Case Study: Kraft Mac & Cheese on Facebook

Background:

Kraft Macaroni & Cheese is the all-American favorite cheesy pasta dish. Kraft Foods introduced this classic dinner to the market in 1937.  Kraft Foods is an American multinational food and beverage conglomerate headquartered in Northfield, Illinois. The company has brands in about 170 countries and includes top sellers such as Nabisco, Oscar Mayer and Philadelphia to name a few. Kraft Macaroni & Cheese always does an awesome job with their advertising from memorable commercial jingles (I’ve got the Blues), the large noodle guerrilla tactic and now on to social media. The purpose of their latest social media campaign is to promote the pasta’s 75th anniversary. Kraft has decided to hand their social networking accounts over to two “Old Birds” who have been eating Mac & Cheese ever since it was launched, 75 years ago. The brand hired Frankie, 87, and Dottie, 86, to handle the day-to-day Facebook, Twitter and YouTube accounts. The campaign has generated a lot of buzz check out the media coverage here:Marketing Magazine and Ad Wee

Social Media:

Kraft Mac & Cheese does an awesome job engaging with their followers on both Facebook and Twitter @kraftmacncheese. Currently on Facebook, Mac & Cheese has 969,577 Likes with 22,411 people talking about the page. They post about two to three times a day. The content of the posts incorporate mac & cheese with current events asking questions, posting pictures from fans and videos from Frankie and Dottie. Generally, the Twitter account takes the same approach. They tweet one to two times a day the same topics, videos and pictures they are posting to Facebook. The Old Birds campaign has focused on producing videos of the two ladies engaging with social media, the call to action at the end always includes both their hashtag #oldbirdsnewtweets and Facebook address. The Twitter hashtag is significantly larger in size then the Facebook address, clearly encouraging the audience to follow and engage with the campaign on Twitter. Despite this call to action, the campaign receives much more engagement on Facebook. Videos are posted of Frankie and Dottie as they learn about social media along with funny quotes by the two and pictures.

Meet the two Old Birds

Analysis:

The purpose of the campaign is to increase engagement of the brand on both Facebook and Twitter. Videos are created of Frankie and Dottie as they learn the different aspects of social media. The videos and quotes posted by the two has generated a awesome amount of engagement on Facebook mainly seen in the increase of shares; however, other content unrelated to the campaign has received more Likes, comments and shares. During the campaign the following post marked as a milestone on Timeline received the campaigns highest engagement with 971 Likes, 87 comments and 107 shares.

Compared to other brands, Kraft does a good job of replying to their audience. Within the comments, Frankie and Dottie would reply to fans questions and provide other videos and links to increase engagement with them. The genuine interest the brand has for it’s followers is probably why Kraft Mac & Cheese is still an American favorite after 75 years.

Conclusion:

I think this is an awesome campaign because it takes an unconventional, side door approach to celebrating a 75th anniversary. While other brands such as Oreo celebrate 100 years with a birthday party campaign, Kraft Mac & Cheese has hired two witty “Old Birds” to take charge of their social media. They video blog about the two as they experience social media and learn about the web. The videos are hilarious because it showcases their personality and reveals to us that mac & cheese is for everyone.  The videos have been the most successful part of the campaign and have greatly increased the amount of shares. The brand is doing a great job with engagement and I was excited to see that Frankie and Dottie were responding to questions on both Facebook and Twitter and providing links to their audience. This interaction is crucial and is what separates mediocre brands from the pros. Overall, I love what Kraft Mac & Cheese did with this campaign and can’t really think of a way to improve their interaction. Keep up the good work!

