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The Web Never Forgets

I recently read an article called "Think Again Before You Post Online Those Pics Of Your Kids" that made me think. It made me think A LOT about what I have been posting about my family and friends on social media. How many of you have posted a funny video of your kids that might be slightly embarrassing for them, but it is just too good not to share? I know I have. But what I have failed to do is to think about how many will view and share that particular video, and for how long it will be available for anyone and everyone to see.  The carbon footprint, so to speak, that we leave behind of ourselves on social media is there for the public to view forever! That ‘fun’ video you posted of your kids will be on the internet for your kids’ friends to view forever, even when they are teenagers and most likely do not want anyone to see it.

In trying to keep my kids safe, I have always been very concerned with what my kids share on their preferred social media platforms (which, incidentally does NOT include Facebook). I often tell them that what they post will be there for an eternity. I have put down a long list of ‘rules’ of what is okay and what is not okay on their social media; there can be no indecent photos, no bad language, no mean comments, no bullying, no connecting with strangers, no rude comments about myself or their dad, and he and I both have to be a ‘friend’ of theirs, so we can keep tabs on their social media activities. But in all honesty, I haven’t given much thought to the longevity and potential reach of what I post on social media. Of course, I don’t post anything about my kids maliciously, but rather to share what is going on in my life, which includes not only my activities but also those of my kids. My family lives in Europe and it is an easy way for me to connect with them and vice versa for them to see what is going on in my life here. But here is the thing: How do my kids feel about what I post about them on social media? I am embarrassed to say that I have never asked them…

Social media hasn’t been around that long (Facebook started in 2004, about the time when most current middle school students were born,) so it is hard to say how growing up on social media can affect your kids’ privacy and security. However, it’s time to consider the issue seriously. What we as parents post on social media about our kids shape their online image, which is there to stay forever. My daughter turned thirteen in the fall. As any other young teenager, she is concerned with her image and wants to be portrayed in a positive light whether it is on my social media or at school.

After reading that article, we decided that it’s time we sit down with our kids and draw up guidelines for what they are comfortable with being posted on social media. Working together on deciding what to post and what to avoid will create a mutual respect and appreciation, and at the same time teach great social media etiquette. In my household, we have set up a family meeting for this Saturday to make sure we are all on the same page when it comes to posting on our social media.

With that said – Good luck and happy posting!

Social Media Aids in Rescue Efforts

The growth of social media has been an integral part of our society over the past 10+ years. From keeping up with friends and family; to getting a new job; to finding new clients, people across the globe have found one reason or another to be on a social network. Recently, people in the lines of Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma used social media as a way to seek help during the storms.

With limited cellphone service and electricity out for thousands of people, social media came as a form of rescue by providing real-time updates on storm tracks, and a place for people to state where they were located so emergency crews could provide help.

One of the best examples of social media coming to the rescue was when a photo of residents at an assisted-living facility were shown sitting in waist high water due to floods went viral. According to USA Today, Twitter user Tim McIntosh tweeted the photo from Tampa, FL just before 9am Eastern along with a cry for help. His mother-in-law actually owned the facility in Dickinson, Texas, just outside of Houston. Thankfully, the tweet was retweeted almost 3,000 times and the residents were rescued a little after 12 pm.

 Photo: Trudy Lampson

Photo: Trudy Lampson

Also, since cellphone service was dicey during the storms, many people relied on Facebook and other networks instead of calling 911 as they normally would. Amie Swinford, an unofficial volunteer during Hurricane Harvey, was able to help those in Houston by using the Facebook group Hurricane Harvey 2017 – Together We Will Make It. "When you see that somebody has posted that they're on their roof with their one-, three- and four-year-olds and the water's up to the roof line, you have to be willing to make that phone call for them," she says. Winford, located north of Houston, contacted emergency services and sent out tweets on behalf of those who reached out in this group to help get them to safety (www.npr.com).

