Thursday, January 29, 2015

Data Privacy Day Infographic - Online Data Privacy is Good for Businesses! #SmallBusinesses

As part of our role as a Data Privacy Day Champion, we also wanted to promote this infographic focused on how privacy is good for everyone, including businesses! #DPD15

Friday, January 23, 2015

Schedule Tweetchat Questions (Buffer App)

If you haven't had a chance yet, be sure to check out one of our #TxSocialMedia chats every Thursday at 8 p.m. Central Standard Time

Our team has found Buffer App to be an invaluable tool for ensuring success with our chat.  We use it each week to pre-schedule our questions, which is a big time-saver.

Take a look at our brief video tutorial below.

Find out more about creating a successful Twitter chat here and here.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Join TSMRI as a Data Privacy Day Champion for 2015! List of Three Data Privacy Day Twitter Chats

We are pleased to announce that TSMRI is a Data Privacy Day Champion for 2015! Data privacy is an important topic and sometimes it might be easy to users to forget to check the privacy policies of their favorite apps or online software on a frequent basis. 

The last time TSMRI participated in Data Privacy Day was January 2013. Here is our press release focused on that day:

This year's Data Privacy Day features a wealth of participation opportunities, especially Twitter chats (which we love). Here's a list of their Twitter chats:

#ChatDPD Twitter Chat: Things You Should Know About For your Privacy on the Go
January 14, 2015 from 3pm to 4pm EST

IBM Data Privacy Day Twitter Chat (Use #IdentityMixer to Join)
January 28, 2015 from 10am to 11am EST

#ChatDPD Twitter Chat: We Heart Privacy - Top Privacy Tips for 2015
February 4, 2015 from 3pm to 4pm EST

We definitely plan to participate in each chat! Will you join us?



Monday, January 5, 2015

Start - and keep - a successful Twitter chat (part 2)

 Hi, and welcome back! Part one on starting a successful Twitter chat can be found here.

6. Vary your questions.

Mix it up and keep things interesting! For example, a few days beforehand, have the audience submit questions or topics.

Another way to do this is to do some research on your topic. What are other people saying about it? 

Need reputable sources? Add or to your Google search words. This will ensure that your results will be limited to college and university websites (.edu) or U.S. state or federal sites (.gov), respectively.

Alternatively, you can use a mind-map of your topic to brainstorm ideas.

7. Use sponsors.

Some of our sponsors for #txsmc14.


Who says sponsors are only for your blog or YouTube channel?

Get creative and make your Twitter chat a contest one week. Ask a local business that rocks on Twitter or social media to sponsor a week’s Twitter chat and give away a prize at the end (@GranburHoffbrau sponsored a @TSMRI #txsocialmedia chat!).

This is how you build relationships with your community! There are websites that will randomly pick a number or a name for you to keep things fair., Math Goodies, and Random Number Generator are a few.

Contest ideas:
- “Bring a friend; whoever brings the most to the Twitter chat will win ____.” (Friends can be asked to Tweet @ you with the person that “brought” them.)
- “A random participant will be chosen to win a gift card from ____.” 

8. Stay connected.

creative commons licensed ( BY-SA ) flickr photo shared by Cast a Line

Throughout the week, connect with your usual Twitter chat participants. Let them know that you value their participation.

Tweet at the participants in the days leading up to the Twitter chat.
Remind them of the topic for this week. Let them start thinking about the week’s topic in advance.

Interact with your participants on the social media platform that they use most frequently. Just because they are participating in a Twitter chat, doesn’t mean that Twitter is their most used platform. Be sure you are interacting on a platform that your audience uses the most, or interact equally on all platforms that you have (Don’t leave anyone out by only using one platform!).

9. Seek and find.

creative commons licensed ( BY ) flickr photo shared by Au Kirk
Seek out potential participants.
Don’t hesitate to start a conversation with them, let them know that you enjoy their account, then throw something out about you upcoming Twitter chat. Sometimes people just don’t know how to look for Twitter chats so it helps to go out and find participants yourself.

