Social Media Important During a Crisis?

Companies are slowly stating to realize that traditional media is not the only way to respond during a crisis. When an unexpected disaster strikes the company should have a social media strategy ready to be put in place. When a customer has a bad experience they will take their frustrations out online in hopes of being recognized by the company doing them wrong or to warn their friends and family. Either way companies are more likely to be exposed when something goes wrong.

A great example of social media being part of a crisis management plan is Toronto Hydro during the #IceStormTO or #DarkTO. When the city lost power almost a week before Christmas due to an #IceStorm, social media was used to keep everyone connected. Since households did not have power to watch the news, mobile devices were handy to staying up-to- date. I for one followed @TorontoHydro and shared their messages with my family. I noticed that their Twitter Account was being managed all day and all night. They were giving advice on what number to call, fridge tips, warming centers, how there were planning on restoring power and updates on what areas the crews were working on. Even though Toronto losing power was not directly their fault, they still had their crisis hat on and also making light of the situation while being serious. They were using hashtags, connecting with people, sharing photos and using other types of media to provide and share information.

 It was great to know that TorontoHydro was bringing in workers from outside the city, giving everyone press conference updates and tips on what not to eat in your fridge. TorontoHydro would tweet about a phone line to call about service, what to do if you have power so teams know your house has power. All these tweets kept you confident that people are working as hard and fast as they can to restore power. Even when most of the city had their power restored TorontoHydro was still tweeting, it didn’t stop. It was clear they had a strategy in place to keep everyone informed on the progress. 

Yes, You Should Measure Social Media


There is always water cooler talk about how to measure Facebook interactions or how many likes you get on Instagram. People want to know if you are tracking these things and a simple, “yes, our likes have been increasing every week” based on memory isn’t enough anymore. Your boss wants to see graphs with pretty colours and fancy percentages that he/she won’t understand. But because it is in a chart it means you are doing your job. Wrong! If you can’t explain the numbers and the charts then help is on the way. There are many free and paid tools available to help you understand the results and to share them with your team.

Please note that when picking the right social media analytics tool you have to decide what you want out of the information and what will it do for you. So basically, set goals and objectives.

Free Measurement Tools   


Hootsuite: Unpaid & paid 

This measurement tool is very easy to use and is free to some extent. Using the free version you get up to three accounts, can schedule posts and search key words. Very useful for a business starting out, simple. This platform provides value because it lets you keep an eye on your brand and lets you engage with users all at the same time. Another cool thing with Hootsuite is that there is no expiration date on your free account and they have a social media training that allows you to better understand social media metrics and a certificate. I have seen Hootsuite as a preference on a few social media job postings, so it is a great platform to get familiar with.  


Google Analytics 

This tool is very easy to use when measuring your website and it has a lot of visuals. Google Analytics is simple. It tell you how many people are visiting your site, how long are they on it, where do they live, it is there first time here or not. You can see and track results on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis. It can even track traffic on your social media site. It is free and shows you what is working and what is not. 



This great tool shows you your impact on the interweb. How many people saw your post, engaged with it which is very important. These are the very important activities to measure and help you understand what is working and what is not. Another great thing about Klout is that is measures your activity on all platforms and can give you one chart that displays how well your social media team (different platforms) are working together. 

What about Instagram? Try Statistics to track your movement on the photo/video sharing site! 

With so many free tools why PAY to have your social media measured? 

Salesforce does it again with ExactTarget Marketing. It monitors all the sites and keywords you want, allows you to make Facebook ads from the site and collects data to make a chart. You can create email campaigns and tracks results, engage with social media, see insights, all for a price of course.  

Facebook Fraud.

Watched this video about Facebook Fraud which includes fake accounts, likes and some behind the scenes on paid advertising.

What does a Community Manager Do?

Last week we had to write an essay about how the community manager serves the online community and still manages to meet the business objectives. I have decided to write a post about what the community manager does in a nutshell. There is something more interesting about blog writing vs. an essay format. I think the word essay scares me. Anyways, let’s begin! 

