Ethical Implications of Graphic Photos: Boston Bombing

Assignment: There were many graphic photographs of the aftermath of the bombing. One showed a victim who had lost his leg in the blast. You can see his face. Explain the ethical implications of using graphic photos. 


Like most anything in life, I believe context plays a big role in how images, messaging, or media as a whole is received. In an effort to respect the individual who is shown in the photograph being discussed, I am choosing not to share the image on my blog. While he may not care, I’m unsure whether or not he does and I simply don’t feel the need to circulate it further. The image is graphic, and what is a sickeningly sad time for one man is also the time when other’s courageously stepped up to help.

Initially my eyes went to the gruesome image of the man’s missing leg. Before long my stomach began to twist as I tried to figure out what’s what in the image, which only made my stomach turn more. (As you may have guessed, I don’t do blood well.) I then changed my focus to the man and woman helping the injured man and their facial expressions. Without any text provided with the link (and even if there were text, it may not have answered these questions), I found myself wondering about the relationship between the man in the wheelchair to the man and woman behind him. Did he know them? Were they family members or friends? Were they complete strangers? Looking at their faces and sensing the compassion they had for the injured man, whether they knew him or not, the feelings of uneasiness dissipated and instead sadness overcame me, but so did joy — for the willingness of Americans (humans really) to come together in a difficult time

The point I am trying to prove (which is not nearly as eloquent written as professional journalists), is that the meaning of the image changes based on the context through which it’s absorbed. Is the image being published to portray the brutality of the attack or the hardship and  compassion of those affected? If an image of this nature is the be used, I most certainly feel as if the individual in the photograph must give approval, but also believe it to be an incredibly insensitive time to ask for such. What reporter is going to hang on to the image until a time when the news is no longer hot off the press.

Ethically, I believe it is incredibly inappropriate (and to some degree I thought illegal) to publish photographs of people without their consent. Whether or not it is “okay” or appropriate to do so, doesn’t address the fact that if consent is asked for it’s likely at an inappropriate time. More so than ethics, I think it comes down to morals and what journalist feel is right in their gut. I chose not to publish the picture…but I’m not a journalist.

While I think such images can be argued to portray a more realistic depiction of the event(s), which some may argue is what social media is all about (being “real”), but social media is also about being human. Just as the individuals aiding the man in the photograph showed compassion during a traumatic time, it’s the journalists choice to chose whether to exercise this same compassion. While I think there is a time and a place for “real” images and the context they are shared in is particularly important, I believe journalists overstep when they set their morals aside and forget that they themselves are human, as well as the individuals in the photos.

Ethics of Data Mining

Assignment: Read this article about the ‘ethical’ social network Ello which promises not to data mine. What do you think could be the wider consequences to social networks of Ello’s stance? Do you think social media users will respond positively? How would you predict Ello’s future?


According to the assigned article, Ello offers an “‘ethical’ ad-free social experience.” While the platform may claim to be “ad-free,” that doesn’t necessarily mean the platform operates ethically or provides an “ethical experience.” Additionally, a platform that is not ad-free doesn’t necessarily provide an unethical experience. The terms are mutually exclusive, and simply because the platform does not allow advertising, does not mean it is superior or more ethical than other social platform. In fact, many platforms don’t necessarily foster unethical experiences, but rather the users act and generate content that is less than ethical.

With the frequent use of the terms “ethics” and “ethical” in this post, it’s important to keep in mind that what constitutes ethical behavior and how some may define ethics differs among individuals. Additionally, the term ad and/or advertisement may also seem like words with concrete definitions; however, the article claims that Ello, as a Public Benefit Corporation, “won’t make money from selling ads.” Does this mean pro-bono ads are fair game, what about ads promoting their cause and motives for what they deem to be an “ethical experience?” Would in-kind donations in exchange for ad space fall within or outside of this statement? You see, even when we think we are rather clear with our terminology and motives, there almost always remains some level of ambiguity.

