Social Soojin

First off, you're probably wondering where "Soojin" came from... Well here's the short version: I was adopted from South Korea when I was a baby and Soojin is my Korean name. My parents wanted to keep my heritage with me somehow, so they kept Soojin as my middle name. To this day, many of my close friends use Soojin as my nickname.

I live and breathe social media, marketing and PR. So, I like to keep up with everything current in the all of the above. Therefore, I decided it would a great project to start a blog and compile ideas, articles and anything else of importance in one place. Plus, I'll also post about the latest and cutting edge ideas in technology. Whether it's personal thoughts or re-blogging of articles I find interesting, this is place where you can keep up with all the latest trends!

Also, check out my personal blog where I post about all the things I love, which includes: Providence College, anything New England, books, technology and music. I'll also post about traveling, fashion, tennis, wine and theater... Yes, I'm a sucker for Broadway. You name it, I've probably seen it! If I could dance and sing through life, I would. Once in a while, I'll even have the urge to post about an interesting experience or jot down a thought that's rolling around in my brain, so check it out:

Happy blogging!
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The explosive growth of social media over the past four years has drastically changed how the Giants and Patriots market themselves and connect with fans compared to the two teams’ most recent Super Bowl trips.

“It’s a whole new world compared to last time,” Nilay Shah, the Giants’ director of digital media, said in an interview.

When the Giants and Patriots reached the Super Bowl in 2008, Twitter barely existed, Facebook had less than 100 million users, and Google+ wasn’t even a gleam in Larry Page’s eye.

Today, Facebook has grown to more than 845 million users, Twitter has become an integral communication tool of the sports and media worlds, and Google+ now claims around 100 million members. Other sharing sites such as YouTube have swelled in popularity too.

“Last time we were here, the social world was still sort of new for us, and our main communication method was email,” Shah said. “We didn’t focus on it a lot back then, but coming back now we knew we had to place a lot of emphasis on it, find a way to incorporate our fans as much as possible and make them a part of the experience.”

“We didn’t focus on it a lot back then, but coming back now we knew we had to place a lot of emphasis on it, find a way to incorporate our fans as much as possible and make them a part of the experience.”

The Giants are among professional sports’ most social media-savvy teams. But Fred Kirsch, the Patriots’ vice president of content, said that growing social networks have played a real role in fan outreach and marketing during New England’s Super Bowl run as well.

When the team won the AFC Championship, it decided to run a contest giving away free trips to the Super Bowl for fans who worked in healthcare, law enforcement, the military, firefighting or education. Kirsch said that the team was able to promote the contest effectively in a short time thanks to Facebook and Twitter, gathering about a thousand nominations.

“It made it tough to choose the winners but it was well worth it,” Kirsch told Mashable in an email.

The Giants, meanwhile, have run a number of promotions built entirely around social media. They installed a button on the team website to allow fans to follow more than a dozen players on Twitter before Super Bowl XLVI with one click. They have a player shooting behind-the-scenes footage — but 10,000 new fans have to “Like” the team’s Facebook page to unlock each day’s content. They are even hosting a “Social Media Night” on Thursday, in which a number of players will participate in a live webcast from the team hotel, answering fan questions sent via Twitter and Facebook. Four more players are hosting exclusive Google+ Hangouts, each with five chosen fans who joined their Google+ Circles.

“It’s more relaxed, more informal, a chance to know the guy behind the uniform.”

Tyson Goodridge was one of the fans selected for a Hangout with linebacker Mark Herzlich. Goodridge, who works as a social media director for a marketing agency, told Mashable his two young sons wanted to ask what players eat before games, while he wanted to ask what goes through the players’ minds in the moments before the ball is snapped.

“It creates a level of intimacy that is so cool,” Goodridge said. “Anyone can know all his stats, but in this case it’s a private session where he’s not in the locker room. It’s more relaxed, more informal, a chance to know the guy behind the uniform.”

That, said Shah, epitomizes the wealth of new engagement possibilities opened up by social media’s maturation since 2008.

“We’ve always tried to provide the best content possible, but before that might have meant just putting up exclusive-access videos and that was it,” he said. “Now we’re able to give the fans more and make them feel like they have a voice.”

Starbucks customers apparently are finding buying via mobile as addictive as the company’s coffee.

Less than a year after Starbucks launched an app that allows mobile payments, it has hosted 26 million such transactions on iOS, BlackBerry and Android, according to the chain. One in four Starbucks card transactions is now executed via a Starbucks card and a portion of those are done through mobile.

