#Milk4Kids

University of Nebraska at Omaha, Social Media Metrics students participated in The Great American Milk Drive national campaign put-on by Milk Life.

Milk Life strives to gather milk donations to stock food pantries. Did you know that Milk is the most needed item at the Food Bank, but it is the least donated item.

Our social media metrics class took part in a social media campaign to build interest and engagement, and ultimately raise donation levels. Our class, along with other community members, participated in the social media campaign using the hashtag #milk4kids.

We asked for donations to be made during the one-day event at local Baker’s grocery stores. In that one day, the campaign raised $1,701. The event was covered by KETV and saw a spike in engagement around the #milk4kids hashtag.

We thought this was a great success for the one-day event, but it still needs improvement. Myself, along with four other social media metrics students assessed NodeXL data covering the hashtag and made suggestions for future campaign ideas. Please take a look at my groups suggestions for future campaigns below.

One key takeaway I found when analyzing the NodeXL chart is that the campaign has to do with the top tweeters using the #milk4kids hashtag. We had mostly individuals engaging with the event on Twitter. We need to try and get bigger accounts in the conversation in order to reach a larger audience. Yes, we did have the Omaha World-Herald and KETV, but we need other opinion leaders to engage in the conversation as well.

My group suggested that in order to gain a better social media presence and ultimately receive more milk donations, we need to:

  • Have better brand connection between the campaign and the larger “Great American Milk Drive” and “Milk Life.”
  • Change the Twitter name or consistently using hashtags to better reflect the larger organizations.
  • Have a steady stream of conversation on social media platforms in order to carry engagement throughout the year.
  • Target key influencers on social media with posts relevant to them.

Take a look at our presentation below!

Social Media and Virality

In today’s world we are constantly connected and engaged in social media. Users provide and share content to create an online conversation. Often times, when content is shared it will quickly spread throughout many webs of networks, soon reaching hundreds of thousands of users in a very short period. When information breaks through the noise of the Internet and reaches a large population in a short time, we call it viral.

In my most recent research I studied social media and virality. Check out my slideshare presentation about my research!

University of Nebraska at Omaha Social Media Lab

The Community Engagement Center (CEC) is home to UNO’s outreach programs, including the Service Learning Academy and the Student Volunteer and Leadership Collaborative. The CEC is a place where collaboration between UNO students, faculty, staff, nonprofit and government organizations can take place.

The CEC is home to the Social Media Lab for Research and Engagement. The lab is a place where students and faculty can go to conduct research. The lab is also open to small businesses and nonprofit or government organizations to conduct research for their own use. The social media lab provides the following services: social media consulting, research assistance, educational workshops and media literacy training.

In the lab you will conduct research using NodeXL – a program which takes data from different keywords, hashtags and accounts used on Twitter, the program then organizes the information into a more readable form. You can submit a keyword or hashtag to NodeXL and will receive a set of data for that request. The data is displayed through a web that is connected, the web represents a series of conversations that take place on Twitter with the use of a keyword or hashtag. NodeXL will break down the information to the top ten keywords, top ten twitter accounts, top ten URLS, etc.

Dr. Louisa Ha: The Do’s and Dont’s of Online Courses

On Thursday, March 12 the Social Media Metrics class met in the UNO Community Engagement Center for a presentation by Dr. Louisa Ha, from Bowling Green State University. Dr. Ha is professor in the Department of Telecommunications at Bowling Green State University.  She has taught a variety of online courses and has a lot to offer to faculty and students about the do’s and don’ts of online courses. Dr. Had began teaching online courses when the university asked her to teach an online summer course. With her expertise in research and online media, Ha agreed to teach an online course. Ha teaches a variety of online courses including: Cultural Diversity, Media & Sales Promotion, Media Policy & Industry, and Advertising Theory & Practice. During Dr. Ha’s presentation she talked about the importance of online courses, the benefits for the teacher, the benefits of working mothers, challenges, and the do’s and don’ts. I will briefly touch on some of the most important facts that Dr. Ha presented on. The importance of online courses:

  • Serve non-traditional students
  • Increase flexibility in course offering and scheduling to different types of students
  • Expand geographical coverage of the program

Benefits for the teacher:

  • Monetary incentives provided by the university to develop and teach online courses
  • Ease of duplicating & repeat teaching the course
  • Highly marketable skill in academic job market
  • Students can study at their pace
  • Students take responsibility for their learning

Benefits of working mothers:

  • Flexibility in schedule
  • Can prepare materials much more in advance
  • No worry about snow days

Challenges:

  • Grading load can be enormous if not managed
  • Everything is written and on record
  • Student expectations and email overload

Do’s:

  • Use only simple, common online tools
  • Avoid group assignments
  • Explain the answers in quizzes and exams
  • Establish easy to remember routine course calendar for assignments
  • Build rapport with students

Don’ts:

  • Teach a one time online topic course
  • Use the most sophisticated technology
  • Expect students to read all the material without corresponding assignments
  • Offer a freshman online course for traditional students

Dr. Ha’s presentation had great advice for those debating whether or not to teach an online course. It was even helpful from a student perspective. If every professor used the advice from Dr. Ha, every online course would be a breeze.  I have taken three online courses during my time at UNO so far and I would have to say that all of them have been pretty enjoyable.  I was a little hesitant but they worked in my schedule and that was important to me.  I believe you are successful in online courses if you have self motivation and discipline. The presentation taught students what they could potentially expect if they registered for an online course. Dr. Ha didn’t tell horror stories about online courses, she presented the facts.

