Posts Tagged ‘Facebook’

Seven things I wish I had known when I started the IMC program

May 1, 2014

It’s hard to believe that I started this journey to get my Master’s Degree three and a half years ago and it’s about to end in less than two weeks! I have learned A LOT in the last 3.5 years — about marketing yes, but also about endurance, time management, writing, research, and myself. Some of these lessons I picked up early on, and others only more recently. But all of them are things I wish I had learned a bit sooner. So here it is. For all of you who are just getting started in the program (and even those of you who have been with it a little while), here are seven (because five was too few and ten was too many) things I wish I had known when I started the IMC program.

1. Time management takes on a whole new level in the IMC program. No matter how good you think you are at time management, you will find yourself hitting that submit button with only seconds to spare at least once per semester. At first I thought maybe it was just me. But then I started connecting with some of my classmates offline and found out I wasn’t alone! Even the most dedicated and disciplined of classmates has had a week or two (or 9) when they have found themselves working feverishly on Monday night only to click that upload button at 11:54 p.m. I don’t recommend doing this a lot (I personally have had way too many close calls), but cut yourself some slack if it happens every once in a while. And know that Murphy’s Law will prevail and those assignments that you think won’t be such a big deal will end up taking you twice as long to get done! So try and start early as often as you can to save yourself the stress.

Calvin and Hobbs on procrastination

We all find ourselves hitting the submit button at 11:54 at one time or another.

2. Quality sources make all the difference! As I progressed through the program I learned from each professor which trade publications and sources they favored for quality information when doing research. Some of these I subscribed to early-on and used throughout the course, others I only discovered late in the game and I wish I had thought of them sooner. So, here are a few that I recommend you sign-up for now: AdAge, AdWeek, PR Week, DM News, Pew Research, and MarketingProfs. I also highly recommend you take advantage of the online library databases for accessing journals and competitor/industry information. They’re free and they will give you information you will not find in a Google search. I’m sure there are more that classmates can recommend, but those are the gold standards that have helped me through many a discussion board post and weekly paper!

3. INTEGRATE is awesome. Seriously. You should go! At least once. I almost didn’t go last year and changed my mind at the last minute and I’m so glad I did. Not only were there some great sessions, but it was the first chance I had to meet classmates and professors in person and see the WVU campus. It made me feel so much more connected to the program. I only wish I had gone sooner.

Evernote on an iPad

Evernote helps me work on school work from any place or device.

4. Empower yourself to be mobile. I think I was about 3 semesters into the program when I read a blog post by Kevin that talked about some of his favorite tools that helped him find success in the IMC program. It was the first time I had ever heard of Evernote. It has since become one of my favorite go-to programs for school, work and personal life. Using a tool like Evernote or Microsoft OneNote allows you to save your research, and even write your discussion board posts or papers in one place, but access it from any device. So whether you’re in your office at your desk, sitting on the couch at home with your iPad, or even on your phone while waiting for your kids to finish their piano lessons, you can sneak in a little work and pick right back where you left off at the next opportune moment.

5. Every professor is different. It’s true. No matter how consistent the program is (and trust me, it’s pretty darn consistent compared to others I know about), or how standardized the syllabus, each professor is going to communicate differently and grade differently. They are human, after all! Yet for some reason I’ve seen a lot of classmates get very upset by this fact. Were your undergrad professors all the same? I highly doubt it. I know mine weren’t. You will have favorites and some that kick-your-butt! And there may not be consensus on this by your classmates…so just because your friend said they loved Professor so-and-so doesn’t mean you will. All I can say is accept this fact now and it will save you a lot of disappointment and frustration down the road. For my part (and I have nothing to gain by saying this since I’m pretty much done with the program), I found all of my professors to be reasonable and fair.

6. Connect with classmates outside of Blackboard. It wasn’t until very recently that I got invited to a Facebook Group for IMC students, that was created by a classmate (and is not officially affiliated with the IMC program). This has been one of the best discoveries of the last 3 years because it has allowed me to “meet” people I’ve never had class with, ask for suggestions, tips and recommendations relating to certain classes, share ideas, commiserate about our lack of a life on Monday, Wednesday and Friday nights, and just in general talk…you know that thing you did in the hallways when you were in undergrad? The stories that got shared around the lunch table or in the lobby of your dorm room? That stuff is missing when you’re in an online program. But thanks to social media there are ways to connect with colleagues outside of class. Whether it’s through Facebook, LinkedIn or even email, I highly recommend you get connected to other students outside of the Blackboard classroom! In fact if you’re interested in joining the Facebook group let me know!

7. At some point you will want to quit. OK, maybe this won’t happen to everyone, but I know that a good majority of the people I’ve met through the program have contemplated it at least once before they finish. And some even do quit…for a semester or two. Whether your personal life changes, your work life gets too hectic, or you just plain need a break, at some point you may find yourself wondering – “Can I really keep doing this?” The answer is YES! Yes, you can, even if you have to take a break — don’t give up! You will be so glad when you cross that finish line.

Instagram launches first paid image to mixed reviews

November 6, 2013

Last Friday Instagram ran its first sponsored image, an ad for a Michael Kors watch, and received mixed reviews. The ad featured a high-quality image of a gold watch next to a plate of macaroons and has received over 229 thousand likes and over 1,700 comments — many of which are not particularly positive.

Michael Kors Instagram ad

Instagram first announced its move to start showing “sponsored” images and videos on its blog last month, letting U.S. users know that they may start to see “occasional” ads in their feed. “Seeing photos and videos from brands you don’t follow will be new, so we’ll start slow,” wrote Instagram. “We’ll focus on delivering a small number of beautiful, high-quality photos and videos from a handful of brands that are already great members of the Instagram community.” The move to start offering sponsored posts is not terribly surprising considering Instagram’s parent company, Facebook, started pushing sponsored posts to user feeds last year.

