Retweet After Me: Week of August 7, 2012

7 Steps to Better Time Management on Social Media by Anthony Salerno

Social media management can be a difficult task no matter how long you’ve been on Facebook, Twitter, or any of the other platforms. The key to limiting your frustration is organization. Below are seven ways that you can better organize your social media efforts. [ Read More ]

Gap’s Social Media Policy a Guide for Other Companies by Gil Rudawsky

Gap Inc., struggling to make its brands stand out in today’s crowded marketplace, is turning its workforce loose on social media in an attempt to recreate some of the buzz for which it was known in the ’80s and ’90s. The clothier—which operates the Gap, Banana Republic, Old Navy, and Athleta chains—gives each of its 134,000 employees a no-nonsense social media policy, and nowhere does it recommend to “just cinch it.” The policy is broken down into three categories, “Keep in mind,” “How to be the best,” and “Don’t even think about it.” [ Read More ]

How the Discovery Channel Uses Social Media to Connect With Superfans by Lauren Drell

You know their shows: Shark Week, Swamp Brothers, Deadliest Catch, Man vs. Wild and more. Discovery Communications is a TV titan, and social media has become a big priority for the company in promoting its shows and building communities of impassioned fans. Mashable spoke with Gayle Weiswasser, VP of social media communications at Discovery Communications to get the low-down on their social media strategy. [ Read More ]

Flying Social: How Virgin America’s First-Class Marketing Fuels Brand Awareness by Lauren Drell

For those of you who have flown Virgin America, you know that its interpretation of “coach” is very “uncoach.” The cabin is illuminated with purple lights, the safety video is actually entertaining (and informative), beverage and food service is non-invasive and you can chat with fellow fliers via your personal touchscreen TV. It’s a snazzy airline, but beyond that, it has fully embraced technology and social media, going so far as to name one of its planes a hashtag, the #nerdbird. [ Read More ]

How Luxury Brands are Using Social Media by Nancy Messieh

Before asking the obvious question – how are luxury brands are using social media, it’s worth looking at the question, do they actually need it in the first place? Some may argue that by their very definition, luxury brands are about exclusivity. Social media on the other hand is all about reaching the largest audience possible. At first glance, the two don’t necessarily go hand in hand. [ Read More ]

Retweet After Me: Week of April 11, 2012

Welcome back for this week’s Retweet After Me. These articles were all selected based on their ability to help you improve through small tips and services. They also all have numbers in the titles! Enjoy!

15 Twitter Analytics Tools for Measuring Your Online Presence by Madalin Tudose

For many of us Twitter has become a part of our lives. Thanks to Twitter, now it`s easy to connect with our friends and relatives and to share our thoughts and feelings with them and is obvious that these kind of networks are influencing the way we communicate and live. [ Read More ]

19 Tools for Pinterest Pros by Tia Fisher

As Pinterest growth skyrockets, so follows the number of tools available to help us manage our content, understand our metrics, and be better pinners. Below are just a few of the tools and services now available for use with Pinterest that are especially handy for brands, marketers, and Pinterest devotees. [ Read More ]

100 More Social Media Statistics for 2012 by Cara Pring

You may have had the honour of reading one of my previous literary masterpieces, 100 social media statistics for 2012 in January. It has taken me just one month to collate another 100 social media statistics from countless (reputable) websites and articles (some of which are listed at the bottom of this article). Actually there may not be exactly 100 statistics here, but I figured it was close enough. [ Read More ]

12 Incredibly Useful Digital Tools for PR by Mark Pack

What are the key social media tools that PR professionals need to go from bumbling amateur to results-driven superstar? [ Read More ]

Web Copywriting 101: 12 Tips for Creating Strong Content by Shanna Mallon

In today’s Web-focused world, the power of the Internet is key — one of the most important tools you have today for improving business, whether that means building your brand, attracting customers or increasing sales. And one of the best ways you harness that power comes down to this: your Web content. According to StartupNation, “it’s what you say and how you say it that makes the sale. Establishing credibility is key … The content on your site must be crisp and intelligent. What you say should grab a visitor’s attention, pique their interest and motivate them to action.” [ Read More ]

Retweet After Me: Week of April 3, 2012

Here are my favorite social media reads this week!

