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It is rare these days to find an agency with the capacity to do primary research on consumer behavior. But at Baker Creative, our in-house research lab delves deeper into the psyche of a consumer. We know that figuring out what makes a target customer tick is an essential part of a successful business plan.
But how does the psychology of consumers translate to an online world, specifically social media? More than you think.
The more we begin to analyze social media’s effect on our psyche, the more it parallels Maslow’s hierarchy of basic needs.
Begin with Maslow’s third basic need of love and belonging. We connect with friends and family via Facebook, reinforcing the belief that we are loved when someone requests to be our “friend.” Or we “connect” with people on LinkedIn and “follow” people on Twitter. How interesting are the word choices “friend,” “connect” and “follow.” The creators of social networking sites chose these words for a reason. They have a connotation of love and belonging. Doesn’t everyone desire to feel that, no matter if the form is physical or online?
Maslow’s fourth basic need is self-esteem. Doesn’t it give us all a little boost of confidence when we gain followers on Twitter or someone “likes” our Facebook status? We often post about an accomplishment with the hope of people congratulating us. We share a Good Samaritan story to show our respect for others or flesh out our LinkedIn profiles to gain respect from others. As much as we may not like to admit it, the online world has become a source for approval and acceptance when our confidence is lacking.
The fifth and final hierarchy of needs is self-actualization: morality, creativity, spontaneity, problem-solving, lack of prejudice, acceptance of facts. Most social media platforms don’t seem to fulfill this final need. But this is where Pinterest comes into play.
A Fully-Realized Self
Unless new to the social media world, you have probably heard of Pinterest. Pinterest is a pinboard-style photo-sharing website that allows users to create theme-based image collections. Users (called “pinners”) can create and share collections (“boards”) of images (“pins”) that they use to do things like plan trips, organize their homes, or save recipes.
“Pinterest boards are like its users’ personal happiness collages,” says Dr. Christopher Long, a professor at Ouachita Baptist University. “[They represent] things that I appreciate, that I desire, and that express who I am, whether the things are cupcakes, shirtless David Beckham, or an inspirational quotation.”
Pinterest is a getaway for many users. It is a place where everything has a space. A way to step out of a chaotic life and into an alternate world. A secluded oasis to create visions of the future.
But most of all, Pinterest encourages self-actualization. This is what sets it apart from other social media platforms. Pinterest users’ activities on the site are directly connected to their lives outside the Internet. What they see on the site can inspire them to act. To travel to that beautiful destination. To live out those inspirational quotes. To tackle a DIY project that will complete their dream home.
It could be a bold statement to say that an online outlet may be the thing that is fulfilling one of our most intangible needs. But that is where our world is headed.
Pinterest is inspiring us. Motivating us. Sparking new passions. Helping us realize our real-self. And when we finally discover what makes our soul happy, we should pursue it.
Photo Sources: psychology.about.com & about.pinterest.com
As far as public relations goes, many people have mixed understandings about what a public relations professional really does and what it means to have PR for your company.
According to the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) public relations is “a strategic communication process that builds mutually beneficial relationships between organizations and their publics.” To sum it up, public relations is a communications process that fosters and creates relationships between a company, business or organization and the public they want to connect with.
In Sex and the City, Samantha Jones runs her own PR firm where she hosts elaborate parties and mingles with famous movie stars. Although, to a certain extend, that portrayal could be true if you live in Hollywood, most of the time it does not involve sequin dresses and cocktail parties.
We wanted to clear up some PR myths that can mislead organizations and future public relations professionals.
If you have any questions about these myths or would like to talk to Baker Creative about public relations assistance, please comment below or contact us at baker-creative.com
For many years, the Internet and social media have been given a bad reputation. It is known for spreading vulgar pictures, false rumors and stealing identity capabilities. Social media has been a big hit in the news generating stories about rape, political scandal and celebrity bashing. Most adults are trying to stray their children away from being sucked into this digital world they spend several hours a day in.
