Author Archives for Tara Saylor

Tara Saylor

About Tara Saylor

Tara Saylor is a communications manager by day, grad student by night and curious all the time. She is also a web nerd and recovering copywriter. Tara focuses on the channels that enable communication and using metrics to improve communication effectiveness.

Twitter is ready for some football

September 20, 2016 - Posted by Comments Off on Twitter is ready for some football

More specifically, a Jets/Bills game it streamed live on Thursday night.  According to the NFL, the livestream averaged some 243,000 viewers. (The NFL also touted 2.3 people watching at least 3 seconds of the pre-game or game, but that sounds more like a load-testing statistic than actual viewership.)Twitter Thursday Night Football

And the response was… mostly good. Re/Code, which has a full write up of the experience, admits, It was fine.Engadget went so far as to say it “mostly worked.”  Techcrunch went so far as to say “Two million people streamed the NFL on Twitter last night and loved it,” but that’s just more unbridled enthusiasm than we can handle. The biggest complaint was a delay between the live broadcast and the stream.

It’s not just the video, though. Along with the game, viewers saw a stream of curated tweets from “players, refs, reporters, self-hating Jets fans.” And you can watch the stream anywhere that you access Twitter, including their new apps for Amazon Fire, Xbox One and Apple TV. Basically, it’s the experience we all wish we had for the Olympics (dang millennials!).

This is really good press for Twitter, who could use some good press about now.  It’s also right in line with CEO-for-now Jack’s Dorsey’s persistent argument that Twitter is a way to connect people to world events real-time, not “just” a social network.  It’s also another in a series of incremental moves that Twitter has been making, including a revenue-sharing model for video creators, read receipts for direct messages, a quality filter, and disappearing live notification buttons.

So did you try the Twitter stream? Plan to check it out this Thursday? We’d love to hear about it—just tweet us, of course!

 

About the author:
Tara Saylor Litzenberger is a communications manager by day, grad student by night and curious all the time. She is also a web nerd and recovering copywriter. Tara focuses on the channels that enable communication and using metrics to improve communication effectiveness. She tweets about communication and combines as @AnokheeTara.


Hello, Lifestage. Goodbye, Privacy?

August 29, 2016 - Posted by Comments Off on Hello, Lifestage. Goodbye, Privacy?

For a while now, I’ve been wondering what hot new app will draw in teens now that the olds are braving Snapchat. Facebook is ready to win them back over with its new Lifestage app.

The app itself is pretty simple- lots of video, Snapchat-style overlays. Were it gets interesting are the settings. It’s directly targeted at high school students, and when 20 or more students from the same school activate the app, they’re automatically connected, no friending required. No one over 21 is allowed.How do you do, fellow kids?

That last part is where things get…dicey. Lifestage has no privacy settings. Anything posted is visible to everyone in the network. While the site is only visible to users, there’s no verification that the user is actually a student.

Generally, tech reporters see Lifestage as a Snapchat competitor. People who remember Facebook’s early years are having waves of nostalgia for the good old days. And there’s a fair amount of pearl-clutching around the legitimate privacy concerns.

Earlier this year, the Pew Research Center released a study on Americans’ attitudes toward privacy and data sharing. One interesting discovery was that people under 50 were considerably more comfortable sharing information on a social platform than those over 50.

Makes you wonder if teens will be more comfortable with Lifestage than adults.

 

About the author:
Tara Saylor Litzenberger is a communications manager by day, grad student by night and curious all the time. She is also a web nerd and recovering copywriter. Tara focuses on the channels that enable communication and using metrics to improve communication effectiveness. She tweets about communication and combines as @AnokheeTara.


How do you face a crisis?

August 17, 2016 - Posted by Comments Off on How do you face a crisis?

