Thinking Back: New Media

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And here is comes. My last blog post and last class for New Media. It’s been quite a semester and this has been quite a class. I never really thought about the strategy and thinking behind running social media for a larger organization beyond myself and a few on-campus organizations. This class opened my eyes to the “behind the scenes” of running a successful social media page, regardless of the platform.

Throughout this course, we learned about the different aspects of running social media. To start we dove in-depth about each social media platform, what it’s mainly/best used for, features, and pros and cons. During one of our lessons, we studied companies utilizing social media campaigns to attract viewers and followers and increase activity and interaction on their pages. One chapter in particular that caught my interest was social media in a time of crisis. This was fascinating to me seeing how companies handle negative social media outbreaks such as the United Airlines story, the Pepsi commercial, and other stories that have blown up on social media. I learned the importance of handling these situations with care and not jumping right in and saying something based on a rash decision.

As a designer, I don’t plan on working directly in the social media field, but I will be making content that will be viewed on social media, so it is essential I know what content works and what doesn’t. Also, as a designer, it is good to know how to navigate the social media world in order to successfully promote yourself as a designer or a freelance designer.

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Managing Social Media: As Told by Brian Waters

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For this blog post I had the pleasure of interviewing Brian Waters. I was able to get in contact with Brian through another connection I have with the individual who helps run social media for AIGA Baltimore. Brian enjoys working in social media because he is always learning and can constantly be in the know of what is going on.

Platform of Choice
Brian is the Communications Specialist for Johns Hopkins Medicine. For this position, he mainly uses Twitter and LinkedIn. Twitter is the platform of choice due to its ability to quickly release information to the public. It is a way for important news to be announced as soon as possible. Brian also uses LinkedIn for internal communications and professional connections.

Through Twitter, Brian posts a variety of information for the public to read/view. Some of that content includes news releases, news mentions, and cool and interesting images and information related to research being conducted. With so much possible content that can be posted through social media platforms, some are bound to be more successful than others based on the platform, audience, and topic. It is essential that social media specialists know what type of content best suits their audience. In Brian’s line of work, content utilizing infographics, photos/images, and videos seem to attract the most viewers.

Engaging Viewers
Because social media is always changing, evolving, and there are so many places and companies putting out content, it is hard to stand out from the crowd, engage viewers, and then keep them engaged in what you are sharing. To do this, Brian experiments with different and cool images, videos, and just different types of content in general.

A Huge Success!
JHM had a huge success in social media by utilizing a new platform called Periscope. Periscope is a live video streaming app developed by Kayvon Beykpour and Joe Bernstein. Johns Hopkins Medicine used Periscope to live stream a ground-breaking surgery that people could watch live!

Not So Huge Success (But still trying!)
With the social media successes come the social media downfalls. We all have them. It’s part the process to see what works and doesn’t work. At Johns Hopkins Medicine, Brian tried video releases where they broadcasted a preview of new research. Since it was just something experimental and new, not much thought was put into the strategy and was not as successful as they had hoped. However, they plan to try this strategy again, put more work into it, and hope that that makes it successful content.

The Challenge
I asked Brian one last question which was What challenges you about working in social media?” He finds that people just don’t fully understand the art of social media, that they think they know what it is and that it’s easy. There is a lot of strategy and thought put behind each post, and work that goes into ensuring that your content is not only being seen but also interacted with.

I found this interview to be extremely insightful, helpful, and fascinating. I never really think about the person behind the posts and all the thought that goes into running a successful social media sight for a large company. This will definitely help me to appreciate those in social media and all that they do to share information with us.

 

JavaScript

What is JavaScript?

JavaScript, simply put, is programming that can make a web page interactive. It allows visitors to interact with your site through neat animations, transitions, and more.

