HAPPY 10TH BIRTHDAY TWITTER!

When trying to think of which part of the blog I enjoyed writing about most I struggled to pinpoint only one. After logging into Twitter I realised it was its 10th birthday and thought why not celebrate it by writing my final blog post about how the wonderful world of Twitter interlinks with many of the subjects our blog posts have touched on.

  1. Online Resources

Twitter is a great place to find a variety of sources, although many of them are not necessarily academic sources this is a place where we find most of our information first. For example, whenever a major story breaks through I hear about it first through my automatic Twitter notifications from accounts such as The Guardian. This then links to a reliable source such as The Guardian’s website.

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2. Audience Participation 

Recently Twitter created the option to create polls that allows users to vote anonymously from two options within 24 hours. This gives users the opportunity to ask their follows for their participation and input on almost anything e.g. ‘Should the UK leave the EU?’ (Yes or No) Or ‘What should I have for dinner?’ (McDonald’s or KFC).

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3. Online Communities

In my blog post about this subject I spoke about Taylor Swift’s fanbase (‘swifties’) who have a huge presence on social media, especially Twitter. However this is not the only fanbase to have a large online presence on Twitter. Twitter is a platform that allows online communities to communicate freely with each other, although 140 can be restrictive. From here online communities often become close friends and will sometimes organise meet-ups to hang out with each other and bond over their shared interests. Accounts such as Taylor Nation help to support and encourage these online relationships.

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     4. Online Visibility

An obvious subject that links with Twitter is online visibility. From reading many previous blog posts on this topic it seemed many of us did not realise how much information about ourselves is available online. Since reading everyone’s stories and solutions to protect our data I have made many of my accounts private, including Twitter. This way only those I know will have access to the content I display.

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Are You LinkedIn or Left Out?

Have you ever thought to yourself ‘How am I going to get a job after university?’ or laid awake at night stressing about the £27,000 worth of debt you’ll have at the end of your course? I know I have and being told that  16 – 24 year olds are nearly three times more likely to be unemployed than the rest of the population does not make me feel anymore optimistic either.

As a highly organised individual I try to plan everything I possibly can. This can range from my finances to itineraries for my holidays, this also includes how to get the career I’ve always wanted to make all of that debt seem worthwhile.

What better way to understand how to get the perfect job title than seeing how those who already have that title got to where they are today!

This is where LinkedIn comes in, as a site that allows users to upload their CVs and interact with others they work with it has created a giant community of employees from all industries. By typing in a company you can see all of their job titles and employees (providing they have a LinkedIn account, most industry experts do). This way you can located your dream job and see where that person went to university, where they interned at and how long it took them to get that director position.

This is all well and good until LinkedIn begins to see how frequently you’re using the site and start to block certain content. So instead of seeing where that director did their first internship you are greeted by this message:

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As highly organised and dedicated to getting my dream job as I am, I am also a student paying over £9,000 a year for an education that will hopefully give me an advantage over other applicants when I go for that job. It’s highly unlikely our university will pay for our premium LinkedIn accounts, but surely we should be given as much industry help as possible considering the amount of money we pay?

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Privacy Pranks & Stalkers

I have almost every type of social media platform there is Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc, you name it and I most likely have an account. As someone who wants to work with social media in a future career I feel a need to  understand how they all work, even if I don’t use the regularly. This could mean I have a lot of information about myself available, although I use certain tactics to make my information more difficult to find.

For example my instagram and blog usernames hold no relevance to my actual name, instead they are related to what I post. I love to travel around London as well as the rest of the world, hence the username is related to wanderlust. This means only close friends and people who are interested in traveling too follow can find me and check what I’m doing and thinking.

The majority of my social media accounts that use my full name are on high privacy settings so that only my immediate circle of people I trust can see my whereabouts. Having a stranger come up to you and know random facts about you isn’t exactly a fun experience…unless it’s Buzzfeed playing a prank on you.

I thought..at no point would I ever put my phone number and address online, but then I realised I have. For example to use Facebook Messenger you have to enter your phone number in order to use the site. Now anyone on your Facebook friends can voice or video call you. That’s not too bad, I wouldn’t mind a call from the majority of the people I’m friends with. Although that still means my personal information is out there and I’m almost certain that those I least want to get my information – e.g. stalkers and hackers -can find it whenever they want to.

So how do you keep stalkers and hackers away when you already have your privacy on the highest settings?

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Taylor Swift & Swifties

As a PR student one celebrity who I admire for their fantastic PR skills is Taylor Swift. Swift understands how important it is to have the media and her loyal fans wrapped around her little finger to further her success. PR Week wrote an article about Swift and shows the three key elements to her PR success, two of the points being about fans.

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Swift herself is available on various platforms and interacts with fans through social media sites such as Twitter, Tumblr and Instagram by liking and commenting on their posts. Her devoted – and what some people may class as insane – fans will literally stay up all night and reach their post limit on Tumblr, just to try and gain recognition from the artist herself.

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Not only does Swift interact with fans through her social media sites, there is also an official site dedicated to  fans that allow them to create an online profile and interact directly with other Swifties – the name given to Swift’s fanbase. This site is called Taylor Connect and can be found on Swift’s official website. This site allows fans to ‘find friends’, participate in ‘fan forums’ about topics such as the 1989 World Tour, as well as create their own blogs dedicated to all things Taylor Swift.

