Post 5: Social Media & the Government

When thinking about social media individual, personalised social media comes into mind.  But these days it is becoming more and more common for many Government departments and politicians to engage in social media use.  I think Facebook and Twitter are the most common platforms used to get their messages across.

But, this can be both an advantage and a disadvantage if the posts are not monitored or even checked before they are posted out into the world! Take the most recent American elections for example.  Donald Trump was a huge Twitter user, ranting and raving about anything or anybody and more often than not offending more than getting people onto his side!

But, back to New Zealand.  Many Government departments, politicians and political parties use Twitter as a way of getting their messages out there to the people.  Even the NZ Parliament has an official Twitter account as can be seen below.

twitter

Social media also has many benefits for Parliament and politicians by making information more transparent and accessible to the public.   According to the NZ Parliament news archive it states that over 10,000 people follow Parliament’s Twitter account. And 105 of 121 MPs use Twitter to talk with people about their work.  (https://www.parliament.nz/en/pb/sc/scl/privileges/news-archive/use-of-social-media-in-parliament-explored/).  That is a huge amount of MPs using Twitter to get their messages across to their followers.

The following link provides a transcript on MPs use of social media and reporting on parliamentary proceedings: https://www.parliament.nz/en/pb/hansard-debates/rhr/document/51HansD_20150916_00000020/privilege-consideration-of-report-of-privileges-committee.  It noted that a senior member of the house had tweeted comments about the Speaker of the house and that many objected to this, which bought on the report to be done.

According to the Parliamentary Library Research paper dated 14 February 2011, at that time the National Party, and especially then Prime Minister John Key, were the most popular on Facebook with the most friends and likes.  John Key had at the time 50,201 likes and 5,002 friends whereas today he has 250,005 likes.  That is a massive increase in just six years and is a good indicator of his popularity in New Zealand.  Compare this to Bill English, the current Prime Minister who took over from John Key and you can see that as of today he has 77,957 likes, which looks as though he is not so popular.  Although, he is up from 691 likes in 2011.

When discussing the popularity of certain politicians in New Zealand one might take from the Facebook page likes to see how they are faring in the lead up to elections. But is this a clear snapshot of what New Zealanders really think?

Social media can also affect Governments and politicians as by having a Facebook or Twitter page, it is making it easier for their followers to message or leave comments on their sites.  It helps the common everyday New Zealander make a change in policies or bring about awareness to a cause that they would like to see more Government action from.

But again, this can be both an advantage and a disadvantage as if a MP decides to go on a ‘rant’ so to speak, they may end up offending many people or leaking sensitive information that should not be out in the public eye (according to Parliament).  It can make headlines and make issues messy for their political party and in the lead up to an election this could be especially damaging.

But, all in all I believe that it is essential that Government departments, Parliament, Politicians and Political Parties have an online presence.  The Ministry of Health have on their website a great example of how they use Twitter to get news and alerts out to the public in real time, and not having to wait to do a press release on the traditional medias such as press, radio and television.

About the Ministry of Health Twitter account
Twitter is an online social networking service and microblogging service that enables its users to send and read text-based messages of up to 140 characters, known as ‘tweets’.
The Ministry of Health uses Twitter for the distribution of alerts, news and event updates. It may also used during health emergencies to engage directly with the public and its stakeholders.
The Ministry currently operates one Twitter account: @minhealthnz. Go to: https://twitter.com/minhealthnz
Twitter content
The Ministry of Health’s Twitter account is managed by our Media team.
If you follow the Ministry’s Twitter account you can expect around 5 tweets a week covering topics including but not limited to:
  • media releases
  • new publications
  • invitations to provide feedback on issues we are consulting on
  • new content on the Ministry’s website
  • news items
  • health advice for the public.
The Ministry also utilises other information channels and does not solely release news and announcements via Twitter.
Availability
The Ministry updates and monitors its Twitter account during office hours.
Following
The Ministry does not automatically follow organisations or individuals who follow it.
The Ministry may follow relevant organisations including government agencies, organisations in the New Zealand health and disability sector and other parties where there is a clear link in communicating and receiving information.
The Ministry will generally not follow individuals unless they are known in a professional capacity and satisfy the business rule above.
Being followed by the Ministry does not imply endorsement of any kind.
Unfollowing
As part of account maintenance and monitoring, the Ministry regularly reviews accounts it is following. This may result in unfollowing accounts.
Privacy
The Ministry does not capture or record the contact details of parties following its Twitter accounts.
@Replies and direct messages
The Ministry welcomes feedback and ideas from its followers.
The Media team reads all @replies and direct messages and ensures that any emerging themes or helpful suggestions are forwarded to the relevant people in the Ministry.
The usual ways of contacting the Ministry for official correspondence are detailed in the Contact Us and Media Centre sections of the Ministry of Health website.
Hashtags (#)
It is a convention among Twitter users to distinguish content using semantic tags (keywords), preceded by a # sign. This enables users to search and filter information based on keywords and share information more meaningfully. Hashtags also allow users to quickly identify ‘trending’ topics (as displayed on the Twitter.com homepage).
The Ministry will use hashtags when providing emergency communications through appropriately authorised staff. In this event it is likely that a common hashtag will already have been established and we would follow suit.
Link shortening
Unless they are already very short URLs, tweets will be shortened.
Re-tweeting
Reactive re-tweeting
The Ministry may occasionally re-tweet content from other Twitter users. This can include on request on a case-by-case basis but generally we aim to honour such requests from:
  • other government departments
  • stakeholders
  • non-profit organisations (NGOs).
The Ministry will generally not re-tweet content from profit-making organisations.
Proactive re-tweeting
The Ministry actively seeks opportunities to re-tweet content that contributes to the dissemination and exchange of useful information about health and disability-related topics.
Content includes but is not limited to:
  • research findings and statistics
  • relevant industry/business networking events, and
  • relevant celebrations/commemorations, eg, awards, themed days (eg, national ride to work day).
Acknowledgment
The Ministry acknowledges that About our Twitter Account is based on the Twitter Policy of the Department of Health, Victoria

