Online Courses for Free??

For years, online courses have been available directly from universities. But students were required to be enrolled directly in the university and the courses cost as much as ones you would attend.

Enter Coursera. A new social entrepreneurship company partnered with the top universities in the world to offer free online courses to anyone who wants to take them.

Courses in a wide range of topics are offered, designed for students to master the material quickly. Taught by world-class professors from thirty three of the top universities around the world, these courses are perfect for improving your resume, advancing your career or just teaching you something you didn’t know before.

But, so what? Why do free classes matter? You don’t earn college credit by taking them through Coursera. They can take up to eight to ten hours of your time per week. So why take Coursera classes?

Easy answer. In this day and age, everyone needs to learn something new. Whether the class you take just teaches you how to improve your health, basic math or teaches you to how to utilize new technology, Coursera has something for everyone. You can learn more about the importance of social media marketing or how to write your own digital media and mobile app. During my time at Ingenex, I have learned the importance of keeping up with the digital transition. So why not take a class? And everyone loves getting things free… so why not get a free education from one of the best universities in the world?

For the Love of Social Media

Not so long ago in a place not too far away, my parents purchased our first desktop computer in 1998. It was a Gateway 2000 and it was glorious, or at least I thought so then.  Ever since my first experiences using the giant block of a machine I have been obsessed with being connect with people through the internet. At first it was just being able to have an AOL account and email my grandparents and cousins. Then I moved onto having an AIM account where I could leave overly dramatic away messages for my friends to see. Then Myspace became popular when I was freshman in high school and of course I was hooked on that until Facebook came along. I still use my Facebook account on the regular along with my Twitter, Linkedin, and Pinterest accounts.

It should be no surprise then that in college studying advertising I became keen on the idea of working in digital marketing and now seems to be a good time to go into it. This past summer I took the New Media Driver’s License Course, which made me love the idea of working in digital marketing even more and eventually led me to hearing about the Eco-Friendly Internship here at Ingenex.

So far being an intern here at Ingenex has been a great experience. I’m excited to continue learning more about the world of digital marketing and gain real world experience.

Better Late Than Never

I guess you could say when it comes to interns, I’m kind of an oddball. Not many interns are 24 and two years out of college!

I graduated two years ago from Albion College with a degree in English (creative writing, specifically), and assumed that I would complete my teaching certification at Eastern and be a licensed teacher by this time. Lots of credit to public school teachers, because I found it wasn’t for me, and I saw an opportunity in social media marketing when I realized that many of my favorite companies were suddenly using Twitter as a marketing tool!

“I’ve been using Twitter for just about forever, how can I get into this?”

Image: freedigitalphotos.net

I’ve been working for a very popular fruit stand for almost two years now, and during my time there, a coworker friend named Erin was hired by this company called Ingenex, and told me I should interview for something called the “Eco-Friendly Internship”. I’m not one to turn down a good opportunity, so Erin introduced me to the company CEO, Derek Mehraban. We talked about the practical applications of Twitter, Facebook, WordPress – everything companies are using now to connect to their potential clients and customers.

I’m very excited about being here at Ingenex, and hope to learn a lot more about search engine marketing, search engine optimization, and digital PR marketing in general, and most importantly, getting my hands on the ins and outs of using social media tools for business.

Twitter’s Makeover: A New Look for Business Profiles

Twitter recently introduced a feature for business’s called a header image. The concept is similar to a Facebook cover photo. I’m happy that Twitter implemented the idea. I’m a visual person, so I prefer pictures and videos more than text. Its not that I did not like the previous Facebook and Twitter layouts, but I think this style is more appealing to the eye. This photo is great for a business using Twitter for marketing because consumers can learn what the company does almost instantly when viewing a photo. An attractive photo can even reel in potential customers.

 

 

In addition to the new header image, Twitter has also enabled a bio section that’s similar to LinkedIn company profiles where you write a brief description about yourself. In other words, “Who are you and what is your position?”. Well, it does not have to be that stern, but can be a creatively carved description about yourself.

You can now also pin the most important content from your updates. For example, I can pin the pictures and updates from LA2M since I love it so much. The best part is that the Android and iOS apps have also been updated to work hand in hand with Twitter 3.4.

It will be interesting to see how Twitter’s new image will affect social media marketing and interesting to see how businesses will use the new features to promote their brands in creative and interactive ways.

