Where will social go?

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I remember the first time I ever saw “The Facebook.” I was a Freshman in college and the guy I was dating at Brown University sent me a link to his profile page and told me to take a look. I did not look at it like it meant anything important. It was just a page with a picture and a little bit about him. Little did I know that this was a link to a site that would shake up the way we connect and talk to the people we know. Even more so I had no idea that this site would lead to my future career.

Some say that AOL started to bind the gap of social engagement pre-internet and Internet.

I am sure some of you may remember chat rooms and the various communities that you could enter based on your interests. You were given the opportunity to connect with other that shared something in common with you. As years went on and the world wide web more and more familiar forms of social networking evolved like friendster, Livejournal, and MySpace. More and more online networks began to mirror the lives we were living in the “real word.”

Eventually came FB… Of course FB was not the first form of social engagement. It is incredible to see Facebook has lasted this long and continues to just keep growing larger and larger. Along the way it has inspired many other social pages to pop up like Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, and most notably now Pinterest. Social media has helped brands to cross global borders. What is popular in other parts of the world now reaches everyone due to the social sharing phenomenon.

So what is the future of social media? It is truly hard to say what  that could be. I see sites such as Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest continue to evolve and lead the social pack. I think people will determine where social media goes. No matter what it will always be the same thing and it really has not changed since the beginning of time for social. It is about usability and how platforms are making it easy to integrate their “real world life” into their “internet social networking life.”  As the actions of the user is followed, those trends will spark the next big thing. I also believe the day near field technology (NFC) is in all mobile phones we will see a new form of sharing and storytelling.

I was recently asked, “When do you think Facebook will die.” I think the one thing we have all seen is that anything is possible, and the popularity of social media will not die but most likely continue to lead the way we interact and communicate. Especially for my generation, social is woven into our DNA. It is part of how we communicate, share and interact in the world as we know it. And just as most things evolve, social will continue to evolve.





The Social Media “Oh No!”

It is bound to happen… A mistake is made in a post on behalf of a company, a photo’s shared, or video uploaded, that causes some sort of controversy and then goes viral. Let’s face it mistakes happen. With social media it is so instantaneous that especially for the larger brands with huge followings, not even removing the post quickly can stop the damage that has been done. In other cases if a bad move is made in the social world and a company does not know how to handle it, it could bring about more problems. The controversy may not have even been sparked by something displayed in social media, but SM is still impacted.

Social media is a companies front line men when there is a controversial issue bringing attention to a company. With social media emerging, there now exists a real time forum for consumers to come together and voice their concern to a brand. There is also the expectation that the brand is going to talk back to them.

Back in 2006, Comcast had a situation where a technician fell asleep on a customers couch. The customer posted on YouTube the video of the snoozing Comcast employee and added the song “I Need Some Sleep.” He also added in text to the video that said “Thanks Comcast for two broken routers, four-hour appointment blocks, weeklong internet outages.”

The result was the video spreading like wild fire on the internet and the employee losing his job. Not only that but Comcast did not know how to react to this and poorly addressed the issue which made Comcast’s lack of communication skills just as big of an issue as the sleeping technician.

There are a few easy steps that a company can follow to help prevent a SM crises:

  • Always create content calendars for each SM platform that go through a system of check and balances with the end result being final approval.
  • Always address your community. A response to negative feedback should be posted within 2 hours, even if it does not address the issue. Acknowledge the post and reassure that there will be a follow up.
  • Have a plan of action drafted or a road map as to what to do in a situation where there is negative attention towards your company.

RedLaser… A Shoppers Best Friend

Have you ever had that moment where you found something you had to have and then looked at the price tag? This is usually where the moment of misery happens when you realize it is just out of your price range. Have you ever wondered if you could find that item somewhere else for less? But wait! What if you wait on this opportunity to buy this item and you never come across it again and it will never be yours!?!?!

If this has happened to you… a lot, then you are about to love me as you read on.

RedLaser is an application that you download right into your mobile phone or iPad. Say I run into a girl that has a shirt I really like. If the shirt has a tag with a barcode on it all I have to do is scan it with the application. RedLaser then pulls up all the locations where this item is found, be it in stores or online. It also compares all the prices.

Image    +      Image   =  MINE

So now that you have used RedLaser and found all these locations online and in store what do you do? If the cheapest price coming up is online, you can order it right there and have it shipped to you. If it is in store, you can purchase it through RedLaser via PayPal and it will be waiting in the store for you to pick it up.



There are also other benefits for the consumer and the brand. If the item is not available in your local store, purchasing the item does not end there. It allows the brand to sell the item to the consumer via a fast and easy solution. If the item is clothing, then if they do not have your size, you can find out where it is in your size and who knows, maybe find it cheaper! My dream has pretty much come true knowing that I will never have to go without purchasing something I like because it is not available in my size!

Wanna see more? Click here:http://bit.ly/RedLaserVideo to watch a video of RedLaser in action!

Social Media Makes Us All A Bit More Fashionable!

How many times have you liked or commented on a friend Facebook post that shared some type of wearable item? I know I am still waiting for that rumored Facebook “want” button! Sometimes “Like” just does not describe my real desire for that item. Like that Tiffany & Co photo I shared last month. I really wanted a want button for that! 


 Apparently I have three friends that want it too!


