Celebrities and Twitter: Not Always a Match Made in Heaven

When you are a public figure the world is a different place than it is for the Average Joe. Not only do you get the attention of thousands, first class accommodations, etc…you are also held to a higher public standard including the public space of social media. Unfortunately this is a notion many in the public eye have not accepted.

Social media has allowed our culture to take freedom of speech to the extreme. Despite T & C’s, there is limited censorship on social media. This is causing some serious issues to arise.

Be careful little bird what you tweet!

Be careful little bird what you tweet!

In journalism there is a risk to both the journalist and the employer if one takes advantage of social media to discuss content not aligned with the station. Reporters are fully aware of their expectations at work. They should view social media as a continuation of the work place and hold the same standards in this online environment as they do in the corporate sphere. In my opinion I view the behavior exercised in our lecture and reading material this week to be both inappropriate and unprofessional.

While many would argue this challenges freedom of speech when you are associated with high profile employers your content is ultimately a reflection of their views. I would encourage public figures to start private profiles where there professional life is not disclosed or discussed. Only close family and friends are allowed to view this profile. Otherwise, stop complaining and play by the professional rules on social media.

Then there are the instances when expressing yourself is taken to a whole other level…viva la Kanye West. Again, in my opinion inappropriate, poor class, and a terrible example for those who view him as a role model. It is not ethically right to use social media like Kanye did when he attacked Jimmy Kimmel for pretty much no reason. There really is no words to dissect this situation…just don’t ever act like Kanye on social media.

My interpretation of the Kanye West/Jimmy Kimmel Twitter encounter

My interpretation of the Kanye West/Jimmy Kimmel Twitter encounter

Bottom line: a public figure cannot have freedom of speech on social media like “normal” people do. While fame brings greats things to some people’s lives, it can also inhibit them from certain privileges others enjoy. In my opinion, not being able to express yourself freely on social media isn’t the end of the world for high profile individuals. There are plenty of us who choose to keep their opinions to ourselves online.

The Boston Marathon Bombing: What We Can Learn

I was part of the ¼ of people who learned about the Boston Bombing from social media. Until recently (I injured cartilage in my knee) I was a very avid runner. I follow Runner’s World on Facebook and Twitter and received a push notification from their posts about the bombing. I immediately felt a personal connection to this act of terror and became absorbed in its coverage. Throughout the coverage of the Boston Bombing there was much speculation and misinformation spread, the truth was somewhere in-between.images

I found it very interesting that CNN’s incorrect tweet about the arrest of the suspect was shared more than the correct post. I believe people thrive on the drama, especially in an instance such as the Boston Bombing. Spreading dramatizations is more “entertaining” than no new information. In the case of CNN I believe they should have promoted the correct information more. From an ethical standpoint I would love to see our social networks develop some sort of technology to retweet correct information whenever misinformation is put out first. With more and more people using social networks as a news source I believe this could be pivotal in both accuracy and ethics.

While the news only discussed the Boston Bombings for what seemed like months brands began to recognize opportunities for their businesses from all the coverage. I generally support Ford. I like their cars and many of my family members drive their cars. That being said I was not impressed with their “thank you” message after the bombing. In my opinion this was very distasteful. Many brands sponsored the Boston Marathon and I’m sure their logos were on people’s clothing or in some of the images yet we did not see them advertise a “Nike, official sponsor of first responders” ad. It just wasn’t appropriate in my opinion.

Thank-you-BostonOn Facebook I often see people post images of sick people undergoing treatments. Many of the captions on these images will ask people to like for support. I don’t see a problem with these posts. When the Boston Bombings occurred there were a few posts like this floating around on social media. My feelings on this content aren’t changed by the fact that there were victims from the bombing in these images, my issue is that a reporter posted the image. I don’t know the complete back story of this post. If the reporter got permission from the victim then I believe it is okay to share, if they did not receive consent then it is inappropriate.

When tragedies arise the desire for awareness does too. People become very involved in the story and developments. We can learn both journalism and ethical lessons from our past. The Boston Bombings can teach us how to respond properly during the incident and the weeks after.

