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 11 2013 ·
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Josh Jordan ·
It wasn’t so long ago that Capital One sent out enough credit solicitations by mail that the USPS gave them their own special rate (that sound you hear is the USPS sighing and remembering the good ole’ days).
If you’re going to mail 1 Billion pieces a year, I guess you should get a little bit of a discount.
And, it wasn’t so long ago that Cap One called up their suppliers and said, “Hey, listen, ummm … the economy is kind-of tanking a little and we need to pull back. So … yeah. Sorry …” I’m paraphrasing of course, but you get the picture.
So why was I so surprised to see this?
Sep 28 2012 ·
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Social Media ·
Why are our Community Managers involved in every step of the content development process? Why do they participate in brainstorming campaign ideas and check in daily with insights and information about their brands? Why are they required to use data to back up their feelings and not rely solely on instincts? Because we never want our clients to get into situations like this:
Lesson #1: When you ask someone what they think, they’re going to tell you.
The comments on the picture started rolling in immediately and the bulk of them were negative. The fans focused on their distaste for the dress but were quite polite and complimentary about the women pictured. Now while you can never completely predict how people will respond to content, a strong Community Manager should have a good feel for their community and be able to anticipate potential responses, and plan accordingly for them.
That’s why I was so surprised by the brand’s response:
Lesson #2: Respond appropriately to situations and anticipate how your comments will be perceived by the community and audience at large.
Now this could have been an attempt to redirect the conversation and get people to say nice things about the dress…but it didn’t work. Some of the fans got upset that LOFT assumed they were being unkind to the women pictured and responded to the brand, and some fans began discussing how “rude” others were being. Fans then began to move from expressing their distaste for the dress, to expressing their distaste for the brand.
One comment turned members of their community against each other and unleashed a firestorm of negativity towards the brand.
Lesson #3: Every experience comes with opportunities.
So what could LOFT have done to truly redirect the conversation and create a win for their brand?
Here’s one idea: Give Facebook fans a coupon specifically for that dress and ask them to upload a picture of themselves in it – let them style it, DIY it, mod it up. The fans can vote on whose take they like the best and the top 3 would get a chance to meet with the LOFT design team and be a part of the creative process. The winners can report back and the experience can be turned into a video where the fans highlight all of the great styles the team’s coming up with. Win back some positive sentiment, get the fans personally involved in the brand, give them a reason to believe in the future of the brand and remind people how much LOFT values them.
Jan 09 2012 ·
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Make Me Social, Mandi Frishman, Social Media ·
When she’s not working as a marketing manager for Make Me Social, Mandi Frishman enjoys analyzing brand pages on social media (seriously). 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.
Are the only filters at your company for the coffee pot?
As any Pinteresting person knows, filters are not just for coffee. (Exhibits A – Z.) Filters are a necessary part of most people’s days. You filter yourself in business settings and when you’re around children. You may avoid certain subjects (see: politics, religion) and choose your words more carefully. While it’s become second nature for people in face to face interactions, many people have yet to apply real world communications best practices to online social networks.
There’s a lot made public that shouldn’t be. Whether it’s someone complaining about a client or talking about an internal initiative that was never meant to be released publicly, information is leaking out that could harm your brand. If you aren’t convinced, read this article about how a single comment from a Grooveshark employee led to an investigation that ended with Grooveshark being sued for over $17 billion.
The responsibility sits within the organization to set expectations and show employees and company representatives how to filter themselves on social media.
Nov 23 2011 ·
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Phil Grech, Social Media, Social Media Etiquette, The Social (Media) Life, The Social Media Mullet ·
When she’s not working as a marketing manager for Make Me Social, Mandi Frishman enjoys finding new uses for yarn on Pinterest. 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.
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.
Happy Thanksgiving everyone! Guess what I’m going to write about?
That’s right: not Thanksgiving. Even better, I’m going to write about why we should not be afraid to be ourselves – even online – even if you are a business.
Defining and refining the voice of the brand begins in the onboarding process. The onboarding process involves a lot of information, but one of the more critical parts is defining the voice. Every brand should have their own unique voice. Depending on the client, we suggest a possible position on the sliding scale of how our tone should come across when writing content.
Let’s say that one side of the scale is professional and the opposite side is personal. You never want to be completely on one side or the other. Rather, you want to adjust to be somewhere in the middle, perhaps leaning more strongly on one side or the other. A financial corporation would do better leaning on the professional side, while a fun, hip restaurant would do better leaning on the personal side. In both situations however, neither lose touch with one side or the other.
This is what works. This is what we have seen work. This is what we have tried, tested, and proven to work. But sometimes, people feel that their voice should be “all professional, no personal.”
I understand the hesitation to relax and loosen up a bit. It’s your company in someone else’s hands. And the people who want “all professional, no personal” have great intentions. But it doesn’t work. As an example, take a look at this clip from The Office.
Funny, right? But it also makes a point.
