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Monday, August 22, 2016

Best Practices of the Top 3 Private Universities in Texas on Twitter


In Spring 2016, one of the graduate courses at Tarleton taught by Dr. Jennifer T. Edwards (@drjtedwards) focused on the Best Practices of the Top Private Universities in Texas on Twitter.

Here is the video from their presentation (posted with permission from the students presenting in the video):

Last year's graduate classes also focused on the following topics:
- Best Practices of the Top 3 Texas Public University Systems on Twitter
- How UPS and Starbucks Communicate with their Employees on Twitter
- Best Practices of the Top 3 Texas Public Universities on Twitter
- Twitter-Based Communication to Prospective Employees on Twitter
- Best Practices of the Top 3 Texas Private Universities on Twitter


Please let us know if you are interested in the videos or research from any of the topics listed above.

- @TSMRI

The Texas Social Media Research Institute (TSMRI) is a group of faculty, staff, and students at Tarleton State University with a mission of conducting social media research; sharing social media best practices; and providing social media education for students, non-profit organizations, state agencies, school districts, and higher education institutions.

Contact us:
Texas Social Media Research Institute
Follow Us on Twitter - @TSMRI
Call Us - 254-307-8211
Join Us for Our #TXSocialMedia Weekly Twitter Chats on Thursday Nights at 8pm CDT
texassocialmediaresearch@gmail.com

Thursday, August 18, 2016

10 Insights to Reaching Teenagers on Social Media



We all know teenagers are the dominant group on social media, and yet somehow businesses and non-profits have a hard time getting them to engage on different platforms. 92% of teens report going online daily — with 24% using the internet “almost constantly,” according to the 2015 report of "Teens, Social Media, and Technology" from the Pew Research Center



The latest semi-annual audit of the Taking Stock With Teens survey revealed a shocking discovery: Snapchat has overtaken favor of teens over Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. The average age of those surveyed is 16.5 years old.


Learning how to connect with these social media users and knowing where they are online is pivotal for success in discovering the true reach of your organization.

1) Watch and utilize trends.
Keep an eye on what is going on in the lives of the younger generations. A great example of this is Pokemon GO. When a trend takes over the conversation, you should definitely get involved and learn what you can before you are behind the curve.

2) Stay relevant to what teens want.
How does your brand relate to what teenagers want or need? Get in the mindset of this generation, and let them know how you can help them. Keep your brand on the inside.

3) Listen to their opinions.
Teenagers like to know that someone respects their opinions and that they are being heard. Show them you are listening by how it affects your content marketing strategy. Shape it around them and take in their suggestions.

4) Create engaging video.
We all are aware that the more stimulating the content, the better engagement it receives. Video is where it is at now, so revamp that YouTube account and keep it fresh. Short videos are even better, whether it is on Snapchat or Instagram.

5) Join the conversation.
Don't just tweet AT them; tweet WITH them. Have virtual interactions with them, and get inside the mindset of your target audience. Teenagers will appreciate the effort put forth to actually get to know them.

6) Use their platforms.
Facebook is great for truly viral content, but are you utilizing the main platforms used by teens? Snapchat and Instagram are at the top. This can be difficult to do if your content is not generally visual; this is an issue we face sometimes as well. Graphics and video, as well as behind-the-scenes photos, fare well on Instagram. Snapchat is where your raw content should come from. Get creative!

7) Develop shareable content.
Teenagers love sharing relatable content with their friends. Whether it is something helpful for decorating that freshmen dorm, or something hilarious that makes them interject "That's me!," give them a reason to hit that retweet button.

8) Experiment with strategies.
Be brave about trying new and different strategies for reaching that pivotal target audience. Do not be fearful of creating your own memes, but also be willing to admit if they aren't working. Stay flexible. Trends turn so quickly that you may be changing strategy often.

9) Offer behind the scenes perspective.
People love seeing who is behind the curtain. Highlight your team members, and make a snapchat story about that potluck you do every other Friday. Be transparent and let them see your actual brand: the people behind it.

10) Partner with influencers.
Instagram and YouTube influencers are who a lot of teenagers look up to. These influencers are even using Snapchat as a platform to promote brand partners now. Do your research to see who fits the personality of your brand the best, and leave the rest up to them.


 By Torri Carroll | @Torri_Carroll
SSMI and TSMRI social media coach

The Texas Social Media Research Institute (TSMRI) is a group of faculty, staff, and students at Tarleton State University with a mission of conducting social media research; sharing social media best practices; and providing social media education for students, non-profit organizations, state agencies, school districts, and higher education institutions.


