Tag Archives: Communication

People Behaving Badly on Social Media

Hate speech. We see these words flash by in news headlines a lot these days. Far from the maddening crowds chanting these words as a form of protest or as reactionary behavior, we see hateful words play out as status updates and comments to news articles on social media.  What happened to civilized discourse?  When did we as an American people decide that it is more important to sway someone to our way of thinking vs. being champions for freedom of thought?  What happened to respectfully disagreeing with someone vs. bullying them to a digital pulp?

Many commentators portray themselves in a negative light with their biting words and adversely affect public opinion of their personal brand.  Either they are incredibly naïve with regard to how social media works or they simply don’t care. I suppose that some would suggest a third option: that they are just plain stupid.

I really can’t imagine that in-person social discourse would lead to the hate speech and bullying comments that I see posted online.  A screen gives people the power to say things that they normally wouldn’t say in public:  a type of virtual courage.  These statements are attached to identifiable data: a name, a face, a location, and any other public information that is shared on individual profiles and gives the reader the ability to find out more about this vocal commentator.

Liquid Courage (1)

We hear you.

We see you.

We know who you are.

Wouldn’t the world be a better place if we could leave the vitriol behind, stop trying to convert everyone to our way of thinking, and follow the simple golden rule of treating others the way we would want to be treated?

What do you think? I really want to know.


Communicating With Your College Student in the Digital Age

http://i1219.photobucket.com/albums/dd427/sankerbrand/College%20Move/DSCN0142.jpgOnce upon a time fully-loaded family station wagons deposited fresh-faced first year students on the steps of their new college home.  After a quick hug, maybe a photo on their 35mm camera, and a couple of tears, mom and dad drove off into the quickening sunset.  Except for the occasional pay-phone or in-room call, communication ceased until the first big holiday break.  Junior went on to acclimate to his new surroundings and make life-changing decisions on his own (Do I drop Calc I?  Should I sign up for alternative spring break?). Parents went on to adjust to being empty nesters or devote more attention to the ones still left in the nest.

Today’s social-media infused world leaves contemporary parents with a completely different set of circumstances.  No longer do we have huge absences in quality communication, but we can speak with our kids easily at any time and watch their lives unfold in real time on Instagram and Twitter.

I personally traveled 500 miles away to attend a Jesuit university in the Midwest.  It was a rare occasion for me to have any direct communication with my family.  The ability to call was always there, but the need was not a pressing one.  My peer group was of the belief that we were independently taking care of business for ourselves.  Today, the 18 year old who told me at the close of Family Orientation that she would not be calling us, has maintained a pretty strong connection via iPhone calls,  DMs on Twitter, Facebook comments, and Instagram tags.  I guess you would say we have a pretty close connection if she actually tags me on Instagram.  We have learned of her test grades as she is walking back from the professor’s office; found out about her selection as a student ambassador for the school via FaceTime, and have seen super-magnified slide photos of the fruit fly brain research she was working on via text.

While social media has maintained a window into her world, it is has been purely just that: a window.  We have let her initiate communication with us and celebrate her successes while keeping the conversation/Face-Time, Texting, etc. short.  Where social media broke through the looking glass of voyeurism and transformed into a crucial assist was when she was stranded in the airport of one of largest cities in the U.S.

Photo by C. Kenzie Corbin -tumblr_nhprowVbH61u7rxrvo1_1280

She had her cell phone, and despite existing on low battery, was able to plug into one of the powering stations in the terminal. She called to let me know her situation, and I immediately left my business lunch to get in front of a screen larger than my cell phone to figure out how to get her from point A to point B in the midst of a major storm.  I could easily check websites for airlines, trains, busses and taxis as well as be in communication with her school, all while keeping her on the line.  In the end we figured it out.  She took the first cab ride of her life on a 2+hr trip with a driver who spoke very little English.  I crossed my fingers and hoped she would arrive in the right place.  She did.

Image by Michelle Beckham
Photo of FaceTime session

Times have surely changed in terms of parent-college student communications and I for one think that could be a good thing.  I guess we can say that the closing of the SUV hatch does not signify the end of the relationship.

Speaking from the sociological side of social media- Cheers to you!


Facebook Photo Changes

If it’s Monday (substitute any day here), then its time to check for Facebook changes in the night….This actually rolled out late last week, but with the Father’s Day weekend holiday, I’m a bit behind in sharing it. The change is with Photo Album Viewing in Facebook and applies to both Profile and Page albums. Facebook has added some options that make it easier to view not only album photo contents, but also the all important photo comments.

You now have two view options (Album/Comments) that look like this (see below) when you are in the album section of your account. Managing photos with the Add Photos & Tag Photos buttons makes it really easy to organize your albums and get the comment conversation party started!

Facebook Album Changes
Facebook Album Changes

These screen shots are taken from my personal profile Album of New Media Cincinnati events.  I think this is a great change and adds some functionality to the albums. My guess is that Facebook added this feature with the belief that picture sharing will become more prominent with the facial recognition tagging ability that was recently rolled out.

New Media Cincinnati founder, Daniel Johnson Jr. has a great post on the facial recognition roll-out. Read it and let us know your thoughts about enabling vs. disabling the capability.  Love to know what YOU think!

C3: Creating Connections Consulting shares recent Facebook changes to photo albums for Profiles & Pages.
Album View
C3: Creating Connections Consulting shares recent Facebook changes to photo albums for Profiles & Pages.
Comment View



Visual Social Media Policy

One of the most creative ways I have ever seen to share a corporate social media policy with employees. It captures your attention and is clear and to the point. The intended audience was for a government agency in Victoria, Australia. Thankfully,  fellow Xavier University Alum and social media colleague, Matthew Dooley was kind enough to share it on the Cincinnati Social Media Facebook Group Page.