Social media is an ongoing conversation. Social media directly reflects how we communicate in person, as human beings. In fact, the success of a social media site will partially depend on how well it can best replicate the process of human interaction. Replicating this process online is a difficult endeavor considering scientists are still studying and trying to figure out the experience in and of itself.
There is one thing we can easily extract from human interaction however. It’s that we want to know that the people we are talking to are people. We want to know that the people we are interacting with have a voice. No one wants to communicate with talking heads (except for The Talking Heads). We want personality. We want charm. We want a little style and flavor.
The people are asking for it, so don’t be afraid. Give it to them. If you’re going to have a brand, you’re going to have a voice. Let that voice be heard.
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, drinks an unhealthy amount of coffee, and searches for good conversation.
Nov 17 2011 ·
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Mandi Frishman, Social Media ·
If you sit a child down with wooden blocks, how long does it take for the blocks to be transformed into a castle, a circus or a cat? The blocks themselves remain unchanged, and what they can become will only be limited by the imagination of the young architect.
At some point in the child’s life, someone may tell them that a wooden block can’t be a cat, because cats aren’t made up of harsh angles and fixed lines. The child could accept that as true or they could pick up some tools and smooth the block into the shape of a cat.
Social media is the wooden block and we are the child.
We have been handed one of the most powerful tools for expression in recent history, the building blocks of community and communication, and it is up to us to decide what we want to build. The only limits that exist are self-imposed – or in some cases, imposed at the corporate level.
So how does your business use social media internally? That’s right, internally. As in, to speed up and improve internal communications and collaboration, and build a more vibrant, engaged, community of employees.
The idea itself is not new but many businesses seem hesitant to use existing social media technologies internally. It doesn’t mesh with some preconceived notion of what social media is. Here’s an idea: forget everything that you know about social media. Forget the term “social media”. This is communication, supported by technology. This is creativity, supported by collaboration.
This is Enterprise 2.0 and it is a wooden block. What will you build?
Nov 14 2011 ·
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Mike Handy, Social Media ·
When she’s not working as a marketing manager for Make Me Social, Mandi Frishman enjoys hiding Mean Girls quotes in blog titles. 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.
Google recently launched their business pages product. The product is not without serious flaws or issues. Most importantly, officially you are only allowed to have one person as an admin of a page. The page must be attached to one, and only one, personal account. At the agency level this makes Google plus pages nearly impossible to work with. Having multiple administers serving several different functions is a basic requirement of social networks in 2011.
Creating a Google+ Brand Page
There are several reasons why businesses need to have multiple, and replaceable, administrators that are obvious at surface level. When working within an agency there are even more reasons. Community Managers, Clients, Media Teams, Digital Strategists, Account Executives, among others might have a need to log in as an administrator of a page. In fact for most businesses, more than one person needs to have access and control of a social channel. Google, as a company that recently switched CEOs, should have realized this reality. The Spam controls are great for the network as a whole, however, they are well beyond what is needed from the first iteration, mostly because pages didn’t NEED this much functionality at launch.
The fact that the Google plus business product is missing this core administrative feature is probably most disappointing, because it represents a failure Google has been able to avoid since the inception of the network. Until now Google has not re-created the Facebook wheel. The administrative rights alone indicate that avoidance of early Facebook mistakes may have been more luck than skill. Had Google launched nonfunctional pages with just an avatar, static info, and multiple admin rights it would have been better for everyone. Almost every feature they have is 3 or 4 steps beyond the basic administrative level, and shows an inability to fully understand challenge of running a business channel on social media.
I reached out to Google to ask if the Facebook pages 1.0 solution, *creating a business profile that has no activity for the purpose of managing a page*, was acceptable. The response, “there will be no terms of service exceptions.” With the real name profile policy on Google Plus the Facebook 1.0 solution out of contention. Google seems to be serious about their terms of service, unless of course, a brand spends a few million in ads every year or it is Google themselves. If you are not in this category or, you don’t value your adwords, Google Docs, Google Analytics or Gmail accounts, it is probably not worth breaking the rules.
At this point Google Plus has nearly the same number of active users as Foursquare and Get Glue’s user-base put together, or about 20% of active Twitter users. Until the admin issue is resolved, or the network explodes additional resources are best used for the following purposes.
- Keeping an eye on brands that are messing up/ creating fire storms on the network
- Looking for bright spots
- Investing in developing a strategy for organic growth (few brands are doing this at all and it is very possible, that is a different blog post)
- Clocking post life
- Analyzing ripples
- Personally using new engagement functionality no social site has ever brought to a brand
- Learning the Terms of Service, Google has shown they are not gun shy about closing down anyone, even big name players! (Looks at Ford)
- Looking at the SEO considerations
Google Plus Pages is hardly a complete or even adequate product for large organizations at this time.
Mike Handy has been working in Social Media since Facebook was only for college students. He started his first blog in 1999 when most people were still figuring out this “Internet thing”. These experiences paired with his background in advertising and data-centric approach provide him with a unique view of social media. When he isn’t working he is probably watching, playing, or doing something hockey related.