West Virginia made international news when Pamela Taylor of the Clay County Development Corporation posted a controversial Facebook post about First Lady Michelle Obama, calling her an “ape in heels.” Her boss, Democratic mayor Beverly Whaling, commented on the post saying, “Just made my day Pam.”
Many have deemed the post racist; I’ll add stupid. I was raised in a small town where my Mom always told me, “Somebody always knows you even if you don’t see anyone you know.” My Mom would share this when I returned from an outing to town and someone would call my Mom with some detail of my behavior––usually good, usually. These anonymous reports always served as a reminder that my Mom had eyes and ears everywhere.
Being raised like this has been helpful as we have moved into the social media world. I am, and you are, always being watched. I live by a code and I tell my children and my clients, “If you can’t say it to someone face, don’t say it on social media!” I stand by that. And, even when I am talking unromantically about a politician, celebrity or person that I may never see (but, in West Virginia chances are great that I might see the politician I am critical of at the coffee shop), would I say it to their face? If yes, I post. If no, I rethink my reasons why and rearticulate what I want to say to say it a better way––or not at all.
Maybe Pamela Turner would have called Michelle Obama an “ape in heels” to her face. Maybe she wouldn’t. But the lesson here is that someone is always watching; there is no separation between personal or professional. If you are on any social media platform, you are vulnerable that everything you say “can and will” be used for or against you. Your digital footprint is forever; wear clean socks.
Our world –– real and virtual –– is a tender and thrives on pointing fingers and virtual “lynch mobs.” Safe and unSafe space, politically incorrect and correctness, keyboard gangsters and missionaries are everywhere. Social media (to date) has no laws against bad manners or so-called hate speech, but when people are caught outside the morality of the masses, the consequences can be devastating for an individual with job. Reputations can be lost –– or, in the case of Pamela Taylor, the entire state of West Virginia was branded as racists. The risks are huge.
Think before you post because Santa, your Boss and the world is watching.
With that said, there are some things you can do to manage your risk and “privacy” on Facebook.
- Be POLITE!
How to do it: Even when you are telling an uncomfortable truth or perspective, imagine reading your post to a second grade classroom.
- Create friend lists.
How to do it: To the left of the news feed, you’ll see a “FRIENDS” heading with list titles underneath it. (If you’ve never made a friend list before, you’ll likely see the “smart lists” Facebook has pre-made for you, such as “close friends” and friends in your locale.) Up at the top, you’ll see a “create list” toggle — from there you can create fully customized lists of friends.
- Customize your privacy settings for status updates.
How to do it: When you choose to update your status, use the toggle next to the “post” button to customize who gets to see what you’re sharing.
- Choose who can see your likes and interests.
How to do it: Click on your likes link from your timeline. Then click “edit.” You’ll see an arrow to the right of each section of your favorites that allows you to customize who can see what. The same arrow is next to an “other pages you like” link that will allow you to choose who can see the pages you’ve chosen to receive updates from.
- Edit your Timeline information.
How to do it: Go back to that arrow next to the Home button and this time, click on Privacy Settings. Within the first paragraph of Facebook’s privacy settings explanation, click on the “editing your Timeline info” link. From there, you can customize who sees each information category in your profile.
- Lock down your photo albums.
How to do it: When you click on your photos to display the albums you’ve created, you’ll see an arrow below each album photo icon that allows you to change the audience for each album. Click on that arrow to customize who can see your photos.
Do you have any additional tips? Please post or email me: firstname.lastname@example.org
The President of the United States is winning the Twitter game, like it or not.
And it seems that most politicians (most recently Elizabeth Warren) are following the trend of taking their voices to the platform to be heard.
Social media is the new friend, new bully and new bully pulpit. It’s the place to have and host conversations with politicians and constituents to get political messages and opinions in the mixx. Never before have constituents and their elected officials been able to communicate so easily in real or alt-time.
In West Virginia, an election can be won or lost by hundreds of votes — or perhaps followers. And in the case of Richwood, WV, the mayor won by ONE vote. Because of this, Mixxed Media is paying attention and thinking about how social media is playing a part in West Virginia’s political landscape. We created the 2017 Mixxed Media Report “Card” – giving West Virginia politicians a “grade.” These are subjective grades; we joke that they are #onacurve. The report is not scientific, but it does have merit and a purpose to bring awareness and attention to the social media platform and to encourage political and media literacy.
