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Filtering by Category: Channels

10 Reasons I Love Yik Yak (and none are about marketing)


yikYak21. Yik Yak changes when I drive across town. This is the exact opposite of the globalization of everything else on the internet. You know what is cool about Instagram? I can interact with people at 2am because somewhere in the world it is time to photograph your cat and it doesn't matter what language either of us speak. Yik Yak is the exact opposite. Yik Yak makes it so where you are and having the social skills to interact with the person down the street actually matters to your online experience. Yik Yak primarily allows you to interact with people within 1.5 miles of your current location. It also allows you to set up a "basecamp" location where you can continue to interact. For example, college students can set up their college as base camp and continue to have conversation with classmates while they are home for the summer. Also, if you participate in a conversation, you can continue to participate in that conversation even though you have left the area. I am still in a conversation in New York that started a week ago.

Lastly, you can "peek" on other areas, but not participate. Yik Yak sets up suggested peeks, such as the location of a major sporting event. You can also save your own peek - I have my hometown saved as a peek.

2. It isn't as evil as you would think. Total anonymity and the whole world should go to hell, right? That actually is not how the internet works. Evil in social media is not linear. When there is a little bit of moderation, people start to interact with authority and the evil goes up, not down. It takes heavy moderation to overcome this. Yik Yak has self-moderation: once a comment has a net 5 down-votes it is actually deleted. Also, Yik Yak has started some slight moderation of comments, such as those with direct threats. Still, Yik Yak is far less evil than the comments on the (moderated) website from my local TV news station.

3. There is no whining in social media. We already knew this, but on Yik Yak a net of 5 down votes and it is gone.

4. Your trolling will be graded. Again, we already knew this was how social media worked. In fact, I once belonged to a forum that developed a numerical score for grading trolls with points for originality, etc. On Yik Yak, anonymity means the reader can't be intimidated. Plus all they need to do is swipe left. This goes to point number 2.

5. You win by having a social network beyond Yik Yak. Remember when you were in grade school and you went away to summer camp and then came home with a good joke no one else had heard? Or your Uncle Paul came home from college and told it to you, same thing. That doesn't work on the internet in general  because as soon as you tell a joke it is world-wide. But it does work on Yik Yak. So you can see jokes and games spread organically and geographically, just like happened before the internet. For this to work, the joke or game has to be specific to the Yik Yak interface.

6. Adults can actually talk to teenagers. Okay this sort of is about marketing. Who in marketing wouldn't like to know what teenagers actually think? The saying is that on the internet no one knows that you're a dog. On Yik Yak, no one knows that you are 30.

7. Sometimes Yik Yak actually is news. This works best for places with high Yik Yak usage like college campuses. On a college campus it can be so granular that you can find out a professor is running late to class. In my neighborhood, I found out that the traffic was bad because a funeral for a celebrity was occurring at the church down the street.

8. Highway rest stops are more fun. Don't you ever wonder where everyone is going and what they are up to?

9. You can see people learning the norms of the community. Usually a social media conversation is for the audience. Even if your conversational partner is convinced, there is no way they are going to back down in public. But on Yik Yak, I've seen people actually change their minds in public. When I went into MBA school I gave that as the leadership skill I most admired, so yes, I love to see that.

10. No one has figured out how to exploit it. You would have be very beloved by the community to post an advertisement, otherwise you would have your net 5 down votes in less than a minute. I think I may have seen an advertising post once, at an airport. (If you have seen an ad, please let me know or send me a screen shot.) Even Business Insider merely posted about how to use it, not how to market on it, and the indomitable Gary Vaynerchuk said "you don't know how to do it right" meaning him. As he says, it would take being "very authentic" and being a "practitioner," that is, truly being a community member. It could happen.

UPDATE! Check out this blog post about successful marketing on YikYak!


This post by CRP Social Media President Mary K.D. D'Rozario originally posted at 

Get social media training for your health care employees.


If your medical practice doesn’t engage in social media, it might be because what I’m about to show you is your worst nightmare. Health care workers tend to use health care key words when they post inappropriate material, "I'm not sure if this violates HIPAA but" is a very popular intro to a HIPAA violation. This assures that the materials shows up in streams commonly followed by other health care professionals and advocacy groups. For example this Twitter post and subsequent discussion was visible in keyword streams for "HIPAA" and "Medicare."

