Saturday, May 25, 2013

TWITTER, BEST PRACTICES AND MY NOT BEING A READER



Part five of five in my Social Media Marketing Series


I don't typically read a lot of books. I figure there're too many things to read online, and books don't let me open new tabs about about recent studies on childcare or inbox notifications. I like to multitask, though I know there are several benefits to slowing down a bit with a decent read that holds my interest.

Courtesy: http://damnhot.net

Accordingly, I probably won't ever do a book review... Or mention many books (ideally I would like that all to change). All of this pomp leads to mentioning only one of the several outlets designed to satisfy best practice needs in social media marketing: Mark Schaefer's The Tao of Twitter: Changing Your Life and Business 140 Characters at a Time
.

Courtesy: http://sugarluxeblog.com

I won't give it all away, but most notably, he mentions his four safest rules to satisfy the twitter marketer:

1. Three tweets, three times a day. (Don't be afraid to tweet outside your industry!)
2. Respond diligently to tweets and direct messages.
3. Re-tweet your followers a few times a day
4. Tweet a #FF Follow Friday every Friday (but don't bog down the tweet!)

I'll expand a bit on No. 4. If you use the twitter "search bar" you can combine hashtags to search for notable picks within your industry! For example, type in "#FF #HigherEd" and you'll find schools, University marketers and just interested folks encouraging their picks to follow for the upcoming weekend. This is a great networking opportunity, that I find many industries (including Higher Ed) are often missing out on. 

There's no "perfect scheme" when it comes to Social Media in any industry. It's important to keep our ears and eyes open when it comes to new technology, and never believe that you've got it all figured out--after all, there are entire careers based on the continued mastering of this fluid infrastructure

This will be my last Social Media Marketing Post for a while--I encourage readers to look to Mashable in my absence... (Yes, I am clearly comparing my itty-bitty, five post SMM series to arguably the largest Social Media news outlet in the world...). Mashable has all of the latest trends in Social Media, including the Higher Education industry. From articles on The Most Important Education Technology in 200 Years, to Harvard Teams Up With Foursquare For Collegiate Check-Ins to 15 Digital Media Resources You May Have Missed. Their aim to help folks in the world of social media should keep you out of trouble until I get back. 

Courtesy: http://rack.2.mshcdn.com/


Sunday, May 19, 2013

SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING IN HIGHER ED: NO ONE SAID IT WAS GONNA BE EASY



Part four of five in my Social Media Marketing Series

It's pretty safe to say that if your brand isn't involved somehow within the atmosphere of Social Media, you're missing out on a competitive advantage. Not to say that every single brand and every single industry is right for Social Media branding--but pretty close

I'm no expert (yet!), but I don't think I've seen a more actively involved school in Social Media Branding than Southern New Hampshire University. Be that as it may, it's not an easy job. There are certain inherent risks and challenges that go alone with Social Media use by any organization. [Though I've always felt like companies selling tangible goods (or, "widgets" if you're in an economic kinda mood) had a bit more straight forward time when developing/implementing Social Media strategies.]

Courtesy: http://www.esocialmedia.co.uk


And so in my ever peaked interest in the world of Higher Education, I've asked SNHU's Social Media Strategist, Director of Creative Services, Jason Mayeu to answer a few questions for us all to examine pertaining to Social Media Marketing and Higher Education.


Me: Jason, what is the biggest challenge in attempting to brand with social media?Jason: In a word, balance. Balance of number of accounts, number of platforms, types of posts. If you stretch yourself (the office) too thin, it's tough to keep up a unified voice. If you find yourself with too many accounts you end up diluting the voice because you can't ask the public to follow multiple accounts for the same entity with similar posts.

Me: What is the biggest risk a college takes when turning to social media when marketing? Jason: Getting too thin. If you don't have the resources to keep up with it, it can look like you stopped caring. Social Media in colleges are like a three legged stool; marketing, recruiting, and customer service. They all kind of work in tandem and yet also separately.Marketing is general postings about campus, events, interesting facts about the university and its constituents.Recruitment is reaching out to students who post about SNHU when they discuss how excited they are about attending an event, visiting campus or just in the decision making process (i.e. a students posts a picture of acceptance letters to SNHU, Fitchburg State and UNH and inquires, "What to do, where should I do?" - we'd typically respond with, "we'd pick SNHU, but we're probably a bit biased")Customer Service ranges from answering questions from prospective and current students ("What time is open house in the morning? Who do I talk to about a heating issue I'm having?) to answering questions from parents, alumni and other community members.Customer service is a large part of what we do on a daily basis, especially on Twitter. Marketing and Recruiting are bigger with the Facebook and IG groups. Although we do Customer Service with both of those platforms as well.

