Tag 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.


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!

Five tips to noticing trends in PR

As budding PR professionals it is imperative that we notice key trends and capitalize on them before they vanish. I’m not just speaking of fashion, but worldly trends. As a student this can be hard. We have many different responsibilities and therefore may not have the time to keep up on trends. Thank goodness for the speed at which technology develops and the production of apps.

Tools that will help you keep up with current trends.

1) Listen to Podcasts
The best time to listen to podcast are while you are at the gym or walking to class. During this time I am in a state where I am able to concentrate on what is being said and evaluate it.

2) Read 50 blogs in 15 minutes
Apps like Pulse allows you to quickly read over blogs. You save articles and websites that are of interest to you via the app and categorize them based on genre.

Source: Customer Think

Source: Customer Think

3) Utilize  Twitter Lists
Twitter lists used to annoy me until I found out one of its important features. It minimizes Twitter. On a smaller scale I am able to read posts directed towards a specific topic. Considering the opportunities, Twitter lists can also be used to follow industry thought leaders and follow bloggers. You can even create private Twitter lists to follow competitors, industry influencers and other people you don’t want your competitors seeing.

4) Follow people on Twitter
This is old fashioned, but it helps! The best way to get info is from the horse’s mouth. Many people receive their news from tweets made by celebrities and other spotlight people. By following them you have the potential to see information first hand.

5) Watch the news
I am not saying you have to wake up at 5 a.m. to watch the early morning show, but it is good to know what is going on in the world. Every morning before classes I turn my television on either channel 2, 4, or 7. I see local and worldly news that is not covered in any application or blogs I view.

How do you keep up with trends?

Gabrielle Burgess-Smith
Vice President