As powerful as the manifesto for Ello is (as shown below), and I truly admire that they agree not to sell their users information to companies, it’s difficult to fathom that Ello will (1) gain enough traction by limiting those allowed to use it or (2) make enough money to continue to operate solely off the sale of widgets and plugins. Although individuals are less than thrilled about the idea that their information is being sold to marketers, for which there should likely be more strict regulations, our society has become accustomed to being marketed to.

Ello's Manifesto

Ello’s Manifesto

Whether it be television or a live sporting event, almost any form of entertainment provides opportunity for marketers. Why? Simply because it’s where the people, their audience, is located. While I personally don’t agree with data being sold, I do think it is fair game for platforms to utilize the information themselves, which may include strategically placing ads for companies for a particular demographic. That’s not to say I believe companies should be able to buy a list of individuals and their personal information to do whatever they please with, but rather they are paying for the ability to market to individuals that fit a certain demographic (without owning the information). We’ve allowed this practice for other platforms such as television advertisers that only want to market to people in a particular area watching certain types of shows.

I’m also in support of such information being used to improve service and/or be utilized for proactive reasons, including but not limited to safety. Essentially, I believe Ello limits itself substantially (and financially) by claiming they will not (EVER) participate in advertisements! Instead, I believe it could be more beneficial for Ello to promise not to sell personal information.

Without advertisers and with limited exposure, I predict a bleak future for Ello, and a slow death, similar to MySpace. (Which, by the way, does MySpace even exist anymore?) Oh, that’s right, we’ve forgotten about platforms that don’t have audience members, particularly when there are mammoth size companies to compete with and more than enough social networks to keep up with as is.

Need proof that Ello hasn’t gained traction, just look how unpopular the assigned article about the platform is:

Ello article - Social SHare

(Note: See social sharing stats/numbers above the article.)

While I don’t think Ello’s stance will force the hand of social media moguls such as Facebook to do away with advertising, I do think it may force social platforms to be more accountable for securing information and disclosing what they do with it. Initially, pending Ello even gets enough exposure, I believe some individuals will jump on the bandwagon and advocate for platforms of this nature; however, eventually they (the users) will want to participate on a platform that they can connect with others and to to do so will ultimately be forced to resort back to the platforms they once denounced.

Although I pride Ello for their efforts, I believe they could have utilized the multi-millions of dollars they have funded to raise greater awareness about how social media platforms are using our information to create an initiative for more strict regulations. Hell, a couple million dollars in promoted Tweets and Boosted Facebook posts could probably create quite a stir, in particular when using the platforms themselves for purposes of exposure (oh, the irony). Of course this would be going against their mission, but would it be worth while to prove just that point. How powerful would it be to state the advertising criteria you used on the ad itself and say that is why you are being targeted, because social platforms have allowed me access to your information for marketing purposes.

Moderation Assignment

Assignment: How would you moderate the following audience/customer comments if left on your organization’s Facebook page?


To a hotel: “I am disgusted about the state of your restaurant on 1467 Justin Kings Way. Empty tables weren’t cleared and full of remains of meals. It makes me wonder what the state of your kitchen is?!!! Gross.”

Dear ____,

I am shocked and embarrassed to hear about the condition you found the restaurant in. I can assure you that this is not typically and would greatly appreciate a brief amount of your time to discuss this matter in more details. Please email me at manager@1467justinkingsway.com or you may call me at 000-000-0000. If I can get more information regarding the time and date during which you found the restaurant in the condition you mentioned, it will aid us in getting to the bottom of the matter and properly handling the situation.

I can assure you that our restaurant kitchen is clean and has received zero infractions by any restaurant management service. As a dining facility, we are held to strict requirements and have never been penalized for being below the standard. I would so appreciate the opportunity to prove to you that how you witnessed our restaurant is not characteristic of the norm. I would like to personally invite you to our restaurant to experience our exceptional dining environment for yourself. I also would love the opportunity to apologize in person and meet you first hand. If you would like to contact me with a preferred day and time to dine with us, I will schedule your reservation and make sure that I am personally on staff to ensure all your needs are met.

