Tag Archives: Facebook

“Throwback Thursday”—a good tool to engage your audience

1 Dec
Source: nothingstill.bigcartel.com

Source: nothingstill.bigcartel.com

The “$5 Scarves” sign got me. As I was perusing the shelves of Forever 21 at the mall this week, I noticed that I was suddenly surrounded by a horde of teenagers. I was a little embarrassed at first because I hadn’t been in that store in several years, and I was a fashion generation removed from most of the shoppers trying to get Black Friday deals.

The deeper into the racks I delved, the more and more I saw outfits that could have come straight out of a “Saved by the Bell” rerun—thick, bulky, ill-fitting sweaters with smiley faces on the front; skirts and shirts made out of a black-and white-checkered pattern that matched the coat my mom bought in 1990, and those thick, square colored sunglasses I saw so much of this summer.

It made me realize these “throwback” looks these teenagers were reveling in were from my own fashion past, minus the aqua fanny pack. I am now in the “throwback” generation.

It finally happened.

I don’t begrudge them their retro wear anymore than I would try to talk the teenage version of myself out of replicating the cover of The Bangles greatest hits album in the late 1900s. It’s a right of passage in a way. That’s probably why “Throwback Thursday” is so popular. If I can’t laugh at me giving my best Jennifer Beals impression, what was it all about, then?

According to knowyourmeme.com, “‘Throwback Thursday’ is an Internet theme day observed on every Thursday during which people share an old photograph of themselves via social networking sites and image-sharing communities, most notably through photo-sharing mobile app Instagram.”

You’ve probably seen the hashtag #throwbackthursday or #tbt or participated through Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

“It rose to such infamy that along came #flashbackfriday so people would have an excuse to post old pictures two days a week instead of one. It’s so popular that there are over 40 million pictures  tagged with #tbt on Instagram, another nearly 23 million with #throwbackthursday and there are even over 135,000 hilariously tagged with #throwbackthursdayy,”  said Kate Knibbs of Digital Trends.

It’s more than just to pay homage to major fashion missteps or “the good old days.”

“While baby pictures are cute and can get you a lot of likes, there is much more to Throwback Thursday than just photos from way back. If you participate in the trend correctly you can brand your business and earn a lot of respect and social credibility. It also gives you great content to share on a variety of different platforms,” said Stephanie Frasco of Social Media Today.

Splash Media, a social media solutions group, posted a video with the headline—“Throwback Thursday: Rewind back to our 1st social media marketing SplashCast.”

Disney Social Media Magic posted this photo on Facebook with the caption—“It’s Throwback Thorsday!”—to promote the new Thor movie.

Source: Facebook.com/DisneySMMagic

Source: Facebook.com/DisneySMMagic

Snowbird ski resort in Utah uses the opportunity to post past pictures from the resort.

Source: slopefillers.com

Source: slopefillers.com

You can have some fun with this if you put in a little effort.


Homecoming mums go social

18 Oct
Source: hairbowblog.fifthavenuebowtique.com

Source: hairbowblog.fifthavenuebowtique.com

Drive around most Texas cities on a fall Friday night, and chances are you’ll pass by glaring stadium lights, busy parking lots full of cars, bleacher seats packed with color-coordinated fans cheering with megaphones, plastic pompoms, wearing letter jackets and bearing the sacred colors of their local team as the marching band plays in the background.

Friday night high school football has an electric energy all its own. Never is this truer than during homecoming, a right of passage for Texas teenagers.

Other than going to play-offs, the homecoming game is as big as it gets. The cheers are louder, the sea of colors is larger and homecoming mums are on full display in all their glory.

If you’re from Texas, there’s no need to describe to you what a mum looks like, but, apparently, if you’re from outside the borders, it’s a different story.

Source: my personal photo collection - junior year of high school

Source: my personal photo collection – junior year of high school

My junior year of high school, my homecoming date’s craft-gifted aunt had used three regular sized round mums to make me one huge heart-shaped mum.