Advantages of using JavaScript

Speed: It doesn’t have to contact the server every time making it quick
Simplicity: JavaScript can be easily implemented into websites and is fairly easy to learn
Versatility: Works nicely with other languages
Server load: Because it is on the client side, it decreases the load on the server
Increased interactivity & Richer interfaces: JavaScript allows you to create neat animations for users to interact with to keep their interest

Skip the JS

– There are several instances that JavaScript may not be necessary and can be done with CSS

  • Image swaps
  • Sprite motion
  • Rollover menus

–  CSS Transitions & Transforms are great for simple animations on web pagesJavaScript can be used concurrently with CSS to

–  JavaScript can be used concurrently with CSS to create more advanced animations

Websites Using JavaScript

IBM Design
IBM Design’s website uses JavaScrip throughout their website with the slides show and other subtle effects.

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Wrap Genius
Wrap Genius uses JavaScript to enhance the site by adding nice animations and transitions to the elements of the website

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Accordion Menu Using JavaScript

https://www.w3schools.com/howto/howto_js_accordion.asp

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View ways to create more JavaScript menus!

https://dcrazed.com/jquery-navigation-plugins-menus/

#ShareYourEars Campaign

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Disney partnered with the Make-A-Wish Foundation to create a campaign that would but fun and beneficial for a cause. For every photo showed on Instagram hashtagging #shareyourears, Disney would donate $5 to the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Their goal was to reach $1,000,000 and 100,000 hashtag uses.

Their original goal of 100,00 hashtags quickly rose to 200,000 and Disney was so pleased with the success of the campaign that they ended up donating $2,000,000 to Make-A-Wish Foundation.

Disney and Make-A-Wish connected and thanked people who shared their ears through Twitter. The campaign had a huge success rate on social but gained more attention when Neil Patrick Harris endorsed the campaign along with several other celebrities.

I think this campaign is an amazing idea, and was extremely successful. I think what made is so popular besides the fact that it was two well know places coming together was the message and the cause it endorsed. Make-A-Wish Foundation has given back to so many sick kids and their families and for Disney to give back to them with the help of its visitors is amazing. I think this was also easy enough for people to do which encouraged them to do it as well. Taking photos of yourself in Mickey ears at Disney is common so why not make it into a campaign.

The campaign is now over, but people still share their images using the hashtag #shareyourears. That’s how to you know you made a good campaign.

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Social Media Design Trends

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As the world dives deeper and deeper into the universe of technology, social media has become a normal everyday occurrence. Most of us are constantly scrolling through Facebook, Instagram, Twitter etc. looking, liking, replying, and interacting with content that is put out by friends and businesses. Social media platforms have become a normal way for companies to advertise and promote their products and services. 

Because of the vast amount of content being shared through social media, it is difficult for companies to stand out and be unique. What can help a business stay on top of the game is by knowing the latest trends. Some trends in design content for social media is flat design, bold and bright colors, clean and simple typography, photography, gifs, and motion graphics, and HASHTAGS!

Law & Order: SVU Instagram
Law & Order: SVU’s social media combines clean typography, photography, videos and gifs to promote their show and draw in viewers.

Erin Condren Instagram
Erin Condren’s SVU uses bright, bold colors, pretty typography, photos, and videos to promote their company and products. They have also recently used celebrity endorsements to help attract more viewers and customers.


Being an avid social media goer oner (lol) I’ve seen my fair share of strategies used by companies to get their current viewers to engage as well as to get new followers. One thing I have seen on Facebook and Instagram is using the like buttons and comment section to take polls and to get people to engage in a post. Another way to engage customers is through getting people to click on a link to find secret content.

Hershey’s Facebook & Instagram
Hershey’s has a great presence on social media. They use a variety of motion graphics and gifs on their facebook and Instagram. They have unique ways of engaging their viewers.

Georgetown Cupcakes Facebook & Instagram
Georgetown Cupcakes allows their customers to interact and engage through live video feed, and putting out secret content that is accessed through clicking on links.