My sincerest apologies,

<Name>


To a mainstream news network: “Your reporting on the Middle East is biased in the extreme. You gave almost all your air time to spokespeople for the Israelis last night and there was no right to reply for the Palestinians. The conflict upsets me so much and your reporting of it, saddens me even more and makes me f**king furious.” (Let us assume the reporting was balanced, with equal time to both sides.)

Assuming the reporting was truly balanced , it is clear that this individual was unable to see past their self-created blinders and has reached a level of anger that may not be capable of talking down. Although news networks are often criticized for their biases, as individuals we also have biases and often form them unknowingly. Even when we are aware of our biases, it is difficult to absorb information in a neutral manner.

For instance, you may write an apology letter to another individual and in it you equally share your role in the situation as well as theirs. When reading a letter of this nature with pre-determined biases of our own, it’s easy to remember the criticisms rather than the mentions of the individual apologizing and also taking responsibility for the situation. In situations such as these, it’s possible the person may never see the other side, or it will likely take a sit down conversation (which doesn’t seem like an option for the disgruntled individual blasting the mainstream news network). For this reason, I am unsure if I would advise replying, as the individual may not be able to see the other side and it is clear they are already quite perturbed, and it’s not unlikely that they will simply fire back with “colorful” language.

This may be an issues worth consulting with your co-workers or team about. If the consensus of the staff of the mainstream news channel involved in making these types of decisions was to reply, I would consider including a clip of the report she is referring to and timestamps where each party’s position is addressed to show that equal time was given to each cause, this way he/she can reference back to the clip. I would also express your deep interest, concern and respect for the matter as well (after all, that’s why you’re reporting on it), and determine amongst your team if an apology for how she felt the information was portrayed is necessary, or if it admits fault (for which we are told there was none).

DiGiorno’s Uh-Oh

Assignment: Find an example of how a company or an individual has had their reputation put at risk by social media activity. This should NOT be an example covered in the video lecture or readings. Explore how the company or individual responded and discuss what action you would have taken.

THE BACKGROUND

In September of 2014, NFL player Ray Rice was facing public scrutiny for abusing his wife Janay. For those of you that didn’t see the incident on the news, YouTube or SportsCenter, Ray hit his wife knocking her out cold in an elevator, which he later dragged her out of. I’m not getting into the politics of what she may have said or done prior, their relationship history, or anything of that nature – the assault was shocking and definitely not a laughing matter.

To raise awareness about domestic violence and the seriousness of the matter surrounding the Rice’s, a Twitter hashtag, actually hashtags, were created. Many women, including celebrities, opened up about their personal experiences of being victimized by a significant other. Women shared their reasonings for both staying in the relationship (#whyistayed) and/or leaving (#whyileft).

THE UH-OH

DiGiorno pizza is apparently known for making snarky, satirical comments on Twitter, and frequently utilizes hashtags, especially those that are trending. However, DiGiorno’s cold, comedic heart got burned when they didn’t do their homework and insensitively misused the hashtag #whyistayed.  

DiGiorno eagerly used the trending hashtag without doing the miniscule amount of research necessary to determine the actual message behind the #. In their consistently satirical tone they tweeted the following:

Digiorno #Whyistayed

Ready, set…BACK PEDAL. Almost instantaneously DiGiorno realized the PR nightmare they had created removed the Tweet and replaced it with an apology.

DiGiorno - #Whyistayed response

But they didn’t stop there, and nor should they have. DiGiorno responded and apologized to individual Twitter users’ tweets as well, and while the apologies got somewhat monotonous and lost their genuity (in my opinion), they didn’t stop apologizing….how could they?

Digiorno #whyistayed replies to individuals

As stated in this Washington Post article, “brands are people too – and sometimes people make idiots of themselves.” The article also appropriately groups DiGiorno with some other idiot brands, guilt of making some social media mistakes. But hey, we’re human..right? Apologies can go a long way in relationships, in particular face-to-face; however, I don’t know that they hold the same value in 140 characters or less, particularly from a corporate brand with deep pockets. Money talks.

