By Hilary Allard | @hallard
“Well maybe you should just unfriend me then!”
This is the turn that a conversation took during a family dinner Saturday night.
It started when a family member (who shall remain nameless), an active Facebook user, started complaining about the frequency and tone of some of her friends’ political posts. With the election just days away, she was looking forward to the end of the political content.
From that point, she turned her attention to those of us in the room.
“You’re always posting all of that sports stuff and those crazy art things,” she said to “Family Member 1,” a baseball fan and artist.
“And you’re always posting those dog pictures,” to “Family Member 2,” a Dachshund owner and fan of the dog’s group on Facebook.
“And you never really post anything,” to “Family Member 3.”
This resulted in a lot of high-pitched and (generally) good-natured dialogue about who should post what. Finally, “Family Member 1” asked her, “Why does that bother you so much?”
“Because Facebook should only be about what’s happening with YOU!” she said.
The “unfriending” remark soon followed.
I told her that our conversation illustrates that Facebook is unique to each person who uses it, and that’s the point. She was not impressed.
Do you have similar conversations with your family? How do you resolve these issues?
By Clio V. Rourke | @cvrourke
I’m sure you have been asked for your customer review by Amazon.com and other vendors plenty of times. Did you immediately delete those requests from your inbox? Why? Because they lacked an incentive for submitting a review. If you invest precious time in actually writing a review on a product instead of just “liking” it (or not), there should be some sort of reward, right? Sears agrees. The retailer’s Facebook campaign “love.hate” – “Love it? Hate it? Sears wants your opinion” – compensates Sears customers for product reviews – and, at the same time, earns Sears PR-points for corporate philanthropy. For every product review they submit via the love.hate Facebook tab, Sears’ customers can cast a vote for one of currently four charities (WWF, World Vision, American Cancer Society, and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital). Every other week, Sears will “award a donation to (and then eliminate!) the charity with the least number of votes.” The last charity standing receives the grand prize of $100,000. The love.hate campaign is a win-win on multiple levels: All charities get donations. Customers can easily support their cause without having to spend much time, or any money. Sears gets consumer insights and, if the reviews are positive, free consumer endorsement. Negative reviews provide valuable feedback as well, since the feedback can be used for PR and marketing efforts. And of course Sears also gets the before mentioned points for corporate philanthropy. Love it!
By Elaina Robinson
Beyond the waters of the Boston Harbor lies a great big world waiting to be explored. With all the communication tools and social media channels available to us today, it is easier to always be connected. This ability to connect allows us to gain a deeper understanding of, and relate to people of all cultures in a different way – across the world and around the globe. Social media is bringing together real opinions from real people – displayed in the real world. These types of experiences are likely to continue to increase as we become more globally “social.”
This week Castle principal Sandy Lish is in Cape Town for the Public Relations Global Network (PRGN) annual meeting, where Agency owners from 42 worldwide organizations come together to share – best practices, ideas, tools of the trade, insight into a different culture, market knowledge, economy, business opportunity, etc. that help us connect our Clients and friends wherever they need to be around the world. During the meeting, many of these topics are shared through social media – twitter, blogging, Facebook, etc., making our network an important driver of international social connection.
How are we different? How are we similar? We thought this would be a perfect time to look beyond our shores for ideas and inspiration. We will explore everything from pop culture, superstitions and politics to travel and television in the US and abroad.
If you have yet to connect globally, it’s time. Grab your “social” passports and read on.
We can’t talk about all things international with out mentioning social media. From Twitter to Pinterest and Foursquare – it is clear that social media is quickly dominating the way we interact across the globe. Tweets and posts seem to appear on feeds faster than it takes a crew member to punch a ticket on the train.
Did the audience really like that rendition of What a Wonderful World? Who thought that dance was a little sloppy? Thanks to social media on competition shows worldwide we don’t have to wait for the answer. Tune into The Voice any Monday and find #TheVoice hashtag staring back at you encouraging conversation. A live Twitter news ticker that runs across the bottom of the screen offers a more personal interaction. If that weren’t enough, the show even features its very own “social media room,” where Twitter trends are discussed and hashed out (no pun intended).