Follow influential people in the topic that your chat is in.
Reach out and make connections. When you try to connect with influential people, research that person. Find out a little information about them and when you connect with them, let the person know that you find their tweets engaging and interesting--but only if you are sincere.

Join other chats. Don’t kill someone else’s chat by promoting your chat, but participate and connect with the other people in the chat. Afterwards you can tweet or DM them about your chats.

Lastly and most importantly:

10. Don’t get discouraged.

There may be a week or two when only three people (on a good day) participate in your Twitter chat. Don’t get discouraged; there is always another week!

Reach to more people and let anyone and everyone know about your chat for the next week.
Make sure you are interacting as the chat is going on. Favorite and re-tweet while your participants are answering questions. Don’t just schedule your questions then sit back and watch. It’s hard for people to interact with a wall; let them know that you care about their responses.

You can find out more about our weekly #txsocialmedia chat here. Here's a list of other Twitter chats.

Victoria Greer is a senior at Tarleton State University. Her major is Public Relations & Event Management with a minor in Tech Writing. She plans to graduate in May 2015. Currently, she is the Executive Social Media Coach for TSMRI and has been on the team going on 2 ½ years.

Friday, December 19, 2014

How to start a successful Twitter chat

This is the first of a two-part information session about how to start and maintain a successful Twitter chat. Enjoy, and happy tweeting!

1. Know your audience. Do your research.
creative commons licensed (BY-NC-ND) flickr photo by Singing With Light:

It is important to know who your audience is because that will help you form your questions more easily.

---Before starting your chat, ask yourself: Will my audience benefit from my chat? How?
---You want your chat to be useful and needed to attract people. If there is already a chat out there that is similar to yours, think, what would make people want to come to yours?
---How can you draw people to your Twitter chat? Giveaways, sponsorships, contests, and memorable hash tags help do this.

2. Keep it short.
Remember, you want people to share these questions on their accounts to get the word out. If you wrote 138 characters, there isn’t any room to quote your Tweet…Also, who wants to read a paragraph when questions are coming at them every 8 minutes (if your chats are like @TSMRI)? Also, you are allowed to shorten words &use symbols. If ur question is getting long, feel free 2 use symbols or shrtn words.But make sure ur question still makes sense if u shrtn words!

3. Choose a memorable hash tag.
creative commons licensed (BY-SA) flickr photo by romana klee:
Whenever a brand, company, or organization uses a long and random hash tag to promote something, it often doesn’t catch on like they hoped it would. If your hashtag is something like #VictoriaGreersTwitterChatOnThursdays or #VictoriasSocialMediaChat, consider a new one. Keep in mind that the hash tag will be at the end of your Tweets and peoples’ responses. The hash tags above are 24 - 35 characters long. This greatly limits someone’s response.

Think of a hashtag that relates to your business or organization or a product/service. If your business and chat is about social media, create your hash tag along those same lines. When your audience thinks of your business, they should be able to think of your chat hash tag too. Don’t make it hard by choosing a hash tag that is unrelated to your services or business.

If you’re in New York and your chat's focus is about social media, a possible hashtag could be #SocMediaNY or #NYSocMed. If you are in Idaho and your chat's focus is about food, try #FoodID or #RecipeID. Get creative and make it memorable!(Always search Twitter to make sure that the hashtag isn’t already being heavily used).

4. Use other (heavily used) hashtags to cross-promote your chat.
When you are creating your questions, feel free to “hack a hash tag” or throw in common hash tags. Be resourceful. If there is another chat that happens on the same day/time or that has the same theme, throw their hashtag around during your Twitter chat (Just remember: there is a fine line between hash tag "hacking" and hash tag "hijacking."). If your chat is about social media, try to hash tag #socialmedia in a question. Whatever the topic is, use related hash tags. Maybe it is travel & social
media; in which case, you can use #travel or #destination. But still remember, keep your questions short and don’t #hashtag #every #single #word (it can get confusing!).

5. Scheduling platforms are your friend.
Welcome to the fast paced world of Twitter, on top of an already fast-paced world full of family, work, and school. Pre-planning and scheduling your Twitter chat questions is a lifesaver. Research several platforms and decide which one is best for you (@TSMRI currently uses @Bufferapp, and has used @Hootsuite before).

