Category Archives: Trends

Trend alert: Live streaming

By: Nikki Mikolon

Social media streaming is increasingly popular. At first, users and businesses alike weren’t sure how to use it. Facebook used Facebook Live as an opportunity to launch its first ad campaign with the help of its users. According to an Ad Age article, “the social media platform has used content created by its own community in a series of quirky vignettes designed to show others what the product is about.” Facebook tried to advertise its uses in public areas such as malls, park, and bus stops. This was its way of showing people what to do. In addition to the exposure portion of this advertising campaign, Facebook wanted to have a second segment to show people how to use it. “The education segment consists of a series of tutorials that demonstrates how simple it is to go “live,” centered around themes such as showing off a hidden talent or getting something off your chest.”

Facebook vs. Everybody

After all of the random videos of users and other businesses, we are finally seeing some real content. Companies, brands, and even our friends are actually starting to post videos of what they are doing live, which is different from other social media sites with streaming abilities. Snapchat and Instagram both have a feature similar to this, but Facebook has the advantage. Many know that Snapchat is not live, but it does have sharing ability for users and brands alike that lasts only 24 hours. Instagram has also recently tried to get in on the live streaming action. The negative to Instagram’s live streaming feature is that after the video is over, it goes away. Instagram can surely use this to their advantage, but it’s not ideal for all. Facebook live streaming is the best in my opinion right now. They are able to notify users when you are live, and the best thing about Facebook’s version is the video does not disappear after the broadcast and anyone that missed it can still view the content.

Benefiting the companies.

The possibilities of live streaming for businesses and personal brands are endless. This is an outlet to allow businesses like newspapers and other informational sources to reach their older audiences in the spaces they are now “living” and consuming media in. This is an easy way to insert themselves back into the lives of consumers. Companies can get creative and schedule a live broadcast tied to their social media platforms, driving their viewers or followers to tune into their live broadcast at a certain time or date. The convenience this offers followers is incredible because they don’t need a special app. According to Zephoria.com, 1.28 billion people log onto Facebook daily. The audience that newspapers and television stations are losing already use this platform. They can tune in from wherever they are, and watch later if they missed it. This could also be crucial for new broadcasters for breaking news and alerts that need to be spread quickly.

Benefiting the employees.

Live streaming abilities can be increasingly important to the employees of these companies. The fact is that live streaming can be 24/7 or whenever they want, needing constant content creation. Companies can develop these types of live broadcasting on their social pages, keeping viewers, but also keeping employees working on something every day.

Social media is forever growing. There is no need for companies to go out of business. They need to adapt and stay ahead of the trends, such as live streaming. Yes, social media platforms are designed for the consumers, but if done right, consumers don’t mind sharing the space.

Nikki Mikolon is a senior majoring in public relations and minoring in marketing. As a Detroit native, she hopes to spend her beginning years working for the city and being a part of its renaissance. Connect with Nikki on Twitter @nikkimikolon.

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The connective power of Fitbit

By: Andrea Mellendorf

Wearable technology. Fitness trackers. By now, we’ve all at least heard of these latest-and-greatest additions to the technology world, if not purchased one or more for ourselves.

My wearable technology of choice is my Fitbit Alta. I originally purchased my Fitbit so I could track my steps for a couple of months working for a summer camp, but I realized very quickly that there was an entire social side of Fitbit that I wasn’t expecting.

Besides telling you how many steps you’ve walked each day, whether or not you’ve met your exercise goal, your sleep patterns and more, Fitbit also provides its users with opportunities to compete again and communicate with other Fitbit users, no matter where they are.

Join a Workweek Hustle or a Weekend Warrior Challenge and you can see how your activity levels match up with that of you or your friends. You can even challenge yourself, and track how your steps measure up against notable trails and landmarks around the country.

What often seems like just a personal fitness tracker is actually so much more. Thanks to the app portion of the Fitbit, fitness is now a social activity. Just like you can on every social media application, the Fitbit app allows you to keep up with your friends, message them, and cheer them on in their fitness journey. Your friends near or far, can now be connected on another level and another platform, through fitness.

