Celebrity Backstage Personas on Twitter: Performance Art or Artifice?

On June 4, 2013, Justin Bieber made Twitter history by becoming the first person to accrue 40 million followers on Twitter.  Like or dislike Bieber’s brand, his milestone is actually the envy and goal of the celebrity Twitterverse, and due largely in part to his construction of his backstage persona on Twitter . Continue reading


“In A Relationship” – Athletes and Their Fans

Just because we are friends, fans and follow our favorite athletes on twitter, that means we must have some sort of relationship with them, right!? Or do we just think we do? Continue reading

How Do the Top Nonprofits Use Social Media?

Education. Information. Trust.

Some of the most successful nonprofit organizations place tremendous value in these three concepts when implementing their social media strategy. In a detailed analysis of Facebook and Twitter postings of four of the top nonprofit organizations (NPOs) on social media, I found that the organizations’ writing styles and shared content all focused on educating and informing followers while trusting both their intelligence and ability to act on behalf of the organization or their cause.

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Sports Franchises Use Social Media as A Winning Proposition

On May 21, 2013 during the second period of Game 4 of a National Hockey League second round  playoff between the San Jose Sharks and the defending Stanley Cup champion Los Angeles Kings, the Kings Twitter account posted a tweet that was intended to be funny. Continue reading

Ragu Snafu: Social Media Disaster Teaches Valuable Lesson

Imagine throwing a party, you having great conversations with cool and interesting people and then some jerk pokes you on the shoulder, says you suck and walks away.  A version of this scenario played out in social media with Twitter as the party and Ragu as the jerk.  This post provides an in depth analysis of the Ragu Twitter disaster and highlights an emerging pattern from the WRD 525 blog showcasing how humanization and authenticity should be key objectives when writing for social media audiences. Continue reading

Using Silence to Protect Your Brand on Twitter? Bad Idea.

Would you hang up on a customer? Slam a door in their face? Punch them in the face? Ok, we might not need to go that far, but by refusing to engage online concerns and criticism a substantial number of college and university Twitter accounts are risking severely damaging their brand. Continue reading

How to Market Your Nonprofit through Social Media: The Basics

Social media participation is a crucial tactic for nonprofit organizations as part of their communication and marketing strategy. As a low cost marketing option, a nonprofit organization’s participation on social media platforms can result in greater exposure to a target audience, increased fundraising, and relationship building with audiences. While many nonprofit organizations have limited funds to devote to paid advertisements and additional staff, by developing and implementing a social media strategy, the organization can market to and engage the public effectively without using higher-cost advertising.* This post will address how a nonprofit can establish a social media presence as well as suggested messaging and a few basic tactics for nonprofits using social media.

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If you build it, they will come: Twitter use in higher education

Social media use in higher education is arguably in its developing stages. Where entire departments are dedicated to more traditional marketing communications — print and Web-based campaigns, highly-targeted copywriting, and market research — social media, for the most part, is an untapped resource that lives on the margins of student engagement and student recruitment. Of the more perplexing platforms is Twitter, truncating the verbose nature of academia and streaming at a rapid pace with more than 550 million active users, actual people or otherwise (“Twitter Statistics”). So the question becomes, what do institutions of higher education — as they seek to increase enrollment, promote research, gain funders, build their brand and reputation, prepare leaders and global citizens for tomorrow, and engage their communities — do to engage this audience of millions? How are colleges and universities using the platform now? And should they use it?

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