Umass Dartmouth Center for Marketing Research Blog

Social Media & Traveling

It is summer, class has ended, the weather is great (sometimes) and people are spending their time traveling. Let’s be honest… social media has a huge impact on the world of travel. Need to know how? There are a few different ways that you wouldn’t necessarily realize at first. We will cover them below.

Deals~ In previous posts we’ve explained how companies use social media to advertise their products. Airlines, bus lines, cruise companies, amusement parks etc. are no exception. You will never meet a social media user that hasn’t seen a hotel offering discounts for upcoming dates. Expedia.com “stays going hard” as teens say with their advertisement and sales campaigns. That last trip you took; did you visit a travel site like Expedia at least once?
Ideas~ Social media users are always retweeting, pinning, and sharing pictures of beautiful scenery. Could those pictures include a beautiful Los Angeles sunset? How about a crisp Denver mountain covered in snow surrounded by evergreen trees? Let’s not forget about that Chicago skyline or NYC streets. If you were thinking international you’d log in and see the Italy waterways. You also might find the sand and pyramids in Egypt. How about the Beijing Olympic Park? Go ahead, check your social media pages.
Friends~ How many times have your friends posted pictures from the airport? How many times have you seen your friends wearing those cute little bathing suits on a beach in some tropical paradise? We at the Center for Marketing Research do believe if we conducted a study, seeing those pictures would lead to a strong desire (and some jealousy) to travel to a similar destination. Just take a look at the comments. You’re bound to find at least one jealous remark.
Bragging rights~Following up from your friends, be honest: you want to make them jealous too. You know part of your reason for traveling is for the bragging rights and to make your friends jealous like you were. Your travel pictures would surely bring in my likes, favorites, retweets, and shares. It’s always cool to say, “Hey, I’ve been there” when you see the area online or on TV.

That’s what we have to say about social media and traveling. We want your feedback. Tell us what you think! Share some of your experiences with social media and travels!

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Top Social Media Benefits

Of the tons of benefits social media brings to small businesses, have you ever wondered which are at the top of the list? Well Business2Community.com has you covered, and so does the UMD Marketing Center. Hubspot conducted a survey in 2014 and concluded that about 92% of marketers from surveys pointed out the importance of social media marketing.  Therefore, social media earned a spot on the list of as one of the most important leading sources for online professionals surveyed for that report. Below are 4 of the top 8 benefits as outlined in the article.

  1. Social Media Marketing Increases Website Traffic and Search Ranking – It’s 2015 okay, 2K15, we all know the importance of a website to a business. This goes especially for small businesses trying to reach success. A website is a gateway to many aspects of a business including sales, advertisement, and contact information. 
  2. Social Media Marketing Increases Brand Awareness  A business without brand awareness will not survive long. Publicity is one of the most powerful aspects of a business and it’s a double-edged sword. There’s good and bad publicity, but social media has infinite potential for good publicity.
  3. Social Media Marketing Increases Sales  Seeing products the addictive social media environment leaves a lasting impression. A growing trend in business is holding sales exclusively on their social media accounts. Pins, retweets, and shares become very powerful when a sale is happening.
  4. Social Media Marketing Improves Brand Loyalty – One of the most important aspects of the business world is longevity. Low customer retention/high turnover does not produce longevity. But social media can handle that!

Of course, there many more benefits to social media. Thanks for reading these four we felt were invaluable. If this interested you, you can read more at read more at

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http://www.business2community.com/infographics/top-8-benefits-social-media-marketing-small-business-infographic-01240453

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Is Social Media the new chat Room?

Are you old enough to remember the days of logging onto AOL and joining a chat room to stay in touch with your friends? How about the instant fiery frustration your had when your house received a phone call and your Internet connection was immediately cut off. Or maybe when you and your siblings were launched into an argument over who’s turn it was to use the one and only computer in the house. If you answered yes to any of the questions, you must be a 90s baby. Are you old enough to remember the days of starting up your laptop and having your AIM account automatically log you in.? How about the instant fiery frustration you had when none of your friends were active? Or maybe when you and your siblings starting arguing over whose notification volume was too high. If any of these are true for you congrats, you’re a late 90s/early 2000s baby.

Nowadays…people are using chat rooms less and less. Wait, do they at all? It appears that the traditional chat room has given way to video chats, post comments, subtweets, and the beloved hashtag. Here is the general mindset…Why spend the time typing and reading when you can simply call you friend with full audiovisual features. Camera qualities have improved (dare we say 10 fold) over the years along with Internet speed. Smart phones and tablets now come with a camera facing the front. Perfect! For those talks of less importance, you just punch in a quick comment or tweet; short and simple. The hashtag allows you to connect with people all over the world on specific topics. It also helps you to put an extra emphasis on the message you’re trying to convey.

What’s your opinion/perspective?

