Category Archives: Facebook

Taking a look at Facebook Insights

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This semester I was asked to take a look into the University of Florida’s Facebook page and make recommendations as to what I think would be the best practices going forward for their brand.

To take a look at my full less than 15 minute presentation, click here: UF MMC Final ASC 2.0

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Images on the Internet

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Boston

When it comes to the internet and images, it truly can be a dangerous place. There are so many people taking images of everything around them, or sharing content that they deem interesting or something that should be shared that there is no way for people to be safe from all images. When someone posts something on their page, it shows up on others and whether or not you are ready for them, they can be seared into your mind.

Such is the case with photos from the Boston Bombing. While it is important for people to see the tragedy, and understand the horror that people went through that day, there is also the case of people being bombarded with horrifyingly graphic images. Ethically, how does that work? What if you knew a loved one was running the marathon and while you were looking on their Facebook to see if they had posted something, an image of them in pain showed up on your feed unknowingly posted by someone else? Can you imagine the gut wrenching heartbreak? While someone did this unintentionally, while trying to get the information out to the public, it still should be thought about in more ways than one.

What about children who are on social media? On one hand, the argument is that children shouldn’t be on social media, but what is the age requirement, 13 years old? If they are friends with their aunts, uncles and cousins, odds are someone can share something that is graphic and unsettling and someone who should have warning is shocked by the images. While these occurrences are important and should not be diminished or ignored because of wanting to not scare people, at the same time, sometimes I think a graphic image warning would be great.

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I know that images that are “Not Safe For Work” or NSFW have warnings, why not images that are graphic enough to emote a reaction of shock and horror? This way people would be aware of what is going on while not having the shock of seeing an image they were not prepared for.

Ethically, I think that people do not always take into consideration that what they are posting will be seen by others. I know I have not always considered the implications of what I am posting, it is natural to only think of what you want to post, and not of what other people will be seeing. However, I think that if people put a little more thought into what they post and if major companies took the time to create a warning on articles that are being shared across the web, it would make social media a safer place.

Work and Social Media, Do you know the rules?

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I currently have a full time position where I work with social media all day long. While I only manage one brand, there is a lot of research that goes into finding good content to post, plan for the next week, and so on. That being said, I check Facebook about 10 times a day. While I don’t check it right when I wake up unless it is the weekend, I work with Facebook and am on it constantly. While I manage a separate page, all of the groups I monitor are linked to my personal page and in checking all of them periodically, I also check in on what my friends are doing for a couple of minutes here and there.

My company logs every site that we go on and I think it is completely ethical to do so. I know that I am being tracked because I am constantly coming across sites that are blocked while I am doing research and I know that is monitored. Ethically, I think that as long as it is acknowledged that they will be tracked it is fine. I think that while it should be common sense that everything can be tracked, I think it should be written down in an employee contract so that people really do understand the implications of what they are doing. Unfortunately, people still do not understand what they are doing when they are on social media at work.

I personally have my place of work show on my Facebook and LinkedIn page, however I am also very focused on not posting anything inappropriate on social media. I feel that I am my own brand and I am my own advocate and if I do not think it is in my best interest, I don’t post it. I don’t think posting something about having a busy day or a stressful day is a bad thing, however posting about being drunk or any kind of lewd behavior would make me think that it might just be easier to not attach anything to my profiles.

While I think that there are some policies that are more strict, I do think that there should be some kind concept of not allowing social media to overwhelm their work mainly because social media is a major distraction. While some people can handle it properly and only check things occasionally as a break, some people truly are addicted to checking and monitoring social media and it can create a really stagnant work environment where not a lot of things are getting done.

Old Navy and Customers

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This week I decided to take a look at how Old Navy was connecting with their customers. I look at both their Facebook and Twitter account to see how they responded to any and all customer interactions.

Facebook:

Screen Shot 2014-05-26 at 11.17.40 AMLooking at their Facebook page and seeing all of the customer interactions that were answered and the ones that were ignored, it is interesting to see how they choose to portray their customer voice. I have seen that Old Navy does make an effort to post in an upbeat and friendly manner and that they offer help and assistance when they can and explain when it was a mistake on the customer end nicely. However, they don’t respond to every comment. There are a lot of comments that go unanswered. I am wondering if part of that is because they have multiple people answering comments on the same post. I think for their purposes, it would make more sense to assign a person to each post to ensure that every comment was answered. I am sure for the people who are commenting and seeing their questions or concerned ignored, it is very upsetting. I think that they are doing a great job of speaking in a consistent tone, but the majority of their posts are selling to customers. I think it would be great if they added more informational posts about outfits since those get a lot of comments and may end up selling pieces that people want without directly offering a sale or discount.