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Case Study: Mike and Ike on Facebook

Background:

Mike and Ike is a chewy, fruit flavored candy sold under the parent brand Just Born, Inc. since the 1940’s. Just Born is an 86 year-old, family-owned candy manufacturer that also produces candy brands such as Peeps and Hot Tamales. Being a fun candy, Mike and Ike lends itself to social media well. The brand is doing a good job on both Facebook and Twitter, regularly posing and engaging with their audience. Recently they have amped up their engagement on Facebook with their latest campaign Mike and Ike have split. The campaign focuses on Mike and Ike individually instead of as a pair. Posts surrounding the campaign are inspired by their blog post which take one side or the other and describe what either is doing to deal with the break up. This campaign has greatly increased engagement with the brand as loyal consumers voice their opinions about the ‘split.’ They do this is the form of a comment on Facebook or enter the video contents for a chance to win prizes.

Campaign poster

Social Media:

Mike and Ike already has a good social media presence on Facebook , Twitter (@mikeandike) and Tumblr.  Tumblr is the hub of the campaign because it is where both Mike and Ike’s separate blogs get posted. The content produced on Tumblr provides both Facebook and Twitter new content to engage their fans/followers and ultimately direct them to the blog page. On Twitter they are posing about 4 times a day which doesn’t include responding to mentions which they do regularly. On Facebook they post updates about once a day mainly with content from their blog encouraging people to comment on it.  This platform is also where fans can enter the video contest for a chance to win prizes. They also regularly post about their products and current events such as the Release of The Hunger Games and St. Patrick’s Day. With almost every post, they include a picture making the page very visually appealing.

Facebook Timeline

Analysis:

On Facebook Mike and Ike have 709,644 likes and 19,811 people talking about this page. The purpose of the campaign was to get people talking about the split and to dive people to Tumblr. Once on the blog, they can read the entertaining ways Mike and Ike have decided to deal with the split and then ultimately voice their feelings via video submission to Facebook.

They use that content to initiate a conversation with their fans and get a decent amount of likes and comments for them. According Facebook milestone, the ‘split’ was announced on April 4th. Since then, the number of likes on a single post has reached 110.  The number of shares reached was 108 and shares reached 44 when they posted the video “Celebrity reaction of the Mike and Ike Split”.

The campaign is trying to generate SM buzz and also want customers to like the Facebook page and submit a reaction video. They have done a great job of getting people talking on Facebook and Twitter but the video contest is definitely the weakest part of the campaign. So far there only seems to be one upstaged video posted, the others while highly entertaining, have been staged by the company.

While Mike and Ike does a good job of posing engaging content they very rarely reply to the comments posted. However, when they did come across a negative comment like the one to follow they took immediate action to resolve the issue and publicly set the record straight.

While you can see they may have still lost a customer; however, other fans can see they are proactive on social media platforms and will respond to you if your have a problem.

Conclusion:

I think this is an awesome campaign. It is really smart to bring both Mike and Ike to life and play up their very different personalities. It was creative to create a buzz online with a public break up because people are always interested in drama and relationships-even if it is candy. The individual Mike and Ike post to Tumblr are very engaging because it not only brings each personality to life but it also puts them at a local events to create buzz about that.  What I think the brand can improve on is engagement with their audience on Facebook. They are doing a good job on Twitter responding to people’s mentions but the only response that I found was the one posted above.  I applaud the approach they took to respond to the angry guy but they could also take the time to comment when people say positive things as well.

Social Media Policy: Ford Motor Company

History:

Back in 1903 with $28,000 in cash, Henry Ford started the Ford Motor Company, who’s automobiles changed how the world moved. Today Ford continues to be an American multinational automaker based in Dearborn, Michigan, a suburb of Detroit. Ford is the second-largest U.S. based automaker and as of 2010, the fifth-largest in the world. Ford sells a broad range of automobiles under the Ford brand worldwide and luxury automobiles under the Lincoln brand in the U.S. Additionally they were listed as number 10 on the 2011 Fortune 500 list.

Overview:

Ford’s social media policy, as far as I can tell, is not listed on their website but is searchable via Google. The policy is simple, visually appealing document that breaks down the guidelines for engaging on the social Web. The whole document amounts to about one printed page, briefly highlighting best practices and referring them back to the company for more detailed information.

