Thursday, October 12, 2017

Examining How Social Media Can Facilitate Issues Management and Relationship-Building

By Dan Burdick

In the article, “Social Media’s Function in Organizations,” Amy Reitz examines how social media can facilitate issues management and relationship-building. There are several ways social media works to simplify issues management. First, social media can be used by organizations to analyze public interactions online, allowing organizations to better plan for online crises. In this way, social media can help organizations quickly “manage” online crises or avoid them altogether. 

Similarly, social media allows organizations to engage in dialogue with the public, thus giving organizations the ability to garner the public’s opinions and attitudes on certain issues so organizations may then act in accordance with the beliefs of the public. Reitz writes, “Since social media are dialogic in form, as well as instantaneous, organizations can monitor their publics’ attitudes and opinions fairly quickly and adjust and adapt accordingly as appropriate” (Reitz 50). Social media can act as crisis prevention tool for organizations in other ways as well. By allowing for dialogue between organizations and the public, social media can also help to strengthen connections between the two, leading to “stronger bonds within the organization-public relationship system” (Reitz 50).

Along with simplifying issues management, social media can also help facilitate relationship-building. Social media helps build organization-public relationships in a number of ways, most importantly by allowing for dialogue and the sharing of opinions between organizations and the public. Why is dialogue important for improving relationships between organizations and the public? Reitz makes the reasoning clear when she writes, “dialogue helps the organization-public relationship bond because it identifies the needs of both parties and can help resolve the concerns of both parties” (Reitz 49). By allowing for more open dialogue, social media helps build trust, enable collaboration, and create emotional bonds between organizations and the public.     

Reitz highlights some of the ways social media helps strengthen the authenticity of organization-public relationships when she writes, “With social media, publics can quickly and efficiently assess their feelings regarding an organization, which can enable them to feel confident about the authenticity of the relationship formed with an organization” (Reitz 49). In many things in life, confidence is the key factor leading to success, and based upon this quote it is safe to assume that social media plays a major role in increasing public confidence in organizations and helps lead to stronger relationships between organizations and the public.     

In conclusion, there are several different ways in which social media can help facilitate issues management and relationship-building. By allowing for open dialogue between organizations and the public, social media helps create authentic and emotional bonds between the two groups. In this way, organizations can use social media to prevent crises before they happen by listening to the publics’ opinions, wants and needs and acting upon the publics’ feelings. It is clear that social media currently does and will continue to play a major role in organization-public relations for years to come.

Reitz, Amy. (2012). Social media’s function in organizations: A functional analysis approach.
Global Media Journal --Canadian Edition, 5(2),41-.56

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Understanding Project Management: The Waterfall v. Agile Strategies

By Dan Burdick

     For years, project developers have followed a logical, sequential approach to project development. Following this classic project development model, projects would move along slow and steady with a concentrated focus on reaching the end result through completion of a series of processes and milestones. Due to the slow, sequential and flowing nature of this model, developers came to call this development model the “Waterfall Model.”
      In recent years, developers started using another development model, which throws the old Waterfall model out the window, in search of a quicker, more dynamic path to the project finish line. This quicker development model is called “Agile,” and it calls for multiple cycles of discovery, design, development and tests. This method allows for project review at a more rapid pace than the Waterfall method and seeks to improve project development time by allowing for more open-mindedness in the project development cycle. The Agile method generally includes low overhead costs and an emphasis on values and principles over processes.
     Even though more and more developers are using the Agile method of development today, there are still several pros to using the older Waterfall method. One pro to using the Waterfall method is, it is a classic method which has been proven effective time and time again. This method also necessitates all requirements gathering to be done up front, which helps start the project in a positive, focused direction. The method provides developers with a clear focus and is recommended for shorter projects where “clear vision and stakeholder commitment exists” (Ganeshan). One major con of the Waterfall method is that project requirement changes become more difficult and expensive to deal with the deeper into a project one gets. The Waterfall method also provides less time for testing designs as a project goes along.
     Like the Waterfall method, there are also several pros to the Agile method of project development. Two benefits of the Agile method are, it can potentially deliver critical business value faster, and it allows for the testing of a product in components. One negative to the Agile method is, “developers sometimes take a laissez-faire attitude and step away from the rigor needed to deliver successful IT projects” (Ganeshan).

