Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Thanksgiving: It’s Not Just About the Food

Thanksgiving is by far one of my favorite holidays. I love the opportunity to get together with my family and eat tons of amazing food (stuffing is my favorite!). I also love how it kind of acts as a kickoff to the official Christmas season. However, it’s important that we remember this holiday is more than just an excuse to load up on yummy food—it’s a time to give thanks.

In all honesty, I believe we should be thankful every second of our lives. Even if you feel like you have nothing, you have something that someone would love to have. I promise you. However, since it is simply human nature to take things for granted sometimes, Thanksgiving is a great opportunity to focus on all the things you are grateful for and not take anything for granted.

This year—like every year—I will be going to my grandmother’s house for Thanksgiving dinner. Her husband always makes the most delicious turkey, and everything tastes spectacular. I don’t get to see them as often as I’d like to, so I am excited for the dinner. Every year, my family and I try to name the things that we are grateful for in our lives and remember how fortunate we are to live in this wonderful country.

I was raised to be thankful, especially on Thanksgiving. However, I know how hard it can be sometimes for people to realize that food is not the most important part of this holiday. I urge you all to take time this Thanksgiving to reflect on all that you have and give thanks. This is a time of celebration, family and, reflection. While you’re giving thanks, be sure to eat as much food as you possibly can. It’s so delicious, and this day only comes around once a year after all! Happy Thanksgiving everyone.

Monday, November 21, 2016

The Four Possible Goals of a Social Media Marketer

In Chapter 7 of “Measure What Matters”, author Katie D. Paine claims that social media marketers usually have one of four general goals in mind. These goals are as follows: sell products, launch new products, drive affinity between customers and the brand and, reach new markets and customers.

I found this information to be very interesting. Paine sorts all possible goals for a social media marketer into four general categories. She then gives helpful advice on what questions marketers may want to ask themselves based on their general goal. This can be useful, especially because coming up with specific objectives can be overwhelming sometimes. Crafting goals and objectives is one of the most important parts about getting measurement started on social media because without this step, you may not know what exactly you are looking for or what you want to take away from the measurements you’re about to make. For this reason, it is important to keep goals in the center of attention when measuring.

Paine has excellent examples of what to and to not do when social media measuring. These general goal categories she gives readers barely scrapes the surface of the advice she offers. I read several articles about her work when searching for pins about social media measurement on Pinterest, and I have noticed people calling her a “social media guru”. I plan on taking the advice she gives into my future career, and I know that it will one day serve me well. 

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Facebook’s New Tab

This week, my phone automatically updated the Facebook app for me, and when I opened it after it finished I noticed a new tab had been added. This tab is labeled “Videos” and it is a timeline of strictly videos that are shared on Facebook. At the top of this tab, there are a list of the accounts I follow or like, and clicking on one leads to the most recent videos that account has shared. Below that section is a “Top Live” section in which a live video is being broadcast. The final section of this new tab is “Suggested for You” and it is a list of videos that Facebook suggests based on videos I have liked or watched on Facebook in the past. Beneath each video is the name of the person or account who posted the video, as well as a “follow” button.

Facebook has added several new features this year, including the “Sell” tab in which you can post pictures of what you want to sell with a price and people can buy them from you through the site or app. The Facebook app also moved the “Messenger” button from the bottom bar of the screen to the top left corner. The app has been revamped this year to say the least.

I am an avid Facebook user because of my involvement with Odyssey, and I use the app on a regular basis. I enjoy the renovations, although I don’t use them often. I never sell things online, and I prefer to watch videos in my “News feed” rather than watch them in their own section. Nevertheless, I believe some people will enjoy the changes the app has made and use them to their full advantage. 

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Thanksgiving Break Has Finally Arrived

Thanksgiving break has finally arrived for the students of Ohio Northern University. On Friday, Nov. 18, those who were heading home for the holiday departed after classes. Some students even chose to skip their Friday classes to get on the road as quickly as possible. Many students were mainly excited to get home and see their families and pets, and I was one of these students. It had been a month since I had seen my dog or any of my family members, and I was eager to get home. However, I chose not to skip class because I had important assignments due on Friday and I knew I couldn’t afford to skip. I hit the road as soon as possible though, and I arrived at my house in Michigan by 5:30 p.m. I ran into more traffic than I had anticipated and it took me three and a half hours to get home when it usually only takes me two hours and 45 minutes. Although the drive was frustrating, it made arriving home that much more relieving.

While I’d like to say I’m going to make the most of this break and do as much relaxing as I can, unfortunately I will be stuck doing homework all week. I have several term papers I need to complete before returning to school so I don’t fall behind. However, I’m grateful for the allotted time I’m given to complete these papers and stay on top of my work. I know if I can complete my homework, I will be much less stressed when I return to school. Hopefully I can get it all done and still enjoy Thanksgiving with my family.

Ohio Northern students are lucky to have this long of a break. Most universities and colleges I know of only get Thanksgiving and Black Friday off school. While this means most of my friends from high school won’t be able to hang out until next weekend, it gives me a lot of time to focus on my homework and my family. I hope everyone has a safe and happy break! Happy Thanksgiving!

Sunday, November 13, 2016

ONU’s Odyssey Team Reaches a Record Number of Members

I became editor-in-chief for ONU’s Odyssey team last February. When I first took up the position, our team only had around five members who were contributing regularly. Once I sent out an email to the student body inviting people to join us, we gained about 11 new members in two weeks. It was quite the accomplishment, and it brought our member count from five to 16 very quickly. Since then, this number has fluctuated back and forth, ranging from 10 to 17 members, which before now was the maximum number that we ever reached.