DiGiorno may not have done their research before tweeting, but it’s possible they learned from other social media mistakes such as the Red Cross and Dogfish Head  #gettngslizzered incident. Red Cross was fortunate to have Dogfish Head step in as an ally, but DiGiorno was responsible for their own damage control and wiping the pizza of their embarrassed faces. DiGiorno’s efforts to repair the damage have been honorable and were in fact rather timely, given October (the following month) was domestic violence awareness month.

To successfully recover, DiGiorno had to put their money where their mouth was and turn apologies into dollar signs.

Who do you trust on social media?

Assignment: Who do you trust on social media, on any platform or combination of platforms? Focus on individuals rather than corporations. Reference some of their social media content. Why do you trust them? What behaviours do they display in their social spaces? What do they benefit from gaining your trust?

 

As I began to ponder WHO I trust on social media, I was surprised to find myself continually turning to companies rather than people. Although I was initially surprised by this, I began to realize the expectations I have in regard to companies and social media marketing. I chose to follow many of the companies, and afterall they are businesses, so would it be so wrong that they market to me? Do I love being bombard it by it ? No, and of course that’s where the self-promotion comes into play, but I’m accepting of it. Although my level of acceptance may be significantly impacted by my profession, which includes social media marketing, it did make me wonder if the formula for trust is different for companies than individuals. While I don’t consciously believe I have expectations for individuals on social media (because let’s face it, nothing is surprising anymore), I do believe businesses have somewhat of a professionalism to maintain.

Now, is that to say I don’t have hopes for how people would use social media (i.e. respectfully) – certainly, but I don’t place those expectations on them. After feeling as if I couldn’t trust anyone on Facebook as I scrolled through my feed, it hit me – a former neighbor, stay at home mom, and mother of two. I’ll refrain from using her name or screenshots of content, but as I thought about WHY I trusted her, the MORE I trusted her and reminisced about previous posts of hers.

In order to explain why I trust this woman, I must share with you my revised trust formula….well it’s really more of a modification in wording for the formula discussed in our ethics course.*

According to Steve Rayson, the formula for trust on social media is as follows:

A=Authority, H=Helpfulness, I=Intimacy, SP=Self-Promotion

A=Authority, H=Helpfulness, I=Intimacy, SP=Self-Promotion

While I do believe the formula created by Rayson would produce relatively the same results, I would use different wording and factor in consistency. Although I don’t know that the mathematical side of the equation would make sense, if I HAD to re-write the equation I suppose it would look like one of the two equations below:

TRUST = Authority x Compassion x Transparency x Consistency / Self-Promotion

OR

TRUST = Authority x Compassion x Transparency / Consistency – Self-Promotion

The individual whom I spoke of that I trust on social media uses Facebook as her primary platform. She doesn’t share only the positive, or gripe about everything negative. She’s transparent about both the high’s and low’s of her life. Her posts show photos of her children’s misspellings, side pony-tails her daughter has created on her (the mom’s) head, images of family members that have past and date nights with her and her husband, as well as their triumph over his battle with cancer. Her posts ooze with compassion toward her family, her new friends and those she had to part from when she moved away. She posts regularly on Facebook and is a mother, wife and simply a human being, which in my opinion gives her the authority to speak openly about life. While I believe the “self-promotion” factor is a little more difficult to factor in when it comes to individuals’ posts, particularly if they don’t work, this person doesn’t post about herself often. While her family, friends and religion are all very closely related to her, it’s not the same as posting a photo or status about herself personally.

As I thought more about how much I trust this person and how quickly we became close as neighbors, my feelings became more pronounced. I supposes that’s how I know I trust her. Not only do I believe her, which is definitionally related to trust, but I care about her. I also suppose this is why a company would want you to trust them, so that you reciprocate a certain level of compassion or care. I also can’t help but realize how my relationship with this individual off-line has influenced my feelings toward her online. Again, I suppose that’s also similar to businesses. If they promote trust online with consumers, they must also provide that same environment in their storefront or through their customer service. While I can’t say that I am connected with anyONE on social media that I haven’t interacted with outside of social (I would consider my peers and I interacting through coursework outside of social media), I would imagine it’s more difficult to start a relationship with no reputation and build trust entirely online, for both an individual or a business.