According to the principle of hierarchy, Ford would first like to state their five guidelines for engaging on the social Web which include:

  1. Honesty about who you are
  2. Clarity that your opinions are your own
  3. Respect and humility in all communication
  4. Good judgment in sharing only public information-including financial data
  5. Awareness that what you say is permanent

Surrounding the guidelines are subsections that further explain best practices and occasionally provide examples.

Highlights:

I think Ford is an innovative, modern company as they are actively using a variety of social media platforms. Because of this, I think that they have a solid company culture that has established trust among employees. Ford knows their employees are on these platforms and will tune out an extensive document on the subject. So Ford created this eye catching best practices document to highlight some guidelines that takes just minutes to read. The brevity and visual appeal of the policy enhances the readability of the subject and gives employees the gist right away. Additionally if they have more questions, they can always ask the communications department.

While I think policy was well thought out, there are three subsections that stood out to me. They are as follows:

  • Make it clear that the views expressed are yours. To many people this might seem like common sense but it is important. Even if you don’t list your employer on a social media platform you still need to include this statement. It just makes it clear that you are not speaking on behalf of the company and protects the company from anything you may post.
  • Mind your manners. Remember that everything you do is reflective on the brand. Do not engage or post anything disrespectful because then viewers might associate the brand with your negative online behavior.
  • When in doubt, ask. I liked this last section because I think it says a lot about Ford’s open communication structure. Ford realizes that this policy is brief because their target employee is someone who uses social media. If employees need more of an explanation then it is encouraging them to reach out to someone and they would be happy to answer any question. The document was not intended to leave older generations in the dark, it was just written for the media literate generations.

Overall, I think they did a good job of highlighting the major guidelines. The policy defiantly didn’t belabor the point and makes the employee feel like Ford really trusts their judgment.

Lowlights:

While I think everything is very well written, I feel that a few of the sections are a little redundant. For example: You speak for yourself but your actions reflect those of Ford Motor Company it says, “people may likely form an opinion about the Company based on the behavior of its personnel.”  Similarly, in the subsection entitled The Internet is a public space, it says, “many eyes may fall upon your words, including those of reporters, consumers, your manager and the competition…” Essentially, they are saying the same thing, that the Internet is a public space and to be mindful of what you are posting. The redundancy is a little unnecessary and kind of makes the employee feel talked down to by the company.

My Suggestions:

Overall, I would keep the simplicity, brevity and visual appeal of the document. Like I mentioned above, I would remove some of the redundancy and combine subsections that are similar. I would reword the copy so that it doesn’t sound like Ford is talking down to it’s employees. I would also suggest that they add more real life examples and have maybe one for each platform listed on the top of the document. This would make the document’s guidelines more clear especially to the employees who are less familiar with the platforms.

Why a Social Policy is Necessary:

Social Media is changing the way we do business. Today, companies understand the platforms better and realize the significant influence they can have on a brand. With the amount of influence social media can have it is important every company have a policy in place for their employees to follow.  Employees represent the company they work for 24/7 both on and offline.  Many people think that their actions online aren’t very significant and that no one is paying attention; however, everything that person does can be associated with the company they work for especially if it is listed as their employer in their profile. It is extremely important for a social media policy to be in place so that employees know how to respond if someone asks about their company and to make it know that their postings do not represent the views of the organization. Generally speaking, people don’t put much thought into what they post on social media platforms so it is important for the company to provide guidelines of what is expected of their employees and give them some best practices so that they can be an advocate for the brand.

The World According to Pinterest

Struggling to find a blog topic per usual, I jumped on Mashable for some inspiration. Once clicking though to the social media section the following headline popped off the screen, “PinView Turns Your Facebook Timeline Into a Pinterest Board.” I quickly read the article, hopped on Facebook to activate the app and Whala! Facebook as I know it has just gotten that much better.

