Vibe Magazine: Example of An Effective Fan Page



Before everybody got all their information and entertainment online, reading Vibe magazine was one of my favorite pastimes. I used to love to check out their urban fashion spreads and catch up on my favorite hip hop and R&B artists. The magazine was founded in 1993 by legendary music producer, Quincy Jones. Since then, the brand has gone on to become one of the most prominent and well-respected urban magazines of its time.


These days, the magazine has exited the print industry and taken it’s presence online, where it uses social media to interact with fans like never before. Instead of writing letters to the magazine and hoping they would get published, fans can now interact with the company in real time, two-way communication.


Unlike competitors, such as XXL and The Source, Vibe engages and interacts with fans by responding to comments on Facebook and tweets on Twitter. As well as posting content that they know readers want to see. The brand also nurtures interactivity and engagement by making use of Facebook’s new Live feature by live streaming with prominent and upcoming artists, such as DJ Drama and Skyzoo.




Taking all of this into account, its no wonder that Vibe has amassed a Facebook following of almost 2 million fans. A lot of this growth has to do with existing fans sharing Vibe’s content with their network and positive word of mouth marketing (WOM). It also doesn’t hurt that the magazine has ties with some of the biggest urban entertainers and a staff of great writers that keep fans coming back for more.


Overall, I’d say that Vibe is doing a great job effectively developing its brand on Facebook. Its fan page has a strong and consistent voice, gives readers what they want and is interactive and highly engaging. And with recent Facebook algorithm changes that make it harder for organic posts to reach fans’ timelines, their metrics and levels of engagement  are all the more impressive.




Eso Won Books on Yelp!


Eso Won Books is a afrocentric bookstore located in the culturally rich, Leimert Park district. It primarily carries books written by black authors that speak on issues relevant to the black community and often hosts readings that have been led by prominent black thought leaders, such as Barack Obama, Maya Angelou and Spike Lee.


Upon further review of its Yelp! page, you can see that Eso Won Books is very popular in the black community, with a 4.5 out of 5 star rating. Many of the user generated ratings show nothing but love for the business. With many ratings stating that Eso Won has a excellent selection of black books, movies and magazine, in addition to great customer service.



These positive reviews and recommendations play a huge role in customer acquisition for Eso Won Books, seeing that most people use Yelp! these days to find new businesses to visit. By fans giving the business positive reviews, it influences future customers and those curious about the business to visit and support in the form of buying books and leaving reviews themselves.


In turn, this leads to more business for Eso Won, an increased fan base and more user-generated reviews. When people read about a business with high ratings and positive reviews, it entices them to visit the business and make a purchase. Which is always good for a business’ bottom line.


I do think that Eso Won Books can do a better job in managing it’s Yelp! page though, seeing that it still hasn’t claimed it’s page and is not active on the platform as compared to other businesses like The Last Bookstore, which currently has more than 1,200 user-generated reviews. If Eso Won would be more active on the platform, I think that it would lead to increased sales, as well as customer retention because more people would feel inclined to visit the store based off of the reviews and word of mouth marketing alone.





My First Experience with Affiliate Marketing


June 2006 marked my first experience with affiliate marketing. I first learned of the concept through an interesting ad I saw on a website that I can’t remember. The Rich Jerk was his name and he just so happened to offer a book promising that he’d show you all his secrets to getting rich online. Since the book was only $10, I said, “why not?”


After a couple of days, I finally received my book in the mail that showed me everything you needed to know about Google AdSense and affiliate marketing at the time. For those not familiar, AdSense is a program that allows content creators a hassle free way to monetize their website through ads and affiliate marketing is where you get paid commissions for promoting other companies’ products online.


“Simple enough,” I thought to myself. So, I got started as soon as I finished the book. I already had an e-commerce site up and running. So, I figured I might as well toss some ads up there and see how it goes. And it went well, as I made an extra $100 in ad revenue within the first 30 days of adding the code to my site. After that, I was hooked and started implementing the other component of the Rich Jerk’s plan by joining Commission Junction, one of the top affiliate marketing sites.


There, you can promote products from well-known brands like Sprint, Macy’s and Guitar Center. Since my e-commerce site focused on the hip hop community market, which these type of products would appeal to, I thought that was an excellent idea. And I was even more excited to receive another $100 after only a few days after placing the banner ads on my site.


It was all fine and dandy, until I realized that promoting other people’s brands and showing ads on my e-commerce site was cutting into my profits. By showing the ads on my site, visitors were now leaving my site to go buy what my affiliate offers were promoting, which was not ideal for me. So, I ultimately decided to take the ads down and bring the focus back to my products.


That’s not to say that affiliate marketing isn’t for everyone. It all depends on your goals and what you want to do with your website and/or social media presence. Unlike back int 2006, these days you can promote affiliate offers through your social media profile(s), which can put a couple of extra dollars in your pockets every month. I’ve tried that too and have gone on to build websites solely focused on affiliate offers. But, that’s another story in itself…




YouTube Angers Content Creators with New TOS Policy



YouTube’s new Terms Of Service that rolled out a couple of days ago was met with anger and the subsequent #YouTubeIsOverParty hashtag on Twitter. The new TOS states that currently monetized accounts can see their videos removed for use of profanity, sexual content, controversial subjects and anything else that isn’t kids friendly.

This has definitely left a lot of popular bloggers upset, whether or not they abide by the new policy. Some videos may have contained profanity and other things that YouTube doesn’t like. But, there have also been videos dealing with suicide prevention and LGBT rights that have been flagged. Which raises the question of whether or not YouTube is leading the way to it’s own demise.

In my opinion, this was not a smart move by YouTube, as evidenced by the backlash. Many content creator have threatened to leave the platform for YouTube competitor, Vimeo, which currently does not censor videos and offers a better interface and features. The absence of top bloggers, will most likely lead to a decrease in the cut YouTube takes from ad revenue, as well as a decline in overall traffic.

I understand that YouTube is trying to make the site more kid and advertiser friendly, but the new TOS puts a damper on content creator’s freedom of speech and creativity. Most people signed up with the platform to express themselves and get paid in the process. So, with that no longer an open option, content creators are forced to either clean up their act or abandon the platform and their, in many cases hundreds of thousands of followers.

It’s difficult to have followers follow you from platform to platform. So, it’s more of a loss for content creators than anybody else involved in the decision. Time will only tell if the decision was in the company’s best interest.



Instagram Adds New Zoom Feature



In efforts to stay fun, relevant and innovative, Instagram has been rolling out new features left and right over the past few months. From it’s new Snapchat-like stories feature to it’s new pinch and zoom addition, Instagram is giving the audience the ability to interact with media and the world in ways that not only make life more fun, but also give businesses even more power to market themselves in ways never before imagined.

Although the new pinch and zoom feature is nothing new to smartphone users, it is to the social media world. This new feature allows users the ability to zoom in on photos and videos to see what’s hiding in the background or to just see products in more detail. This is good for businesses because like e-commerce sites, customers can now see products more clearly which will undoubtedly lead to an increase in sales and conversions.

Like Instagram’s initial launch, the new feature is only available on iOS, with an Android update in the works.