Community Manager: Representing a company in the online world 

Here are some simple facts that will help you get a better idea of a community manager’s role. 

Principle Functions

  • the organizations voice in the community (unformal)
  • mediating disputes and conversations
  • publishing 
  • creating content!!!
  • the communities voice in the organization 
  • collect feedback

What is an online forum? 

Any social media platform people use to share ideas and discuss them. It is not limited to the classic forum style, Facebook and Twitter count! 

Mediating Disputes (negative comments)

This isn’t a full time task but everyone will have to deal with it at some point in their job.  The best thing for the community manager to do is to have a policy or tactics on how to deal with negative comments before they happen.  The role of the community manager is to act like a host and mediate the conversation without being dragged into it and making it worse. 


Enough said. Know your audience aka the community and determine what type of content is most engaging. It can be a mix of video, photos or memes. Just know what gets people talking and sharing. 

Skills & Roles

  • Share facts 
  • kill a rumor
  • answer questions beyond the 9-5 
  • provide seek peaks 
  • have experience with budgeting and marketing 
  • monitor all online conversation regarding the brand, organization or service 
  • project management 
  • knows the audience* 
  • track results/ findings which gives you ROI and can determine if goals and objectives have been met 





26% of Press Releases Aren’t Optimized for the Digital Environment

If you are taking the Writing for PR course at Ryerson this article was the main topic of our last class.

Beyond PR

PRN-Pulse-Poll_Release-Change_Feb2014 Despite the explosion of digital media and the importance of online readership and search engine visibility, more than a quarter of respondents to an informal poll by PR Newswire report they have not changed their press release tactics.

The majority of respondents indicate they are updating their approach to how they write and structure their news release content.  The most popular tactics employed are embedding links that enable readers to either hop straight to a selected web page or encourage social engagement.

Incorporating visuals – the most effective means of driving press release visibility – is also an increasing popular tactic employed by PR teams.  As social networks and search engines continue to increase their emphasis on visual content, using visuals will continue to be an important and effective tactic.

Search optimization tactics continue to stymie press release writers, largely because the rapid pace of change employed by the search…

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A Guided Tour of Facebook Insights: The Best Time to Post on Facebook

Know your audience


A Guided Tour of Facebook Insights: The Best Time to Post on Facebook
via Connect With Greg

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Let the Memes Be Ever in your Favour

See how important images are in the world of the interweb with Olympian Ashely Wanger. After she made an angry face when receiving her score the ‘face’ is seen in photos other then skating. 



See more of these memes on Mashable 


Tagged , , , ,

For the Love of Content

There is a science around managing  social media platforms and creating a website. Most people I come across laugh at the fact that I manage non- profits different social media pages and think I do nothing all day. I guess they don’t know content strategy is a real thing. What better way to get your attention by showing you some infographics!! Side note, I love infographics but only when they are done correctly and designed beautifully. 

For the love of content, let’s begin the debrief from blah to beauty.


Lettuce: Knowing the culture of your business will help you figure out what ‘tone’ your content will have. Figuring out the tone will determine what platform the media or text will be shared on.

Pickles: Who is your targeted audience? Do videos get more views on your website compared to the last blog post (which was a novel?) See what creates engagement/ conversation to keep the audience engaged.

Cheese: Hmmmm….. keywords. I do think keywords are important in some cases such as #Hashtags. As for websites your brand is the keyword or the type of service you provide.

Meat: Very well put, the content strategy is you telling a story to your followers. In the notes of this weeks topic there is a section about Writing for Social Media that is the beef or vegetables to the burger. Let’s review.

1. Don’t post LAME facts

2. Use more then just words to tell your story. Everyone likes picture books

3. Avoid being obvious that you are trying to sell a product or service

4. Write like you are starting a 2 way conversation between you and the audience

5. Having a personal vibe is better then being uptight and corporate

6. Remember the topic is your brand at the end of the day

Sauce: Target audience which should be your second priority after you determine what your goal is.

Bun: The platform which is very important when deciding how to share your story with the audience.

Overall I think this inforgraphic could use a little work. Visually I’m not impressed and I think it could do a better job of explaining content.


