Students Affected by Changes in the Success Center

By Ashlynn Worley

As a direct result of changes made in the Student Success Center over winter break, several students have been forced to look elsewhere for work-study employment.

The decision to hire full-time Administrative Assistant Deborah Stock resulted in some students losing their front-desk jobs or having reduced hours.

“I was kind of frustrated because I needed money and where I was getting my income here has been cut off so like I only have one job now. This actually affected me,” junior Oluwatimilehin Ajayi said.

Stock works Monday-Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the front desk. Stock is in charge of the textbook loan program, room reservations, the Campus Programming Calendar, and scheduling appointments for Dean of Students Christine Tracy among other duties.

“I am really glad to be here and am looking forward to working with them [students]. I don’t bite,” Stock said.

The Student Success Center, or SSC, made various other changes that affect students. Tutoring sessions will now be held in the Big Room, Monday-Thursday 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Students can schedule a tutoring appointment through WC Online.

Students may notice another change in the SSC with the development of the QUEST Center, which stands for Quincy University Experiential STudy Center.

According to an email from Dr. Tracy, “QUEST will include career services, study abroad, internships, service learning, undergraduate research, and credit for prior learning.”

Director of Experiential Learning Kristen Liesen oversees the QUEST Center. Quincy University is in the process of hiring an Experiential Learning Specialist to assist with the service learning aspect.

“This is actually something we have needed for a really long time … They [specialist] will be promoting and coordinating different sites and I think that we will see that service learning opportunities will grow,” Liesen said.

Once a fitting candidate is selected and approved for the job, Liesen hopes to have the new employee starting mid-semester.

The Student Success Center first opened its doors in fall of 2014. Over the past four years, the center has made several changes.

The Offices of Student Development, previously known as Student Affairs and Student Engagement, have moved. Dr. Tracy’s office relocated next to the academic success coaches and Residence Life is now where Dr. Tracy’s old office formerly was.

“They [Office of Student Development] should have sent that email way before we started school to let students know once you walk in the SSC, we made some changes, like there will be somebody at the front desk, and I mean we would still have work-study students throughout the day,” sophomore Aloysius Cooper said.

According to a document released from the Office of Student Development, their vision statement is to, “Challenge and support each individual student to discover their passion and purpose.”

When asked where the future of the Student Success Center is heading, many faulty and staff members agreed the SSC is ever-changing and expanding. In order to be the most efficient, the Office of Student Development has created a one-stop-shop for a lot of student needs.

 

 

 

 

Technology Takeover

Growing up in the 21st century, being categorized as a millennial, it actually aggravates me at times. Do not get me wrong- I have a love/hate relationship with social media, really with technology in general. However, the future is now and our generation and those to come must be prepared for the worst while praying for the best.

In my personal, non-professional opinion, I believe that technology will be running the human race instead of vice versa. Being raised by my grandparents really set the stage for how I approach and use social media. When I walk around campus, I look around and the majority of people have their noses glued to their phones. After reading an article on “brain hacking,” this makes perfect sense. We are literally being brain washed by the apps on our phones to continually keep us coming back for more. “Inadvertently, whether they (Silicon Valley) want to or not, they are shaping the thoughts and feelings and actions of people. They are programming people.” -Tristan Harris, former Google product manager

If we want to find out where in the world Indonesia is, learn how to change the oil in a car, or simply find out how to spell something (type it close enough and spell check will recognize it) or the definition of a word, simply Google it. Most teenagers today would not have a clue how to look up a word the “old fashioned way.” I feel like this has a lot to do with my generation being pegged as “lazy” because we have grown accustomed to finding all the answers within seconds, and at the tip of our fingers to boot. Carrying around a so called smartphone scares me in some ways since I know that technology will only keep advancing. I often ask myself, how far can science go? Will we one day eliminate humans completely if robots and machines can efficiently run and take over almost anything? Humans may one day be the cause of our own demise, well ahead of our time. Another important thing to consider about the use of technology in this time is that currently all our information online is being bought and sold to other companies for the benefit of target advertising and who knows what else. I think government interference and spying on citizens has only skyrocketed since computers with cameras came about, even before then. But, my point is social media was built for all fun and games at first. Now, there almost as many advertisements in my Snapchat stories than there are stories of my actual friends.

