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COM 460: The Social Consumer

October 11, 2013

As with most COM 460 blog topics for this course, I like Google it before looking at my lecture notes for a visual summary. After giving “social consumers” a Google Image Search, one quickly gathers that the group includes most internet users. Social media consumers are those who frequent mobile and online media, post content, maintain profiles, and use a multitude of social networking sites. One also gets the impression the practice is very commercial in terms of branding, logos, advertising, business, etc. Graphics and visualizations stand out among the many images as well. I recognize infographic-heavy content that is standard in the industry (the topic of my last blog, check it out too). From taking in the topic of social consumers visually, data presentation in a simple form to a wide online audience is something I really picked up on.

Fortunately, guest speakers and in class lecture give deeper insight to social consumers of media. Those working in the social media industry like Robert Young and Adam Lefkoe made it abundantly clear that social media allows for (and most definitely should be) used for two-way communication. An example from Adam used was a his response to both positive and negative comments on a feed. By engaging and responding to other media consumers gives the profile owner personality, rather coming off too stiff or formal. Adam Lefkoe’s key points for keeping an involved online presence include “never stare at success, remember the purpose, and knowing your voice”. All of which are good points to keep in mind when addressing social consumers.

From looking at news articles, the growing trend for social media consumers and producers content creation and ownership. The Forbes Article by John Hall drives home the idea that organizations need to tell their story on social media in a compelling way. Companies cannot just post mindless content average followers don’t care about. Points like “understanding user context with sponsored content, creating mobile-first content with strong visuals, and catering to shifting attention spans” make up the main topics. Keeping users attention with new content consumers care about in the quickest and easiest way (increasingly, mobile devices) will ultimately benefit the organization.

On a personal level, social consumers peak my interests due to potential career opportunities and tons of money to be made. Jeff Dachis, writer for adage.com, bogs about how Real-Time Marketing is quickly gaining traction in the industry. He touches on how sharing content from other media consumers is not real-time marketing. Creating content that is striking and new is a better, yet more difficult and expensive approach to gaining attention. Real time conversations with people is another way to market to followers commenting about a brand. Being different and new while consistently promoting an image professional approachability makes for a strong social media foundation.

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