Those aesthetics though!

It’s time for my team to be artsy fartsy. One of the most important aspects of social media is to appeal to the average user’s eyes. It is factual and statistical that “visual” and “instant” media is the most effective as well as the most trending (http://touchptcom.com/visual-and-instant-rule-social-media-trends/). As social media starts to become a larger part of our every day life, the human eye only takes a few seconds to skim past a picture on a newsfeed. That is all you have, a few seconds to capture that user’s attention. So that piece of media, whether an image, video, etc., needs to be ATTENTION GRABBING.

A few words are pretty important, maybe a few hashtags as well, but the one thing that will make a user on Facebook/Instagram/Twitter scroll past a post and then scroll up again back to it and look at it for a few more seconds (maybe even like it really quick), is a really pretty eye-catchin artsy “woah that’s lit” picture. So this is our goal. We want to pick AMAZING pictures to be part of our social media content.

Since spreading awareness about taking care of the environment and prioritizing conservation is what we want to achieve, we have to show our users the beauty of nature at its finest and safest. This way, when they see a pretty picture of a park, they will appreciate it so much that they’ll nod their head in agreement when they read a post saying “Grab some friends, good food, some beers, and have a picnic at this beauty of a park. While you’re at it, appreciate nature, and why we should save it.”

What we think will work is having some really beautiful (non-copy writed) images of waters, forests, parks, natural areas, wild-life habitat, and some historic sites for health and enjoyment for future generations. What we could be missing though is showing the opposite: some really sad, unfortunate, disappointing images of corrupt parks or filthy waters. Maybe not the happiest thing to see, but that could also grab the attention of the user, have them think “wow, that’s messed up. Why is it so dirty?” and we could perhaps place a “Call to Action” in our post for that user.

 

P.S. Amazing Image link: https://unsplash.com/photos/bF93UivGdIc

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Now, It’s Time To Organize

There are two keys to success (in my opinion): networking, and organization. Both are so, SO, vital for an enterprise/company/individual to really make it out there in the real world. It’s about WHO you know, and how you can handle your process.

In terms of organization, storyboards are actually a very helpful way to keep organized. It is used for any type of planning, even for social media content. It helps you organize what order you want to put things in, and make sure that everything flows together to fulfill one main purpose or narrative, instead of having things look random.

In order for my group and I to utilize a storyboard to its full advantage for our proposal to NJLCV, we decided to make one frame for each post. This will help us organize our content and make sure that it fits together like pieces in a puzzle. We decided to make posts starting two weeks before June 1st, which is when Open Space Month starts. Two weeks before, we’ll post every other day, and one week before, we will post every day. During Open Space Month, we will have daily posts as well. Now that we know how many total posts we plan to make, we made a frame for each potential post, containing information such as what type of content we will have, wording, images/details, hashtags, information, color scheme, template frame, etc.

We didn’t just easily come up with this approach though, it took us a while to truly understand what a storyboard is and how we can use it. Many things changed during our process of figuring this out, for example, we almost made frames for categories of content instead of a frame for each individual post. I think one new element that we could eventually include in our project (after having our posts more thought out and clear) is the use of videos, whether it be recording artistic / aesthetic videos of nature as a way to spread awareness, or a documentary-type video to talk about the organization and its founders, or even use Facebook and Instagram Live during the Open Space Month events so followers could tune in live-stream.

Our main vision for this project is to increase this organization’s presence on social media and to use social media networks as an outlet to spread awareness about their cause and about their interactive events. As long as we achieve our goal, it’s golden.

Social Media is more than what meets the eye.

When a user sees multiple posts on social media, they might not think much of it. They read a post, like it or share it, and then move on with life. But in reality, social media campaigns are much more complex than what they seem. You are planning the dates, times, and content of your posts according to trends, statistics, and even things such as psychological tendencies of your target audience. Social Media experts know and understand exactly what triggers a reaction from specific targets, what attracts or appeals the eye, what words pop out at the user, and exactly when to post certain things, according to recent events, mainstream media, demographics, etc.

