Blog Pick of the Week: Listening & Engagement

Image Credit: Melvin Gaal, Flickr
Image Credit: Melvin Gaal, Flickr

I’m perpetually behind. This college prof gig is the most rewarding AND the most demanding thing I’ve ever done. But today is a new day.

My digital students were given the following mission:

Social media monitoring is one of the biggest missed opportunities for businesses today. Also known as social listening, it involves monitoring what people are saying on social media about your business and the issues that affect it. This allows organizations to identify opportunities as they happen and reach out proactively rather than reactively.

Identify a current issue where an organization’s listening and engagement on social media (or lack thereof) has or could potentially impact their reputation. Propose a positive response by the brand.

I enjoy reading all of my student blogs, but here’s my top pics. Enjoy!

Engaging or Imploding?

By Brittany Lee

Twitter is hard. Believe it or not, there is a right and a wrong way to tweet. And while some people get it, others definitely don’t. I think I’m a really funny tweeter – usually because I’m not afraid to tastefully laugh at myself. Granted, I try REALLY hard, but I think I’m hilarious.

There’s just something about making people chuckle that I think is really rewarding.  But I think in a quest to adequately target and entice a young and spry audience, American brands have taken to Twitter in a way that’s – well – bad. Engagement is great. Actually it’s more than great. It is so, so, so, SO important. But humor is so sensitive these days that it’s important to really dissect your jokes before you post them online.

Read more.

Nicole Arbour and Her PR Nightmare

By Kelly Kingston

Last week, Canadian comedian, musician and dancer Nicole Arbour posted a Youtube video titled “Dear Fat People.” The comedian posts many “rant” videos, where she takes a current issue and voices her (typically offensive) opinion. She started gaining popularity when her “Dear Instagram Models” video went viral on Facebook with people praising the harsh truth she spoke. But “Dear Fat People” went viral for another reason, a very negative one.

When a comedian pokes fun at someone who CHOOSES to do the belittling behavior, like posting racy photos on the Internet, people can laugh. But when a comedian chooses to poke fun at someone who has health issues out of their control, people will get mad.

And they did.  Read more.


Is the Local Post Office Redundant?

Death to snail mail?

So, I’m the first to admit that I pay as many bills online as I possibly can. Every bill is automatically paid just before it’s due so I get as much interest on my hard-earned money as I can.

In fact, sad to say, I’m guilty of being delinquent on bills that can only be paid by a physical check.

I don’t even know where the closest post office is. One of my co-workers asked me for a stamp the other day and I had some that were probably circa 2009. The entire office had a good laugh at my expense. The fact is, I don’t like snail mail.

I shred all junk mail, and all those credit card companies that send pre-approved offers get their entire mailing returned ripped in half and folded neatly inside their prepaid envelope (mean, aren’t I?).

So when faced with the challenge of sending THREE pieces of mail today, I asked the checker at my local United if I could get stamps at the customer service counter. She not only said “yes,” she had them right there in her register. Wow.

Maybe I’m being naive, but then again, maybe I’ll never know where my local post office is.

Am I crazy or has the death knoll sounded for the US Postal Service? Will anyone remember what “Going Postal” means in a few years?

Social Media Drives Traffic

According to a a new study release by the Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism, Facebook is becoming increasingly important as traffic sources of mainstream media outlets.


For five of the news Websites studied here, Facebook ranked as the second or third most popular driver to their content. At the top was, which derived 8% of its traffic from links to content posted on Facebook. At the low end were, and the local aggregator Topix, which each derived 1% from Facebook. The New York Times was near the higher part of the spectrum; 6% of its traffic came from Facebook. Of the top 21 sites for which there were data, Twitter showed up as referring links to just nine. And for all but one of those nine, Twitter sent only about 1% of total traffic.

These statistics really surprised me (as in they seemed extremely low to me), so I ran some quick stats on Texas Tech Today. From January through May, percentage by traffic source:

Referrals when compared year-over-year to 2011:

So can Texas Tech really be outperforming mainstream media? Perhaps our audience wants a closer relationship with us than they do with the Huffington Post. The only surprise here is the Twitter stat because we autopost all headlines to our Twitter stream, then repost the most interesting ones. A trend to watch and a stat to improve on. Share your thoughts and stats!

Download the full comparison report (pdf): texas-tech-today-social-media-traffic