Ad-Ventures with Instagram Video


I’m pretty sure you’ve heard by now that Instagram now supports video clips…if not, well, they do, update your app. Of course when the news broke I was at work – but, plus side of working in social media at a super fun company? You immediately spend an hour making silly videos and then writing a blog post about it…

Just a few weeks ago Vine announced their move to Android and witnessed the sharing of its videos on Twitter surpass shares of tweets linking to Instagram (2.86 million vs. 2.17 million)…Read more over at Red Door Interactive.

IG video

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Ice Cream Party!


A few weeks ago, Nicole wrote about the fantastic social media and on-the-ground efforts of American Airlines when she left her wallet on a plane. I thought I would follow her awesome social media effort post with one of my own.

On April 16th a coworker told some of my team about the Ben & Jerry’s truck that was roaming around San Diego delivering free ice cream until the end of April. Obviously, getting this truck to stop by our office became my live’s priority at the time and I started Tweeting my pleas.

Begging for free ice cream on TwitterFriend Sarah also heard of the awesome ice cream giveaway and we teamed up to get the truck to Downtown San Diego, figuring it could hit both our offices in one day. You can image my intense excitement when only 3 days after my first tweet  (ok, I admit I posted a few more tweets & retweets in that period) I received this message:

I'm getting free ice cream!At this point I’m thinking free ice cream from a fun mini delivery truck is a 100% sure thing. Sadly, April came and went with no little blue truck pulling up to our office. Sarah, unfortunately, also missed out on the frozen, creamy goodness and let me know on Twitter.Complaining on Social MediaYes, yes, my last Tweet there may have been a little over the top but…it got the job done. Within minutes I had a DM waiting for me asking for my company’s address and how many people we had in our office.

Ben & Jerry's RocksA few days after that and Sarah and I both had 10 – oh yes, 10 coupons for free pints of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream. Do you know what that lead to? AN ICE CREAM PARTY! I went and redeemed every one of those coupons for a variety of flavors, including some of their delish frozen greek yogurt flavors, and had a little party in the office. It may not have been as fun as delivery truck pulling up (and definitely more messy) but in the end Ben & Jerry’s made me a super happy-camper.

Yummy Ben & Jerry's

And, FYI, if you’re in the Los Angeles area @BenJerrysWest will be serving your area through the end of May – get Tweeting!

My Jet-Setting Wallet


On March 10, I was flying home from Miami where I attended the International Public Relations Research Conference. I was tired and hungry, so I decided to order some food. I gave the American Airlines flight attendant my credit card and then put it back in my wallet when she returned it. At that point, I believe I left my wallet on my lap, unable to maneuver around my food, drink and tray table to return it safely to my purse. After my sandwich, I took a nap and woke up in San Diego. I didn’t think about my wallet until the next morning when I was getting ready for work and panic set in. I knew exactly what happened.

Over the next few weeks I made a lot of calls and online requests to the lost and found and baggage claim at Lindbergh Field and Dallas Fort Worth (where my plane had headed back to). Also, like any PR practitioner I know, I tweeted about it and included American Airlines’ handle. Now, let me tell you, the social media team at AA is awesome (or they were to me). They responded immediately and made me feel like someone was doing something to help.

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And then the DM conversation went like this…

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Weeks passed by and I replaced my credit cards and driver’s license and lost hope of ever seeing my wallet again. But, I felt like my concerns were heard and I didn’t harbor any feelings of ill will toward AA. I mean, it wasn’t their fault I left my wallet behind and they did try to locate it. Then, on Tuesday (as in 50 days later), I received a package in the mail from AA. It was my wallet and a handwritten note from Mac in baggage claim at DFW: “Please call me when you get this.” My gift cards were stolen, but most everything else was intact. I let Mac know and of course, I tweeted about it. And of course, AA replied.

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What to Post: Social Media During a Crisis


No matter where you were last week you felt the effects of the tragedies in Boston and West. You didn’t have to have someone you knew running in marathon or living in Texas, once you heard the news life seemed to stop. But, fortunately, and unfortunately, the Internet and social media don’t stop.
There were some fantastic online and social media efforts on the part of the Boston Police Department (@Boston_Police) who kept the public up to date with correct information and by dispelling any rumors and hearsay about the investigation, and Google who announced their Person Finder to help those in distress find their loved ones. And, of course there were also those social faux pas, mostly caused by scheduled posts that weren’t turned off (like Kim Kardashian’s).
Kim Kardashian Tweet
So, what should you do and keep in mind while posting on social media during a crisis? We’ve compiled a few best practices:
  • Stay current and knowledgeable on all current events (which should not only be during a crisis, but at all times while working in social).
  • STOP all scheduled posts IMMEDIATELY. No one wants to hear your brand’s message at this time and online viewers will be ultra sensitive (rightly so) to any posts that are out of place or are even relatively “pitchy.”
  • Offer to help. But only if you actually have the ability to offer valuable assistance that could truly and positively affect someone. Heck, a simple Google Drive Doc gave hope to many people in Boston.
  • Offer condolences. But don’t feel the need to have to post. You want your voice to remain authentic and real, don’t just become one of the crowd due to obligation. Your readers should know your brand’s tone and know it came from the heart.
  • Go dark. There’s nothing wrong with saying nothing if you have nothing to say – sometimes tragedy is too much and there’s nothing you can do to address it.

