Facebook Group Helps Tornado Victims Get Their Belongings Back
A Facebook group is helping the victims of the massive Oklahoma tornado, which killed 51 people and left many homeless, get their belongings back
On its trail of destruction, the tornado has blown debris from houses — including people’s personal belongings and important documents — many miles away.
The Facebook group asks members to post photos of any items or documents that were blown into their yard, so that they can be returned to the rightful owners
SEE ALSO: Terrifying Eyewitness Videos of Oklahoma Tornado Go Viral
“I’m just trying to help. I couldn’t imagine losing my kids’ pictures,” Leslie Hagelberg, the group’s founder, told The Huffington Post. Read more…
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2:51 pm • 21 May 2013 • 1 note
Common excuses for crappy social media marketing
Lots of people try to convince me that social media marketing isn’t about sales. It’s about building a community, interacting with people, showing the fun
side of the brand—you know, being social and stuff.
I really want to slap them in the forehead and ask why they’re even doing it, then. Pull the plug. Stop wasting resources on it.
Marketing is supposed to influence consumer behavior, but what happens when marketing becomes a two-way conversation and the people who are in direct
contact with consumers are not thinking like salespeople? The conversation keeps going, and nobody buys anything. That’s a lot of fun, but it won’t keep
the business in business, which is an important part of business.
There are a million things we do every day that make us feel like we’ve worked hard and accomplished something. Social media is one of them. Today your
social media team connected with lots of people, and you drove conversation and awareness. People commented and you commented back, and all this activity
can be measured, even.
What about those sales? Did anything get sold? That’s when the excuses start to fly.
1. But social media is only about raising awareness—you know, like billboards.
The difference between a billboard and social media marketing is that if you talk to a billboard it can’t talk back. Billboards can’t have conversations,
answer questions, or talk you into doing stuff. They can make you aware of something, but then you have to do something else to learn more—like visit a
website, call a number, or Google it.
2. But the product is crap.
So what? Lots are. Even turds get swarmed by flies. Your job is to sexy up that turd and gather up some flies. If it’s really that bad, you shouldn’t have
taken the job. Find the right audience, and connect with them. Do your job.
3. But it’s hard to connect social media data to sales figures.
Then stop trying to do that. Just look at your numbers before you start a social media campaign, promo, launch a video, run a contest, and look at them
after. Are you selling more? If not, stop doing it or do it differently. If so, double down on it.
I run a digital agency, and my two biggest responsibilities include making sure new business is coming in and great work is going out. We rely 100 percent
on social media for our new business development, so each day when I ask myself and our team what we accomplished today, I don’t mean the details, I mean
the results. What did we do to move the needle forward for ourselves and for our clients?
4. But social media is just about building interest and demand.
Yup. Then what? Is some other team supposed to swoop in and take care of the sales part? Are you going to wait for consumers to call or email for more info
or ask where they can get what you’re selling? You have a captive audience. They just need to know what to do next. Make them not only aware of your
product or service but also aware of what they can do to get it and the reasons they should.
5. But it’s what the client wants.
Maybe the client is wrong. Listen to what the client wants to achieve more than how the client wants you to do it. If their ideas aren’t
working, show them the pie charts. People love pie charts. They clearly tell the story while simultaneously reminding them of pie; everyone loves pie.
A few years back, my agency was pitching a viral video marketing project for IBM. The marketing director asked me, “Do you have the balls to tell us what
you really think, no matter what we say?” You’re the expert in the room. Start acting like it.
By the way, I said yes—and we got the job. Now get back to work.
A version of this article first appeared on
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2:51 pm • 21 May 2013
Following crushing tornadoes, help and hope spread on Twitter
After the latest in a string of devastating storms slammed Oklahoma Monday afternoon, relief agencies and government officials took to the Web to provide news and opportunities to help.
Throughout Monday night and into Tuesday morning, terms such as #Oklahoma, #OKC, #Moore, Red Cross, and #PrayForOklahoma were trending topics on Twitter as people expressed their heartache and desire to help after a huge tornado tore through the Oklahoma City suburb of Moore, Okla.
Officials feared as many as 91 people died as a result of the storm, the latest in a string of tornadoes to hit Oklahoma this month.
