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Posts tagged Social media

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Is the Social Media Manager here to stay?

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A couple years ago, we asked ourselves if social media was just a fad when Twitter had self-proclaimed “experts” or “gurus” popping up everywhere (a label, by the way, that I do not take lightly and treat as seriously as I would use the term “journalist”). Today, we have social media managers, strategists, editors, community managers, account managers, “ninjas”, “sherpas”, the list goes on.

Recently, I was fortunate to attend this year’s mesh conference for the very first time and went to a workshop hosted by Rob Fishman (@rbfishman), social media editor for the Huffington Post. [Note: After the conference, Rob had tweeted that he would be leaving HuffPo to study at Cornell.]

Two things caught my attention:

  1. In his talk, he described the culture of Huffington Post as having all editors as social media editors. While they manage their own personal brand as influencers in their field, the online paper promotes and benefits from their audience reach.
  2. Rob’s description of his role sounded like a hybrid between product and editorial — he spoke of the social strategy on the site such as the “like” buttons as much as he spoke of how he worked closely with the editorial team.

These observations were in line with what became one of the larger themes of the conference: social media should be integrated across all business units. I couldn’t agree more with this and, in fact, this is something I have thought about before I even got into social media as a profession.

Let’s look back through history:

Change happens, and if email took 40 years to get where it is today, who knows how far social media will change the job industry in digital media and beyond. Some say that good social media managers are like a Jack/Jill of all trades: they need to work with different departments to get the job done and, as a result, they pick up a little bit of everything along the way. Will companies, for example, still need community managers if the role of community management is absorbed across different roles?

If this is the case, I believe one clear development will emerge from this shift: there will always be a demand for people responsible for ensuring social media is integrated properly within a business and/or each department. We can call them social media managers or strategists now, but the title doesn’t really matter as much as what the role entails.

This is just my perspective from what I’ve seen, but who knows what trends management leaders or HR/recruitment professionals see on their end, as I am sure they are also watching with great interest in the sidelines.

Where do you think the social media job industry is headed?

Filed under Social media trends mesh11 job industry work history

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This WSJ infographic accompanies an article about how social widgets can track users’ browsing habits, regardless of whether or not we click “like” or “tweet” buttons on a certain page.
Here is their explanation of how social widgets for sites like Facebook and Twitter will be able to tell that we’ve been spending an unhealthy amount of time online reading gossip blogs and watching pirated movies:

For this to work, a person only needs to have logged into Facebook or  Twitter once in the past month. The sites will continue to collect  browsing data, even if the person closes their browser or turns off  their computers, until that person explicitly logs out of their Facebook  or Twitter accounts, the study found. 

Collecting data from Internet users via cookies is not uncommon or new, something to keep in mind since WSJ does cast a shady light on these practices. The article cites “growing concern about the privacy of Internet and smartphone users” but this also seems to be a given fact — it’s the price we all end up paying for personalized web experiences.
Is there an alternative solution for social sharers to have our cake and eat it too?
Read more details from the article here.

This WSJ infographic accompanies an article about how social widgets can track users’ browsing habits, regardless of whether or not we click “like” or “tweet” buttons on a certain page.

Here is their explanation of how social widgets for sites like Facebook and Twitter will be able to tell that we’ve been spending an unhealthy amount of time online reading gossip blogs and watching pirated movies:

For this to work, a person only needs to have logged into Facebook or Twitter once in the past month. The sites will continue to collect browsing data, even if the person closes their browser or turns off their computers, until that person explicitly logs out of their Facebook or Twitter accounts, the study found. 

Collecting data from Internet users via cookies is not uncommon or new, something to keep in mind since WSJ does cast a shady light on these practices. The article cites “growing concern about the privacy of Internet and smartphone users” but this also seems to be a given fact — it’s the price we all end up paying for personalized web experiences.

Is there an alternative solution for social sharers to have our cake and eat it too?

Read more details from the article here.

