Category Archives: Social Media

Why LinkedIn Matters

Have you ever Googled yourself? What’s the first thing that comes up? For most of us, it’s our social media accounts, specifically our LinkedIn profiles that first appear. Now pretend a prospective employee or your new project manager is Googling you. Would you be comfortable with them seeing your LinkedIn profile in its current condition?

A couple of weeks ago, I listened to a webinar by William Arruda about the power of LinkedIn and how companies could use it to recruit talent. I never paid much attention to my LinkedIn profile except for when I first graduated, but after this webinar, you better believe I updated my profile.

My results when I Googled myself

My results when I Googled myself

If you haven’t been on LinkedIn lately, the site has several new features, including the ability to customize your background and add documents to different roles you’ve listed. It’s not just your online resume anymore; it’s your personal website where you can create an online brand for yourself. Maybe you want to highlight a volunteer position that showcases other skills. You can do that and provide real examples for others. You can show the value you bring to your current organization and share pieces of thought leadership as well.

What Arruda said that I haven’t realized yet was that LinkedIn can be a competitive advantage for companies. Think about it: If your employees have strong profiles, where they share content about or related to your company or industry, they become brand ambassadors. In turn, these employees increase the visibility of your company and can engage others potential employees. It’s like a free mini recruiting system!

This is a mindset shift for most people. We are all used to our resumes in a tidy Word document that we can easily email to people. What we forget about is our online profiles like LinkedIn, which could reach more people daily. Companies also need to have an online presence and keep social media as a top priority. By strategically engaging their employees and sharing content on LinkedIn, companies can retain current staff and recruit even stronger talent.

When was the last time you updated your LinkedIn profile? Does your company have a strong online presence? How do they consistently engage employees? Share your thoughts below!

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Keep Calm & Cherry On

Last night in a brutally cold, downtown Manhattan, I attend “The Temple Idea – The Making of a Movement” that discussed Temple University’s Temple Made and Cherry On marketing campaigns. The panel discussion featured Director of Marketing Angela Polec as well as my former Strategic Communication (StratComm) professor Gregg Feistman and the PRowl Public Relations firm director Kaitlyn Sutton. As both a StratComm and PRowl alumnus, I was very excited to hear about these viral marketing campaigns.

In the fall of 2012, the Temple Made campaign was launched with a kick-off event at the university. The

Just the basic details were given for the Temple Made launch event

Just the basic details were given for the Temple Made launch event

only details given were the date and time of the event. From there, Temple Made commercials had spots during the Temple versus Notre Dame football game and billboards were displayed through the region. This was Temple’s first centralized marketing campaign that gave a voice to the pride that already existed with current students and alumni. When anyone saw a Temple Made commercial, they immediately saw what the Temple type is. Temple Made is a mindset, a different breed of people who hustle harder and are self-made. Through this campaign, it became easier for anyone to see that the Temple Made type was different.

cherry onThe next step was to create a marketing campaign that was like special handshake for Temple insiders. The Cherry On campaign was born through the collaboration between PRowl Public Relations and the office of Strategic Marketing and Communication. It started by telling Temple students to wear their cherry every Friday. The phrase “Cherry On” developed from those Fridays when athletic prep rallies were held to support different teams. The campaign was organic, for the students, from the students. PRowl worked with Temple Student Government to create the Cherry On video that recently launched. My favorite part of the video: “This is not a fashion statement, it is family.” That one phrase created such an emotional connection to Temple for me. The Cherry On hashtag trended on Twitter during several athletic events, admissions has seen a rise in applicants and website traffic has increased.

So now what? After two successful marketing campaigns that reached prospective students, current students and alumni, how is Temple going to continue this momentum? The panelists explained that a lot of research needs to be conducted including benchmarking success, engaging other audiences, focus groups and surveys.  As a PRowl alumnus, I wish I would have heard about Cherry On from them rather than at a football game this past Homecoming. There is an entire alumni network out there, who can help spread this campaign. While I understand Cherry On was targeted at students, it’s now time to engage alumni and other audiences.

Last night’s event was the first step in engaging alumni to continue this Cherry On momentum. I thoroughly enjoyed hearing how the campaigns started, grew and what the plan is for the future. The campaigns were brilliant and exploded on social media. Both the Temple Made and Cherry On hashtags are seen everywhere including fliers, billboards and online. More than anything, it created a community and mindset that resonates with all of us who are Temple Made. Since we are Temple Made, we can Cherry On through any situation. It is a connection, an experience, a bond we have for life.

Are you Temple Made? Did you know about these marketing campaigns? Check out the video below then share your thoughts with me!