In preparation for the upcoming September 9 breakfast Crisis Communications in a Social Era, the Morningstar team provided us with a preview of what's to come:Crisis Communications Breakfast

We can all agree a company’s brand and reputation are essential for its continued success. If your business is like most, you’ve spent years building a position of respect. In a moment, a crisis can put that all in jeopardy.

In a 24-hour news cycle, a crisis does not allow for any timeouts, and it rarely is a question of if, but when these situations will arise. In recent years we’ve seen Aramark handle challenges with food quality at The K, Southwest Airlines experience a massive technology failure, and Chipolte face E. Coli contaminations.

As communicators, we can all learn from these incidents and the best practices developed over the years. Planning is key, and a commitment to transparency and accuracy is essential. Join my colleague, Brian Van Note, and I on Sept. 9 as we discuss crisis communications in a social era. You’ll head back to the office with the following takeaways:

  • Steps for creating your crisis communications plan
  • Tips for communicating effectively in a crisis
  • How to use social media to your advantage before and during a crisis situation
  • Three immediate actions steps that will help position your company for crisis communications success

We all hope we never have to face a crisis. But if we do, we’d rather be prepared than scrambling. We look forward to seeing you at Grand Street Café next month. Register today at the SMCKC eventbrite page.

 

About the Author:
Tricia McKim is vice president at Morningstar Communications. For more than 10 years, she’s helped companies refine their message and communication strategy to create content that drives results.


Twitter needs a moment

August 15, 2016 - Posted by Comments Off on Twitter needs a moment

In official coverage, Twitter announceYour Twitter Mentionsd that it’s expanding its Moments feature to “influencers, partners, brands… and in the coming months, everyone.

Examples shared in the blog post range from the newsworthy (Gymnast Simone Biles at #Rio2016) to activist (deray mckesson’s archive of Ferguson 2014) to the blatantly promotional (this Bud’s for you).

So kind of like Instagram’s new stories, but with fewer captions written on the pictures and more of a focus on unfolding events. To be fair, Moments have been around since 2015,  but Instagram wasn’t interested in stories till people liked them on Snapchat.

Too little, too late?

Coverage of Twitter isn’t focused on its ability to cover then news -- it’s been focused on Twitter’s reputation as one of the least friendly places online (links mostly sfw, but the topics gets…icky). Abuse has been a long-standing problem for Twitter, and it has an impact. People routinely use nicknames for a certain Presidential candidate to avoid drawing the attention of his followers, both human and bot. Microsoft had to pull an AI chatbot off the platform within 24 hours because it was learning abusive things.

Recently, Twitter did take action. Breitbart editor Milo Yiannopoulos was permanently suspended for his role in encouraging abuse against actress Leslie Jones. Still, Twitter made sure to point out that the ban was because Yiannopoulos didn’t follow the terms of service, not due to anything he said.

Still, Yiannopoulos is gone, and Jones is doing some glorious live tweeting the Olympics.

Where to go from here?

Twitter has a mess on its hands. There’s high turnover with company leaders, a shrinking user base,  and the nasty reputation. Still, people don’t seem ready to give up on its potential. Charlie Warzel of Buzzfeed and Nausicaa Renner at the Colombia Journal Review both offer up insightful long reads about how Twitter found itself here and what it can do to turn things around.

The question is will things be turned around, or will the Fail Whale land forever?

 

About the author:
Tara Saylor Litzenberger is a communications manager by day, grad student by night and curious all the time. She is also a web nerd and recovering copywriter. Tara focuses on the channels that enable communication and using metrics to improve communication effectiveness. She tweets about communication and combines as @AnokheeTara.


The Smart Approach to Influencer Marketing

August 8, 2016 - Posted by Comments Off on The Smart Approach to Influencer Marketing

From the videos we watch to the recipes we try, information and entertainment has gone social. As these new tastemakers and experts emerge, we scope their style on Instagram, laugh at their YouTube videos, and attempt their DIY blog suggestions.

People who make great content can build a loyal audience, and companies have found partnering with these influencers is an effective way to reach their fans.

