Weekly roundup of social media news & ideas: June 27-July 1, 2011

Below are some articles that caught our interest this past week:

On Facebook, Bigger Isn’t Always Better (10,000 Words): When asking how many Facebook fans you should have, consider the quality of those fans — are they participating? Are they visiting regularly?

10 Blogging Tactics That Increased One Business’ Traffic by 300% (Hubspot Blog): Using your blog as an FAQ repository and posting regularly (this business posted twice per week) are great ideas we’re planning on implementing here. What other tips have helped you build interest in your blog?

WordCamp 2011 is being hosted at Boston University. There is even an education track — check the schedule today.

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Weekly roundup of social media news & ideas: June 20-24, 2011

mugarlibBelow are some articles that caught our interest this past week:

Developing the Social Media Management Team (@Greg2dot0’s Blog): “Focus on the behavior, not the tool.” Thinking lately about social media adoption in an organization as much more than technology training; it’s a culture change. I met with Robin Lubbock of WBUR several weeks ago and he explained how he’s meeting with staff one-on-one to get them set up on social tools (because everyone learns differently.)

Tumblr Now Has More Blogs Than WordPress.com (Mashable): Nearly 20.9M blogs have been created on Tumblr. We’re currently experimenting as well. Thinking of ways we can use Tumblr to talk with students (since so many are using Tumblr for their personal blogs (and tagging Boston University.) I’m looking at similar social portals that emphasize photos & short text — even personal website builders like flavors.me, about.me and Jason Kottke’s stellar.io now emphasize foolproof signup/design and visual appeal.

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Maintaining BU’s brand identity standards on social networks

10-2088-ICESCULPT-241In last month’s BU Social Media Communicators meeting, Nathaniel Boyle of Interactive Design presented on the challenges of maintaining BU’s brand identity standards (outlined at bu.edu/brand) on social networks. I asked if he would discuss some of these guidelines here. Nat, take it away!

Brand standards can be tricky and at times seem heavy-handed. The instinct is often to do your best within the guidelines established. Despite the best of intentions, this approach almost always winds up violating the guidelines.

In order to avoid degradation, distortion, or improper spacing of the BU logo or seal, and to maintain a suite of social presences that are presentably cross-branded across the University without any confusion as to what’s official and what’s not, we have established the following social media brand guidelines for University-wide usage. Following these guidelines will ensure you’re representing the University on third-party social media platforms appropriately.

Here’s the approach you should take:

  • Consider your avatars, profile and background images to be extensions of your web presence.
  • If you do not have a visual aesthetic to your web presence, consider social your opportunity to give yourself a consistent, recognizable look and feel.
  • These are your social media accounts, so please consider the social “personality” you want your aesthetic to convey. And don’t be afraid to have fun!

To make this easier, we’ve compiled a series of themes that you can download. Each theme includes a Twitter avatar, Twitter background, and Facebook profile picture. I would recommend at least downloading one to get a sense of visual identity consistency, and also image sizes, etc.

And never forget the most important rule: DON’T use a BU logo as your graphical representation, unless it appears in a photo.

Panel Roundup: Evaluating Social Technologies: From Chaos to Strategy

Social Tools vs. StrategyThis morning, I attended an event co-hosted by Social Media Club Boston (organized by Todd Van Hoosear) and Social Media Breakfast Boston (organized by Robert Collins) on evaluating social tools. The panel addressed several points to consider (beyond budget) when trying to decide what to do after listening to social channels for mentions of your brand is no longer enough. How can we decide which tools work best for our goals? How to we decide where we should be hanging out to talk with our customers (Twitter? Tumblr? Facebook?), and once we get there, how do we coordinate internally to make sure our message and tone is consistent?

The panel included:

Some of the key takeaways from the discussion:

Your strategy around using social tools should be solidified first before assessing which tools can fulfill your needs. Developing that strategy should first involve a good deal of listening only, and using web analytics to determine where your audience is spending the most time.

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Live from SXSW Interactive 2011

SXSW_2011What does the future of technology, social media and the Web look like? What are the trends and tools we should be mindful of in 2011? How can we separate the helpful from the hype? Most of all, how can we use this information to our benefit here at Boston University?

I’ll be covering South by Southwest Interactive 2011 (SXSWi) over the next several days. Visit BU Now for a preview and introduction to the happenings in Austin, TX.

Social Media Communicators Meeting 02/15/2011: SCVNGR, BU Culture Shock, Facebook Pages, Upcoming Events

On Tuesday, February 15th, the Social Media Communicators met to discuss several topics, including SCVNGR, the BU Culture Shock blog, updates to Facebook Page functionality, and upcoming events.


Michael DeFillippis (COM’13) came to the meeting to speak on behalf of his teammates (Alex Shuck and Rachel Sprung) and their experience with the SCVNGR Beantown Challenge. From February 7th through the 14th, the Boston University community was invited to participate in various challenges at campus locations (the GSU, Warren Towers, SMG) for points and prizes. For the campaign, they:

  • Created a Facebook event page
  • Enlisted the help of 17 “student ambassadors” from the Dean of Students office, who helped to spread the word
  • Launched a fan page for Dean Elmore
  • Created an initial batch of 15 challenges
  • Used #BUSCVNGR to spread the word on Twitter

During the campaign:

  • 113 participants played (this number does not include the team or ambassadors)
  • An average of 22 challenges were completed per person
  • New challenges were rolled out to keep up with the demand of new games

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Photography Seminar, Part II: Equipment and Software Recommendations

photoequipmentOn Tuesday, January 25th, the Social Media Communicators met with photographer Katherine Taylor for a session on taking better photographs. She provided some recommendations for equipment, which we’ve included below. Please note: Product recommendations are from Katherine Taylor and do not represent preferences of Boston University.

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Photography Seminar: Taking better photos at your events

CamerasOn Tuesday, January 25th, the Social Media Communicators met with photographer Katherine Taylor for a session on taking better photographs. Many members of the group are tasked with creating new content for their websites, including going to department events and taking shots of speakers and attendees. We thought it might be a good idea to bring in a professional photographer to provide some tips for the group. Katherine provided some suggestions on making the best of your environment, as well as some things to look for in composition:

Tips for Event Photography

  • Pack well: Extra batteries, memory, and accessories all in one place, easily accessible
  • Create a shot list ahead of time: Group shots, details of the event. Make up the list beforehand so you don’t find yourself missing shots afterward
  • When you arrive, assess the scene: Lighting conditions? Where will subjects be? Determine approximate camera settings ahead of time and test, test, test

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Recap: The Science of Blogging, a webinar by Dan Zarrella and HubSpot

Recently, some members of Public Relations sat in on Dan Zarrella’s webinar, “The Science of Blogging.” Lauren Davalla has some key takeaways that she’d like to share with the group. You can view the slides below.


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Social Media Communicators Meeting 12/14/2010: Blogging and Blogger Relations

blog_tagcloudOn Tuesday, December 14th, the Social Media Communicators met to discuss blogging and blogger relations. Lauren Davalla and Thomas Testa of Public Relations presented on a proposed blogger relations campaign, including how to find influential bloggers in both broad and niche subjects and how to pitch bloggers productively and respectfully. They then opened the floor for discussion.

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