People encourage new followers through several ways, and new strategies are used for different places. I have seen and been fooled by the tactic of “Like or follow us (in exchange for something else)” That something else has been anything from a giveaway, a shoutout, chance of a free product. While I have not had many big companies do this, I have seen smaller companies and people famous by social media. Another way to get followers on social media is for the upload of content to be consistent. People will start to count on the person or company uploading content every day/week so on.

Many YouTubers have become experts at social media because they that is where they services live, on YouTube through videos and entertainment.

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As far as social media I think Hershey’s and Swell Bottle do an excellent job. I really like their social media pages, but I like them for different reasons. I chose these two because they are very different in the content they post. Hershey’s uses animations and illustrated designs for their content, while Swell Bottle uses mostly photography of their bottles being used. Both use bright, bold, and beautiful colors.

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Hershey’s Facebook & Instagram
Swell Bottle Facebook & Instagram

Jimmy Fallon on Social Media

 

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Ok, I will attempt to write this blog for class and try not to completely fangirl. I have always loved watching Jimmy Fallon, from when he was doing Late Night to now when he is doing The Tonight Show. I admire his humor, creativity, and commitment to the show. However, recently, I have begun to notice and appreciate the effort put into his social media image.

Jimmy Fallon has a presence on the majority of social media platforms I use like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, and YouTube. I follow him and the show on all of these platforms, and I have to say, he/his social media team does a pretty good job utilizing them. What I enjoy about his social media is that they are taylored to each platform instead of being the same type of post for each one. Two things that have stood out to me the most is his presence on Snapchat and Twitter. Twitter, probably his most used social media (besides YouTube where they post clips from the show every night) is great because not only does it just share content, but he makes it interactive. For example, every Wednesday he sends out a hashtag with a topic, and people post using the hashtag in hopes of being featured on his show. Most recently, I have also noticed his presence on Snapchat; while not as consistant as Twitter, it still is extremely creative and catches my attention. I have mostly seen his Snapchat used to announce who will be in the show that night. They do a great job of finding creative ways to announce each guest.

Jimmy Fallon is a great host and wins people over with his humor and content. He furthers that by keeping up with trends and keeping a consistent image and presence on social media, reaching out to a variety of ages and intersts. He’s Fab!

 

Instagram & Snapchat

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In high school, I was introduced to Instagram and Snapchat. Instagram came first. I joined maybe freshmen or sophomore year. At first, I was skeptical because I had been a hardcore Facebook user since the 7th grade. I thought Instagram was overrated and just for lazy people who didn’t want to read posts. Eventually, I came around, and pretty quickly actually. Snapchat, same deal. Junior year I had a few friends bugging me to get it, but I thought it was silly, but again, I quickly gave in and got it.

Now, I love these apps. I look at them several times a day. While I am not one to share every moment of my life, I do enjoy posting and sharing on both platforms. Because I use both of these apps pretty much every day, I would say I am fairly proficient using both. I frequently find myself teaching the older generations (mom, professor, aunt, uncle) all about Snapchat filter and stories. Over the years, and getting to know these platforms, I can honestly say that I don’t have a strong preference over the other. Instagram definitely keeps my attention longer, but I enjoy the simplicity and the “get in, get out” feeling of Snapchat. I think both, for me, serve different purposes. Instagram I feel is more like a standard social media platform, while I use Snapchat as a way to “chat” with my friends. I am also a lot more lenient as far as what content I post on Snapchat compared to Instagram. I use Snapchat to be goofy, and take and share hideous photos of my face with a distorted filter on it. Both have aspects that I love and that keep me coming back to use them.

As a professional, I would personally choose to use Instagram. I feel Instagram is more professional. I feel it is more traditional and attracts to a wider audience than Snapchat would. That being said, I have seen some interesting ways people are utilizing Snapchat as a way to advertise, one example being Jimmy Fallon’s Tonight Show. They have had great snaps advertising who is on the show that evening and really caught my attention.

I don’t see myself ceasing to use these anytime soon. I enjoy using both platforms and seeing all the content others post and share.