Justin Goldsborough and Allie Wilmes from FleishmanHillard offered some tips for launching an influencer marketing campaign:

  • Do your homework – Automated tools like Tapfluence can help you get started, but don’t underestimate the Influencerimportance of getting familiar with an influencer before you start working together. Don’t expect a blogger known for vegetarian recipes to suddenly start cooking steaks, and a YouTube star known for off-color humor may not be a good fit for a conservative company.
  • Get a good contract – Allie and Justin couldn’t stress this one enough. Spell out your expectations for your content requirements and compensation. If you don’t want an influencer to work with your competition for 90 days, now is the time to discuss it. You may be able to negotiate reuse rights for content that the influencer creates.
  • Let the influencer be creative – Giving up creative control can be terrifying for many companies, but when it comes to working with influencers, it can make the difference between a successful campaign and a failure. Influencers know what will resonate with their audiences. Too much “sales speak” is likely to backfire.
  • Tie the campaign to KPIs or key performance indicators – Well-done influencer campaigns can do much more than generate clicks.  Something as simple as an exclusive coupon code can help you track the impact.
  • Keep it legal – As influencer marketing gets increasingly popular, the FTC has established guidelines for endorsement.  Kim Kardashian, Lord & Taylor and Cole Haan have all found themselves in trouble.  Don’t add your brand to the list.

Want to learn more? Check out the presentation for more great tips and case studies.

 

About the author:
Tara Saylor Litzenberger is a communications manager by day, grad student by night and curious all the time. She is also a web nerd and recovering copywriter. Tara focuses on the channels that enable communication and using metrics to improve communication effectiveness. She tweets about communication and combines as @AnokheeTara.


Excited about that event in South America?

August 1, 2016 - Posted by Comments Off on Excited about that event in South America?

You know, that event that happens every four years, where teams come from around the world to take part in athletic activities? Rule 40The one happening in a famous beach city in Brazil?

Most of us know them as the 2016 Summer Olympics. But according to the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) Rule 40, we have to be careful what we call it.

Rule 40 is a part of the Olympic Charter that controls how an athlete’s likeness is used for promotions during the event. According to Sports Illustrated, “Rule 40 was established to ‘to preserve the unique nature of the Olympic games by preventing over-commercialization’ and to protect Olympic sponsors, who spend millions of dollars for exclusive marketing rights during the Olympics.”

It prevents what the IOC defines as ambush marketing, or attempts by non-sponsoring companies to use the games to promote itself using certain key terms, like 16 Rio, Rio de Janeiro, Gold, Silver, Bronze, Medal, Challenge, Games or Victory.

It puts brands such as Under Armor, New Balance and Oiselle on notice. All three have long-standing sponsorship relationships with well-known athletes competing in the games. The guidelines have loosened in recent years, but it still leaves athletes watching their language online.

Companies are watching their language, too. The United States Olympic Committee has warned non-sponsors to avoid using trademarked terms in hashtags. That means no #Rio2016 or #TeamUSA.

You can learn more about Athlete Marketing Guidelines for Team USA on their website. Or you can join in the protests with a generic running shirt of your own.

Just be careful what you tweet.

 

About the author:
Tara Saylor Litzenberger is a communications manager by day, grad student by night and curious all the time. She is also a web nerd and recovering copywriter. Tara focuses on the channels that enable communication and using metrics to improve communication effectiveness. She tweets about communication and combines as @AnokheeTara.


Why the world should care about Pokémon GO

July 14, 2016 - Posted by Comments Off on Why the world should care about Pokémon GO

If you’ve been any on social media sites, you’ve seen it. Pokémon is everywhere.

Actually, you’ve probably seen it even if you’ve stayed offline. People pausing in the middle of sidewalks, phones out, interacting with well, and apparently empty space.

Welcome to Pokémon Go.