Twitter:

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When it comes to Twitter, I think Old Navy does a much better job of not only reaching out to people who are commenting on their posts, but also sharing posts that they are tagged in. This shows how they are interacting and connecting to people and making sure that they make their customers feel heard. I think it is very important to consistently make people feel as though they are being heard, and by Old Navy retweeting or making something a favorite, it is a simple way to accomplish that. I still think that they need to not consistently sell to the people connecting with them online. It is something that can be a huge turn off to people who are not huge fans of the company.

 

While this company has been able to consistently keep a warm and friendly voice when posting and when interacting with people, they have not hit the right amount of how often they should be selling a product and how often they should be posting other interesting tidbits. I think that if they were able to  branch out their posts they would be doing a lot better when it comes to connecting with customers and gaining new followers.

Let’s Take a Close Look..

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Terms and ConditionsI have to be honest, I never read the “Terms and Conditions”. I get a sinking feeling every time I sign something electronically since I know I am held to what I signed. The only two times I have read the conditions of anything fully is when I signed the contract to my new job and when I took out a loan for grad school. I know that if people read the fine print more often, they would be less shocked when the terms and conditions came to light.

I had NO IDEA that I was not supposed to not have more than one personal Facebook account. In fact I had 3 at one point for different reasons. As a side note, if I start refriending people on Facebook under a different name, it is because I have decided to adhere to the rules and just use one account instead of 3. Whoops!

I am very active on Instagram, and when the articles came out and let everyone know that their pictures were able to be sold. People spoke out and let them know that they had no desire to allow their photos being sold, and I agree! I follow a lot of healthy people on Instagram, and a lot of their photos end up being taken and used as before and after photos for various products. This is one of the many reasons people were upset, since photos are already being taken and used against the original persons will. While they take the time to report the person, it takes a long time for the photos to be taken down and someone’s reputation can be damaged.

terms-and-conditionsThe question posed this week, was asking how would I make Term’s and Conditions for Facebook.

My initial reaction would be to make the conditions a lot simpler. I mean, I don’t know about you, but since I never read the conditions I know that it is partially because the jargon is so dense and confusing!

Even when I read the terms, and try to understand, I still have no idea. My first step would be to make the conditions easier to understand. I am sure that there is a lot of information that needs to be there, because of different reasons and wanting to cover their own back when it comes to being sued, however I do think that it is tedious and a little verbose.

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For instance, I find it a little weird that the definitions are Article 18 of the Terms and Conditions. If this was really created for ease of understanding, I think that it would be posted as the first Article so that people can understand what is going on and can understand what they are signing up for. Another change I would make is to keep everything in one place. The fact that when going through the Terms and Conditions you constantly have to click out for clarification makes me a little leery. It seems as though Facebook is trying to make it more complicated so that people don’t take the time to actually read all of the Terms and Conditions.

Ethically I think that there are some aspects to Terms and Conditions that have made me rethink skipping over and I hope that will make anyone reading this think again about skipping over them as well. It does seem to me that Facebook is looking to make people confused by not having everything in one place, which makes me trust their intentions less when it comes to what they want to do with my information.

Final Project – I learned a LOT!

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For my final project of the semester, I decided to create a promotion, for my own start up business. I knew it would be a lot of work, but really the amount that goes into planning is so much more than I had anticipated! I have consulted and helped people with their social media planning and branding before, but starting from scratch was very difficult. It all started with my company name, Social Solutions For You. I had to build a website, www.socialsolutionsforyou.com, but I also needed a logo for branding. In order to get a logo, I did a lot of research and saw that VistaPrint offered design services. I had heard great things about VistaPrint before, so I decided to look into it. This is a really cool program called Design Crowd that reaches out to designers and they send you designs after reading a brief that you had written. I was on a deadline, so I made the design due in 3 days. I was stunned by the amount of submissions, I had chosen the lowest pay scale, so I knew I wouldn’t get a ton of designs, but in that short time frame I got 25 submissions. Screen Shot 2014-03-31 at 8.04.10 PMSome were great and some really weren’t, above are two designs that didn’t make it. What was great was how I could ask designers to change colors, fonts, really everything! It was a long process though, and since people were submitting from around the world it was very time consuming and there was a lot of back and forth. The winning design took about 2 weeks to formulate, so if you hate it, don’t tell me..Screen Shot 2014-03-31 at 11.01.29 PM

Once I finally had a logo, it was time to get a website going!!! In order to do that, and do it well, I took a look at various website options that I could work on myself. I looked at Wix, and did some research on their blogs, some of which really look fabulous! I started working on one, until I realized that it didn’t work well with WordPress, and since I already use WordPress for school, I really wanted to use a site that worked well. So, back to the drawing board. I finally decided to a site through my BlueHost domain hosting. There were a lot of choices, and it came down to the right theme. I want to add that I have no idea what I am doing when it comes to websites, so this was an adventure in itself. There are a lot of various things that can go wrong when building a website, so of course I experienced a lot of them. From accidentally deleting pages or posts and realizing that different side bar options are just not working.