Facebook Turns Ten

If you’re a Facebook user, you are aware that the website celebrated its 10th birthday earlier this week. In honor of this milestone, Facebook allowed its users to create “A Look Back” videos, which showcased their time on the website. From most liked posts to photos shared, users were able to travel back in time to see their Facebook milestones. Cue the nostalgia!

facebook-10th-birthdayMy newsfeed has been flooded with these videos over the last couple of days and I’ve loved it. From reliving my college days to seeing family members grow up, the videos certainly shared a wealth of memories with the Facebook community. It took me a while to jump on the bandwagon as I wasn’t too fond of my initial video. But last night, the editing feature was enabled so I got to choose the pictures I wanted to include. It’s a nice feature to have and gives people a little more control over their video. Overall, the “A Look Back” videos seem to be a huge success for Facebook. It has caught on like wildfire and makes users feel like they are a part of Facebook’s 10th anniversary. Well done!

For a while now, it seems like Facebook users and the social media community have been contemplated the website’s future. You always hear about privacy issues, spam and new features (like hashtags) that everyone isn’t too fond of. While Facebook isn’t my favorite social media site (sorry!), I do see its purpose for both personal and professional reasons. This blog gets posted to Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and sometimes Pinterest. Over the last two years, the most clicks, likes, comments and shares have come from Facebook. Why? Because that is where I connect with my audience best.

My group of friends is larger on Facebook than other social media websites. Additionally, the people I am friends with on Facebook know me, know that I blog and enjoy reading. I’ve created a loyal group of people who consistently check my posts out. This is possible on any social media site but I’ve found it’s easier on Facebook. For one, more people, especially older generations, are on Facebook. It has been around longer and is easier to navigate. You can go over 140 characters and don’t have to choose a filter. Even my co-workers find my blog on Facebook rather than LinkedIn. I think they are just more comfortable on Facebook and know how to use it. Regardless of what social media outlet you use for yourself or for clients, having a loyal, committed audience will absolutely help your cause.

The “A Look Back” video campaign on Facebook definitely took off and spread throughout the website. I wonder if people creating the videos remember that they started because of Facebook’s 10th anniversary. I would have added something at the end of all videos connecting it to the anniversary, like animations instead of the hashtag. However, I still think Facebook did a good job with this video campaign and believe the website has a long future ahead.

Check out my Look Back video below and share your thoughts about Facebook!

https://www.facebook.com/lookback/

Foodie Loving on Catalina Island

All of the yummy foods featured on our tour.

All of the yummy foods featured on our tour.

Long time, no write! But I promise I was off doing something phenomenal that I am dying to share with you. Last week, after working an event in California, I spent the weekend relaxing and touring Catalina Island. When we ventured to the island early Saturday morning, we had no idea what was in store for us until we stumbled upon the Catalina Food Tours. I am so grateful we did!

Catalina Food Tours runs all over the island for three hours while participants sample different dishes from six local restaurants. The food was amazing but the atmosphere was even better. For a smaller tourist destination with a limited target audience, Catalina Food Tours knows how to serve its population and build its brand. I believe their keys to success included the following:

  • They instantly built credibility by having a local run the tour. Our knowledgeable and hysterical guide Jordan has lived on the island for some time and has eaten at all of the restaurants on the tour. He was passionate about sharing his wisdom on Catalina and its culture. Because of that, you knew he was giving you the best.
  • Every stop on the tour was intentional and had meaning. While we did stop at each restaurant, we also stopped at different spots on the island that had historical significance. We didn’t just walk around but rather learned about Catalina’s rich history. The conscious decision to plan out each step of the tour made it easy to follow and allowed us to learn so much more than the best places to eat on the island. By learning more, it made me personally want to return to Catalina and explore the island further.
  • For a small island with limited access to technology, the tour’s use of social media was great.
    Beautiful Catalina

    Beautiful Catalina

    They gave participants a brochure with foodie fun facts as well as all their social media information. Jordan also was actively posting while on the tour. They update regularly and happily repost or retweet their followers. The beauty of Catalina coupled with its rich history makes it easy to want to follow and learn more.

While each of these ideas is simple, I found them to be executed flawlessly by Catalina Food Tours. For a small island off the coast of California, they really know how to build their reputation and attract people to their tours. I had an amazing time on the tour and hope to return one day soon!

Battle Instagram vs Vine

Over the weekend, as I was scrolling through my Instagram feed, the pictures started moving. Then I realized they weren’t pictures, they were videos. Now, both Instagram and Vine are applications where users can upload videos and share them easily on their other social media sites. So, which one would you chose?

instagram vineAfter playing with both applications, here’s the conclusions I’ve drawn:

  • Both applications allow for videos to be about the same length: approximately 10 seconds. This length is a reasonable amount of time for videos and helps to eliminate unwanted content.
  • Videos on Instagram can be shot the same way in Vine. You have to shoot your video in segments so varying frames are shown. This works for most types of content but could be a hassle for others, like a dance recital. It is pretty neat that Instagram lets you add a filter to your video.
  • Videos on Instagram play immediately or as you scroll over them. Vine also works the same way. However, on Vine, you expect the video, will wait for it to load and know it will stop once you scroll down to the next post. On Instagram, you have no way of knowing if a post is a video or a picture, especially since there is a delay in playing the videos.