What it is
Pokémon Go is a free game for for Android and iOs. It’s part of the Nintendo franchise of trading card and video game fame. Pokemon GO Hits the InternetOnly instead of playing in an entirely virtual world, Pokémon Go uses the phone’s camera, clock and location data to make it look like Pokémon are part of the world around you.

Players, who call themselves trainers, travel to different Poke stops, where they catch Pokémon, and gyms, where trainers battle their Pokémon and connect with one another. It’s a pretty appealing combo: The Kansas City Star called it “part bird-watching, part geocaching, part trophy hunting, with a heavy dose of mid-’90s nostalgia.”

Why it matters
The game itself may sound a little silly if you never succumbed to the allure of Pokémon in your childhood, but you’re actually looking at the future. Even the venerable Wall Street Journal agrees on that point.

Pokémon Go is the first game to create mass appeal using augmented reality, which overlays the offline world with interactive virtual elements. It’s similar to virtual reality, which creates an immersive experience. Between computers getting more powerful and the increasing adoption of wearable devices, we’re likely to see more and more augmented and virtual games. (Extra Nerdy Extra Credit: The Scientific American reports that, technically, this isn’t quite augmented reality, but it’s close enough for most of us.)

The game also shows how online and offline worlds can work together. Trainers have been gathering to play, and lots of the coverage talks about the social interactions they’re having. People are even planning Pokémon Go Crawls. Small businesses are taking advantage of the foot traffic to attract new customers. The game maker says sponsored locations are coming soon.

Warnings, Warnings, Warnings
There have been plenty of dire warnings about Pokémon Go making the headlines, too. They fall into two categories: data privacy and physical safety.Pokemon Rules by the KCPD

The data privacy concerns have been addressed, mostly, but original versions of the game gave the developer full access to ALL of a player’s Google account-- search history, private documents, location data, contacts, you name it. Niantic Labs quickly released a fix and said it was unintentional.   (And if you haven’t installed the update, go get it now.  We’ll wait.)

As for the physical safety? Well…the problem with combining the real world and a virtual one is that things can get messy. There have been car crashes, robberies, and an assortment of sore legs and sprained anklesKCPD has you covered on how to stay safe. 

Where we’re playing
Businesses and organizations all around Kansas City are getting in on the fun. Pokemon have been seen at Kauffman Stadium, Kansas City Public Library and various local businesses. Johnson County Community College is organizing campus tours, and the Roastarie was inspired to make a new drink by a Pokestop nearby.

Now go have fun and catch ‘em all. And tweet us your pictures when you do!

 

About the author:
Tara Saylor Litzenberger is a communications manager by day, grad student by night and curious all the time. She is also a web nerd and recovering copywriter. Tara focuses on the channels that enable communication and using metrics to improve communication effectiveness. She tweets about communication and combines as @AnokheeTara.


Now you see it, now you don’t

July 12, 2016 - Posted by Comments Off on Now you see it, now you don’t

Delete may still be the default, but Snapchat made it much easier to hang on to snaps with the launch of its new Memories feature. Memories is basically an in-app photo roll, backed up on Snapchat’s servers. Users can later access things saved in their memories and remix them into new snaps and stories.SnapChat Memories

The change is a big deal for Snapchat, since the vanishing images was part of the appeal of the app, at least in the eyes of many users. Technically, that wasn’t always the case. In 2014, the company settled with the Federal Trade Commission over charges that pictures could be recovered in some cases. Plus, it was always easy to download or screen capture a snap and save it to your phone. The app is becoming the main way to share big moments for many of its 150 million users, and Memories will make it easier to search and retrieve pictures from those events.

The new feature was announced just a month after a major overhaul of Stories into the new Discover section. Snapchat has also been dealing with an influx of the olds (you know, anyone over 23.)

Facebook Live Charts New Territory
Facebook is still figuring out the role it plays in reporting news. Although it recently seemed to be backing away from news coverage after the scrutiny on trending topics, the role it plays in spreading news is hard ignore when the week’s most-watched video shows the aftermath of a police shooting. It’s a far cry from an Ice Bucket Challenge.