A few positive aspects I believe everyone benefits from the use of social media is speed, easy access to information (although how much of what you read online is accurate? Always consider fact checking and vetting any context and sources you use) and also, connections. Based on a social media report from last year, “According to GlobalWebIndex, 98 percent of online consumers (age 16 to 64) globally say they have
visited or used a social network within the last month.” For example, Facebook, the worldwide God Father of social media can connect you with old friends, new friends, and even distant relatives. This social media site is used for entertainment, businesses, advertising, and social interaction. I even have to use Facebook to turn in my homework assignments! However, I see it going as far as integrating all aspects of competing social media platforms and turning it into a one stop shop for social media, completely wiping out all other sites.

AJ Agrawal, CEO, Alumnify wrote an article about what he believes to be the future of social media trends. I happen to agree with a lot of what he says. When discussing the content of posts, there is so much out there to sift through like click-bait, and false advertising, that it makes businesses, particularly social media manager’s jobs even more difficult. Creating the “perfect post” by using Lights, Camera, Action and A.E.I.O.U may not be enough. This day and age, people expect bigger, better things to always come along and replace the “old” version. That is the problem with social media; it can only evolve so far until it reaches a point of extinction or ultimate technology takeover.

 

 

Live-Streaming For Life

Live streaming loosely defined is when people literally “go live” on video via Facebook, Instagram or YouTube and friends can watch in real time and engage with you while you are live. A few best practices for going live on Facebook is to always make sure your phone is fully charged because Facebook Live drains your battery. The longer the better, usually 45 minutes to an hour of live streaming will bring in more and more viewers, increasing your audience and engagement.  These practices can apply to other platforms that allow you to live stream such as Instagram.

When going live, remember to have a fully charged phone and a backup charger might not be a bad idea either. Turning your phone to airplane mode will temporarily block calls and push notifications that can distract and take away from your live stream. Clean your camera lens before going live, observe your surroundings and be aware of lighting and angles. If possible, use a tripod to keep the camera steady, but remember to move it around once in awhile to give viewers that 360 panorama, making them feel as if they are right there with you.

One thing that comes with live streaming is the constant questions and comments. The best way to manage the questions that flood in would be to have a buddy on a different device handling all the Q & A’s as they come in while you continue to live stream. They should not only take care of responding to questions but also be aware of the trolls, and ignore them! As you and your friend pick out comments to respond to, the person in front of the camera should orally acknowledge the person commenting by their name and be sure to repeat their question aloud before answering for the rest of the viewers. This can help assure your viewers that you care and it may answer someone elses question all while engaging in real time.

When going live, keep in mind your audience and the capacity of people your video can actually reach. If young children and minors are captured on video, you may need written permission to put them online. People value privacy and may not appreciate being exposed, knowingly or not, on the internet. Easy to forget but maybe the most important ethical consideration is you and your team’s safety. Staying alive is much better than shooting a great live video.

If you are going live to contribute to the promotion of a brand or business, the more knowledgeable you are on the subject being discussed, the more attractive your live feed is, allowing you to gain a bigger audience. There are many different reasons one might want to go live. When there is breaking news and people need to know and see what is happening, go live. Anticipation news is when all the right elements are there for a great moment to be captured live. Immersive news is when you are there and want to share what is happening in the moment, taking your viewers with you. Interactive news is great for business because people and possible customers can participate and ask questions or leave comments that you can later use to boost analytics and engagement. Then there is counter programming, which is another great reason to go live to promote a business because if you go live at just the right day and time, you can actually steal the competitions audience and drive them towards your business.

I believe from personal experience that people like the idea of live streaming because they are watching something happening in that very moment and feel like they won’t miss a thing. However, people tend to watch for a few minutes and move on if they don’t feel engaged. But, if you consider the day and age we live in with technology literally at our fingertips, we have the luxury of going back and watching a live stream on demand later which can be useful for business purposes. With the internet constantly changing, right now marketing on social media using the feature of live streaming is very successful and useful. Do I think something bigger and better will eventually come along and live streaming will be pushed to the back burner? Absolutely. But for now, live stream your hearts out.

