10:58 am - Tue, Apr 2, 2013
10 notes

Links I love

Here are some social media articles from the last few weeks that we’ve been sending around our office and have found really useful. 

Is the hashtag dead? 

Facebook adds reply to comment feature - finally

An infographic on all the latest changes to Pinterest

Google makes animated GIFs a permanent part of image search 

59 Digital media resources you might have missed

Anything you’ve read that I’ve missed out on?

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10:49 am
11 notes

What if social networks and websites were actual people at a party?

This is so beyond accurate. 

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12:49 pm - Tue, Mar 19, 2013
5 notes

Using Twitter Chats to engage your audience

I recently presented at an Advanced Learning Institute training on social media and government - specifically how one of my clients is using Twitter chats to engage with their audiences to spread important information to their followers & start a dialogue around particular issues.

And, I thought perhaps you would like to know some key takeaways that you could use for Twitter chats with your clients. 

For background, a Twitter chat (sometimes called a Twitter party) occurs when a handle on Twitter sets a specific date and time to address a particular topic. So, from 1-2pm a Twitter handle may have an expert on hand to talk about depression, yoga, a new movie or product, etc. Users can log into Twitter, follow the chat hashtag and participate, ask questions and learn from other users. 

So, here are a few tips if you want to use Twitter chats.

  1. Set a consistent hashtag and use it for all chats. It will make it easier for people to participate on a month to month basis and recognize when your chats are taking place.
  2. Invite experts and other organizations that have to do with your topic to co-host, or participate, to increase the chat reach.
  3. Ask questions in advance to see what people want to hear about. Before drafting your script, ask people what they want to learn about the topic. Then, make sure to address those topics during the chat. 
  4. Use services available that make monitoring and analyzing the success of the chat easier. Tweetchat.com is a great service to use to conduct the chat and TweetReach provides great data post chat for only $20.
  5. Learn from chats and use those insights in the future. Does your community love lists? What information from chats is more retweeted? What information is not really shared? Are the same questions asked over and over? Analyze each chat for content and sentiment and make changes moving forward.
  6. Be engaging. No one wants to log into a Twitter chat to just see tweet after tweet of messages from an organization. Ask questions, answer questions, thank people for their participation, and retweet other information. The chat is to share your information but also interact with your followers.
  7. Post your chat transcripts to your website so that people who were unable to participate can still see what was spoken about.

These are just some basic and easy ways to make your Twitter chats better, or start them in the first place. And if you’re not ready to take the leap for your clients just yet, try participating in chats first. As a participant you can see how others run their chats, see best practices and learn more about the ins and outs.

Happy tweeting! 

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9:00 pm - Tue, Jan 22, 2013
4 notes

2013 #socialmedia trends

We’re just about one month into 2013 and many of the trends that have been discussed in the last few months are being put into action.

Here are a few identified at the Mashable Media Summit at the end of the last year that I think we’ll definitely continue to see in the near future. 

  1. Mobile. Mobile. Mobile. People are accessing the internet on their phones more than ever. Make sure your sites are optimized for mobile, that people can do whatever they can on your website on their phones as well. At the summit someone even said to start on mobile and work your way from there. And I agree.
  2. e-commerce and the user experience. More applications and mobile sites are integrating one click purchasing. Instead of simply interacting with something you can scan it and actually buy it. In catalogs, magazines, and more. An ad should lead to a point of purchase.
  3. Social first, paid second. Paid media tactics are great, advertising is great, but social is first. Content is king. Focus on your content and using social media channels to get that content to your customer, employee, member, etc. It works.
  4. Print isn’t dead. The digital marketer loves to say that print is dying, or dead already. That’s not true. People are still buying books and magazines. But print marketers need to make their content digital as well. Interactive through scanning and apps and additional content available online. That is the way for print and digital to live in harmony.
  5. Images can’t be overstated. They are still the most engaging content on social media. Focus on images that resonate and are important to your audience. And don’t forget about images and content in ads. A billboard won’t drive anything unless it’s engaging and resonates.

These are only a few of the things to keep in mind as we venture further into 2013 and look for ways to stay on the cutting edge for our clients.