Across the pond, Britain’s Got Talent, employs similar techniques of cutting-edge social engagement. The show’s iPhone and Android app allows users to access exclusive back stage footage, browse never before seen photos, read the shows latest stories and share opinions and ratings. The app also allows fans to participate in the spin off show, Britain’s Got More Talent.
In Australia, social media is surreptitiously taking the country’s performing arts scene by storm. From backstage status updates to a sultry Cha-cha-cha, performers and viewers are interacting on a more personal level than ever before. The annual Sydney Festival has attracted a record number of Twitter followers, who can’t wait to discuss their favorite performances and give their recommendations. The contestants in Dancing with the Stars, Australia use their Twitter presence to connect directly with their fans, thereby hoping to gain more votes.
Next to Simon Cowell, there is no other person or thing that has more influence on the worldwide reality competition circuit than Twitter. Forget the judges, from now on winners will most likely be decided by the court of social media opinion.
By Nicole Gandia, The Belles of Beantown | @ngandia
Remember the old adage “It’s not about what you know but who you know”? Well, if you live in Boston, haven’t mastered the “who you know” part and agree with Paul Graham’s well-written article on cities and what drives their ambition, then you can find comfort in Boston’s high valuation of the “what you know” too. Either way, if you are in the market to build your “what” or your “who”, then Boston is the ideal city for you. With one of the highest conglomerates of universities and students, many thriving businesses and a myriad of professional development organizations that span across multiple industries, Boston has – at its fingertips – ample resources and opportunities for professionals (and especially young ones) to build their business acumen, grow their network, build lasting relationships and stand out.
Here are the 3 tips you should pay attention to in order to stay connected to your current network and to expand it in Beantown:
(1) Become Involved with Your Alumni Network: If you went to school in Massachusetts, tap into your school’s network, and if you didn’t, look for your school’s local alumni chapter. Get involved in an alumni organization (there are so many positions waiting to be filled!), start one and recruit your friends to help, become a mentor for current students, join your school’s social media networks or simply attend an event and reconnect with your classmates. Your return will depend on how much you invest! If you do, trust that great opportunities will come your way.
(2) Engage with Social Networks: Boston loves its social media. Use local networks to your full advantage. Build a rapport with likeminded professionals online, tweet/post about what you’re doing or are interested in – chances are somebody will be interested and will want to connect.
LinkedIn: Join a group on LinkedIn, participate in discussions and don’t be afraid to reach out to someone you want to build a closer relationship with. For instance, join the Boston Networking Club on LinkedIn and start to connect with professionals on the same wave length.
Twitter: Create a strong Twitter headline about yourself and your interests, tweet about what you are doing, follow those who interest you and above all – engage. This will help you keep track of what’s going on in your field, what you want to learn, who you want to interact with and where you can do this. One resource you can use it Twtvite, which can help you find Boston tweet-ups based on trending events. The people you meet there will also be business-minded connectors interested in growing their network(s) and helping others do the same.
Facebook: Use it to stay in touch with friends and let them know what you are up to. Relationships are always evolving and it’s good to stay on top of what your existing network is doing and how you could help or partner with them.
(3) Attend a Networking/Educational Event and Join an Organization: In spite of the large role social media can play in growing your network, face-to-face interactions are still crucial and Boston has networking events for everyone. Below are a few of the best Boston networking resources. These can help you find the right professional organization(s) for you to network and/or become a member of as well as educational events to fit your particular needs. For a more extensive list of resources, visit this website.
Networking is about developing symbiotic relationships built on trust – and beyond that, it’s about leadership and career development. I hope that after reading this post you start to get out there to get your “what’s” and your “who’s” on! GOOD LUCK!
