As I scroll through my Facebook I constantly see people “checking in” or using sites such as Foursquare to show people where they are, and in my opinion it’s another reason to show off how cool your life is. But is using sites such as Foursquare becoming more about a relationship between destination and social network? Is this just another way to feed the word of mouth reviews that social media has allowed us to have?

First you have to know what Foursquare is aimed to do, according to Foursquare, “foursquare is a free app that helps you and your friends make the most of where you are. When you’re out and about, use foursquare to share and save the places you visit. And, when you’re looking for inspiration for what to do next, we’ll give you personalized recommendations and deals based on where you, your friends, and people with your tastes have been.”

In his book Engage Brian Solis states, “We view the connections established within social networks as symbolizing relationships between people,” so by checking in  at various locations, some which have also been visited by your friends, you are making connections with people outside your social circle thus forging relationships which all leads back to people trusting word of mouth reviews, which have been made easy to find via social networking. Interesting concept don’t you think?

It gets even easier for people to start checking in more often when Foursquare teams up with OpenTable to make something like a super app. With this new technology people can now make reservations at their favorite restaurants through the app, as well as finding reviews about them all at the tip of your fingers.

So next time your out and about looking for something to do, check in with Foursquare and see what all your cool friends are doing.

 

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There are a lot of pointless celebrations out there in September alone there is “Calender Adjustment Day” as well as “Emma M Nutt Day” not to mention “Lace Making Day” and countless others. Well there is a day that came around and I wouldn’t exactly give it Christmas status but its not bad, it is called “Social Media Day” and it has been celebrated since 2010 courtesy of Mashable.

While doing research on social media day I’m actually kind of disappointed I missed it. The whole concept is really awesome and according to Mashable, who produces the event, social media day is all about, “Social Media Day” is an annual global event on June 30 that recognizes the digital revolution happening right before our eyes. Whether we’re reporting about new online networks on Mashable or listening to inspiring stories from our readers, we’ve seen how this increasingly connected world is quickly changing lives across the globe. We invite you to join fellow social media enthusiasts by hosting or attending a Social Media Day Meetup in your area.”

They even held a event in Detroit on June 30, the event was held at the Soundboard Theater inside the Motor City Casino hotel.  The event is focused on individuals who are on the cusp of the social media revolution who wish to meet up and discuss how social media is being used in business ventures and personally. Discussions are happening in 403 cities simultaneously which are all interconnected via Facebook and Twitter using a hashtag.

This is something really amazing and monumental for the use of social media as a new marketing tool. I absolutely intend on attending Social Media Day 2013 to see what new and exciting social media trends are in front of us.

 

 

 

As social media and marketing begin to merge the statement, “The days of ‘hear no evil, speak no evil’ have passed without lament,” has never been more true. Brian Solis said this in his book Engage and I completely agree, as social media becomes a everyday part of consumers lives there is infinite ways a consumer can voice their opinion on a product, and just as many ways for potential consumers to read about others opinions.

In the past five years I have not made one major purchase without doing research, and when I say research I don’t mean visiting the companies website, I mean looking up customer reviews, and social media has now made this easier then ever. Companies now more then ever need to be aware of their own public opinion on the company and the products the company is producing, which is why it is important for professionals to be well versed in social media.

The book Engage talks about how companies must “speak” to consumers instead of just presenting ideas in front of them and hoping they will take the bait. Through social media there are more conversations going on, which leads to trust in certain products, which then becomes brand loyalty, the ultimate goal for a business. Solis states, “For us to be heard, we have to engage as though we were speaking person to person. Social networks are hubs between the company and its consumers.” As companies begin to see social media sites as the in-between for products they are now investing time and effort making sure they are doing it right.

Solis also speaks about these conversations happening with or without the company being present, which is why I think so many review videos are popping up on YouTube. If your looking to buy a product there is someone who already tried it and is ready to give their thoughts in their own video, which is great for consumers, not so great for some companies. For instance I decided against buying at home tanning spray because of multiple bad reviews.

At the end of the day social media is becoming at one with marketing and nothing is going to change that. People will talk to the world about a new gadget or product, and possible consumers will seek out these conversations when deciding what to spend their hard earned dollars on. Companies now need to start worrying about joining the conversation because this is no longer a one sided discussion. 

There was a time when one had to wait for news, if a breaking story happened you had to wait until a journalist wrote a story will all the juicy details. There was also a time when game highlights where caught only on sports center, and stories of the game where shared the next day by those lucky enough to watch the game. Before Twitter and other social media outlets sports stars where hero’s that only existed in a stadium under lights and those lucky enough to be close to them on a personal level where a select few. However with the use of Twitter athletes and sports franchises have capitalized on the instant gratification of sending a tweet. Most sports teams have even started “broadcasting” their games via Twitter, sharing highlights and game updates so that anyone with a smart phone or an Internet connection can be in on the action. With Twitter growing each day athletes and sports teams are using this form of social media to become relatable to fans, by sharing everyday stories, to self promotion, you no longer need a fancy marketing campaign to become a favorable sports star, all you need is a Twitter account. However is it smart to be allowing athletes to have free access to their own Twitter accounts? Or are we just waiting for trouble?

In an article written by Kevin Cacabelos in March of 2011 the use of Twitter by college and professional sports was deeply discussed and a great point was made, “The lack of the middleman leads to this inevitable question: should athletes treat Twitter as if they are talking to the media? Should the same rules apply?” Normally when speaking to media a sports star will use a public relations professional to make sure they a represented well to the public, and unlike the rest of the world when a loved athlete says something questionable people don’t forget. So if they are tweeting without thinking or without realizing they are in a sense talking to the media, then what if they say something that no professional should ever be caught saying or in this case Tweeting?

In this past Olympics we saw trouble brewing as athletes took to tweeting to give their fans an inside look at the games. Greek track star Voula Papachristou was kicked off the Greek Olympic team because of racist tweets. English soccer player Carlton Cole tweeted immigration “jokes” and was fined. NFL player Larry Johnson was suspended due to homophobic slurs made via Twitter. New York Knicks Amare Stoudemire was fined for sending an anti-gay slur to a fan, which then screen shot; the tweet and it went public. All these incidents are proof that even athletes say inappropriate things at times, so should there be someone monitoring every single tweet an athlete chooses to post? Possibly.

However some think that by using Twitter to connect with fans on personal level athletes is actually helping boost sales of team tickets, apparel, merchandise, and even products they endorse. Twitter promotes the relationship between fan and athlete by allowing fans to see athletes in their “real life” settings. By tweeting, retweeting, and following fans an athlete can increase fan and public approval, as long as all their tweets are “politically correct.”

So when it comes down to it the real question is, “Can athletes be trusted to run their own Twitter accounts?” I guess we will soon find out, because it has always been said that the athlete represents the team and there is no “I” in team.

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