      In conclusion, the Waterfall and Agile methods of project development are both very useful to developers today. Which method works best for each person depends on the type of person one is, the type of project one is working on and the timeline and budget associated with said project. The Waterfall method is a tried and true development method, with a sequential flow of milestones to meet and a standard set of processes to follow. The Agile method is a faster development model with multiple chances to review, rethink and retest a product before development is finished. Both methods have pros and cons, which must be weighed by a project manager before undertaking a project. A combination of both methods is also often used and can be effective when the situation calls for a merger of styles.


Ganeshan, Deepika. "Waterfall versus Agile Methods: A Pros and Cons Analysis." The Server
Side. Tech Target, 6 June 2011. Web. 12 May 2016. <>.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

The Significance of Video on the Web

By Dan Burdick  

       In today’s world, video is all around us. The ease with which people access the internet, and the prevalence of social media, have made mobile videos a major part of our everyday lives. At work, in the car, or even in remote locations, we now have access to high quality video. Now, it is important to understand how the prevalence and availability of video via the internet has changed the way we interact with and consume video.

       We have not always been able to consume and interact with video so easily or frequently. Prior to the internet and the rise of social media, people most often consumed video in their home or theaters, and usually with other people around to share in the enjoyment. Consumers today enjoy second screen viewing (phones, tablets, etc.), as well as a more personalized video-watching experience thanks to sites like YouTube and Netflix.

The internet has also changed the way marketing professionals target consumers with video ads. According to Chris Trimble, in the article Why Online Video is the Future of Content Marketing, "By 2017, video will account for 69% of all consumer internet traffic…Video-on-demand traffic alone will have almost tripled." So how can media producers take advantage?
Interactive media producers face a swath of opportunities with respect to video production for web based delivery. The ease with which videos can now be produced, uploaded and distributed means it is easier than ever before to get people to watch your content online. This ease of access and production means good work can sometimes be lost in the enormous amount of digital content out there. For example, in the article, 2016 Video Marketing Trends: Insights & Predictions From 16 Experts, Greg Jarboe writes, "In November, Facebook announced that they are generating 8 billion video views per day. And according to Tubular Labs, 654.7 million videos have been uploaded by 66.7 million creators in the last 365 days to more than 30 video platforms. And these videos have 2.8 trillion (yes, that’s trillion with a “T”) views, or an average of 4,390 views per video."  There are many more people and things competing for the attention of people online and this means it can be harder to have a break through hit in terms of video views.

       At Blue Shell, we know how to make video advertisements work well across all digital mediums. There are many things to be aware of when creating videos for mobile consumption today. 
  • Pull the viewer in with an engaging opening shot.
  • Present clear ideas, including clear images. Remember mobile videos are often highly compressed and viewed on small screens. 
  • Avoid distance and motion shots .
  • Ensure quality lighting and audio.
  • Edit to leave the viewer with a lesson or message to remember.

       The future of video on the web is always evolving but it looks like it is here to stay. At Blue Shell, we hope to shape the future of online videos by creating engaging, clear and creative stories to help further the businesses of our clients and spread brand awareness.

        The internet has completely changed the way we interact with video. With more opportunities and challenges than ever before, as a result of the rise of mobile video technology, interactive media producers must remain vigilant and be sure to craft their videos for consumption on all mobile platforms. Moving into the future, online video will only continue to grow and change, which means it is undoubtedly an exciting time to be a mobile video creator.  

Jarboe, Greg. "2016 Video Marketing Trends: Insights & Predictions From 16 Experts." Linkedex. Linkedex Ltd., Dec. 2015. Web. 30 July 2016.

Trimble, Chris. "Why Online Video Is the Future of Content Marketing." The GuardianGuardian News and Media, 30 July 2015. Web. 30 July 2016.

