PURE3600’s Twitter/Instagram Assignment

Along with blogging for my PR Writing class, another assignment we had this semester was a Twitter/Instagram assignment. Using our designated hashtag, #PURE3600, the class tweeted and posted pictures on Instagram about whatever they wanted, but many of the posts related to Public Relations, Social Media, or Marquette University in some manner.

To say I love Twitter is an understatement. I’ve had my Twitter since May (I think) of 2009, and I have over 11,100 tweets. It’s the perfect way for me to stay up-to-date on whatever is currently happening, whether it’s breaking news or about my guilty pleasure, the Kardashian family (don’t judge me, please). However, when I got this assignment, I wasn’t exactly thrilled, but I couldn’t put a finger on why. I figured it out, however, early on into the assignment. Sometimes I would tweet something that would be good to go with the hashtag, but wouldn’t think about it until a couple of days later. Also, some days I tweet several times and other days I don’t tweet at all. I realized I didn’t like the assignment because I didn’t want to be told when/how to tweet.

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After a couple of weeks into the assignment, though, I started to enjoy it more and more. Though I keep myself pretty well informed on PR and Social Media news, this assignment expanded who I was following within the industries and the information I was receiving. I also really enjoyed reading the tweets and posts from my fellow classmates to see what information they were sharing in the Twitterverse. Though I still use Twitter for my personal use, I have started tweeting a lot more about professional things, which is something I should start getting used to as I enter the working world!

Though I didn’t enjoy the assignment in the beginning, the Twitter/Instagram assignment was definitely a learning experience for me (who would’ve thought, huh?). I am going to keep tweeting about industry-related happenings, but it will be nice to not have to worry about including the class hashtag in my tweets (sorry Gee!).

Feel free to follow my Twitter and thanks for reading my class blog throughout the semester! I hope you enjoyed it!

Social Media in the Workplace

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The graph above comes from a September 2013 article about how banning employees from accessing social media during work hours is ultimately harmful to their productivity. As Andrew Kinicki, professor of management at the W.P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University, states in the article, people cannot work efficiently for 8 hours without taking a small 15-minute break at some point; and in today’s digital age, that means many people spend this break by checking their Facebook notifications or reading the latest news and updates in their Twitter feeds. 

Using social media in the workplace raises a lot of ethical questions, mostly because it’s seen as “stealing company time.” However, I think using social media in the workplace – especially if your company is on social media as well or you’re in the communications industry – is acceptable, as long as guidelines and limitations are set in place.

Bloomberg Law has a great article on how to create an effective workplace social media policy for your company. If you find yourself struggling to establish guidelines, there is a listing on Social Media Governance of different companies and industries with their established social media policies. While every company is different, there are a few common themes in their policies – be respectful of yourself, your audience and customers, and your co-workers; protect confidential company information and disclose when you post about the company; and be responsible and mindful of what you post.

For many employees – especially those employees that come from the ‘millennial’ generation – social media is an integral part of their lives, and they’re going to check their social media accounts at some point during the work day. Companies should address the issue before it becomes an issue and establish social media policies for the workplace, which need to be strictly enforced and monitored. This way, not only do employees know what guidelines they need to follow, but companies can deem appropriate and inappropriate social media behavior and determine how to handle inappropriate behavior accordingly.

Pinterest Addiction

I was on my phone earlier today when I received a Pinterest notification, informing me that another one of my Facebook friends just joined the social media website. I chuckled to myself when I saw this because it amazes me that there are people who are still late to jumping on the Pinterest bandwagon. I joined the website back in 2010 when the open beta version of the website was still up, and you had to request for an invitation to sign up for an account. Three years later, I’m still addicted to Pinterest, and everyone else should be as well.

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Pinterest is a pinboard-style, photo-sharing website that allows users to create boards and pin/like images based on a variety of their interests. The images are broken up into a variety of categories, including fashion, food and beverages, home decor, photography and many more. You can upload your own images or “repin” an image that another user pinned; over 80% of the pins on the site are repins. Since its debut in 2010, it was the first of any website to hit 10 million U.S. monthly unique visitors. It’s been ranked the third most popular social media platform (behind Facebook and Twitter). When the website became open to the public in 2012, Pinterest apps were also made available for users to download onto their smartphones and tablets, increasing traffic for the site.

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Another great thing about Pinterest is that users are not the only one with pages. It’s estimated that 500,000 businesses/organizations are currently on Pinterest; and the ones that aren’t are missing out on multiple benefits. Pinterest referrals spend 70% more money than referrals from non-social outlets, and 69% of online consumers have found items they either bought or wanted to buy through Pinterest. If executed properly, Pinterest is an excellent marketing tool, especially if your business sells a product or service to consumers. It’s all just a matter of aligning the representation of your business on Pinterest with the rest of your marketing. Because we live in a visual era, consumers are more likely to respond to images, so it’s important for businesses to use their most visually-appealing images on their boards to get more repins. However, not all pins have to be solely on your products; include interests of the company to relate with users. Also, pins should include brief decriptions to inform the consumers. Finally, businesses should link their website or other social media sites with their Pinterest page to create more traffic (and hopefully sales).