To learn how to create a header image check out this helpful PDF from Twitter: https://business.twitter.com/pdfs/ProfilePage_onesheet.pdf

We’re Eco Friendly and Going Green

Two years ago, I thought recycling was for scrubs and hippies. Then I moved to Ann Arbor and started school.  Between them both, I had no chance. Ann Arbor recently implemented sustainability framework containing sixteen goals to make the city more eco friendly, while the University of Michigan has an extremely active campaign to become an eco friendly and sustainable campus.

The university’s PlanetBlue campaign includes new solar powered, hybrid buses and vehicles and a recycling program in The Big House, which is the largest of any stadium in the country. President Mary Sue Coleman approved a $14 million dollar budget in 2011, to make the University of Michigan campus more sustainable and eco friendly by 2025.

A new academic minor in sustainability has been approved in the Program in the Environment Department. New ways to help the environment are being developed daily and more and more campus groups are banding together to make our campus and city more sustainable and eco friendly.

Although I’ve learned a lot of eco friendly habits from my peers, my short time as an Ingenex intern has really emphasized the importance of being diligent in changing some of my continuing ‘bad’ habits. I’ve learned multiple eco friendly tips, the importance of green roofing and how the continuing transition to digital marketing saves paper and resources. So next time you get ready to throw away a plastic water bottle or print a seventeen page article that you won’t read for class anyway, think about what you are doing to the environment. After all, Earth is the only home we have. Why not save it?

First day at Ingenex!

Everything now is digitised and as a marketing student it’s very important that I know how a digital marketing agency works. Comparatively print media is used less and people are more digital savvy and interested in social media.

FIRST STEP

Everybody is moving towards the goal of “Going Green” and digital marketing contributes to this goal. As an eco-friendly intern at Ingenex I have the opportunity to learn about digital marketing and help the environment.

On my first day itself, I had the opportunity to attend an LA2M event. I always wanted to attend a LA2M event and finally had a chance to experience one. The event was very inspiring, knowledgeable and gave me the opportunity to network with some amazing people. Terry Bean, the first speaker for the LA2M event gave a presentation on what he calls “relateVertizing”. RelateVertizing refers to relating to a target audience and directing specific messages that these individuals identify with, understand and care about. In other words, there is more intensity of knowing the message or having a curiosity when it is related to the customer or the target audience.

He spoke about Detroit and his different avenues for reviving Detroit. The idea he had few years back is now called 313 D Love. Isn’t this a cool name? He even used the hash tag, #313DLove, to promote his message and unite Detroiters together.  I thought it was very interesting how he influenced many people residing or living in and around Detroit to help the city come together.

My goal as an eco-friendly intern and a marketing student is to learn and grasp the various aspects of marketing. I have a long way to go and this is the first step.

For more information about LA2M and a list of upcoming events please visit http://LA2M.org

Does Dial-Up Internet Still Exist?

I remember dial-up internet. You would turn on the computer, log into AOL (or your internet provider of choice), go to the bathroom, maybe grab a snack and come back to see the computer still on step 5 of 7. Now its all about Xfinity and 4G, the fastest speeds possible connecting you instantly to the world wide web. The world is literally at your fingertips with just the touch of a screen because honestly, who even still has buttons on anything these days?

The world has transitioned into an age of instant gratification. Newspapers, books, magazines and almost every type of print resource are available online, only a download away from being in our possession on our preferred type of electronic device. So it only made sense that the rest of the world go digital too. Beyond printed resources transitioning into the digital world, what were face to face interactions are now found on the internet. You can find a job, meet your soulmate or connect with people you knew in kindergarten, all through various types of social media. In fact, social media marketing has become so influential on attracting consumers, businesses have started to use it to advertise and market themselves. Digital marketing companies have entered the scene as a great investment since social media has expanded from a couple of websites to more than older generations can understand. Dominant social media companies Facebook and previously MySpace, now face competition from Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, AfterCollege, Pintrest, and many more. The number of different social media websites available is beyond what many could have ever imagined.

Like I said, its a great time to be a digital marketing company. I know I’m excited to be a part of one, at Ingenex. I get the opportunity to learn how to use all of these social media outlets for more than just seeing last weekend’s party pictures or what people from high school are doing now. I get the opportunity to be a part of the transition that will completely transform the marketing world. It doesn’t get any better than this.

Digital Media Consumption is Inevitable

Being born in the early nineties, I am part of the last generation to grow up with heavy exposure to tangible media. I grew up with a fax machine, a cassette player, and a print newspaper delivered to my house daily. Now, I email, listen to music digitally, and subscribe to a newspaper on my iPad. I just purchased a laptop without an optical drive. Almost all content I consume is digital. It is a great time to be at an digital marketing company like Ingenex while the digital world is evolving rapidly.

