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Blog Investigation

Able Ebenezer

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Able Ebenezer is a brand new beer brewery located in Merrimack, New Hampshire. I have yet to visit this brewery, but it has been the topic of many conversations. They opened up a few months ago in June. They have been operating a blog since before they opened their doors!

Able Ebenezer doesn’t have an overwhelming amount of posts, as they are still a brand new company. But they are on the right track. Their mission is to keep customers up to date with their business, form personal relationships, and spread brand awareness.

A lot of their posts were made before the business was actually up and running. They let the public know what was going on behind the construction tape, from revealing when the restrooms were finished, to letting the public know when inspections were going to take place.

The blog is run by the co-founder, Carl. A piece of advice I have for him is to put more fun and engaging content on the blog. Their actual website describes some of their craft beers, but they have an opportunity to go more in depth on the blog. Each week they could do a “beer of the week showcase”. This would get people excited, and encourage them to come in and try them out.

Other entertaining blog posts would be beneficial to the company. They could create infographics about the brewing process on a website like Piktochart. Putting useful information on blogs is key. As with any piece of literature, the goal is to hold the reader’s attention and entertain them.

Stonyfield Yogurt

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Stonyfield Organic Yogurt reaches its health conscious audience through their well-written and organized blog. They are well aware of who their audience is and that is one of the reasons their blog is so successful.

Stonyfield has several different contributors on their blog. From nutritionist mothers, to organic dairy farmers, to ordinary Stonyfield employees, the different perspectives form a creative and collaborative collection of blog posts.

The blog is divided into a wide range of sections. There are cooking sections, Stonyfield contests, and other portions of the blog dedicated to those who have a passion for healthy and organic lifestyles. There are real life narratives of what it’s like to work on a dairy farm, there are endless recipes, and other worthwhile reads.

Users could spend hours on Stonyfield’s blog. There are articles for those who want to learn something, those who are curious about the company, and those who just want to pass some time reading.

With their huge collection of posts, it is highly likely that their website will come up on a Google search. The more pages and material a website has, the better a website’s SEO or Search Engine Optimization is. Drawing traffic to Stonyfield’s blog is rewarding for the contributors, and a form of advertisement for the company.

Companies should admire Stonyfield’s blog. It’s not just a marketing scheme; there are actually really helpful and entertaining articles. The blog offers a sense of community, and demands respect.

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Facebook

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Facebook was originally made for Harvard students and Harvard students only. In February of 2004, Mark Zuckerberg launched “The Facebook” as an outlet for students to learn more about and interact with other students. This idea spread and was eventually offered to all Ivy League colleges. At first, Facebook was an elite social network, requiring a valid email address from distinct institutions.

As we all know, Facebook is now far from elite. Facebook is now a free social network, paid for by advertisements, and open to anyone with a valid email address. Both businesses and people use Facebook as a part of their daily routine. Today, a staggering amount of 1.23 billion users are on Facebook, compared to only 20 million back in 2007.

I remember when Facebook was first accessible to high school students. I had been spending all of my time on MySpace, changing my profile song, scrolling through ‘bulletins’ and manually browsing through my friends’ profiles to see if they had added anything new. Facebook offered a much more organized and functional social network.

Facebook took over the world like a virus. Slowly, Myspace activity started to diminish. People started changing their MySpace biographies to “Add me on Facebook”. It was the cool, new thing to do. It still is, and I am pretty sure it’s going to stay like that.

To get a rough idea of how much time you’ve spent on Facebook, check out this TIME article.

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One of the reasons Facebook is so successful is that it offers people an opportunity to engage with ‘friends’ by playing online games. These interactive games like FarmVille and Candy Crush are not just there for entertainment purposes. These games have advertisements, which bring money in. And they encourage users to keep logging on to Facebook. It’s not just about wall posts or messaging anymore.

Pretty much every one and their mother (literally) have a Facebook account. It is one of the primary ways in which people communicate today. It’s in your pocket on your iPhone, on your desk on your computer, and advertised everywhere from cups to commercials. Today’s Facebook is meant for both people and businesses. Although advertisements are prevalent, they don’t necessarily crowd out the opportunity for human interaction.

Like I said, every one is on Facebook, all the time. Advertisers and marketing professionals see this new past time as an opportunity to spread their brand and attempt to sell us products. As I made the leap from MySpace to Facebook, corporations and organizations alike were following right behind me. I may spend more of my time on Facebook than in front of my Television, but that doesn’t mean I found a loophole in the way of advertisements.

Basically every company in existence has a Facebook page, and every time we “like” one of them, we are spreading awareness of their brand. This idea brings a whole new meaning to “word of mouth”. A simple Facebook interaction can offer free advertising. Companies try to engage with their clientele through the Internet, more specifically Facebook, because that is simply where people are these days.

Sometimes I feel bad for the ghost land that is MySpace. Sometimes nostalgia takes over and I wish I could add a song to my Facebook page, customize my page with a cool background, or post a bulletin with a 50 question survey I filled out. Those were the sacrifices we all made to have a more structured and well-designed social network. Facebook is much more than MySpace ever was. Sorry, Tom.

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Nike Knows What They’re Doing

Nike has a mission in life. Their mission is to prevent their customers from looking like this.