The Future of Community Management on “New” Social Media Platforms

By Dan Burdick

       New England Patriots Head Coach, Bill Belichick, is not big on social media. Over the last few years, Belichick has been quoted as saying, “Twitter account, InstantFace, I don't have any of that,” “MyFace, YourFace, InstantFace. Go talk to whoever you want that does that stuff. I don't know,” and “I don't Twitter, I don't MyFace, I don't Yearbook” (Sherman). Now, Bill Belichick is a football coach, so he is not required to stay up to date on all of the “new” social media platforms but, if one wants to make it to the top of the community management profession, then he or she must understand the important role which new social media platforms play in the community management profession. The word “new,” in terms of social media, is constantly changing. For the sake of this blog post, we will examine the future of community management on Line, Snapchat and Periscope.

        According to Richard Jones in the article, “Snapchat and the decline of community management,” there are now over 1.6 billion users of mobile messaging platforms like Snapchat, Whatsapp, Line, WeChat and Kik, which is more than the total number of people on Facebook and Twitter combined (Jones). With this statistic in mind, it is important for community managers to understand how they can use these new mobile messaging platforms for community management. I was recently teaching in Thailand and seemingly everyone in Asia under the age of 50 can be found using Line. With China and India among the top three populated countries in the world, one can see the important role which Line will play in managing communities across Asia and the world. Likewise, almost all of my friends in Ireland and the US can be found on Snapchat, with increasing numbers of those same friends now using Periscope to post live feeds of their daily activities. According to Adabelle Espinosa, in the article, “The State of Snapchat,” 52 percent of Irish teens use Snapchat versus 38 percent of US teens. Unlike first generation social media platforms, such as Twitter and Facebook, these new social messaging apps are basically closed, private messaging platforms. With no “community” to manage on these platforms, community managers must find new ways to engage with the public on a direct and personal level. Jones writes,

        “Social campaigns and interactive experiences that can be shared such as contests, quizzes, coupons and competitions, layered with gamification strategies to drive repeat engagement are the only marketing approaches that will work with these networks.  Social marketing needs to be more campaign orientated and less community management focused to address this shift. The ‘campaign’ has always been the lifeblood of marketing and now it is clear that social media is no different” (Jones).

        As Jones suggests, community managers must now start campaigning on these new social platforms if they do not want to fall behind the times in terms of how and where young social media users are engaging. While these new messaging apps may limit the things community managers can do, in terms of old-school social relationship management, there are several ways these new platforms can be used to connect with communities online. Espinosa highlights the reach of Snapchat, as well as offers tips in how to use the platform for community management, when she writes, “According to Forbes, 62% of millennials are more likely to become a loyal customer if a brand interacts with them over social media. Connect with your followers via direct message or by featuring them in your story” (Espinosa).

        Like Snapchat, Periscope offers unique ways to connect with one’s community. In the article, “12 Ways to Use Periscope for Business,” Sarah Angeles shows how Periscope can help to “humanize a business” when she writes,

        “Periscope lets you connect with customers in a personal way. One great way to do this is by humanizing your brand, such as by providing an inside look at your business to establish an emotional connection. ‘People love the idea of being on the inside,’ Yunche Wilson, founder of WhoRYou Marketing, said. ‘Give them a rare look of where the magic happens’” (Angeles).

By allowing customers to get that “behind the scenes” feeling, Periscope is helping make companies seem more transparent, more open and more inviting than ever before. These characteristics are important for companies looking to have success with community management.

It is clear to see the huge role which new forms of social media will play in the upcoming years for community managers. Unless community managers want to be left in the dust, like Bill Belichick, it will be necessary to quickly adapt community management strategies for these new platforms. In the world of social media community management, technology is always changing and so are the “Snapfaces,” involved in the game.


Espinosa, Adabelle. "The State of Snapchat." Ignite Social Media. Ignite Social Media, 02 Feb 2016. Web. 29 Feb. 2016.

Jones, Richard. "Snapchat and the Decline of Community Management EngageSciences." EngageSciences. Engage Software Limited, 09 Feb. 2014. Web. 29 Feb. 2016.

Sherman, Rodger. "SnapFace, MyFace, InstantFace and Other Social Media Platforms Bill Belichick Has Invented to Make It Clear He Hates the Internet." Vox Media, 07 Oct. 2015. Web. 29 Feb. 2016.