Harvey FB Group.png

Over the years, people have complained about Facebook and other networks being used as a platform to belt out harsh political views over and over again and to share ‘useless’ videos. It’s been refreshing to see social networks used as a true lifeline for those desperately in need of help. As a social media manager, you tend to think you’ve seen it all. In this case, I welcome that ‘in awe’ feeling of seeing what communities can accomplish in a time of need in the future.

The Day That Brought Us Online Together

I was 16 when it happened. Barely a senior in high school. Most kids didn’t have their own cell phone yet. Social media didn't yet exist. The digital languages that would help our country cope, grieve, and grow together had not yet been invented.

Millennials were supposed to be defined by January 1, 2000. But to us, that was mostly a dud. Instead, a year and a half later, we found ourselves united by a common challenge:

Learning how to inherit and lead a post-9/11 America.

The last 16 years have included their fair share of troubles and hardships, but they’ve also given us new beacons, new ways of communicating, and new tools to bring us closer together. Social media was largely invented by Millennials who came of age in a post-9/11 national environment. The old ways weren’t enough for us; we wanted to connect to everything and everyone that we could.

The advent of social media
was our generation’s official response to 9/11

Some say the rise of networks like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram was inevitable; that these were simply the next steps in our inevitable technological evolution. But today, looking back at 2001, almost exactly half my life ago, I see bigger dots on the map, and the strings that connect them.

Patriotism wasn’t enough for Millennials. We joined our fellow Americans as they stood with solidarity in the face of terror. But we needed more—we needed nothing short of a societal breakthrough.

In 2004, Facebook came to colleges around the country. No one seemed to realize it at the time, but the advent of social media was our generation’s official response to 9/11. In a world threatened by those who would tear us apart, Millennials chose instead to build networks, communities, and limitless connections. And that building happened faster than anyone could have anticipated. Despite the institutional voices telling us not to trust certain kinds of people, we ventured outside our own comfort zones every day to discover the abundant diversity of faces, stories, values, and expressions in our world.

Now, in 2017, it’s becoming clear just how many people in America—and elsewhere—are committed to a culture of curiosity and connection. Social media hasn’t just given us memes and selfies. It’s given our world’s citizens a base level feeling of inclusivity. It’s a place where everyone belongs.

And it’s not just personal users who have quickly evolved to be more accepting of others. Brands have joined in over the years, and are now in many ways leading the charge.

Here at Thin Pig we’re lucky enough to work with businesses like Hyatt, whose #WorldOfUnderstanding campaign truly understands the importance of inclusion (watch their awesome Super Bowl commercial below). They show us the benefits we all experience when we embrace our common humanity, regardless of borders or backgrounds. They create a real sense of interdependence, a dynamic in which we all truly depend on each other in both large and small ways.

Now, thanks to social media, those values have been forged into American history, and our potential to create the peaceful future we want grows stronger every day.

Today we honor all those we lost, all those who have kept us safe, and all those who will soon join our social network.

A post shared by Hyatt (@hyatt) on

True Life: I am a Social Media Manager

It's that time of the year when everyone is on vacation, so we decided to give our blog writers a much deserved time off and repost one of our top performing blogs of the year. We hope you'll enjoy it, and have a great rest of the summer!

For whatever reason, it seems as if the most commonly asked question when meeting someone for the first time is, “What do you do?” I usually respond, “Well, I am a Social Media Manager (SMM).” This is usually followed by the person responding with, “Oh! You get paid to sit on Facebook and Twitter all day?” Sound the record scratch! While this is partly true, marketers and numerous brands/companies know that this is just scratching the surface. While social media is an ever-evolving industry, it is obviously so much more than just “posting to Facebook and Twitter.” In any given day, I wear many different hats.

In a typical day, I converse with clients and coworkers, create engaging and valuable content, analyze analytics of ad campaigns and content, research and plan future posts and campaigns, and monitor the different networks for engagement and mentions on behalf of my clients.