My point here is not that I am hinting at my boyfriend what he should buy me (maybe it is)… It is that when it comes to fashion, social media is helping to build brand ambassadors and not only that, but it is bringing the store front to your hands via mobile device, your bedroom while you sit on your bed with your laptop, at work when you are suppose to be well… working! Your friends are tweeting, sharing, liking, and pinning items for you to conveniently buy everyday! And with 10.5 billion minutes spent on Facebook each day, and that’s only Facebook, imagine the possibilities to sell an item!

Which social site do i think is the most influential in the fashion industry? It is easily Pinterest! Read on and learn why.

For me going shopping is painful. I usually look like this within the first 10 minutes trying to decide what to buy:


So many styles and looks to choose from! How do I know what my style should be? It is just all so overwhelming!!!

Then came Pinterest and it all made sense. The way I see it is that I benefit from it and you bet the retailer benefits too! It is just so smart! A way to share and collaborate without the clutter that Facebook brings. I did not even realize how much Pinterest was helping me make sense of a style at first. Within my first few days pinning to my style board, I noticed for Summer there was a nautical & pastels theme emerging.


gold. leather. lace.  Loving the nautical and pink lookso cute...... Fits my nautical theme



I was also starting to fall in love with the items I was finding. Clicking on the pin’s I am directed to either a blog post that tells me where to go to buy the outfit or it directs me to the landing page where the item is sold. <— This makes me extra happy as I don’t even need to walk into the store, resulting in this:

  I’m sure the online retailer is smiling just as much at this point!

So easy and simple! There is frustration though when I find that adorable skirt that I want so bad but the pin takes me to a place where I find no information on how to obtain that must have item. In these situations I settle for the next best thing… I hit up the mall with my Pinterest app pulled up on my smartphone and go on a search for this item. Thanks to an app called http://redlaser.com/ once I find these items I can checkout and see where I can get the best possible price for it. Having the direction of what I want takes all the frustration out of shopping. Take a look at my wonderful style board: http://pinterest.com/lizrows/style/.

If you are in the fashion industry and want to know the skinny on Pinterest and how it can affect your business, listen up, here is some interesting data from Shopify.com!

  • Pinterest is now the 3rd most popular social network in the world!
  • Shopify observed that orders generated fron Pins has QUADRUPLED… yes quadrupled and then some in the last 6 months.
  • Pinterest order average is $80.00.This average order amount is higher then any other third party site. 

Here is a more detailed look from Shopify:

How Pinterest Drives Online Sales / Pinterest Ecommerce Infographic




Navigating the Social-Sphere

Three years ago companies heard of social platforms called Facebook,Twitter, Pinterest, and LinkedIn. They knew that they were quickly gaining popularity but wondered what is the value of social media for their company? Another question is what do we want the goals of our Facebook page to be? Now with more and more social platforms emerging and gaining popularity it is important to learn how to navigate and utilize these platforms to amplify the goals that are set forth.

The way I see it, organization is key when developing a social media plan. I break it down to three phases:

  1. Build Community via Facebook & Twitter
  2. Social Audit
  3. Amplify Community

Build Community via Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and LinkedIn

In this first phase it is important to establish a brand voice and goals. At this phase goals should include brand awareness and building relationships. By establishing a brand voice the foundation for your social presence will be set. Look at who you are targeting and what you think is the most effective voice to communicate in. Goals will set you up for an accurate audit in phase 2. I think the biggest mistake brands make is quickly making their goal to increase ROI. You need to create a relationship with fans that engage in your community and encourage them to participate in meaningful engagement. It is important that each social network is pumped and primed according to goals you may for each outlet. Pinterest is about discovery and a visual experience. Your Facebook goals and strategy may be different fro your Pinterest strategy. You are better pushing your content out in Pinterest, while Facebook would be better for engaging and interacting and building your social CRM.

Social Audit

In this phase, use FB insight to look at the month over month growth of your community. Is it steadily increasing? Are you losing fans at a greater rate then you are gaining them? What is the health of your community? Are people engaging? Goals in this phase should be to set out a tactile list of your strong points and weak point and prepare to amplify strong points and strengthen weak points. Goals could be to create a paid media plan, or develop a social campaign that involves sharing. Here is also where you decide which social platforms you should introduce to the equation next.

Amplify Community

Once you have reached this stage you have a an active FB Timeline and Twitter account. You are posting daily statuses at a cadence that works for your community. You are engaging with fans and they are engaging back. You are ready to amplify and blow out your social presence. Perhaps you are a clothing company… Due to the new Timeline Open Graph on Facebook, this may be the time to develop a Pinterest Account and link it to your companies Timeline by building a Pinterest tab. Make sure to create a well thought out strategy similar to what you did for Facebook and Twitter in the beginning.

Organic growth may have slowed down at this phase and your goal is to expand brand awareness. A paid media campaign that was thought out during the social audit may be put into action in this phase. To further amplify this tactic make sure to create an engaging tab that encourages sharing and possibly impact your ROI.  Perhaps this tab that the FB ad directs you to is a commerce tab with PayPal integration so buying a product can happen right from your Timeline.

Social media is continually changing and evolving. Make sure stay connected to online publications such as Mashable.com, TechCrunch.com, and Socialmediatoday.com to stay ahead of the game. Learning to adapt to changes and being the first to stay up on social trends will keep your social presence fresh and up to date.