Reputation Management in a Digital World

This week in my Multimedia Communications course, we studied the value of reputation management and the important role Social Media Managers play in maintaining their company’s stature.

Social Media Managers have a very important role in digital marketing communications as they maintain the brand for company’s social channels. Social Media Managers not only create posts for the social channels they manage, but they also have public conversations on behalf of the brand.

These day’s people have a public place to express how they are feeling at any given moment in time through online forums and social media channels. The feedback that is expressed on these platforms could be either positive or negative.

For our assignment this week we are taking a closer look at how to diffuse negative situations and respond in a positive constructive manner in order to practice good reputation management techniques. Below are two comments left on Trip Advisor for hotel stays at a Hilton and Hyatt.  In this assignment, below will be example posts for how Social Media Managers could respond to the comments in order to maintain each the hotels reputations.

Hilton Fort Lauderdale Marina Example:

“Maybe we’ll try you again in 10 years.”


Social Media Manager Response: 

Dear Luv2TravelWithHubby,

Please accept our sincerest apologize for the lack of hospitality and cleanliness you feel you experienced at our hotel. We truly strive to make your stay a pleasant one since we know you have many hotels to choose from when booking your travel accommodations.

Due to the hotel being fully booked for the reunion, our staff was a little behind in fulfilling requests. We are sorry for any inconvenience. Please note, I will personally follow up with our maintenance staff to check on the plumbing to ensure the hot water heater is working properly and the pool is tended to daily. Our property is known for its relaxing heated outdoor pool and poolside deck, therefore, your experience of inky water and trash in the pool is unacceptable.

We recently renovated our guest rooms outfitting them in floor-to-ceiling windows enhancing the design and providing a breathtaking view of Fort Lauderdale’s famous Intracoastal Waterway. The new design is airy and you shouldn’t be stubbing any toes with the new furniture!

We loved hearing your feedback so that we may continually improve our guest experience, and make sure you have a great experience on a future stay at one of our hotels. Again, we at Hilton are truly sorry that your high school reunion weekend did not meet your expectations, but we hope that you will give us another chance and visit us again.

For your next reservation, please contact Stacie Scott in reservation guest services (800-867-5309), and she will be able to assist you with your future reservation at the Hilton.

Hyatt Regency Orlando Example

“Really nice hotel, with great service”


Social Media Manager Response: 

Dear TravelWith3Kiddos,

Thank you for the review on Trip Advisor! We love hearing guest feedback and experiences.

We apologize you did not receive the high floor room with a view of the pool. Our hotel does everything we can to accommodate all guests requests upon check in if there is availability.

The Fiorenzo restaurant is a great choice to dine for dinner! We’re sorry to hear you had to wait despite your reservation. Because the restaurant is very popular, we’ve found that even with reservations there can be a wait. For any reservation you make through our hotel, our staff is happy to call in advance to ensure your table is ready before you arrive. Just let concierge know and they will call on your behalf.

Orlando is known as a family destination due to it’s many theme parks. So glad you were able to venture to the parks for some fun-filled family time! We are exploring different costs and options for parking on hotel property as well as all surrounding attractions. If you visit our travel page, all travel options to attractions that are currently available are listed.

Thank you again for providing your guest experience while staying at the Hyatt in Orlando! We hope to have you visit us again soon! For your next reservation, please contact Stacie Scott in reservation guest services (800-867-5309), and she will be able to assist you with your future reservation at the Hyatt in Orlando.


Social Media Calendar for Disney’s Epcot


Plan hypothetical posts for Disney’s Epcot social media pages for the month of December 2015.

Please note that this blog post is to be used as an educational resource only. The social media calendar of posts is an assignment for the University of Florida’s Multimedia Communications course.


  • Build brand awareness for Epcot events and attractions.
  • Increase engagement with Facebook and Twitter audience, and cultivate two-way conversations with consumers.