Garland, bells and whistles adorned the purple, white and black ribbons that swished all the way down below my knees. My date’s name and football number were written in a cardboard star right at the top of the mum. In case that wasn’t eye-catching enough, the dang thing lit up.

There was a string of white Christmas lights powered by a battery pack that was mounted to the back of the mum, which was mounted to little me. This was more than a decade ago, so before neck or shoulder straps were used to help bear the weight.

The 16-year-old version of me felt a mixture of mortification and victory at all the attention my mum and I received.

I secretly loved that mum, even though I felt like a walking pep rally.

The rise of the Internet has taken mum-making and exposition to a new level.

It use to be that high school yearbooks and personal photo albums were the final resting place for visual archives for mums, but social media has exploded with ways to digitally share photos and videos.

There are 60 pins and 841 followers for mums on Pinterest, although the California-based site lists them under the “sports roses” category, which I’ve never heard before.

There are numerous how-to blogs and videos. One 15-minute video on YouTube has more than 60,000 views.

Tumblr, Twitter, Instagram and Statigram, house ever growing photo collections of mums of all colors and sizes.

What about the mum-makers?

Growing up, you were either related to someone who made your mum or you paid someone to make it for you. There weren’t too many options in our town. The lady who worked at one of the only two dry cleaners we had downtown also ran a side mum and garter business during football season.

Other than that, Hobby Lobby or H-E-B grocery store made more generic looking mums for a hefty price.

Now, in addition to having their own websites, mum-makers have set up virtual shop on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

I think this is a good partnering of new technology and Texas tradition to let mum-enthusiasts have their fun year round.

Lack of social media presence is bad PR call for federal government

10 Oct
Source: outsidebeltway.com

Source: outsidebeltway.com

Everyone in the broadcasting world knows that dead air is a sign of loss—loss of signal, loss of the technology and loss of control.

The abandoning of official government Twitter and Facebook accounts during the current government shutdown is like radio static in the social media world.

Going radio silent during a crisis is a big no-no in crisis communication, and PR professionals and some media outlets are taking the government to task about best practices.

“Like any successful business, the government needs to have a top notch crisis strategy in place,” said Gabe Shaoolian, CEO and Founder of Blue Fountain Media. “The worst thing to do when your customers (or in this case the American people) are upset and nervous is to cut off communications. It’s the same as telling people you don’t care.

1. Never shut down communications during crisis. It tells your employees and staff you don’t care. It also threatens the future rankings of your digital properties as well (the SEO and online reputational damage could carry forward for many months, or even for years.)

2. Never underestimate the power of the underground communications network – especially in this day and age. If you are not in control of your communications someone else will take over (namely, the unsatisfied customers or employees who take to the internet and create negative impressions  or gossip about you in a variety of ways).”

Source: abcnews.go.com

Source: abcnews.go.com

At least 11 members of the House and Senate have taken to their Twitter accounts to tell Americans who are on mandatory furlough that as long as they aren’t getting paid, they will also forgo their own salaries or give them to charity.

“The government shutdown comes with peril to both political Parties.  Both need to be savvy PR wise.  But ultimately one side or the other must prevail when that happens, a whole new PR strategy will be needed for both Parties,” said David E. Johnson, CEO of Strategic Vision, LLC.

For most people, the shutdown has only heightened their opinions of certain political players in the game. Blame debates are taking place in the court of social media.

“Social media channels are very powerful and important to us. We thrive on learning and staying up to date with the day-to-day gossip and the latest news. In this day and age, we control the social media we want to use, and block the rest of it out of our lives.  As a result, the government shutdown crisis is an example of just how big of a role social media plays in our lives. Luckily, social media comes to our rescue by summarizing the issue using very few words, something all Americans can understand, therefore making it not only addicting, but also demanding,” said Justine Barretta, of CPR Communications.

We don’t know the short and long term domestic and international consequences, yet, but social media is playing a huge part.

Who will the PR winners and losers be at the end of this? We’ll just have to wait and see.

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