The mobile-payments initiative has built momentum recently: In the nine weeks after it was released, there were 3 million transactions. But in the past nine weeks, there have been 6 million, says Adam Brotman, SVP and general manager of Starbucks. He adds that New York, Seattle, San Francisco, Chicago and San Jose, Calif., are the top cities by volume for mobile purchases.

Brotman declined to say exactly how many people had downloaded the app, except that it’s in the “millions.”

Starbucks presented the stats to emphasize its contention that 2011 was the “year of mobile” for the company. Among other recent highlights was the company’s Cup Magic augmented reality app, which has spurred 450,000 “engagement points” since its November release. An engagement point refers to a use of the app. According to Brotman, 91% of people who downloaded the app used it.

Finally, $110 million has been reloaded to customers’ Starbucks cards via mobile, Brotman says. For comparison’s sake, $2.4 billion was loaded onto Starbucks cards overall in 2011.

When asked why mobile payments seem to have caught on at Starbucks, Brotman said he thought convenience was a major factor. “It’s a faster, easier way to pay,” he said. “We not only developed the feature, but we also rolled out scanners in our locations.”

Image courtesy of Flickr, INeedCoffee

If popular websites were magazines…

Thomas Suarez has two published apps, a startup company and a compelling TED talk under his belt — all at the tender age of 12.

In a compelling October 22 talk at a TED conference in Manhattan Beach, the Los Angeles student held forth on topics like tech integration in education, app access for all children, and how teachers could best use the classroom’s greatest resource — the students themselves. The video of Suarez’s speech was uploaded last week and already has over 400,000 views.

The tween, who’s fluent in programming languages like Python, C and Java, also discussed how difficult it was for kids his age to look for guidance if they wanted to get creative with software development. “For soccer, you could go to a soccer team. For violin, you could get lessons for a violin,” he explained. “But what if you want to make an app?”

That’s why Suarez created an app club for students at his school. It’s a place for him to share his experience creating apps and putting them on the app store (he had to ask his parents to pay the $99 fee to register with the Apple App Store). But the club is also a resource for teachers, he revealed, and any other educator at his school who wants to experiment with tech education in the classroom.

The New York Times cited Suarez’s TED talk as a reason for parents to rethink their hard and fast stance on “screen time” limitations, asking “Isn’t three or four hours a week spent on using an app to create a stop motion movie a much different prospect than two hours of decorating a virtual room?”

Suarez’s first published app, called “Earth Fortune,” is a fortune teller that colors the earth different colors according to its prediction. His second, called “Bustin Jieber,” is a whac-a-mole game app that replaces the mole with a photo of Justin Bieber’s head.

Right now, in addition to completing the sixth grade, Suarez is working on launching CarrotCorp, his first company. While the company and site are still developing, CarrotCorp’s homepage pays homage to Suarez’s inspiration: the late Steve Jobs.


How One Company Saved Thousands of Dogs Using Social Media

The folks at Best Friends Animal Society have used the power of social media to save thousands of dogs. They have introduced the Invisible Dogs Campaign, which helps save pets in city shelters who face tremendous odds to get adopted. Through the use of Twitter hashtags, Foursquare check-ins, and Meetup’s, Best Friends is well on their way to mobilizing people to take action in the real world.

Image courtesy of Flickr, Kazeeee’s

It’s easy to get into social media for the wrong reasons and to post too much or too little. Here’s how to balance out your social media efforts.How to Find Time to Market Your Company Using Social Media

Why have you joined the social media world?

Some social networkers are there for purely egotistical reasons. They don’t want to engage in the conversation. They simply collect followers and friends in order to have bragging rights every time they collect another thousand. But connecting, following or befriending just anyone dilutes your influence and standing among those in your audience.

Others join because they feel they must. They spend a few days setting up their profiles and then abandon them when other tasks call.

The real motivation for any business social networker is connection: You should want to connect with like-minded people who can help your business and whose businesses you can assist. You want to add to the conversation, and not come across as desperate, spammy or a waste of time. If you develop a bad reputation in these communities, it will be hard to shake off.

But making such strong, real connections takes time, effort and thoughtfulness. If you never return to your profiles, you and your business will be forgotten (best case) or seen as unconnected, clueless or lazy (worst case). If you post too much, people might consider you a pest and stop following you.