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John Farrell Inspires Young Scholars

Thursday evening, April 30th, 2015, John Farrell was the keynote speaker at 15th Annual Umass Dartmouth Center for Marketing Research Celebrity/Scholarship Dinner. The evening started off as many events involving the Red Sox Manager do. He spent time meeting Red Sox fans, taking pictures, and signing memorabilia for the Silent Auction. However, his presence at the dinner grew into much more.

The dinner began with welcomes from the University of MA Dartmouth Provost, Mohammed Karim. Jim Mathes, Chair of the Center for Marketing Research Advisory Board talked about the pride the Board has in the work of the Center and the scholarship program. Dr. Nora Ganim Barnes, the event coordinator and Center Director, spoke with much admiration and thanks for Farrell’s presence at the dinner. Farrell was presented with several gifts from the Umass community and political leaders.

Senator Michael Rodrigues awarded him with a citation from the State Senate, the Director of Athletics, Amanda Van Voorhis, presented him with a personalized baseball jersey, and a local artist, MC Lammare created a replica of the final World Series scoreboard for him. With the Provost, Farrell handed out 22 scholarship awards, taking a picture and shaking the hands with each individual winner.

Following the ceremony guests had the pleasure of listening to Farrell’s advice to the scholarship winners. “Find your path and follow it. Work hard and be aware of the opportunities around you.”   He encouraged them to find a direction and stay the course, no matter how difficult. Farrell acknowledged having things in common with the Umass Dartmouth students, having gone to school on a Pell Grant and being a first generation college graduate in his own family. He said he never dreamed of becoming Manager of the Red Sox but considered himself very fortunate to be a part of “the best and most historic franchise in baseball history”.   He laughed about the constant stream of advice from fans regarding the pitching rotation and game strategy, although he seemed to enjoy the interaction.

Farrell’s speech, filled with humor and inspiration, ended with a roaring applause and a standing ovation. His words resonated with not only the scholarship winners, but also the approximately 300 business and community members who were in attendance. The 2013 trophy accompanied John Farrell’s appearance at the 15th Annual Center For Marketing Research Celebrity/ Scholarship Dinner.

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Social Media Evolving Marketing

Social media has had such a major impact on the way in which businesses go about their marketing strategies. Said impact is so strong that we’re sure no one could have predicted its greatest, say, 10 years ago. We’ve already covered some of the basic strategies (such as knowing your audience) in previous posts but Social Media Revolver.com has produced some interesting tips.

Make use of proximity and context marketing – target individuals who are nearby your business. For example, Facebook’s Place Tips was used to advertise to pedestrians who walked by a business on their daily activities

Start implementing the mobile version of your website before it’s not too late – Create a version of your site that works well on cell phones and tablets. After all, many existing sites weren’t necessarily designed for the on-the-go pace.

Make your posts stand out on any screen size – the use of bright colors pictures command the users’ attention much more than plain text does. Also, bigger text is easier to read which will be more effective on a smaller cell phone screen.

Monitor your mentions on social media – hey, it’s free feedback. Wouldn’t it be great for the company to better itself before someone asks to speak to a manger?

Use analytics to know the best times to post for mobile users – observe your audience behavior as it will determine the best window of opportunity.

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Social Media and Customers

For all of our readers who are business owners…The Globe and Mail has come up with five ways social media data can help you gain new customers. Nowadays social media has become one of the most powerful methods of gathering information about current and potential customers. Said information can be obtained free of charge through some companies with public wifi services. And of course, prospective customers respond much better to marketing and advertisement tailored specifically to them. The follow are great tips.

  1. Why do your customers consider Leaving? Maybe your competition has a comparable product, but offers it at a lower price.
  2. Why do your customers take interesting in your competitors? Determine exactly which competitor they are switching to. Also, what specifically lead them to that decision?
  3. What causes customers to leave your competition? A unique thing of social media is that its commentary is unfiltered. It is very quick and easy to review your company’s performance by reading what your customers have to say on their chosen platforms
  4. Engage with the individuals who may decide to leave your company.Through social media, companies can easily communicate directly with a customer in real time.
  5. Engage in activities to attract new customers and retain current ones. It’s crucial to continuously be connected with customers. It’s a great way to keep them happy with your services.

Thanks for reading. To receive further information, visit The Globe and Mail at the site URL provided below.

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/small-business/sb-marketing/customer-service/five-ways-social-media-data-can-help-you-gain-new-customers/article23665012/

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New Study!

The Center for Marketing Research at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth recently conducted its annual in-depth study on the usage of social media by the fastest-growing corporations in the US.  This new study revisits the Center’s work on the Inc. 500 social media usage for the eighth consecutive year, making it a valuable and rare longitudinal study of corporate use of new communication tools.

The Inc. 500 comes from the list of the fastest-growing private US companies compiled annually by Inc. Magazine.  For details about the 2014 Inc. 500 and the complete directory of the included companies, please visit Inc. Magazine’s website at www.Inc.com.

