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July 2010 Archives

July 6, 2010

How to manage a Social Media Crisis

What can you do in the face of an out-of-the-blue attack in social media? At Signal we've been preaching the importance of "crisis preparedness" from the earliest days of social media; Phil Lempert's video this morning prompts me to say this again. Social media rumors and misinformation can travel at very high speed, it is vital that businesses plan ahead and have their 'crisis story processes' in place BEFORE a problem actually emerges.

  • Speed of response is critical. Get your story out in front of the public quickly, before a negative story can build momentum and take on a life of its own.
  • Respond in the same medium that the attack first occurred in; make sure that the response is seen by the same audience.
  • Use multiple social media channels to get the word out everywhere fast.
  • Make sure that the company web site has accurate and easy to access facts about the attack.
  • Have a search engine strategy in place to make sure that the facts on the web site come up first in a Google search.
  • Accept that "anyone can say anything they want, whether it is true or not", and that your brand is your responsibility to actively monitor and defend.

A recent Harris Poll shows that one third of US adults share their opinions about products online, and more of these opinions are negative than positive. In the age of social media, companies have more exposure to public relations risk than ever, but they also have more and better mechanisms for rapid response as well. Businesses need to realize that social media is more than just an "optional" device for selling products and services. Today, an active social media presence is a critical defense mechanism for any public facing enterprise.

See Phil Lempert's excellent short video on this topic here.

July 19, 2010

Social Media - know BEFORE you start

In today's marketing arena, most folks are aware a social media presence is an important tool for their business. However, there are some different considerations for setting up a business profile as opposed to the personal one.

It's all too easy to take the same approach you did setting up your personal page, but Steve Goldner has some great tips on his blog, SocialSteve.

Go through the very old marketing practice of defining your positioning statement. A strong statement should consist of the following parameters:

For ...................... [target customer]
Who .................... [key qualifier - form]
Our product is a .. [product category]
That provides ...... [key benefit]
Unlike .................. [main competitor]
Our product ........ [key point of differentiation]

Once you clearly understand your position in the terms described above, you MUST determine how you will rise above all the noise provided by others in your vertical industry.

According to Steve, the 4 elements of success are:

  1. Know who you are and what you stand for
  2. Tell your story in a quirky or standout matter
  3. Select the best social channels to get your story out
  4. Provoke customer engagement

Read the entire blog entry from Steve.

July 26, 2010

You have a Facebook Page, now what?

Many businesses are dipping their toes into social media and many start with a Facebook Page. However once the page is up, invariably the next question becomes 'how do I grow my Fan base'?

Recently the SocialMedia Examiner website listed 10 Ways to Grow Your Facebook Page Following. They're great suggestions and definitely worthy of sharing!

  1. Be Prepared With Quality Wall Posts and Consistent Engagement
  2. Reward Your Loyal Supporters
  3. Leverage Your Existing Social Networks
  4. Integrate Facebook Social Plugins to Your Website
  5. Remind Your Fans to Like and Share
  6. Utilize Forum Signatures and Membership Sites
  7. Take the Initiative: Request Help From Friends
  8. Use Tagging and Acknowledgments
  9. Participate Outside Your Page
  10. Collaborate With Other Page Admins for a Social Event

Click here to read the specifics on each step.

When you're first starting out this list might seem a little daunting, especially if you're thinking you need to try to do ever suggestion right away. A good place to start is by looking the list over and determining which few you'll feel comfortable doing right away, and #7 is a great place to start -- ask your friends!

Another helpful element when starting out is to develop a conversational calendar. Often when people know they have to sit down to write, once they do they find themselves with a big case of writer's block. To help the wheels turn, try identifying some basic items like these:

  • Your focus
  • A theme
  • Keywords
  • Your upcoming events

Put these elements together into a weekly plan and writing your Facebook posts should get easier.

Click here to see an example of a conversational calendar.

The date associated with this last link is a little on the old side but the example is worth sharing; at least I hope you think so! if you do, let me know by clicking the "Like" button above the title of this post. Thanks!

July 27, 2010

Twitterers are great spellers!

Among the myths of the negative impacts of technology is the myth that new media and "texting" are inherently destructive forces that are degrading our ability to write properly, and that, in the young, the continual compression of communications, and in particular the use of abbreviations (like ICU), is destroying a full appreciation for 'language'. This turns out be a misguided fear and a completely unsupported myth. In fact, research shows that the best text-ers are the best spellers, and that twitters often write relatively long and carefully crafted sentences. Text-ers also use fewer abbreviations than one might expect, because they are striving for precision, and in their efforts to communicate clearly the abbreviations are simply too indeterminate. Studies over the past decade show repeatedly that new media 'writers' are intensely aware of language issues, and that they are fully able to switch between conventional language and the highly compressed code that they sometimes use in their new media posts. Text-ers totally enjoy writing and language. More than 'literate,' these new media writers have become become 'multi-lingual' students of literary expression, and are actually more likely to score well on language tests.

Watch renowned linguist David Crystal discussing the impact of new media on language in this very interesting video:

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