Despite the amount of digital consumption of media, I am still and will always be a huge fan of print media. I love the feel of good quality paper stock. The vibrancy of ink printed on paper. However, the transition to digital media is inevitable.  Consuming content digitally is eco friendly (something we love to be here at Ingenex!) The amount of paper I saved this year alone by purchasing textbooks on my iPad is huge. There is no shipping either when content is purchased digitally – just one click and done. Digital consumption is just more convenient. I don’t have to waste resources driving over Barnes & Noble to get a book, wait for a textbook to be delivered from Amazon, or worry that my monthly issue of Vogue is not going to make it to my doorstep. Besides being eco friendly, digital content is inherently social. It is super easy to share an interesting article read on a tablet. Humans are naturally social beings, and digital media makes it that much easier.

I am eager to learn about all things digital since digital and social media are taking over our lives. During my internship at Ingenex, I hope to grow and strengthen my knowledge of digital marketing. I am looking forward to applying skills learned to a my future career!

Social Media: My Source for News, Comment & Community

Remember the days of waking up, stepping onto your porch, picking up the newspaper, and reading the latest headlines? I have a vague recollection. It’s been some years since I subscribed to a newspaper.

Image: freedigitalphotos.net

Remember the days of waking up, turning on your laptop, opening your browser, and finding out what was making news? That memory is also starting to fade.

Increasingly, I get my information through social media, particularly Facebook. I’ll often start my day at Ingenex Digital Marketing by visiting such online news outlets as The Detroit News, Detroit Free Press, or The New York Times. However, I’ll usually exit after a few minutes given that I become overwhelmed by the amount of content. Other than the very latest news, I don’t always know where to look or what’s most relevant to me.

That inevitably leads me to Facebook to see what is on the minds of the people in my network. If there’s breaking news, someone will probably pass on word. If there’s some controversial issue, people will likely discuss it.I found out about the death of Whitney Houston through Facebook. Someone in my network posted it minutes after it was announced. That was a first — I had always learned of such things firsthand through TV news.

And then, we’re now in the final months of a presidential race. So, of course, there’s also been a great deal of political discussion on Facebook. I know people on both the left and the right and in all places in between, and I’ve been intrigued by the viewpoints shared. I may not agree with everything that’s said, but I’m more likely to consider the thoughts presented given these are folks I know and with whom I have a relationship.

It has become even more apparent to me since I started working at a digital marketing agency that social media is the modern equivalent of a town square. There’s extra joy in finding out positive news from people I know, and there’s a certain comfort in discussing tragedy from friends and acquaintances. What it ultimately comes down to is community — people want to feel connected to one another. The newspaper and other more traditional forms of media may have helped bind people in the past. Now, social media seems to fulfill that role.

New Media Driver’s License will change your life – or at least get you to start a blog

I recently finished work on a master’s degree in digital media at Michigan State University. I was out of school for a few months and interviewing for jobs, and the topic of social media came up on a few occasions.

“Digital media, eh? Do you know about search engine optimization and search engine marketing? Have you ever worked with Google AdWords? Do you write a blog? Have you ever devised a digital marketing strategy?”

“Uh.. Mmm.. What’s a SEM?”

Image: freedigitalphotos.net

So, I walked away from a few interviews without an offer, but with a desire to delve into social media and digital marketing. I had heard of New Media Driver’s License (NMDL) course at MSU, but didn’t think to take it while in graduate school because it wasn’t part of my master’s curriculum.

I enrolled in the summer 2012 session and it turned out to be a tremendous experience. I learned about search engine optimization, search engine marketing PPC, digital PR and social media marketing. I worked with Google AdWords. I started a blog. And I devised a digital marketing strategy.

After the course concluded my NMDL instructor, Derek Mehraban, offered me an internship at his Ann Arbor based digital marketing agency. My first day at Ingenex Digital Marketing was interesting and everyone was eager to help me. I could tell after my first day at Ingenex that I would come away with a host of digital knowledge. Everyone was very helpful and friendly, and my first day jitters quickly subsided.

I’ll have more to report on what I’m learning in the days and weeks to come. Again, I encourage you to take the New Media Driver’s License class.

Also, I encourage you to look into Frita Batidos in Ann Arbor. It’s a Cuban-inspired restaurant a few blocks from the office, and our entire group went to lunch there on my first day. I had the chicken frita with guacamole and it was excellent.