I love using Pinterest. It’s allowed me to channel my creative outlet (and in a completely organized way). Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go get lost in the endless amount of images I’m pinning of my dream house and my dream closest. Feel free to follow my Pinterest page! Happy Pinning!

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Augie Ray’s Keynote Presentation at the 5th Annual PR & Social Media Summit

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On October 11th, I had the privilege of attending the last keynote presentation of the PR & Social Media Summit this year. Unfortunately, my busy schedule kept me from attending the all-day long summit, but even just the one-hour presentation I was able to go to was phenomenal. The last keynote speaker at PRSMS was Augie Ray, Director of Social Media at FinServ in New York. Once switching over to the College of Communication, I heard Augie’s name mentioned quite often, and it was usually in relation to his brilliant understanding of the social media industry. So, I was anticipating this presentation to hear what Augie had to share with the audience; and Augie did not disappoint. His presentation was so motivating and inspirational, it’s hard to describe in words. That’s why I’ve compiled some of my favorite tweets from Augie’s presentation (including some of my own, which resulted in Augie following me on Twitter!). I hope you enjoy the takeaway’s from Augie’s presentation as much as I did!

My Storify of Augie Ray’s PRSMS Presentation

 

How Marquette Helped Me Get My Internship (You Are Marquette)

One of the things that is constantly taught to us students at Marquette is the importance of networking. Networking and making connections is what is going to help you when you’re ready to move forward into the working world. I didn’t realize how true this was until November 2012.

Being a PR major, one of the requirements for us is to have an internship while we are still a student. I was looking into different internships, but nothing seemed like a good fit for me (and they were all unpaid, which was unfortunately something I couldn’t do since I have bills to pay). Then, around the beginning of November 2012, I received a Facebook message from a friend of mine who had graduated that past May. She had taken a full-time job offer in downtown Milwaukee, so she was leaving her internship. She had remembered that I mentioned I was looking for internships when I ran into her a few weeks beforehand, so she asked if I was interested in the position, and if so, to forward her my contact information so she could pass it along to her boss. Long story short, I had a phone interview, an in-person interview the next day, and I was offered the (paid!) internship the following day. So, since the middle of November 2012, I have been the Advertising & Social Media Intern for Hatco Corporation, and I absolutely love it. And, all those shifts working as a shift manager at the Schroeder dining hall finally paid off because the corporation I work for is a manufacturer and distributor in the foodservice industry.

I’ve also found out from my boss that the two previous interns before my friend and I were also Marquette students, and they’ve all moved on to get great jobs. So I can only hope for the same for myself! But because I now understand the importance of networking, and I carry the Marquette name with me proudly, I doubt I will have any problems.

The Ever-Growing World of Social Media

PR is one of the industries in the communications and business worlds that is always fast-paced and is continuously changing. That’s why it was no surprise when the PR industry had to adapt once again when social media became so emergent in the world. The popularity of social media has only increased over the past few years, with new platforms continuously being made available, but there are still plenty of companies who either aren’t using social media to their advantage or they’re not using their social media platforms well enough.

There are probably numerous reasons why businesses haven’t jumped on the social media trend – such as not understanding the benefits and advantages social media has. However, thanks to a wonderful invention known as the Internet, there are multiple articles and infographics that provide companies how to use social media properly.

This is a great infographic on how to create the perfect social media post:

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One of my favorite articles about social media was published by Wendy Parish, a communication consultant and owner of Wendy Parish Consulting. The article focuses on the five most common social media mistakes that companies should avoid. The five mistakes are not updating your social media platforms regularly; using every social media platform available when it isn’t necessary; not using analytics to understand the measurements of your social media accounts; not listening to what consumers are saying about your company through social media; and not understanding the mechanisms of the various social media platforms available.

I think that Parish makes some great and valid points about companies and their social media accounts. One company that has been praised for their use of social media is Zappos; they’ve been known to engage with their consumers and give their fans the feeling that they are equal. One company that I feel needs to make some adjustments to their social media strategy is United Airlines. I had a terrible experience flying with them recently, and when I was tweeting to them, I received no response. A few weeks later, one of my friends flew United and let them know of his wonderful experience, and they responded back almost immediately. It’s like Parish said – you need to listen to what consumers are saying about you, even if it’s negative. Everything is a learning experience, even social media.

With how prominent social media has become in today’s technological world, it can be intimidating at times. Even the companies that are praised for doing social media right will make a mistake every now and then. However, PR practitioners really need to stress to businesses the importance that social media has, and will continue to have, on their consumers. Those in Public Relations understand social media more than anyone in the industry. I strongly believe that social media isn’t going anywhere any time soon, so it’s time that everybody jumps on board.

Sources:

http://www.ragan.com/SocialMedia/Articles/47297.aspx#

http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/9-companies-doing-social-media-right-and-why/