 

 

 

Advertisements

Post 4: Social Media & Businesses

How can small businesses use social media & the risks:

There are so many ways small businesses in particular can use social media to their benefit.  They may want to capture new markets and customers, bring more awareness to their brand and products or simply just want to be able to communicate with their customers.

To be able to achieve this they should be usually social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, the most popular sites used by both young and old. By creating profiles for their business they are able to then advertise new products, enable promotions to be run and give their customers a place to leave both positive and negative experiences and responses.

This can be dangerous though, if not closely monitored by someone in the business.  Negative posts or a negative reaction to a post can be damaging and spread like wildfire across these social media platforms.  If a negative comment is left, the amount of time that it takes to respond to this can also be detrimental to the business and brand.

Instagram is an especially popular medium with young people.  They can follow their favourite brands and small businesses can use this to show photos of their new products in use.  Its an effective marketing tool as followers can like and comment on the photo posts.  Whereas Twitter can be even more effective as followers can share the original post with their followers effectively giving you free marketing and helping to get your product out there.  Facebook allows for more customer interaction by being able to leave reviews.  Most people will then turn to these reviews to complete their research and aid in their decision making before making a purchase, especially for more high involvement products that are a bit more pricey, rather than an impulse buy.

Other social media apps such as Facebook Messenger and Twitter allow for consumers to message the businesses directly, taking away the old phone system where you had to ring, be placed on hold for ages before actually being able to speak with someone to solve whatever issue you had.  It has broken down the communication barriers between consumers and businesses.  (https://www.myob.com/nz/blog/social-media-marketing-for-smes/).

MYOB stated in 2016 that 51% of businesses had an online presence and as a result were experiencing  a range of benefits.  According to a Stuff article by Tao Lin in August 2016, there are two million New Zealanders active every day on Facebook alone, it would make sense for small business owners with little or no marketing budget to take advantage of Facebook’s reach.  This is why an academy was started up by two Wellingtonians who wanted to help small business owners grow through social media.  (http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/small-business/83294086/new-academy-launches-to-educate-smes-on-social-media).

It is such an active part in peoples daily lives that it just makes so much sense that if you have a small business you need to have a social media presence.  Not only do you need a social media presence but you need to have an effective website that allows for e-commerce transactions to take place.  This site should then have links to all their social media accounts and vice versa, the social media accounts should always link back to the website.  This can help in increasing product sales as they can ask customers when they make a purchase to post that on their social media accounts, tag the business in and even give them a hashtag to use.  Not only are you increasing sales but you are increasing your brand awareness by doing this.

Social media signs
http://umairqureshi.com/category/social-media-marketing/

Social Media use small vs large businesses:

There is great potential here for SME’s but unlike larger businesses they often do not have the time or resources to be able to maintain their social media presence.  But that doesn’t mean that small businesses can’t keep up with their social media like larger businesses.  I believe that as long as they have Facebook and a website they can achieve increased sales, brand awareness and be able to communicate with their customers effectively.  These days we have Facebook at our fingertips, its on our mobile devices and tablets or laptops, so really there is no excuse for not being able to check in at least twice a day to maintain the page and be aware of any comments being made.  They do not want to be missing out on any potential customers.

Most larger businesses such as Farmers or even Nike have their very own dedicated social media team who look after the postings, maintain the pages and respond to customer queries, reviews or comments.  This is where they are at an advantage over SMEs.  So like above, there really is no excuse for any comments or messages sent by customers not being responded to in a timely manner.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Post 3: Understanding Web 2.0 & 3.0

What do the terms web 2.0 & 3.0 mean and the differences between them:

When I first came to look at the above question I was stumped and did not know where to begin! I mean I know what the internet is and how to use it but when it comes to breaking down the technical terms, I felt completely lost.  I’m not a very technical or computer savvy person when it comes to understanding these terms but I will give it a go!

