Retweet After Me: Week of Mar. 4

In Communications, Privacy And Security Are Illusions by Bob Ackerman

President Obama has tried for three years to persuade Congress to pass a cybersecurity bill. The president went so far as to highlight his cybersecurity proposals to a prime-time audience during his recent State of the Union address. And in the wake of the massive Sony hack, the political climate may finally have shifted in his favor. [Read More]

8 Amaze-Balls Things You Can Learn From Twitter’s FREE Analytics Tool by Aaron Lee

If you want to manage your success on Twitter, you need to measure what’s working & not working. You can do that for free with Twitter’s built-in analytics tool. [Read More]

‘U.S. News & World Report’ Backs Best Colleges Rankings with Facebook’s Interest Targeting by David Cohen

U.S. News & World Report used Facebook’s interest targeting tool for publishers to help promote its annual Best Colleges rankings to the appropriate Facebook users. Facebook strategic partner manager, news Meghan Peters said in a Facebook Media blog post that U.S. News & World Report social media editor Lauren Boyer used interest targeting to focus on Facebook users who had expressed interest in the top five schools on each ranking list. [Read More]

The 7 Steps to a ‘Good-to-Great’ Content Marketing Strategy by Justin McGill

If it’s starting to feel to you like every visit you make to Facebook these days is full of videos, you are not alone. Facebook today reported in a strong set of Q4 earnings that there are 3 billion videos viewed on its site each day. With the company also reporting daily active users of 890 million, this works out to more than 3 videos per day. [Read More]

An Inside Look at Facebook’s New Ads Manager iOS App by Tim Peterson

Sorry Android friends, Facebook’s Ads Manager is not ready for you yet. Power Editor geeks, this is not a replacement, but a handy app to manage stats and boost posts. But everyone else who is trying to grow their business on Facebook, you’re in luck! No need to lug your laptop around to manage your Facebook ads, except for set-up tasks and deep reporting, when you really don’t want to be using your phone. [Read More]

Universities Just Want to Have Fun!

I hope you’ve got Cyndi Lauper playing in your head after that title!

Social media is very unpredictable, as we all know, and sometimes tweets will pop up in your feed that you’re just not expecting! We’ve all seen the Twitter conversations between brands interacting that are light hearted (most of the time) and fun.

Dallas Stars vs. Dallas Cowboys

Old Spice vs. Taco Bell

taco bell old spice twitter war

Looks like a lot of fun, doesn’t it? Many would say this type of conversation doesn’t have a place in higher education social media, but who says we can’t have fun without being snarky? Recently, I was given the opportunity to have one of these type of conversations with Texas Wesleyan.

texas tech texas wesleyan twitter war

So who says universities can’t have a little fun? And thanks to @TexasWesleyan for starting our convo!

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.

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?