In a nutshell, I trust those individuals (and businesses) on social media that not only fit the criteria of the trust equation online, but also have a trusting relationship with them outside of social media as well.

*To my peers: For more details on why I chose to change the wording of the formula check out my reading reaction post for week three. In an effort to (somewhat) stay within the word restrictions, I have not included my detailed reasoning within this blog post.

YouTube Lacks Video

Note: This blog was written for academic purposes, requiring an evaluation of social media platforms’ terms and conditions and recommendations for “re-drafting.”

Before seeing the YouTube Terms of Services page I thought the Facebook Terms of Service document was pretty bad, as in not user friendly (lengthy, not visually appealing, non-conversational language, etc.); however, the YouTube Terms of Services document gives Facebook a run for its money as far as being one of the worst social media terms documents. When I describe the documents as “pretty bad” or “worst,” I’m, referring to the level of understandability.  Not only is the document  incredibly lengthy, but the language consists of legal jargon not understandable to the “average Joe.”

Facebook Terms & Conditions

Facebook Terms & Conditions

For instance, try reading the very first item under “Your Acceptance,” which by the way, places a lot of responsibility on the user (“YOUR”). (Shown below.)

YouTube Terms & Conditions

YouTube Terms & Conditions (Click image to enlarge)

Although I must agree social media platforms are user-generated and should place a large responsibility on the user, the platform itself must also take responsibility as well, despite how hard policing an astronomical amount of uploads may be. In my personal opinion it’s only ethical to share the responsibility between those that are posting and those that created the platform in the first place. YouTube goes as far as placing responsibility on the viewers, which would seem difficult to enforce, as they may not have an account.

One of the items discussed in lecture was the accessibility social media terms and conditions documents. Again YouTube places the responsibility on the user, stating: “Although we may attempt to notify you when major changes are made to these Terms of Service, you should periodically review the most up-to-date version.”

Here’s an idea YouTube…step your game up. Play by the same rules as the rest of us, and put it in a video if you want people to listen. Or do you want people to list? While I agree you shouldn’t force individuals to watch an entire video on terms and conditions, as they may break their computer screen in frustration; however, you can prompt them to do so more readily. If the content is critical make users listen/watch to the whole thing, just like us non-paying Pandora users have to do when commercials play.

Regarding the terms and conditions document (not just changes, as mentioned above), did you (YouTube) ever think to put it in a video version? Wouldn’t it be most ethical (or best practice) to also utilize the power of audio/visual, as you encourage your users to do the same? Of course, in small digestible videos (like the rest of us) and maybe by category (Acceptance, Service, Accounts, General Use, etc.). Social media should be “social” or conversational (i.e. answer a question, put it in Q&A format).

Even though it’s a legal document, you can say it in plain English, or have two-versions if your stuffy lawyer tells you you still need the traditional format. Make it fun and preferrably in 3-ish minutes. Follow the same guidelines and recommendations we as users are told by the social media marketing experts, and maybe your terms of use will be read/watched and UNDERSTOOD more often.

Oh, and P.S. Your document is almost 5 years old! Get with the program! You wouldn’t not update your technology and features in 5 years, what makes it okay to keep your terms and services, and essentially your user agreement, the same.

P.S.S. I really love your product/platform YouTube, please accept my sincerest apologies for my attempt at a satirical bashing, while completing an assignment and providing some (what I hope to be) constructive criticism.

UF Ethics MMC 6936 Introduction

Hello to all! I’m looking forward to reading and responding to many of your blog posts (and reading reactions) again this semester, as well as getting to know some new “virtual faces” through this course. This is my third semester in the program (first using Canvas – eek, I think many of us are together on that one) and I truly enjoy the diversity that I have come to find among my peers. I believe this will be particularly interesting in an ethics class and can’t wait to hear all our differing opinions and share in some friendly conversations.

