Author Archives for Marc Vasquez

Marc Vasquez

About Marc Vasquez

When not handling club communications, Marc is the Interactive Marketing Manager for UMB Financial Corporation where he puts his more than 16 years of agency and corporate public relations and social media experience to good use in leading the banks enterprise social media and email marketing efforts.

Marc is also a past president of the Public Relations Society of America, Greater Kansas City chapter.

In addition to his APR (Accreditation in Public Relations), Marc is a graduate of Northwest Missouri State University, and by night is the sidekick Robin to his superhero now 9-year-old son who believes himself to be Batman. Keep an eye out at the next event, you may just see him in his Batmobile.

Socially speaking: To bash or not to bash

December 16, 2015 - Posted by Comments Off on Socially speaking: To bash or not to bash

SMCKC interview on 41 Action NewsLast weekend, a PR colleague of mine sent me a Facebook IM about a 41 Action News need. Reporter Ali Hoxie was looking for a social media professional to talk with her about tips on speaking out on social media. The activist/hacktivist entity known as Anonymous has been active lately first calling for a social strikes on ISIS and then last week on Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump.

In the interview, Ali asked about how best to go about interacting and taking a stand using social media especially when it comes to taking on supporting or opposing a cause or candidate. I believe that for every post that lays out a well-informed argument there are hundreds of “Trump Sucks” posts that liter the socialsphere. It’s simply easier for many to sit behind their Macs or laptops and shoot arrows rather than confront in person and more importantly present a social post that builds community and inspires action.

So, how do we take a stand positively and stick out in the social space? I’d like to offer these tips:

  • Be picky with what you share.
  • That “all opinions are my own” in your profile doesn’t hold water. If you work for a company or represent an entity, you’ll still be seen in some way as representing them.
  • Think about your posts from the side of the people who follow or are connected to you. How will it come off? Are you running the risk of seeming more negative than what you’re bashing?
  • Want to really get lost in the clutter? Post something simplistic and negative without a link, photo or video to help illustrate your point.
  • When you post, are you going through the motions just ‘doing social media’ stuff or are you coming off human?
  • Whatever you post, it should be something that inspires conversation/community and is spreadable. Think sprinkler vs. fire hose.
  • Most importantly, treat your friends and followers with kindness and gratitude and show them you genuinely care about who they are.

The 2nd Annual SMCKC AMPS Awards are coming

October 30, 2015 - Posted by Comments Off on The 2nd Annual SMCKC AMPS Awards are coming

AMPS2016Register now and plan to join us February 18 for the 2nd Annual AMPS Awards. The annual AMPS Awards was created and is judged by fellow Social Media professionals to acknowledge excellence in Kansas City Social Media. Campaigns that ran between August 1, 2014 and September 30, 2015 are eligible for submission. AMPS Awards will be presented in the following categories broken down by industry (Agency, In house, Small Biz/Solo, Government/Financial or Regulated and Nonprofit/Cause-Related):

-      Multi-Channel, Integrated Campaign

-      Integration with an Offline Campaign

-      Facebook (Sole or Primary) Campaign

-      Twitter (Sole or Primary) Campaign

-      Email (Sole or Primary) Campaign

-      Visual - Instagram or YouTube (Sole or Primary) Campaign

-      Blog (Sole or Primary)

-      Event/Real Time Campaign

In addition, special recognition awards will be presented to the following:

-      Rookie of the Year

-      Volunteer of the Year

-      Trailblazer

-      Hat Tip

-      Most Bang for the Buck

-      Biggest Big Deal


From recognizing the best campaigns in KC to the most influential Social Media personalities, the AMPS Awards dinner will be all about celebrating our local impact in Social Media (and a few surprises too). Whether you submitted for an award or want to join in the party, we look forward to seeing you there as we spotlight the best of the best!

Follow #AMPSKC on Twitter now through February 18 to see the who’s who of Kansas City Social Media!

For tickets and tables - Register now

Sponsorship opportunities are available by contacting SMCKC's AMPS awards exist to recognize Kansas City area companies, advertising agencies, and non-profit/government employees for their excellence in social media campaigns and marketing. The suggested list of sponsorship opportunities is below, but SMCKC prides itself on delivering custom approaches to achieve sponsor objectives while supporting our club events:

Event Title Sponsor - $5,000
The Title Sponsor will include branded logo use with all events, dedicated social media posts, recognition in all event signage, and the opportunity to have a custom portion of the AMPS program (2-5 minutes to present). Title sponsors will also be listed on all website and program material for the event.

Amplifier Sponsor - $1,000
Amplifier Sponsors will be mentioned in all printed and online materials and receive four free tickets.

Category Sponsor - $500
Category sponsors will announce the winner of their sponsored category, be mentioned in all printed and online materials, and receive 2 tickets to the event.