There are several choices with various pros and cons. Here is a short list of some scheduling platforms and the social networks that they schedule to:

 Everypost: Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, Tumblr, LinkedIn, Dropbox, Email, Company Pages
A screenshot from

 Hootsuite: Twitter, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram
 Buffer app: Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+,

 For @TSMRI, we use Buffer app to schedule Thursday night Twitter chats!

 ThoughtBuzz: Facebook, Twitter

Don't forget to attend the TSMRI social media chat, which is most Thursdays at 8 p.m. Central Standard Time.  Our hash tag is #txsocialmedia.  You can find out more about the chat, including upcoming topics, here.

Victoria Greer is a senior at Tarleton State University. Her major is Public Relations & Event Management with a minor in Tech Writing. She plans to graduate in May 2015. Currently, she is the Executive Social Media Coach for TSMRI and has been on the team going on 2 ½ years.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

#Throwback Thursday - Press Release focused on the First Issue of the Journal of Social Media in Society

When this article was released, we were so proud of the debut of our first issue of the Journal of Social Media in Society (JSMS). This journal is edited by Dr. Sarah Maben (Tarleton State University - Communication Studies) and Dr. Credence Baker (Tarleton State University - Education Technology (Curriculum and Instruction).

Take a look at our first major press release about JSMS:



Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Taking Your Blog To The Next Level

How can YOU take your blog to the next level?
I found out how to do this by attending the Blog Elevated Conference 2014. If you ever have an opportunity to attend a blogging conference I would highly recommend attending this one.

If you’d like to read about more blogging tips, you can visit the Blog Elevated blog (
here). Check out the video and blog post
for some of the tips I picked up.

1. MAKE A PLAN.  Ask yourself these questions:

    • What goals do you wish to accomplish each week, month, year, etc?
    • What do you want to accomplish for your blog in general?
    • What are your long term goals for your blog?
    • How are you going to achieve those goals, and when do you want to have those goals achieved?
Make sure that you  have a very specific strategic plan to execute your blogging goals and be sure to set yourself deadlines. Refer back to your mission for your blog and establish clearly set guidelines to accomplish your desired blogging potential.

Additionally, use weekly and monthly planning tools, as suggested from Blog Elevated’s blog. Their tutorial on how to use an editorial calendar can help set you up on the road to success for your blog, and possibly save you time in the long run.

2. ENGAGE YOUR READERS IN DIFFERENT PLACES.  Ask yourself these questions:

    • What do your readers like?
    • What posts are creating a positive buzz from your blog, and how can you reproduce those types of posts? (use your insights and analytics to determine your growth)
    • What is trending?
    • What are your readers’ demographics?

All of these topics will allow
you to focus your content into pleasing material for your readers so that they keep coming back to your blog.

. Establish clear guidelines for working with brands and/or popular bloggers.

Frederick J. Goodall
, of Mocha Dad, h
as expressed several tips for working with brands. Make sure you’ve thought about and  know exactly what types of brand and companies you will and will not work with. 

  • Research brands and make sure their organizational goals align with your blog’s goals and mission. 
  • Avoid organizations and brands that may cause you controversy later on. For example, if you are an advocate for animals make sure the brands you’re endorsing are not testing their products on animals, and visa versa. 
  • Find organizations that support your mission and overall blogging theme. 
  • Be honest and upfront when working with brands and be sure to communicate your desired outcomes from working with them. 
  • Try not to endorse a brand that you are not familiar with. If possible, aim for a mission that is equally beneficial when working together with a brand.

  • What are some tips that you’ve learned from blogging? Are you already incorporating these tips into your blogging plan?

    Blog post contributed by Amanda Castillo Hicks of Fun In The Oven Blog. Amanda is an event planner and social media coach (intern) with the Texas Social Media Research Institute and an Adjunct Professor for Tarleton State University.
    She will be completing her MS in Management and Leadership in 2015. For more information, questions, or inquiries please contact Amanda
    directly at
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