If you would like to learn a little bit more about me personally and/or connect on social media, hop on over to my About Me blog that was created at the start of the program. In a nutshell:

  • I’m a Gator grad (undergrad)
  • I reside in Gainesville where my husband of a year and a half is originally from
  • Our “baby girl” is a Goldendoodle named Bella
  • I’m the Marketing Coordinator (yes, it includes social media responsibilities) for an independent insurance agency in Gainesville, FL that sells home, auto, business and health insurance (McGriff-Williams Insurance)…thrilling, right?

IMG_3621

I’m all about transparency online, so please feel free to reach out or ask me questions. That being said, I’m not one of those people that posts all their opinions online because I feel as if we’re all entitled to our own…and shouldn’t be victim to others on a constant basis. Which brings me to why ethics interests me and why I believe this course will be incredibly insightful and promote open-mindedness, which I am a huge fan of. (I’m also human and guilty of being close-minded as well at times….and there’s the transparency).

As I continued to think about this blog post more I found myself often returning to religion and the various beliefs of individuals. To hopefully make a long story short, I had a friend in college that (at the time) had different religious beliefs than myself. Due to the fact that we had a mutual respect for one another and our opposing beliefs, as well as a certain level of open-mindedness, our conversations came to be some I have valued most in my lifetime and a friendship I treasure to this day.

I believe this class will ask us many question and provide various scenarios that we will have very different opinions about. I believe keeping an open mind and being willing to discuss a variety of viewpoints can facilitate growth, both professionally and personally…and that is why ethics is of interest to me, in particular this course and the discussions.

Second Life Assignment

Second Life Logo

Despite my initial unfavorable opinion of virtual worlds, such as Second Life, recent articles and comments from my peers had aided in increasing my enthusiasm about this assignment; however, it didn’t take long for me to return to my negative opinion. With my bias opinion likely still present in the back of my mind, my lack of patience for technological obstacles and disgust for video games since my childhood, I’m not surprised by my lack of interest in Second Life. Although I personally did not enjoy the experience, and most certainly went into it guarded and with hesitations, we are all entitled to our own hobbies and if it makes someone else happy, and doesn’t harm others in the process, I have nothing against it for use by others.

I am a relatively outgoing person, so I found going up to strangers and trying to talk to them fairly entertaining, despite the lack of success I had. I was so shocked by the experience in general I had to call my husband into the room to simply witness how bizarre the whole concept was, in my opinion. Whether I wasn’t approaching these individuals with proper virtual world etiquette or I simply seemed weird or uninteresting, I have had more success holding conversations with strangers in the real world. l also must admit, I have a higher level of confidence outside in the real words versus virtual worlds as well. I felt very uncomfortable and insecure while participating in Second Life, and as weird as it sounds, I thought maybe others could sense it.

Although I am a 25 year old female, I chose a male avatar…the least creepiest looking male avatar, in my opinion. Based on the warning we had from our professor about a former student’s experience and my low level of comfortability with the platform and the users, I strategically made this decision to avoid any odd interactions or advances, even if they are just virtual. As you can tell, I obviously was very guarded in this whole process, which may have hindered my ability to enjoy it more. I found the simple task of finding a name that wasn’t taken to be frustrating. I must say though, my husband and I did have quite a good time laughing at the whole concept and approaching individuals.

I, or should I say Kaleaf (my avatar’s name), walked, flew and teleported to various areas. Although I tried to talk to a few people, only one person attempted to converse with me and they spoke Spanish. I did boogie down on the dance floor with another individual but we never sparked a conversation.

I accepted an invite to another land, where I had hoped I would have more success conversing with other virtual individuals. After feeling rejected, overwhelmed and even a little like an outcast, I took more of a light hearted approach to try to end the whole process; however, Second Life doesn’t allow you to drown yourself in the ocean, so I eventually just resorted to logging off.

