Tag Archives: community management

Facebook Friends Startup Company, Branch.

The spinning minds at Facebook in Northern California have officially teamed up with the innovative thinkers at the rapidly growing startup known as Branch, in New York City. Branch is a social startup with a twin site called Potluck. These two sites monitor, engage, connect and ignite unique thought and conversations between users across the social-sphere. The idea of creating and, more importantly, maintaining an intellectual community of users with similar interests is an extremely powerful tool – if you know how to use it.

Facebook currently reports a total of 1.9 billion active monthly users. So where do they go from here? What service do they have planned to continue that growth into the future? Something where users can gain insightful information about their daily lives; be it health, travel, education, world news, politics and local events could be just around the corner. That is what the Branch team intends to do following Facebook’s supposed 15 million dollar ‘acqui—hire.’ Branch professionals will manage a portion of Facebook centered around developing Facebook’s conversations group, a service aimed at helping people connect based on their interests.

Pushing the envelope one more step, connectivity and topical engagements will go far beyond the best Steakhouse in SoHo or how to stay gluten free. These particular engagements could become a forum where community managers can enter the social sphere and really learn how their product or service is being taken in by the average person.

The doors have opened for “users to connect, and engage in meaningful exchanges based on interests”, according to Branch co-founder, Josh Miller. While on vacation in Japan, Josh received word that the news would be released during his trip and so he did what anyone else would do, proving exactly why he made the acquisition deal that he did… he updated his Facebook status.

Facebook Status

Engagement in Enterprise

Captain Kirk had it rougher than people will admit. Sure he could replicate anything, or transport anywhere all on a whim, but he had to run the Enterprise. He had to make sure everyone was communicating and sharing.

Scotty couldn’t keep giving it all he’s got if he was having trouble making it to the engine room on time because the elevator on Deck 7 was in constant disrepair and Bones was tired of him constantly cutting through sick bay.

While those handy little Motorola communicators they carried allowed the crew to keep in touch, it wasn’t exactly the best form of social engagement. Continue reading

Content, Meet Community – 3 LOFTy Lessons in 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.

Community Managed.

__________________________________________________________
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.

Can You Automate Success? Just Ask Glen.

Is using platforms and plugins to schedule and automate your social media feeds effective? Imagine for a moment that you run a Financial Advisory firm. You hire someone to work for your company. His name is Glen, and you want Glen to generate leads for your business, build relationships, and get people to follow him back to the office for appointments. On Glen’s first day of work, he goes to a busy street corner and places a tape recorder on top of a bench. He then walks into a coffee shop where he can keep an eye on the tape recorder while he reads a book.

People walk down the street, some chatting with friends, some staring down at cell phones, while others rush by silently.  When the clock strikes 9, Glen’s voice suddenly comes out of the tape recorder, “When was the last time you spoke to your Financial Advisor? We’ve got people standing by to talk to you!”

Some of the people walking past pause when they hear the pre-recorded message but none of them stop to look for him.

This is the real life equivalent of setting up an automated social media feed. Scheduled messages come off as impersonal, perhaps even disruptive. They come off as robotic. Technology has yet to take the place of human interaction and nowhere is that more clear than on the Tweet corner (Twitter equivalent of a street corner) with Glen.

Social media is about having conversations and building relationships. It’s about community management and one to one engagement. It’s about having conversations. It’s about getting results and meeting objectives. While companies who promote the technology to automate social media feeds may call it “convenient” or even “a time saver”, what they can’t call it is effective.

And that’s the truth. Just ask Glen.

___________________________________________________________
When she’s not working as a marketing manager for Make Me Social, Mandi Frishman finds inspiration in old episodes of The Twilight Zone. 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.