First, lets starts with Web 1.0 the first generation of the web, described as the “read-only” web or web of cognition by Aghael, Nematbakhsh & Farsani (2012).  It was basically a place for businesses to get their information out to the people.  It was deemed very basic and only a place to search for information and then read it hence being called the “read-only” web.  It did not allow for user collaboration at all.

 

web-2.0-tag-cloud-10
https://sites.google.com/a/my.maryvillecollege.edu/puckett-edu-302/home/proj-1-web-2-0

 

So then came along Web 2.0 described as a “web of communication” as it allowed for users to be more interactive, beginning the use of social interactions and blogs.   It became a newer version of Web 1.0.  Not only could users read information they could now write as well, and it supported collaboration.

According to Tim O’Reilly he believed that web 2.0 allowed for the rise in blogging.  This is because technology such as RSS came into play, it allowed ‘someone to link not just to a page, but to subscribe to it’.

Making sense? Slowly, I’m starting to get my head around it!! When searching web 2.0 in Google, the below definition comes up (which is a great definition and so much easier to understand!!)

Web 2.0
ˌwɛb tuː pɔɪnt ˈəʊ/
noun
the second stage of development of the Internet, characterized especially by the change from static web pages to dynamic or user-generated content and the growth of social media.
Which brings us to Web 3.0 the ‘web of co-operation’ as stated by Aghaei, Nematbakhsh & Farsani (2012), the third generation of the web or an extension of web 2.0.  It connects data and people, hence the name ‘web of co-operation’.
They also describe the difference between web 2.0 and 3.0 as 2.0 being about content creativity whereas 3.0 targets linked data sets.  Make sense? At first it didn’t but once i viewed the below table it started to.
table
To me, it allowed for mobile internet to be introduced and users to be able to collaborate even more.  It also enhanced creativity and innovation as the user engagement part in the above table.
The technopedia.com site defines it even better:
“Web 3.0 can be likened to an artificial intelligence assistant that understands its user and personalizes everything.”  It is going to change how people interact with websites.  Another name for web 3.0 is Semantic web.  Aghaei et al. (2012) state ‘the main purpose of semantic web is to make the web readable by machines and not only by humans.’  Meaning, computers will be able to understand and do more for us on the web!
 Web 4.0 & beyond:
 The future is upon us and this is where web 4.0 will become the new norm.  It is deemed the ‘web of integration’.  It will connect all mobile devices in real time in both the real and virtual norm.  Now that most devices have cameras web 4.0 has allowed for better technology and as an extension to web 3.0 where computers and devices can recognise users by such things as face recognition technology.  Woah ….. what will they think of next!!!
Web 5.0 will allow for more interaction between computers and humans using such technology as holograms.  This is all still being developed and web 4.0 and 5.0 are definitely part of our future, it is the next web.
videos-internet
Enter http://georgebolivar.blogspot.co.nz/2014/07/web-50.htmla caption

 

I think this image is great in defining web 4.0, 5.0 and beyond, users being able to interact with computers by having them recognise things about us using technology much like what is being developed with smartphones, facial recognition and holograms! Who remembers that time that an awards show used a hologram of Michael Jackson and had him “perform” his latest song all with dance moves and everything.  It was unreal and unlike anything I had seen before, it was like watching the real live Michael Jackson perform.  You almost forgot that he was actually no longer with us.

This makes the future exciting and I cannot wait to see what the next generation brings to us.
References used:
Aghael S, Nematbakhsh M.A & Farsani, H.K, Evolution of the World Wide Web: From Web 1.0 to Web 4.0, International Journal of Web & Semantic Technology (IJWesT), Vol.3, No.1, January 2012
http://oreilly.com “What is Web 2.0”

Post 2: All about Blogging!

Image result for blogs

Picture comes from: https://blog.hubspot.com/blog/tabid/6307/bid/30311/10-Amazing-Blogs-About-Blogging-to-Start-Reading-NOW.aspx#sm.000u7rkxm10r6f1xz4g2jh0g9sz3s

What is blogging?

Firstly, blogging to me is like an online journal where you can share your thoughts and opinions on almost any topic from food to travel to even your favourite TV shows!

Blogs were around before social networking sites and are still as popular today as when they first started.  Kaplan & Haenlein (2010) state that blogs are ‘the Social Media equivalent of personal web pages …’.  The word blog originally came from the words “web log” and is usually done by just one person.  They post regularly on the site and the blog posts are shown in chronological order.  These posts can include many variations of media such as photos, videos and web links and really there are no rules on what a blog should or should not have.  If it is interesting to someone as a reader, then more than likely that blog will become popular hence driving more traffic to it. This is where some people have actually created full time paid work for themselves.