***Epcot does not have their own social handle, therefore, all Epcot related posts are released from the main Walt Disney World Page. The posts will be branded Epcot and tout events and attractions that are found at Epcot.

Calendar of Posts for December:

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CC = Character Count

  • A — CC 99: Visit Holidays Around the World at Epcot – an International Yuletide Extravaganza #CelebrateAtEpcot
  • B — CC 98: Catch .@ActuallyNPH November 30th – December 3 as the guest narrator for Candlelight Processional!
  • C — CC 100: This winter, soak up the sights and sounds of Holidays Around the World at Epcot! #DisneyHolidays
  • D — CC 85: Don’t miss @ActuallyNPH tonight as he narrates the Candlelight Processional at #Epcot
  • E — CC 140: Celebrate a world of cheer commemorating the international spirit of the season #DisneyHolidays #AroundTheWorld #CelebrateAtEpcot
  • F — CC 106: There are so many countries to explore for the Holidays Around the World at #Epcot. #CelebrateAtEpcot
  • G — CC 122: Ring in the season at Epcot’s World Showcase, watch holiday traditions come alive from around the globe. #CelebrateAtEpcot
  • H — CC 208: Norway is one of the all-stars of the Epcot “snack crawl” – The snacks in Norway’s Kringla Bakeri Og Kafe are so good that you might just want to double up! For a full list of snackable treats, click here!
  • I — CC 130: This month, hear the stirring story of Christmas as told by celebrity narrators accompanied by a 50-piece orchestra and mass choir
  • J — CC 93: Visit #Epcot this season…enjoy Hanukkah traditions and experience the spirit of Kwanzaa!
  • K — CC 73: Tell us your favorite holiday moment with your family! #MagicalMoments
  • L — CC 127: Enjoy seasonal food and experience time-honored traditions spring to life for the holiday heritage throughout World Showcase.
  • M — CC 69: Discover your taste buds in Japan at #AroundTheWorld celebration!
  • N — CC 126: .@AmericaFerrera joins the cast of celebrity narrators for Candlelight Processional. Come see America December 15 to 17, 2015!
  • O — CC 89: Come see .@AmericaFerrera tonight as she hosts the Candlelight Processional at #Epcot!
  • P — CC 112: Tonight is the last chance to join us in the Candlelight Processional celebration with host .@AmericaFerrera!
  • Q — CC 116: Build your own traditions this season! Go #AroundTheWorld with your family at #Epcot and create #MagicalMoments!
  • R — CC 163: ¡Feliz Navidad! Join mariachis and dancers in the country of Mexico as they bring color and excitement to the music, dances and traditions of a holiday fiesta!
  • S — CC 79: Check out this seasonal recipe to try at home from Holidays #AroundTheWorld
  • T — CC 167: Make #MagicalMoments with your family this holiday season! Book your candlelight dinner today, and guarantee your seat for Epcot’s annual Candlelight Processional!
  • U — CC 64: Share your Christmas wishes with Santa and Mrs. Claus at #Epcot!
  • V — CC 126: When in Germany, listen closely as Helga tells the story of the first Christmas tree and the tale of her first Nutcracker.
  • W — CC 129: In France, discover the magic of Père Noël and the joy of the season through a Christmas letter from a child. #AroundTheWorld
  • X — CC 121: Mickey and Minnie are waiting to greet you at #Epcot this holiday season! Bring the whole family for #MagicalMoments!
  • Y — CC 106: Amy Grant is the celebrity narrator for our Candlelight Processional December 29 – 30, Don’t miss out!
  • Z — CC 87: Last chance to see .@AmyGrant tonight! Head on over and #CelebrateAtEpcot #HappyNewYear

Images to go along with posts that are applicable.  Some images to be used for both FB and Twitter.

holidays-around-the-world-00-full 6339819925_1aa9d74991_z DHS-Osborne-Lights_3 epcot-christmas Holidays-Around-the-World-at-Epcot_Full_17595 0432476072_16230001_8col Amy-Grant-Narrator 2014-12-03-18.51.21-e1436288916427

Learnist is a place for learning and sharing what you know

Learnist…Builds Brands and Shares Knowledge


Let’s Take It Back To Inception:

Farbood Nivi, a former teacher of the year for the Princeton Review and academic advisor at Kaplan, founded a company called Grockit in 2007.


