate with customers, but also promote business directly.

Facebook and Twitter are the most popular social plugins that can be found through fashion industry websites, and they have even become the first place to show their new trend . Thus, how to make use of facebook and twitter is essential for fashion labels to make social media plan at first.

1. Set up an official account for your fashion lable in both Facebook and Twitter. As the most popular social network sites, they can attract most customers amongst all. Fluently statue update is a must. Daily statues must include all information that your potential customers might interested in. For example: the start of sale, new pieces for new season, special offer etc.

2.Put  “Like” button in a proper place. “Like” button is a connection to your network. Your friends can see what you like and then this “like” will possibly spread amongst your friends, and your friends’ friends. For fashion companies it is good if “like” appears in the homepage of wesbite, however, I deem that it is better if it could be shown up below specific pieces. Therefore, it is more likely to promote productions.

3. Online competition and “Tag”. If an online competition is successful enough, it will double the number of fans. The most vital element for a successful online competition relies on bonus and creativity, one thing bare in mind is that trying to involve as many fans as you can. Topic like “what am i wearing today” is always interesting for fashion lovers. Let your fans wear your pieces, upload pictures, and then tag them. Give some bonus or vouchers for the fan who receive most votes from others.

Besides these three basic actions,  Mutual Communication should not be forgotten. When you have no idea what to update,  just communicate with your fans online. Read their replies and trying to respond, especially when they ask you something, please give an answer. Asking some questions online is also a good choice, it will encourage  your followers and fans take part in.

For social media plans these are the most basic ways. Different companies must have different marketing plans depending on different customers and goals. Social media is the best place for you to know your audience. It is always easier said than done, so before making an online marketing plan, you still have to do much research.

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Social Media Relationship

Although online social network sites exist virtually, the relationship amongst people in this social network are not virtual, since we all use real names to communicate and share through social media platform. There is always a debate on the social media relationship, some people are wondering if it is true that relationship through social media network could help people to increase their real relationship. According to some relevant research, most people think in fact the social media relationship is just a bubble thing.

However, there is indeed something people are concern about when using social media. Especially after we begin to be friends with people we dont really know but need to be tied with. If you are friends with business partners or your boss, you will begin to care about your personal life, making sure that only proper pictures be uploaded and tagged. No matter how tough a day you have spent in the office, blaming it though facebook and twitter needs to be considered again and again.

It is also claimed that social media is becoming a testing tool for employers to check on their applicants. They can easily discover how their applicants really are through their personal profile, online statues and friends. This is also a problem that GOOGLE+ tries to figure out, so they have the circle function to help netizens protect their personal informations.

Social media relationship is different than that in reality. Communication in reality is always face to face, or through telephones in which way you can always hear each other’s voice. But on social media it is all about information deliveries. To some extend, a birthday wish on friend’s wall could really make them feel good, however, some research shows that the number of real close friends through social media is no more than 5.

Besides, social media is changing the relationship. You cannot help campare yourselves with others since every time you log in social media sites, since all information are about your friends. Of course there will come some pressure, no matter for job compare or life compare, especially while you are in a hard situation. At the same time, if you are critical or rude on social media, which might damage your brand and how people view you.

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Fashion and Social Media

Social media influences our lives with no doubt. Personally, I am a huge fashion fan so i am really interested to discover that how social media changes the fashion industry. It looks like every thing happens during one night that not matter big or small, a large number of fashion brands have their social media platforms.

Every time we gets into the fashion company’s website,we will easily find the facebook and twitter logo. If we join their fan page or follow them on twitter, we can be kept updating on their latest fashion new pieces or sales. Thus, social media platform firstly becomes a good way for fashion company to promote their business, especially for online shopping.

Today when I logged on facebook, i found that one of my favorite high street brands “Pull & Bear” will start their online shopping website from tomorrow. I cannot help share this news with my friends right away. If there is no social media, customers will probably receive the news from websites or retail shops, which is a  far more slow way.

“Sale” season is alway attractive to customers, and social media become the tool to “spread the word”. A lot of fashion companies change their profile picture into “sale” posters to anounce that their “sale” is on sail.  It turns out that, the more people are in their social media network, the more business they will earn eventually. The more followers they have, the more active will their activities be.

Social media also is a platform for mutual communication. Having a way to communicate with customers, let them take the action provides a perfect way for fashion company to get tied with their customers. From the communication on social media, fashion company could know whether their first autumn coat is liked, whether their new color has received nice opinion etc. from public.

 

Generaly speaking, social media is the best online promotion tool for fashion companies, it helps on their online shopping, sale and communication with customers.

 

 

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