torstai 19. toukokuuta 2016

What does social media mean to me?

Note: This post is published as a part of my Digital Marketing course in Haaga-Helia.

For my generation life has become almost too difficult to manage without social media. Whether it is school work, hobby or just keeping up with your family, social media is there. Necessary and inevitable. Social media has made networking and socializing a lot easier and has opened many possibilities in personal life and in business life. But sure, it has it's downsides too and some of them are particularly tricky. Not that I have experienced them particularly keenly, or at least not yet.

I would not categorize myself as a skilled social media user. I use Facebook and WhattsApp regularly, Instagram then and now and have tried my hand with Twitter. About the average, I would say? Actually i have no idea if I'm using social media more or less than my peers... 
Passively I do a lot more and not a day goes by that I would not open at least one feed. My use of social media is kept on leash by my severe case of motion sickness, I pretty much have to be stationary to read anything. During commuting or walking, both a prime time for some serious social media action, I mainly listen to Spotify (well, a kind of social media channel too) or Podcasts.

I like to use the social media platforms I’m using mainly because it allows me to be in contact with people I can’t otherwise see on weekly, monthly or even yearly bases. I have made friends from all over the world so keeping in touch with them would not be that efficient if there were no social media sites. 
My family is perhaps above average with our social media use. Both my parents are avid facebookers and my mother has just gotten inspired with Instagram. We use mainly Facebook Messenger for chatting and making plans, I very rarely need to call them anymore. Everything that needs to be said can and has been already done and shared in social media!

sunnuntai 3. huhtikuuta 2016

Digital marketing, is it effective?

Note: This post is published as a part of my Digital Marketing course in Haaga-Helia.

If there is one thing that everybody wants to be like nowadays, it is probably effective. As in its Thesaurus explanation: "successful in producing a desired or intended result". Being effective means success and bang for the buck. The deteriorating economic situation and ever toughening competition have made effectiveness a key characteristic for a surviving company.

For a marketing effort to be effective it needs to reach people. Clearly the digital or online world, whether it be gaming, e-learning, social media or blogging, is having a significant impact on how we behave socially, do business or act as consumers. Indeed, a business who is unwilling or unable to react to this change and to adapt to it, is in grave danger of losing out or losing the game all to together already at the start. So yes, digital marketing is effective as it reaches people.

A smart digital marketer knows that the effectiveness of their efforts is measured in how they manage to affect and reach company’s business goals. Before a top ranking or a veritable rush hour in traffic might have been enough for success, but nowadays it is all about quality over quantity. Pure stubborn concentration on quantitative analysis will soon see the time and costs outweighing the benefits. Therefore, digital marketing is most likely effective only when done right.

The space of changes happening has accelerated as well as the scale of those changes. The new ideas and trends move faster across the globe than ever before and they reach more people than before. There simply is no room for staying stagnant in a modern world that moves at lightning speed. The only certain way of not being effective is to stop learning, asking and listening. Something new is happening all the time and the first to smell a trend coming has the best starting position.

With the fast space and ever growing individualization comes the realization that nobody can do it all. Digital marketing benefits greatly from collaborating. An effective digital marketer recognizes the value of working with other specialists and those with different skill sets as well as with other companies to achieve their objectives.

Digital marketing has been trumpeted as being very cost-effective. And when considering the costs of old advertising channels such as Yellow Pages, television, radio and magazine, it certainly has been more economical. But as said above, it is not purely about the numbers. And even by numbers the cheap years are long past. Creating well-thought, industry leadership type content that might only drive a few hundred relevant visitors to your site, is costly as hell. The growing popularity of peer-reviews, blogging and video content has brought the prizes higher.

So, in conclusion, can we say that digital marketing is effective? Certainly it can be and as certainly it can not always be. There is no way for digital marketing to be always, every time, categorically and imperatively effective. But no one can deny its potential in our evermore digitalized everyday life. The effectiveness of digital marketing depends on the marketers ability on capitalizing on the potential of the agility, flexibility and lightness the digital world can offer.

Sukellus vieraanvaraisuusalaan

Jatkuva uutisointi akatemian ja yliopistolaitoksen kurjistumisesta vaikutti ilmeisesti minuunkin, sillä vuoden 2015 alussa aloin kyllästyä jatkuvaan työntekoon ilman näkyvää palkkiota. Apurahojen hakuprosessi on opettavaista, mutta myös turhauttavaa eikä kukaan meistä kauaa jaksa elää pelkällä ilmalla ilman tulevaisuuden näkymiä.

Otin siis härkää sarvista ja päätin sanoa, ainakin hetkeksi, hyvästi akateemisille haaveilleni. Ei minusta sittenkään tainnut tulla Suurta Tutkijaa. Surutyö kesti aikansa, mutta siitäkin selviää.

Hain ja pääsin siis Haaga-Helian ammattikorkeakouluun ja aloitin syksyllä opiskelut englanninkielisellä linjalla Hospitality, Tourism and Experience Managing.

Hieman hyppy tuntemattomaan, mutta puolen vuoden kokemuksella voin jo vakuuttaa, että kyllä kannatti!