Grockit was created as a social learning game company designed to help learners educate themselves through technology. In short, Grockit was an online test prep service geared at aiding students in their preparation to take standardized tests and help them earn their best possible scores. On December 18, 2012, Grockit announced a strategic $20 million dollar investment from Discovery Communications, best known for Discovery Channel, Animal Planet and TLC television channels. The announcement also included Uber and Scribd as additional investors along with previous investors Atlas Venture, Benchmark Capital, GSV Capital, New Schools Ventures, and Integral Capital Partners. Then in 2013, Kaplan acquired Grockit. Kaplan, being a test prep company itself, found the acquisition was a natural fit in the progression of shared learning through technology. With Grockit’s primary focus as instructional online learning for test prep, the acquisition allowed Nivi to focus on a new social learning tool for the company, which he called Learnist. Learnist differs from Grockit and Kaplan in that, it’s a social learning tool championing collaborative learning through sharing with others.

Learnist Has Grown:

Nivi originally developed Learnist for K-12 teachers and students alike, to help users create ‘learn boards’ to assist with studying and learning core curriculum.

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In May of 2013, Learnist had around 700,00 registered users with 200,000 of those users being active monthly participants. Additionally, the company disclosed that each month, they received approximately two million page views. In February 2014, Learnist had roughly 10 million users. Talk about growth of the audience and users of a technology product! Today, Learnist is for users that want to share knowledge and collaborate with other subject matter experts. There is a lack of statistical demographical data for Learnist available to the public, but one could argue the target audience is reflective by the type of content that is highlighted on Learnist.

Articles all over the web compare the content communities Learnist and Pinterest to one another. In many instances, Learnist has been dubbed ‘The Pinterest for Education’.   CEO Roy Gilbert cites the two communities are very different, but if you explore the functionality and look of the two social platforms, you’ll find they are very similar!

Nivi stated, “The word “integration” means to make something whole, and I think that’s an important point. The goal is for the organization to be optimized — not the individual parts.”

What Learnist Can Do For Your Brand:

Farbood Nivi, stated the following on his LinkedIn account, “We want to be the Instagram of knowledge-sharing… like a smart RSS.”

And that is what Learnist is working towards and striving to do. It is a content community of curious people sharing knowledge about anything and everything. It is taking individuals or brands and brings them together as a whole unit in a synergistic learning environment. Learnist believes in collaboration, that everyone is an expert in something, and that Learnist is the go-to platform to share knowledge with other folks that have the same passion or those that are just curious in nature looking to learn something new.

Learnist offers brands the opportunity to provide value to their consumers through the sharing of knowledge.  The Learnist platform establishes brand credibility for all users creating content since they are viewed as the experts in their area of expertise.

Functionality of the site allows for simple browsing of categories or a specific search of a topic. Each board gathers content from multiple sources and complies the content for easy reading and computation. The Learnist app then provides the full article if the user wants to read more about a particular topic. One of my favorite features is after you are done reading an article you can save a board to your reading list and reference it again and again. There are so many times I’ve read content online that I would like to reference at a later date so I print the article not having a virtual bookmark to use, which leads to a stack of paper that eventually gets thrown away…the article never to be referenced again.

Learnist provides content viewing, how-to guides, and educational videos on a variety of subjects. A user can add things to a reading list, create boards, collect things, and follow subject matter experts or brands that the user finds interesting. Lessons or ‘learn boards’ can be annotated with notes and explanations and organized sequentially if needed. Another feature is the virtual checklist, which allows one to mark off learnings that are complete, or suggest new learnings. In addition to this ‘bookmark’ feature of learn boards, content from Learnist can be shared socially across Facebook, Twitter and email.