Love to know your thoughts…..

Social Media Policy

Facebook Faux Pas: Why English Majors Need Apply

Cookies by Design
Cookies by Design via Creative Commons http://www.flickr.com/photos/jpowers65/

A recent experience with online shopping brought me front and center to today’s blog post. I was searching for a unique birthday gift to send to a family member and after perusing the website for Cookies By Design (CBD), thought I would check out their Facebook Page for special discount Fan offers. Their landing tab deposited me to a brightly printed page announcing a Father’s Day Sweepstakes and a nice reminder to “Like” the Page, but as my eye traveled down the copy, my vision was hit with bold, black single-spaced (and in some areas, all CAPS) print outlining the CBD official sweepstakes rules. I copied the sweepstakes verbage into Word and discovered that the copy amounted to 831 words. Total turn-off. Would have been much better to make the copy less of an eye chart or include a link to a page on their website with full details.

I’m not going to critique their iFrames app use or custom profile pic, you can do that on your own and look here for comparison sites. Just wanted to point out how, as a potential customer, I was a bit turned off by all the print on their custom Welcome tab.

I next checked out their Wall to see what kind of engagement was gong on there- ok, I was really looking for that elusive coupon special……but what I found was the underscoring of my belief that the English major will rise again to be in demand in today’s online marketing world.  So what does that mean?

In order to have engagement between a brand and their customers/clients, one needs to have a social media community manager that is fully capable of sustaining that engagement. This includes content that is meaningful and sought after by Fans and potential fans as well as the back and forth conversation that occurs within the exchange of information.  The community manager must seamlessly become one with the brand message so that consistency is maintained.

Who better to be a social media community manager than an English major: a person for whom words are pearls. A person who has studied the art of dialogue, sentence structure, essay writing and for whom feedback is part of the experience of writing.

I was reminded of this need for English majors when I spied this post on CBD’s Wall. In case you can’t read the circled portion of the post and the subsequent fan response in the photo below, here it is:

CBD: “Ok I’ve received your email and contacted the Franchise Business Consultant about this matter. Someone will definitely be in contact with you shortly and work something out to remedy the situation. We value your business and appreciate your patients.

‎Fan: ” *patience! hopefully no “patients” from your cookies 🙂 ”


The marketing side of me is scratching my head wondering why the Page Admin still has not responded 48+ hours later……Tying the idea of patients (illness, etc,) with the ingestion of their product is just not good business. Perhaps they need a subscription to Hyper Alerts, as there is more recent admin activity on the Page.

So about those cookies…..unfortunately, no matter how tasty they are, the impression the company leaves me with via their Facebook Page is enough to send me in search of another present for my Dad. Perhaps a virtual gift card???

(note for the record, I am NOT an English major)

Cincinnati Social Media For Business Intermediate Level Workshop

Cincinnati Social Media For Business Workshop Series

I am very excited to be back next month (April) with another installment of the Social Media For Business Workshop Series in partnership with the Warren County Career Center, a University System of Ohio Provider. The next workshop will be held on April 12th from 1:00 p.m.- 4:00 p.m. and is an intermediate level workshop: Building Your Business/Non-Profit With Social Media: Welcome to the R(E)volution!

March showcased two courses for local businesses and non-profits: an introductory social media course and a hands-on LinkedIn Lab training class. March participants ranged from professional practices in the health and wellness fields, traditional retail businesses, mortgage companies and  educational institutions: quite a variety of backgrounds!  All desired the same outcome: to learn more about the various social media platforms that exist today.

The introductory class was a broad overview of seven platforms, while the April class takes participants to a more in-depth view on four key platforms: Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Google.  We will be examining important strategies and measures for each tool and discussing the integration of social media into a full marketing program.

If you are ready to go beyond mere familiarity and want to gain a true understanding of how these tools can impact your business, then this class is for you.  Space is limited and many of the March workshop participants signed on for this next level after having a great experience in the introductory workshop, so register soon if you want to secure a space.

Here’s what some of the Intro to Social Media participants had to say about the program:

I enjoyed both of your presentations and am looking forward to the next two!  Thanks again for your expertise and enthusiasm….”

~Jim F.

“Great job! Great information! Thank you.  I plan to be a pioneer, and I think your seminars are going to be what gets me there.  I’ll see you next month!”

~Julie L.

So what are you waiting for?

Follow this link for additional information and registration for the April 12th workshop:  Building Your Business/Non-Profit With Social Media: Welcome to the R(E)volution!

Bonus Video below discusses recent Facebook changes to Pages (Business Profiles):

Life Unplugged: Make the Most of Your Off-line Relationships

I just followed a tweet by Julie Niesen (@winemedineme) to an article written by Cincinnati Enquirer Sports Columnist, Paul Daugherty, that is not only exquisitely written, but it will break your heart. He writes about the death of his good friend Joe Acito and what happens when there are no more tomorrows.  (The Joe Acito Line, 3/25)

Paul’s column applies to everyone, but I believe even more so to we, digital media early adopters and social networking enthusiasts who tend to remain plugged in 24/7.   Paul’s advice to us is this:

“Take the time. Make the time. Do not let work or errands or trivia get in the way of seeing your friends. Don’t let anything get in the way… There will always be… another Traditional Media column, another piece for SI.com. There will never be another round of golf with my friend Joe Acito”.

Words to heed. Words to live by. It’s Friday- go unplug and connect with your friends and family. Trust Paul, you won’t regret it…..