Contact us:
Texas Social Media Research Institute
Follow Us on Twitter - @TSMRI
Call Us - 254-307-8211
Join Us for Our #TXSocialMedia Weekly Twitter Chats on Thursday Nights at 8pm CDT
texassocialmediaresearch@gmail.com

Monday, August 15, 2016

Measurement Review: Demographics Pro

This review is part of our series on measurement tools for social media analytics.

Demographics Pro claims to help businesses grow their social media audience by using demographics that analyze, influence and target consumers. Numerous high profile businesses, including McDonalds, National Geographic, and Walmart,  use this tool for consumer demographics. Consumer aspects include: ethnicity, location, occupation, interest brands, hashtags, influencers and stats. The company is able to analyze people tweets about the company and its products, or even how the consumer responds to  campaigns.


Demographics Pro works with Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, and Vine. However, in my opinion, none of these platforms carry the advertising weight needed to make a business succeed at a high level. A good example is Twitter. USA Today reported in February that Twitter has slowly been on the decline, dropping from 325 million users to 320 million users in the third quarter. What makes this scenario even more interesting is that Facebook’s advertising reaches 65.1 percent of the global social network ad spending in 2016 while Twitter only captures 9 percent of it.

Getting started
To access this program for a trial basis, request a pro evaluation account. This process includes filling out a form with your email and your social media account, along with primary interest and sample analysis. After submitting the form, the company states that it takes one business day for an account manager to send an email for an evaluation account. For me, it took more than one try and 3-4 days.  Once you obtain approval, a you receive a 30-page report on the account you selected.  I chose Twitter.

Demographics Pro Screenshot
Screenshot of Demographics Pro.

This is a screenshot for an emailed report. This shows a breakdown of Twitter analytics with the popular show Game of Thrones. I choose to use this instead of my own account information, because of the huge amount of followers, thus making it easier to see the graphs with more information.

Analytics
The report breaks down follower analytics into graph form. Categories include basics like marital status, income levels, and country location of household. Deeper research shows followers broken down by spoken language, occupations, and their likes and interests.

The most fascinating thing is the breakdown of follower likes and dislikes. Every brand followed and hash tag used are broken down to the smallest percentage in easy-to-look-at graphs. Also shown is what influences your followers. Finally, this in-depth report includes how much time your followers spend on  the platform (in this case, Twitter) accounts they follow, and their activity and settings on the site.

This program is impressive for people who use Twitter to promote their brand or business. However, like previously stated, Twitter is no longer the rising star it once was.  Depending on your consumer demographics, other social media sites might be a better fit than Twitter.

I believe that this tool has staying power as long as Instagram and Twitter continue to have a standing in social media, and as long as the demographic you are aiming for is 30 or younger. I’m the editor of an online-only newspaper out of Parker County, Texas, and our main social media presence is Facebook because of our demographic. If we choose to reach out to a younger demographic, this program would be useful to us.

Misty Browning is a communication graduate student at Tarleton State University. You can reach her at mistyb@txdailypost.com.

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The Texas Social Media Research Institute (TSMRI) is a group of faculty, staff, and students at Tarleton State University with a mission of conducting social media research; sharing social media best practices; and providing social media education for students, non-profit organizations, state agencies, school districts, and higher education institutions.

Contact us:
Texas Social Media Research Institute
Follow Us on Twitter - @TSMRI
Call Us - 254-307-8211
Join Us for Our #TXSocialMedia Weekly Twitter Chats on Thursday Nights at 8pm CDT
texassocialmediaresearch@gmail.com

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Measurement Review: Twitonomy

This post is part of our series on measurement tools for social media analytics.

Twitonomy is an online Twitter analytics tool that is meant to provide the Twitter user with dynamic statistics. The tool doesn’t make any promises (a very smart move), and doesn’t tout any bells and whistles you can’t at least preview with the free account. So I decided to demo their free package and review my experience. Was it worth my time?

SIGN UP: 5/5 
I typed in www.twitonomy.com and hoped for something less complicated than the previous analytic sites I’d perused. This is what greeted me.
Screenshot of twitonomy's home page.

My first impression of the site: Simple. Almost too simple. But, it’s the perfect amount of bait. Just by looking at this home page I assumed Twitonomy’s goal was to appear smart and easy-to-use to both novice Twitter users and social media ninjas. There are no questions or qualifiers to fill out as you click Enter, just a request to sign into Twitter. Some people think of analytics and cringe, but this home page reassures the viewer that nothing but smooth sailing is ahead.

My account connected seamlessly, but the relieved smile on my face quickly faded as the page loaded.