Filed under social widgets facebook twitter infographic wsj privacy social media Social media

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18 Again

Tonight I made my first big speech for Toastmasters — an organization that focuses on building communication skills. The purpose of my 5-7min talk would be an introduction. It needed to be personal, clear and structured. This is what I ended up with:

Good evening Fellow Toastmasters and Guests,

Today, I stand before you in the same place where many of you have been before or will be soon, and I am faced with a challenge I’ve never had before.

In fact, I’ve avoided this moment since my 18th birthday, when I escaped the spotlight at the center of a traditional and elaborate party known as a “debut” – which would have would have involved among other Filipino things 18 roses, 18 candles and a carefully choreographed dance number.

I have never spoken solely about myself for an extended period of time. I strongly believe that a person’s character is revealed through their actions more than their words, so instead I’d like to focus on three major accomplishments that changed my life.

I enrolled at York in 2002 as a mature student and honestly wasn’t sure what I wanted to do for a living, and hoped that a degree would help me figure it out. But between the assignments and exams, I walked into the campus newspaper's office one day to write an article and ended up stumbling onto something that gave my life new focus.

By the time I graduated, I was a Managing Editor and built strong friendships with other Excalibur colleagues like Shetu along the way [Note: Shetu is also a member at Toastmasters who brought me in to join the group and was present during my speech]. There, I had not only found something that combined words and images, two creative outlets I loved, I was actually good at it and connected with others who shared my passion. I went to Centennial College for a post-graduate program in Book & Magazine publishing and expected to build a career as an editor, but things turned in a slightly different direction after an unexpected visit from a guest speaker in my class.

At this point, I was already beginning to think magazines were actually quite boring — editorial content would often be planned so far in advance that the articles weren’t timely or relevant by the time they were published. Print newspapers were also unappealing because they were too high pressure and lacked flexibility. So when Robin visited our class and said she worked for a new site at the time called OurFaves.com, I leapt at the chance at a web internship.

I was intrigued by the innovative possibilities offered by the Internet, and was excited that OurFaves also happened to be a user-generated review site similar to Yelp.com or TripAdvisor. I became the very first intern they’d ever had, and enthusiastically worked unpaid for the entire summer until I was eventually hired on to their staff.

Although I no longer work for the website now, I am fortunate enough to say that my time there became the start of my career in digital media. Three years later, I now work as a social media coordinator for a group-buying deal site called WagJag.com (similar to Groupon) and my passion for words and images is now accompanied by codes, tweets and apps.

Social media and the web are topics I can talk about forever, and it has both personal as well as professional significance in my life. Around the same time I got my first job out of school, my aunt Ninang Lynn was diagnosed with terminal lung cancer despite never smoking a day in her life. This terrible disease brought my family together to do our best to take care of her, but ultimately we still felt helpless — we could only try to make her as comfortable as possible while the cancer spread. I wanted to do something, anything, that felt like positive action and enlisted to join the Princess Margaret Hospital’s Ride to Conquer Cancer.

It was incredibly demanding and at one point even my own family was worried I couldn’t do it, but I knew I could. Using social media and the power of the bake sale, I raised the minimum $2500 required to participate. I bought a bike and cycled 200km from Toronto to Niagara Falls even though when I started I was out of shape. While posting status updates and photos to my Facebook supporters throughout my entire journey, I wore a custom-made shirt with the names and photos of family members who passed away due to cancer and wasn’t able to see me complete my ride — Ninang Lynn was one of them.

It was a bittersweet moment when I crossed the finish line with my family and my boyfriend waiting for me, but I’ll never forget the sense of accomplishment and pride I felt that day.

Looking back at all of these major life-changing moments — at York, at OurFaves and even at the Ride to Conquer Cancer — I see now that they happened because I took action, the very same initiative that brings me here with you today.

Earlier, I said that my Introduction speech is a challenge I’ve never faced before. Experience, however, taught me that we can do anything we set our minds on doing — even if it involves rambling on about yourself longer than usual. It’s an empowering and scary thought, although, as my 18-year-old self would argue,  perhaps not nearly as frightening as being 18 again.

