They say that all good things must come to an end, and on this Friday there are certainly a lot of good things coming to an end: the end of the 2015 spring semester of classes (including ISYS6621), the end of my fourth year at Boston College, and the end of my entire undergraduate career. Reflecting on the merit or importance of one part of my BC career seems almost impossible to do. However, I think connecting some of my best (and not so best) moments from my Senior Year with that I have learned in this course is a fair way to end my final blog post of Social Media for Managers. So, without further adieu, may I present my Highs and Lows of Second Semester Senior Year, #IS6621 Xdition.
Relay For Life
Some of you may know this (especially if we are friends on Facebook), but I am (well, was) one of the Event Chairs for Boston College Relay For Life. I can easily say this is one of the highs of my BC Career because of the fantastic people I’ve met through the organization and the great difference I have seen the club make in the Boston College community and beyond. As the Event Chair, I am always trying to increase awareness of the event, hoping that it will lead to increased fundraising or participation at the event. One of the key takeaways from this class that stuck with me is the idea of adding the personal aspect to the social media experience. People want to know that there is a human being on the other side of the screen, which was so evident from Paul Brown’s presentation on Jet Blue early on in the semester. This coupled with blog posts on social charity (shoutout to @alexiagasser) and presentations on social media for non-profits (shoutout to @michellekeilich) really helped us hone in on our most recent social media success.
On March 18th, two days before the Relay For Life event on March 20th, we posted a video to our Facebook page with the three co-chairs discussing what Relay For Life is and why we personally Stay The Night. It wasn’t a direct “you should donate to this cause” message, but instead showed why we as individuals were involved with Relay based on our personal stories. Social media facilitated the spread of this video, and we reached over 43,000 people with 13,819 views and 204 shares. This viral affect was mainly attributed to social media shares from accounts like Boston College and Peg Camp, Executive Vice President & New England Division Operating Officer for the American Cancer Society. But we did not let that video stop there. We made sure that we responded to comments on the video, after doing some research on the individual (shown on the left). Without even realizing it, I was seeing the lessons learned in SM4M unveiled right before my very eyes in an organization that I’ve come to love during my time here at BC.
Remember all that snow we got?
Now I am not one to say that I dislike snow. On the contrary, prior to my Senior year at BC, I would always see a snow day cancellation as a gift to be cherished. Still, through all this excitement, I have to say that this year took it a bit too far. Missing upwards of five or six classes due to the Snowpacalyse was definitely not something I expected for my final semester on the Heights, especially after a mild winter in the first semester. While our typical Monday meeting time fell victim to this wacky weather, I always told my family, friends and roommates the same thing: “If there is ever a class that can miss three weeks of classes and still function, it’s Professor Kane’s Social Media class.” Much of this is attributed to the great group of students we had on the #IS6621 X hashtag. Still, it seemed as though our class was mimicking the “coffee house” atmosphere mentioned in Steven Johnson’s TED Talk, Where Good Ideas Come From, before we even watched the video for homework! Even though our course had no syllabus and did not meet for a couple weeks, our unique hashtag was a way to keep the conversation going and learn about current social media phenomena like #WhoShoveledTheFinishLine (keeping the snow theme going).
Moreover, the snowy spring semester even connected to my semester project for ISYS6621. It is clear that during the month of January and February, snow removal was a major concern for the city of Boston. With that, the transportation company Waze offered some of the traffic data from its crowdsourced platform to help the city of Boston find out what areas of the city would be the most difficult to navigate, requiring immediate snow removal. Even though my project focused primarily on how the app alleviates traffic, Waze, along with the other companies we learned about in SM4M, used the large networks of social media platforms for a different purpose entirely. Whether it was Dove with its #SpeakBeautiful campaign (shout out to @tomaskj67) or Coca-Cola with its #MakeItHappy Super Bowl commercial, all companies (both tech and traditional) were using social media and their consumers to help out a greater cause or bring awareness to a particular subject.
TO SUM IT ALL UP:
Do I have social media completely figured out? Absolutely not – it’s always changing. Still, the lessons I learned in ISYS6621 were easily applied outside of the classroom to my Highs and Lows. As a final reflection, I’ll give my answer to a question we’ve heard managers ask all semester: should my company be on social media? In short, yes, but it’s a funny question to me because I think social media goes beyond the organization and can affect the individual in ways that he or she never imagined. It can further our passions and even fix something that frustrates us, like the snowy commute around the Chestnut Hill Reservoir. Needless to say, I hope to continue to apply these messages and themes in the workplace and in my day-to-day life. With that, I send a huge thank you to Professor Kane, #IS6621 X, all of the guest speakers, and everyone that contributed to one of the best classes I’ve taken at BC.