Monthly Archives: August 2011

Over Managed and Under Utilized – The Social Community

I recently ran a competitive analysis on a handful of companies competing for the same audience (and dollars) and I was struck by what I found. There was one company (who shall remain anonymous) that was over-engaging on their Facebook page to the point where it was actually impeding the development of their community.

In communities that are more independent and engaged, you will frequently see members reaching out to answer questions posed by other members. This takes some of the responsibility off of the Community Manager, but beyond that, it allows relationships to be built around a brand.

In this particular community, there was no interaction between members and it was because the Community Manager had established themselves as the point person. There was no effort to engage people around common thoughts or experiences, and no opportunity for members to share within the confines of the online community. It reminded me of the uproar over the “Helicopter Parent” and how overly involved parents can stifle the growth and development of their children.

As I combed through their page looking for ways that they could improve their community, I wondered if the social media team (overpowering Community Manager included) was also actively searching for ways to improve, or if they were satisfied with the progress of the page.

Unless their client had expressed dissatisfaction, they more than likely were completely unaware that there was anything wrong with what they were doing. And why would they think that something was wrong? The page was getting engagement and was probably continuing to grow. They didn’t have many complaints and they were clearly very responsive. In fact, they were probably doing EXACTLY what the client asked of them. And isn’t that enough?

I certainly don’t think so. Do you?

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When she’s not working as a marketing manager for Make Me Social, Mandi Frishman gets her adrenaline pumping by watching turtle races. During her time studying at The University of Florida, Mandi became convinced in the power of learning through play. She has since committed herself to playing (and learning) all day, every day.

Social Media Etiquette: What’s Better than Elevator Music? Elevator Gossip!

by Gerrilyn Koontz
Posts | Bio

In the past few weeks, what seems to be the latest fad are elevator-themed Twitter accounts. Just as it sounds, these accounts are sharing snippets of conversations shared inside company elevators.

First, it was @CondeElevator which has, since August 11, stopped Tweeting. Making headlines more recently, is @GSElevator, run by a Goldman Sachs employee.

Here is a brief look at some of @GSElevator’s latest Tweets

For obvious reasons, Goldman Sachs wants this Twitter account terminated and has been aggressively pursuing the issue.While the GS employee says they created the account for amusement during the summer lull, he or she has gone to great trouble (like using an unregistered laptop that was paid for with cash) to keep their identity a mystery.

Where does Social Media Etiquette tie in to this? From my list of 15 Tips, I think this would fall under #15: Post wisely, post well.

Whoever is running the account has hopefully realized by now that if (and when) their identity is revealed, they will most likely lose their job. What may have started out as summer fun and games, as quickly snowballed into a much bigger situation.

What do you think about the mysterious @GSElevator account? How would you handle the situation if you were Goldman Sachs?

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Gerrilyn Koontz became a full time content manager for Make Me Social after graduating from Penn State in 2009. Originally from Birmingham, AL, she is happy to be back in the South living in Anderson, SC with her husband Erick and their cat Reid.

Socially Made: The UFC as an Educational Tool?

Throughout 2011, Make Me Social will publish Socially Made, a review of social media’s continued evolution in both influence and commentary.

I am a fan of the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC). For many, the sport of mixed martial arts is too crazy or too barbaric, but personally, I am a fan. I like the action, competition, techniques and personalities. However, I am also a fan because of the company’s business model and their practice of brand management. The company works hard to grow their fan base, and does so in a practical way that helps attract the type of fans they want to have.

Among their best practices is their method of marketing through the use of Twitter.

As we all know, Twitter has always been head and shoulders above their competition in their ability to help grow an individual’s fame. Ashton Kutcher is of course the original example, but as I wrote about in a previous post, there are a growing number of influential people on Twitter, a majority of which need an avenue like Twitter to share their thoughts, opinions or considerations. People like Conan O’Brien, Chad Ochocinco, Kim Kardashian and others supplement their time on television with tweets that share information with fans when they aren’t / can’t be in front of the camera.

In the UFC, the practice of using Twitter ramped up starting with the company’s President, Dana White. He quickly became notorious for posting from everywhere, including ringside during fights (in an interview with Sports Illustrated, he talks about when he knew Twitter was a powerful tool. It involved a weeknight in 2009, a frozen yogurt store in Manhattan and potential free UFC tickets). From there, the individual fighters quickly started using the medium in order to connect with fans, discuss their training regiment and taunt opponents, but their success was limited because, unlike Dana White, the average fighter would only have matches 2-3 times a year, and therefore didn’t have the means to consistently market themselves through the UFC’s main engine: Television.

However, recently, a small change was made by the company that addressed this problem and also strengthened their fan base and outreach. At live events, the UFC started listing the Twitter handles of each of the fighters when they were being introduced. It was as simple as adding an extra few words on the screen, but the return on investment has been great. Now, fans of particular fighters know how to connect to them, and in turn, these fans stay connected to the UFC everyday and not just on Fight Nights.