For my fellow Pinterest lovers, I’m sure you can already guess why this app is awesome. For those of you who haven’t jumped on the bandwagon, allow me to explain. Pinterest has skyrocketed in popularity due to its easy to manage layout that is image focused. This layout allows you to scan all images or ‘pins’ quickly making it easy to bypass things you aren’t interested in and pay more attention to the things that strike your fancy. What Facebook has done is create an app called PinView that displays items from your News Feed, Timeline, friends lists and multimedia pages as small panels the same way Pinterest does. Once you download the app, PinView opens up your News Feed in a grid format. There are then buttons on the top that allow you to view content from your Timeline, friends’ profile photos, photos or videos. The app was only just launched last week but developers have ambitious goals such as the option to save favorite posts and sort content based on popularity and other non-real-time properties.

What are your thoughts? Are you going to check it out?

Speaking of Pinterest, if your as obsessed as I am you may want to check out some of these tools you can use to measure your Pinterest influence or just enhance your experience.

7 Super Pinterest Tools

  1. Pinreach- This measures you Pinterest influence by giving you an overall score. It provides easy-to-read charts and tables that show your most popular pins and boards.
  2. Snapito- Allows you to screengrab and entire website. In addition to the standard grab, the timestamped snapshot of a website option is a useful bookmark.
  3. Pin A Quote- If you highlight a block of text, it will convert it into a good-looking “quote” to pin to a board.
  4. Pinstamatic- Lets you add Twitter profile links, “Sticky Notes” and websites to your boards. It’s one to watch as it promises more content types soon.
  5. Url2pin.it- Similar to Snapito, it lets you pin a screengrab of a website (rather than just one image from that site) to a board.
  6. Pinpuff- Another “pinfluence” measurement service, Pinpuff awards you a score based on your reach, activity and the “virality” of your pins. It also gives you an idea of the value of your pins and referral traffic.
  7. Pinerly- Finally, Pinerly is currently in beta, but add your email address to the waiting list. It promises to be a comprehensive Pinterest analytics dashboard. Pinerly will graphically measure clickthroughs, likes and repins for “campaigns” created through the service, which would make it a very interesting tool for brands and businesses.

Of the seven, I think the tools that allow you to measure influence on the site are most beneficial. This can be compared to the Facebook admin page that lets you see your brand’s engagement. Being able to monitor engagement I think will really put Pinterest on the social media map for brands. Currently brands are still unsure about the platform and if it is a good idea for their brand. While I don’t think it is right for every brand, Pinterest will have a major influence on anything visual (fashion, design, DYI, Food) and I think brands understand that. The uncertainty comes in when brands are not able to measure or justify their efforts or ROI. While there is no fool proof way to measure social media ROI the option view analytics will help justify your efforts to the client/brand.

What are your thoughts on the listed Pinterest tools?

SM Secrets for Success: Social Listening & POST

This week in Emerging Social Media, we had the privilege of hearing two guest speakers. The first was James Davidson, Vice President of Digital & Community Strategy at 7Summits. Our second speaker was Matt Andrews, Social Marketing Director at Thirsty Boy.

James spoke about social business approaches, the importance of social listening via Sysomos and the 4-step, POST strategy. According to Davidson, social listening is that idea that you are monitoring the conversations people are having about your brand via social media. As I have discovered by since taking this class, there are a variety of SM platforms for people to talk about your product or business (Facebook, Twitter, blogs, you name it). With all the conversations happening out there, it can seem next to impossible for a SM team to monitor all platforms for a particular brand. That is where Sysomos comes in. Sysomos is a business intelligence tool that provides the team with instant up-dates to monitor, measure, understand and engage with social media platforms. It allows SM teams to follow all the conversations about their brand happening in blogs, social networks and micro-blogging services, forums, video sites, and media sources. Once compiled in a central location, it is easier to determine key conversations, themes and issues attracting the most attention and when those conversations happened. Teams can then compare and contrast data month to month or week to week and make appropriate adjustment to their SM content calendar. After being mentioned by both Davidson and Andrews this week, our previous speakers and our teacher, Dennis Jenders, I think it’s safe to say that Sysomos is a necessary tool for working in SM. Its such a shame our class can’t get any hands on experience with it…

Speaking of SM content, Davidson revisited the POST method, which our class learned about in the beginning of the semester. Since being brought up a second, or possibly third time, I felt it appropriate to address.  POST is an acronym for a four-step method for launching a collaboration strategy and it stands for People, Objectives, Strategy and Technology. Every business should follow these steps before jumping onto SM.