 

Best News Organization’s Social Media Guidelines

Student editors who are managing and maintaining QU Media’s Facebook page must:

  1. Be trained and knowledgeable in Social Media Management.  Must be a Junior or Senior in Communication program studying journalism in order to be eligible for an editor’s position.
  2. Follow the University’s polices, procedures, regulations and guidelines.  Keep in mind when posting for QU Media, that you are representing our logo, brand, and your audience is the Quincy community and school as an entire entity.
  3. Maintain professionalism. Posting for QU Media and to your private Facebook should be kept professional and public. If you post anything related to QU Media on your personal Facebook page, you must include a link to the QU Media website. This also applies to reporters.
  4. Be credited for your post. Do not misuse copyright or trademark or use slander. You are liable for any negative repercussions resulting from your post.
  5. Vet all stories and sources. Verify facts and make sure you use legitimate sources.
  6. Differentiate and distinguish the difference between opinions and facts. Let your audience know when you are posting your personal opinion (editorial) versus a factual based post.
  7. All controversial posts must be approved by communication professors. If posting about a sensitive subject, must have approval by all QU Media communication professors.
  8. Be original.  Do not share, re-post, or re-blog content.
  9. Be aware of consequences of “wrongful practices.” Follow and be conscious of QU Media guidelines and general social media practices while posting. Be responsible. Do not use click bait. Do not sensationalize stories or embellish.
  10. Engagement. Your goal as a social media manager for QU Media should be to increase engagement and page likes. Post at least once a day to our Facebook page. Create a live video at least once a week pertaining to any current issues on campus or community. Reply to all comments and use the three strike rule when it comes to trolling on your post.

All About Analytics

Analytics is the measurement of your social media’s engagement, top posts, and other collective, measurable data to help you visualize and determine what works and what doesn’t in terms of social media management. The most important analytic you can measure is probably your top posts and/or tweets. This is very crucial when deciding what your followers are engaging and interacting with the best, allowing you to use this information towards your end goal of increasing analytics.

Facebook analytics are somewhat similar but definitely differ from Twitter and Instagram analytics. When looking at Facebook’s analytics, they obviously measure your post engagement but also your page views, likes, reach, and videos.  They also show what times your post received the best engagement. Twitter analytics show your top tweets, top mentions and top follower. It also measures your activity on Twitter where you can see how impressionable your tweets were over a certain period of time. Another interesting thing Twitter analytics measures is your twitter traffic and bounce rate, which is basically your reach and how long a follower is on your page or engages with your tweet before moving on. Instagram measures your engagement per follower and per media as well as hashtag, follower, and content analytics. As a business or brand, Instagram also compares your competitions analytics.

To be an effective social media manager, one must not base their strategy purely on engagement. Posting ten times a day is not recommended, but instead post two to three times a day and ensure each post is relevant, up to date, and engaging. Making every single post a promotional ad or a “buy this now” is generally ineffective, exhausting and overused by businesses. The best times of day to post can be found in studying analytics. Always identify your audience, understand your goal of growing your analytics, channel specific metrics, and certain tools for channel measurement.

Business’s rely on analytics for many things. Looking at their most engaged with posts helps them to configure a social media strategy that will increase their analytics. They also use analytics to measure reach which is simply how many people their post actually reachs and similar things like best times of day to post and also the type of content that followers engage with most. Business’s use analytics to stay ahead of the social media game with constantly changing algorithms.

As a business, your goal should always be to grow your analytics. You do this by measuring the top posts, tweets, engagement, page likes and views, followers, and reach. Taking all this into consideration when creating that “perfect post” will allow you to up your analytics. From a journalist standpoint, engagement is important but content is key. Using analytics to view your post’s reach can encourage and help you create a “sticky post” which is just something that really sticks with your followers and you use this along with other analytic metrics to boost engagement and can ultimately overall increase your reach and followers.

A big company that helps your measure analytics is of course, you guessed it- Google. They are able to measure analytics on all your social media accounts in detail. Personally, I would prefer to use Google to assist in measuring my analytics because they measure the most minuet details that can be a deciding factor in influence and engagement.