A downside I learned while I was working on my website, was that unlike WordPress that actually sends people your blog post if they have shown an interest in something similar, I am on my own. I will need to make all of the interaction and engagement happen and will need to know how I track the information as well.

Due to that, one of the main things I wanted to have happen with my website was Google Analytics. I have learned this semester how much I can learn from Google Analytics, and because of that I knew I needed to have it on my website. It was not easy to get it on there though, it should be easy, but clearly I was doing something wrong, about 70 times. Luckily, my husband was able to figure it out in under 10 minutes after I finally asked him for help.

Once I had that working it really became time to formalize a plan and decide what I was going to do on social media sites, as well as with a campaign. To start I back dated posts on Facebook from September on, since I had really not been posting lately and began to invite friends to “like” my page, as well as try to grow my circles on Google+. I  also updated Facebook, Google+, Twitter and LinkedIn to make sure all of the pictures matched for continuity. At this point I realized is that I need pictures of myself. I mean, I have selfies or other random pictures, but I mean a professional headshot. I definitely think it takes a profile to the next level when there are more professional pictures, so at some point in the future I will look into getting some taken. This way I can update my information and have some more up-to-date pictures. Since this company is mine and all about branding myself, I think it is important to have a good selection of my own pictures.

The next step was to figure out how I wanted to attract people to my pages. I turned to Woobox. When I first signed up, I noticed that there was a quick and easy way to add my Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest as static tabs to my Facebook page which I think is really great. I think it is important to always give people an opportunity to follow you in other places easily. The key is making it simple so that they don’t have to search to find your information, but by making it simple they can do so if they choose.

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To find out some more great techniques, I did some research on what is a great way to get more followers. While there are a lot of different ways to do that, most people agree on the idea that you need to be interesting, you need to respect your followers and connect with them and you need to be consistent. Simple ideas, but hard to follow through with sometimes. Social media is a constantly changing environment and to stay on top of it, we need to be constantly involved by posting and interacting.

While those are ways to keep followers interacting with you, at this point I need to play a numbers game and just begin to get followers. I know that it may not be the best way over time, since people may decide to unlike my pages or unfollow me, but in the beginning I think it is a great way to build a following. I had a lot of choices of what kind of promotion I wanted to run.

Screen Shot 2014-03-31 at 10.22.46 PMI have decided that when I make a promotion, I will most likely be using the sweepstakes option. I don’t know yet what my prize will be, but I can make a lot of different rules for my contest. I think this is a great feature since it means that I will be able to guide the settings to make sure that people sign up through Facebook, or email. How many times they can sign up and how many bonus entries they get if they have a friend sign up as well.

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Another great feature that Woobox offers, is being able to see which post I can use to pick a winner, as seen below.Screen Shot 2014-03-31 at 10.47.22 PMRight now, as you can see these posts have no likes, or comments. That is what I think running a promotion will change. This is something that has worked for many companies in the past, and I do not think that it will be any different for my company. I do think that I will have more luck if I grow my company more in the meantime, before I run a promotion, but a promotion will help me have fast growth at some point in the future. I think that until I am ready to post a promotion, slowly gaining followers who are actually interested in what I am posting is my best bet. I have learned to post in groups or communities, depending on which social platform I am using. This helps with growth and followers on those sites, and by beginning to direct them back to my Facebook page, it will really create cross interaction.

While considering what kind of promotion I want to use, I think I will create an image about the promotion instead of just a post, since it is proven that pictures not only create more of a reaction with followers, but it also is promoted more in news feeds because of that.

Since I would be buying something to give away I want to look at all of the different reasons that promotions and posts succeed. This article talks about different ways to make sure that Facebook engagement occurs and continues. One of the best suggestions I read was about how instead of just thinking of posting something, think of it as planting something since you have to stick around on the page and increase communication with anyone who comments. That to me makes a lot of sense since it is a great way to increase engagement, which is my goal at the end of the day. Engagement in social media is what thrills me about this field. Being able to get notifications when someone is engaging with something I have shared or written still brings a smile to my face. I hope I never lose that feeling since it really is what makes me want to stay in this complex but rewarding field.