These can be applied across industries and topic areas and you can look for ways to integrate them as you execute social media strategy in the next few months.

And don’t forget to keep an eye on the news for companies and brands and agencies that are doing it well - learn from their success and mistakes and look for ways to make it work for you. 

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9:08 am - Fri, Dec 7, 2012
6 notes

Mashable Media Summit Pros and Cons


As I said, last week I attended the Mashable Media Summit in NYC. I was extremely excited to attend since I am a complete Mashable junkie and have watched the conference from afar for the last few years. The conference was originally scheduled for the Friday after Hurricane Sandy but for obvious reasons was post-poned until November 30.

Before a post on learnings let’s break down my thoughts on the conference in general. The format was one continuous session that featured a variety of speakers. Everyone was in the same room all day, so every attendee saw every speaker - there were no sessions to choose from. The speakers were broken up by a few breaks and lunch. The day ended with a networking reception.

Pros

  1. Amazing line up of speakers. Everyone from the co-founder of Reddit (Alexis Ohanian), Pete Cashmore himself, and the DKNY PR girl to the Executive Editor of Tumblr, reps from Conde Nast and Facebook and journalists.
  2. Great venue. The New York Times Center was an awesome and open space and the auditorium and crowd were a good size.
  3. Lots of relevant talks. Many of the speakers were relevant to what I do and am interested in and represented platforms that I work on every day.
  4. Good, digestible tidbits and tips for 2013. Each speaker touched on trends that they expect to see in 2013 and tips for how to make sure you’re ahead of the curve for the next year.
  5.  Variety of skilled attendees. Attendees spanned all different industries, companies, types of clients, and skill sets and traveled from all over the country (and even the world) to be a part of the summit.

Cons

  1. Conference was not very well run logistically. There was no music or time filler in between speakers, one walked off the stage and the auditorium was silent until the next was introduced. The person serving as moderator wasn’t engaging and didn’t keep the crowd energized between speakers.
  2. It ran late and they cut out questions. After the first speaker they began to run late and thus cut out questions from the audience. Even with cutting out questions it was still running approx 40 minutes behind and it was confusing to know when we were not expected to end.
  3. Speakers left after their sessions. A main reason I wanted to go to the conference was the chance to engage with the speakers. But, many (if not all) of them gave their speech then left. Since the conference was all in 1 room and went from speaker to speaker, there was no opportunity to catch them before they left or engage with them in networking, which was disappointing. 
  4. Attendees kept to themselves. As I’ve found with a lot of social media conferences and gatherings you wind up in a room of people on their phones, tablets and computers but not really engaging with one another. I met a few people and did some networking, which was great, but wold have liked to see more people trying to mingle and connect.
  5. Some sessions were not relevant (to me, at least). While a lot of the sessions were great there were some that were completely not relevant to me or what I do for a living. Since the format was one big room where everyone heard every speaker, I simply zoned out for the ones I wasn’t learning from. In the future it would be nice to see the Summit break down into individual sessions instead of one big, long running session.

Overall, I was happy I went and definitely learned some interesting things that I can take back and apply to my clients. Will I attend again? That’s a solid maybe. It would depend on the format of the Summit, the speakers they have lined up and whether or not they are making changes to improve over time.

Stay tuned for another post about tips I learned and trends for 2013!

Photos from the Media Summit Highlights & my Instagram.

Comments

10:55 am - Wed, Dec 5, 2012
5 notes

Sometimes the amount of data, research, and analysis that I do on a daily basis to provide informed recommendations for clients surprises me. A lot of people think working in social media means playing on Facebook and Twitter all day and looking at funny gifs of cats on Buzzfeed. And yeah, we do that.

But we also have to keep a pulse of our clients coverage in the news both in traditional and online sources, analyze conversations, identify trends, show movements in tone and sentiment and analyze content for spikes and valleys in different topic profiles.

A few of my current favorite tools for monitoring online conversations are Radian6 and Topsy. Both provide a great in-depth analysis at the information you’re looking for and can be completely customized to the search terms and platforms you want to monitor.

So next time you think your friend working in social media is laughing and reading Mashable, they’re probably trying to convert data from something like this into a meaningful, strategic, and informative recommendation for a client.