We hope you enjoy this year’s report and share your thoughts on how social media influences West Virginia politics.
Download the 2017 Mixxed Media Report here.
It can be hard to measure the value of social media, especially platforms that are less social and more visual. With sites like Facebook and Twitter, word of mouth is important and a beneficial conversation will send people straight to your website. But on sites where a picture is meant to speak a thousand words, like Pinterest, how do you entice people to interact?
The first step is to determine whether or not a visual platform is right for you and your business. Sites like Pinterest are most beneficial to businesses that have a physical product to sell, such as artists, crafters or graphic designers. But just because you sell a service and not a product doesn’t mean you can’t make Pinterest work for you. If you can create visual content based on the services you offer—think infographics or tips and tricks—Pinterest may be a good bet.
You also need to determine who your audience is. Are you trying to reach out to men aged thirty-five to sixty-five? They probably won’t see your posts on Pinterest. Pinterest is most popular among women aged twenty-five to sixty-five. Whether they are your main audience or you are trying to reach out to the demographic for the first time, Pinterest is where it’s at.
Perhaps the most important thing to consider when it comes to Pinterest—and any social media platform—is time. Do you have the time to dedicate to a Pinterest page? If you are already creating visual content for you blog, Facebook page, or Instagram, the answer is probably yes. If, however, you don’t have the time to set up photographs or create graphics for your social media, you may want to hold off on creating an account.
Pinterest has proven to be useful for bloggers, small business owners and creatives as well as larger corporations with a more visual focus. The viral aspect of the platform drives users to your website for more information. Our last piece of advice is to make sure your message matches your mission. You don’t want someone to find your website through a recipe when you are a graphic designer.
Of course, like all social media, Pinterest is being used in new and different ways every day. So while Pinterest may not be the best fit for your business right now, that doesn’t mean you still can’t find a way to use it to your benefit.
What do poetry and social media have in common? More than you think.
Your friend has just posted a touching personal story to Facebook. You don’t actually like the story– it’s a sad one– but you want to show support for your friend and let them know you’re listening. You hit the ‘like’ button.
But what do you do when you come across this in everyday life? Next time, try snapping.
Snapping is not a new phenomenon. Folks have been snapping at poetry readings for decades, starting with the beatniks of the 50s and 60s. It is a way to tell the presenter you like, support or understand what they are saying.
“It takes a lot of courage to share dripping wet new work,” Bianca Spriggs explained in a recent New York Times article about the rise of snapping beyond the poetry scene. Spriggs is a Kentucky native, and a Affrilachian Poet like our Mixxed Media CEO Crystal Good.
Spriggs says, “Applause feels almost like too much, especially if a poem is dealing with a heavier topic like sexual abuse or physical abuse or heartbreak. Snapping is quiet, and it offers encouragement when you don’t want to bring too much attention.”
Unlike clapping, snapping can be done at any point, not just at the end of a speech or presentation. It allows you to express yourself throughout a lecture or performance without disrupting the speaker or those around you.
How does this relate to social media? It’s hip!
Just kidding (sort of). It’s the spontaneity. Snapping lets you express how moved you are in that instance. We do the same thing on social media sites. We live in a world where we want to be in the ‘right now,’ in the moment. We also live in a world of sharing those moments and that is what snapping allows for: sharing the moment.
Thanksgiving is often a hectic holiday. All of the travel and prep sometimes gets in the way of the true purpose: spending time with your family. So we’ve found 5 apps to make your turkey day a little easier so you can have the best Thanksgiving yet!
- Thanksgiving Countdown & Trivia
This app lets you count down to turkey day! It also lets you learn fun trivia about Thanksgiving. This is a great tool to get kids excited for the typically despised road trip to grandma’s. This app is free and available for iOS and Android
- A Cooking Timer
A good chef should really have one of those but, even if you only cook on Thanksgiving, a cooking timer is worth it. A time app can help you keep up with multiple dishes and keep track of when they will done. There are two apps we suggest for this.
Check the Chicken is available for iOS for $1.99. Android users can find Kitchen Timer for free on Google Play.
To save on kitchen clutter, make the best mashed potatoes, and add a little ease to your holiday shopping, consider getting a recipe app. Many recipe apps offer thousands of recipes, a way to store your favorite recipes, and a menu or list option for when you go to the store.
We suggest BigOven; it is free and can be found for both iOS and Android.
