Archive for the 'facebook' Category

The Social Media Disconnect

In a post made at PRotocol, author Liz Harney brings up a common critique of social media. Many people see social networking sites such as Facebook, Myspace and Twitter, along with other communication devices such as cell phones and email, are taking away from our daily face-to-face interactions.

My experience with social media has shown me that social media is a great tool for quick communication, but will never replace physical interactions. I’ll have mock messages with my friends on Facebook, but the lack of dynamics with social media interaction remind me that nothing will ever replace face-to-face communication, whether it is for business or maintaining personal relationships. I prefer seeing people in person than seeing them online.

My perspective is that social media enhances our relationships as opposed to detracting from them. Having said that, I do know of plenty of people who use social media as an escape from actually interacting with other people instead of supplementing personal interactions.

I encourage all of you to check out Liz Harney’s post and respond on her blog with your thoughts.

Facebook Marketing

Facebook is an excellent social networking tool for Public Relations. Many of the features integrated into Facebook can be used to advertise events or products without being too intrusive. Here are some quick and easy ways to market to your friends on Facebook:

  1. Creating Facebook Groups: This application is perfect if you want to promote a company or a non-profit organization. The Facebook groups application is by default activated on every Facebook user’s profile. Most people have at least two or three groups that they are a part of. It is pretty easy to get Facebook users to join groups; all you have to do is create the group and invite people on your friends list to your group. The invitations that you send out through the group are low pressure. Facebook does not notify you when somebody declines your invitation making group invitations non-intrusive.
  2. Creating Facebook Events: Facebook Events are similar to Facebook groups except that they’re usually used to promote one time events, such as Magazine Release parties or casual social gatherings. Events are great because they can be used in tandem with Facebook Groups. If you are the owner of a group, you can make an event where the group is the sponsor and, with the click of only one button, invite everyone in your group to your event. When setting up an event, you select a start and end time for the event. Facebook will notify users who have confirmed they are attending your event on Facebook when the event is drawing near.
  3. Posting a website: I feel like this is a Facebook application that people haven’t yet realized the full potential of. Facebook members who find interesting websites can “post” them on their Facebook profile. The poster’s friends will see the website that was posted in Facebook’s news feed that shows up every time a person logs on. This also works with Facebook groups and events; highlight the event or group’s URL and paste it like you would a web page.
  4. Facebook Pages: This will probably be the most controversial Facebook marketing tactic. Pages is an application that Facebook created in 2007 to be used in conjunction with Facebook Advertisements (check out their Facebook Pages blog post) . A page is created similar to that of a normal Facebook profile except that the page represents a company or a non-profit instead of a person. A page has a larger profile image, an about box, the ability to create notes and post items, and a wall for people to write on. I feel like the pages application has two drawbacks. The first is that you have to add the application in order to be able to view a Facebook Page. The second is that pages is not nearly as established as Facebook groups are. Nearly everybody checks out what groups a person joins; almost nobody looks at their Facebook pages. Having said that, you can post your page on your profile and create events for your page just like you can a Facebook group. Tiffany Derville at the PR Post and Tim at Tim’s Blog discuss the pros and cons of Facebook groups and pages, while the author of Uncontrolled Vocablulary talks about how hard it is for people to switch over from groups to pages.

Of course, establishing rapport with your audience is essential to making any of the above marketing tactics work; otherwise, people will not pay attention to whatever you’re inviting them to or posting on your Facebook profile.

There are many more ways to market on Facebook. If you have any tactics you like to use that aren’t listed, or if you disagree with anything I’ve posted, please feel free to discuss it in the comments section.

First Post

Hello! My name is Bryan Saxton. I am a third year public relations student at the University of Oregon and the public relations officer for the University of Oregon’s International Student Association (ISA).

I am a self-proclaimed social media addict, and I’m interested in how PR practitioners can use social media sites, such as WordPress and Facebook to communicate to large audiences. As part of my duties for ISA, I’ve set up a blog that tries to keep people up-to-date with our group. It’s been an excellent medium for communication with people interested in ISA.

Most of the posts on this blog will be about trends in social media and how to make social media work for public relations. Hopefully, students of public relations and experienced public relations practitioners who are just getting started with social media will find this site helpful.

Photo taken by Sean Jin.

About Bryan Saxton:

I am a Journalism Student at the University of Oregon and the Public Relation's Officer for the International Student Association.
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