The Importance of Accuracy

bulls-eye

I can defiantly see how journalists can feel threatened by social media. When you think about it, anyone can be a journalist these days. Social media allows anyone to break news but is their news factual? Journalists need to employ tools to combat all of the noise on social media and hold the journalism “pledge”: report the facts.

I had never heard of geocodes before this week’s lecture and I have to say, they are so cool! Think of how many more sources journalists could if they used this tool. Better yet, think of how many sources they could check! With limited Twitter users enabling geocodes in their tweets I realize the limitations this tool presents. Hopefully more emphasis is placed on geocodes and it is utilized more in the future!

Another new concept presented in this week’s lecture: reverse search. The giant squid example proves just how important it is to check the validity of imagery on social media. I was unaware this was even possible. During the Boston Marathon bombing I saw so many images with extreme captions on social media. Seeing as this situation was a very extreme one the captions on these images seemed feasible. As more information came out the more I learned some of the images were just not true. When situations like these happen news outlets should take the time to investigate images so false reporting does not occur.

To answer the question posed in the lecture accuracy should be the most important priority for journalists. When news is breaking and journalists want to use social media to report it I think the best practices to still ensure accuracy are to use verified accounts and geocodes. Bottom line: if you can’t confirm a story don’t post about it. As our “Verifying Tweets When News Breaks” article states, it’s more important to get it right than to post it first. Trust is such a hard thing to gain with news viewers, why risk breaking it with a story that can’t be verified?

Sometimes mistakes happen…if a news organization accidently reports something that is not accurate I believe it is extremely important to address it, not delete it. Every once in a while when watching the news I will hear reporters correct themselves if they reported something that later proved to be incorrect. The same should be practiced on social media. Journalists should say sorry, report the correct facts, and post a link with a source verifying this information.

Bottom line: always verify and always be accurate.

British Airways Big Mistake…

If there is anything I learned from this week’s lecture it’s that problems don’t go away on social media. You can’t sweep things under the rug because you never know what will go viral. I’m sure the tweet example in our lecture wasn’t the first angry post towards British Airways on Twitter but it only took one person to really get mad to make the airline rethink their whole social strategy.download

As the saying goes “hindsight is 20/20.” I’m sure if British Airways could go back in time they would do everything differently. To answer the questions posed in our lecture, if I was in British Airways shoes I would have addressed this issue as soon as possible. A simple tweet like “We’re sorry to hear about this. Please private message us so we can take care of your problem” could have pacified this angry customer. As many of us outlined in last week’s assignment, numerous companies are practicing this and it’s getting positive attention from consumers.

It all comes back to simple customer service practices. If this man had complained in person I’m sure BA would have gone out of their way to accommodate him. It should be no different on social media. Clearly this gentleman was very upset and BA lost their opportunity to handle the situation appropriately. Complaining to Twitter is no use since this is a public network and anyone can pay to promote a tweet. Groveling at his feet would be no better. In my opinion the only option BA had was to ask the man directly how they could make it up to him (outside of compensation). I know from my personal experience just a simple I’m sorry and how can I make it better really change my attitude.

I really liked the points of saying “thank you” and following up outlined in our lecture. This is a huge miss many companies don’t take advantage of. If I was in BA’s position I would follow up with the disgruntled customer today and say “We are thinking of you and we hope you’ve had a better experience with British Airlines since we last spoke.” Little nuances like this add up.

Bottom line: many companies forget how to practice great customer service on social media since these interactions are not face-to-face. You can’t forget about your customers just because you can’t see them. More companies should remember the basics of customer service and do their very best to make every customer feel heard and valued.

It’s Social Media Dummy, So Be Social!

This week’s lecture provided some pretty interesting examples of how companies are utilizing social media to connect with the consumers. I really enjoyed learning about how KLM (Royal Dutch Airlines) employs social media. This organization has such a great focus…their customer! They’ve joined social media not to promote their business but to help the customer and promise a response within 24 hours. I think this is amazing! (I actually challenged them and tweeted them…it’s been 45 minutes with no response! They’re cutting it close!)

The Pressure is on KLM!

The Pressure is on KLM!

 

If you read my blog post last week you saw that I have been having some issues with Citibikes…these issues are still ongoing. I still haven’t received my refund and every time I’ve called customer service they provide me with very little information. I’ve tweeted them a handful of times with no response. However when I go on Citibikes Twitter page I see they are active. They are ultimately doing themselves a disservice because I am not going to let this or my money go!