One of the most important parts of social media is to make sure that each post fits together like a puzzle. Posts should not be random or irrelevant, they should flow together to create one final big picture or fulfill one purpose. In the end, all these posts collaborate together to make a “story”, they should leave the audience knowing something new, feeling a certain way, and being more engaged in the message you are introducing to them. That is why arrangement and organization is vital in social media.

My group, realizing all the points listed above, we decided to create daily posts, but according to the timeline of the Open Space Month events. For each event in Open Space Month, we will create a series of posts (once/twice a day) to build up the hype for the upcoming event two weeks in advance. Each post should compromise of distinct content yet lead to the same point. The many posts we will create for individual events will be composed of descriptions of the event itself, informational details (date/time/registration/location/etc.), fun and motivational facts to encourage people to come out to the event and to be more aware of the overall cause, and finally, reminders about the event. We want our followers to see us on their News Feed enough to recognize who we are, what we do, and the events we’re advertising, but not too much that they would click that “unfollow” button.

The power of social media to bring success to non-profits

The New Jersey League of Conservation Voters is looking for a creative and innovative strategy to use digital marketing and media to help grow the following of their small non-profit and raise awareness about their mission. My group and I have decided to pinpoint a specific question that the organization is facing; “How can we raise awareness on our cause and participation for Open Space Month in a form that will easily capture the attention of our audience?” 

Open Space Month is sponsored by Keep It Green, which partners with over a 100 other environmental organizations in the month of June, where they host events, activities, Instagram photo contests, and manifest the state’s many preservation, conservation, and stewardship successes, while showing awareness for necessary attention needed towards preservation of natural resources.

The approach my group and I have decided to take towards answering this question is to use social media. Social Media is extremely powerful when it comes to creating an online presence, especially for the target audience that NJLCV wants to focus on, which are more young adults and millennials. We decided that our process will consist of creating daily social media posts for Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, which will be short and simple, but also sufficiently informative to raise awareness about the cause.

What we will be focusing on in terms of content for the social posts is simple and easy to understand text either about awareness or call to action, as well as advertising the several events that occur in Open Space Month. We will be attaching very aesthetic and beautiful pictures of nature along with the content, so we can make sure to make the social media post more interesting and eye-catching. We will also be posting memes that are funny but insightful at the same time, which will help us relate to our target audience more. To incorporate as much as we can, we will also be using relevant hashtags. 

Some perks of these social network platforms include “Scheduled Posts” on Facebook, when you can set the time and date of the post and it will automatically post when assigned. Also taking live videos has recently become quite popular on Facebook and Instagram, which we suggested would be very beneficial to use while NJLCV representatives are present at the actual Open Space Month events.

MEMES. The Epitome of our generation.

Memes. Your late night casual activity before you sleep, laying in your bed like a lazy a** scrolling through twitter and facebook and laughing to yourself at every outrageous meme you see, tagging all your friends in the comments section, most of the time without typing anything else other than their names. It’s absolutely wonderful.

Memes are what I think the most legitimate description of this generation, or the Millennials in general. Memes are made for everything, for every mood, for every event, for any time, for anyone. Memes take all ideas, mainstream trends, currently popular and recent events, and anything that is plainly familiar to us, and basically personalize them into something relatable to the average person.

The meme below uses Michael Scott, a character on the show “The Office”, as a representation of what a typical Friday night is like. This meme takes different scenes from the show, scenes that may be irrational and hilarious, and uses those scenes to caption an exaggeration of an action or behavior. Friday night is definitely one hell of an adventure. Each hour has a different story, and the way this meme video describes the different stages of a Friday night is priceless. The scenes amplify the truth, and it makes you realize your actual behavior on a Friday night in a way you’ve never thought before.

 

This is another extremely relatable meme to the typical college student. So relatable, that I literally had to do this for one of my classes last week. When you need to work in groups and exchange numbers, you’re only associating with these people for a short period of time, and only for the purpose of the project. Those people don’t hold much other value to you (the harsh truth) You might not even ever see them again!