What most people are unaware of is how effective social media can be when it comes to spreading awareness about a serious topic. Many non-profit organizations have fan pages that contain information on how to donate, become involved and get educated on a topic. Other social media pages can promote topics, like anti-bullying or pro-life. People can “like” and “share” these pages to educate their friends on subjects they might have a personal connection.
Here are three social media pages that we believe have a really good message and make a difference:
Bully – Bully is a Facebook page that promotes The Bully Project, a documentary following five kids for one school year to see how students, schools and parents deal with bullying. This is a very touching site that shares emotional stories and pictures about kids who have dealt with bullying or who stand up to bullies. Just by looking at this page, you know the goal is to educate and prevent further bullying in America.
The Lazy Pit Bull – This site is a dog activist site that promotes the breed of pit bulls. This page contains stories, facts and blog posts about this misunderstood breed. One great thing about this page is that Christina Berry, who is the creator, believes that networking can save animals’ lives and has pictures and stories to prove it. Every day there is a posting about a dog who is on “the list” to be terminated at a shelter. She encourages others to share this dog on their wall in hopes it will reach someone who will save that life. When an animal is saved, she makes sure to update her followers.
Operation Blessing International – Operation Blessing is a humanitarian organization that provides disaster relief, hunger relief, clean water, medical aid and orphan care to poverty stricken countries around the world. This organization is faith based that educates about poverty, shares heart-warming stories and donates time and money to help those less fortunate. This social media page is a great example of how people connect all over the world to help others.
These pages are only a few examples of how social media is connecting people and changing the world for the better. Today’s youth can learn from these stories of how good deeds of one person can turn into a better life for someone else. If kids were taught that sharing a photo of a dog or taking a pledge against bullying can change the life for someone, they will learn the value of staying connected.
For more information on these organizations:
Everyone knows that keeping the look of your brand is important. It is important for the public, employees and potential workers to know what the company’s values are so these potential customers are more apt to embrace what the company has to offer. An unorganized website, out-of-date social media profile and confusing logo may not be perceived as professional.
When graduates are on the search for employment, they take a look at the company website to see what it is all about. For instance, a recent graduate that is employed with Baker Creative mentions that she likes to see what the layout of the website is.
“When the website looks clean and organized, that shows me the company really cares how their brand is portrayed to the world.” Michele Cuthbert mentions.
Websites, just like social media profiles, need to be organized in a manner that is easy to understand. Nothing throws off a potential client like a confusing website.
Social media and community engagement are two ways to step-up your brands image.
Social media can easily hurt your brand. Not only can the social media specialist post something that can be considered rude, but employees can post things on their personal page about your company that looks bad. Usually if the post is bad enough, people can get fired and not even realize what they even did.
For example, a 22-year-old had just been offered a job at Cisco and, like any young adult, wanted to announce it to the world. This may not have been the best way to do it:
“Cisco just offered me a job! Now I have to weigh the utility of a fatty paycheck against the daily commute to San Jose and hating the work.”
When another Cisco employee saw this tweet, they passed it along to the hiring manager. The young man lost the job offer before he could even start.
A brand suffers even more when the social media blunder comes straight from the company. When Kenneth Cole used the #Cairo to announce his new spring line, followers became enraged.
“Millions are in uproar in #Cairo. Rumor is they heard our new spring collection is now available online…”
A company using a hash tag that is related to a country crisis may not get the best reputation.
Brands can also benefit by being involved with the community around them. Being a local contributor to a charity or holding an event to raise money for a nearby school really makes the public they show they care.
Keep your brand looking good and you will have a thriving business.
For more informations please visit Baker Creative
It is important for a company to see numbers on how the social media Google+ is the newest platform to the social media club. Each profile in Google+ gets centered around a stream of your interest, which are joined by four categories. Circles, hangouts, huddles and sparks are all categories that allow you to communicate and discuss your interests.
This social media platform may only be looked at as a “social” way for friends to connect. Little do businesses know, Google+ can be a great resource to grow their brand.
Locating around the world
Google+ allows search engines to find your business depending on the content of your profile. For example, if you are a bakery and sell cakes and coffee, those two simple keywords can lead customers to your Google+ profile. This is possible through posts, videos and pictures you post on your profile.
