May 15 2013 ·
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How you behave in response to stress is a great indicator of your true character. This applies to social media as much as it does offline.
You may remember our blog post from the beginning of April on The Top 5 Ways Brands Can Annoy Customers.
Well it turns out we left one method of annoying consumers off the list and we have none other than a small restaurant in Arizona to thank: Amy’s Baking Company Bakery Boutique & Bistro.
The name is a mouthful and their Facebook page will you give an ear-full.
After being featured on an episode of Gordon Ramsey’s Kitchen Nightmares (where owners Samy and Amy Bouzaglo were subsequently rejected by Ramsey for being too difficult to work with), the owners were swept over by tsunami waves of criticism that were handled so inappropriately on social media that they just exacerbated the problem.
Lesson #1 from Amy’s Baking Company Bakery Boutique & Bistro:
If you don’t want to deal with something, delete it!
An admin on the company’s facebook page, speaking from the perspective of the owners, went on a rage filled post-a-thon that resulted in more than a dozen posts like this:
While the posts were later deleted, screenshots had already been taken and posted all over the internet, from Reddit to Buzzfeed…but no one looking at their facebook page will know, right?
Don’t learn from your mistakes.
In 2010, Amy, the namesake of Amy’s Baking Company Bakery Boutique & Bistro (typing that name out is exhausting), turned to Yelp to air her displeasure with feedback posted by a customer.
That post must have done wonders for their business because a few short years later, she was back and angrier than ever!
And now for Lesson #3, a favorite of disgraced politicians:
When the going gets tough, claim that you were hacked.
Don’t forget to mention the FBI – it adds an air of authenticity to the claim.
Suffice it to say that this is a textbook example of how not to handle backlash on social media.
America now knows all about Amy’s Baking Company Bakery Boutique & Bistro, but we’re guessing that none of these people have any interest in ever opening a menu there. How the Bouzaglo’s handled this situation should have involved patience, apologies, and not swearing at the public in a series of heated and immature posts.
No matter what your brand is, let this be an example of how not to do social media
May 10 2013 ·
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From Reddit to our Facebook newsfeeds, cats have a ubiquitous presence on the Internet. That’s why we went so far as to bring the Internet to our office. In other words, we got a cat in our office.
Everyone, meet Little David Hasshelhoff.
He’s a fun little guy. When he’s not napping or eating, he’s weaving his way around our ankles nearly causing us to spill coffee into our keyboards and in some cases, fall down flights of stairs (thankfully, neither have actually happened). He doesn’t mean to cause any harm though. It’s just a side effect of his cuteness.
There is a lot more to admire in our furry Hasselhoff than his exceptional adorability. We’ve learned 5 things from having him around as well, and here they are:
Lesson 1: Be yourself, especially if you’re comical
You know what Hasselhoff does whenever he jumps and falls short of his landing spot? Nothing. He walks it off. Sure any one of us may have felt embarrassed trying and not succeeding. But not Hasselhoff. With his head still high (but still low to the ground) he keeps on moving. He reminds us to do the same.
Lesson 2: If you want attention, you have to earn it
There are times when The ‘Hoff excitedly greets us and begs for attention, but it’s not because he is eager for it. We had to earn this and the same is true for any successful marketing campaign. By giving our Hasselhoff food, water, and lots of affection, he returns the same to us. If you want a successful marketing strategy, you have to give your audience what they want.
Lesson 3: And that means know that people may have to sniff you first
Well, not literally. As gregarious as Hasselhoff can be, he probably still wants to give you a good sniff before getting to know you. We don’t recommend literally doing this, but we have learned that if you want earn someone’s trust, you have to let them sniff you out and get to know you first.
Lesson 4: Forgiveness works both ways
As mentioned above, Hasselhoff sometimes weaves a figure 8 around ankles and often at inopportune times like during an intense game of table tennis or while holding a container of scalding hot water. But we forgive him. And he forgives us when he sometimes fail to notice his little cat paws under our shoes. Forgiveness earns a lot us a lot in the way of growing friendships.
Lesson 5: Cat naps are perfectly OK any time of the day
With the exception of dozing off in the middle of a client phone call, we find cat naps perfectly acceptable. Sure, most bosses would find this grounds for termination, but we find it grounds for reenergizing. We also recommend it to you – just don’t nap for as long as Hasselhoff does otherwise you won’t anything done.