1. People- Start by understanding what employees actually use and need today. Don’t guess and don’t rely on anecdotal interviews. Instead, start with a quantitative assessment.

2. Objectives-With that baseline of understanding in place, next decide what your business goals are. You will need to build a decision council that includes IT and business to help you do this.

3. Strategy-The strategy part of this planning process means mapping the business goals to specific collaboration scenarios that you can actually improve — no tools yet.

4. Technology-The last step is to figure out which technologies improve your most important collaboration scenarios. Choose cloud services if they make sense; on-premises if not. Measure the results: adoption, activity, satisfaction.

To read more about POST and some examples click here.

Hey classmates, have any of you utilized POST or Sysomos at your internships/jobs? What have your experiences been?

Foursquare, Beneficial All Around

In 2009, Foursquare, a new location-based social networking website for mobile devices, such as smartphones was launched. The app allows users to “check-in” to various locations the device finds nearby using the phone’s GPS hardware. The app lets users earn badges, receive specials and easily locate their friends. Today, Foursquare has nearly tripled to 15 million users making it by far the leader in location-based social networking applications. As of June 2011, Foursquare had about 10 million users. According to the article, How Foursquare Grew to 15M Users the key to their rapid growth can be attributed to a few applications changes made for both consumers and businesses.

  • Foursquare partnered up with Groupon to offer users daily deals that can be found in the ‘Explore’ tab of the app. This upgrade helps users find time-sensitive daily deals based on their current location.
  • The app simplified brand pages allowing anyone with a Twitter account to sign up. Brands can now promote themselves with tips and check-ins to followers on Foursquare, Facebook and Twitter.
  • The app now enables users to create tip lists, which are themed lists that your friends can view and complete. This has built influence and trust among users creating ‘tour-guides’ if you will, for particular interests.
  • Users can now check in to movies, music and sports.
  • Foursquare integrated Radar feature that sends users notifications when they are close to a place on their to-do list. Users can also be notified if they friends are getting together nearby and allows users to save places to their to-do list.
  • Klout influence, Klout is known as an important scoring model for social media influence. Now that Foursquare data is being factored into the score it strengthened the brand and gave social media users another reason to sign up.

With all the added functionality of the application what is really the incentive for business and consumers to utilize the app? For consumers it adds value to the places you visit on a daily basis with specials for loyal customers and the opportunity to compete for mayorship. It also encourages users to be adventurous and try something new based on specials found on Foursquare, tips that are left or the possibility of earning a badge. No matter where you check in, you can always see where your friends are with the possibly to meet up or see what places are trending in your area.

Business can benefit in pretty much the same way. They can offer a variety of deals specified for loyal consumers who are awarded something after X number of check-ins or they can offer a one-time discount on a particular menu item or both. No matter what the deal it will surely attract business; I mean who doesn’t love a deal! Brands can also use Foursquare to promote events, list hours and post their menu. The platform really offers a lot of opportunity for brand beyond just specials. A great example is Milwaukee’s very own AJ Bomber’s who increased sales by 110% on just one Sunday afternoon. The restaurant promoted the possibility for people to earn the coveted Swarm Badge by coming to the restaurant. Click here to read more about the event.

How do you want to see Foursquare utilized by businesses/ brands?

Ethics and Social Media

As a senior at Marquette University I’ve taken my fair share of ethics classes. This requirement, while tedious and often times boring, I believe is what sets this university apart from it’s competitors. Recently I came across an interesting article on Mashable entitled Ethics and Social Media: Where Should You Draw The Line? To refresh your memory, ethics, according to Merriam-Webster, the discipline dealing with what is good and bad and with moral duty and obligation, a set of moral principles: a theory or system of moral values.