LAYOUT: 3/5
The opening screen is busy.
I skim over the amicably toned text and brush aside the yellow upgrade button. Thoughtfully, Twitonomy starts you off with two streams to monitor at the bottom of the page—your Twitter home page (your tweets), and your Twitter feed (the tweets from accounts you follow). Twitonomy also offers the option to pull feeds from other users, lists, or searches--a great feature for a free service. But I couldn’t help being drawn back to the top portion of the dashboard.

Screenshot of Twitonomy



Twitonomy offers many  features, such as the “Followers Report", which promises to give the user “actionable insights,” by providing profiles of followers: their scope of influence or reach, their preferences/interests, their tweet locations, and more.  This feature alone would make me upgrade to Twitonomy Premium.

More debut features (shown below) include “Track”, “Search Analytics” and data download privileges (all data download to Excel and PDF documents).
Screenshot from Twitonomy.com

USABILITY: 2/5
On the Dashboard, access to in-depth stats about my account are either Premium Only, with limited information for free accounts. This made me want to upgrade to see what I was missing.

FREE ANALYTICS: 4/5
One of the free measurements (found on the right side of the dashboard) was a link titled “Analyze Twitter Profile.” This link opens to a smorgasbord of data. In the “Tweets Analytics” box located on the left side of the screen you find brief details of your account: how many retweets, tweets per day, hashtags, mentions, replies, links, and so on. This info is drawn from the timespan between your first login on Twitter to the present day. Clicking on an orange button that says “Modify range” allows you to change the parameters for a more focused report. However, if you are a free user and you try to mess with the date parameters of this analytical assessment, guess what greets you? The happy yellow upgrade button. I chose to keep the preset dates and kept scrolling.

Twitonomy gives you lots of graphs and charts, which is a major plus for novice users. A line graph accompanies your tweet history; an array of pie charts with vibrant colors display account analytics concerning the users you retweet the most, etc.

Twitonomy does a fantastic job of assessing all links and text for you. If you want to keep things basic but feel like a researcher while doing so, click on “Analyze Twitter Profile.”



Analytics for Twitonomy.

Following the Yellow Brick Upgrade Button. Is it worth it?
Absolutely. Twitonomy allows you to download and keep all the data it provides you. Free Twitonomy users have limited download abilities. With the upgrade, you’re able to assess and view the data in Excel spreadsheets or PDF documents.

Another important feature of this option is the Follower’s Report. As mentioned before, this tool could be leveraged by any user wishing to expand social network opportunities and possibly increase ROI on social media campaigns. The reason being this feature offers valuable insight on follower demographics and characteristics, one of the major reasons why analytics are conducted.

Lastly, these measurement tools can easily offer answers to most social media marketing key performance indicators (KPI). The upgrade is worth the low cost.
A 30-day test run of the premium package runs you $20, no strings attached.

Premium plans for Twitonomy.
One thing I am concerned with is the tool's lack of emotional assessment. An analytics tool that can’t provide sentiment analysis isn't helpful for brands wishing to expand reach. Not knowing how your audience feels about your posts keeps engagement low. (If you’re interested in basic sentiment assessment, try tools such as Tweet Sentiment, and SocialMention).

Bottom Line: 
Twitonomy is one of the perfect places to start for basic analytics. The tool gives you a surprisingly robust array of data visualizations and information. However, its limitations can be quite frustrating, and would most likely push you to upgrade. Still, for free you’re getting high-quality stats and useful information.

P.S. Check out the brain behind Twitonomy.

Amara Oji is a graduate student at Tarleton State University. You can contact her at @TheRealAmaraOji on Twitter.

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The Texas Social Media Research Institute (TSMRI) is a group of faculty, staff, and students at Tarleton State University with a mission of conducting social media research; sharing social media best practices; and providing social media education for students, non-profit organizations, state agencies, school districts, and higher education institutions.

Contact us:
Texas Social Media Research Institute
Follow Us on Twitter - @TSMRI
Call Us - 254-307-8211
Join Us for Our #TXSocialMedia Weekly Twitter Chats on Thursday Nights at 8pm CDT
texassocialmediaresearch@gmail.com

Monday, August 8, 2016

Measurement Review: TalkWalker

This review is part of our series on measurement tools for social media analytics.

Social media has become the key to any organization’s marketing strategy, but how do you track the success? Social media listening, monitoring and analysis is the other side the coin and can take your efforts to the next level by providing information that can lead to data-based decision making.

TalkWalker is a component that you can  add to your marketing toolkit. This cutting-edge, web-based data monitoring company will keep you up-to-the-minute informed on your company’s or client’s latest social happenings. TalkWalker offers a way for you to listen, analyze, then report social media information through a highly customizable dashboard.