Social media is giving the customer a voice and we deserve to be heard. Brands need to recognize this and implement the practice of listen, respond, listen into their repertoire. After all, “it’s social media dummy, so be social!” I believe if more companies listened to their followers and responded to their posts they would see a dramatic change in the type of activity they see on social media. This is something I try to incorporate into my own practices on social media.

While I currently do not run a company Facebook page I plan to help my dad and his dental practice with his social networks. Putting myself in the patient’s shoes will help me narrow our focus on what kind of content and tone we need to establish on his social sites. Ultimately it needs to be positive, but as we saw with the Virgin Railway example it’s not always rainbows and butterflies. Being able to confront negativity and change a bad experience into a more positive one can change someone’s opinion completely. Social media is enabling us to do this on a more personal level!

From a personal perspective I try and illustrate the same behavior on my social networks. I am trying to promote myself as a brand, a social media expert. I try to engage with my followers by asking them questions, responding to all of their comments, and be human with my content. I think these aspects contribute to the success of brands on social media.

I think this tweet is pretty human. What do you think?

I think this tweet is pretty human. What do you think?

 

What do you do to connect with your followers?

Terms of Service? What Does that even Mean?

Unfortunately ethical behavior doesn’t come naturally for everyone. Companies are forced to create terms and conditions filled with outlandish “rules” to protect themselves and their users. We’ve all had to scroll to the bottom of a page and check the “yes I agree to the terms and conditions” box before, but have you honestly ever taken the time to read these “rules?”

Look familiar?

Look familiar?

If you take a few moments to read the terms of service for some of the sites you frequent you would be surprised to see many of the rules deal with hate speech and how social media networks cannot be responsible for user content. This concept upset many people, especially on Twitter. How can such an influential network not interfere with posts of this nature? In my opinion this is a hard spot to be in for all parties.

We live in the 21st century where people utilize social networks to practice their freedom of speech. Social media outlets like Twitter cannot limit their users’ “certain unalienable rights” just because it offends someone. However, I do see users justification for such outrage, especially if your creed, color, gender or sexual preference are hot topics of hate speech on these networks. I believe Twitter is doing the right thing.

Did you know about this outrage surrounding Twitter’s terms of service? I know I didn’t until this week’s lecture for my Social Media Ethics course. So how can we make these rules more evident and applicable to all who use these networks?

I believe it is important to look at what type of content resonates with people on these networks. Seeming as Facebook and Twitter were discussed at great length in this week’s lecture these two network’s terms and conditions will be my primary focus.

Infographics are great ways to share messages on social networks.

Infographics are great ways to share messages on social networks.

Let’s start with Facebook. Images are very popular and are the most type of shared content on the network. I would love to see an infographic explaining these rules. Infographics are able to provide people with information in more entertaining ways. For instance, last semester I shared an infographic about how social media and bacon were related. This piece of content has been one of my most shared pieces of content.

With a limit of 140 characters spreading Twitter’s terms of service message is a little more challenging. I believe creating a hashtag like #TwitterRules would be a great way to create and track engagement regarding the conditions of the network. We’ve all seen promoted tweets on our newsfeeds…I would like to see Twitter feature their terms and conditions via promoted tweets every now and then.

With millions (or in Facebook’s case billions) of users worldwide it is impossible to monitor all of the content every user publishes. I believe promoting the terms and conditions associated with these social network could help create more ethical behavior on the outlets.

In Case You Were Waiting on Baited Breath…the Results Are In!

Last week I asked audiences on Google+ social media focused communities and followers on my blog to take a short survey about social integration in television programming. I chose to ask these audiences as opposed to my Facebook friends because I felt I would get a more diverse demographic of participants. Seventeen people answered a variety of questions detailing social media’s role in television.