While many of the comments for the Michael Kors image are negative, it’s likely they are from non-followers given the two most common complaints are seeing a “sponsored” image in their feed and seeing an image for a luxury brand.

According to AdAge, there are nine other brands that Instagram has lined up to produce ads, including Adidas, Ben & Jerry’s, Burberry, General Electric, Levi’s, Lexus, Macy’s, PayPal and Starwood.

Time will tell if Instagram users start to become generally accepting of the unsolicited images in their feed, however, it’s unlikely Instagram would abandon the idea given the potential growth this could bring for Facebook’s mobile revenue. After all, complaints about sponsored posts in the Facebook news feed didn’t stop them!

What do you think about Instagram’s new foray into paid images?

What’s new with Facebook?

April 1, 2013

facebook-banner

One thing that I like about social media is that it’s always changing! This “like” can quickly become an “unlike” if the changes happen too quickly.

Recently, Facebook announced that hashtags could be used, just like Twitter and Instagram, and this will truly transform the social media platform! Marketers are still awaiting how open the hashtags will be and whether or not brands will be able to interact with people in this fashion. One thing we do know is that this newly announced feature will evolve over the upcoming months!

Cover photos will now be able to have a call to action, where before, no promotional copy could be used. I think this is a great move that will benefit both businesses and consumers. Now that a discount or promotion can be included in a cover photo, more people will know about it! It’s win-win!

If I look back at this post in a few weeks, these items might have changed drastically already. In a few months, I’ll most likely be thinking “I forgot hashtags weren’t always on Facebook!”

Do you love that social media is ever-changing or does it annoy you?

Learning social media from unexpected sources

July 3, 2012

Over the past few weeks I’ve realized I talk about social media a lot. And by a lot, I mean all the time.

I came to this conclusion a few weeks back while visiting my favorite Canton flower shop. I stopped in to look around and noticed an item featured on the store’s Facebook page. I mentioned it while checking out, and the owner said that was great to hear because she was worried no one sees her posts. The wheels in my brain started turning and I quickly recommended an article that was sent to me from Mashable, which described the best days and times to post on Facebook.

And just this past weekend, a tech-savvy 12-year-old was telling me about how she and her classmates keep in touch during the summer via Instagram. Before our conversation, I thought Instagram was for people who traveled frequently, those who wanted to share photos of their families and avid photography buffs. Turns out – it’s awesome, and without her help setting it up on my phone, I never would have tried it. I’m now hooked!

I’m sure my florist didn’t expect to talk social media with a customer while someone too young to create a Facebook account introduced me to a new platform. If you keep your eyes, ears and mind open, you can learn from anyone!

Have you learned about a social media platform or app from an unexpected source? What’s your favorite social media tool?

Social Media, iOS5, and All Things Apple!

October 26, 2011

Main image on Apple.com

Recently, the world lost an incredible man who changed the way we live our daily lives. Whether it be the computer we use at work or at home, the phone we use to communicate and connect with people, or the movies we go to see on our days off, Steve Jobs has had something to do with all of it. I was sitting at a restaurant having dinner when I received a few text messages on my iPhone about Steve Jobs passing away. In an instant, there were tons of articles, pictures, and tributes to the American genius. Most people did not even realize how much he had to do with all of these technological advancements that we now enjoy today. He had a huge impact on the tech world and will always be known for the amazing products that he made possible for us. Thank you Steve for all of my Apple products that I love and making all of our lives enriched with great, innovative technology!

Some of the new features from iOS5

Not only was the Twitter world exploding with tweets about Steve Jobs and his unfortunate death, but the iOS5 update for the iPhone was the thing to talk about. I added #iOS5 to my saved searches on Tuesday, Oct. 11 because I wanted to see when the update was released. I eagerly awaited the Oct. 12 launch of the software. There were rumors that it would be released at midnight but that was not the case. As I refreshed my tweets with the hashtag iOS5, everyone was let down that it was not there on as soon as it turned October 12th. Each minute, there were thousands of tweets about the iOS5 and there was so much anticipation about the 200+ new features that came along with it. This update is the most extensive update out of all of the operative systems that have been released since the launch of Apple’s iPhone.

There were a few problems that Apple ran into, as did I, during the launch of the iOS5. When it finally arrived, there were so many people who were trying to upgrade at the same time that there were errors all over the world. Over half of the people who were trying to upgrade could not do it because of this error. Of course, I was one of the individuals who had this internal communications error and was very frustrated with this whole situation. After calling AppleCare and them telling me that I will probably have to get a new phone, I looked to my social media outlets to get some more information. On my Facebook news feed, I saw that a ton of people were having the same problem. It relieved my worry that there was nothing wrong with my specific iPhone and that it was just an overwhelming amount of people trying to get the software at the same time. I found this article that explained the whole communication problem.

Although the experience was rather complicated and frustrating, considering I had been waiting at midnight for the software to launch and it didn’t release till 1pm, it was well worth the wait. One of the best features that this update includes is the integration of Twitter with the phone. This shows the worldwide importance of social media and how it is integrated into our lives every day. If you have not see all the iPhone features, here is a video of the new iOS5 software and what it has to offer its users.

Until next time, happy tweeting, texting, and talking!

Ains

Add me on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ainsley.stefanick

Follow me on Twitter: http://twitter.com/ainsleystefan

Email me @ ainsleystefanick@gmail.com


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