And with that, back to the dashboards I go…

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12:29 pm - Thu, Nov 29, 2012
3 notes
Tonight I’m heading up to NYC to attend the Mashable Media Summit tomorrow.

The Media Summit explores the impact that technology is having on media, and how digital media is affecting our lives and changing the world.

The summit will feature a variety of speakers including people from Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Hearst Magazines, NPR, Donna Karen, and more. And of course, Mashable.

You can follow along with me on Twitter @ChristineCotter and also using the hashtag #mediasummit.

I’ll be sure to post a full recap of everything I learned once I’m back!

Tonight I’m heading up to NYC to attend the Mashable Media Summit tomorrow.

The Media Summit explores the impact that technology is having on media, and how digital media is affecting our lives and changing the world.

The summit will feature a variety of speakers including people from Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Hearst Magazines, NPR, Donna Karen, and more. And of course, Mashable.

You can follow along with me on Twitter @ChristineCotter and also using the hashtag #mediasummit.

I’ll be sure to post a full recap of everything I learned once I’m back!

Comments

2:21 pm - Tue, Oct 30, 2012
5 notes
So you want to work in digital & social media? Here are five tips for getting your resume off the pile and you into the job of your dreams.
Be creative. Social media professionals aren’t (usually) the buttoned up suit type. They’re fun, trendsetters, off the beaten path, pop culture enthusiasts that are creative and passionate. Let this show throughout your cover letter and resume. Create a “creative” resume as well as a traditional one and send whichever version you think would fit the company you’re applying to. For creative resumes check out this.
Show off your social media skills. The biggest mistake you can do when applying is not show off YOUR social media presences. Always, let me repeat, ALWAYS, have your Twitter account public. And provide the link to your Twitter, blog, LinkedIn, About.me, Instagram, & even Facebook. You don’t HAVE to provide them all, you’re entitled to your privacy of course, but making some available shows how you interact in the space. Personally, I always included my LinkedIn, About.me, blog and Twitter when I applied for jobs. Always. Let’s be honest, the people hiring you are going to Google and find it anyway, might as well make it easy for them.
Provide concrete examples. Link to pages you manage (or managed), campaigns that you’ve been a part of, show results in how your work succeeded, and make it interactive where possible. Don’t just say you worked on XX brand’s Facebook. Say you increased their fanbase by X%, drove XX engagement and secured coverage in XX publication.
Show your passions. Add some spice to your resume and cover letter, talk about your hobbies, your favorite social media campaigns, brands and companies that inspire you. Putting some pizazz between the details will help you stand out. Everyone wants to work with a team they get along with. Maybe a mention of your corgi and Dexter obsession is what makes you the one they bring in instead of someone else with similar background.
Know the answer to why digital? This is a question a lot of people (believe it or not) are not prepared to answer. Why do you love the space? Why do you want to work in social media? Why is it something you’re passionate about? What do you think the impact of social is in the business you’re applying to be in? If you don’t know the answers to these questions, well, maybe you should reconsider your career goals.
I love helping people prepare for the social media job hunt, so if you have any questions, please let me know!
[Image via socialcast]

So you want to work in digital & social media? Here are five tips for getting your resume off the pile and you into the job of your dreams.

  1. Be creative. Social media professionals aren’t (usually) the buttoned up suit type. They’re fun, trendsetters, off the beaten path, pop culture enthusiasts that are creative and passionate. Let this show throughout your cover letter and resume. Create a “creative” resume as well as a traditional one and send whichever version you think would fit the company you’re applying to. For creative resumes check out this.
  2. Show off your social media skills. The biggest mistake you can do when applying is not show off YOUR social media presences. Always, let me repeat, ALWAYS, have your Twitter account public. And provide the link to your Twitter, blog, LinkedIn, About.me, Instagram, & even Facebook. You don’t HAVE to provide them all, you’re entitled to your privacy of course, but making some available shows how you interact in the space. Personally, I always included my LinkedIn, About.me, blog and Twitter when I applied for jobs. Always. Let’s be honest, the people hiring you are going to Google and find it anyway, might as well make it easy for them.
  3. Provide concrete examples. Link to pages you manage (or managed), campaigns that you’ve been a part of, show results in how your work succeeded, and make it interactive where possible. Don’t just say you worked on XX brand’s Facebook. Say you increased their fanbase by X%, drove XX engagement and secured coverage in XX publication.
  4. Show your passions. Add some spice to your resume and cover letter, talk about your hobbies, your favorite social media campaigns, brands and companies that inspire you. Putting some pizazz between the details will help you stand out. Everyone wants to work with a team they get along with. Maybe a mention of your corgi and Dexter obsession is what makes you the one they bring in instead of someone else with similar background.
  5. Know the answer to why digital? This is a question a lot of people (believe it or not) are not prepared to answer. Why do you love the space? Why do you want to work in social media? Why is it something you’re passionate about? What do you think the impact of social is in the business you’re applying to be in? If you don’t know the answers to these questions, well, maybe you should reconsider your career goals.