TalkWalker screen shot
TalkWalker's home page.
TalkWalker was founded in Luxembourg in 2009 by a privately held company, Trendication. In February of 2015, a New York office was opened and Todd Grossman was named CEO. The launch of the North America office was a major step in development and assisted with the company moving forward while still striving to improve technology and service.

While competitors such as Nuvi and SproutSocial boast comparable systems, TalkWalker has a new visual listening feature that sets them apart from the rest. Visual listening is the ability to monitor, analyze or act upon visual content online and on social networks by combining image recognition technology with social intelligence.

TalkWalker Starbucks example
http://blog.talkwalker.com/en/visual-listening-marketing-social-listening/
Visual listening is a game-changer as visual content dominates online and in social media. According to a white paper on TalkWalker.com, because visual information is processed 60,000 times faster than text and can persuade consumers more easily, it is used in 66% of all social media posts. Text-only listening tells half of the social media story, by utilizing this technology you can now find images that include your logo, brand or visual elements pertaining to your business that you may have otherwise missed.  The visual listening feature along with traditional monitoring services and reporting positions TalkWalker as one of the world’s leaders in social media data intelligence.

TalkWalker pricing ranges anywhere from zero dollars for a free search to $3,000 per month based on your company’s needs, project capacity required, results needed and more. The pricing limits accessibility to the system for those of us with small marketing budgets.

TalkWalker pricing screen shot
Talkwalker screenshot.
TalkWalker seems to be predominately used by firms servicing clients instead of those looking for in-house analysis. Upon providing your email and contact details, anyone can obtain access to the free search with no credit card required.

The free search didn’t turn up any results for the small non-profit I entered, but results followed when I entered bigger brands such as Nike and Coke. Results of my search were easy to read, linked to the main media source and included metrics. However, the free search option does make a disclaimer that the TalkWalker free search is based on sample data and for full data access you can contact an associate and request a demo.

If you aren’t ready to shell out the big bucks for all the features, TalkWalker is a plethora of useful social media marketing information including case studies, white papers on the latest monitoring technology, how to guides and more.

If you are a firm or large agency that could use a boost to your social media monitoring tool belt, TalkWalker is a solid bet. You can participate in a custom, one-on-one demo of the software by visiting http://www.talkwalker.com/en/social-media-intelligence/.

About the Author
Skyla Claxton is a communication graduate student at Tarleton State University. You can contact her at @skylaclaxton on Twitter. 
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The Texas Social Media Research Institute (TSMRI) is a group of faculty, staff, and students at Tarleton State University with a mission of conducting social media research; sharing social media best practices; and providing social media education for students, non-profit organizations, state agencies, school districts, and higher education institutions.

Contact us:
Texas Social Media Research Institute
Follow Us on Twitter - @TSMRI
Call Us - 254-307-8211
Join Us for Our #TXSocialMedia Weekly Twitter Chats on Thursday Nights at 8pm CDT
texassocialmediaresearch@gmail.com

Monday, July 18, 2016

6th Annual Texas Social Media Conference - Call for Interactive Sessions and Paper Presentations​ (Deadline - July 30th)


The Texas Social Media Research Institute formally invites you to submit a workshop/paper proposal and/or to register for the 2016 Social Media Conference in Fort Worth, TX at the Tarleton State University - Southwest Metroplex campus on Friday, November 4th.
We are excited about this wonderful opportunity and we anticipate over 150 face-to-face and virtual attendees this year! To discover more information about the 2016 Social Media Conference, please click here - http://www.txsocialmedia.org/

This conference consists of SIX types of sessions:
Session Type 1 - Practical Application of Social Media (How to..) Sessions

Session Type 2 - Higher Education and Social Media (Focused on Student Services/Academic Affairs/University Marketing)

Session Type 3 - Social Media Analytics, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) (Including Social Media Campaign Development, Assessment, and Demonstrating Return-on-Investment (ROI) for companies)

Session Type 4 - Social Media and Entrepreneurship (Focused on Individuals, Small Businesses, and Non-Profit Organizations)

Session Type 5 - Scholarly Research and Social Media Sessions (Quantitative and Qualitative Approaches)

Session Type 6 - Local and State Governmental Utilization of Social Media (Crisis Communication, Best Practices, Expert Panels, Developing Brand Advocates, etc.)

Additional Information: Possible forms of submission include: panels (including roundtables and discussions), papers/abstracts, and training workshops. Complete the conference submission form (http://www.tinyurl.com/SocialMediaConferenceCall/) AND e-mail papers/panels to TSMRI (texassocialmediaresearch@gmail.com) no later than July 30th (EXTENDED DEADLINE).
If you have any questions, please contact the Texas Social Media Research Institute via e-mail (texassocialmediaresearch@gmail.com) via e-mail or telephone (254-307-8211).