Survey Assignment: Facebook Ads

As a professional in the marketing field and a graduate student studying social media, I have chosen to examine Facebook users’ opinions about Facebook advertisements.

Facebook advertising has allowed marketers to target individuals using demographics as well as personal preferences (“likes”). Although Google may have a larger audience to market to, Facebook may be able to target individuals more accurately.

Although Facebook advertising may seem like a great tool for marketers, how do Facebook users feel about this tactic? As you may have noticed, Facebook not only shows advertisements on the right side of your screen, as shown here (Hootsuite & Bounty), but it also shows sponsored advertisements within your news feed.

Facebook ad - Right

Sample of Facebook ad as shown outside of news feed, on right side of screen

Facebook ad in feed

Sample of Facebook ad shown within news feed

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

While these advertisements may seem annoying to Facebook users, Facebook also gives us the option to hide ads from a specific company and even take a survey to make your News Feed “better.” Whether the ads are annoying or not may be irrelevant to marketers if they produce a return on investment.

Although I was personally annoyed by some of these ads initially, in particular those that appeared in my feed as opposed to the right hand side of the screen, I also grew to appreciate their surprising level of accuracy in regards to my interests.  From a user experience perspective I can see how these advertisements can be annoying; however, from a marketing perspective I can also see how extremely powerful they can be. Being torn between these two opinions, I find myself wondering what other users think and whether or not having a marketing background affects their opinion.

The following are the instructions for our Research Methods in Mass Communication surveys assignment: Identify one service, register for the free trial and explore how you might use one of these programs to answer a research question you may be considering. Create a short survey and distribute to your friends on social media. Explain the purpose of the survey and what you hope to better understand.

I have chosen to use Survey Monkey, a free online survey software & questionnaire tool, to further investigate Facebook users opinions pertaining to Facebook advertisements. While I don’t believe a “short” survey will provide conclusive evidence regarding this matter, I do hope to achieve a better understanding of users opinions by collecting evidence from a larger sample size than just myself.

While I will be administering the survey formally on Facebook, it can also be found here.

NOTE: Initially this survey was designed to have a “weed-out” question asking individuals if they have a Facebook account and if they did not the survey would end. However, this feature is only available through the paid version of Survey Monkey. For this reason, I have included the question; however, it is the only required question. In the event the individual does not have a Facebook account, they are instructed to answer just the first question and select “Done” to complete the survey. Additionally, the unpaid version of Survey Monkey limits surveys to 10 questions.

Results will be provided publicly the week following the administration of the survey.

Analyzing Facebook & Email Analytics for Company ABC (In Your Words 12)

*Please note, this blog post is strictly for educational purposes. 

Company Background

Company ABC is a health-oriented entity in the Central Florida area. In addition to a Facebook page, they also  send out a bi-weekly e-newsletter and have accounts on Twitter, Pinterest and YouTube. 


Facebook Analytics for Company ABC (April 28, 2013 – May 25, 2013)

(*However some information provided about individuals posts is outside of this timeframe.)

ABC FB Overview

As of May 25, 2013 company ABC has 880 Facebook likes and almost a 40% increase in weekly total reach. Facebook “reach” is the terminology used indicating the number of people who have seen your posts. 

ABC FB Reach Demographics

The demographics of the individuals reached by company ABC’s Facebook are predominantly female (60.3%) and mostly between the ages of 25-34, followed by 35-44 years of age. The breakdown of the primary male and female demographics groups is as follow:

Gender Age Percentage of Reach
Female 25-34 28.6%
Female 35-44 13.5%
Male 25-34 13.5%
Male 35-44 9.7%

*Females 25-44 make up 42.1% of the company’s reach, and males age 25-44 make up 23.2%

The strong majority of the individuals reached by company ABC are English speaking (5,027), followed by Spanish speaking (428). Given that the company is located in the Central Florida area, it is not surprising that Orlando (1,634), Celebration (252) and Kissimmee (243) are the three cities with the highest reach.