Some social networkers are the worst of both worlds: They don’t post to their blog or text their friends or colleagues for weeks at a time. They don’t reply to messages sent to them, and the company site looks like it has gone out of business. Then, without any warning, they’re back … alive … and conversing. Was the organization’s social networking person out of the country? Did they suffer a grave illness? Nope. They were just distracted, disorganized, sidetracked or overworked. There’s no method to the company’s madness in being a social networking participant. Not committed. No strategy. Its influence will never be felt. The competition will soon fill the void.

Whether your company is a one-person business or a large organization, your commitment to social networking should be consistent, compelling and informative. The social networking community is a fragile, collaborative ecosystem. Make the commitment. People will follow a trail of dependable, exciting, instructive news. But once the trail goes cold, they’re gone and likely never to return.

Being a social media maniac isn’t the right persona either. You know who we’re talking about. These people can answer emails on their laptops with one hand while texting friends or colleagues on their iPhones with the other. They can’t be looked in the eye when talking because their heads are always looking down at some screen. This behavior may be seen as goodtechnology gone bad.

The key is to strike a balance somewhere in the middle. Avoid becoming a social media ignorer or a social media maniac. Develop a social networking schedule that does not run your life but does keep you accountable. The goal should be consistency. Choose a schedule and stay the course for at least six months. As you find success, you can slowly grow your social networking persona.

The sample social networking agenda below can be used as a springboard for designing one that suits your schedule and the community channels you’ve joined.

Twice Daily in the Morning and Afternoon

  • Check Twitter via a program like HootSuite. Respond when necessary. Follow the @replies that make sense.
  • Check LinkedIn. Reply to emails and comments when appropriate.
  • Scan Twitter followers for relevant conversations to join.
  • Check your business’s Facebook Page for questions and respond when necessary.
  • Scan Google Alerts for brand and company mentions. Respond as appropriate.

Weekly or on Weekends

  • Build Twitter Lists to better organize ongoing discussions and special interest groups. Set up saved searches in Hootsuite to find out if people are talking about you or your company.
  • Scan LinkedIn questions from network connections and respond when appropriate.
  • Catch up on LinkedIn discussions. Add to discussion when appropriate.
  • Send LinkedIn invitations to connect with clients when beginning a new assignment.
  • Ask for LinkedIn recommendation after successfully completing a project or engagement.
  • Add new content to Facebook like videos or photos.
  • Think of ways to repurpose this content and energy to reach a larger audience with the social networking gospel.
  • Keep an eye open for new social networking venues, tools, and functionality that will make the social networking experience more enjoyable and easier to traverse.
  • Identify new social networking influencers and build relationships where appropriate.

Through the Week

  • Mondays: Schedule tweets through HootSuite to go out three times per day at regular intervals.
  • Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays: Join one hot trend conversation on Twitter, if appropriate, and add new content to Facebook (new items you are selling, photos, discounts and other promotions).
  • Tuesdays and Thursdays: Respond to blog comments.
  • Fridays: Check traffic at your blog or website.

Obviously, your daily social networking to-do list will be much different, given your available time and commitments. Just be sure to make the schedule livable. If it’s not working, change it. Keep making modifications until it works for you.  

As Shakespeare wrote, “All the world’s a stage.” Increasingly, that stage has grown to include the digital sphere — that means YouTube.

When it comes to the entertainment industry, the legitimate theatre (or “legit” in Variety speak) might lag behind film, television and music in terms of its digital prowess. One of the services that is changing this — and bringing the stage to new audiences around the world — is YouTube. Not only can fans find clips of their favorite songs or productions online, aspiring Broadway Babies are increasingly turning to the video giant’s platform to audition for roles.

Let’s look at four ways YouTube is changing Broadway.

  1. To Audition
  2. To Discover Talent
  3. To Promote
  4. To Document

(Click the article link to view all the videos.)

In the real estate world, there is a saying: “The three considerations that most impact value are location, location, and location.” In the world of social media, they are purpose, purpose, and purpose.

Nothing impacts the success of a social media effort more than the choice of its purpose. Because purpose becomes the cause around which people will rally and be inspired to act, it is also the source of social media’s business value.

What is a good purpose for social media? Would you recognize one if you saw it? And if you could identify a good purpose, would you be able to mobilize a community around it and derive business value from it?

If you’re like most executives (and you’re being honest), probably not.