- A Substitution App
Nothing is worse than finding out you ran out of a necessary ingredient. Your family is on the way, you have six things cooking, and now you are freaking out. A substitution app can help. They help you quickly locate other options for the ingredient you need to replace. Some apps also help with substitution measurements.
We suggest Kitchen Buddy for iOS. It costs .99 cents. For Android users, we suggest Food Substitutions, which is free.
Lastly, we want to talk about organizational joy. We aren’t telling you to download Instagram. We are telling you to utilize it. Prior to your holiday event, designate a family hashtag for the holidays. Let everyone know what that hashtag is. When Thanksgiving is over you can then easily search the hashtag and see all of the collected memories.
Be sure to make the hashtag specific so you aren’t flooded with cute pictures of a baby you don’t know or someone else’s grandma. #ThankgivingFamily isn’t going to work. Try #MaxwellsGobble or #ThanksgivingMaxwells2015.
Have fun and eat responsibly!
We are officially in the time of apps. Over 1.5 millions apps are currently available in the iTunes app store, with nearly twenty thousand news apps being released each month. And while some apps like Flappy Bird and Kim Kardashian Hollywood can be fun and addictive, other useful apps are essential to running your social media successfully. Here are five apps that your organization or business needs to rock your social media with ease.
Hootsuite. If you’re not already using Hootsuite, you should be. Hootsuite allows you to schedule posts on three social media mainstays: Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. A customizable interface allows you to see not only your own timeline and the tweets of the accounts you follow, but also retweets and mentions all in one place. A similar interface exists for your Facebook account. You can add up to three accounts for free, or you can upgrade to Pro for $9.99 a month which will allows you to add up to 50 accounts. And I didn’t even mention the best part—they also have analytics reports! Free and paid versions available. Available for iOS and Android.
Facebook Pages Manager. Keep up with your Facebook audience on the go with this easy to use app directly from Facebook. Manage up to 50 pages and schedule posts, reply to messages, set new administrators, as well as view easy to understand analytics for each one. Free. Available for iOS and Android.
Feedly. It’s important to share good content on your social media accounts. Sometimes that means creating your own shareable content, but it can also mean finding interesting content from others to share. Enter a keyword and feeds related to that keyword will appear. Add your favorite feeds to your feedly and create categories to put them under, such as Marketing or Business. It puts exciting shareable content right at your fingertips. Free. Available for iOS and Android.
VSCOcam. For many organizations and business, sharing visual content is a must-do. But you don’t just want to share any ol’ picture. That is where this photo-editing app comes in. Edit the skeleton of your photo with the many features they have, and then really make your photo stand out with a wide range of gorgeous photo filters. Free with in-app purchases. Available for iOS and Android.
Slack. Slack isn’t a social media app, but that doesn’t mean it won’t help you manage what you and your team post to social media. This unique messaging app allows you to add specific people to your chats, such as team members or employees. It also lets you set up specific channels, such as a general channel or a channel related directly to a project you are working on. A social media channel will allow your team to share content ideas, photo files, text snippets and more, to ensure that no ideas or content nuggets get repeated. Free and paid versions available. Available for iOS and Android.
Do you already use some of these apps? What other apps do you use to manage your social media?
1. Kessler – D (3,919)
2. Saira Blair – R (3,104)
3. Tim Miley – D (2,444)
4. Amanda Pasdon – R (1,984)
5. Bob Beach – D (1,874)
6. Daniel Hall – R (1,678)
7. Ryan Ferns– R (1,208)
8. Brent Boggs – D (1,163)
9. Erikka Kerr Storch – R (1,132)
10. Sean Hornbuckle – D (928)
Note: The above links may take you to personal pages, please download the Mixxed Media Report at www.themixxedmedia.com public pages to these social media savvy law makers!
If you are a constituent and have been blocked by a representative please contact Mixxed Media.
What Do Neither Political Party In West Virginia Seem To Understand?
March 10, 2015
Charleston, West Virginia – Social media is the place to have and host 2-way conversations with voters. Never before have voters and their elected officials been able to communicate so easily in real time. Considering the importance of using social media, Mixxed Media took a look at the politicians in West Virginia to see if and how they were utilizing social media platforms.
Download the Mixxed Media Social Media Report Card: www.themixxedmedia.com
Here are a few highlights:
The 82nd Legislature earned a C- grade.
Republicans lead with a solid C.
Democrats trail behind with a D+.
Honor students include:
Democratic Senator Bob Beach and Democratic Senator Kessler who are leading the Legislature in social media savvy.