Also by no surprise, the demographics of the individual “Talking About” company ABC coincide with the demographics of the individuals reached. Females age 25-34 are talking about company ABC most, followed by females age 35-44, males age 25-34 then males 35-44 years of age. These individuals are also primarily English speaking and in the Central Florida area (Orlando, Celebration and Kissimmee, respectively).

Talking about this - Demographics and How While the actual details of the content posted during this timeframe are not viewable, some general information can be deduced from the information provided.

ABC FB Posts

The first post received the highest level of virality. Given that the content of the post was geared toward a national observance, National Cancer Survivors, it is not surprising that this topic was considered more viral than the others. Not only was it an observance acknowledged by an entire nation, but also a topic that affects many – whether it be yourself, a family member or friend. While the reach of this post was relatively low in comparison to others, there were 7 engaged users and 6 people were talking about it. Other posts to take note of include “Join in some…” (5/28/13) and “Join us tomorrow morning in the…” (5/19/13). The post on May 28th reached 428 people, had 18 engaged users and 5 people “Talking about this.” The second post has a larger reach of 509 and an increased number of people “Talking about this” (10), but less engaged users (13). Of the eight posts for which data was provided, these were the three most significant.

How you reached people (no paid)

It would appear there were no paid posts during the time frame under review. Given that the individual post details are from May 27, 2013 – June 2, 2013 and the insights information is from April 28, 2013 – May 25, 2014, it is difficult to determine a definite correlation between posts and traffic. Also with limited information on each post, further analysis is also somewhat undeterminable (i.e. what was the exact wording of the full post, what was linked to, what images were used, etc.). However, what we do see is a spike on May 21, 2013, which is when the bi-weekly e-newsletter was sent out.

Visits to your page

*Note: The stats from this email are further evaluated below.


Email

The email statistics provided by Bronto are shown below. Given that we do not know the content of the email and if there was a call to action to generate revenue, this portion of the information cannot be further evaluated.

Email stats 

There were a total of 2,624 emails sent out for the May 21, 2013 campaign, 2,606 were deliverable and 661 were opened, making the open rate 25.4%.

According to MailChimp, the average open rate for a health and fitness related email campaign is 24.27%, thus making company ABC’s open rate slightly above average. Even more impressive, MailChimp claims the average click rate for health and fitness campaigns is 3.64% and the average soft bounce is 0.83%.

Company ABC’s click rate was far more impressive at 10.9%, and their soft bounce rate was better than average at 0.2%. Overall the email campaign statistics appear to be better than average. 


Improvements, Other Channels & Future Campaigns

In the future, I would continue to utilize posts similar to “Join in some…” (5/28/13) and “Join us tomorrow morning in the…” (5/19/13) posts, as they appeared to receive the most level of engagement.

I would also highly recommend targeting your content to the most dominant demographic – females between the ages of 25-44. This may include female related health-oriented posts, observances of awareness days more geared toward women (i.e. Breast Cancer, etc). Given that a strong portion of this age group of women are likely also mothers, health related tips for pregnant women and young children may also be worth exploring.

While I do think company ABC should also utilize their other social media channels, such as Twitter and YouTube, I believe they would receive the most positive results from the utilization of their Pinterest account given the demographics of their audience and the dominant amount of female Pinterest users.

Although Google+ may not seem like the most active platform for company ABC’s target market, I would still recommend, at the very least, completing an account.  Since the company already has a YouTube account (which is owned by Google), it would be wise to complete a profile on Google+ because of how these two platforms are increasingly being integrated into one another. Additionally, it is wise to be on Google+ for search engine optimization purposes.

In addition to utilizing Twitter as a teaser for Facebook posts and YouTube as a platform for expansion on popular posts, it is also critical that all of these channels are integrated. Not only should each platform contain a link to the other platforms but they should also have a consistent look, messaging and tone. In addition to linking the various social media accounts, they should also include an email sign up on their social media pages, and include links to their social media pages within their enewsletters. This will allow them to grow their social media followers and email list.