I think it went well, I was nervous but overall I had positive feedback on my delivery. For people who already know me, it’s no surprise to see the places included in my list of “life-changing moments”. But it helps to see it for yourself. Check out my video of crossing the finish line below. You can see my mom at the right-hand side after she jumped the fence waving her arms at the 1:18 mark!

Filed under Ride to Conquer Cancer Digital Media career public speaking newspaper web Social media accomplishments

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In my last post about social media for social good, I mentioned Movember as an example of how charitable causes can spread virally. Sysomos recently blogged that they’re not only participating, but they plan to follow up by tracking social media statistics when the month is over.
I’ll keep an eye out when they plan to announce their special Movember event, it could be a great opportunity for networking and getting to know great minds who are also passionate about social media.
Sysomos’ graph above breaks down Movember chatter by traditional media outlets worldwide. Click the image to jump to their post.

In my last post about social media for social good, I mentioned Movember as an example of how charitable causes can spread virally. Sysomos recently blogged that they’re not only participating, but they plan to follow up by tracking social media statistics when the month is over.

I’ll keep an eye out when they plan to announce their special Movember event, it could be a great opportunity for networking and getting to know great minds who are also passionate about social media.

Sysomos’ graph above breaks down Movember chatter by traditional media outlets worldwide. Click the image to jump to their post.

Filed under sysomos social media movember charity media

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Social media for social good

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Yesterday officially kicked off Movember, an entire month when men (and women) raise funds to fight prostate cancer by donating their upper lips, among other efforts. It’s quite a phenomenon that has exploded worldwide only seven years ago in Australia, and a movement that I was ignorant of until I discovered a male hipster sporting a barber ‘stache of his own on the subway.

I can only compare my quizzical reaction then (is this a fad now?) to what others must have been thinking when their female Facebook friends started suggestively posting “I like it on the counter/bed/etc” statuses. It turned out that the same wave that encouraged women to share their bra colour to raise awareness for breast cancer was at it again, this time asking ladies to share their favourite place for their purse. (It’s also noteworthy that Movember has its own official Twitter account now, along with spinoff feeds like @Movember_CA and @MoCupcakes, which are both based here in Canada.)

When it comes to disseminating messages and viral marketing, it’s clear that charities can be just as aggressive and creative as for-profit businesses themselves. However, there is one major distinction that makes their social media efforts far more successful in comparison.

Case in point: Consider the Princess Margaret Hospital and their upcoming 2011 Ride to Conquer Cancer.

Although it’s now called The Enbridge Ride to Conquer Cancer as it approaches its fourth year this June, I am amazed at the savvy social media support that is offered to the riders each year.

As a participant of its most recent event, I can testify that it takes the fundraising experience to another level, essentially allowing riders to simultaneously collect pledges and new recruits with speed and mass.

For starters, you’re equipped with a profile page featuring your personal blog:

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And you also have the option to embed a special badge in your email signature (or blogs) to show your fundraising progress:

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But that’s not all. RTCC’s website offers a Participant Centre that gives important event information such as training rides or bike seminars in your area, and a Social Media Centre that hosts orientation videos among other tools.

For 2011, they revamped their design and amplified their social media efforts by adding new features (or increasing their promotion of current resources):

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The Banners and Map My Ride call-to-actions are particularly interesting, as one uses social media to significantly increase brand exposure…

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…while the other connects participants and facilitates self-organization in order to accomplish their goals.

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It’s no wonder that RTCC has raised almost $30 million since its inception in 2008. Its message is uplifting, challenging riders to believe they can make a difference and giving them the tools to see their change in action.

In the other cases noted above, you can see the same trend — their campaigns took off because their core messages speak to shared experiences.

And here is the key takeaway that more businesses need to learn — when you combine a powerful goal with easily accessible means to put it in action and spread the message, there are no limits to what can be accomplished.

It becomes social media for social good, with visible results.

What do you think? Are there any social media strategies by not-for-profit orgs that struck you as innovative or unique?

Filed under social media ride to conquer cancer movember breast cancer fundraising Facebook RTCC brands