Social Media Today Tweet

A Recap of IPRRC


Last week, I ventured to Miami for the second year in a row to present research at the International Public Relations Research Conference. IPRRC brings practitioners and academics together in order to share and advance the latest PR research. Unlike other conferences, IPRRC is made up of informal roundtable sessions where the presenters can share their research, then discuss it with a fairly small group of people. This facilitates conversation among practitioners, faculty and grad students and often leads to new ideas and collaborations.

SDSU had a great group of representatives in Miami!

SDSU had a great group of representatives in Miami!

With three very full days of presentations, I was pretty exhausted by the time I got to my own presentation (the very last session!). Luckily, it’s a very positive environment and there didn’t seem to be any judgment as I tripped over my words a few times. In fact, everyone was very kind and encouraging, just like they were last year.

IPRRC really has something for everyone in PR, as you can see in the program. If you are a practitioner, you are sure to find presentations relevant to your practice. If you are an academic, you are sure to find presentations relevant to your research interests. Right now, I’m both, and I found both.

Social media was one of the most popular research topics. From best practices to ethics to creating dialogue to measurement, there was a ton of discussion about social media. My paper was also related to social media, but focused on new PR professionals and why they are often the ones to take on social media tasks. If the topic interests you, go read my thesis! Haha… I know that won’t happen, but if you want a shortened version, I’d be happy to chat about it!

I Can’t Keep Calm…


I GOT A JOB

Yup, you read that right! I landed myself a job!

If you’ve followed Masters of What? for any time at all, you’ve learned that ever since snatching up that MBA I’ve been furiously searching for my “Big Girl Job” (you can read more about my pursuit in some past posts). But today I’m here to reveal that starting Monday I’ll be a full-fledged team member at Red Door Interactive.

Doing what, you ask? Well, I will be the newest member of their Cross Channel Marketing team as a Social Media Coordinator working with some great clients and helping on some exciting social campaigns (you can check out some of RDI’s clients and past campaigns on their site).

So, enough about me. Let’s turn this back to a new-pro, business learning situation. How did I land such a sweet job with a killer company? Internships. That’s right folks, all those internships you’re looking at PAY OFF!

If you’ve done your appropriate online-stalking of my LinkedIn profile you know that I spent the Summer of 2011 as an intern at Red Door. Well, as of January 2013, I was back as an intern (albeit in a slightly different role as social media intern). So, make sure you’re always keeping your eye out for available opportunities and staying in contact with past connections – that’s how I even found out RDI needed someone in their social department (thanks, Anne!).

Want to start your career at RDI? They’re looking to fill a few positions. If you know a stellar Senior Paid Search Specialist or a Senior Interactive Copywriter, be sure to send them the lead.

I Have a Valentine!


I got a Valentine! Did you? Ok – it wasn’t from some hot stud muffin but instead, my tried-and-true bestie, Nicole! And to sweeten the offer she sent it via social media – look how she makes my heart melt 😉

If you didn’t know yet, you can send REAL gifts via Facebook. None of this virtual or poking nonsense but real-life goodies!

Facebook Gift 1

So, one day I was happy to see a little notification on my Facebook (I always get excited when I get a notification because it means I have received virtual attention – which is what Gen Y thrives off of). When I clicked on it I was lead through the process of redeeming my gift!

One aspect that was interesting was that you could make tiny changes to the present. Nicole picked these milk chocolate salted caramels for me, but since she obviously doesn’t know me well (and all of the health benefits from dark choco) I switched it up and got the dark chocolate.

facebook-gift-swap

Although she spaced on my love of dark chocolate she knew me well enough to know I wouldn’t turn down candy. Not sure if your recipient will love your gift? No worries, I was given the option to TOTALLY swap out my gift! I’m not sure if the sender would be notified if you do swap out your gift (Nicole assures me she did not get the notification that I changed my chocolate choice).