Analytics are very valuable to business’s, journalist, and brands who use social media to spread the word and increase customers, followers, readers, viewers, etc.  I believe the brain behind analytics is a computer although they may be managed by specially trained social media managers. Even to an average, recreational social media user, analytics can be useful in figuring out why or why not your post gets little to no engagement and who your post is really reaching may surprise you.

If I was given the incredible task of discovering and designing a way to measure engagement, I would create a system that tracks every post you make and every post your friends make. There would be certain categories for different posts such as a picture, video, re-posts, and captions only. By separating each category and measuring reactions, comments, and shares per post, then the system would compare your posts and engagement versus your friends and give you tips and tricks tailored specifically for you to enable increased engagement.

Facebook’s “like” button means to me that your post generated and sparked some sort of reaction. Either they literally just liked the post, agreed with it, or could relate to it in some fashion. I think a better way of measuring popular attitude has already been created by Facebook when they added other reactions besides the “like” button. The only thing that is missing now is a “dislike” button and I feel it will come in good time, but may end up creating more problems and reports than Facebook wants to deal with. In the end, analytics is a major part of every business and social media manager’s job in order to increase their brand’s reach, engagement and followers.

Network, Network, Network!

Last week our Social Media class was graced by the presence of a recent QU alum and entrepreneur, Zach Hesterberg. He was kind enough to share his stories and experiences, relating with us because he was sitting in our seats just months ago. Zach developed an 8 step strategy as a sort of go-to guide, do’s and don’ts of social media. Takes notes ladies and gentlemen!

Step 1: Understand micro-goals. When a social media marketer begins developing an effective, personal strategy for a specific business or client, they must first create and understand their micro-goals, or the little steps it takes in order to reach the big, end goal.

Step 2: Setting goals. After accomplishing the micro-goals, move on to the main goals. Always aim high when setting goals, be unrealistic and it will push you much farther and make you work harder to turn those “unrealistic” goals into an attainable thing. When setting goals, be specific and timely because realizing you are on a deadline pushes you to work faster and not procrastinate. Once you accomplish the end goal, the business or client is pleased with the progress made and the was goal achieved. Although, is there ever really an end goal? Or can we continue pushing the limits of social media?

Step 3: Characterize target customer. Keep in mind when advertising or posting for a business (for example a local bakery in Quincy) that the content should be relevant to your target audience or customers. If you post a picture hoping to promote your bakery, boost engagement and increase sales, it would not be wise to use general, basic bakery hashtags because people from all around the world may discover and engage with your post. Doing so will not increase sales when you are not targeting your local customers. Say later down the road the bakery wants to expand its business, then using more universal hashtags and mentions would not be a bad idea. Just keep in mind your target audience when managing a social media account for a business.

Step 4: Analyze the competition. In the fast paced, consumer-driven world we live in today, competition is everywhere like it or not. In reality, competition is a good thing. Imagine if a business wanted to start a new line of products. After getting a simple strategy started, they go check out the competition and to their surprise, there is none. This is never a good sign, typically meaning it is not a good investment. Once you have a set, sturdy strategy, do some digging into your competitors content and engagement ratings. Discover what works and doesn’t work so well for them and build your strategy around the analyzation to better your chances of beating the competition.

Step 5: Develop your brand’s message. Content is key! Every business has a logo, saying or something people associate with their “brand.” Being able to brand your business well will eventually lead to promotions, spreading sales, increased engagement and it helps construct an overall professional feel for the company. Create a catchy brand that compliments the business’s motto and stands for something positive. Your brand’s message benefits the business and will potentially boost clientele and keep loyal customers coming back.

Step 6: Choosing the best social media platform for your brand. Social media is always on the rise. Just when you think you have it all figured out, it does a 180 and leaves you sitting back at square one. Choosing the best platform to tailor to your brand can be tricky, but if done right it will pay off (literally) in the end. Dependent upon your business’s target customer, determining this will lead you in the right direction of the perfect platform to boost your brand. For instance, pretend I am a social media manager for a fashion industry (targeted towards teenage girls.) My target customers would most likely flock to Pintrest and Instagram to find the hottest trends and stay up to date on the latest fashion lines. Facebook and Twitter may not be the most appropriate platforms since their content is intended more for news and updates related to different people’s lives (friends, family, celebrities, athletes, etc.) My intent is to promote and sell my brand which is a teenage girls clothing line, so picking the right platform is important.