The Texas Social Media Research Institute (TSMRI) is a group of faculty, staff, and students at Tarleton State University with a mission of conducting social media research; sharing social media best practices; and providing social media education for students, non-profit organizations, state agencies, school districts, and higher education institutions.

Contact us:
Texas Social Media Research Institute
Follow Us on Twitter - @TSMRI
Call Us - 254-307-8211
Join Us for Our #TXSocialMedia Weekly Twitter Chats on Thursday Nights at 8pm CDT
texassocialmediaresearch@gmail.com

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

@TSMRI - Packing Tips for a Carnival Cruise Liner

Recently, the Texas Social Media Research Institute traveled to Galveston to embark on our first Social Media Research Cruise. We had a great time and we formed three undergraduate research papers after the experience.

This post is the first of a series of posts focused on the Social Media Research Cruise Experience.

Packing Tips for a Cruise Liner
(Dr. Karley Goen - Assistant Professor of Communication 
& Texas Social Media Research Institute Board Member)


You know the daunting task of trying to figure out exactly what you are going to wear for an experience that is sure to be invigorating, life-changing, and filled with excitement, but with all of these expectations how to do you plan and pack for all these various travel expectations?

When I started off packing for my Spring Break experience, a study abroad educational endeavor with undergraduate students headed to Belize, Honduras, and Cozumel via a cruise liner, I and my fellow colleague Dr. Winslow (my cabin mate) focused on the divide and concur motif. Dr. Winslow manufactured a list of items that were suggested to bring on a cruise (i.e. toiletries, close hamper, chargers of various types, etc.), while I feverously waited until the last minute to pack and grab my items that I was asked to bring. I stayed up the night before running from one end of my apartment to the other, trying to figure out what was absolutely essential for my cruising experience. I packed countless wardrobe pieces that I thought I could separate out for various other looks, magazines to read, floppy hats, bulky curlers, a dryer and a straightener, beauty regiments I was dying to try (now that I would have some down time), you get the picture. But, as the as the hour approached to when we were meeting up on our college campus to head to Galveston, I realized that my pile that I had created, was much more impractical. I feverously rolled and stuffed all my essential belongings into my various luggage pieces and prayed that it would be sufficient for me to “walk on” the cruise ship. (I didn’t want to check my bags). I ended up with a backpack, two rolling suitcases (the size suitcase that fits in the overhead compartment on commercial airplane, and a large sized purse). Whew….if I only listened to my mom’s advice, and focused on some essential packing tips and my own travel experiences, I would have saved myself a lot of panic and unnecessary artifacts that could have stayed at home.

The average hotel room size, according to a report done by USAToday in 2009 entitled “My Square Foot-An Examination of Hotel Room Size,” the average hotel size in the United States is 325 square feet. The average interior stateroom on a Carnival cruise liner is 185 and an ocean view stateroom is 220 square feet according to the Carnival website. Knowing the living quarter dimensions within a stateroom, here are some tips to take into consideration when packing for a cruise liner experience:

1). Use Gallon Ziplocs-using Ziploc bags when packing is like using a space bag (without the cost) and compressing space with a household item will keep your garments organized. Add a dryer cloth, and your clothes will stay fresher longer.

2.) Use Tic-Tac Containers- these everyday compartments are great for bobby pins, travel sewing kits, paper clips, medication, or even your favorite spice to incorporate on meals.

3.) Contact Lens Cases-are great for organizing jewelry (i.e. earrings) for that elegant formal wear you have packed.

4.) Hard Shelled Sunglass Cases-can help with protecting iPods, chargers, jewelry (i.e. beaded or jeweled necklaces), and anything else you don’t want smashed.

5.) Old Pill Bottles-great for storing cotton balls.

6.) Lastly, stash wardrobe pieces within your packed shoes. This is a great way to minimize space.
We have all heard to wear your most bulky items on travel days, but hopefully these tips will lend themselves the next time you pack for an experience of a lifetime.

The Texas Social Media Research Institute (TSMRI) is a group of faculty, staff, and students at Tarleton State University with a mission of conducting social media research; sharing social media best practices; and providing social media education for students, non-profit organizations, state agencies, school districts, and higher education institutions.

Contact us:
Texas Social Media Research Institute
Follow Us on Twitter - @TSMRI
Call Us - 254-307-8211
Join Us for Our #TXSocialMedia Weekly Twitter Chats on Thursday Nights at 8pm CDT
texassocialmediaresearch@gmail.com
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