Broadcast your business worldwide
With Google+ hangouts, your business can set up video conversations with clients, co-workers and even customers. Posting a video to Hangout on Air can allow you broadcast your brand even further. Customers all over the world can watch a segment on “how-to” or even watch you speak at a convention. People can engage with each other or record it to playback later.
Measuring the social profile
platform is improving the brand. Through Google+, you can identify who the influential followers are and who is sharing and resharing your posts. Google analytics allows reporting from your profile showing recommendations, visitors and what keywords are working for your brand.
Listening to your customers
With Google+ you are able to search names or keywords to view what people are saying about the brand. With this tool, your company can understand the customers and fix any faults that may be bringing your brand down negatively.
For Daria Musk, she became a global rock star overnight because of her live concert via Google+ Hangouts. She has been featured in Rolling Stone, Billboard Magazine and Mashable. At the end of November she will be a featured speaker at the Mashable Media Summit discussing her fame through a live social media concert.
Daria is a prime example of how Google+ can provide the resources to spread a brand worldwide. Businesses have the opportunity to gain a following for their brand simply by logging into Google.
We have all asked these questions. What is Public Relations? Why should I be on social media? How can social media and public relations help my company?
If you were not introduced to social media when it first made its debut, you may only think of it as networks that people join to keep in touch with friends or upload pictures of their memories. Yes, some people do use social media networks for this purpose, but if you are a young professional or an owner of a developing company, social media may just be the answer to your prayers.
Here is a list of some of the things social media has to offer you as a professional:
– Connects the world
– Promotes you or your brand
– Spreads news
– Teaching source
– Communication tool
– Networking tool
– Populate an event
– Source for hiring and firing
Social media has the power to connect millions of people in a split second. For example, Kony2012 swept over every social media site you can think of in March of this year. The viral sharing of videos and photos were encouraged throughout friends and colleagues to help get media attraction to stop this war criminal in Uganda.
This image spread through social media like wildfire overnight and the Stop Kony 2012 video made by Invisible Children has over 93 million view just on YouTube alone.
Today, people are more likely to login to Facebook to read about worldly news then turning on the TV. Social media is famous for spreading news and promoting everything from products to campaigns over the Internet. One reason why it is so famous is because it is free. Using networks like Facebook and Twitter can shine light on you as a professional or the brand of a company.
Social media being a resource to build a brand is not something anyone can accomplish successfully. This is where the power of public relations enters.
Despite what you have heard, public relations is more then planning parties and meeting celebrities. You have to do research and communicate with people. Networking and marketing may be the most acquired skill a PR professional can have. Along with social media, the skills of public relations specialist can turn your brand into a success story. These specialists have been taught to utilize their skills to help improve the quality and promote the purpose of your brand.
If public relations professionals know the ins and outs of social media, that is a double whammy.
Here are just a few things PR professionals have the power to do:
– Social media
– Build relationships
– Deal with the media
– Community engagement
Public relations and social media can be power tools in any company or brand that wants to become successful.
To tweet without a hashtag is like to read without a book. But what is the purpose of the hashtag? Who started this trend of topics beginning with a #?
The first sighting of the hashtag was used with IRC, or Internet Relay Chat, to assemble together topics or groups. The hashtag was not made popular until 2009 when Twitter decided to use the hashtag symbol to group together topics and make words or phrases trend if they come after a #.
Nate Ritter populated the first hashtag when he posted about the 2007 California wildfires in San Diego. Every time he would talk about the wildfires he would mention #sandiegofire to connect that community, which later became the first high-profile application of the hashtag.
There are many uses for hashtags.
Companies use # to promote their business and events that are happening. This allows the public or employees to use this hashtag so that everyone is connected and the hashtag may start trending
We forgot to mention that when a word or phase is trending, people all over the world are able to see it on their homepage of Twitter.
Clubs and organizations also use it to promote and educate what they stand for.
One of the most common types of hashtags is when something worldly is happening that everyone is involved in. The World Series or Olympics would be a good example of a trending hashtag because there is a large amount of people talking about these topics.
Are you wondering why we are talking about hashtags like it’s the best invention since sliced bread?
