Highs and Lows of Second Semester Senior Year: #IS6621 X-dition

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.

HIGH:

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.

Applying what I learned with personal social media responses to Relay For Life

Applying what I learned with personal social media responses to Relay For Life

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.

LOW:

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.

12 comments

  1. Thx for the kind comments. I do confess we weathered the snow better than I expected. I’ll have to think more on that.

  2. Great post Mark! Loved how you incorporated the lessons from BC Relay for Life’s social media presence. I saw that video and really liked it, congrats on a really great event too. Good point about how companies are using social media to bring awareness to more than just their products, they’re using it to bring awareness to important topics as well. It’s great how companies are using their powerful social media presence to be socially responsible and try to enact change. Awesome post, so glad that the snow didn’t take away from our experiences.

  3. Great post Mark! Love the way you structured the post and incorporated aspects of your Spring Semester into how it related to this class. Sounds like an awesome experience with Relay for Life and that there was a great deal of engagement on social media relating to the event. I also agree with you that it was pretty amazing how the class was still able to function perfectly fine despite missing so many days due to snow. It was a really cool class in that so much of it functioned online and outside the classroom.

  4. Mark, I really enjoyed the structure of your blog post! It’s great that you were able to apply the knowledge we’ve learned over the course of the semester outside of the classroom. I especially liked your high with BC Relat for Life! I enjoyed being a part of your BC Relay for Life Date Auction Fundraiser earlier this semester. The BC Relay for Life Facebook page did an awesome job advertising the contestants, and I loved being included in the cover photo as the host! Great work :)

  5. Mark – Loved your post. Awesome reflection. The snow days could not put a stop to our class, even though we have class tomorrow haha. But seriously, this class has allowed me to grow in areas as well and you make a great point – companies should utilize social media; in addition to promoting your company’s products or services, social media definitely goes beyond more than just that. It continues to have great impacts on people’s lives on a day-to-day basis, more than we even know. I can not wait to apply these skills to my own business or company I work for in the near future.

  6. Awesome post Mark! I like how you pointed out the fact that we do not have social media all figured out…quite yet! It is true that it is constantly changing and that is why it is so important that we make sure to keep up with the latest trends and emerging platforms in the social media world. I also agree that this has been one of my best classes at BC so far. I absolutely loved all our guest speakers and the group dynamics of the class. I especially enjoyed getting the chance to meet BC’s own social media team and learn about their take on social media and how they apply different strategies towards Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat.

  7. Great post! I agree with all the points you made. I wasn’t an active user on social media before this class and I believe this class opened my eyes to the world of social media. It was a great class to take before I graduate, and a class that I will greatly use in the future. Social media will continue to grow and will have more importance in organizations as time goes on. I really like how you incorporated themes outside of class to social media. Being able to effectively use social media outside of class is the essential purpose of the course and I believe managers can be really successful by doing so.

  8. Ah that is so cool that you were able to take what you learned in IS6621 and positively impact such an important club on campus. This makes me wonder the benefits of having all club social media account managers take this course! That is great you received positive attention and massive numbers of impressions! I raised a similar point in my final reflections about the ability of our class to continue functioning throughout all the snow this semester. The IS6621 hashtags and online communities were alive and well even though we were not able to meet for class. I just wanted to say a quick thank you for presenting on the Waze app as it is has quickly become my #1 transportation application! Great post, Mark.

  9. Great post Mark! I like how your reflection shows just how Social Media can add value to our lives in both positive and negative situations. I think it is awesome how you used SM to spread awareness and increase engagement for Relay for Life. I think it is important that people understand why they are donating to such a cause, and a Facebook video is a perfect way to connect with students on a personal level. In terms of the snow, I also explained to my parents that although IS6621 was cancelled 3 times, I still felt that I was engaging in the class every week through Twitter and blog posts. I guess, looking on the bright side, this is truly a class than can survive without physically coming together!

  10. Mark this is an awesome post! I love how you applied everything so seamlessly to your life. You really pulled together everything we learned this semester! After reading this I started to think about how social media played an important role in my semester too. Its interesting to think about how much of my campus life has been facilitated through social media. Any group I have been a part of (both in class and extracurricular) has a group me message or Facebook group that we use to facilitate communication. Without SM we would not be able to collaborate or share information as much as is necessary. This is especially true for all of the work I do for the Campus School Volunteers. We are always having events and fundraisers and without being able to share stuff on SM we wouldn’t be successful. This class has taught me so much about how the Campus School can be more effective in its social media use!

  11. Sweet post Mark. One of the things that I found most interesting in this course was watching how content goes viral. So long as the content is interesting, I think any sort of video/article/post/photo/comment has the chance to go viral. I find that this randomness really makes the internet interesting and engaging.

  12. Mark, I really enjoyed this man. It was so genuine. I like how you separated your post into highs and lows, but after reading it, the lows really were not lows at all. You figured out a way to make the most out of it (especially with that individual presentation . . . you crushed it). That experience with the video your team posted for Relay For Life seemed pretty special. The statistics you achieved relating to the number of views/shares are incredible! It seems like you truly achieved that “WHY” that we all look for in Simon Sinek’s “Golden Circle”. It was great meeting you this semester, and I enjoyed sitting next to every class. Best of luck to you next year!

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