JRM 327 Reflection

Screen Shot 2017-04-26 at 9.16.09 PMTo be honest, when I entered my first ever #JMCawesome class this semester, I was not sure what to expect. The class title of “Social Media” seemed a little broad to me, but it was definitely a topic I had interest in learning more about.

Today, I have no regrets about enrolling in JRM 327. Social media is such an important part of our culture, and having the opportunity to get a broad overview of how it works was truly a pleasure. I went into this class with a conception that social media was a powerful tool that was often misused. After taking this class, I feel like I now have a better idea of how to use social media in an appropriate and beneficial way, whether I’m running accounts for a company or building my own personal brand.

I think one of the most useful parts of this class was our unit on LinkedIn. In the Heider College of Business, they preach how having a professional LinkedIn page can give you an advantage in the business world. Going into this unit I thought that I was an expert in LinkedIn. However, I quickly found there were many ways to make my profile more professional and engaging. Additionally, I was amazed to see how many of my classmates had never even been on LinkedIn before. I would definitely recommend keeping that part of the class as an introduction to a social media platform that is important for career building.

Creighton NCAA Tournament #1Another part of the class I thoroughly enjoyed was using Canva. I have always had an interest in graphic design but never really took the initiative to try it out. Also, I have always thought that using visual assets on social media was a very appealing way of posting. I never thought it would be so easy to create content like this, which is why I loved getting creative with Canva. To have the experience to have a (very brief) introduction to graphic design and get practice with a new tool was great.

Even as a business student, I feel the media skills I learned in this class will pay dividends for me in the future. In fact, multiple employers I have interviewed with have been impressed that I have taken a full course devoted to developing social media skills. Overall, this has been a very worthwhile class experience that I would recommend to others.

Social media analysis: Nebraska Humane Society

Ever since the beginning of social media, adorable animals have been a mainstay in just about everyone’s newsfeeds. Everyone loves to see an adorable dog, cat or bunny video in their feed, especially in the midst of depressing political posts and useless articles posted by your grandma.

Creighton grad Elizabeth Hilpipre is in charge of the social media content at the Nebraska Humane Society located in Omaha. Hilpipre’s social media goals aim to take the adorable animal phenomenon of social media a step further–encouraging people to actually come out to the humane society and adopt their animals. Here, I aim to take a closer look at the Humane Society’s social media accounts to see what strategies they use.

Their Twitter account (which is verified…impressive) has 18,000 followers and great engagement on their posts. Their tweets do an effective job of getting the word out about different promotions or fundraisers they are doing. Their main tactic fScreen Shot 2017-04-03 at 7.10.04 PMor raising awareness is by using pictures of their animals to promote their events or fundraising goals. They also occasionally feature their animals (Like Linguine, pictured to the left) in order to encourage adoptions. By using their adoptable animals in posts (which they do frequently across all of their active social media accounts), they not only tug at the heart-strings of their followers, but also reminds them of their overall mission: to get as many animals adopted as they possibly can.

The Humane Society’s Instagram account uses the same type of strategy. They often post solo shots of animals in their shelter, encouraging their followers to help find that animal a home. For example, their most recent post was a picture of one of their cats that said, “Moses has been looking for a home since early March. He has a little cattitude but we still love him.” These posts are effective ways to spread the word out (with a visual aid) to those who may be interested in adopting from their shelter.

Their Facebook account is perhaps their most effective social media platform. They have a whopping 130,000 likes. Their profile contains relevant and easy-to-access information about their shelter, including location, website, phone number, email, etc.NHS.png

One of the most effective ways they use their Facebook account to raise awareness is by using the Events feature. One of their recent events was a Kitten Shower, which encouraged donations in anticipation of their incoming kitten litters. In the events description, they simply laid out their goals for the fundraiser, told people how they could get involve, and encouraged people to share the event with their friends. The result? Almost 700 people listed they were interested and almost 300 people went. That is exactly how to use Facebook’s features to get engagement and build your brand.

Overall, I think Hilpipre’s work with the Nebraska Humane Society’s social media pages is a great example of how the power of social media can help you accomplish your organizational goals. Hilpipre uses the Nebraska Human Society accounts to spread the news about the shelter’s events and brings attention to the sheltered animals, which I presume has greatly increased involvement in fundraisers and adoption rates.


Instagram Analysis: Staples & World Bicycle Relief

In a recent blog post, Lindsay Kolowich took a look at 14 of the Best Brands on Instagram right now. Of the 14 brands shared, I found Staples to be the most captivating.

Although the selling of paper and staplers isn’t the most exciting thing in the world, the social media team at Staples does a great job of getting creative with their content marketing.Screen Shot 2017-04-03 at 6.25.46 PM

For example, on Valentine’s Day, they used a pun involving two of their products to create a funny post that would bring a smile to the face of anyone scrolling by. This kind of post not only brings a positive vibe to the brand, but also subconsciously reminds Staple’s followers of their need for office supplies. That is an effective way to use content marketing to get your brand out there in a fun, positive light.