Republican Delegate Saira Blair leads the GOP in social media engagement.
Mixxed Media CEO Crystal Good said, “Our Legislative body would not be eligible for the promise scholarship, that needs to change. Voters and politicians need to meet in this new bully pulpit called social media. ”
Contact Mixxed Media via Facebook or @mixxedmedia
Mixxed Media is a boutique, social media, strategy, marketing, consulting, firm for mission driven organizations.
Get In The Mixx.
West Virginia 82nd Legislature 2015 Social media is the new bully pulpit! It’s the place to have and host 2-way conversations with voters. Never before have voters and their elected officials been able to communicate so easily in real time.
West Virginia 82nd Legislature 2015
Social media is the new bully pulpit! It’s the place to have and host 2-way conversations with voters. Never before have voters and their elected officials been able to communicate so easily in real time.
What’s the one thing West Virginia politicians from neither party seem to understand?
Social media is the new bully pulpit! It’s the place to have and host 2-way conversations with voters . Never before have voters and their elected officials been able to communicate so easily in real time.
Politicians need to be the social media mixx.
The Mixxed Media Report Card
- 82nd Legislature a C-
- Republicans lead the way with a solid C
- Democrats trail behind with a D+
(Nobody in this class would receive the West Virginia Promise Scholarship with these grades)
Robert “Bob” Beach is dominating the entire legislature with his social media savvy. The Democrats may be a D+, but Senators Bob Beach and Senator Kessler are kicking much Republican virtual bootie when it comes to engaging with their voters.
Delegate Saira Blair, the 18-year-old Freshman Delegate is leading the GOP in social media engagement, and her fellow Republicans are leveraging social media in ways the Democrats are missing. All in all West Virginia Legislator are C- students and that needs to change.
Here are 3 key ways social media can work in politicians’ favor and improve West Virginia’s overall social media grade:
First, is the ability for politicians on social media to connect directly with voters and supporters— and in meaningful ways. In West Virginia, an election can be won or lost by hundreds of votes— or perhaps followers. Not to mention, social media appeals to a younger voters.
Politicians: Social media can still be personal, but far more efficient (and less intrusive) than the old-fashioned door-to-door campaigns. Voters are already there on social media, and voters will come to you.
Secondly, the best way for politicians to leverage social media and engage with their community is to be ON the platforms and USE them. Having an account on these platforms alone makes politicians more accessible.
Politicians: Do you know how many people in our state are using social media? If you did, I doubt I’d need to have this conversation with you. West Virginians are already gathered on social media; meet voters where voters are.
Third, social media provides politicians the opportunity to attract new resources such as businesses, tourists, and media interest for their communities. It makes creating ties and relationships easier and faster.
Politicians: Could national media find you in an instant? Yes, if you are on social media. No, if you are not. What opportunities are you missing to promote your community? How much money, resources and opportunities are you missing by ignoring the benefits of social media?
Bottom line, if you are in a political office— or you are a voter— you need a social media presence, and you need to demand that your leadership and representatives are participating across these platforms. There is no excuse.
When Social Becomes Necessity
Sometimes, social media is more than just smart politics. It becomes indispensable.
As trusted community leaders, politicians serve as a valuable resource when something goes wrong, and not just the next political scandal or national report on the ills of West Virginia, but in a real crisis or emergency. When people need information they trust political leaders, and the quickest real-time place to share information is on social media.
The previous statement was proven true during the Jan. 9, 2014 water crisis that affected 9 counties and more than 300,000 West Virginians. Those affected turned to their elected leaders as trusted sources of information; local news was also a vital quarterback to and from elected officials. Read more about How Social Media Changed The Equation On The Chemical Leak Story.
The community counts on leaders and leadership to be accessible and listening during times of need. Our elected officials need to take that responsibility seriously by staying on the communication front lines. Right now, that means Facebook and Twitter.
It is critical that West Virginia Legislators, regardless of party, understand social media, its power and presence. It is a utility that must be learned, leveraged and used as another extension of their community. I challenge the 82nd legislature— and all political offices and officers across West Virginia— to step into the 21st Century and join the conversation.
Download The Mixxed Media Social Media Report HERE.
- Don’t be like Jo from Kentucky and block voters . It’s rude.
- Don’t delete your account after some national media press, like Dan Kurcaba.
- And, please don’t lock your account like @JustinJMarcum @npguthrie @SenatorPlymale. What ya’ll hiding in there?