Social Media Policy: Marquette

8 May

Social media policy

 

In the last month, my social media class has thoroughly discussed social media policies within the workplace. At first, I thought it was common knowledge not do half of this stuff (i.e. isn’t common sense what one can or cannot post it?). However, I guess for others it makes perfect sense to have a standard to review the guidelines to employees about what they can and cannot post on their personal and professional social media accounts. For this blog, I am going to discuss Marquette University’s social media policy.

To be honest, I believe that it is brilliant for Marquette to have a social media policy. According to the link, these are “the guidelines for students, faculty and staff managing Marquette-sponsored social media”. I really am impressed with that it says “students”. Especially in the College of Communication, students are required to have an internship. At most Marquette related internships, this means running their social media accounts for Marquette Athletics, Marquette University or even the Diederich College of Communication.

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The policy is organized by

  • Accuracy
  • Confidentiality
  • Copyright
  • Content
  • Privacy
  • Resources
  • Respect
  • Timeliness
  • Transparency

Under each heading, these topics are further discussed. I believe these topics fully cover all forms of social media and highlight what their company is trying to represent. They obviously want the Marquette community to be honest with people and to put Marquette in the best light possible to encourage higher education. Another highlight is the Timeliness factor. One aspect that I learned from my social media class is how social media is a 24/7 job. Marquette does not take this lightly and even includes it in their social media policy. In fact, they stick to this policy because I see constant updates on nights and weekends. On the sidebar, Marquette explains why they use it. They use social media “to build online awareness of the Marquette brand, to build a sense of community among Marquette’s audiences and to foster word-of-mouth promotion among Marquette audiences and audiences outside of Marquette”. I think it is important to explain why they are using social media because it reminds it social media operators to who they are talking to and to why they should censor the content.  One low light to the policy; however, I feel there is too much on it. I feel there is a lot going on the policy. One can make a social media policy effective and concise in a more minimalistic way. Especially since most Marquette interns are monitoring related social media accounts and the interns have to turn his or her work into a higher figure. The higher professional is forced to check the student’s work, while verbally enforcing the policy. Therefore, the long policy is not needed.

Overall, Marquette does an excellent job explaining its social media policy and following through on their written word. I am extremely proud to be apart of the Marquette community.

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Case Study 2: Domino’s Pizza

7 May

A couple of years ago, Domino’s pizza found themselves in a mess. Employees were caught posting disgusting pictures of them at a Domino’s location onto YouTube and before anyone can say “pizza” the video went viral.  Therefore, Dominos was forced to go into complete damage control. Although this might be the worst thing that can happen to one’s brand, it offered the opportunity for Dominos to rebrand its image and launch an innovative social media strategy.

To embark on its recovery, Dominos began with a socially driven conversation that showcased real customers giving the brand their unfiltered take on its pizza. The company created a Twitter and Facbeook page immediately after the crisis. Now, they have 6,655,827 likes and 214,616 people are talking about the brand. They openly aired and welcome criticism to find out that its pizza tasted like cardboard. The brand’s campaign touched on the core principle: listening.

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Domino’s launched their “Show Us Your Pizza” campaign. The premise is that consumers are to take pictures of the pizzas they purchase from Domino’s and upload them to showusyourpizza.com. Winners are selected and could win up to $500 to potentially have their pizza picture in an ad. First the consumer is encouraged to pick up a camera then upload it to its own website and the Facebook site. In addition to the “Show Us Your Pizza” campaign, Domino’s demonstrated more interaction with the “Domino’s Pizza Tracker”. This application on Facebook can be added to your newsfeed and essentially informs your friends on exactly what type of pizza you ordered and what stage it is in the delivery process. It integrates the brand into Facebook’s functionality.

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Overall, I believe that Domino’s did an excellent job in communicating with its consumers and it really master 2-way communication. It is ironic because social media is what got the brand into trouble, but now social media is what’s saving them and putting out the fire. According to an article on www.bazaarvoice.com, consumers want to know what is going on with product and they are willing to tell you what they want via product feedback. Domino’s handled the conversation with grace and was honest with its consumers. And that is what consumers want, honesty. Everyone makes mistakes, but it takes a bigger person (or brand) to own up to the mistake and correct it. 

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Case Study: AJ Bombers

7 May

If you live in Milwaukee, active on Twitter and an avid Food Wars viewer, then it is safe to say you are very familiar with AJ Bombers. For those of us living under a rock, AJ Bombers is a staple burger joint in Milwaukee and a second location in Madison. As the reigning Food Wars champion, this burger joint excels at another specialty: social media.

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Joe Sorge, who runs AJ Bombers in Milwaukee and opened it on March 9, 2009, has excelled in all forms of social media (i.e. Twitter, Facebook and Foursquare, just to name a few) and word of mouth marketing.  According to Klout, AJ Bombers has a Klout score of 63.  It has a true reach of 8,000 and an amplification score of 23. Therefore, it is safe to say that the self-proclaimed best burger in Milwaukee is communicating with its fans. Specifically, Joe Sorge and the AJ Bombers crew utilized Foursquare, a location based mobile app. While using this service, people “check in” at locations and earn badges based on a variety of factors, including frequency of check-ins, etc.  Currently, AJ Bombers has 5,282 total people and 14,699 total check-ins. They vary their specials on Foursquare, which encourage its followers to come to the restaurant.  So how does a restaurant promote their business using Foursqaure?