In addition to coming up with creative ways to advertise their products, they also use engagement tactics to get their followers eager to respond and participate. One of the ways they do this is by making posts that encourage their followers to comment with their own submission to their contest or question. You can also see from the comments in the post above that they are very responsive, interactive and helpful to commenters.

Overall, Staples’ Instagram account is clean, concise and engaging.

Similarly, in a blog post from last August, Winnie Lui looked at 6 Nonprofits on Instagram Who Are Getting It Right. I found World Bicycle Relief to be the most effective account of the six listed.

World Bicycle Relief is a Chicago-based non-profit that mobilizes people in rural, third world countries through the donation of bicycles to make transportation easier.

Screen Shot 2017-04-03 at 6.39.17 PM.pngWorld Bicycle Relief’s Instagram account is full of heart-warming stories and smiling faces of the real people that their work effected positively.

This not only shows the legitimacy of their cause, but also brings a human and positive feeling toward the organization, as their followers can see the tangible joy and change that is coming from their work. Additionally, the photos are very professional and aesthetically pleasing in terms of color balance, lighting, etc.

I think that World Bicycle Relief’s extremely professional and well-executed Instagram account will ultimately pay dividends for them in their mission. I will even admit that I did some more research and visited their website after taking a scroll through their account.

Staples and World Bicycle Relief are both great examples of how to use Instagram to promote your brand, whether for profit or non-profit, the right way.



A sentence is worth a thousand words

“A great man is a sentence.”

These were the words uttered by Clare Boothe Luce to President John F. Kennedy in 1962. In his book “A Whole New Mind”, Daniel Pink asks two primary questions that cover the same agenda as Luce. What’s my sentence? Am I better than I was yesterday?

It’s difficult to evaluate yourself in a single string of thoughts compacted into a sentence. But if you know yourself well enough, you know what is important to you and what makes you, you.

My sentence: A young adult hungry to make a tangible difference in the world while chasing his passions.

Let’s break that down.

Being a 20-year old at a Jesuit University like Creighton has given me an incredible opportunity to explore myself in a period of self-discovery. In just my short year in a half at Creighton, I have learned so much about my soul, body and mind.

Photo Courtesy of Cece Chen, http://www.freeimages.com/photo/mackinac-bridge-from-the-car-2-1224127

I feel like this sentence fully encapsulates the person I am and the person I am becoming. I am determined to use my gifts and talents in two ways in my career: to find a job that I love in an industry I’m passionate about, and to make a positive impact in my community.


The ever-connected world of social media gives me an incredible opportunity to build a personal brand that will help me achieve these goals. It is easier now, more than ever before, to get your name and your brand out there by using social media effectively.

One thing, that remains the same in the media, PR, marketing, etc. is that people can recognize two things: integrity and quality. These are perhaps the two most important things when building a personal brand. If you’re not honest and trustworthy, people are not going to want to work with or associate with you. And if you don’t do a thorough and quality job, you’re not going to have favorable reviews from your boss and your peers.

While I certainly have a long way in discovering who I am, this exercise is definitely helpful way to step back and do some self evaluating.

Cole Brown: social media guru…

…well, not quite. Not yet, at least.

Although I wouldn’t self proclaim myself as a guru, social media has played an essential role in my life for the past half-decade or so. While I have used Facebook, Twitter and Instagram all regularly, I have recently developed a fancy for LinkedIn as I continued to develop my professional career. These are my primary social media followings.

Facebook is my method of letting acquaintances, friends and family keep track of me, as I post important things that I feel are worth sharing with them. When I first started using social media, Facebook was my most frequently used outlet. But as the years have passed, I have found myself using Facebook much more sparingly.

Twitter—which is hands down my favorite and most frequently used social media outlet—is where I keep up with news, friends and sports. I have two primary twitter accounts: one that I use to follow exclusively sports writers, figures and websites, and a second account I use to follow friends and other news sites. Initially I used Twitter to tweet out sports opinions and to post links to articles that I wrote. Now, I’m more of a passive tweeter, as I primarily use Twitter as a place to find interesting articles and different opinions of the people I follow.

My use of Instagram is more private, as I infrequently post photos of myself with family/friends or at events.

Finally, I use my LinkedIn to try to develop connections with friends and colleagues in hopes of creating potential career opportunities both now and down the line.

The primary thing I like about social media is the feeling of connectedness. Social media is my way of staying in the loop with things happening, both in my own personal world and the greater world around me.

Furthermore, social media has granted me opportunities I would not have had otherwise. For example, my social presence on what is commonly referred to as “basketball twitter” landed me two writing gigs on reputable sites — Madtown Badgers and Behind the Buck Pass — during my early high school years.

I think the most challenging thing about social media is the search to find quality. There is an incredible amount of garbage on the internet, and it’s easy to get caught up in it if you’re not careful. Whether it’s “fake news”, click-bait, or just a “hot take” from a sports personality I follow, I am constantly using methods to weed out any of the garbage on my feeds in hopes of providing myself with the best social media experience possible.

I am hoping that JRM 327 will give me an enhanced understanding of social media and its purpose, functions and power. I am very interested in learning more about content marketing, as I feel it will give me a leg up in future career endeavors. I could not be more excited to begin this class and explore the world of social media.