Step 7: Build your content posting strategy. In order for your business to receive the most engagement on every post, there are a few tips and tricks that can be useful to utilize. First of all, figure out the best time of day and even days of the week to post. When are your friends and followers the most active on social media? This may take a few trial tests to determine, but once you lock in a perfect posting time, schedule all your posts to go out at that specific time in order to receive maximum engagement. Secondly, use visuals! Experiment with this a little bit by posting photos versus videos and stick with what people interact with the most. To be honest, no one likes to read an article without a corresponding visual. A visual will immediately draw your target customer’s attention straight to your post and hopefully hook them. Last but not least, be original. If a business continually re-blogs, re-posts, or re-tweets content, this is not attractive. It gives off the impression you have no personal opinion or that you have nothing new to show in terms of your business and brand, aside from the competition.

Step 8: Paid advertising. Managing your business’s social media algorithms is a great resource to help you, the social media marketer, see what is working well for the business and what areas you need to assist in improving. Paid advertisement is the number one way to spread the word about your business. This works wonders for companies who know the right platforms to produce the ads on and exactly who and how many people your ads are reaching. Business’s think that by simply “boosting” a post they are increasing their reach. However, it is a waste of time and money. Be aware of your advertisements.

Zach mentioned several other pivotal points during his lecture. One metaphor he used was that “social media is going to the gym.” By this he means that social media is a workout. When you want results- you have to be disciplined, consistent, repetitive and stick to a routine. Applying this to the job of a social media marketer makes perfect sense.

According to Zach, based on his personal and work experience, he has reason to believe Twitter is a dying platform. Social media is all about change. When one social media medium updates and upgrades features, the other feels the need to almost mimic or outdo the other. Twitter is non-responsive to the ever evolving world of social media, leaving them behind in the dust a little bit.

Previously mentioned in the social media strategy steps, identifying your target audience is key to sales, engagement and overall boost of a business. Using the shotgun approach is not an effective way to reach your target customers because spreading the word to everyone may boost engagement a little bit but will not get you the end result of attracting more customers and making more sales. Post natively to reach potential customers.

The biggest social media mistakes business’s make is not separating content between platforms. Distinguishing a difference and adapting to the uniqueness of each platform is critical for content to be recognizable and relatable. Filter the content specific to each platform and your business will thrive. Stay SoZesty!

 

 

 

FYI… Verify!

“If the truth is there, bad writing won’t hurt it!” This quote made famous by Alfred Adler means to me that if what you are writing is in fact the truth, then the way in which you write or present the information has little impact on how people perceive the truth. When you log in to your preferred social media site, or tune into the top trending news stories, how do you know the content you’re absorbing is factual? Should people really believe everything they read?

The main difference between a verified account and verifying content on social media is that when you verify something you see, trace it straight back to the original source. You research and use reliable information to aid in the verification process.  A verified account on social media means that person has been checked out by the platform itself and really are who they claim to be. The verification of content on social media is very important. Whether it be news and politics related or just a post pertaining to something you care about, it is crucial to not only rely on what that source claims but to double check for accuracy yourself. No one wants to be armed with false information or reports.

Everyone has their own version of verification. Comparing the three given sites and after critiquing the processes of differing styles of verification, I personally believe CNN has the more solid, stronger strategy. CNN uses iReport which was described by a CNN spokesperson as “the most developed and active citizen journalism platform of any news organization worldwide.” When they get reports flooding in, the way they verify the information works well for them. First thing, contact the contributor- get straight to the source. After confirming the source of the report is real, they move on to validating the foundation of the information in the story. They use outside resources, locals, and the CNN international desk to help identity and verify the facts. CNN calls their verification process vetting.