HIPAAviolationornot followup blurred CRP

Have you given your staff any training in social media? Not just telling them about HIPAA confidentiality standards, but explaining to them what kind of public behavior standards you expect and demonstrating exactly how to meet those expectations. Do you have a written social media policy that benchmarks those standards for any necessary employee discipline? Despite the fact that Millennials are digital natives, most of them have received zero social media training in high school or college. [1] If you want to avoid a situation like this, you will schedule a social media training session for your staff.

The possible HIPAA violation (it took me less than five minutes to find a name for this patient) might be the least of your worries. One of these young men posts highly vulgar text and photos using race and gender terms that are generally considered highly offensive by the Silent & Baby Boomer generations being served. The most vulgar of the two may not even be an employee of the same practice, but does it matter when he's part of a conversation like this? Long before this post the social media risk was already clear. Don’t be the last to know if this is the kind of thing representing your practice online.

You need to train your employees. Talk to them about how they can align their social media use with their own life and career goals. Talk to them about how their associates reflect on them. Make your social media policy public- post it on your website. Your social media policy provides context for patients when they see social media posts from your staff. Do you consider their personal social media use to not represent your practice in any way? Make that clear to your employees and your patients. You also likely need to know more about the social media use of your employees than you do now, but you must have a written policy to assure you do not violate your employees' legally protect rights.

CRP provides social media training for health care and life science companies. We also provide training to individuals, including young adults, as part of the Profile Proud Alliance.

1. Holmes, R. (2014 APR 15). 5 social media skills millennials lack. HootSuite Blog.

You Don't HAVE to Use Social Media


Osos Lunch Box, Cary NCThis is Lazarus.  He has a new cafe in the South Hills Shopping Center.  The shopping center is a little tired but the DMV office, the Roses store and the other remaining stores have loyal customer bases survive and keep a steady foot traffic.  Still, the foot traffic is light enough that I meet my Mandarin tutor in the central hall for my weekly lessons. When Lazarus opened the cafe I told him that social media could help him analyze the traffic.  I showed him how you could see a lot about the different people checking in at the locations in the mall and in the immediately surrounding area.  He didn't think that information was useful to him.  This is why he might be right:

Before Lazarus opened the cafe, he operated a hot dog cart in the parking lot of the mall for three years.  Rain or shine, broiling or freezing, he was out there selling hot dogs to all comers.  By the time he opened the cafe, he already knew everyone that comes to the mall whether they bought a hot dog or not. He's that kind of guy.

You know those thick tortilla chips that are made from actual tortillas?  "Restaurant style" they call them.  Lazarus sells little bags of them along with containers of toppings.  He has a microwave and will give you a paper plate to spread out the chips and melt the real shredded cheese.  He asked me what kind of toppings I wanted and I said that I wanted the chemical-filled liquid cheese spread that comes in a jar.

The next week when I came in for my Mandarin lesson he informed me that he wasn't going to be carrying that.  He had asked all of his other customers and I was the only customer that wanted chemical-filled liquid cheese spread. He knows what everyone at the mall likes on their chips. "Besides," he said, "I care about your health."

Lazarus's business model is old-fashioned, but it is also very new-fashioned.  It isn't enough to do a demographic study any more.  If you don't know your customers by name, your competitor will stand in a parking lot for three years and get that information.  I can show you how to use social media to get a sampling of that kind of information and use relationship mapping to project how your social media using customers are influencing their friends.  I can also help you develop a social media presence where you get to know your customers better.

With all the time that saves you, stop by South Hills Shopping Center and get a plate of restaurant tortilla chips and meet Lazarus.  Tell him social media sent you.

Three Social Media Marketing Lessons from the Snowpocolypse



Wednesday, sitting in my car on Glenwood Avenue for a little over three hours, I had some time to glance at the #Raleigh #Snowpocolypse discussions on Twitter, especially when I started turning off the car to save gas.