I recognize that the social media world is confusing for business owners to navigate when they have been focused on their trade for much of their career. Social media for businesses came quick and has turned into a whirlwind of an industry. The thing that some business owners may not understand is that being an SMM is a real, full time position that goes far beyond posting current specials and commenting when someone likes their status.

Creating and analyzing ad campaigns are two of the largest responsibilities for a SMM in more ways than one. Building campaigns properly to get traffic, engagement, and to hit goals, is crucial. My clients have entrusted me with their money and expect that I will use my industry knowledge to gain them results. Once the ad is created, I’m not on coast-mode. I optimize throughout the month to make sure it’s delivering, and if it is not, I tweak it.

I review this information and create content with the goal of resonating with the type of people that are responding to the different posts and ads. My clients provide me with photos and specials they have going on to align with their advertising goals. I also keep an eye on local events that may attract people to the area because my clients are in the hospitality industry.

When I’m not focusing on ads or creating content, I’m monitoring the different social profiles that I manage. I engage with the followers and answer any questions that get directed to the brands. This is one of my favorite parts of my job. It is exciting to see when my content has been a success and the positive feedback that my clients receive. It is also beneficial for me to see when content doesn’t generate any form of engagement. This lets me know I need to try something else in the future.

All in all, I am in a field that is constantly evolving and requires a lot of detail, research, and thought. I consider myself to be a part of the small percentage of people who are paid to do something they are truly passionate about. Like everything else, it is not always rainbows and lollipops. There is responsibility and even liability of speaking on behalf of a brand. I look forward to this challenge, amount of responsibility, and sense of purpose I am embarking on as a newly hired Social Media Manager at Thin Pig Media.

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Facebook Reactions: Friend or Foe?

Many of us use reactions to express how we feel about a certain post or ad in our Facebook feed, when texting our friends, posting on Instagram, or even when we send a Snap to our friends. Since Facebook Reactions were first introduced eight years ago with the thumbs up ‘Like’ button that later expanded with the ‘Haha’, ‘Love’, ‘Sad’, ‘Wow’ and ‘Angry’ buttons, these little icons have fast become a permanent fixture in the way we communicate on social media. In fact, it seems we have so many bottled up emotions to share that since Facebook first launched Reactions, we have used them over 300 billion times, totaling a whopping 800 million uses each day! 

The Facebook algorithm determines what content users see in their feeds at any given time. However, understanding Facebook’s algorithm is a bit of a science. Fortunately, in the last few years, Facebook has begun sharing more about how their news feed algorithm works, what it favors over what it doesn’t, and what it means for brands. Speculation by users finally got Facebook to admit that using Reactions impacts the way a user’s news feed looks. Furthermore, Facebook’s algorithm seems to focus more on the ‘Love’, ‘Sad’, ‘Angry’ and ‘Haha’ Reactions over the ‘Like’ button, allowing these little icons to decide what will appear in a user’s feed.

Over the past year we’ve found that if people leave a Reaction on a post, it is an even stronger signal that they’d want to see that type of post than if they left a Like on the post. So we are updating News Feed to weigh reactions a little more than Likes when taking into account how relevant the story is to each person.
— Facebook quote via mashable.com

Although Facebook says all Reactions are currently looked upon equally, the ‘Love’ Reaction makes up more than half the Reactions shared. So how can brands use Reactions to their advantage? Through Facebook’s Reactions algorithm we have learned that women use Reactions more often than men, Wednesday is the most popular day for sending reactions, and that people are more likely to use 'Wow' for GIFs, shares, images and videos.

While Facebook continues to work on its algorithm, one way for a brand to ensure social success is to listen and respond to users’ reactions. After all, Reactions on Facebook are probably the best way to analyze your users’ sentiment. Good luck harvesting success using Facebook Reactions, and don’t forget we are only a call away should you require help managing your social community.