The strategy promotes the fighters. It promotes the UFC. Win-Win.

So what can we learn?

Too often, organizations view social media as a complete shift in marketing philosophy when the ideal methodology is to use social media as a supplement and catalyst with what is already working. Is your advertising campaign going strong? Does your eNewsletter have an above-average open rate? Keep going with these, and use social media to supplement, promote and fill in the gaps. Organizations like the UFC have learned to harness social media’s versatility, and combine it with their established techniques to give a richer experience to the fans.

In short, the UFC airs about 30 live events a year, but because of their activity on social media and the way they promote their fighters, fight fans have plenty to do the other 335 days.

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Greg Morgan is Communications and Content Director for Make Me Social, a social media agency that develops customized social media strategies for businesses. With experience in industries ranging from sports to state government, Greg focuses in crafting messages for all types of clients in an effort to perfect what he calls “versatile communications.” Born and raised in West Hartford, Connecticut, he remains a loyal UConn Husky fan, despite now residing in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

The Social Media Mullet: What Would Philosophers Think of Social Media? Part 2

Make Me Social’s Phil Grech named his blog The Social Media Mullet because, like the hairstyle, it will discuss the fusion of “business” and “casual” under the banner of online communications.

In my last post, I talked about Social Media and existentialism (boring? Never). Existentialism is one of those words that gets thrown around a lot, so if you aren’t too sure, read this article that provides a good background on it, or just watch I Heart Huckabees. In this post, I want to take another shot at exploring philosophers’ possible views of Social Media.

Social Media Transparency and Bentham’s Panopticon –or- Why Jeremy Bentham Would Be a Horrible Social Media CEO

In 1787, English philosopher, Jeremy Bentham, designed the panopticon. No, it’s not a Transformer (though with a little imagination, it could be built). The panopticon is a prison model where a central tower filled with guards can, at all times, look at the prisoners whose prison cells form a circle around the tower.

The design is a good one because the prisoners cannot see inside the tower (thanks to whatever available technology there is: e.g. light system, two-way mirrors, etc.). The idea is that prisoners would be reformed by having to always be in good behavior, something that would become a habit after their lengthy prison sentence.

Online, we experience something quite similar. Despite Facebook privacy settings, our lives are still very much exposed. We never know who is watching us, who is looking us up, or what they are going to do with the information they find. That’s not much of a concern for a non-paranoid type like me, but if you’re a particular New York Congressman, you might want to be a little cautious.

If you think Mark Zuckerberg violates privacy rights on Facebook, imagine what Bentham would be like.

Foreshadowing my next post, I will discuss what Theodor Adorno’s perspective might be on things like the QR Code.

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Phil Grech is a Content Manager for Make Me Social. He published his first book, “Don’t Waste Your Hands”, in 2009. He studied English and Philosophy at Flagler College. In his spare time, he reads, works out, gardens and searches for good conversation.

The Social Media Mullet: What Would Philosophers Think of Social Media? Part 2

Make Me Social’s Phil Grech named his blog The Social Media Mullet because, like the hairstyle, it will discuss the fusion of “business” and “casual” under the banner of online communications.

In my last post, I talked about Social Media and existentialism (boring? Never). Existentialism is one of those words that gets thrown around a lot, so if you aren’t too sure, read this article that provides a good background on it, or just watch I Heart Huckabees. In this post, I want to take another shot at exploring philosophers’ possible views of Social Media.

Social Media Transparency and Bentham’s Panopticon –or- Why Jeremy Bentham Would Be a Horrible Social Media CEO

In 1787, English philosopher, Jeremy Bentham, designed the panopticon. No, it’s not a Transformer (though with a little imagination, it could be built). The panopticon is a prison model where a central tower filled with guards can, at all times, look at the prisoners whose prison cells form a circle around the tower.

The design is a good one because the prisoners cannot see inside the tower (thanks to whatever available technology there is: e.g. light system, two-way mirrors, etc.). The idea is that prisoners would be reformed by having to always be in good behavior, something that would become a habit after their lengthy prison sentence.

Online, we experience something quite similar. Despite Facebook privacy settings, our lives are still very much exposed. We never know who is watching us, who is looking us up, or what they are going to do with the information they find. That’s not much of a concern for a non-paranoid type like me, but if you’re a particular New York Congressman, you might want to be a little cautious.

If you think Mark Zuckerberg violates privacy rights on Facebook, imagine what Bentham would be like.

Foreshadowing my next post, I will discuss what Theodor Adorno’s perspective might be on things like the QR Code.

——–

Phil Grech is a Content Manager for Make Me Social. He published his first book, “Don’t Waste Your Hands”, in 2009. He studied English and Philosophy at Flagler College. In his spare time, he reads, works out, gardens and searches for good conversation.