Learnist On Social:

Available When You’re On The Move:

Learnist is offered through Google Play for android phones and the iTunes Store for iOS devices. Learnist audience grew exponentially when it was available through mobile apps for people on the go, especially with the Android version for those that are located internationally. The mobile apps were recently updated to make the experience more immersive and easier for the user to create their own learn boards.

Learnist Is A Money Maker and Has Celebrity Status:

In a strategy to have users coming back for additional content, the Learnist app features premium boards created by topic experts and celebrities.

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Currently these premium boards may be purchased for ninety-nine cents. Some of the celebrities being featured are Olivia Wilde, Gus Van Sant, and Dhani Jones.

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Nivi’s goal for Grockit and Learnist was to make high-quality education accessible to everyone, and that is what he is accomplishing through these educational learning tools.

Check out my Prezi!

Push, Pull, and Integrated Marketing

A push marketing strategy is when a brand advertises its product to garner awareness from their target demographic, while the pull strategy released content in the market to reach audiences, which have an existing interest in the brand or product. Below is a closer look at the integrated marketing efforts that Best Western International currently has in the market and I will be identifying which of these marketing platforms are push and which exhibit pull marketing.

“The newer pull strategy has been viewed as a shift in power from advertisers to consumers, and so requires a more adaptive approach by marketers.  With the increase of social networking platforms and users, social networking has become a major and focal part to music marketing adopting the pull marketing strategy. Pull marketing shifts the emphasis and attention onto the customer, trying to market in the correct places by knowing who the target audience is. Consumers are increasingly customizing to better suit their individual needs.” (Wikipedia)  The main idea here is that Best Western is hyper focused on the needs of their customers and are pushing content across all of their digital and social channels which then draws or pulls their audience to their brand.  Most businesses will use a combination of push and pull strategies in order to successfully market a product as Boundless points out. In my opinion, Best Western falls in this successful combination of marketing for their hotels.  Most of the items below are examples of pull marketing, but Best Western does have quarterly promotions that they push out such as their partnership with Disney Media every summer (which is showcased in my previous blog post).


Best Western’s website includes links to all their social sites. The website also includes a booking widget and hotel locator to assist in planning your next vacation. In addition to their hotel directory, the navigation bar includes travel tips, member rewards and travel deals to assist in planning your travel. The latest offer available is located in the hero slider touting the stay 2 nights and earn a $25 gift card. In reviewing Best Western’s sites, you’ll find that this offer is being promoted on multiple media platforms. This offer is a smaller promo compared to bigger tent pole marketing efforts executed by Best Western. Best Western continues to execute integrated marketing efforts no matter the size of the promotion.

In addition to Best Western’s website being the hub for all the social link outs, it has so much information located within the site. Not only does the site allow you to research and book your next vacation, but you also have access to the history of the hotel-chain but also their senior leadership.

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The social media marketing Best Western has in market is a combination of push and pull marketing, however, leans more heavily on the strategy to focus on the pull.  In the social media platforms below, you will see that Best Western is providing a ton of information (specific to the social platform and audience) without a hard sell on booking travel accommodations.  Yes it is about the bookings, but it goes further with the Best Western brand with the focus on the traveler and their experience.


The cover photo touts the current promotion.  Multiple posts daily keep content up to date.  Best Western does a great job of sticking to current events.  In today’s post, they remind their audience it is Talk Like a Pirate Day and share a short pirate inspired video to go along with their post.

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Best Western just recently hosted a Twitter chat with two travel experts asking their audience travel questions, and had the two travel experts answer the chat questions.  Best Western is an industry leader in the hospitality vector because they truly are targeting their audience and communicating with them on each of their advertising platforms.

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Pinterest boards can be seen as a great example of pull marketing.  Best Western created a travel dream board showcasing their hotels and available destinations. Their pins are incredible and when planning a vacation, you could find a ton of information on locals, not specifically Best Western hotels.  This shows how Best Western is providing information about these destinations and popular things to see and do while visiting.

