Retweet After Me: Week of Mar. 25, 2014

Department-Level Content Strategy by Erin Martin

Last year, I scraped up enough funding to attend Confab Higher Ed, the inaugural higher education content strategy conference held in Atlanta. As I was wandering around, meeting inspiring folks and talking shop with people who get it — who see the value in thoughtful, mindful online communication — I kept getting asked a question over and over. “You work for a department — like, directly with faculty?” Imagine an excited, incredulous face. [Read More]

Could Snapchat be the Next Big Trend in Student Marketing? by Patrick Quinn

Social media marketing has become a necessary resource in the realm of student recruitment but that doesn’t mean it isn’t a constant challenge to stay on top of the latest trends. It sometimes seems like a giant game of tag, chasing students and prospects to the next hot platform for a chance to communicate with them. We wrote recently about widely reported findings that teens are flocking away from Facebook, citing privacy concerns and the “uncoolness” of parents liking their posts. One emerging social media contender that has won significant enthusiasm among the 13-25 demographic is photo messaging app, Snapchat, currently top of the free Apple App chart. [Read More]

Facebook Reportedly Slashing Organic Reach for Pages by Melissa Hoffmann

Facebook is reportedly slashing organic reach for Pages, a move that could have a sweeping impact on brands that have spent big on the social platform as well as local companies that have worked hard with limited resources to develop often modest fan bases. [Read More]

Innovative Approaches to Student Admissions by Patrick Quinn

In the world of higher education, the beginning of March means that application deadlines for next fall’s admissions are fast approaching, if they haven’t already passed. Admission decisions actually began being released before Christmas for rolling, early and priority applications at some American colleges that believe the first acceptance letter a student receives is most likely to be acted upon. As the percentage of students sending out three or more applications has been steadily rising every year, some schools are taking innovative approaches to increasing the likelihood that their offers are accepted, thereby optimizing the admissions yield. [Read More]

The Secret To Airbnb’s Freakishly Rapid Orgy Response: “Scenario Planning” by Ian Allen

Airbnb uses strategic thinking to shield the company–and its renters–against scandals such as orgies, prostitution, and even suicides. Airbnb host Ari Teman handed over the keys to his Manhattan apartment last Friday to a guest visiting New York ostensibly for a wedding. But when Teman returned to his apartment that evening, he was aghast to learn that the guest had rented his apartment so he could host an all-night orgy that was open to the public. [Read More]

Retweet After Me: Week of Mar. 11, 2014

Social Media Crisis Management: A No-Nonsense Guide by Mack Collier

Past Social Media dramas involving The Red Cross, Groupon and Kenneth Cole are good reminders of the importance of having a solid social media crisis management plan in place. At its very basic level, the proper handling of a social media crisis should consist of two things. [Read More]

The first fully integrated polling and survey option on Tumblr by Nick Cicero

Social survey and VegasTechFund company Wedgies announced a partnership with Tumblr today bringing fully functional polls and surveys to publishers of the Yahoo owned microblogging platform. Tumblr users publish 94.1 million posts per day. And at least 70 percent of Tumblr’s users spend their time in the dashboard, or the backend where actual content creation takes place. Until now, publishers could not share a poll to Tumblr and have it work interactively on Tumblr blogs or in the Tumblr Dashboard. [Read More]

Free Design Resources To Upgrade Your Community Management Game by Tony Hymes

When you’re working in the digital world, companies spend a lot of time on design. Scratch that, in any world, companies spend a lot of time on design, for their branding, their products, their functions, everything. A community manager should do the same. [Read More]

‘Honest University Commercial’ Provides A Brutally Funny Education In Cost by William Goodman

While going to college or university can provide many with the tools they might need to succeed, it also tends to give people something far less worthwhile: lots of debt. Which is just part of what Ryan Higa, better known as Internet personality Nigahiga, pokes fun at in this parody college commercial above that plays upon all the cliches you’ve seen before in higher education advertisements and blends with tongue-in-cheek and far less ideal elements that come from pursuing a bachelors or otherwise. [Read More]

