Tag Archives: social media

Social Media during #Sandy

Hurricane Sandy swept across the Northeast last week and demonstrated both the positive and negative effects of social media during times of tragedy.  Though becoming a valuable outlet for family and friends to stay in touch due to limited cell phone service and lack of electricity, social media also showed its “dark side” during this powerful storm.

Hurricane Sandy Shows Dark Side of Social Media explores the negative side of social media during Sandy.   False information spread like wildfire over social media outlets.  A twitter post that the New York Stock Exchange was flooded with water caused controversy after CNN incorrectly reported it.  CNN made an on-air correction and responded that the information came from New York City media outlets that they believed were credible.

As well “newsjacking” occurred when companies tried to use the storm to their benefit.  According to the article, “American Apparel sent out an e-mail blast for a 20% off sale for people living in the affected states, with a tagline that read, ‘In case you’re bored during the storm.’”

Fake Hurricane Sandy Photos circulated over Twitter and Facebook feeds that were photoshopped or taken from another day.  Photos included soldiers standing in hurricane conditions at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, clouds over Manhattan and a flooded McDonalds.  In reality, these images were incorrect depictions of the hurricane.  Social media users shared these powerful and intriguing images without checking the sources.

I believe that the social media mishaps that occurred during Hurricane Sandy have taught us the need to check information and sources especially in times in tragedy.  As well, “newsjacking” or companies using these tragic events to their benefit does not reflect well on their image.  Instead, social media outlets should have been used to spread useful information and support for those affected by the storm.



Let Foursquare Choose Your Next Dinner Date

Foursquare is a social media outlet that enables you to share where you are with friends. However, according to the article, Meet The New Foursquare, The One That You’ve Helped Build And Continue To Power, Foursquare is providing new services to its users past the typical “check-in” that it is known for.

Foursquare now suggests restaurants, coffee places or places to get a drink based on your location with such criteria as ‘places I haven’t been to,’ ‘I have been before,’ ‘my friends have been to,’ and ‘with foursquare promotions.’  With a screen that is almost a hybrid of Google Maps  and Yelp, this improved Foursquare offers a new “explore” experience for users.  According to the article, this improved version of Foursquare opens the doors to new opportunities for monetization and more users.

I personally do not have a Foursquare account but think that with these new changes, I am open to starting a new account.  In the past, with check-in features on Facebook, Instagram and other social media outlets, I believed that Foursquare was somewhat unnecessary.  However, with these enhanced features, I think that Foursquare would be a useful application to have. An avid fan of Yelp, I am constantly looking for new places to try and the “explore” feature further simplify the process.

So what does this mean for social media?  I feel Foursquare has targeted in on what to make them stand out in this ever-changing and competitive environment of new media. New media outlets must constantly look for new ways to improve features and distinguish themselves as technology continues to advance. As well, I feel like this is an opportunity for Foursquare to acquire new users which is important to promote growth.  Today social media outlets must look for ways to broaden their target audience in order to further expand and remain competitive with other outlets.




Social media has played a major role in the 2012 Presidential Campaign.  Twitter and Facebook have served as platforms for people to openly express their viewpoints on both Romney and Obama.

Social media activity during the Democratic National Convention and Republican National Convention soared, but was still outdone by the Presidential Debate.  The Presidential Debate was the most tweeted event in U.S. political history.  The debate produced a record-breaking total of 10.3 million tweets in 90 minutes. The moments that created the most Twitter activity included:  moderator Jim Lehrer responding ‘Let’s not’ when Romney requested a topic, Obama joking that, ‘I had five seconds’ when Lehrer gave the time limit, and discussion about Medicare and vouchers. Also, Romney’s “Big Bird” comment became a trending topic.

Fox News said that Romney was the debate’s winner in terms of Twitter activity.  There were 47,141 tweets mentioning Romney and “win or winner” in comparison to 29,677 tweets mentioning Obama and “win or winner.”  Romney was also tweeted more in key states including Florida, Ohio, Nevada and Colorado.

The day after the debate trending topics on Twitter include #ForwardNotBack, #debate2012, and Romney.  I was surprised that “Obama” wasn’t a trending topic as well.  However, after doing some research I noticed that the “Romney” trending topic also included “negative” tweets such as “Romney gave ‘a very vigorous performance but one that was devoid of honesty,” “Fact check: Romneys debate performance was filled with fiction and falsehoods,” and “Romney told 27 lies in 38 minutes last night, no wonder I couldn’t keep up.”  So is this to say that Romney “won” the convention in terms of social media?

During the debate, Facebook and Twitter news feeds were constantly updated with new statuses and tweets, often quoting the candidates. People publicly displayed their political views to their friends and followers.  Social media has opened the doors to a second debate among friends and followers.  People are able to comment and like eachother’s statuses about the debate.

However, years ago people often kept their political views to themselves as it was a “taboo” subject.  No one asked who you were going to vote for.  Today through social media you gain an idea of who the person is going to vote for based on their tweets and Facebook statuses, which is supposed to be a personal decision.

More importantly, are trends in social media an indication of who is going to win the election?  I guess we will have to wait and see.


Twitter For Dummies

This summer was the first time that I truly realized how behind on new media I was.   Don’t get me wrong- I love Facebook  to connect with friends while I am away at school,  upload photos to Instagram on a daily basis and update my LinkedIn for job opportunities,  but still find the numerous platforms of new media around us unnecessary.   However, I do realize that new media it is an important aspect today in the worlds of public relations and communications which is why I chose to follow this industry over the semester in order to have a greater understanding of this ever-growing phenomenon.

Interning this summer at an e-commerce that prided itself on their social media and technology, my company was up-to-date on every new media outlet to reach their customers and audience.  Our social media intern was a wiz at every form of social media, which sometimes even became annoying when she would need to “check-in” wherever we would go on foursquare.  As a PR intern, my supervisors told me to create a Twitter  to follow brands and media outlets that we worked with to get a better glimpse into what our audience was currently working on and saying.  They were surprised that as a college student and more importantly as a PR major, I didn’t have a Twitter.  Reluctantly I created a Twitter but only used it to “follow” people rather than actually to “tweet.”

I am currently taking a Social Media for PR class at Penn State this semester which has really taught me to recognize the importance of the various forms of social media including Twitter.  I previously never thought about using a Twitter because I already had a Facebook and wondered if people actually cared that much about what I was saying or doing.  One of my first assignments was to “tweet,” “@reply,” “retweet,” and “follow” an exorbitant amount of times in one week.  This really forced me to face my fear of “tweeting.” Now that my assignment is over, I have seen myself appreciating Twitter and continuing to use it.  I have started following various people and companies in the public relations and social media industry who provide useful links to articles and create meaningful topics for conversation.  Twitter is also a great way to stay up to date on the latest information with its constantly updating news feed.  I am still figuring out the proper Twitter lingo, but I hope to continue to strengthen my Twitter skills which will help me later in the public relations field.  I think that for a public relations professional, learning the different social media platforms is important to connect and interact with your target audience.

So “follow” me, “tweet” at me @kimschmohl.