When it comes down to all the different ways we have to verify a source, generally most companies, bushiness, brands, and average Joe’s all verify content the same way. You first look at who or where the source came from and use a variety of different methods to do this. After validating the source, you verify the facts. Search for similar posts, pay close attention to details such as the time and date of post, cross reference their social media platforms. With the availability we have to easily access information online in the 21st century, there should be no excuse for fake news! Filter what you find.

In many instances, people associate being first with being the best. However, in the case of social media content, it is always better to be right rather than first. Say for instance that you’re a social media manager for a top news organization. There is a breaking story and your competitor beats you to the punch of getting the information out to the public first. But, what if their information is not all that accurate? Taking the time to verify all the facts and report on real issues is more important than being the first to publicize it. Of course, many would agree to some extent that you should always think before you post. Is what you are saying completely true to the best of your knowledge? Are you accurately sharing information that has been through the vetting process and passed? Are you stating facts and not giving your personal opinion? As long as you have verified the sources and original content base to be true, share away!

If for some reason I unknowingly re-posted false content then no, I do not believe I should be held liable. Now, if that same scenario was applied to a journalist or reporter then the answer is yes, they are completely liable because like I previously mentioned, there are so many ways to verify content these days and journalist have a greater duty to fact check than someone like me, re-posting a story unaware of its false pretenses. When I share or re-tweet content that does not necessarily mean I have went out of my way to verify the information before personally posting it. Usually, if I re-tweet or share something it’s because I had some type of reaction to it, positive or negative. As a social media manager, the job responsibility entitles them to not only spread the word but seek the truth. So, attribution does not absolve them from spreading false information to the public, especially when their job entails them to verify all content.

To have a verified account is very valuable as a business and brand. When you are promoting something as a verified account, it reassures your followers that you are a legit site and all the information you post is valid and factual. A verified account gives people peace of mind.

On The Outside Looking In

After documenting my daily life, I have come to the sad realization that my accurate life has the ability to bore anyone to tears! Comparing my accurate day to my unfiltered day, there are a couple noticeable differences. My unfiltered day is simple, basically consisting of parts of my daily routine like first thing in the morning waking up and looking out the window to see the weather, going to and from class or places around the library which lately has felt more like my second home. My filtered day is composed of much more interesting and appealing photographs. I include a selfie and a picture of a friend whereas in my accurate day I do not introduce pictures of myself or other people.

My accurate day is just that… accurate. Besides eating, going to the gym, showering and sleeping, pretty well everything else I do on a daily basis was documented in my unfiltered day photographs. Even in my filtered photos, there is not a noticeable change of scenery. I took the same type of photos just with added filters, different lighting and angles to make it intriguing to the eye and inspirational to the mind. Visually, I try to practice presenting myself through a unique, different perspective. I do not enjoy posting a hundred pictures of myself but rather I’ll post something out of the ordinary, comedic or alluring.

Honestly, considering what my classmates may think about my average life affected my photos more than I would like to admit. I have always been an advocate of being yourself and not to let society’s judgemental status dictate who you are. However, the way you present yourself through social media says a lot about who you are in “real life.” I think it is pretty safe to say that we all worry about how people will perceive us. We put a little too much thought into our posts rather than something that seriously matters such as politics or schoolwork. I have never been one to be super consumed about what people may think my life is like on the outside looking in on social media.

I may seem to be contradicting myself here when I say that I, just like everyone else, prejudge people based solely on the pictures they post on social media. For example, if you are a selfie queen and post multiple pictures of yourself everyday then I would easily assume you are conceded and have nothing better to do than bless social media with your presence. Dependent upon my relationship to the other person, I still tend to judge more harshly than I know I should. I feel like humans are programmed to judge quickly; your first impression is everything and social media makes no exception.

The slide show of my “daily life” is definitely just chipping away at the surface of myself. I am not the type of girl who post what I am doing every second of every minute of every day. If I think I have something that people would enjoy seeing or reading, then I will share it. While preparing for this slideshow presentation, I would have to say thankfully, I did not experience any ethical concerns while documenting my daily life.