17 Rules of Engagement to Create a Love Affair Between Your Brand and Buyer by Barry Feldman

Yes, this is a story about building your business. The points I’ll make might appear to be about turning people on. They are indeed. We call this social media. It may seem I’m talking about courtship. I am. It’s often referred to as lead nurturing. You’ll gather my lesson here today is about commitment. Right you are. You can call that buying. [Read More]

Retweet After Me: Jan. 29, 2014

At U. of Illinois, decision to keep classes going leads to racist and sexist Twitter attacks on chancellor by Scott Jaschik

Students (and plenty of professors) love snow days. But when they can’t get what they want, is that any reason for a blizzard of hate on Twitter? That is among the questions raised by the reaction at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign when Phyllis M. Wise, the chancellor, opted to keep classes as scheduled Monday, despite extremely cold weather. That some students would take to Twitter to gripe is not shocking. But a flurry of comments focused either on Wise’s status as a woman, as an Asian-American or both. The hashtag of choice: #fuckphyllis. [Read More]

Social Media Usage for Crisis Communications by Mike Richwalsky

Wondering what works and what doesn’t for your Facebook page? Or are you overwhelmed with all of the Facebook tactics you read about? No matter how long you’ve had a Facebook page, it’s good to review some of the basics for creating a page for your business. [Read More]

Facebook Is Stuck in Limbo … and It Makes My Job Easier by Bryan DeSena

Twitter has become the social platform for communicating and discovering what’s happening in the moment. Many think that this what fast-tracked its surge to prominence and a successful initial public stock offering. Meanwhile, Facebook, once the darling of the Internet, is now chasing Twitter by introducing new features to grab a share of the real-time marketing budget pie. [Read More]

9 Ways Social Media Marketing Will Change in 2014 by Scott Gerber

From the decline of Facebook use among teens to Twitter’s IPO, if there is one thing we know for sure about social media, it’s that few trends hold on for long — so marketers need to stay on their toes. [Read More]

18 Ways to Improve Your Facebook News Feed Performance by John Haydon

Are you frustrated with Facebook’s frequent changes to the news feed algorithm? Do you feel like you’re being forced to buy ads to reach your audience? While Facebook change is the rule rather than the exception, this article gives you 18 ways you can improve your Facebook news feed performance—and gain the upper hand. [Read More]

Twitter Alerts and Higher Ed, A Golden Opportunity

Twitter_Alerts

At the end of September, Twitter announced its latest product, Twitter Alerts, which allows emergency offices to get important and accurate information our to as many people as possible. Account managers of specific accounts have the ability to mark a tweet as an “alert” and it will automatically send a notification to the phone of those who have subscribed. Sounds like a great program to me.

This new feature is available to:

  • law enforcement and public safety agencies;
  • emergency management agencies;
  • city and municipal governments, as well as their agencies and representatives;
  • county and regional agencies, providing services to cities and municipalities;
  • and select state, federal, and national agencies and NGOs.

While this doesn’t specifically include universities or colleges, many of us can argue that we fit within one of these categories. I recently submitted an application to be included in the program and I’m waiting to hear back, which they indicated could take some time.

I think this feature would be a great opportunity for universities to be even better prepared to send out emergency information when it matters the most. I hope more universities will join me in requesting the feature so Twitter will hopefully consider giving us the feature to inform students in emergency situations. Fill out the enrollment form.

Photo from Twitter Alerts website.

Retweet After Me: Sept. 17, 2013

Facebook and LinkedIn Figure Out What PR Pros Have Known For Years by Chad Pollitt

LinkedIn’s stock price has doubled this year and Facebook’s grew by 42 percent. Both companies are surging because they’ve outperformed expectations by growing revenue. They’ve also recently added new ways to advertise – sponsored updates for LinkedIn and mobile newsfeed ads for Facebook. While LinkedIn has multiple revenue streams, Facebook’s is primarily driven by paid media buys. Both social media sites rely on selling advertising to drive some portion of their revenue. [Read More]