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Nike has gone so far as to create a separate Twitter account with the sole purpose of tending to customer complaints and providing exceptional customer service. They understand that crowding their main Twitter page with criticisms and self-admitted wrongdoings just doesn’t make sense.

mainimageNike is very clear about who their audience is. They identify themselves as athletes and their mission is to help other athletes (their customers). As an international company, they provide customer service in seven languages. People all over the world can turn to Nike when they run in to a problem with their merchandise. This builds and maintains strong customer relations, which inevitably leads to sales and profit.

Nike Support acknowledges their customers on a personal level. They directly respond to tweets, and try their hardest to make their clientele feel comfortable and appreciated.

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It surprises me that Nike is one of the very few corporations who offer such impressive customer service via the Internet. Living in this digital age, it seems obvious that professionals would understand the significance of Social Media. But that is just not the case. The majority of companies are still providing customer support solely through telephone calls.

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These companies need to hang up their phones, turn on their computers, and start practicing customer service by means of the Internet. It’s an understood fact that society is glued to their smart phones, laptops, and tablets. A fundamental idea in business is to be where your customers are. If businesses aren’t on social platforms like Facebook and Twitter, they are hiding from consumers.

Nike sets a precedent for other brands that want to stand out in the customer service industry. Maintaining two Twitter pages helps them to maintain a clean image while simultaneously giving their customers a sense of comfort. Nike understands that as a part of life, things will inevitably go wrong. Unlike most companies, they don’t try to hide their mistakes or customer complaints. They welcome these setbacks with open arms on an established Twitter page.

Nike has always been a leader in fashion and athletic apparel, and hopefully they hold their title of leader in the online customer service game. The concept of having an account for marketing and an account for customer service is a model all companies should follow.

Timberland.. You Should Listen To Me

timberlandTimberland’s trademark tan work boots are worn by construction workers, hikers, and young people who wish that they could be in a rap video. This different range of clientele seems to be too much for the marketing staff at Timberland to handle. They can’t quite figure out who to connect with on their social media platforms. The vegan mountain climber? Or the fashionista blogger on Pinterest? Timberland was originally built to support the needs of outdoors people. Their products have always been made for those who lead semi-rugged or adventurous lives. Their trademark, tan work boots are worn by construction workers, hikers, and ‘thug’ males and females alike. However, they seem to only be focusing on urban, fashion-conscious people. Their newest Lookbook for Fall 2014 shows models hanging out on city rooftops, playing the guitar, and being nonchalantly fabulous. Walking around Central Park is definitely not the same thing as going hiking in the woods of New Hampshire. Who exactly is their audience? I don’t think they know the answer to that. tumblr_mzlvj263431rbp6s3o1_1280 The huge diversity of people who wear the Timberland brand poses a problem for the marketing staff. One day they post a picture of North West and Kim Kardashian sporting their brand. The next day they try to appeal to environmentally conscious people by stating that some of their products are eco-conscious and organic. If Timberland paid more attention to their original customers: those outdoorsy hikers and nature lovers, then they may find a rise in sales and brand evangelists. Why don’t they make an app that finds local hiking spots? Or post concise and helpful manuals like “Easy To Pack Lunches”? They have over a million fans on Facebook, and almost 100,000 followers on Twitter. But the amount of interaction they have with their audience hints that they are doing something wrong. The amount of reblogs and favorites that they get is pitiful! Clearly they need to fix something. twitter Timberland definitely needs to work on their engagement. They are such a huge company and have achieved a lot of success, but there is room for significant improvement. One more thing… While they work on figuring out who their audience is, they should change their Facebook profile picture once in a while. profilepcis

My Thoughts On Social Media

Every morning I wake up and there is a nagging yet fulfilling task that I am forced to complete: I must check each of my social media platforms. Not only do I need to see what new updates took place while I was sleeping, but I wish for a new notification. I unplug my baby blue iPhone 5 from its charger and get to scrolling.

Facebook is the social media platform that takes up most of my time. It is a great place to connect with others and feel close to people you may not necessarily get the chance to see in real life. I scroll through my news feed every day to see what my friends and family have to offer.  A new selfie! Family vacation photos! My friend’s daughter just took her first step!

Instead of going to your friend’s houses to flip through their photo albums, Facebook grants me instant digital access to their images. It is so easy to connect with people and organizations through Facebook. My main audience on Facebook is family, old classmates, past and present coworkers, and friends I have made throughout my 22 years of life.

One of my strengths on Facebook is making statuses that grab the attention of my audience. When the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge was virally taking over news feeds, I made a status to poke fun at the situation. I jokingly said, “You have 24 hours to pour boiling hot water all over yourself, or you must donate $20 to my checking account.” I received a lot of likes on this status. However, some people aren’t aware of my sense of humor and took offense to my statement.

A consequence of social media is the ongoing need for a new notification. This longing can be mentally draining. After I post a status or photo, I find myself incessantly reloading my home screen, impatiently waiting for a notification. It can be quite discouraging when only a miniscule amount of “friends” like what you have posted. As I take a more objective look at social media as a whole, I realize that my dependence on new notifications is detrimental.

This yearning for internet approval can subconsciously affect self-esteem in a negative way. I personally worry for my young nephews that a lack of attention on social media will harm their self-esteem. My youngest nephew has an Instagram account and I can’t help but notice all of the effort he puts in to getting ‘likes’. He, like many other internet users, take part in “Like For Like” exchanges. These covenants highlight the dire need for a new notification. Dependence on internet attention is a huge mistake that many people make. However, we can’t be blamed. It is natural to want attention.