Retweeter Level Sponsor - $250
Retweeter Sponsors will be mentioned in all printed and online materials, and receive two tickets to the event.

What would you do: 4 social scenarios

October 27, 2015 - Posted by Comments Off on What would you do: 4 social scenarios

Let's face it, social media is anything but typical. In fact, it's more than likely one of the only professions where anything can happen - and generally does more than a few times on a daily basis. We've put together a few scenarios in the infographic below, and would like to get your feedback. What would you do? Also, what are some of the situations you've experienced where you had to think fast to save the day?


Facebook update Thursday

October 8, 2015 - Posted by Comments Off on Facebook update Thursday

Facebook Unveils 'Reactions,' Emoji Buttons That Go Beyond 'Like'

Following up on SMCKC communications team member Lauren Wells' blog post, Mark Zuckerberg announced today that Facebook is launching "a test of Reactions - a more expressive Like button."

The current concept includes a series of animated reactions to choose from when you tap and hold the Like button. They include the well-known thumbs up (Like), as well as Love, Haha, Yay, Wow, Sad, and Angry.

They will start testing Reactions in Ireland and Spain, before they bring the refined experience to everyone.

See the announcement here.

Facebook adding additional ways to interact beyond the “thumbs up”

September 30, 2015 - Posted by Comments Off on Facebook adding additional ways to interact beyond the “thumbs up”

What social and digital managers need to know

BELCHATOW POLAND - AUGUST 31 2014: Facebook logo printed on paper and stuck to the finger.

By Lauren Wells, @laurenwellsKC

You may have seen the headlines in mid-September about Facebook’s new “dislike” button after Mark Zuckerburg hosted an online Q&A session. His announcement caused quite the social media frenzy. Every headline said almost the exact same thing: “Facebook to add ‘Dislike’ button.”

The headlines themselves were so disruptive that after posting one of these stories on my own News Feed, a friend who works at Facebook commented on that post trying to clarify what it meant.

So here’s the truth. Don’t count on seeing any “dislike” button on your news feeds anytime soon.

Once you dig past the misleading headlines, you’ll find that Facebook is planning to release additional ways for users to show sentiment beyond a “Like.” Users have been requesting this for quite some time.

Raise your hand if you’ve felt awkward “liking” a post, not because it was necessarily good news, but because you wanted to acknowledge that you saw it and support it.

The iconic “thumbs up” just doesn’t work for every situation. It’s a very limited emotion and response.

To Zuckerberg’s point, a push button solution with additional sentiments around content is “surprisingly complicated.”

For now, it sounds like Facebook is testing options that allow you to show different feelings for situations when a “like” just doesn’t feel appropriate. For example, Facebook is seeking to provide a means to show support for a variety of situations, such as:

  • Afriend’s loved one passes away
  • Aa story about the Syrian refugee crisis
  • A story of mixed emotions from our local Great Plains SPCA about a deplorable puppy mill situation but included the rescue of 48 dogs

"It's important to give people more options than just 'like'" to help express empathy and sympathy, Zuckerberg said. “Not every moment is a good moment."

Facebook has long used its current interactions to intelligently guess what content is relevant to you and what you might be interested in. I’m guessing this won’t change that, but rather enhance it.

Don’t expect this to be like up/down voting you might see on Reddit or YouTube. Just because you don’t “like” something or you come across a sad post, it doesn’t necessarily mean you don’t want to see it. That’s where Facebook’s new interactions will be different.

It appears Facebook is trying to focus on more ways to express civil interactions - ways to express solidarity, support, sympathy etc. It is probablyunlikely there will be a focus on allowing users to “downgrade” certain content. Facebook won’t want to discourage users from sharing content as freely as they do now.

Zuckerberg says they are close to unveiling a new button or buttons. Facebook will begin testing soon and then roll out more widely.

So what does this mean for brands and those of us that manage the online presence? It may be a little too early to tell. However, just because we don’t know how it will affect the algorithm for Pages doesn’t mean we shouldn’t start preparing.

Here are some key things to keep in mind:

  • This may force you to enhance the quality of your content
  • These new interaction options should improve algorithms that deliver users and consumers content that is relevant to them
  • Customers will have more options to share feedback with your brand
  • You will likely have more at-a-glance feedback on the content subject you post about (opposed to having to sift through a Comments string)
  • In the meantime, focus on positive content you can put out - testimonials, magic moments, and success stories

We are interested to hear the perspective of fellow SMCKC members. How do you think this will affect brands? How do you think the algorithm might change? What impact do you think this might have on this political season? Please share your thoughts and comments via Twitter using #SMCKC.

About the author: Lauren Wells is the marketing and communications manager for Sporting Innovations and serves on the communications team for Social Media Club of Kansas City.