Aside from a realtor selling beach front property offering very polite wishes for our well-being, no business were on Twitter offering any value related to the storm. (If you saw one that I missed in my fits and starts of driving, please let me know in the comments.)

I can think of quite a few businesses that should have been there.  Jeep dealer with a contest- post a picture of your Jeep in the snow. How about a sports medicine clinic- most treacherous sidewalk photo contest. Or a primary care announcing that their nurse line open for current clients. Or a masseur offering a discount for those of us that pushed a car, oof!

First social media marketing lesson of Snowpocalypse: If you don't show up to the conversation, you don't exist!


After three hours I gave up on getting home.  I was over it. The Hampton Inn at Crabtree Valley was full, but not overly so- some people who had planned to be there couldn't get in, balancing those of us who hadn't planned to stay there at all. It was Wednesday, the governor had locked down price gouging, the room was a bargain.  And yet look at the stacks and stacks (the picture captures less than half of them) of beautiful Hungry Howie's pizzas the hotel gave us!

Second social media marketing lesson of Snowpocalype: Give your customers something to talk about.


This is the real way to do social marketing: give your customers something to talk about. It doesn't matter if they tell their friends on their newfangled cell phone or if they use the newfangled social media.  How many people stuck in the storm called their partner left at home to tell them about their pizza?  I put the picture on my personal Facebook page.  If you were an independent pizza shop in Raleigh, what kind of promotional pricing would it have been worth assure your pizza a place in one of these hotels? The Hampton Inn already knew what the value was in offering it.

What happens if you don't give your customers something to talk about? 1-800-FLOWERS found out. Social media lets you put a human face in front of the customer, and they thought that meant signing their tweets with customer service representatives' names. That's not enough to balance out their ice-cold website. Their Facebook page has one lame picture of a couple of guys standing in the snow not getting anything done.

Third social media marketing lesson of Snowpocolypse: Be authentic about your human face.

Showing real people at work doesn't make anyone any happier to get half-dead flowers but it does put what they're up against into context: 1-800-FLOWERS has a ridiculous business model of shipping flowers via parcel and for the most part their people get it done even on level Impossible. We can hate the CEO and still be rooting for the employees, but even if we were inclined to do that we can't because 1-800-FLOWERS doesn't give us a glimpse of their lives. 1-800-FLOWERS thus is also proving the first rule again:

To be effective in social media marketing you have to show up!

You Can't Tweet Like the Mayo Clinic Can Tweet


Twitter feed from Mayo Clinic on #grapefruit.In 2013 the Mayo Clinic periodically posted a joke about the grapefruit diet.  On the days of the post, they owned "grapefruit" on Twitter.  If you looked for "grapefruit" what you got was the Mayo Clinic. The Mayo Clinic has more than a half million followers on Twitter: they can capture any keyword they want. (Click the post list to get a full-size view.)

Your small private practice can not do that.  If you have a few hundred or a few thousand followers, you must select keywords more strategically.  When the Mayo Clinic captured "grapefruit" on a lark, they only owned it for about a day.  They are big enough to own a different hashtag every day.  You need to be influential on your target hashtags for longer than that.

If you are in health care, go to the Healthcare Hashtag Project and look up the key words for your topic.  Once you find the hashtags for your topic, see how many tweets a day the topic gets and how many times a day the most influential people tweet. You have to use the hashtag for your core competency in posts, but if it is a highly used hashtag look for another hashtag where you can have a larger influence.

If you aren't in healthcare and no one is keeping a website of hashtag metrics for your industry, just start looking up words that make sense.  Those words will connect you to established hashtags. Also look in, a tool that helps you find related hashtags.

Another technique is to create your own hashtag.  Interestingly, #grapefruitdiet wasn't used on Twitter at that time- if it had been, Mayo couldn't have stolen it from the existing audience without a backlash.  However, Mayo could have chosen to create the hashtag at that time and continued to cultivate it as a sales channel.

Remember that if a lot of companies are already targeting the most obvious hashtag, it might not give you the best results.  Include less crowded hashtags where you can have a larger impact on the conversation.


Originally posted by Mary K.D. D’Rozario on the CRP Blog.