One such popular blogger who has made a career out of blogging is Perez Hilton.  He states that he originally started his blog as a hobby but within six months of starting his blog it was named “Hollywoods most hated website” which created a surge in its popularity (see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Perez_Hilton).  He started off by writing posts about celebrities and often included unflattering paparazzi photos that he writes comments over, which of course infuriated many celebrities.  Today his site seems to be more about sharing links about celebrities but is still as popular as ever.  Check it out as some of his articles are hilarious and if you just want some mindless celebrity then its the blog to visit! http://perezhilton.com/

How is blogging used in Business?

Businesses have started including blogging together with their various social medias to bring more attention to their products.  A lot of online businesses, especially those that create and sell their own products online only use blogging.  They use it in such ways as to provide more information about their products or even to show how they make their products.  They combine these blogs together with social media platforms such as Twitter by creating links where when a post is done it is also posted on Twitter to guide followers to read their posts.

They are great marketing tools and often free and only take up a small amount of your time.  “Every post you publish is a long-term asset that helps build brand awareness and promote your expertise, products and services.” (see https://www.sproutcontent.com/blog/19-reasons-why-your-business-should-be-writing-a-blog).   It is also very helpful to ensure you have SEO (search engine optimization) in place to drive more traffic to your blog.

One such example of an online business that uses blogs as part of their marketing and e-commerce shop is http://inspirationalbeading.blogspot.co.nz/.  They offer beading tutorials and jewellery making ideas.

Here you can see their work in progress, tutorials and their jewellery shop to purchase from.  Advertisers have then paid to use space on their site to advertise their products.   This is a great use of a blog in a business sense.  But its not only small businesses that use blogs, many big businesses such as Microsoft, Procter & Gamble and Coca Cola use blogs as part of their marketing and social media presence.

I believe that if you were to start an online e-commerce business then blogging should be a part of your social media platforms that you use.  Its all about driving traffic to your site and bringing potential customers in.  They say that word of mouth is free advertising, so having people share your blogs and posts on their social media sites is word of mouth advertising that you have not had to pay a cent for! Genius!!

 

 

Post 1: Social Media

What is Social Media to me?

Well the way I describe and look at social media is, it is a way for the world to communicate instantaneously.  You may find yourself making friends with complete strangers from around the world that share common interests or views as you do.

Social Media also allows for instant access to breaking news worldwide.  No longer do you have to wait for the 6pm news to come on to find out what has happened in your world today.  It has broken down communication barriers for everyday people to voice their opinions and views to celebrities or politicians, and has allowed celebrities to give their fans a sneak peak into their everyday lives.  This has effectively given them control over the paparazzi and tabloid magazines by releasing what they want, when they want.

It has become a vital aspect in peoples everyday lives and with social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram it has effectively taken over peoples lives.  How many times a day do you check your newsfeeds? I know with me, it can be quite a bit – probably more than I need to some days.  It can make you feel like a bit of a stalker sometimes too, as most times, you can secretively trawl through peoples profiles with them none the wiser!

History of Social Media:

I remember when Bebo first came out back in 2005 and thinking ‘wow, how cool is this’! You could set yourself up a page profile and chat with friends, look at their photos and they could look at yours.  But since the popularity of Facebook, which was originally launched in 2004 by Mark Zuckerberg (everyone seen the movie “The Social Network”), Bebo has gone way down in popularity.  In fact, I cant remember the last time I went on Bebo and I don’t think I can even remember my log-in details! Does the site even still exist?!

Then in 2006 came Twitter.  I’ve been on Twitter for a few years now, but I still know some people who have never even been on Twitter or know what it is! To me, Twitter is the one site that was able to break down communication barriers across the world.  If I want to know more about breaking world news, Twitter is the first place I check.  It has also helped to get celebrities closer to their fans and able to communicate with them directly.  With smartphones now you have these social media sites at your fingertips!

Image result for social media

By 2009 a quarter of the worlds population was using the internet.  This shows how fast Social Media has grown and is still growing! No longer is Social Media just about internet sites it is about apps.  Apps such as Snapchat or Instagram have provided instant access to peoples lives and worldwide events.  I think this is why businesses have realised that in order to grow and stay current they have needed to set up social media sites.  So now social media has become vital to not only peoples personal lives but to their businesses and workplaces.  Facebook now have over a billion users, so that is a billion people that businesses can advertise to and get their products out worldwide.  How cool is that?!

But with anything it does have its downsides.  Privacy issues are the biggest as when signing into or registering with these sites you are providing them with your personal details.  People need to ensure they check the ‘fine-print’ and if they don’t want their details passed onto a third party that they have unchecked these things.