The main premise of the article was to expose some statistical correlations made about the people who actively use social media and their behavior. The research was conducted by the Ethics Resource Center (ERC) one of the oldest non-profit organizations in the U.S. dedicated to independent research and advancement of high ethical standards and practices in the workplace. ERC’s latest report explored the possible connection between ethics and social media. They posed the question, “is technology influencing employees’ views about ethics at work?” The results were as follows:

Graph 1

Graph 2

Now I’ve always been told to take statistics with a grain of salt, the data can be interpreted a variety of ways to showcase social networkers in a positive or negative light. In graph 1, it can be said that active social networkers apparently have a higher tolerance for behavior that is considered unethical and are more likely to partake in unethical behavior. However, the graph doesn’t say that social networker are engaging in unethical behavior, they just understand that it happens. In graph 2, you could say that active social networkers are at higher risk for observing unethical behavior. Again, this does not say they are participating in it. Looking at the other set of numbers, you could say they are more likely to report misconduct, and therefore are behaving appropriately.

Looking at the two graphs it doesn’t prove anything about the correlation between social media and unethical behavior. With social media still being new in the workplace, the real issue becomes how do you manage ethics and social media? Some companies will choose to make a new policy and some won’t; but the bottom line is that your employees understand what is expected of them. Employees need to be in compliance with corporate ethics which then can be applied to any policy, including social media. The article quotes Dwane Lay, human resources director at Missouri Baptist Medical Center, who says,

‘”First of all, read the policy. Not fun, granted, but educational,”’ he says. ‘”Second, remember that if you identify yourself as a member of a company or organization, you are always on stage. Act like it. How you respond online will have as much or more resonance than in person, so either be on your best behavior or don’t act as a brand advocate.”’

In conclusion, I think that companies need to focus their efforts on corporate ethics. If the company stresses the importance of ethics to its employees and engages with them in an ethical manner, then I believe the employees will behave ethically both on and offline. With social media still new in the workplace I think the topic does need to be addressed, to make sure everyone is on the same page but doesn’t need to be belabored. People are smart enough to understand how to act. What I think it really comes down to is if an employee practices ethical behavior or not and that will determine how they are going to act on social media.

What are your thoughts?

Hello, Timeline!

I’ll admit when I first heard of the so called “Facebook Timeline” I was a hater. Words such as “hideous” and “cluttered” crossed my mind as I fought off flashbacks of MySpace. The whole reason I switched to Facebook was to get rid of background themes, music, info graphics and word art. Initially, the profile was clean and simple then slowly but surly they have continued to add more applications gradually cluttering the platform. Then, to my dismay, this past December Timeline was introduced. The completely redesigned profile page allows users to digitally document your entire life via wall posts, photos, announcements and events.

Obviously, I wasn’t an early adopter as I have just recently switched over my personal profile. Honestly, I still don’t really understand what Timeline can do for me? It is ugly and the information is positioned in such a weird way. All I want to do is post on my friend’s wall and creep on people’s pictures, is that really so much to ask? As of last week, Timeline was announced for brand pages and at that point, I knew the profile was here to stay. So against my will I jumped blindly on the bandwagon.

With all the buzz about brand page Timelines I decided it was time I join the conversation to do some research. How is Timeline going to be a useful marketing tool for brands and how am I supposed to utilize it? After reading a hand full of articles on the topic, I’m finally starting to get it and maybe even like it. Alone, the cover photo allows brands to display logos, products and showcase their  personality. The rest of the profile lets the brand tell their story and rich history by calling out milestones such as a new product launch. The whole experience becomes much more personal whether you are looking at a brand page or your friend’s profile. Additionally, the admin page has become more user friendly with an admin panel that hides and expands on command. I think the opportunities are endless for how brands choose to tell their story. The only downfall I can see are brands that are not well established or don’t have a rich history to tell. My only advice is to start digging because page administrators have until March 30, 2012 to switch before it becomes the default option.