Harley-Davidson Shatters Stereotypes on Twitter by Matt Wilson

Imagine the typical Harley-Davidson owner. Look a lot like a character from “Easy Rider”? Or maybe “Mad Max”? Well, wipe that image from your mind, because Harley Motor Co. is looking to prove that its customer base doesn’t fit any set profile. In a YouTube video released in February, the company encouraged followers to use the Twitter hashtag #StereotypicalHarley with the idea that there’s no stereotype at all. [ Read More ]

[HOW TO] 5 Ways To Create Social Landing Pages That Convert by Oil Gardner

Social landing pages are not the same as regular old landing pages. The idea of sharing content is not a “new” word-of-mouth-marketing (WOMM) concept. But the mechanisms now available to facilitate it are. In this post you’ll learn how to contemporize your landing pages with the latest social media techniques and widgets, and why it’s beneficial to do so. [ Read More ]

Facebook Photos: Now High Resolution, Four Times Larger by Alissa Skelton

Facebook has frequently changed the way it displays photos. Now Facebook is rolling out its greatest photo update yet. Facebook will display photos in high-resolution and allow full-screen viewing of images. The pictures will be crisper, higher quality and can be up to four times larger than before, Facebook announced. [ Read More ]

Twitter Updates TweetDeck, Allows Users to Edit and Retweet by Christina Warren

Still struggling in the wake of its acquisition by Twitter, TweetDeck has just issued an update to its desktop, Chrome and web apps that adds support for better list management, inline media support and improved retweeting support. [ Read More ]

Facebook Explains Its New Real-Time Insights by Matthew Creamer

In a matter of days, Facebook will begin rolling out a real-time version of Page Insights, the analytics tool that allows brands to keep tabs on their Facebook presence. Recently, Insights has been much maligned for reporting delays, but that should all be quieted with instantaneous reporting on page and post performance that will give brands a much improved level of control. [ Read More ]

Audience and Tone: Two Important Steps Not to Skip

Social media is all the rage, and for good reason, but there are a few things that you should remember in your strategy that can be easily forgotten. Social media is just another communications channel, and should be treated as such.

Audience

In every post, tweet, message, press release, whatever piece of communication it is, you should always think about who your audience is. I know, you’re saying this is communications 101, but it can be easy to forget to actively think about this important step. And when I say every tweet, I honestly mean it. It might seem a little overkill, but what is the point of sending out messages if they aren’t going to reach their targets in a way that makes sense to them?

Tips to Achieve

  • Make a note to ask yourself who your intended audience is. For instance, keep a content plan for your social media content? Make a column or a place to write down who your target is. Then you won’t forget to consider what things will resonate best.
  • Know your audiences in general. Writing posts and tweets to communicate with these audiences is easier if you pay attention to what those audiences engage with. Brands can find themselves with many different audiences, for instance, for universities you can have students, prospective students, alumni, faculty, staff and even parents. Obviously you can’t reach all audiences with each post, but if you have 2 out of 6 audiences in mind with one post and know they will react, then you can focus on the others with other posts. This is where knowing what your audiences enjoy and expect comes in handy.

Tone

Another thing I’ve seen passed over recently is presenting an appropriate tone for your brand. A surf shop can do the whole “What’s up, dude,” vibe, but you probably wouldn’t like to hear a similar tone from your bank. Without the correct tone, your message isn’t achieving your intended message.

Tips to Achieve

  • Your tone should align with your brand’s mission, vision and goals. If it doesn’t, then your message is not having the impact and impression it should. At Texas Tech, we are a national research university, and while we have some leeway with messaging, I really focus on making sure our tone represents this fact.
  • Your tone should assure your audience, it shouldn’t sound over the top, unless your brand is known for these things. I suggest writing down words that come to mind when you think about your brand, this will help you decide what an appropriate tone is, or even better, also ask someone who doesn’t work in communications for the brand, you’ll get an honest answer. Then compare the two lists of words and phrases.

Retweet After Me: Week of March 27, 2012

Enjoy this week’s worthy reads!

How Many Does It Take? by Ike

Influence, reach, funneling, cross-linking – the web is indeed a web of good intentions with unintended outcomes.

  • You have a great message, but it matters little if no one reads it.
  • You have a huge audience — but why again, exactly?
  • You reach people with great teases, but do you convert them into purchasers?
  • You have all of the above — so why not goose it further with like-minded people?

[ Read More ]

Using QR codes effectively by Phil Wilson

QR codes are increasingly in use around campus and, regardless of opinions of whether they are actually useful or not, there are still some best practices to follow to get the best results. [ Read More ]

6 Habits of True Strategic Thinkers by Paul J. H. Schoemaker

In the beginning, there was just you and your partners. You did every job. You coded, you met with investors, you emptied the trash and phoned in the midnight pizza. Now you have others to do all that and it’s time for you to “be strategic.”