I love helping people prepare for the social media job hunt, so if you have any questions, please let me know!

[Image via socialcast]

Comments

11:11 am
7 notes

hurricane sandy & the power of social media

Social media is great for stalking exes from college, posting sepia tone pictures of your dinner & giving play by play feelings on your favorite tv show (#homeland).

But it’s also an important way messages are distributed during disasters and times of stress. And this was apparent yesterday and today during Hurricane Sandy.

Unless you’ve been living under a rock (or maybe on the West Coast), you know that Hurricane Sandy pummeled the East Coast yesterday and today with insane wind, lots and lots of rain, & waves that destroyed much of the shore of the Carolinas, NJ and flooded the streets of NYC.

And my guess is you got a lot of that information via social media.

The power of the instantaneous nature of social media is imperative in times of a disaster. Sure, you can turn on the news and have CNN.com pulled up on your laptop, but to get whats happening in real time all you had to go was go to Twitter.

People were updating on the status of the storm in their area, warning about flooded streets and dangerous areas, telling their friends and families that they were heading to a friend’s house, that the power had gone out and that they were safe.

News broke via Twitter before it broke on the mainstream media. It was an important way to inform a large audience about the storm and keep in touch with loved ones. #sandy was the best way to get up to the second information that reporters couldn’t get yet.

Not only was it used on a personal level, but a large-scale disaster awareness and political level as well.

Governors used their Twitter handles to spread important updates. Transit systems tweeted out closures and where to go for more information. Pictures of the devastation were posted with warnings to stay inside.

The importance of social media in disasters is overwhelming. Personally, I barely turned on the news. Between Twitter and weather.com, I had all the information I needed. When I did turn on the TV or visit a news site online, what they were saying was “old” to me. I had seen it via social media first.

This all ladders up to the overarching theme we’ve seen over the last few years - everyday citizens are turning into reporters. They see and report on news using social media before the camera crews can get there. They keep people updated with photos, videos and information at the click of a “post” or “tweet” button. CNN and other outlets rely in their “i-reporters” for the latest information that they republished with their news.

And the last two days proved without a shadow of a doubt how important these mediums are to everyone affected by disasters.

Don’t forget to do your part. Help out and donate now.

[images via cnn.com]

Comments

9:01 am - Thu, Oct 4, 2012
8 notes

Anyone who manages social media platforms has been there. You fill out a tweet and before clicking “post” triple check to make sure it’s actually your twitter account you’re posting to, and not the brand you also post to. And what do you know, it was the wrong one and you caught it in time. Phew.

But not everyone is so lucky. And in the digital age, when mistakes happen, you can’t take it back.

A wrong click of the mouse and even if you realize the mistake and delete a tweet or Facebook post in seconds, it’s been seen. It was on newsfeeds and in RSS feeds and chances are someone, somewhere, has screenshot it before you got to the delete button.

This article shows exactly what can happen when a social media manager is not careful and shares personal views on a company handle. After posting an offensive tweet and deleting it ASAP, the tweet had already gone viral. And I can pretty much gaurantee that the social media manger was fired as the company goes into damage control mode.

So, social media professionals, take that extra step and watch yourself when you’re tweeting from 5 accounts at once. You might want to be the first person to make a funny comment to your friends, but your professional reputation is more important.

Write, edit, check the account, then check it again. Then click post.

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