Twitter in the Twenty-First Century

Twitter was born in 2006. Eleven years later, I created a Twitter account for the first time when my Social Media class started. Although I have only recently become a tweeter, it did not take long for me to learn how to navigate the site. Friends, celebrities, businesses and everyone in between uses Twitter as a relaxing social media outlet to stay up to date on the latest news, sports, fashion, humor and almost anyone you can imagine seems to have that famous @username tag. Hashtags became well known through Twitter. Since you are only allotted 140 characters, hashtags make it easier and more convenient to get your point across quickly. Trends change daily, and they are based on your location. A few things trending today are Beyonce, #TrumpOnBlackHistory and #JustCantSayNoTo. Hashtags are a fun, different way to express yourself.

Brands, businesses, celebrities and even the President of the United States use Twitter as a way to bypass the media and communicate directly to people, promote their products, upcoming albums, book signings or even to raise awareness about a specific cause close to their hearts. Brands like to use Twitter to keep their message short, sweet and to the point.

How top brands are using Twitter as a social media platform is huge. The fact that retail is the largest industry that receives the most engagement does not surprise me. Big retail brands like Wal-Mart or Target use Twitter to promote their sales and products. This platform seems to have a bit of an age target market. Although anyone who can run a computer can create a Twitter account…. compared to Facebook, Twitter seems to be the more youthful and playful platform of the two. Certain things you tweet, not to mention the way you tweet, will result in the reactions you want. Using all capital letters, hashtags, and using the word ‘you’ seems to boost people’s numbers. I believe that if you stay fairly consistent with the way you post, followers will like that.

The very first brand I followed on Twitter was Intrepid Travel. This brand is literally just a page that posts nothing but beautiful, awe inspiring pictures of places all over the world. I followed them first because traveling is a huge passion of mine and in my spare time I enjoy scrolling through things like this because it forces me to become more imaginative; picturing myself in that place and being immersed in the diverse culture, language and surroundings brings me joy. Plus, it always gives me new ideas of different places I would have never dreamed of traveling to until I saw it on Twitter and was intrigued to do further research.

After scrolling through much of my Twitter feed, there were three particular stories or posts that stood out to me the most. The first was a picture from Fox News covering President Trump’s first one hundred days in the White House with a hashtag #First100 which caught my eye; this post was quick to read and allows me to gain more knowledge about current events without actually watching it. The second story was a link posted by the New York Times including a photo that boldly read, “Truth. It’s vital to democracy.” They linked their website with the post and this certainly got my attention because as an aspiring writer with an interest in politics, I strongly agreed with their message. The last story that stood out to me was Nat Geo Travel who shared a “dazzling video of glowworm cave in New Zealand.” With the bright photo of the glowworm cave and the caption telling people to check it out really intrigued me. All three of these stories would be very easy to research and write about because they all have accessible information on the internet and are important brands or television networks with top stories.

Out of my six tweets, my top interaction was when I retweeted a funny post about dentists and tweeted at my friend who is in dental hygiene school and she liked it. I noticed that when I tweet original content it never gets much reaction. My engagement on Twitter is dryer then the Sahara desert right now. To whoever reads this, feel free to follow me @anw1313. You would be greatly appreciated.

My advice to you whether you are brand new to the Twitter world or you’re an experience tweeter, the best practices for this specific social media network is keep it short, use hashtags appropriately, add pictures, videos, and links when necessary and don’t think to much about a tweet unless of course you are tweeting to people from a business or brand’s account.

Honestly, I plan to utilize Twitter as another way to stay connected and in the loop with friends, famous people and articles I have a peaked interest in. Twitter can assist you with doing homework because for instance, if you had a class that requires you to stay informed on all the latest news then write a detailed report, Twitter would be an excellent outlet to use. Or in my case, it can be useful when you are enrolled in a Social Media class and must use Twitter among other social networking sites to engage and interact with followers. Twitter is a great way to spread your name and brand to get recognized. The more followers you have, the more famous you become.

In the short amount of time I have spent on Twitter, I have learned that it is a great tool to use to sift through information, posts, and people that pertain to you. It also allows you to be a bit creative without going overboard. For me personally, this is just a more laid-back version of Facebook and I am slowly but surely starting to appreciate that. Twitter seems timeless right now, but technology never takes a day off.