Another great concept I learned about are, “caption this” posts. Screen Shot 2014-03-31 at 11.37.19 PMThe above picture was taken from the page Dlisted, and they use this caption idea almost every day! There are always winners, and a lot of people put in comments. On this picture alone there were 80 comments. This shows me how great the idea really is and how much I do need to implement it into my campaigns.

I have learned a lot in the past 6 months about social media that has led to me starting my own pages and campaigns. One of my favorite images that has stuck with me is this one.

36-rules-social-mediaI think that while this doesn’t include everything, there are a lot of great tips here. Two that I think relate to running this promotion specifically are numbers 25 & 30. The only way to scale word of mouth is through paid advertising and contests and sweepstakes are fine, if you want to encourage short relationships. I see a promotion as a type of paid advertising, but yes, it will create a short relationship if it is not built correctly. I do think that by slowly building an audience and directing them back to my page it will help enhance my promotion when I do actually run it. People will be more likely to share the post and try to win if it is a product they want and a company they already interact with and look at the pages of.

I am eager to get going on not only creating a business, but branding myself I really think I will be well on my way to becoming an influence in this field. I am very excited to continue to learn how to grow and build an audience and connect with people about social media.

Old Navy App

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Screen Shot 2014-02-17 at 2.11.15 PMThis week I decided to look at Old Navy as a company and see what kind of app they had. A few months ago I had written a review of Old Navy online and their app, Old Navy Snap Appy and I wanted to see what was going on. First off, I was shocked to see that the Snap Appy app was completely gone, and did not show up in the App Store at all. Instead there was a new Old Navy app! This one was much more useful and was a way to shop online, on my phone!

oldnavy 1The app opens up with what sale is happening and shows what coupon code can be used when checking out. I like that it also has a list of what types of clothing you can look for within the app. Old Navy offers a lot of choices that are typically not shown in the store, Maternity, Petite sizes for women, Tall for men and for women; lots of different choices. With the app, it is similar to the online shopping experience and there are all of the same choices.

When looking at the shopping in closer detail, you can select categories, colors, and prices just like when shopping online. I find this incredibly convenient and it shows a huge improvement from the initial app that was put out.

Next, I noticed that the app oldnavy 2requested my location. After I said “no,” it really did keep my privacy and just showed a variety of stores. I then went back into my settings and selected to allow my location to be shared and it allowed me to find local stores easily. This sparked my interest in where other Old Navy would be located globally and I was successful in finding out that in 2012, Old Navy opened its first global store in Japan. While the company had already had a large presence there with Gap and Banana Republic, Old Navy is just becoming an option.

I took a look at the Old Navy Facebook and noticed that there was no mention of this app. I am wondering if the company is just allowing people to stumble upon it themselves. This to me doesn’t seem like a great strategy. I think people would really appreciate this app and the ability to find out what they can use the app for if they knew more about it.

oldnavy 3 For instance, this one app allows you to go the the 4 other companies that are related by easily clicking on the “brands” option. This seamlessly allows a transition with all of the same great shopping features as with Old Navy. I find that very useful since I do enjoy shopping at Gap as well for different items and now I have everything in one place. You can use the app as a guest, but signing into your account does make things easier for purchasing quickly since it will save your information and allow for easier processing. Also, if you shop online, it is quite similar to that same process.

I really enjoy the ease of use with the app, it seems as though there was a lot of time and effort put into making sure that it was simple and not confusing, which sometimes can happen. I just wish that there was an extra incentive to use it. I think that if there were coupons, or an extra discount to use on top of the regular discount they would see a big jump in the amount of people using the app.

oldnavy 4There was another feature that I found interesting was the barcode scanner. Luckily I just received some new workout clothes for Valentine’s Day and was able to see how it worked! I scanned this item and it showed up in the app in the color that I have, what was cool is that it showed me what other colors it comes in, and that one other color was on sale. To me this is a great feature since Old Navy does have some Online Only options.
When these mysterious fashions show up in the store, it is a great way to see what else they offer online and in what sizes. It is also great to show what other colors an item comes in that isn’t in the store. It was really easy to use and I find it a very convenient feature.

Lastly, I think that it is important to mention that the branding is consistent through the app, the online website and the social media pages that I looked at. I think that is an important part of making sure an app represents a company well, and I do believe that Old Navy did that with this app. Also, here is a GREAT commercial from Thanksgiving since I love Melissa McCarthy.