Whatever that means. [ Read More ]

UM-Flint Social Media Strategy: Choosing Channels by Alaina Wiens

If you’ve been following the formalization of UM-Flint’s social media strategy, you may recall that the team in University Relations recently set official social media goals for the university. These goals centered around the growth and engagement of UM-Flint’s online communities. If we continue through the cycle as we’ve outlined it, the next step is “choosing social media channels.” [ Read More ]

Jackpot! 50 (Mostly) Free Social Media Tools for Brands by Adam Vincenzini

A couple years ago, Jay Baer wrote a great blog post called “The 39 social media tools I’ll use today,” which serves an all-in-one toolkit for social media marketers.

Much has changed in the two years since that post was published. Here is a 2012 remix featuring a mix of (mostly free) tools you can use on a daily basis.
[ Read More ]

Virgina Tech Verdict Ups the Ante for All Universities

Yesterday, a jury ruled that Virginia Tech was negligent while handling and releasing information during the 2007 mass killings on campus. The university maintains that they did as much as they could to the best of their abilities. And I honestly believe that is the case. Hindsight is 20/20, and sure they could have handled this better, but that doesn’t mean they weren’t trying their best.

However, this verdict doesn’t just affect Virginia Tech. This affects colleges around the country.

The shootings that happened at Virginia Tech could happen anywhere, at any university. Most universities have emergency plans in place that cover these kinds of situations, and drill and practice them on a regular basis. Staff are trained on what to do and what their roles are in the emergency plan, but training only goes so far. Nothing could ever simulate the chaos I am sure surrounds an actual event like this.

The verdict in this case ups the ante for all of us involved in emergency communications, in addition to administrators. We all know the importance of having a clear, concise message with all the facts, but if it doesn’t include all the facts, or it’s not sent out quickly, that means you were negligent. That’s a tough one to swallow, be perfect, or it’s wrong.

So we should all use this opportunity to better prepare ourselves for the unforeseeable. Here are some links that relate to crisis and emergency communications.

So what do you think of the verdict?

Retweet After Me: Week of March 20, 2012

Here are this week’s Retweet-worthy links written in the airport during one of my many delays yesterday! Enjoy!

What Higher Ed Can Learn from Encyclopaedia Britannica by Joshua Kim

Encyclopaedia Britannica announced today that it will cease publication of the 32-volume print edition. Going forward, the focus will be on Britannica’s digital properties. I worked for Britannica.com, the Encyclopaedia Britannica spinoff, from 1998 to 2001. This job gave me a close-up seat to witness the promise of the first dot-com gold rush (1999 and 2000), and the just as rapid crash when the bubble deflated (2001). I think that the story of Britannica, including this latest chapter to cease print publication, has some things to teach us in higher ed. [ Read More ]

What a New Pinterest Study Means for Brands by Matt Wilson

Pinterest has a reputation for being a place where arts and crafts, home décor, fashion and food dominate the landscape. Now, the numbers prove it. [ Read More ]

12 Top Community Managers Share Their Tips for Better Engagement by Lauren Drell

Engagement is one of the most talked about metrics for ROI. Some argue that the raw number of “Likes”, comments and retweets don’t mean anything. Instead, they point to a fans’ level of investment, loyalty and engagement to determine whether social media is “paying off.” A community manager — or social media manager or brand manager, etc. — is responsible for growing this community, providing interesting content and increasing engagement, which should ultimately lead to increased revenue. [ Read More ]

Higher Ed at SXSW Packs the House storified by Rob Evans

@lizgross144 and @debmaue pulled together a great wide-ranging discussion about the challenges and solutions for using social media as a college or university. [ Read More ]

The Timeline Checklist All Facebook Pages Must Have by Jasper Krog

Creating a successful Facebook page requires more than just a few clicks, especially with the new timeline design. Even before timeline, there were so many things to consider that we’d found it helpful to create a checklist for pages. [ Read More ]

Retweet After Me: Week of March 13, 2012

Welcome to my new weekly series, Retweet After Me! Once a week, I’ll post a few articles that I’ve read over the last week and think need to be passed on. So enjoy some reads, and Retweet After Me!

9 Social Media Hacks I Use Every Day by Jay Baer

Social media isn’t inexpensive, it’s just different expensive. To do it well requires a tremendous time commitment, and regardless of what your life and lifestyle entails, the time you spend on social comes with an opportunity cost price tag. Thus, one of the characteristics that sets adept practitioners of social media apart from less successful adherents is wise use of time. [ Read More ]

12 Dos and Don’ts for PR Interns by Lorra M. Brown

When the semester began in January, I was busy sending credit verification letters to internship sites for my students. It is timely to include a short list of tips for student interns. Here are some dos and don’ts for interns… [ Read More ]