As we see Fitbit coming out with more and more new and updated styles of their fitness trackers, you can also see advances in the smartphone app that goes along with the trackers. You can now purchase Fitstar and Fitstar Yoga, allowing a new level of engagement with the Fitbit brand and its products.

The online component of fitness trackers has made exercise a social activity. Imagine if the fitness trackers did not have a communicative component to them. What if we simply just saw our own steps, sleep and heart rate? It could be argued that they might not be as popular. But, when fitness becomes fitness and virtually hanging out and competing with your friends, there becomes an added level of desirability that comes with the product.

Fitbit has changed the way we think about exercise and sharing our fitness habits with others. With the Fitbit app, we don’t only keep up with our own fitness endeavors, but we can also connect with our friends. In a world where most people crave connection and having access to their whole life on their smartphones, the Fitbit app provides the perfect outlet for what the world craves. I personally have joined the social world of Fitbit. What are your favorite fitness tracking apps and wearable technology?

Andrea Mellendorf is a senior and serves as the Chapter President for EMU PRSSA. She previously has served as the Chief Financial Officer and Vice President of Special Events and Programs for EMU PRSSA, and as an intern for the Grand Rapids Children’s Museum. Andrea currently is the Social Media Operator for The Honors College where she manages their Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, and for the College of Arts and Sciences, where she manages their Facebook and Twitter. Connect with Andrea on Twitter – @AndreaMell!

Out with the old in with the new

By: Kailey Vowles

Editor’s note: This blog is part of a series of guest posts from social media students at Eastern Michigan University. Follow the conversations at #LRNSMPR and @ginaluttrell.

Are you sick of those clothes you no longer wear or maybe never even wore, taking up valuable space in your dresser? Are you tired of staring at that sweater your grandmother bought you for Christmas that is so last year and total social suicide if ever worn in public? Are you wondering how in the words of Eminem you’ll start “cleanin’ out my closet?” Well, look no further than the new trendy website, Poshmark! It’s now available to download for free to any Android or Apple device.

But wait, there’s more! Not only does Poshmark allow you to rid those unworn clothes taking up valuable space, but it also allows you to purchase new trendy clothes from other users! If you’re lucky, you can find unworn brand new clothes with the tags still on them for much lower costs than what retail stores would force you to pay.

Did I mention it’s possible to find a pair of Nikes for just $30? Or even a Coach purse for as low as $40—sometimes lower if you catch the right seller!

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Screenshot by Kailey Vowles

As much as I wish I could say I was the heroic founder of this app, I must admit I was first introduced to the amazing world of Poshmark through my shopaholic friend. I was never the type of woman to have the burning desire to go to the mall and spend hours walking around stores with the heat turned up too high and wreaked of horrible perfume sprayed far too much. Finding this app has allowed me to avoid the mall horrors and enjoy shopping from the comfort of my own home! Poshmark has also allowed me to make some cash off of clothes I’d never be caught dead wearing.

Here’s a little inside secret for you extreme couponers or college students ballin’ on a budget: Tell your friends, grandmas, acquaintances, or anyone really, to download the Poshmark app or website and give them your invite code. They’ll instantly receive a $5 credit to use when they sign up! But wait…once they download it, finesse them into making a purchase and you too will receive a $5 credential.

Want $5 right away? Let me finesse you into using my invite code—NVJJA.

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Screenshot by Kailey Vowles

From a marketing standpoint, it’s evident that Poshmark has the ability to create successful marketers. Sellers on this app eventually learn they must upscale their items to lure in buyers. While sellers are going to say they care about their buyers, let’s get real—the only thing they care about is the money they’re going to be receiving from your purchases. It’s important for sellers to upscale their items to help set them apart from others. Why should someone buy off of you instead of others? This app will teach you to become a marketing savage!