At our last Odyssey meeting, the team and I discussed different recruitment tactics that might be efficient in gaining new members. Little did I know the team would do such an incredible job recruiting that we’d see the second largest spike in Odyssey invite requests our team has ever received within a week. After just seven days, Odyssey at ONU welcomed aboard six new members. Before this spike, we only had 15 Creators on board; now, we have broken our record of 17 members with our new record of 21. This is huge because it means in less than a year, Odyssey at ONU quadrupled in size. I am so proud!

These 21 wonderful Creators write about current events, poetry, short stories, personal anecdotes and experiences and, so much more. At Odyssey, we now have the opportunity to submit a series of pictures or a video for our weekly article, so there is room for all sorts of creative activity. Our members are some of the most creative, intelligent and, kind-hearted people I know, and I am so fortunate to be editor-in-chief during this time of team growth. I can’t wait to watch how the new members develop in on this social media platform, and I am thankful for the success ONU’s Odyssey team has seen in the past few months!

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Fall Sports Coming to an End

Here at Ohio Northern University, as well as several other colleges and high schools, fall sports are nearing the end of their season. Football and soccer have concluded for the year, and posts from the players reflecting on the season are scattered across social media. For the most part, it looks like the teams here at ONU have been fairly successful this year. Unfortunately, I was unable to watch any games this year because my schedule has been so packed. However, I have always been a sports fan, so I’m happy to hear ONU’s teams had great seasons.

I used to play soccer and basketball, which were mainly winter and spring sports. However, I know the sinking feeling that players get when their season ends. You feel relieved that you can have a little bit of a break from working so hard, but you’re sad knowing that you won’t be able to play competitively with your teammates for a while. When you’re on a team, you and your teammates grow very close, especially since you’re spending so much time practicing and working with them every day. Hopefully, players made great memories this fall and can take comfort in those memories when looking back.

Congratulations to all the teams that were successful this fall. I hope next year I’ll be able to attend some of the games here on campus and support our Polar Bears!

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Phases of Engagement

In our book, “Measure What Matters” written by Katie Delahaye Paine, Chapter 5 discusses “how to measure in a social media world” and gives great advice. One of the most valuable pieces of information I felt Paine gave us in this chapter was her explanation of the “Phases of Engagement”. According to Paine, the levels proceed is follows: lurking, casual, active, committed and, loyalist. Paine then goes on to discuss the characteristics of each level mentioned.

I found this information to be very helpful. It thoroughly explains how relationships between companies and customers progress on social media. I had never thought about it before, but building any relationship takes time, and that does not exclude social media relationships. By seeing the levels of engagement in a grid that Paine crafted, it is much easier to understand how a relationship is built online. This will benefit me in my future career should it involve social media and relationship building. These relationships might just be one of the most important aspects of social media marketing. If you don’t have a good relationship with potential customers online, then your company will not be successful in gaining followers and loyalists. It’s as simple as that. Thanks to Paine, understanding how to build those relationships in the most efficient way as well as knowing when to reach out and when to hold back is simpler than ever. I will be taking this knowledge with me into my future.

Monday, November 7, 2016

Finding a Common Ground of Success

In our book, “Measure What Matters” written by Katie Delahaye Paine, Chapter 2 focuses on the planning part of measuring statistics of the media for businesses. Paine gives great advice, including an entire checklist of things to do to ensure accurate results before you get started with measurement. One piece of advice that she gave the reader stuck out to me: “By getting everyone to agree on a standard definition of success, you can far more easily judge your performance in the marketplace and relative to your competition.”

This is significant advice for a couple of reasons. For one, it is an important thought to keep in mind when beginning to measure data about your company and social media traffic. Everyone needs to be on the same page with the same goals in mind. Otherwise, miscommunication will occur and people may not be measuring the same things with the same objectives. To measure online data for your company, everyone on your team must have the same basic understanding of what it is you are looking for in the data you collect. That is the only way you will be able to successfully compare yourselves to your competition.

Another reason this is great advice is it can be generalized to any job or project. Teamwork is all about coming to an understanding with your teammates and making sure that everyone is working towards the same goals. This begins with defining what success is among the team. If people disagree on the definition of success, they won’t be working toward the same goal, and thus disruption would inevitably occur among the team and the data. Finding that common ground is an important part of business, but it is also an important part of life. 

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Election Day is Upon Us

Election Day is just around the corner now in the United States. It has been a very long and drawn-out battle between all candidates, even those who are no longer a part of the race. There are seemingly only two options to choose from now, and most people are comparing this moment to choosing the “lesser of two evils” since neither Hillary Clinton nor Donald Trump appear to be ideal. There are third-party candidates, such as Gary Johnson and Jill Stein, that are still a part of the election, but they are not as popular among the media as the democratic and republican candidates seem to be. Regardless, it’s going to be a tight election.

Ohio Northern University has done an excellent job keeping its students informed throughout the election process. Besides student organizations raising awareness about specific candidates, ONU has provided several “watch parties” for students to attend to watch the debates between Hillary and Trump. The campus provided free food as an incentive for students to attend. I attended one of them myself, and I intend on attending the final “watch party” on Nov. 8 to find out who will be our next president with several of my peers. ONU student organizations have also been doing their best to encourage students to vote, because most students don’t realize how important their vote is to our country. I voted, and I hope that the efforts of ONU to inform and encourage student voters has inspired others to do the same.

Election Day will be a big day for all of America. Hopefully, whoever becomes our next president will take care of our country and put its people first.