For more lessons straight from The ‘Hoff, like him on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LittleDavidHasselhoff
Apr 26 2013 ·
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In the wake of horrific national disasters that have struck our country from 9/11 to Sandy Hook, and most recently, the Boston Marathon bombings, brands across the globe now understand that how they handle their social media efforts in response to national tragedies is critical.
Discussing a tragedy while the smoke is still in the air can often come across as callous, and mishandling the situation can ruin a brand image. Should brands go silent? Should they directly address or reference the tragedy? If so, how should they do so?
For an example of what not to do, take a look at these Epicurious tweets sent shortly after the Boston Marathon bombings:
They have since apologized, later tweeting, “Our food tweets this morning were, frankly, insensitive. Our deepest, sincere apologies.”
While insensitive tweets are not likely to bankrupt the company, they create a flurry of negative publicity and your audience can turn on you faster than you can hashtag #apology.
A quick check-list that anyone can refer to during a time of crisis:
- Pause any scheduled posts – you can always post them live at a more appropriate time
- Communicate with your team and let them know what’s going on
- Monitor the situation
It seems so simple and yet, in the heat of the moment, with fear and emotion running hot, sometimes, we forget. While a sincerely worded post reflecting on the day’s events can be appropriate, when you start thinking of creative brand ties, like in the Epicurious example, sometimes it is, in the words of the great Albus Dumbledore, “Best to say nothing at all, my dear man.”
Mar 22 2013 ·
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The way we behave and act greatly influences social media, but can social media influence the way we behave and act?
More specifically, how are social media channels like Twitter influencing the way we write?
For example, hashtags were originally meant for narrowing Twitter searches to make tweets more easily searchable. Now we hashtag everything from Facebook posts to handwritten notes.
Mar 18 2013 ·
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LinkedIn used to be considered as “just” the online resume of social networks.
But things are changing.
LinkedIn had long been viewed as the social media platform that did not need to be visited regularly. Now, with frequently updated, high-quality content, members have a reason to visit the site with more regularity and this gives brands a reason to put more eggs in the LinkedIn basket.
Just last year, the network added a “follow” feature that allows members to follow influencer’s newsfeeds without having to officially connect. They also rolled out a long-form publishing tool (think “blog”) so that these influencers can post lengthier, media-rich updates to their profiles.
Mar 15 2013 ·
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Whether you are a fan of Google, or Yelp, local search is a focus for both businesses and mobile users.
Enter MeeLocal, just released to iTunes on March 15, 2013.
A new entrant to the local discovery market, MeeLocal allows users to create and curate lists through images, hashtags and geo-tagged content.
“Local is one thing. HyperLocal is another,” said Stephen Danelian, founder of MeeLocal. “We live our lives through discovery and sharing. Making a way to enable that in a simple yet powerful way is what we are focused on.”
Feb 22 2013 ·
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Remember the day Burger King became McDonald’s, Jeep became Cadillac, and MTV and BET switched places?
If you’ve been paying attention to the news, you probably already know none of this actually happened – it’s the result of a series of attacks hackers have been unleashing via Twitter.
In reality, MTV and BET just pulled a media publicity stunt, but Burger King’s and Jeep’s Twitter accounts were certainly hacked with control regained shortly after.
In a series of Tweets and photos, the temporary hacker management of Jeep’s account said that the company was sold to Cadillac because its employees and CEO were using drugs. Its bio was changed to “The official Twitter handle for the Jeep — Just Empty Every Pocket, sold to Cadillac… In a hood near you!”
Dec 13 2012 ·
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When we tell brands to be “more human” it’s rare that they immediately understand how it translates on social media. Tim Howell set the stage for this blog when he asked businesses to ask themselves why it was important to “be human” on social media. In this blog, I’ll look at how businesses can effectively be “more human” while still meeting their social media goals.
I believe that part of the answer can be found by looking to Humans of New York (HONY).
HONY is social media.
More specifically, HONY is a website that gives people everywhere “daily glimpses into the lives of strangers in New York City”.
These people aren’t famous. They are normal, everyday people walking the streets of New York. And their photos and stories have transformed into something almost magical – creating news, inspiring imitators, and serving as great platforms for calls to action.