As in the earlier studies, the 2014 study, under the direction of researchers Nora Ganim Barnes and Ava Lescault, is the result of a nationwide telephone survey of those companies named by Inc. Magazine to the Inc. 500 list for 2014.  All interviews took place in the fall of 2014.  The businesses on the list include a wide range of industries from IT Services to Health as well as Environmental Services.

The research presented here was conducted using two approaches.  First, every company named to the 2014 Inc. 500 list was examined in order to determine which social media tools they were using.  Each homepage was reviewed in addition to the entire website (since some did not link to their accounts from the homepage).  Search engines were also utilized to find an online presence if none was obvious after reviewing the website.  All of the 2014 Inc. 500 were included in this part of the process.

Our second level of research involved interviewing a random sample of executives from the Inc. 500 list to ask questions with a specific focus on issues such as social commerce, mobile, online crisis management and social media policies.  One hundred ten interviews were conducted representing 22% of the Inc. 500.  All issues in this study were also examined using the same methodology in the 2013 study, allowing us to provide trend data.

The responding executives represent a diverse group, which consists of 21 of the 26 industries on the 2014 Inc. 500 list.  Eighteen percent of the companies surveyed made the top 100 on the list (9 are ranked in the top 25).  Respondents reported annual company revenues ranging from under $3M to over $150M with 46% of them falling between $3m-$10m.  Approximately two-thirds of the sample has 1-50 employees and 64% were founded between the years 2008-2011.

This latest iteration proves once again that social media has penetrated parts of the business world at a tremendous speed.  It also indicates that corporate usage of social media within the Inc. 500 has changed in the past 12 months.

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Social Media Killing Industries Part 2

One of the hardest-hit industries since the invention of modern day technologies (laptops, cell phones, mp3 players, and tablets running social media) is the Music Industry. YouTube, Pandora, Google Play, and many other music-streaming services have taken the place of CD and MP3 Albums. The year 1999 saw 4 Diamond albums release. Diamond status is awarded to an album that sells at least 10 million copies. The most recent diamond album was Adele’s 21 in the year 2011. Taylor Swifts 1989 was the only platinum album of 2014. Platinum status is awarded to an album which sells at least 1 million copies. Some artists such as Kanye West have stated they cannot make serious money solely on album sales any longer. Click the link below for music sales since the 1970s.

http://www.saltywaffle.com/social-media-a-double-edged-sword-on-the-music-industry/

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Social Media Killing Industries Part 1

Does the mention of the steadily decreasing demand of the postal service even need to be brought up now? Who even mails letters or sends post cards anymore? In the 21st-century we’re all sending emails or text messages right? The postal service has for years been struggling to respond to the decline in demand.

Emails and texts are a faster, cheaper method of communication. Of course, there is still something special about receiving a heartfelt post card from family and friends on vacation or business trips. A hand written letter on loose-leaf paper is a thoughtful personal touch. But emails and texts allow for the inclusion of pictures and videos. Who wouldn’t want instant digital media that is readily sharable?

As a more formal aspect, more and more businesses are favoring online services over hard copy mail. These days everything is about speed and profit. What could be better then a bill instantly sent to a customer via the Internet who can then instantly pay their debts online? Also, no one can pitch a case against environmentalists who argue the digital methods save paper from trees and gas from the postal service vehicles. Let’s not forget about the frequently rising price of stamps. Take a look at this article by the Washington post.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/07/24/AR2009072403857.html

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Is Social Media Only Social Anymore?

Million-dollar question: is social media only social anymore? In reality, there is a very simple answer to that question…no! Let’s take a minute to remember how social media came to be. During the mid to late 1990s, the Internet’s explosion was just gaining momentum. If you were to ask current undergrad students (who were most likely born around that time period) they’d likely all say they couldn’t really remember a time when the Internet wasn’t a lifeline. Google itself was born in 1996 as a research project between two Ph.D. candidates. Yes, that was less than two decades ago. Initially social media was a way for individuals to connect to each other through the Internet. People were able to keep each other up to date on recent life events, share pictures, and simply get to know each other more. But now, social media is used for much more.

Educational Media:

Teachers, instructors, and professors alike have taken to media as a new aspect of conducting their course. Here at UMass Dartmouth our students use Blackboard.com to complete homework, download study guides, as well as connect with their classmates and instructors. Click the link below to find a list of a handful of similar sites.

Political Media:

Careful, its easy to lose a friend or two with this type! (pun intended) Media media has become a very important tool in campaigns for office. Hey, it’s even a bragging right among some politicians. Many have used their accounts to notify their followers of progress they’ve made and also upcoming projects they have planned. US President Barack Obama boasts 54.4 million followers.

Business Media:

The most widely disliked form a media out their today…business media. Gone are the days of logging onto your platform of choice and only seeing your friends. Now you must endure an influx of advertisement cluttering your screen. Let’s be honest, sometimes you do find good deals, which leaves both customer and business happy. So let’s not roll our eyes too much!

http://www.teachthought.com/technology/10-different-social-media-sites-for-education/

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