Twitter Mentions and Why they are Important for YOUR Business

By Dan Burdick

       There are so many metrics available to marketers today, it is difficult to choose just one or two to monitor. To help narrow the search, we will first take a look at an article by noted metrics guru, Avinash Kaushik. In Avinash Kaushik’s article, he examines four attributes of great metrics. Kaushik’s first rule is: all great metrics must be “uncomplex.” In short, this means a metric needs to be easily understandable to everyone in the company. Kaushik drives home the importance of this rule when he writes, “Decisions in companies are not made by one person. If you want action then the democracy needs to understand performance, the democracy need to make decisions.” In congruence with Kaushik’s theory, I believe Twitter mentions are a straight-forward and important metric to measure. Twitter mentions show one the number of times his or her company has been mentioned or referenced on Twitter. If all publicity is good publicity, as the saying goes, then twitter mentions show one the total amount of publicity that a company is getting via the popular social channel.

This metric is straight-forward, simple to understand and also provides clear and useful data, similar to the way a turnstile collects data on people entering an amusement park. If mentions are up, for a good reason, then it is good for business, and if they are up for a bad reason, then it is good for a CEO or PR manager to know this so they can look for solutions to the negative mentions on Twitter. Likewise, if Twitter mentions are down, it likely means that the marketing team needs to do a better job on social media or that business overall is down. Twitter mentions are an important metric because they can help a company keep track of numerous things including, goals, employee performance, customer growth and online presence.

In conclusion, Twitter mentions, page views or any similar customer analytics are important for monitoring customer growth. Deeper, more qualitative analytics are also important to monitor because they can help marketers build more accurate customer personas than ever before. All-in-all, it is important for CEOs and social media managers alike to grasp the significance of social media in marketing today and look for the metrics which can best help his or her individual businesses thrive.

The Importance of Analytics and Measurement in Social Media

By Dan Burdick

       Perhaps the most important marketing tool to consider today is social media. We hear it every day, but why is social media now more important than almost any other division of marketing? The answer lies in the numbers, especially the number of people using and sharing things on social media today. It’s a well-known fact that millennials are more socially interactive on the internet. Simply from daily observance, it is clear to see the customers of the future (and the present) are using more forms of social media on a daily basis, in greater numbers than ever imagined, thus making social media a marketing tool worth monitoring.

For further proof of the importance of social media, look no further than Yasmin Bendror’s article, when she points out, “86% of marketers stated that social media is important for their business.” As for the fourteen percent of marketers who do not believe social media is important, those people (and their businesses) are undoubtedly losing profits and will probably soon be losing their jobs and looking for work as well. The number of social media users only continues to grow universally, as does the importance of social media for marketers. Now that it is clear why we, as marketers, should consider social media to be important, we can move to further examine why measurement and data are important in social media.

Measurement in social media is important for a number of reasons. Measurements, or metrics, can help marketers create and meet key performance indicators (KPIS), set goals, create customer personas and analyze marketing performance across numerous channels. At the same time, measuring social media allows companies to see growth and know when a marketing campaign is working or when it is failing. Furthermore, these measurements give marketers greater insight into customers than ever before.

“OK, that’s great for my website but what exactly are the benefits of measuring social media analytics?” Bret Alexander, J.P. Benedict and Mary Ermitanio highlight the benefits of such analysis in their article, when they write, “The ever-changing social media landscape offers a wealth of minable consumer data, including user demographics, affinities and activities…. there is great opportunity to turn these data points into business intelligence…” So now we know why analytics and data measurement are important, we can move to thinking about how to implement analytics and data measurement into one’s business.

At Blue Shell Interactive, we can help set up and monitor Google Analytics on one’s personal website, to keep track of growth and opportunities. Furthermore, we monitor analytics on social media to help track marketing efforts and help businesses meet their KPIs and marketing goals. In short, we help our customers make sense of the numbers associated with their various marketing efforts.

In conclusion, analytics are important to measure for a number of reasons, all of which fall under the umbrella of helping one’s business thrive. With all this said, social media only continues to grow and businesses that can harness the power of social media and properly analyze their results, will certainly put themselves in a position to thrive moving forward.