While there are all kinds of strategies for maximizing your social media brand, this Infographic from Tailwind offers ten targeted ways to optimize your virtual presence. How many of these are you using?
The Boys on the Bus was Timothy Crouse’s exposé of the pervasive pack mentality among journalists covering the 1972 presidential election, chronicling how the top political reporters of the time rode across the country by charter bus following Nixon and McGovern, living out of suitcases and reporting on the same events, day after day. These reporters knew each other, befriended each other, and respected one another, and the stories they posted to their news agencies reflected how like-minded they were in their craft. Rare was it that anyone scooped their buddies, as much as they all aspired to do so. There was little original thinking or original reporting as they crisscrossed the highways of the nation that summer of 72.
It was seminal moment in political journalism, because against this backdrop, Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein of the Washington Post began investigating a seemingly third-rate burglary at the Watergate Hotel which eventually broke open that pack mentality with a new way of thinking about and doing news reporting: investigative journalism. Their tenacity and focus eventually brought down the president two years into his second term, as checks and balances played themselves out across the three branches of the federal government and a constitutional crisis was ultimately averted. Political journalism would never be the same. Arguably, political reporting today is the legacy of Woodward and Bernstein’s innovative thinking and revolutionary work.
History lesson? Nope. Nostalgic flashback? Uh-uh. Well then, Walter, what’s the point?
The longer I’ve been around social media, the more I feel like one of the boys on the bus. The technology that is supposed to provide differentiation and personalization in an age of information abundance is demonstrating just the opposite: people are using social media to reinforce their biases, confirm their comfort zone and opt for intellectual laziness. It’s not about diversity of thought and expanding understanding. It’s about feeling good…liking our own voices and looking for others who sound the same. Add to that all the political pontificating and professional pandering going on, and an original idea or an engaging inquiry on here is a rare find indeed.
So I’m wondering out loud this morning, how long will it be til we have that defining moment, when social media stops serving as an echo chamber for our egos…when we rise above self-serving pats on the back and safety-in-numbers educational correctness (you know…political correctness among educators)? When do the cliques and commercially-anointed cohorts play out to their logical conclusion, and people realize they’re getting about as far as they would leaving a business card in the fishbowl of a favorite local lunch stop?
There’s a lot of frenetic energy and frantic bandwagoning going on, but there’s not a lot to show for it. Why aren’t more educators jumping into social media and joining us early adopters? Probably because when they peek in and see what’s going on, they make the assessment that there are better uses of their time than spinning their wheels as just another one of the boys (or girls) on the bus. And who can blame them? Sure we all can have a soapbox online. But at the end of the day, how much does time chatting on social media have any major, lasting impact at our day jobs?
If you can earnestly say that your social media time has revolutionized your work in education…not your personal status among birds of a feather educators…not your celebrity manufactured by quid pro quo commercial interests…but real, genuine work being done in the best interests of children…then I salute you. In fact, I know some of you…I hear your unique voice online and I see the tangible connections you are making with students. You stand out, pushing the envelope and asking the questions for which we need answers. Like Woodward and Bernstein, you’re not worried about what anyone else is saying or doing. You’re trailblazing where education needs to go…off the beaten path…where your important work is most needed. It is my sincere hope that your maverick spirit will eventually become a contagion, and this feel-good era of social media will be behind us.
After all, our students get off the bus to get schooled every day. Why shouldn’t we?
Reposted from Educational Leadership:
Traditionally, school communications have been all about managing the flow of information to the public and then framing the discussion about that information. Even technological advances like robo-calls and mass e-mails still constrained schools to push out information in one direction—say, to announce school closings or publish school test score results.
But in the age of new media, things have changed. Popular social media tools like YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, blogs, and webinars enable schools to maintain interactive dialogue with stakeholders. Today, the vision of school district communications is all about building relationships.
Minnetonka Public Schools, a central Minnesota district serving about 9,600 students in grades K–12, is demonstrating how to use social media thoughtfully and strategically to engage, inform, and interact with stakeholders. Minnetonka has built “a constantly evolving technology interface” to accommodate, embrace, and engage parents, teachers, students, business leaders, and all other segments of the community, according to Janet Swiecichowski, the district’s executive director of communications.
Why Do People Unfollow Brands On The Top Social Networks? Dr. William J. Ward, a.k.a DR4WARD is Director of Education Strategy at Hootsuite and the Professor of Social Media at the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University. He is ranked one of the “Top Marketing Professors on Twitter” in the world by Social Media Marketing Magazine for providing useful content and consistently engaging with followers and truly “getting it” when it comes to the best ways to use Twitter and other forms of Social Media.
What’s your favorite social media platform? Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+? How about a blog? Blogs bring in more traffic and generate more search engine hit. Consider these stats:
- 61% of consumers have made a purchase based on a blog post that they read
- 60% of consumers feel positive about a company after reading its blog
- 70% of consumers learn about a company through its blog versus ads
If those stats don’t convince you to start a corporate blog, maybe the above infographic from Quicksprout will!
What’s the difference between personalization of our Internet experience and manipulation of our access to different kinds of information? In this revealing TED Talk, Eli Pariser discusses how search engines and social networks tailor our access to web resources using relevance algorithms based on our unique, individual web histories. “What we’re seeing is more of a passing of the torch, from human gatekeepers to algorithmic ones…and the thing is that the algorithms don’t yet have the kind of embedded ethics that the editors did.” What we need, Pariser argues, is to make sure these algorithms don’t just filter for relevance…because we need to be made uncomfortable and be exposed to other points of view besides our own.
Reposted from Today:
Melissa Bour teaches sixth grade science and math, but it’s her lesson on social media that’s really striking a chord with children and their parents. Alarmed by some of the images she saw on Facebook, Bour — who works at Emerson Elementary School in Tulsa, Oklahoma — wanted to show her students how quickly photos and comments they post online can spread.
“I noticed more and more pictures were showing up that were inappropriate,” she told TODAY. “So I used a teachable moment. I got out a piece of computer paper and a green pen and I wrote a little note.” The letter, which she wrote in all caps and simply addressed to “Dear Facebook,” read in part:
“My 12-year-old students think it is ‘no big deal’ that they are posting pictures of themselves in bras or with their middle finger in the air. Please help me out by sharing this image and commenting with where you live to show these young students how quickly their images can get around.”