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Answer: Promote the possibility of your customers to earn the coveted Swarm Badge.

The Swarm badge is awarded to users who check into a location where over 50 other users are checked into at the same time. This is a great idea to attract people to your business.  I mean, doesn’t everyone love a contest? The restaurant also ran a promotion where customers could get a free cookie by posting a recommendation to their Foursquare account profiles of a menu item or what they are doing while they are there. Additionally, according to an article from the Wall Street Journal, AJ Bombers promised a burger and fries to anyone who dethrones its “major”. Specifically, the Swarm Badge was promoted through Facebook and Twitter. According to Augie Ray’s blog, over 150 people turned out for the event-more than one-quarter of all Foursquare users in Milwaukee and AJ Bombers saw revenue more than double from the same day the previous week.

 Overall, I believe that AJ Bombers is in a class of its own when it comes to social media. Joe Sorge knows his customers, understands his brand and recognizes that social media is the perfect way to connect the two. By utilizing platforms, such as Foursquare, The AJ Bombers crew can draw enormous amounts of people and create special events. 

Quit Hating on Foursquare

26 Apr

Personally, I think I am one of the few people who are obsessed with Foursquare. I love the idea of checking in to different places and receiving “specials” just for showing up, something that I would regularly do. Foursquare makes the real world easier to use. It builds tools that help you keep up with friends, discover what’s nearby, save money and unlock deals. I mean, what is not to like?

Apparently, most people think that it is creepy. I can try to understand and sympathize them. Yeah, it is creepy to know exactly where your friends are at all times. I understand anyone can find you with a simple iphone app, but realistically people have to be searching to find you. Who really has the time to do that?

Overall, Foursquare is one of the fastest growing social media platforms to date: 

Community: Over 20 million people worldwide

Over 2 billion check-ins, with millions more everyday

Businesses: Over 750,000 using the Merchant Platform

 

Clearly, consumers are heavily engaged. Foursquare offers the ability to take what may be a great excursion or a simple trip and turn the notification process into a game.

Still not sold to Foursquare yet? Well, I understand that good things come to those who wait, but stick with my five tips to avoid the creeps and still enjoy the benefits of Foursquare.

  1. Turn off push notification services: This way when you check into places to receive the best deals, your friends (if you choose, see below tip) will not see where you are
  2. Do not friend people: Unless you want your friends to know where you are or feel really competitive to beat them in points and badges, this is not for you. You do not need Foursquare to confirm that you have friend
  3. Do not link your Foursquare account to Twitter or Facebook: Self explanatory right? If active on other social media accounts, you do not want your location to be automatically post to another platform
  4. Do not let your friends see your phone number if provided: Unless you want to give your number out, I suggest you stay away
  5. Do not let your friends see your email if provided: See above. 

For those of you who are skeptical of Foursquare, I suggest you try these tips, so you can still enjoy the benefits of this app. With a little trial and error, I am sure that you will begin to appreciate Foursquare as much as I do and receive some deals while you are at it.

Dos and Don’ts of LinkedIn

26 Apr

Spring came early this year and hopefully the job market starts to warm up. As graduation nears, public relations students are asking to connect via LinkenIn and reach out about potential job opportunities. Almost every week, I see a tweet about an article that the job market has picked up. If this is true then how do us recent college students take advantage of social media sites?

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According to an article on PR Daily, there is certain LinkedIn etiquette all of recent college graduates and young professionals should practice. Here are the “do’s” and “don’t’s” of acceptable LinkedIn etiquette.

Do: Send a personal message when asking to connect (especially if you do not know the contact well)

I think that this is the most important tip because if the message isn’t personal then people can easily forget who are and cannot put a face to the name. You want to give the person a reason to connect with you otherwise they have every right to chose not too.

Don’t: Cut straight to the chase

Personally, I believe that this is pretty obvious. The whole point of networking is to get to know the individual. Once you develop a relationship then it is easier to ask for help. Reach out. Ask for advice. Don’t just ask for favors automatically.

Do: Fill out your entire profile.

This is especially important for college students because this gives recruiters the opportunity to see everything that you have accomplished. This allows recruiters to find you using key words and for you to show off your skills

Don’t: Connect your twitter account

Although Twitter is a great way to show that you have social media presence, if your tweets are not industry related then you are setting yourself up for failure. Also, if you tweet several times a day, you are just flooding potential connections newsfeed.

Do: Give yourself the option of sharing relevant tweets with your Linkedin account

Use the hashtag #in to share your tweets. 

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If followed the do’s and don’ts correctly, LinkedIn is a very powerful device and every college student should take advantage of it. LinkenIn has greatly helped in networking, marketing and connecting. The particular group that has been most beneficial, where people provide very valuable insight on all kinds of business related topics. It is reassuring that there is a social media account that it truly there to help people and want each other to succeed. 