To view it bigger, look here!  I do not want to pixelate the image. 

Big Idea:  Brainstorm! YES, and do not forget to set a goal and figure out what your intentions are.

Communication Platform: This is very important and sometimes I think overlooked. For example when I see really long Facebook posts that no one is going to read. Something like that should be shared on a blog or if it has a corporate vibe then the website. I also like how this point brings up the different types of visuals such as video, tweets and even an infograph. As well as choosing more then one option or a combination. What is so amazing is how the different social media platforms can all be interconnected and engaging for the audience.

Audience: Again, the audience is a little to far down the list at number 3. Maybe it is cause I think much like a marketer but I still think the audience should be somewhere around the BIG IDEA!

Delivery: Determine what platform, how the content will be organized and integrated.

Content: 6 Basic Types of Content (from our notes) & Upload                                                 1. Will it be original?                                                                                                                     2. Who will be creating the content? You, an internal or external team and what is the style of content everyone is creating?                                                                                                     3. Using content that requires a licenses?                                                                                   4. Is the intent to create conversation between audience members?                                           5.  Presenting the content in a strategic way and well organized                                                 6.Aggregated

Side note: notice the QR Code at the bottom? Why would I scan the code when I’m already on the computer. Another example of QR Codes being used ineffectively


I’m sad this won’t appear bigger but see every detail on GOOD content strategy here, on Social Media Today! 

Part 1. What I like about this image is that it is more informative on the type of content you want to create. It breaks down the different styles content such how to be informative, entertaining and different in a fun way. The little boxes are you goals you need to think about. The image continues to guide us in creating a solid content strategy and makes us question if the strategy is visually attractive, relevant to the brand and convenient for viewing.

Part 2. I wish this next part was a little easier to read but it reminds us of the type of content we are looking to create and what other departments need to be involved. As well as reminding us that the content must fit the brands identity or else the content will seem unorganized and leave the viewer confused. An important question is raised, what media is being used? What are the platforms and a big one, mobile device or desktop?

Part 3. Common mistakes, quality metrics and most important evaluation.

Well that sums up this weeks post For the Love of Content. Take a look at this traditional infographic style that is informative and makes stats fun!


Content We Love: Writing Content from an Audience Perspective

WOWOWO!! This is kind of cool! It is like the next Facebook, possibly! Sadly, the music doesn’t do the short video any good but take a look.
Location Based Services, Foursquareish, profiles, chats & more!

Beyond PR

In this week’s Content We Love, SocialRadar is launching a new mobile app that takes social networking offline and into the real world. By combining geo-location data with the user’s social networks, the app aims to rid its customers of the social anxieties that come with feeling alone in a crowded room (or feeling bored in an empty one). The press release for this announcement, titled “SocialRadar’s App for iPhone Gives You Real-time Information About the People Around You,”  is reflective of the company’s desire to help their audience. It is formatted with reader’s needs in mind, and showcases a great example of how to generate quality earned media by writing content from an audience perspective.lil tweet

  • The release begins with a headline that prioritizes social interaction. In less than 100 characters, it tells a complete story of what the reader can gain from this product, followed by a sub-head…

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3 Ways News Content is Evolving

What are the chances, when our next assignment is all about content on the web. Looking forward to the next assignment now!

Beyond PR

PRN Pulse_MEDIA-ContentEvolution_Jan2014-hires

Digital and social media are changing more than how and when we view news – they’re changing the very nature of the news we consume as well, suggests an informal poll of media professionals we fielded via LinkedIn and Twitter.

Most notably, fully half of respondents indicated that trending topics may get more news play than the actual story warrants, as media organizations vie for valuable online audience share.    You see evidence of this phenomenon everywhere you look – Pharrell’s hat’s Twitter presence is making headlines in venerable outlets, as are the leaked Super Bowl commercials. Think about that for a second if you will: major news outlets are covering television commercials.

In addition to subject matter, the digital media environment is forcing outlets to up the ante in terms of content format.  Forty-two percent of of respondents indicated that their outlets are using more content formats than ever.

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