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Blog-site: You Must Be Trippin’

Best Western is digitally versed and you can find a presence on social platforms that include Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook, YouTube, Google+ as well their own blog-site named You Must Be Trippin’. Best Western’s You Must Be Trippin’ blog-site has fresh content that is relevant to current events and trending travel topics. Way to go Best Western with the catchy blog-site title!

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Best Western leverages YouTube as a hub for all their video assets.  Everything from travel tips with Tessa to linking to their You Must Be Trippin’ blog articles with video.

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The Mobile Experience:

I was expecting Best Western’s mobile site to be responsive and look like the home page of their website, Facebook and Twitter branding, however, BestWestern.com on mobile takes you straight to the booking feature. I believe that the mobile experience could be enhanced to allow for Best Western branding and easier navigation of the mobile experience.

Email marketing:

E-blasts are examples of push marketing.  Best Western sends out weekly email blasts with their top deals and promotions that are being offered.  The email includes links to all of their social sites to help easily connect their consumers to their content.

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About Best Western International, Inc 

Best Western International, Inc is a privately held hotel brand with a global network of 4,000-plus* hotels in more than 100* countries and territories worldwide. Best Western offers five types of hotels to suit the needs of our guests for any travel occasion: BEST WESTERN®, BEST WESTERN PLUS®, BEST WESTERN PREMIER®, BEST WESTERN PLUS EXECUTIVE RESIDENCYSM and BW Premier CollectionSM. 

Integrated Marketing Summer Promotion

I love Best Western International, Inc because not only do they want the best experience for their customers when they are traveling, but they also want the very best for the individual hotel owners.  I also love the Best Western brand because they are a travel and hospitality leader in digital and social executions.  I believe BWI has found much success in leveraging multi-platform marketing efforts to promote travel during summer months.

Their most recent summer promotion with Disney Media was anchored in the property Teen Beach 2.  Looking to target moms and get their families excited about summer vacation, BWI offered a promotion for 1 lucky winner to have the opportunity to meet Ross Lynch and Maia Mitchell at their very own dance party on the beach.  BWI knows the keys to success when it comes to integrated marketing and spread the word about this promotion across linear, digital, radio, social and in the lobbies of their hotels across the United States and Canada!

Let’s take a look at some of the marketing they did this summer!

Linear Platform

Custom television spots promoting the sweepstakes and chance to meet Ross Lynch and Maia Mitchell.

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Branded sponsorship on Disney Channel (click below)

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Digital Platform

Sweepstakes Destination, Co-branded Media, and Custom Video Content 

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Click below to see Extreme Poolside Sports

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Radio Platform

National sweepstakes spot and promotion on Radio Disney App

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Social Media Platform

Twitter Party with talent, Promotional Posts across Facebook and Twitter, and Talent Engagement 

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Organic Fandom re-sharing of sponsored content and Teen Beach 2 content

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In-hotel/Retail Platform

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In the lobbies of all Best Western’s in the US and Canada, you could find branded standees and tent cards.  These in-hotel marketing pieces triggered an augmented reality experience allowing you to take a selfie with Ross Lynch and/or Maia Mitchell. The app also had custom content and a quiz featuring who would your travel BFF be from Teen Beach 2!

Additional Social and Digital extensions

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Comparison: Social Media vs. Traditional Media

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Below are two aspects of marketing that will be looked at a little more closely for both Traditional Marketing and Social Media Marketing.


Classic Marketing v. Social Media Marketing

The social media world is opening doors for companies to generate revenue from a platform that was not even a consideration a few short years ago. Social media is really a paradigm shift or change in worldview rather than simply a new set of tactics2. Marketing via social media is new to most companies, and many advertisers are in the process of figuring out how social media fits in to their overall media mix.