How to Use Twitter Hashtags in a Crisis by Chris Syme

You’ve seen those tweets—the ones where #every #other #word has a #hashtag. Because a hashtag draws attention to a person, place, or thing, tweets overloaded with hashtags are confusing. According to a recent report from Hubspot, tweets with two hashtags get 21 percent more engagement than those with three or more. Not really a surprising factoid. But, there is more to the science of hashtags than just numbers, especially in a crisis. Here are some quick tips on how to use Twitter hashtags in a crisis. [Read More]

Twitter Expands Lead Generation Cards to All Businesses by Todd Wasserman

After a limited test in May, Twitter on Thursday announced it is opening up its Lead Generation Cards to all businesses. The Cards let businesses register users and their emails for promotions or memberships directly within a tweet. When you click to expand the tweet, you’ll see an option to sign up with your Twitter handle and connected email already filled out.[Read More]

Twitter Co-Founder Evan Williams Lays Out His Plan For The Future Of Media by Gregory Ferenstein

Twitter Co-Founder Evan Williams has an ambitious new plan: to shift our daily reading habits away from consuming incremental news bites and towards engaging with enlightened ideas curated by an intelligent algorithm. Ordinarily, such a goal would seem utopian, were it not for the fact that Williams is among a handful of Internet pioneers who have disrupted the media industry multiple times. [Read More]

The Dos and Don’ts of Pitching Journalists on Social Media by Zoe Fox

Social media is a blessing and a curse when it comes to pitching journalists. While Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Foursquare and Instagram — yes, Foursquare and Instagram pitches happen — present many new opportunities to forge connections, it’s very easy to step onto inappropriate turf. [Read More]

Avoiding Social Media Marketing Mishaps

Too often the headline, “Company makes social media blunder, offends large group of people,” goes by on social media. And these headlines aren’t exclusive to social media, but can happen with any advertising, public relations or marketing tactic. There are a few simple ways to avoid this becoming your reality.

Use Common Sense

att-9-11-post

If your are recognizing a day of remembrance of a tragedy, you can pretty much guarantee slipping a product reference or sale price in to your social media or other content or advertising is probably going to be received poorly. People are passionate about these events, and if they think you are trying to make a profit off of a national tragedy, they will call you on it. If you are going to recognize this day, separate your promotional materials. Have to push a sale or marketing piece, then don’t recognize the day of remembrance, or what ever the tragedy or event might be, at the same time. Make separate posts, and space them out a bit.

Plan Ahead

I know I’m the biggest poster child for planning ahead, but this is even more important in this type of situation. Think out what you are going to say well before hand. One word slightly out of place could be enough to upset your audience. I find myself double checking the meanings of words that I know the meanings of, just to be sure it can’t be taken in a way I didn’t intend.

golf-course-9-11

We all know that tone is lost in written digital communications, so make sure your tone can not be misconstrued. If you take the time to do this all ahead of the posting time, then you can be confident your post won’t land you in hot social media water.

Wear Other’s Shoes

Take some time to research the event or day that you will be making a post for. Do you consider Memorial Day as the first day of summer? You should probably take some time to read up on what Memorial Day is for others. An easy way to get an overall understanding is reading up on the topic on Wikipedia. I find that Wikipedia typically shows a well-rounded view on big topics like these. This especially applies when talking to an international audience.

Now that you know these easy ways to avoid these marketing blunders, go forth and avoid them!

Floating at Sea: Carnival Triumph and Crisis Communications

If you’ve been paying attention to the news, you know that the Carnival Triumph is currently floating about 150 miles off the Yucatan Peninsula after an engine fire left them without propulsion and running on emergency power.

Ok, now that you are up to speed, let’s look at their crisis communications at work.

This situation is easily one that Carnival could have attempted to sweep under the rug, it wouldn’t have worked, but they could have tried. Instead, they are not only being transparent about the situation, but they are actively talking about it. Color me impressed!

carnival web site
Carnival Triumph button and question and answer page

A ship floating at sea is a big problem when you’re a cruise line, but by actively talking about the situation, and the steps they are going through to ensure their guests and crews’ safety, they are sending a clear message to past and present customers. “You matter, and while the situation isn’t the vacation you planned, we’re not forgetting about you and we’ll fix this to the best of our ability.” What more can you ask for from a company?