No wonder most organizations struggle with gaining tangible and significant business value from social media. This single most important criterion for success is also the biggest leadership skill deficiency.

That deficiency often leads to a worst practice we call “provide and pray.” Leaders and managers provide access to a social technology, and then pray that a community forms and that community interactions somehow lead to business value. In most cases, adoption never really materializes; communities may form, but their activity is not considered valuable to the organization.

The lesson? People rarely rally around a technology. Success in social media needs a compelling purpose. Such a purpose addresses a widely recognized need or opportunity and is specific and meaningful enough to motivate people to participate. Every notable social media success has a clearly defined purpose:

  • Facebook’s core purpose is for people to easily track what their friends are doing.
  • Wikipedia’s purpose is for the masses to collectively build an online encyclopedia.
  • LinkedIn’s purpose is for people to leverage their professional networks for employment and hiring.

Yes, some social Web environments have strayed from their original purpose. But they made a name for themselves because they started with a clearly defined and tightly scoped purpose, gained critical mass, and mobilized their respective communities.

Choosing the right purpose is difficult (much harder than providing the technology). It requires a new management approach we call "purpose roadmapping" — planning how to use purpose to engage and sustain productive communities. A purpose road map shows how community collaboration and related business value can evolve over time, and provides critical guidance on the required investments and risks. It also informs all lower-level implementation decisions such as technology selection, content seeding, policy, moderating, and tipping-point marketing.

Purpose is a business decision. And business leaders must get involved in strategically choosing and pursuing the right ones. This is why success with social media is primarily a leadership and management challenge, not a technology issue.

Facebook vs. Google

FORTUNE — Paul Adams is one of Silicon Valley’s most wanted. He’s an intellectually minded product designer with square-framed glasses, a thick Irish accent, and a cult following of passionate techies. As one of Google’s lead social researchers, he helped dream up the big idea behind the company’s new social network, Google+: those flexible circles that let you group friends easily under monikers like “real friends” or “college buddies.” He never got to help bring his concept to consumers, though. In a master talent grab last December, Facebook lured him 10 miles east to Palo Alto to help design social advertisements. On his blog, Adams explained, “Google values technology, not social science.”

In the long history of tech rivalries, rarely has there been a battle as competitive as the raging war between the web’s wonder twins. They will stop at nothing to win over whip-smart folks like Adams, amass eyeballs, and land ad dollars. There’s no public trash talking à la the Oracle (ORCLFortune 500) vs. HP (HPQFortune 500) smackdown, nor are the battle lines drawn as clearly as they were when Microsoft (MSFTFortune 500) took on Netscape, but the stakes are immense. These companies are fighting to see which of them will determine the future of the web — and the outcome will affect the way we get information, communicate, and buy and sell.

(Click the link the read on… it’s a long, but great article)

Article b @FortuneMagazine
This article is from the November 21, 2011 issue of Fortune 

Google’s search algorithm underwent another little upgrade today. This time, the search giant tweaked its ranking algorithm to help more recent information zoom to the top of search results.

The change, which will affect about 35% of searches, is designed for queries about recurring events, recent activity in the news and frequent updates. Writing in The Official Google Blog, Google fellow Amit Singhal outlined how each of those categories would be affected by the change.

A recurring event, for example, might be the Olympics. “If I search for [olympics], I probably want information about next summer’s upcoming Olympics, not the 1900 Summer Olympics,” Singhal writes. A “freshness algorithm” will ensure that Summer 2012 Olympics results float to the top. As for recent events, a search for “Occupy Oakland Protest” would yield the latest news. “You’ll see more high-quality pages that might only be minutes old,” he writes. Frequent updates refers to things that aren’t a hot topic or a recurring event, but nevertheless change often. For instance, a search for “slr cameras” should produce only the most-recent models.

The latest tweak builds on a Google initiative called Caffeine that provided 50% fresher results for searches than Google’s previous index. The reason? As Carrie Grimes, a Google software engineer, outlined in a December 2010 blog post about the completion of Caffeine, “People’s expectations for search are higher than they used to be. Searchers want to find the latest relevant content and publishers expect to be found the instant they publish.”

Given Google’s dominance in search, any change to its algorithm will be closely watched. The company’s last major change, Panda back in February, diminished the impact of content farms and gave Google’s YouTube higher visibility. Google, however, updates its algorithm 500 to 600 times a year, according to SEOMoz, and tends to announce major tweaks every few months or so.

Image courtesy of iStockphotoKontrec