Castle team networking at a Meeting Professionals International Event
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By Clio V. Rourke | @ cvrourke
When employers first requested that job applicants disclose their Facebook logins, they did so based on the premise that an applicant’s Facebook profile accurately represents an applicant’s personality. And when Pepsi recently created a consumer test program for its new low-calorie product Pepsi Next, the company based the program on the premise that a consumer’s Facebook profile can predict how much he or she will like the soft drink – “without opening a can.” Black marketing magic? Big brother alarm? It’s far less serious (though still a little creepy). On the Pepsi Next Facebook page, Facebook users can apply to participate in Pepsi’s Internet Taste Test. Since even Facebook doesn’t have a taste app yet, the selected applicants are then being represented by their “improv self” – comedians from Pepsi’s partner Funny or Die. Using the information found on the applicant’s Facebook profile, a comedian impersonates him or her and acts out the most likely – and probably most funny – reaction to the taste of Pepsi Next. A video of the performance is posted on the Pepsi Next Facebook page and YouTube. So why is this still a little creepy? “We’ll analyze [the applicant’s] Facebook persona,” said PepsiCo Beverages’ Head of Digital Shiv Singh, according to Mashable. “It will be very close to who they actually are.” Will you try it?
By Clio V. Rourke | @cvrourke
Madonna has never been one to let a major trend pass her by; instead, she takes it a step further and turns it into a creation of her own. For the promotion of her new album “MDNA” (#MDNA), released this Monday, Madonna naturally turned to Twitter and Facebook — and only to Twitter and Facebook! Comedian and talk show-host Jimmy Fallon was the lucky, only one who got to interview Madonna on the occasion of the launch. The interview was being streamed live — only on Madonna’s Facebook page. Only users who “liked” the page were able see the interview, and only fans who joined the “special Facebook event” could submit questions for the “special Facebook Q&A.” Once they were “in,” they could post their questions on the event’s wall. To save her fans precious time, Madonna was kind enough to post a link to “MDNA” on iTunes, where everyone can download the album (not for free, though). The Facebook interview was followed by a less exclusive but live Twitter chat via the account @MadonnaMDNAday. Nonetheless, the chat was “one-day only.” Questions for Madonna could (only) be submitted using the hashtag #askmadonna. “Madonna is launching her new album on Facebook because it allows for effective word-of-mouth on a massive scale,” Justin Osofsky, Facebook’s director of platform partnerships told the Wall Street Journal. The “social only” strategy is the first of its kind, which creates additional buzz. And considering that Madonna “only” has 8 million Facebook fans, plus 12,061 followers for @MadonnaMDNAday 8 hours prior to the chat, “social only” doesn’t seem too risky.
By Keri McIntosh
A colleague of mine recently informed me about the launch of KLM Airlines’ Meet and Seat program. The airline allows passengers to share their social media profile (LinkedIn or Facebook) to see and select who they would like to sit by. My first response: “Are you kidding?!?”
Call me crazy or even antisocial but does the world of social media really need to invade our air space, too? Yes…okay, it was cool when Jet Blue allowed us to play games with our fellow cabin mates on their in flight entertainment system. But Meet and Seat takes things to a whole new level.
For the business traveler I suppose Meet and Seat does present great networking opportunities (i.e. you are heading to the same conference and can talk shop!) However, I suspect the program will be used more often in the hopes of finding a soul mate or at least a flirt mate. Next Animation Media in Taiwan creates a pretty vivid interpretation of the service. Yikes.
But is this whole thing bordering on creepy? Or at the very least, disappointing? KLM allows you to change your seat as many times as you like 48 hours prior to departure. What happens if you select your “perfect” seat mate and immediately following they change their seat for another? When you actually see that person on board next to a more cosmopolitan, attractive hipster this can lead to a pretty depressing flight.
Side note: if you do miss that connection, there’s a cure. Here’s a web service – wemetonaplane.com – that reunites passengers who traveled aboard the same flight.
The interesting part about Meet and Seat is that unlike LinkedIn or Facebook, you can’t hide behind your computer screen. You are now sitting next to the person engaging in live communication…and for a looong time (currently this service is only offered on KLM flights between Amsterdam and New York and San Francisco to Sao Paulo). Enter another potential pitfall: your profiles seemed so compatible initially but after discussing your mutual affection for Xbox and classic Nirvana songs the passion runs dry after only 30 minutes. What then? 6 more hours until wheels down. Ugh.