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Not only is there an official fansite for the Swiftie online community, Swift created a company called ‘Taylor Nation’ who also have social media sites such as Instagram and Twitter. This organisation focuses on acting as a fan account, therefore using humour that fans can relate with to engage and get them excited at times when Swift is unavailable, such as when she’s at an award show. These accounts encourage fans to participate and solidify their passion for the artist and her work.

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Not only does this create a lot of coverage for Swift when she otherwise wouldn’t be able to be on social media, but it also strengthens the fans’ loyalty and dedication as they want to be recognised by her team just as much as they want to be recognised by her.

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I’ve never had a Taylor Connect account, but I have interacted with Taylor Nation through Twitter. Have you ever been part of an online community to support a celebrity?

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# Hashtags #

Since the launch of social media in recent years, many brands and companies have been able to reach out to their audiences directly through their social media accounts. However the social media universe is vast and with high volumes of followers and users it can be difficult for the company/brands to find the exact information they need from their audiences and markets.

The use of a # on social media platforms such as Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and Tumblr allows these brands/companies to interact directly with their audiences and markets. For example the BRITS 2016 Awards are tonight and for the past few months their official Twitter account has asked the public to vote on who should win the British Artist Video award with the use of a the hashtag #BRITS followed by the name of the nominee’s music video for who they want to win e.g. #BRITBLACKMAGIC is you wanted Little Mix’s ‘Black Magic’ music video to win. Therefore when searching for these hashtags the BRIT Awards will only see information that it relevant to them, which is who has the most votes and then goes onto win the award.

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By using a hashtag this gives the audience power as they are able to participate collectively with others. This can then often be used to create a force of power and help towards change if that is the overall goal, for example one of the most used hashtags at the moment is #Free Kesha. The singer and musician is looking to void her contracts with her producer – Dr. Luke – as claims have been brought to court that he has  “sexually, physically, verbally, and emotionally abused” her to the point where she almost lost her life. Kesha’s fans are hoping that with enough power and support through social media the court will take it into account and void the contracts.Kesha

Do you think the use of hashtags truly gives us power or just the illusion that we have power if we use them?

 

Happy Hunger Games!

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When someone says “Hunger Games” most people will automatically think of Jennifer Lawrence or a film about children killing each other, but believe it or not The Hunger Games series began as books before they were adapted into some of the highest grossing films of all time.

The first book in the series was published in 2008 by American author Suzanne Collins and in 2009 Lionsgate film company brought the rights to the film. The first instalment was due to be released in March 2012.

Since the release of the first film in cinemas worldwide, we have also seen the home release of the films. The releases were not only in traditional forms such as physical DVDs but also through iTunes, Amazon and streaming sites such as Netflix. The releases covered a range of platforms to allow easier accessibility to its market.

Lionsgate wanted to make their franchise stand out amongst others such as Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings. Through the use of convergence this allowed them to provide extra content to their market to immerse them even further into the franchise, such as behind the scenes videos, interviews (printed, video and online) as well as deleted scenes from the films.

This exclusive content was provided on the DVDs as well as through social media. The franchise had their own social media accounts on almost every platform, from Facebook and Twitter to Instagram and Snapchat. These accounts allowed the fans of the franchise to connect over their shared interest of the franchise. Linking into today’s lecture about network communities, the convergence of technologies and platforms allowed users all across the world to bond over this fantasy world.

Lionsgate have recently announced it will be opening a Hunger Games attraction area in the Motiongate Dubai theme park in 2016. The convergence between the world of Panem and the world we live in will be more realistic than ever before. Sounds similar to something another huge franchise did, don’t you think Harry?

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Without the use of technological, cultural, economic and global convergence an online community and the success of The Hunger Games franchise would not exist.

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A Trustworthy Statistic Site

When you write essays do you often find it difficult to find specific statistics and facts you know will be beneficial to your argument but just can’t find a reliable website, journal/article or book to refer to? I know I do. Wikipedia is always there to offer an answer, however we all know not to use Wikipedia as a reference because of its unreliability.

I was introduced to YouGov.co.uk at the beginning of the year and have used it regularly since. It is a global online community that allows the public to communicate with each other and share their behaviours and beliefs towards certain topics and companies. This data is then categorised into easy to read graphs and charts.

This site is used by thousands of companies on a regular basis to gain an idea of their target market’s opinions and preferences when going about their daily life. The idea behind the site is that if more people engage with the site, the companies using these sites will have a better idea of what appeals to their market and can then cater to those needs.

“We combine this continuous stream of data with our deep research expertise and broad industry experience, to develop the technologies and methodologies that will enable more collaborative decision making.” – YouGov.co.uk

YouGov Profiles are a really easy and cool way to understand specific types of audiences. As a PR and Advertising student I usually have to understand many different markets for different pitches, YouGov Profiles allows me to do that easily by just entering the company/brand in the search bar. It displays data about the market’s demographic, lifestyle, personality, brands they like/dislike, entertainment they’re interested in, their online presence and the media they use regularly.

So next time you need to know the demographic of The Guardian readers, YouGov.co.uk can help.

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Next time you need to know who watches KISS TV, YouGov.co.uk can help.

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Next time you need to know other TV shows Game of Thrones fans are interested in, YouGov.co.uk can help.

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Or next time you have to know who buy Doritos to help create your next big advertising campaign, yes you’ve guessed it, YouGov.co.uk can help.

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