Me: What's the biggest risk in not jumping into social media?Jason: Institutions not in social media risk missing out on what people are saying about the institution; good, bad or ugly. If you're not listening and answering, someone else might be in your stead, potentially in a manner you'd prefer them not to.


Obviously, Jason speaks (er, types) with more authority, and well, accuracy on the matter than I do (thanks, Jason!). My next post will cover tweeting best practices and the Tao of Twitter! Stay tuned.

Friday, May 10, 2013

ABERCROMBIE CEO BODY FOUND CRUSHED TO DEATH BY PLUS SIZE MODEL


Via HuffPost: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/12/09/mike-jeffries-retiring-abercrombie_n_6294042.html



LOS ANGELES, CA - Police are currently investigating the death of Amercrombie & Fitch CEO Mike Jeffries, found at his Los Angeles office Friday morning, beneath Plus Size model Ashley Graham.

Authorities say that that Jeffries died of an apparent suffocation, brought on by the weight of Graham Thursday evening. A full toxicology screen will be needed to rule out any type of poisoning, and a full autopsy has yet to be conducted.

Graham told police "it was just a freak accident. You won't even believe what happened." Graham went on to explain that she had received a call from an Abercrombie spokesperson to become the new face of Ambercrombie 2.0, and that when she entered Jeffries' office for a formal interview "all hell broke loose."

"I mean, I was surprised to get the call in the first place, after what I heard recently about his idea of beauty, and all, but I figured he was trying to fix that with some new campaign." Graham was of course referring to Jeffries' comments recently flooding Facebook and Twitter feeds across the country this week, with Robin Lewis citing Jeffries as saying (among other things) "[he] doesn't want larger people shopping in his store; he wants thin and beautiful people.”

Graham went on, "at first I thought he was laughing at me; he made laughing noises, but with no facial movements." Graham describes how "he tried to say something, but his face just looked like a ventriloquist trying to pronounce the letter B. I got so confused. I tried to get closer to him to understand him better, but at that point he reached for some medical mask and a crucifix and pushed me away."

At this point, Graham was too emotional to go on, but authorities believe that Graham lost her balance and landed on Jeffries. His secretary found them in the morning, Graham still covering Jeffries' immobile body, and wedged between what looked like a giant golden penis statue and a case full of empty bottles of Botox.

"The irony isn't lost on us," said Abercrombie spokesperson Hampton Carney, after hearing of the death of their retail leader, "it's just such a shame to see this legendary business man go down (so to speak) in such an untimely manner." The company plans to issue a broader and more formal statement over the weekend.


INSTA-BRAND YOUR SCHOOL


Part three of five in my Social Media Marketing Series. Enjoy.


Courtesy: mashable.com

Differing Universities and Institutions in Higher Ed have all enjoyed the recent "mobile app" breakthrough in the world of social media (and I'm not just talking about adding classes/degrees/majors in Designing Mobile Applications.) The one I'd like to highlight right now is the use of Instagram.

More photos are taken by mobile phones today than with any other designated camera. College students use mobile phones more now than just about any other demographic, which makes a Universities adaptation of Instagram a no-brainer.

But it's not just about college kids taking pictures with a hip filter and tagging their school on their profile, Colleges also are able to manage and maintain their own Instagram account, post photos, and interact with students showing interest or involvement with the school.

The risk involved here is that students (or anyone) displaying less-than desirable or inappropriate behavior have the ability to tag their image with the school's name, thereby associating their behavior with any organization they choose. There is no way of removing someone else's tag or comment, and so the person in charge of a school's social media account needs to be trained in PR, to understand how to appropriately deal with such an event.

With that being said, the pros far outweigh the cons when it comes to Universities having an Instagram account. It creates social engagement within the student population and alumni, which in turn leads to interest and involvement on campus. As an RA, I learned that the more involvement a student has with their school, outside of just their dormroom, the more likely they were to continue at that school, whereas the less involved student was at a higher risk of dropping-out or transferring. Retention is half the battle, in the world of successful Higher Education.

Success on Instagram can be measured in a few ways, depending on the industry, but typically more "followers" and more "likes" a school has is a pretty strong indication that the brand is doing something right. The number of followers an account holder has can be seen right from their home page, but the quantitative number of "likes" (or, "hearts") a company receives from each shared image can be a little harder to identify. That's where social media monitoring tools like Statigr.am can help. Statigr.am can feed you the information about progress your company's profile has made -- progress you wouldn't easily be able to compute on your own. This gives schools a "snapshot" of where they're at and allows them to better determine goals for future media involvement.