Web

Right on the homepage is a yellow button with the words, “Carnival Triumph,” which links to official information on the original incident, an update to the incident, and an information on upcoming voyages that are now canceled and compensation. Again, they’re not hiding this. It’s right at the top of the page. Since writing this, the page has been updated with a statement from their CEO.

Social Media

carnival facebook
Carnival statement on Facebook

I actually found out about the Carnival Triumph from social media, and it wasn’t someone saying, “Go look at how they’re messing up their social response.” I found out from the source, from Carnival on Facebook. I read the whole post, which is quite long, but it put out the facts and needed information. In fact, I didn’t feel the need to read about the situation from another news source. If you know me, you know this never happens. I always want to know more, and I love to Google. Carnival, however, told me enough information that I felt I knew the facts. They’ve continued to post on both Facebook and Twitter, and have only posted information about the Carnival Triumph since the situation started. In fact, they just updated further with new information about taking the ship to Mobile, Ala., instead of Progreso, Mexico, and why they are doing so.

Takeaways

Carnival Twitter feed
Carnival Twitter feed

There are some lessons for crisis communicators and social media managers to learn here. First, be as open and honest as you can. There are situations when all the facts just can’t be told, but being proactive and releasing information when it’s appropriate is definitely the way to go.

Second, social media can be your enemy or your friend. We’ve all seen tons of examples of what not to do in a crisis situation on social media. While Carnival is definitely getting its fair share of negative comments, there are also plenty of positive ones in there, too. By talking to their audiences, they aren’t being attacked for not saying anything, or for saying it all wrong.

Third, continue to update. One and done is not the way here. As the situation evolves, Carnival continues to let people know on all channels what the current status is.

Their only faux pas? It seems they’ve started copying and pasting their latest statement to some commenters on their Facebook wall. If they showed a little compassion here, and just let people know they understand, and are doing everything possible to ensure the safety of the guests and crew members onboard, it would probably be better received. That is, as long as they don’t start copying and pasting that, too.

What do you think of Carnival’s response to their floating at sea cruise ship? Good or bad? Is there something you think they could be doing better?

 

Retweet After Me: Week of Feb. 5, 2013

This week’s resources include, planning your web presences for a crisis, some Facebook and LinkedIn tips, and fake Twitter followers and what we should do as brands.

Are You Ready? Web Operation Planning for Crisis Situations by by Matt Herzberger

April 17, 2007 – What is the significance of this date? Probably the most important date in the history of university crisis management planning. In case you are still unsure, April 17, 2007 was one day after the Virginia Tech shooting. It was a day that most universities’ communication vehicles were woefully unequipped to deal with crisis situations. [ Read More ]

New LinkedIn Profile Changes Made Easy by Marla Tabaka

Last week I received an e-mail saying that my new LinkedIn profile was ready for updates. Rolling my eyes I thought, really? Didn’t we just do this? Meeting yet another profile change with resistance was obviously my first reaction, but, truthfully, this time LinkedIn did most of the work for us. [ Read More ]

Millennials Up Their Time Online

Online Americans spent slightly more than one day a week online last year, increasing their average online time by 3 hours to 26 hours, per results from a WSL/Strategic Retail study. Though the amount of time spent online was relatively consistent among age groups, Millennials (16-34) markedly increased their average internet consumption from the previous year, up 25% to 25 hours a week. Gen Xers (35-46) and Boomers (47-65) increased their average time to 26 and 27 hours per week, respectively, while Seniors (66+) held steady at 25 hours. [ Read More ]

A Facebook cheat sheet for brands by Michael Sebastian

Many companies are rushing to try and jump into social media because they feel tremendous pressure to prevent being left behind. Most of us have moved past the need to make a business case for social media and into the era of “needing” social media as part of our overall marketing mix. The statistics on social media adoption are astounding. A recent study found that over 90% of marketers indicate that social media is important for their business. This is a drastic shift from where we were even just a short 2 years ago. In the same study, more than half of the respondents had less than 1 year of experience in social media. [ Read More ]

Should brands worry about fake Twitter followers? by Isra Garcia

I recently received a list that included the “top fake artists” who bought followers on Twitter. It included many widely known electronic music DJs with their stage names and Twitter accounts.[ Read More ]