The American Red Cross communicated its efforts quickly Monday, posting a statement on its website
about its plan of action.
“More than 25 emergency response vehicles are positioned to move at first light Tuesday, and we expect that the number will increase,” the message states. “The Red Cross is also sending in kitchen support trailers to support the upcoming operation to provide meals to those forced out of their homes.”
The statement also directs people to the Red Cross tornado app
, which offers a shelter map and a quick way for users to let friends and family know they’re safe.
The Red Cross was also tweeting status updates
regularly throughout Monday evening and Tuesday morning. A tweet from the Oklahoma Red Cross directing people to text REDCROSS to the number 90999 to make a $10 donation to victims was retweeted more than 12,500 times.
AT&T offered a similar tweet:
Representatives of other relief efforts tweeted links
to their own fundraising pages.
The City of Moore also tweeted updates throughout the evening, responding to reports of trapped people
, directing residents to the Red Cross’ “safe and well” page
, and offering up a link to email updates
The National Weather Service’s office in Norman, Okla., did its communicating via both Twitter
. Most of its posts were time-stamped reports on the ongoing weather situation, though one did direct readers to a Facebook clearinghouse
for information about the storm and its aftermath.
For its part, the Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management
stayed quiet Monday evening and early Tuesday morning. Its last tweet was May 17, and its Facebook page
hasn’t been updated since April. The social-media voice of the state government would seem to be Gov. Mary Fallin
, who tweeted about how to aid victims
and gave reports from the ground in Moore.
With pictures of the devastation on a constant loop on TV, people using social media also looked for glimmers of hope. They took it where they could Tuesday morning, with stories such as this one:
Matt Wilson is a staff writer for Ragan.com.
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2:51 pm • 21 May 2013
Why Social Media Is the Front Line of Disaster Response
Nearly one million people are affected by natural disasters each year. In the U.S. alone, some 400 people die from disasters that cost the economy $17.6 billion. Helping respond to these cataclysmic events, social media is now a go-to tool for those effected by disasters
One in five Americans has used an emergency app. Of those Americans effected by natural disasters, 76% used social media to contact friends and family; 37% of used social media to help find shelter and supplies; and 24% used social media to let loved ones know they’re safe.
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2:50 pm • 21 May 2013 • 2 notes
Vine: 12 Ways to Make Your Videos Stand Out
You’ve had some fun with Vine, but now you want to get serious. Here are 12 tips to turn you into a Vine pro.
With Vine, you have six seconds to really impress a viewer. Thankfully, six seconds is more than enough time to dazzle someone, tell a story or share a laugh. These tips range from technical best practices to creative guidelines
1. Visualize the Final Product
Before you start your masterpiece, have a good idea what your finished Vine is going to look like. This might seem like obvious advice, but it will help make your shoot more efficient and give you an opportunity to really think about the structure of your creation. Some Viners sketch out their Vine frame-by-frame in a notebook, while others just have an idea in their head. Find what works for you. Read more…
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2:50 pm • 21 May 2013 • 3 notes
I just unlocked the The Voice Season 4: Top 10 Performances sticker on GetGlue
2788 others have also unlocked the The Voice Season 4: Top 10 Performances sticker on GetGlue.com
The top 10 take the stage tonight! Who are you voting for? Thanks for tuning into The Voice tonight! Keep watching on Mondays and Tuesdays at 8/7c on NBC. Share this one proudly. It’s from our friends at NBC.
8:12 pm • 20 May 2013
I just unlocked the I’ve Gotten Hairier sticker on GetGlue
29440 others have also unlocked the I’ve Gotten Hairier sticker on GetGlue.com
You’re watching a lot of comedy. Have you thought about taking a break? Maybe taking a shower or getting a haircut? No? OK, you can always head back to YouTube.com/ComedyWeek for more new comedy. Share this one proudly. It’s from our friends at YouTube.
8:12 pm • 20 May 2013
Pinterest Partners With Brands to Add Information to Pins
Pinterest just got an upgrade that could make it easier for users to gather information by navigating in its site. Instead of exclusively linking back to the original source, pins from certain brands will now display information such as recipes, movie reviews and price information.