A "snapshot" example of my own progress, e-mailed to me from statigr.am

Monday, May 6, 2013

6 THINGS YOUR WIFE COMPLAINS ABOUT THE ANNOUNCERS SAYING

courtesy: http://gamedayr.com/gamedayr/doug-gottlieb-white-black-joke-memes/

I don't hate sports. I also don't particularly love or follow any sport either. My dad does, my husband does, and several of my dearest friends do. But whether you follow or like sports or not, I can't be alone in being annoyed by the stupid shit that comes out of the mouths of sportscasters.

1. Abbreviating and immediately naming a sports league.
"you're watching the NFL Football League on ESPN" or "he was called up to the Kings from their AHL Hockey League affiliate." It's right up there with grammatical pet peeves "ER Room," "PIN Number" and "ATM Machine." Cut it out.

2. Explaining the rules. Any of the rules. 
Ok, if my husband, or any other sports fanatic is watching a televised game, he or she already knows that Icing is not something you frost on a cake. If a casual viewer, or even a fervent hater of sports is watching (and by the way, why?) there is nary a chance that they would care to learn the rules of the game. (With the one exception being Rugby.... what the hell are they doing out there..? Somebody. Please?)

3. Stating even the most obvious aspects in a profound manner
"If the Phillies want to win the rest of the season, they'll have to rely on outscoring their opponents" -Joe Morgan

4. Small talk as a time filler. Or for any reason.
Ageless, faceless, neutral-man announcer-dude (AFNAD): A time out is called.
Guy #2: ....
AFNAD: D'you finish that sandwich you were eating earlier this evening?
Guy #2: Ya know, I did. And just in time too, as the kick-off was just about underway when I finished that last bite.
AFNAD: Yea, I saw that last bite, and you certainly seemed to be enjoying it.
Guy #2: I was enjoying it. Even up until the end there.
AFNAD: I know it -- didn't even save a bite for later. In times like these. When the Cowboys take their final time-out of the game.
Guy #2: ya know, it was just too good not to finish.
NFNAD:  I'm sure the Cowboys like a good sandwich.
Guy #2: A very likely possibility, very likely.....Annnnd they're back!

5. Misquoting even the most basic information
"Nobody in the game of football should be called a genius. A genius is somebody like Norman Einstein." -Joe Theismann

6. The latent homoeroticism in their lofty praise of players.
I cannot watch a football game without feeling the need to utter a well (or not so well) timed "That's what she said.." And God love Thom Brennerman. Will the man ever live down the time Tom Brady had all day to make a pass, and Brennerman pipes in "Brady's pitching a tent back there"? I say, so long as I'm still around, probably he won't.



Sunday, May 5, 2013

SOCIALLY ACCEPTABLE IN HIGHER ED

Part two of my Graduate class series.

As you probably know, my husband works in Higher Education. When I re-enter the workforce in the next year, my first focus will be likely be within the Higher Education Landscape, and so accordingly, my remaining four discussions (including this one) will be surrounding Social Media Marketing in Higher Ed.

It's pretty clear that Undergraduate Day students are are using social media on a daily basis for their own personal use. I visit campus at SNHU regularly, and it is impossible to get from one end of the school to the other without noticing a tablet, iPhone, or computer latched onto a student's hand like an additional appendage.

But this phenomena isn't simply molding the social lives of the traditional college student, it's molding how they adapt, how they learn and how they relate to their educational surroundings.

University's are constantly needing to adapt to these needs and thus their approach is constantly evolving.
One of the newest trends in Higher Ed, in response to this evolution?
Social Media services exclusively devoted to students, alumni, faculty. (No, not Blackboard).

Southern New Hampshire University has instated SNHUconnect.

SNHUconnect enables you to:


  • Get the support that can help you succeed. Access advisors, career advice, faculty and other support services, anytime you need them.
  • Connect with others, no matter where you are. Share pictures, stories and advice with your new-found SNHU friends and helpers.
  • Get mobile. You can interact with the community from your laptop, your tablet and your smartphone.


This is a relatively new feature, and truthfully, it has yet to be seen whether or not this will catch on concretely. In theory, it does respond to the ways students and alumni relate to their Alma Mater, but I believe it needs to be properly marketed to the student. Presence through clear channels of engagement needs to be a larger focus if it is to prosper and really cater to their audience.

I believe that success is possible for any school.
SNHUconnect has an access portal in every student's My.SNHU homepage (a necessary homepage for all current students), but to be honest, My.SNHU is not a well-organized, clear, concise webpage--in fact, it's a little disorienting. I personally need to know exactly where I'm navigating before I visit that page. Not currently the ideal place to introduce new features, as most links tend to get a little lost on the site.
Of course there are other channels to unveil this tool, but that remains to be seen.

When it comes to traditional marketing with Social Media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram, SNHU certainly knows how to truly harness the power of a good campaign. With that in mind, the future holds mounting possibilities within the entire Social Media landscape and it's always good to be on the cutting edge of new technologies.