Facebook or Freebook?

After scrolling through my Facebook timeline, keeping the “perfect post” concept in mind, I discovered something quite revealing. By comparing the people in my friends list to the companies, businesses, or celebrities I follow who all use this platform in one way or another- trying to sell something, force their opinions and ideas on everyone, or endorse something/someone; I found that my mutual Facebook friends received much more positive reactions, not just the most, but the best. For example, a mutual friend of mine recently purchased a new vehicle. By simply posting a picture and captioning it with cute little car and heart eyed emojis, she had tons of likes and comments congratulating her. Being she is actually a car saleswoman, she did not try to publicize her company or even say where she bought her new car, and I think this is why she received so much love on her post. People are happy for her and do not feel an obligation to any specific car dealership. Comparing this post to her previous ones where she made a sale at work, posted a picture with a caption, I noticed that does not receive as much feedback because people typically do not really care about the success of another stranger. Although, is that not what Facebook is essentially all about? The sharing of your successes, sometimes your failures, or even what you had for lunch for all your friends to see is my definition of Facebook.

My most recent successful post to Facebook was about a month ago when I changed my profile picture to a picture of my friend/colleague and me at our Christmas party for work. It received around seventy-five likes and five comments. By tagging my friend in the picture, this allowed for all her friends and family to see and react as well, which in turn boosted the likes and other reactions of my post. Also, I think people just enjoy seeing updated versions of you (and in this case my friend too).

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AEIOU (and sometimes Y) stands for something so much more than you might think. A-action. E- engage. I- inspire. O- outrage. U- understand. Y- why? This strategy works well when you are aiming to create that “perfect post” on Facebook. Imagine you are working as the social media director of a company and they ask you to promote the business online. You log onto the company’s page and in your mind, go through each letter and check it off once you are sure it is covered in the post. People want to read something on Facebook and feel like they can make a little bit of a difference somehow, someway. If you make a post for a company that is bland, dull and boring, it will be scrolled right past. By using the AEIOU strategy, you are sure to create that perfect post almost every time, receiving the reactions and responses you and especially your employer seek! Not to mention a possible raise as a reward for your fabulous promotion skills!

Facebook is one of the most recognized social media sites worldwide. But, when it comes to the question of whether or not they should begin branding themselves as a legit news producer, they already are in sense. There are pros and cons to something like this of course. But if you stop and think about all the ads and promotions you scroll through on your daily news feed, Facebook always has things popping up across your timeline related to the sites and pages you ‘like.’ In a way, this can be creepy. The internet recognizes things you do, then repeats and remembers them. The only change I see happening if Facebook did decide to officially brand themselves would be the companies, businesses, and websites featured on Facebook would expect to receive some sort of revenue and the creators and operators of Facebook would most likely be liable for any ‘false news’ that came across their site.

Whether you think the contents of a post are deemed inappropriate, pornography, violent or threatening, it goes against your views, or you simply do not want to see it for some reason, Facebook allows its users to report the post and then they review it further. Recently, Facebook has added another option when you are reporting something- false or fake news. What happens when people report false news is this: Facebook marks on the post that it has been reported as fraudulent or misleading information, however they do not delete the post entirely. This is a progressive step in the right direction for Facebook. People ultimately determine for themselves what they believe is false news or not. Facebook is there to make sure everyone is aware of what the content of a particular post could potentially be and that is as far as they should go. Leave the false news outrage for President Trump to figure out.

According to recent studies and polls, it has been shown that videos are commonly the most ‘shared’ posts versus just a link or photo. When Facebook upped the ante and added live streaming to the mix, it changed the game. At first, live video was only an option for celebs and public figures; this makes the average Dick and Jane feel not only virtually connected but as if they are really there when they watch, live, someone they admire (or maybe hate). However, now that “normal” people are allowed to stream live on Facebook, it does not seem as meaningful to me. Live video is just another way to stay on top of the game and literally see what someone is doing at that same second, react and watch the comments flood in, share it, and days later you can view it again. When do we say enough is enough? Facebook will be ever evolving and anything is possible these days…. well, almost anything.