BOOK REVIEW: WEBSTER, JAMES G. (2014). THE MARKETPLACE OF ATTENTION, HOW AUDIENCES TAKE SHAPE IN A DIGITAL AGE. CAMBRIDGE, MA: THE MIT PRESS. 268 PP.

The book, “The Marketplace of Attention” by James G. Webster, is a great read for someone in the communications field! Social media metrics is a very in-depth topic and can be confusing if you don’t know a lot about it. The author does a very good job at discussing seven different topics that all tie together.

Chapter two talks about media users. Everyone is a media user, new media or traditional media. Today new media allows us to access information quicker and easier. The book says that today we can choose what information we want to read and tell what information we like or dislike.

I think that chapter four, media measures is a very important chapter. There are so many different tools that are available to measure media. It is really hard to measure new media. We have tools such as Twitter and Google analytics, that help with measurement. It is important that our measurements are accurate and with new media it is hard to depict what is accurate and what is not. They have developed ways to measure the media but it still needs to be perfected.

As we have discussed in class, the Internet is “busy” and full of chaos. Media has to push through this chaos to reach it’s audience.

Unless you were living under a rock, you probably saw a picture in your Facebook, Twitter and Instagram news feed that everyone was talking about Thursday afternoon. A photo was posted on Tumblr of a dress and it soon became viral. The debate about the photo is the color of the dress. What is it’s actual color and why does everyone see it differently?

Take a look at the dress here and decide for yourself, black and blue or white and gold.

According to CNN Money, the London retailer confirmed that #thedress is royal blue with black trimming. They also said that sales soared to 347% today after the photo went viral.

Some said the photo was a perfect marketing strategy for an ugly dress. This photo pushed through the media quickly yesterday afternoon. Users shared the photo all over the Internet, social media and through text messaging.

It would be interesting to collect the data on the hashtag #thedress, the link to the Tumblr and all of the media that posted the photo or about the photo.

I think that this break through was perfect timing and I think from my standpoint it is really interesting because we are learning about this right now!

Facebook: A Place I Can’t Use My Real Name

I recently read an article on ABC News titled “Why Some Native Americans Say Facebook is Biased Against Them.” I found this article very interesting!

It has been reported that Facebook users who use their true Native American name have had their accounts suspended because their name violates the Facebook name standards.

Many think this is a form of racism and marginalization and it is very upsetting. I agree with the women in the article that this is a form of harassment and Facebook is in the wrong. However, as we have talked about in class measurement has error. I think that Facebook suspending accounts is a form of measurement because they are trying to get rid of fake accounts, but clearly they need to alter their system. The computer system is not recognizing tribal names as real people and this is an error, or flaw in the system.

This article actually surprises me because I would have never guessed that this would be a problem. I have seen face accounts or even accounts where someone is impersonating someone else and I think that is what their system should be catching.

The women in the article also talked about the identity confirmation process that Facebook requires them to go through to prove that they are real people. The items that they are required to submit is a photo I.D. and a copy of your social security card. I for one, would never submit this information to Facebook. Everyone has a right to privacy and Facebook is violating it.

My advice for you right now is if you want to use your the name that you are referred to, like Queen Toto or Budlight Mike. You may want to wait to change your name on Facebook until they have the flaws in their system fixed. Otherwise you will be required to prove your identity by sending your personal identification. Is Facebook the new passport agency? Kind of seems like it!

Social Media, Engagement, SEO and Google Hangout!

Are you sleeping under a rock? Well get out from under there because you’ve got a lot to learn about social media, engagement and search engine optimization – otherwise known as SEO. Where should I even begin?

In class we talked a lot about engagement, and how to drive it. Engagement is simply noise. In the world of media, engagement is driven by five key points. The content needs to be unique, targeted, relatable, shareable and visual. If you are going to tweet something, tweet it with a picture, this will drive engagement.

Brett and Aaron, from B2Interactive, had a lot to say about the work they do. Brett is the SEO director at B2Interactive and Aaron works in content marketing. They spoke about SEO and how your content specifically relates to SEO. You want your content to be easily digestible and you want it to mean something to the consumers. Tap to specific audiences and appeal to their ego’s.

You also want your website to be user friendly. How many clicks does it take to get to the content that the consumer wants to see? You want your site to have easy navigation. You also want it to be mobile friendly, in other words, your site is compatible with mobile devices.

Later in class we signed on to Google Hangouts and hung out with Sam and our classmates. Sam is the community manager at Hurrdat, a social media agency owned by B2Interactive. His job as community manager is to monitor clients’ SEO ratings and take initiative to improve and protect their ratings.

He had a lot of insight to offer to MaverickPR, UNO’s student-run PR firm. Our account associates monitor our clients’ social media and Sam was a great resource to us!

He talked about how hard it is to get a good organic reach on social media, specifically Facebook and Twitter. He said paid posts work tremendously and he suggests everyone to have at least one paid post a day if that is in their budget.

I thought that Sam had a lot of great advice and it is something that I will definitely take back to my work life!