In my opinion, I like having two separate applications: one for pictures and one for videos. It is easier to find specific posts since you’ll know which type to look for. For organizations or companies that use these sites, having an account on each might be beneficial. Users will know where to look for new video teasers or photo contest entries. Videos also appear to be running smoother and without pauses on Vine. However, that could change once Instagram becomes used to video posts.

Do you use Instagram to post your videos? Would it be beneficial to have two separate accounts? Please share your thoughts!

My Favorite Things: iPhone 5 Addition

About a month ago, I finally traded in my outdated Blackberry for a shiny iPhone 5. I was overly excited and couldn’t wait to download a bunch of apps. My friends and family provided several recommendations but I wanted to experience my new toy all on my own.

After playing around and trying out lots of apps, my top three are listed below:

Feedly: Jessica Lawlor and Gini Dietrich both sparked my interest in Feedly when Google Reader disappeared. So when I got my new phone, this was one of the first apps I downloaded. Feedly allows you to subscribe to different blogs and lists out each day’s posts. My inbox is now less cluttered without subscription emails and I can quickly scroll through posts on my favorite blogs. It’s easy to save posts or click to the website for more information.

iphone52. SoundCloud: Music lovers everywhere must download this app! You can find pretty much any song and more importantly any remix on SoundCloud. You follow other users who fall into your stream that updates regularly. Once you like a song, it becomes part of your profile, creating the ultimate playlist. Only downfall is it sucks up a lot of your battery so make sure you’re fully charged before using it.

Snapchat: I know there has been controversy over Snapchat, but I’ve fallen in love with this app. With friends and family sprinkled all over the east coast, Snapchat lets us connect in a fun, exciting way. The time limit to view a picture makes it feel like a game. I can check my friend’s new outfit or see my little cousin’s new puppy. While the picture does go away, people have been known to screen shot pictures and save them. If someone sends an inappropriate picture, it can be saved, causing all sorts of issues. But that’s not the app’s fault. Just don’t send anything inappropriate.

These apps have made both my professional and personal life easier and more fun. I’m so glad I finally became a member of Team iPhone! What are your favorite apps? Any opinions on the ones listed above?

College Sports in the Hot Seat

RUIf you’ve turned on the news or scrolled through your Twitter feed within the last week, you’ve heard about the Rutgers University Men’s Basketball coach who was fired because of his behavior during a video-taped practice. Coach Mike Rice was released from his duties as head basketball coach on April 3rd after being caught using abrasive language and physically abusing his players. Since then, Rutgers Athletic Director Tim Pernetti was also released from Rutgers. It has been said that Pernetti knew of Rice’s inappropriate behavior.

Also making the headlines this week was the Auburn University football program, who committed several NCAA recruiting violations, paid their players and had players’ grades changed. A full report was completed by reporter Selena Roberts who detailed all of the infractions on her website.

It seems a day doesn’t pass where some college isn’t in the hot seat for a sports scandal. You can’t forget the fake girlfriend mess of Manti Te’o from Notre Dame or the booster club nightmare at the University of Miami. Of course, the most infamous of them all was the Penn State child abuse scandal involving Jerry Sandusky and Joe Paterno. The real question is why so many college sports scandals?

The possible answers are endless. People are more connected to the media. Athletes are treated more elite and therefore feel entitled and untouchable. Competition among teams has increased and translates into real dollars for both the players and the university. None of these are acceptable answers for the behavior we’ve seen from college athletes and administrators just within the last year.

Since it seems almost inevitable that some issue will arise within a college’s athletic program, everyonesocial media world involved has to be prepared for the worst. I am certainly no expert, but after watching these tragedies unfold, here are my tips for preparing for a college sports crisis:

1. Be Proactive: Communicate with your athletes the social media policies that are in place for your team and for the university. Don’t have a social media policy? I suggest you create one for your team because most of them are active on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Even show them examples of what is appropriate versus what is not.

2. Discuss Hypotheticals: Take ten minutes of a team meeting each month to talk about the ‘what if’ situations that could happen to these athletes. Use case studies that have actually occurred. Make team members respond and evaluate what they say. This way, if a scandal does occur, the athletes will have a better idea of what to say and how to react.

3. Raise the Bar: While student athletes are an important part of a university, they are still students and human beings. Don’t make exceptions or excuses for them just because they need to play. It sets a bad example and makes the athletes think they can do what they want. By setting a higher standard for student athletes, they can become role models for the university.

Most schools have a crisis communication plan but coaches should talk to their teams about these issues as they happen in real-time. It might prevent further problems in the future. Why do you think there are so many scandals within college sports? Do you agree with my pieces of advice? Please share your thoughts.

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