For more on Facebook Timeline check out these articles:  Facebook Timeline for Brands: The Complete Guide, Facebook Timeline: The Complete Guide.

My New Obsession

I first heard about Pinterest was this past November when it came up in conversation about social media. My friends all raved about the platform and told me I would become obsessed with the virtual pin boards. Initially I was a little hurt that it had taken me so long to discover. The minute I got home, I signed up and waited patiently for my request to be approved. Thinking more about the platform, the concept of engaging with people though pictures is brilliant. No one wants to take the time to read a whole article, they want to get the idea right away and then come back later if they are still interested. That’s the whole reason Twitter became so popular, it’s it? But unlike Twitter, Pinterest is like picture book. It offers a variety of tabs filled with pictures that requires very little brainpower to scroll through and repin.

Once I was approved for the site, I began spreading the word like crazy and it seems so did everyone else. The knowledge of the platform seemed to have tripled over night and once the spring semester started, everyone had joined. Not surprisingly about 68% of the users are female who, like me, are looking at fashion, design ideas and planning a wedding.

The platform offers a great opportunity for retailers to post the latest fashions driving consumers to their sites to make the purchase. While retailers have seen a huge increase in site traffic due to Pinterest, it is surprising the company has not figured out how to make money. After reading a few articles on the site, they are currently only utilizing affiliate marketing, meaning merchants can drop a link to their Web stores in exchange for a percentage of sales from that link. So using Amazon.com as an example, every time someone clicks through to Amazon.com and purchases something Pinterest gets a percentage of that sale. With more brands discovering how to use Pinterest as a marketing tool, it is important to capitalize on them.

Pinterest is a fabulous site and it offers a lot of opportunities for marketers and it will be interesting to see how it continues to grow. For more about Pinterest check out the following links:  13 Pinteresting Facts about Pinterest Users  “Pinning” has become bigger then “Liking”

Call Me ‘Old Fashioned’

I signed up for Emerging Social Media without any expectations. My advisor made the suggestion, and I figured I used social media enough…why not.

After the first week of class, it hit me just how naïve I was. I had currently been using social media to connect with friends and share photos. The platforms are simple enough to use so I didn’t put much thought into what I was posting or who could be viewing it. My teacher, Dennis Jenders (@djenders), began introducing us to a variety of different platforms and sharing best practices for both personal and company accounts. We’ve had a few experts in the field speak with us including Augie Ray, Tim Cigelske and Sarah Van Elzen; while I was interested in what they had to say I could feel myself resisting the new information. It wasn’t until our last speaker, Sarah Van Elzen, that I was able to pinpoint the source of my uneasy feelings. Every expert stressed that social media is anything but a 9-5 job; it is based on communicating in real time. So I’ll just say it straight- I don’t want to lose my life!

It seems that the more I learn and realize I have to learn about SM, the more I want to disconnect myself completely. Call me ‘old fashioned’ but I look forward to going to the gym everyday because it’s the only time I don’t have my phone with me. For those few hours, I don’t feel obligated to be searching Twitter for the latest news or reading email. I am unreachable. I realize that to be successful it is essentially to surround yourself in your field. But being surrounded and having my life interrupted by SM? No thanks. I dream of having that 9-5ish job where I don’t need to take my work home with me. Again, maybe ‘old fashioned’ but I know they still exist. I want time for my hobbies, friends and family and I refuse to sacrifice my life and replace it with my job.  I’ve worked too hard at planning my wedding on Pinterest for it not to happen.

In all seriousness, I still think that the platforms are very useful and do still enjoy using them in moderation but I would never want them to run my life. I think that SM is one of those professions that takes the fun out of the platforms, sort of like a personal shopper. If I were to do this for a job, I would never want to use my personal Facebook or Twitter accounts. And for the record, I really like them, and am glad I’m taking this class because it’s showed me exactly what I don’t want to do when I grow up.

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