Cyber Bullying

25 Apr

Once a week, I attend MacDowell Montessori Elementary School to volunteer with my assigned little sister. Normally, we just sit and talk about what boys they like or the latest boy band groups, but today was different. 

During lunch, the conversation turned to “if someone has ever been bullied and what it felt like” (I know, pretty deep for a bunch of fifth graders). The general consensus was that social media platforms such as Youtube, Facebook and Twitter make it difficult for kids to escape. When I was growing up, if a rumor would start, the rumor would die down after a few days, the source of the gossip would be identified and the student body would continue on like usual. Harassment would more than likely be limited to phone contact, letter writing or in-person contact. Today, rumors can be spread within seconds via text, email, chat and social media platforms. These types of rumors never go away. Anything posted online stays there forever, even if it is deleted. Online harassment is conducted swiftly and anonymously. Now we have the increased potential for harm combined with anonymity and lighting quick speed.

The more I started to think about how this affects children in school, cyber bullying is no different when it comes to brands. It is very similar when some targets your company by writing “Your Company Sucks” or “Your CEO Smells”. Although some people might think you are just writing a review, the truth is that you are “bullying” that brand. 

Definition:

Bullying:  is an act of repeated aggressive behavior in order to intentionally hurt another person, physically or mentally.

Why can’t we all remember what are mothers taught us: if you don’t have something nice to say then don’t say it at all?

According to an article on PR Daily, Coca Cola gives four suggestions on how one should proceed when a brand (or anyone for that matter) experiences cyber bulling.

  1. Don’t stay away from social media: Consumers on social media will continue to talk about you regardless of whether you’re listening; therefore, you might as well listen so you can prepare for potential problems.
  2. Don’t respond to everything: Pick and choose your battles.
  3. Don’t take the offensive: rather than attacking, it is better to listen and be supportive
  4. Don’t automatically call the lawyers: aka, try and figure it out yourself first. Litigation should be used sparingly.

We need to remember that although social media is a great tool to use and makes things easier for brands and people, it can ultimately affect someone in a negative way too. With positives, negatives are bound to follow.  I guess the best we can do to protect ourselves from cyber bullying is to build resources and make sure we have things ready to go prior to the crisis happening.

Tweet for The Hunger Games

26 Mar

You have probably been living under a rock if you didn’t know The Hunger Games premiered this weekend. Although the movie premiered to an outstanding 63 million viewers, its success can be contributed to the franchise covering its social media bases for months.

During the MTV Video Music Awards, Lionsgate launched the first teaser trailer for the film, which included the hashtag, #whatsmydistrict, that led Twitter users on a chase to find a hidden website. Ultimately, thecapitol.pn was revealed to give fans an interactive destination site for the film, but the studio’s attempt to send members on a chase to pick up clues and track down the site on Twitter complemented the game-themed plot.  A Twitter account, @TheCapitolPN, tweeted updates not only about the characters and the annual Hunger Games ceremonies, but also references themed merchandise for sale, such as nail polish, and tweets links to its various Facebook pages. Each of the 12 districts featured in the Hunger Games has its own page and the most influential sharer on a District Page can become the “mayor”, with access to more news and prizes. In addition to this creative approach, Facebook has been posting trailers, posters and behind-the-scenes content to build anticipation. A Tumblr blog is dedicated to the styles featured in the film serving as a magazine that features cover stories, profiles, style tips and even a place to become “your district’s next stylist”. According to Mashable, The Facebook page for The Hunger Games movie has more than 3 million fans — “with fan-growth up 215% since the beginning of the year. Facebook tells us that mentions of Suzanne Collins, the author of the book series, are up 240% in the last month. Fan growth for the book page is also up 230%”.

Given the target audience for the film and book series, it is no surprise that the film is driving a lot of web traffic and ticket sales through mobile devices. Although social media platforms such as, Twitter, are used to promote and create buzz about the movie, they are not a great indicator to predict box office sales. According to an article on Mashable, Twitter might not be able to foretell how well films will perform. It found that monitoring tweets related to movies is not a reliable source for what could really happen at the box office. Twitter users tend to be more positive, but “the most surprising finding was that Twitter data may not be a representative enough for the total population”. I think that we forget sometimes that everyone is not on Twitter and we automatically think that is a primary way for people to receive information. The more sophisticated techniques that are out there, do not mean that it works at predicting the exact number. Although social media sites are a great tool to engage with fans and promote a product, we cannot rely on them 100% to give an exact prediction. Twitter is not necessarily a representative of the larger online population. It’s easy to forget this when we live in a world that Twitter predicts big trends and automatically tells us what it “trending”.  It has developed a reputation of being able to predict the future—from presidential primary results and even the stock market. Even though The Hunger Games did exceptionally well at the box office, using social media sites alone cannot predict the exact number for box office sales. But hey, I wouldn’t be mad about the 63 million viewers, so I guess not knowing this prediction ended up being a great surprise.