Not only are the audiences different for every platform so is the execution lead-time, reach, and creative restrictions. I am a true believer in multi-platform marketing and how both classic and social media marketing truly can compliment each other if executed properly. During campaign analysis, I usually find that the metrics are greater when you use multiple media platforms to work together versus choosing one over the other to advertise. That’s not to say that the media landscape always should have a true integrated marketing approach because with most things it depends on the objectives of the campaign in question. For example, if you have a marquee campaign that includes a sweepstakes, television is a great driver for sweepstakes entries over social media drivers. Time and time again, television wins when a brand or company is measuring entries to the sweepstakes layer of their marketing plan. The audience still isn’t there on social to move the needle like we see in TV.

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Type of Marketing

Traditional marketing has always been about brand awareness and having the media platforms push advertising campaigns out into the world for people to consume. Due to the lead time necessary for traditional advertising, brand messages aren’t very flexible — they don’t change often, media buys are committed far in advance, and brands can’t easily adjust to take advantage of new opportunities2. Especially with television or print platforms, the production schedule is usually more than 8 weeks to produce. A traditional media plan is time-consuming mostly on the front end (planning, creating and buying) and back end (quantifying and analyzing) of the campaign. Once a traditional media plan is put into place, it is a mostly hands-off affair3. The guidelines and stakeholders that have to review television ads are far more extensive than social media posts and campaigns.

With a growing plethora of social media options, which are far less costly than traditional media, some of you might be questioning spending money on those pricey TV, radio and print ads to encourage business. However, using both media together, as opposed to one versus the other can move your message further and reach a larger audience3. These days every company has a social media footprint, and exploring how to utilize the platform. Because social media is new to the media mix, companies are testing reach and engagement from Twitter chats and brand awareness campaigns. Companies and advertisers are experimenting with the types of posts that resonate with their audience to generate more likes, comments and shares. The good news is that because social media is an emerging platform, the cost to execute a social campaign is considerably less than that to produce a television spot.

Unlike traditional media campaigns, a social media campaign needs to be worked every day. Monitoring what your customers are saying and doing and then responding accordingly takes time. Most experts’ recommend spending one hour every day with each social media outlet you utilize3.


Traditional marketing goes through many rounds of review with various stakeholders that could include the creative director, legal, standards and practices, brand franchise, or sweepstakes administrator. It is a very formal process and strict to keep the marketing language adhering to the guidelines set forth by the networks and advertising sites. Additionally, the marketing message is more reflective of full thought out clever tag lines or messages. When you look at social media the marketing lingo changes slightly. Everything is abbreviated, shortened, or just a small piece of the overall marketing campaign is shared. Social media also asks the audience their opinion and phrases the marketing language in such a way that it promotes responses to the posts which is true to the platform in having an open two way communication. Social campaigns are still planned in the initial stages of posts people post in response to the marketing posts.

What Should You Do?

With any strategic marketing campaign, you must first know what the goals are and what the advertiser will deem a measurement of success. Once you know their objectives you can start building a marketing campaign to fit their needs and hope to deliver results to meet their expectations. Is the advertiser looking to grow followers? Are they looking for brand awareness? Do they want to create an experience with their brand. These are all very important questions to ask at the launch of any campaign execution.

Thanks for reading!


  1. http://www.adweek.com/socialtimes/social-vs-traditional-media-marketing/466873
  1. https://www.hausmanmarketingletter.com/social-media-versus-traditional-media/
  1. http://exclusive.multibriefs.com/content/traditional-vs.-social-media-making-the-right-choices

UF Grad Studies | Masters in Social Media

Introduction to Multimedia Communication 

My first blog post ever is happening right now!

I’ve returned to school in order to further my education as strongly believe in continuous learning and development. I have a huge passion for social media and the Florida Gators, therefore, combining my love for both culminated in perfect pursuit of this Masters degree at the University of Florida.

I am really looking forward to collaborating with my fellow classmates and exploring emerging media together. I currently work in a multi-platform ecosystem, and can’t wait to learn new things together! #GoGators


Find out more about me here!