Tag Archives: Social Media Today

Social media becoming integral part of weather reporting

6 Dec

If you’re not in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area, you don’t know that we’re currently under a Winter Storm Warning. We don’t get snow or ice very often in this part of Texas, but when we do, everything shuts down—government offices, transportation, schools, businesses. Everyone holes up until the weather passes.

When I was a college freshman in 2002, it meant no classes. It meant that I got to use my laundry hamper as a sled and spent the afternoon sliding down the frozen hillsides with my friends.

In 2010, it meant that I was cooped up in my one-bedroom apartment for four days by myself, while the business I worked for was closed. It meant that I watched as much “Gilmore Girls” as I could stomach and finally unpacked the last few boxes from my recent move.

Today as I look out at my snow-covered bushes, it means that I work from home. My home office is not closed for business. I’m still working. I still need to know what’s going on.

Thankfully, there are a lot of options, social media being one of the most abundant.

Screen Shot 2013-12-06 at 12.29.53 PMScreen Shot 2013-12-06 at 12.27.32 PMScreen Shot 2013-12-06 at 12.28.10 PM

“Weather has always been one of the most social of topics. Everyone has their own way for predicting the weather, and of course, an opinion about what lies ahead. However, our ideal source of information is no longer limited to traditional news channels. People are curious, and want to know what the rest of the world is thinking…and especially during weather-related events. Everyone is equally keen to learn from local accounts and individual experiences,” said Deanna Lawrence of Social Media Today.

Colleges like the University of North Texas are sending out notices not to come to class or work during inclement weather. You don’t need to sit around the TV waiting for their school to come up on the alphabetized list, and if all Dallas/Ft. Worth schools, universities, businesses and churches are being included on the list, you could be waiting around a while.

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There are even awards now for “The Best Weather in Social Media.” Texas Storm Chasers is 7th on the list.

One of the most recent examples of social media usage during a weather disaster was when Hurricane Sandy hit New York, New Jersey and other East Coast states last year.

“While Superstorm Sandy wreaked havoc along the East Coast late in October 2012, the power of sending real-time weather information and photos on social media was apparent. The sharing of information and pictures during hurricanes and other disasters helps to inform the public faster than ever before that there may be a weather danger,” said meteorologist Meghan Evans of AccuWeather.com

Don’t trust every Tweet or Facebook and Instagram photo, though.

Source: The Washington Post

Source: The Washington Post

“Social media users are transforming the information world, especially the growing legions armed with photo and video capabilities on their smartphones.

But inauthentic and/or manipulated images have emerged as a real problem.  Fortunately, new tools are available to spot these fakes, and squash their propagation before they take on a life of their own,” said Ian Livingston of The Washington Post.

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“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.

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