One response that stood out to me the most was how people like to see social media incorporated into their television shows. Over 47% of those who took the survey said they liked to see a Twitter crawl as opposed to a television host reading comments (29%). This was interesting to me because later in my survey I asked what incentive would get my audience to participate in social integrations and over 58% said they would post more if they knew a television host would read their post on air. So what is it they really want? Twitter on tv

82% of my audience believes social media in television programming does add value to their shows, but they generally like it to be done more passively (i.e. via Twitter crawl). I can’t say I disagree. It is nice to be updated about the latest in a certain genre every half hour or so in this fashion, when it interrupts a show or becomes the focal point the show’s message can get lost. I also think social media contests are not as common in programming so the incentive to have a famous person read one of my audience’s social posts is something different than what they are used to seeing!

I found out the majority of my audience likes to interact with their television shows on Twitter (58%). Everyone agreed social media will only continue to play a bigger role in television programming in the future and the majority of my audience supports this (48%). 58% of my audience interact on social media via mobile but surprisingly 0% interact on a tablet (that one threw me for a loop). I expect this statistic to change some in the future as tablets continue to take on a bigger role in our digital world.Social-TV

Hindsight is 20/20

Overall I am very happy with the results I received, but looking back I would change some things in my survey. I did not ask any demographic questions which I am disappointed about. To be honest I just overlooked these type of questions and really focused on the meat of the matter. I realize now how important demographic questions are because it could help me understand what gender and race like social integration more.

I also wish I would have asked a few questions centered around YouTube. YouTube is vastly popular but isn’t seen much in social integrations on television. Why? I would like to see what my audience’s feelings on this outlet being incorporated into their television shows would be.

I plan to take this information and really think about what it means to me, my career goals and my focus in this degree program. I think if ever presented the opportunity to make a survey about social integration again I have a great outline and now know better, more precise questions to ask my audience.

Is Twitter Making Us Stupid?

I believe Twitter has the potential to transcend the boundaries of the classroom and socialize knowledge.  –Patrick J. Murphy

I believe Twitter has the potential to transcend the boundaries of the classroom and socialize knowledge.
–Patrick J. Murphy

Has the importance of learning and education gotten lost in a world where Google can answer any question? Bill Keller poses this question and while he has some valid points I would like to believe Professor Patrick J. Murphy (see quote) is right, Twitter is actually enhancing our lives, especially from an education standpoint.

 I have decided to use this blog as a way to brand myself as a Social Media Expert, but this needs to go beyond my blog. Teachers in college classrooms across the country urge students to brand themselves and showcase their expertise to potential employers on Twitter. Twitter gives people instant access to your thoughts and ideas. Why not use this to capitalize your strengths?

While some of our readings this week discussed not limiting ourselves or enforcing strict guidelines there was one rule that was stressed, the 80/20 rule. I had never heard of this rule until this week. To be honest, I have struggled with how much social media material I need to post on Twitter and I have come to the conclusion that I am posting too much. I need to keep being myself, showing my personality for the most part (80%) and only post about social media two or three times a week (20%) so I don’t push my followers away. Today’s marketing has made it very clear that consumers don’t respond to shouting messages at them; they like to engage and find out information on their own. It’s time to start following this rule better.

Other useful guidelines: keep tweets under 100 characters (is that even possible?), join Twitter chats (#smchat, #socialchat, #SMmanners…what are these things?), build a Twitter list, get a tweet deck…this all seems so overwhelming to me. Until I started grad school I just thought Twitter was a cool way for me to follow my favorite celebrities and use hashtags…wrong! The good news is I’m not alone, otherwise there wouldn’t be articles explaining Twitter. We can all benefit from the growing pains these experts have experienced.

My favorite helpful hint provided this week was to respond to every tweet. I can’t tell you how many people I’ve tweeted and never gotten a response; it almost makes want to unfollow them sometimes. Earlier this week I got “favorited” by a lingerie line (thanks in part to Lesley) and it made my day on Twitter!  A little bit goes a long way with Twitter. Even just a “favorite” can show your audience that you acknowledge them and appreciate them.photo

Twitter has become revolutionary. It is touching and changing every part of the world we live in. By utilizing the advice from experts who’ve learned how to utilize Twitter to the fullest I will be able to perfect my use of this social media powerhouse and further enforce myself as a brand.

Questions:

1)     There were a lot of really great tips in this weeks reading. What piece of advice do you find most influential for your goals are Twitter?

2)     There are positives and negatives to every social media outlet. What field do you think Twitter has had the most positive and negative impacts (i.e. news, advertising, education, ect.)?