The hashtag can sometimes be overlooked when running a business or an organization. Set one hashtag for the whole company and use it in every social media outlet you run. Just because the # is well known on Twitter does not mean it can’t be used on Pinterest, Instagram or even Facebook. People will be connected to your business, which may help it grow.
Doing a search for a specific hashtag can help you view what other people are discussing on this certain topic. If you search your own hashtag, that can give you an idea if people are saying positive or negative things about your company.
Hashtags are an important social media tool and very simply to use. They can benefit you and your company. Hashtags are a way of connecting to the world around. #bakercreative #socialmedia
In high school, putting illegal or inappropriate things on your Facebook could get you in trouble with your parents or even the school. As you graduate and move out of your parent’s house, there will be a lot more freedom and very few rules being held over your head. Social media is not being watched by a high school administration or by parents that can punish you over your postings anymore, now you have to be the adult and choose what is the right and wrong thing to put on the internet.
Eventually, new college students will realize that keeping that Facebook page clean and up to date will be more important then ever.
Being a freshman or a sophomore does not give you a free pass to avoid being professional. In fact, those early years before you are upperclassmen may be most important in getting involved and establishing yourself as a young professional adult. In your degree, you are not only competing with your peers at school to get that picture perfect resume but also with the other universities in the state. One thing to get ahead of the students in your class is to clean up all those social media networks you are apart of. All of them: Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Tumblr, and even your personal blog page.
Now, we are not saying stay in your dorm every weekend and don’t socialize, but just be smart about it. You get one shot at this college life and although “living it to the fullest” may be the new motto for you, a few years after you graduate and you are not finding a job to pay the bills, you will wish that your motto would have been a little different.
Villiagize is a relatively new application that works in conjunction with Facebook to help a sense of community to real neighborhoods in the online wold. The creators of the platform found a way to make it easier to find it each other using the method communication they are already utilizing. Instead of going next for for that cup of sugar, hop on Villiagize and ask away. Need recommendations for a new dentist? Get suggestions from neighbors you don’t know yet. Who knows better than people in your area?
According to a the analytics firm StatCounter, mobile web usage has doubled every year since 2009. As more and more of our lives revolve around gadgets for communication, the creators of Villiagize intuitively built a way for people living in close proximity to connect more effectively while creating a sense of community.
The problem lies in the fact that since more people can be found easily online, some of them enjoy the ability to create a sense of anonymity in real life. The new platform imports information from your Facebook profile to enrich your Villiagize profile. While you can block the program from importing all of your information when it syncs, a profile is still available for you before you even log in for the first time unless you are totally off the grid or do not include your location information in your Facebook profile at all. You can delete your profile at any time, but rather than creating the profile from scratch when you sign up, you must opt out of the program entirely. If it’s in your profile or listed in a local phonebook, your address is available online where anyone can grab it.
While some could argue that phonebooks made it possible for anyone at any time to find phone number and address, there was a sense of security knowing that if someone really wanted your information, they would have to work for it. Now your home address is entirely searchable online AND linked to your online profiles accessible to all by the touch of a few key strokes.
While I think the concept is brilliant, I do have concerns about the security behind the methods of this website. There are also a few kinks they are working out as well.
For instance, when I first entered my address, I made an error on the street name. After searching for the bette part of 15 minutes to figure out how to change it, I contacted the the staff via the “Feedback” tab to get some answers. The staff responded quickly (unlike Facebook) — in less in 15 minutes. Kudos for great customer relations!! The repesentative said they were still working on revisions for the project, and there is a list of things they are working to implement in the future (i.e. my self-editing feature to correct address mistakes). He/she did offer to correct the address error manually earning them bonus points for great customer service.
Overall, Villiagize has great potential. It connects the link missing in communities which would allow citizens to communicate more effectively online. In the future, this outlet could take on a life of its own allowing for traffic reports, weather updates, emergency information and a vast array of other vital news instantaneously going beyond the commercial aspects included the program already.
Fortunatlely, the creators are willing to work with users to correct problems and make it safer and more user friendly. Give it a whirl, see what you think. At the worst, you can always opt out.