Has your Valentine sent you a gift? What’d ya get? Do you think you will be sending any gifts on Facebook? I ventured and sent Nicole a gift. I settled on a gift card after passing up the $50 bottles of wine you could ship!

Getting to know the RDI Team through Graph Search


As you may or may not know, Blake spends part of her time working at Red Door Interactive. This past week she wrote this fun post for their company blog about Facebook Graph Search. Check it out:

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As you’ve probably heard, unless you’re living under a rock with no wi-fi, Facebook recently launched its Graph Search. Our own Social Media Strategist, Anne Buehner, even wrote up a piece a few days ago outlining the “Next Steps” for brands (you can read the post here).

So now that the business-side has been taken care of and we all have a plan to either update our privacy settings or enhance the visibility of our brands, the fun can begin. Read more…

The Social Bowl


Everyone is talking about the Super Bowl and will be for the next week and a half. Will Jim or John win the “Harbowl”? Who will their parents root for? Jim Harbaugh made the right choice by choosing Kaepernick over Smith and Ray Lewis is emotional…. Well, we don’t have commentary on any of that. We will stick to what we know, and that is social media. Yes, the big question is, who wins the SOCIAL BOWL? The San Francisco 49ers or the Baltimore Ravens?

To keep things simple, we decided to assess only Facebook and Twitter. To help us in our Twitter assessment, we used Visual.ly to create this useful infographic:


create infographics with visual.ly

The main things that stand out here are the number of followers each team has (Niners win) and the number of mentions each team gets per tweet (Ravens win). One thing that may be a fumble for both of them is following so few people. While there are other ways to monitor conversation on Twitter, they could probably learn something by following relevant sports writers, other teams and their own players. Taking into account the Follower: Following ratio and the mentions per Tweet, a Hail Mary is thrown and the RAVENS WIN THE SOCIALBOWL (at least on Twitter)!

Now on to Facebook where we assessed their pages the old fashioned way.

49ers Facebook

1,658,796 likes · 796,178 talking about this · 47,654 were here

VS

Ravens Facebook

1,315,644 likes · 518,590 talking about this · 52,156 were here

There was a lot to look at on these pages, but lets start with the obvious numbers: likes (Niners win), talking about this (Niners win), and visitors (Ravens win). Okay, but what about the content and design?

  • Both have updated cover and profile photos to reflect their trip to the Super Bowl and they have similar “about us” sections (Tie).
  • In our opinion, the Niners use the highlighted post feature too often and it breaks up the visual of their timeline. On the other hand, the Ravens haven’t utilized this feature since their win against the Patriots and it really highlights that accomplishment (Ravens win). However, highlighting more posts wouldn’t hurt.
  • The Ravens’ posts were more focused on the Super Bowl, while the Niners had a few posts that didn’t mention the upcoming game. One may think that non-stop Super Bowl for two weeks would get exhausting, but since their audience is their excited fan base, and it is the biggest game of the year, we say pour it on (Ravens win).
  • Overall, the Ravens posted in a more conversational way with more opportunities for fans to interact beyond commenting on articles. They asked fans to post questions for players, enter contests, etc. For the most part, the Niners posted headlines with a link to a story or video on their site and a photo. Because of the tone and types of posts, we felt that the Niners were disseminating information and the Ravens were inviting conversation (Ravens win).

At the end of the day, these teams are tough both online and on the gridiron. They have both faced a lot of adversity, but only one team can be named Social Bowl Champions, and that is the Baltimore Ravens!*

Will the winner of the Social Bowl dictate the winner of the big game? We’ll have to wait until Feb. 3 to find out! Do you have big Super Bowl party plans? Tell us which team you’re routing for!

*That said, these teams both obviously have professional communication staffs that are doing a great job. These are just our casual observations and if you disagree, we would love to battle it out 🙂

Get to know Academia.edu


We all know about Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Tumblr, Foursquare, Google+, Myspace, Instagram… you get the point. But, have you heard of academia.edu? It might not interest everyone, but if you do research, you are in grad school, or you have a client that does research, it may be worth getting to know this lesser-known social media site. As you may have guessed, Academia.edu is “a platform for academics to share research papers.”

Screen shot 2013-01-10 at 1.48.26 PMAs a grad student, I have used the site to follow what other researchers are doing and to connect with fellow academics. I’m not very active on it, so I’m sure I’m not getting all the value I can. I can also see how non-academics may simply be interested in following the research in certain areas long before it is published.

Like many platforms, you can follow people and they will be notified that you are a follower, but they don’t necessarily have to follow you back. In addition to posting your own research, you can post blogs, teaching documents, conference presentations and ask questions within a certain research topic.

As always, we want to hear what you have to say. Have you used Academia.edu? Do you find it useful?