The truth is I’ve saved people’s contact on my phone before, and when I needed to text them and ask a question, I totally forget their name to even search it in my contact list. Has that ever happened to you?! It’s so much easier to affiliate them with something you’ll remember, whether it’s the class name or a physical characteristic.

meme2

 

Now THIS is literally me. This speaks Joy Bibaoui. My distraction and procrastination level is so awful that I might as well do everything else in the world than do my actual homework. That is why a meme like this is just so perfect, it exaggerates it so well that it shows how far someone will go to NOT do their work. And the fact that these are pictures of just a random old man smiling and doing all these random activities is so awkward and strange that it makes the meme that much funnier.

meme1

So what does it take to make a meme “successful” enough to trend or go viral? In my opinion, it HAS to be relatable. It needs to make someone say “Oh my gosh this is so true.” But at the same time, it has to be exaggerated, absurd, and strange that it keeps the attention of the audience. Something distinct and weird enough to make someone laugh or gasp and share it with other people. The most successful memes are the ones that I believe are SEARCHED up. A meme that was so good and funny that your friend has to google it to show it to you because they forgot where they ran into it before. You know a meme is good when you can actually remember it. Memes are typically used everyday on all social media platforms. They help to express yourself and your feelings/situations with a sense of humor, and lets you know you’re definitely not the only one feeling this way. It’s cool knowing thousands of people can relate to you as well.

Ultimately, memes serve to entertain. They’re made by regular people that see a funny picture and have a brilliant caption for it. Companies can use memes to market and advertise their brand, but naturally, it needs to be quite clever to appeal to the humorous side of their audience.

Trolls and Hackers … what value do they hold, in our amazing digital world?

According to E. Gabriella Coleman from the Social Media Reader, “Hackers tend to uphold a cluster of values: freedom, privacy, and access. They adore computers and networks. They are trained in the specialized—and economically lucrative–technical arts of programming, system/network administration and security.” She then continues to say, “; hackers value playfulness, pranking and cleverness, and will frequently display their wit through source code, humor, or both.”

To be honest, I admire hackers, but NOT their motive. Hackers are just entities of human intelligence beyond the average. They are brilliant, genius, and have talents and skills that literally have changed the digital world as we know it (we’ll be discussing how later), but I just wish they used their talents for good. Like, imagine someone trains to be a hacker, and then works for the CIA, government, or other fields within that realm, to help investigate extreme and dangerous cases  perhaps, or find out important information that could solve a case before it even begins. But unfortunately, that is not what hackers do. They tend to just, put everyone in a bad mood, or in extreme cases, destroy someone’s life.

Trolls and hackers can truly manipulate and scare people into doing things that are dangerous. The first example that comes to mind is an episode from a Netflix original called “Black Mirror” (have you seen this show? It’s crazy). This episode, called “Shut up and dance”, has a plot where a few characters do something wrong, illegal, or humiliating in secret, thinking no one has ever seen them or caught them in the action. What happens in this episode consists of hackers/trolls that enable themselves to have camera/data access in these people’s computers, phones, and any other digital devices they may own, allowing the hackers the evidence of the wrong or humiliating things done by the characters. Once the characters knew they were being blackmailed by these unknown anonymous hackers, they went through a nightmare to protect themselves by obeying crazy demands from the hackers, believing their secrets would be safe as a result

Their secrets WEREN’T safe. After a process of self-destruction, danger, and craziness, the characters came to see all of their secrets blasted online, for the whole world to see. Imagine? Evil…right?

Yes, they are brilliant, but trolls and hackers really suck. The value they add to our digital world is the amount of security on EVERYTHING today, which is a good thing, but can also be a bad thing, but that’s a whooooleee other discussion! =)

What is God’s Will for You?

I’ve never been happier to put so much time and effort into something before. I am taking some of my most favorite, most impactful, and beautiful things that have a made difference to me, and joining them together to possibly make a difference in someone else’s life. One of my favorite spiritual and inspirational speakers, Father Anthony Messeh, gives a lecture about knowing the Will of God. He is a Coptic Orthodox Priest, and as a speaker, he has influenced and helped me so much throughout my life, and has helped me reconnect with God in ways I thought were unreachable. So I knew it was extremely important for me to share little snippets of this lecture with others. The background music is composed of two of my favorite orchestral pieces, “Arrival of the Birds”, and “Where Civilization Once Lay.”

To hear the whole lecture (which is absolutely amazing), here is the link:

Please enjoy, I had an amazing (also long but that’s okay) time making this!