Brand Partnerships Bring New Pin Format
Pinterest has partnered with several brands, including eBay, Target, ModCloth, Sony and Netflix, to introduce these more descriptive pins. The content of these pins will vary based on the brands who post them. For example, a pin from ModCloth could include the price of an item of clothing, while a pin from Netflix could provide more information about the cast of a TV series or the rating of a film Read more…
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7:35 pm • 20 May 2013 • 1 note
The 7 Habits of Serious Procrastinators
Procrastination is a serious business. In fact, procrastinators who are accomplished in their craft have a number of tools to help them — seven tools, to be exact, and counting.
In this Sunday Comic, Maria Scrivan shows us the cover of the procrastinator’s bible. Can you relate?
Comic written and illustrated by Maria Scrivan. Published with permission; all rights reserved. Read more…
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7:34 pm • 20 May 2013 • 1 note
5 questions brands should ask before using any social media tool
I’ve often heard this question from clients: Should we be on (insert shiny, new social media platform here)? My instinct is to say yes, because we want to expand our scope of work with them, and we’re always looking to be innovative. But being a good social media partner requires much more in-depth analysis.
When I was overseeing content strategy and execution for my clients, we would generally work on a POV for each new platform that would come into play. We did this for Pinterest, Instagram, and Vine (among others) over the last few years. Part of that POV was assessing which brands would be a good fit for the platform.
That doesn’t mean the client would automatically sign on for that platform, but it was incumbent upon us to make sure we at least made the recommendation (sometimes over and over and over).
Here are five key questions:
1. Are people using this platform to talk about your brand, your industry, or your competition?
This is easy enough on platforms that use hashtags. I can search #Starbucks on Instagram, for example, and see that nearly 1.9 million photos bear that hashtag. If I’m managing the brand’s social media presence, this tells me that there are 1.9 million potential conversations and pieces of user-generated content out there. This is definitely the right move for that brand to be using that platform (and Starbucks is using it—quite effectively as it turns out).
Part of your research on new platforms should be to assess not just who is talking about your brand but how they’re talking about your brand. If people are actively complaining or bringing up customer service issues on this platform, your strategy will differ from what you’ll do if people are raving about you.
When it comes to your competition, just because they jump off a cliff doesn’t mean you should follow—unless they’re jumping off a cliff into a crystal clear pool of water filled with your current and potential customers.
2. Does this platform align with your demographic?
Maybe people aren’t talking about your brand (or perhaps they’re talking about you sparingly). That certainly shouldn’t preclude you from entering into that platform—especially if it’s used by a demographic that you’re looking to target.
For instance, if you’re looking to reach influential, educated, millennial women, Pinterest is a platform you should strongly consider. Instagram might not be your best bet if that’s the only group you’re looking to target.
3. Is there an opportunity to tell your brand’s story in a new/unique way on this platform?
Brands that are using Vine in an interesting ways—Lowe’s, Smart Car USA, General Electric (sometimes)—are using the platform to tell a good brand story that goes beyond “buy this.”
When Smart Car wanted to show how easy it is to charge its new electric version, a six-second video was the perfect way to do it:
Lowe’s went beyond providing DIY tips in text to show their users how to do things like unscrewing a stripped screw:
If your team can find a way to use a new platform in an interesting fashion, that’s half the battle. So often brands will launch their presence in a new platform, and it’s just a dud.
4. Do you have the resources to maintain a robust presence on this platform?
The days of launching a social media presence to cover an event or product launch are over. Unless you’re going to commit your brand to building and maintaining a robust presence on a platform, don’t do it. It’s up to each individual brand to decide what “robust” means for them, but launching an event-specific account and then shutting it down no longer makes sense.
5. Does this platform logically fit in with your existing digital ecosystem?
Consider the rest of your digital presence, and whether this new platform logically integrates or if it would be on an island. If you can’t fit your always-on and campaign strategies into this platform, it’s probably worth waiting until you jump into it.
These questions certainly aren’t exhaustive, but they can at least get the conversation started. Remember: Any foray into a new platform will require your team to perform a risk assessment and understand any potential pitfalls. Your legal team will want to get involved (and will likely work tirelessly to quash your dreams, as they are wont to do).
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7:34 pm • 20 May 2013