The company is still defining community standards for streams showing violent events. For now, it doesn’t plan to take down newsworthy video, even when it deals with sensitive or violent topics. This particular video was briefly unavailable, which Facebook says was a glitch and not the result of moderation.Instagram Cleans Up

Instagram Automates
In a more traditional development, Instagram will be launching automated comment moderation tools for business pages. The new tool will automatically filter out words and phrases that are reported as offensive. Based on the screenshots, it looks like an all-or-nothing filter, but it still looks easier than the manual moderation happening now.

 

About the author:
Tara Saylor Litzenberger is a communications manager by day, grad student by night and curious all the time. She is also a web nerd and recovering copywriter. Tara focuses on the channels that enable communication and using metrics to improve communication effectiveness. She tweets about communication and combines as @AnokheeTara.


It has begun! Facebook announces changes to your newsfeed.

June 30, 2016 - Posted by Comments Off on It has begun! Facebook announces changes to your newsfeed.

Remember a few months ago, when Facebook announced that it was going all in on messenger bots and video? Well, do you remember how we predicted that would mean plenty of changes to publishers and pages who count on Facebook?

IT HAS BEGUN!It has begun!

Yesterday, Facebook announced that it would be tweaking the algorithm to give more weight to things shared by “friends and family” than what publishers share. This means organic reach and referral traffic are likely to decline, no matter how many fans a page has.

Contently has helpfully published a list of the seven ways that this is going to be The Worst Thing Ever. (Since they’re a company that helps brands publish good content, you can see how they might be adversely affected. They’re similarly unthrilled by the new branded content tag.)

Other publishers are, well, not thrilled, but not surprised. After all, it has happened before. Fast Company could easily pull this article from April 2015 off the shelf and rerun it with just a few updates. Ditto this Facebook Business post from last November. And as re/code reminds us, Facebook has always been happy to take advertiser money to boost reach.

So what should you do about these new changes? Well, in spite of the hot takes likely to be springing up on social media over the next few days, no one really knows what this will mean just yet.

And if someone doesn’t want to let the topic go? Distract them by bringing up Twitter’s new dashboard and stickers.

 

About the author:
Tara Saylor Litzenberger is a communications manager by day, grad student by night and curious all the time. She is also a web nerd and recovering copywriter. Tara focuses on the channels that enable communication and using metrics to improve communication effectiveness. She tweets about communication and combines as @AnokheeTara.


Microsoft Buys LinkedIn: A $26.2 Billion Dollar Investment in Social Collaboration

June 14, 2016 - Posted by Comments Off on Microsoft Buys LinkedIn: A $26.2 Billion Dollar Investment in Social Collaboration

There have been rumors swirling about big things about to happen on LinkedIn. With the recently launched Profinder feature for freelancers, an increased focus on content, and improved analytics.

Clippy on LinkedInThis week, big things happened indeed, and frankly, none of us saw that one coming. Microsoft announced that they would be buying LinkedIn for a cool $26.2 billion (yes, that’s billion-with-a-b.) Time is calling it the second-largest major tech acquisition in recent history, and almost $5 billion more than Facebook paid for WhatsApp.

Overnight, Microsoft has gone from focusing on enterprise social collaboration with things like Yammer and Office 365 and turned itself into a pretty big player in social media.

And the reason?  A few big themes are coming out in the coverage:

Buzzfeed describes it as “two unavoidable institutions of corporate life merging.” We’re all just hoping that neither of them brings back Clippy.

 

About the author:
Tara Saylor Litzenberger is a communications manager by day, grad student by night and curious all the time. She is also a web nerd and recovering copywriter. Tara focuses on the channels that enable communication and using metrics to improve communication effectiveness. She tweets about communication and combines as @AnokheeTara.