So I wonder if I am alone in wanting the last vestige of peace from the world of social media, cell phone calls, texts and tweets when I fly, left to enjoy my ever diminishing leg room and lack of on board food service in privacy? Does anyone else send a secret cry of joy when the one or (bliss!) two seats next to you are empty? I admit I probably have become hardened traveling so frequently on Southwest Airlines which, in a way, can be dubbed the original Meet and Seat program. The open seating forces you to trump friends and family members for strangers with available seats. You hope for a friendly face to offer a seat, but instead everyone avoids eye contact and strategically places awkward shaped packages around them to not Meet and Seat…until of course the flight attendants eventually force you into it.
Maybe I should just get used to new ways of traveling. It seems other carriers such as Virgin Airlines will soon be following suit with similar programs. And since their sister company Virgin Galactic is now booking seats for space travel, I wonder if we will eventually be able to select who we’d like to be weightless next to. Now that’s something I might sign up for!
Let us know what you think….Would you use it?
By Jessica Ciccone
Oh Valentine’s Day...definitely one of my least favorite holidays, right up there with New Year’s Eve. It could be because I found it confusing in high school, distressing in college, and irritating as an adult. Instead of focusing this post on the countless shameless marketing ploys or the over-priced prix fix menus, I thought Valentine’s Day would be a great time to take a look at how Facebook has impacted our romantic relationships.
While doing some research I came across an infograph posted on Social Media Times that does a great job of breaking it down. Here are some highlights that I found interesting:
While 30 million adults have friends who found their spouses online, many people credit Facebook for changing dating for the worse. Nobody likes seeing what their ex is doing, especially if they are having fun right?
There are new guidebooks designed specifically to help Facebook-proof your marriage. This one scares me. If you need a book for that you should probably not be on Facebook, but that is for another post.
Forget the post-it; breaking up online is even more common than ever. 21% of people surveyed say they would simply change their relationship status. Now that is harsh even for Carrie Bradshaw’s standards.
When a marriage fails divorce attorneys are looking to Facebook to find evidence for proceedings. These people should have clearly invested in the aforementioned guidebook.
While I can’t say my research made me a fan of Valentine’s; it definitely made me excited to share a nice dinner with my husband...non prix fix of course. Happy Valentine’s Day to all!
By Erika Kuzmicz
Two weeks ago, Facebook and NBC joined together to host a Republican debate, this one augmented by a social media element. While the show aired on NBC and MSNBC.com, it also was available on Facebook where users were able to directly ask the candidates questions via a widget.
Not only are social networks, like Twitter and Facebook, getting their hands dirty in the debate process but they are also directly linked to the candidates’ success rate.
According to PCMag, “The number of Twitter followers or Facebook fans a candidate has is not nearly as important as their social media interactions with supporters, how many people share the candidate's message with their own network, and how much attention beyond social media (in outlets like The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and CNN) those actions receive.” Twitter conversations (@ mentions and retweets) relating to President Obama, the GOP candidates and Congress can be tracked and monitored on 2012twit.com.
Does this mean that we will be able to predict who will win the GOP nomination or the 2012 presidential election just using social media alone? Pretty unlikely but the new tools and platforms do allow us to be more involved in the overall process and help us understand what direction things may be heading.
Mixing Pandora’s box with Genie in a Bottle, Nivea has created an app that lets consumers “interact with Rihanna in a one-of-a-kind augmented reality video experience.” By buying a tin of Nivea Creme or, even easier, printing out the tin cover starring Rihanna from Nivea’s website, everyone can make Rihanna perform “California King Bed,” the soundtrack of Nivea’s new television campaign, in their own four walls. After buying or printing, tin or cover have to be held in front of a webcam, and the magic happens.
The app is a follow-up to Nivea’s “Co-Star with Rihanna” Facebook campaign from last summer, when users had to “hit the Like button to get closer to Rihanna” by editing themselves into a short music video with the star.
Rihanna is the spokesperson of Nivea and the brand’s “100 Years of Skincare for Life" campaign, and Nivea was the sponsor of Rihanna’s Loud tour earlier this year.