Forced Social Media…

One of my tasks this semester was to keep an updated blog and to become twitter savvy. Both the blog and twitter were hard to maintain just because I am not used to using either of the platforms. I have never been a heavy twitter user and have never really had a blog of any sorts. I do think that it was a great way to introduce me to both platforms. As a student majoring in Public Relations, it is important that I become a well versed individual in all forms of social media. This project allowed me to do just that. Ever since the beginning of the semester I have learned to use twitter to help put myself on the map. Having a digital trace of how I interact with others on social media is something that most professionals look for when hiring someone.

The reason I didn’t use twitter much before this wasn’t that I didn’t know how but was just that I wasn’t used to doing it. I was always someone who took to Facebook and Instagram before taking to twitter. Through this assignment I have become much more comfortable with using twitter. I believe that twitter is a very useful platform that allows you to interact with other brands. Through twitter you are able to directly voice concerns you have about certain companies. What a great way to also promote your writing skills! It is definitely a challenge to get thoughts across in just 140 characters. When you are able to do that in a professional and concise manner you have created a successful post. When looking to get hired it is almost guaranteed that the employer is going to look at your social media accounts to see how you think and how you write. If you are interviewing for any kind of social media position you will most likely be running their social media accounts so these companies are obviously going to be interested in how you communicate.

5 Reasons Twitter is Great for College Students

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Social Media in the Office

There is a lot of controversy surrounding the topic of social media use in the workplace. Some believe that using social media in the workplace is en example of time theft. Others believe that using social media in the workplace is a right that all members of society are given.

I believe that this issue is very dependent on the employees position within the company. If the emplyees position deals with the media and is required to be monitoring social media often, then it would make sense for this person to be able to use social media during work. If the position has nothing to do with social media, then it would not make sense for this person to be on social media sites during woking hours.

The distraction of social media sites can be dangerous depending on your job. You wouldn’t want a police officer wasting time by being on his/her Facebook and Twitter when he should be monitoring the radios. There is just too much risk associated with that. In most cases, the company did not hire the employee to be constantly checking their personal social media accounts. This is an example of time theft. The employee is being paid to do something that he was not hired to do.

I believe these laws were written to promote efficient performance in the workforce. It really makes sense for these companies to be able to restrict the usage of social media in order to make sure that their employees are working diligently and honestly earning their money.

Found: thenextweb.com/socialmedia/2011/08/17/44-of-companies-track-employees-social-media-use-in-and-out-of-the-office/

Fighting Obesity or Defending a Company… or Both?

In recent years, there has been an increase in health consciousness in our world. The companies receiving the most backlash are soda and fast-food companies. In order to combat this backlash, Coca-Cola decided to take a stand against obesity to show that you can live a healthy lifestyle even if you drink their product.

Coca-Cola officially launched their campaign, Coming Together, on January 14, 2013. But they started the fight against obesity years before that in 2006 when they started exclusively shipping low- and no-calorie beverages to schools. According to the American Beverage Association, 90 percent fewer calories were shipped to U.S. schools by 2010.

The rest of the timeline is as follows:

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All picture taken from “Are All Calories Created Equal? An Analysis of the Coca-Cola Company’s Communication in the 12 Fight Against Obesity”.

Even with all of the positive steps the Coca-Cola company took, they still received a lot of backlash. The media were saying that the Coming Together campaign was a disingenuous one. They could not condone the campaign because they do not believe that the problem can be the solution. Post like the following, were very common during the begin stages of the campaign.

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All in all, Coca-Cola did a really good job with their campaign, even with all the backlash. The Coming Together campaign focused on various ways that their consumers could stay fit. The targeted audience included general consumers of Coca-Cola products along with families. They presented various ways that families could stay healthy together. The fact of the matter is that soda products, no matter who the provider, are not the healthiest option. That is a known fact, but Coca-Cola really went a step further to show that you can enjoy their products while still living a healthy lifestyle.

Carelessness…

Sometimes you just have to take ideas and push them further.  When coming up with new strategies to engage the public, you have to constantly think of all the ways your ideas could go bad.  For the New England Patriots, this was clearly not something that was done.  On November 14, 2014 the Patriots’ twitter account told its followers that they would create “digital jerseys” for helping them reach their goal of 1 million followers.  The idea is great, and if thought out properly, it would have been a great success.  But the idea backfired on the Patriots due to their lack of ingenuity.  They decided that when a follower retweeted the image it would automatically produce an image of a Patriots jersey with the followers twitter handle on the back.

Screen_Shot_2014-11-13_at_9.51.33_PMThe problem with this was that they did not take into account people making fake twitter accounts to sabotage this project.  That is in fact what happened with this.  A user made a fake account with the twitter handle #IHATENIGGERSS and retweeted this picture.  The Patriots’ twitter account was programmed to automatically tweet back at the user with the custom jersey.  This was the result…

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The tweet received LOTS of attention and got hundreds of retweets and favorites.  The Patriots quickly learned their lesson and published an apology tweet.  Luckily for them, it was very obvious that they did not have the intent to be racist and that it was clearly a mistake.

The mistake they made was clearly not intentional.  I do think that they did a good job of handling the situation by apologizing for their mistake.  This all could have been avoided by simply thinking their ideas further.  As a social media team, you have to be able to think of every possible scenario.  Little mistakes usually come with a large price for both you and the organization.  The organization gets a lot of backlash and you, as the social media director, get fired.

-Mikey out!

Instagram, a Stepping Stone in Visual Communication

On Oct., 6 2010, Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger took a leap of faith in launching their new app: Instagram.  Instagram is a photo-sharing smartphone application that is meant to be utilized as a means of portraying things visually.

I believe that Instagram is a fantastic app that really does help portray things visually.  The reason Instagram is so successful is because users are able to interact with one another in a very user-friendly way.  Interacting with others is as easy as a double-click.  Users are able to mindlessly scroll through their feeds without having to put much thought into what they’re actually doing.  I also think that a key aspect to Instagram’s’ success is due to the focus that is put on the actual picture itself and not so much the comment attached to it.

By now, most organizations have taken to Instagram.  It is seen as something that has a substantial impact on an organization whether they are doing it correctly or not.  And yes, there is a correct, or at least better, way to present yourself on Instagram.  Organizations who make an active effort to establish a presence on the site are doing it right.  It is very important for an organization to make frequent post to ensure that they keep their organization in the minds of their followers.  What you post on Instagram definitely matters if it’s for an organization.  The organization needs to make sure that what they are posting is at least somewhat related to the organization.  A retailer could promote new releases and increase the awareness of that.  A retailer that does a great job on Instagram is Express.  They do a really good job of mixing promotion with fashion.  You would think that this would be common sense, but other retailers just are not doing it.  For example, Express did a great job of promoting the Super Bowl, promoting their brand and also poking a little fun at the big deflated ball fiasco.  For businesses who are just starting to increase their presence on social media, take some notes from the professionals over at Express.

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When it comes to public relations (PR), marketing and communication in general, Instagram is a great tool that professionals in the communication field can use.  Instagram now has over 200 million users making it a great way to reach large numbers of people.  In todays world, we see Instagram being used in all forms of communication.  The platform itself is still fairly new  but extremely versatile.  There is so much potential for it to continue to grow.

To get started with your very own Instagram account, watch the following instructional video!

-Mikey Out!