Poshmark has many elements that set it apart from other apps that serve the same purpose. Here are some of the pros of using Poshmark:

  1. Poshmark protects you! As an online sales service, they understand the risk of spam and hackers. Refunds are always given if your item never ships or does not match the listing description. This is called Posh Protect.
  2. Poshmark is social media based! You’re even given your own personal website to use and share with others to boost your sales. All users have their very own Poshmark webpage. You can find yours here.
  3. Poshmark is really just one big community. Everyone kind of looks out for each other. Oftentimes, other users will share your closet (items you’ve posted to sell) for their followers to see, which helps more people view your items to buy!
  4. Poshmark is easy to use. Yes, even for those who aren’t technology friendly! The layout of the app/website is so basic, even a caveman could do it. Another bonus is you don’t need a PayPal account to buy or sell!

While I’m building Poshmark up to be this flawless creation, I do have to admit there are some kinks that make it just short of perfection. Here are some of the cons of using Poshmark:

  1. While Poshmark is thriving in the U.S., it hasn’t become international just yet, making it only possible to sell and buy within the U.S. This limits our spending and buying. In addition, many users form a virtual friendship in a sense. It would be pretty cool to communicate with people all around the world instead of just in our own country.
  2. Poshmark also needs to make money, so while the app may be free, for every item you sell they take 20% of the sale made.
  3. Unlike eBay or Amazon, you have to actually spend a decent amount of time on Poshmark, that is if you’re trying to sell. It’s important to make your items known, and in order to do that you have to begin following other users to try and build a relationship with them so they’ll share your items on their own page for their followers to see. It’s all about who you know on this site!
  4. Just like myself, there are others who try and get the best deal on an item, but some people take it a little too far. For example, I’ve seen cheapskates offer a whopping $20 for a brand new Coach purse with tags on it. Seriously, people have the audacity to do that. Watch out for those people, and know you can get the money you believe your item deserves if you have patience.

I think I’ve shared a good chunk of information to help you get started on Poshmark. If I’ve persuaded you to create an account, feel free to follow me!

Happy Poshing!

Kailey Vowles is a junior majoring in public relations with a minor in communication. With a dream of working in nonprofit, she spends much time looking for volunteer opportunities to help build onto her experiences and skills. Feel free to connect with Kailey on Twitter @Thatonekailey.

10 Phone Apps I Adore

Like most people these days, I’m always on my phone playing with apps. Here are the ten I can not live without.

  1.  Instagram – I love taking photos and looking at people’s photos. There’s so much beauty in the world like nature, architecture, and food.
  2. Family Guy: The Quest For Stuff – I love Family Guys so much. It’s like Sims for Family Guy fans, gigity.
  3. Yahoo Fantasy Sports – I’m a huge sports buff and I play in competitive leagues for money, so I definitely like this app which lets me, Coach Mullin make sure my players are playing up to snuff.
  4. Trivia Crack – This game is like crack. I can’t get enough of beating people at trivia.
  5. Calculator/Calendar – When I hear about an event on the 24th, I always break out the calendar to make sure it’s a day I can attend. If not, I will request it, but I’m always using it. As for the calculator, it definitely comes in handy when shopping online and doing bills. I don’t want to be broke or late on my bills because there’s a sneaker sale online.

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    Source: The Expat Lounge

  6. Yelp – I’m always visiting new cities. I use Yelp to help me make sure I’m going to find somewhere good to eat that isn’t infested with bugs or mean employees.
  7. Snapchat – Its funny seeing what kind of dumb things your friends are up too.
  8. Google Maps – It prevents you from getting lost on your travels.
  9. YouTube – I use it to listen to songs that pump me up while on a work break during a busy day. Every little motivational help counts sometimes.
  10. Google Play Store – It helps inform you of many new apps out there that are free and useful.

Those are the apps that mean the most to me on my phone. I’m not really big on Twitter and if I want to use Facebook, I just go to a computer, but sometimes you need to stay away from the internet sometimes; less stress, however sometimes when I check my Fantasy Sports app, I will get freaked out about Michael Carter-William’s shooting percentage.

Scott Mullin
VP of Communications
EMU PRSSA