Why Higher Ed Sucks At Content Strategy by Michael Fienen

Let’s face it, higher ed has problems. They have a lot of problems. Whether it’s bad coding, poor graphic design, or a lack of upkeep, someone is always talking about something that’s not working and getting plenty of sympathy from the rest of the web development community. Article after article, conference after conference we talk about all the different things we have trouble with and try to understand why it doesn’t work and what to do about it. One area that’s been getting more and more focus, in part thanks to folks like Meet Content, is content strategy (regardless of whether or not you think it’s a “Real Thing.” I’m looking at you, Karlyn). With the start of a new year, many of us are taking some time to revisit our policies and practices, and get ready for a better 2012. But there’s one big problem when it comes to content strategy for us… [ Read More ]

5 Reasons Measuring Social Media Isn’t Always a Good Idea by Matt Ridings

Social media measurement is a seemingly simple issue with a complex point. Or perhaps a “nuanced” point is more accurate. I obviously believe in data; it’s a big part of what I’ve done over my career. [ Read More ]

Managing Negative Feedback: Social Media Marketing Campaigns by Angelita Williams

Social media marketing is becoming a most popular and useful marketing option for business. It is also readily apparent that social media is here to stay, and that is will prove to be ever more effective for worldwide users/proponents around the world. [ Read More ]

Have an interesting article that I should take a look at? Leave me a comment!

Customer Service Applies to Social Media Too

As some of you might know, I am getting ready to tie the knot in May. Thanks to this, I have been dealing with many different companies and the services and products they provide. Over the last few weeks, I have found myself in a tough position due to some mistakes by the company who is providing my bridesmaid dresses. If you know me personally, or follow me on Twitter, you may know who this company is, but since the mistakes have since been corrected, I am not going to give them anymore hell by mentioning them here. However, this doesn’t mean that there aren’t some social media customer service lessons to be learned, especially for higher education!

I feel like some companies forget that social media is just another channel for customer service, and a very important one at that. There are a lots of followers with all eyes on the conversation. Here are some tips to help make the conversation go as smoothly as possible!

Listen

Something I learned back when I was a waitress is to always listen to the entire problem being told to you. Many times, you think that you know what the problem will be, when in reality, the problem is something completely different. Make sure you solve the problems being voiced to you over social media by reading the entire problem, and even reaching out for more information if necessary.

Sorry Goes a Long Way

Apologize for the situation, no matter how large or small. You would be surprised how far the simple words, “I’m sorry,” go. It shows you understand their problem, and you are invested in assisting them find a solution.

No One Cares About the Processes

In every organization, there are processes to handle problems, there has to be. However, your customers do not care what your processes are. All they want is for you to listen to their problem and to fix it. Your answer to their problem should never be, “The ‘blank’ department is responsible for that, not me.” Rather, find out what needs to be done, and help fix the problem. This also applies to blame, it’s easy to blame someone else for the problem, but again, your customers don’t care about who made the mistake. They care that you fix it, and it is your job to take responsibility for finding a solution as a representative of your organization.

Make it Your Mission

It’s easy to pass off a complaint to someone else, but a customer doesn’t want to go through the shuffle of being passed from office to office. Make it your mission to help this customer get a resolution. Pick up the phone and find a specific person to help the situation. Ensure they contact the customer, and that a solution is reached.

Practicing Responsible SXSW

Note: I originally wrote this post for Mikinzie Stewart’s blog PR Geek Speak, and luckily for me, I was able to recover it from there, even though I lost all my content. To all of you heading to SXSW or who are already there, have a fantastic time, learn tons and make lots of contacts!

As a SXSW virgin last year (I have the Foursquare badge to prove it!), I went to Austin thinking I was uber prepared, probably even too prepared. After about 10 minutes, I realized how grossly mistaken I was.

SXSW is an awesome, crazy and exhausting experience, and there are a few things that I picked up during my trip that will make your experience all the better next year:

  • Bring a map! With 10 different campuses, there’s a lot of walking. There’s no reason to walk circles around the convention center because you don’t know where Congress Street is.
  • Realize that there’s no way in hell you’ll be able to attend every panel. Most panels will be great but inevitably you’ll end up in one that isn’t what you expected or is a little too basic for you. Don’t be afraid to get up and leave! If you have multiple panels scheduled, you’ll be covered.
  • When planning your schedule, try to stay with the different tracks. This will help minimize the amount of walking too.
  • Want to connect with some Twitter friends that you’ve always wanted to meet? Decide on all the specifics of when you’ll meet up before you leave for Austin. Once all the craziness of SXSW begins, it becomes nearly impossible to get together. Whether it is meet-ups, panels or lunch, make plans ahead of time.
  • And the biggest tip of all: HAVE FUN! Take it all in, enjoy everything Austin has to offer, attend as many panels as possible and hit up all the parties.