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What Not to Do With Social Media

A recent survey on Mashable.com found that 50% of consumers trust a company’s Facebook page more than their website. This means that in today’s world it’s nearly impossible for a brand to exist without one, which can be a good thing – Facebook allows companies to interact directly with their consumers, offer deals or promotions, and craft their overall brand image. However, it isn’t all fun and games on these social sites. Whether you’re posting on Facebook or Twitter, be sure to follow a few guidelines:

Don’t Ignore Negative Comments.

If you get a positive review on your page, let them know that you’re happy to have been of service. Promote those good reviews to the high heavens, you earned them! But, don’t neglect those that aren’t so happy. If a customer leaves a comment about a negative experience, respond with just as much enthusiasm. Apologize, suggest a solution or ask for their input on how to make things better. This is the reaction of a company that cares about its customers, and that kind of attention and concern will be noticed by anyone that visits your page.

Don’t Beg for “Likes”

Remember that guy in high school who wouldn’t leave you alone, and no matter how many times you said “NO” just wouldn’t take the hint? Well, he didn’t get more attractive by begging you to go on a date, and companies don’t seem cooler when they beg people to like their posts. If your posts are interesting and resonate with your fans, they’ll “like” them on their own.  And if they don’t, use that silence as a learning tool to figure out what needs to change, instead of an excuse to start sounding desperate.

Don’t Use Every World Event for Your Advantage.

2011-02-03-kennethcole2When tragic events happen in the world, many brands struggle with how to comment on them. When in doubt – don’t. Above all else, DO NOT use a tragedy to sell your products. The only possible outcome is to seem like a greedy capitalist with money instead of a heart. Just ask Kenneth Cole, who came under fire for this insensitive tweet during the protests in Cairo: “Millions are in an uproar in #Cairo. Rumor has it they heard our new spring collection is now available online.”

Look, if you can’t find something meaningful to say, post about other content or allow your page to go silent for a day.

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Finding Your Voice In Social Media With A Brand Ambassador

Man-using-megaphone

Twitter and Facebook were once dismissed as frivolous wastes of time, but are now critical tools in a company’s marketing campaign. Individuals can use their personal Facebook and Twitter accounts to speak directly to a company, or to voice their opinion on an experience with that company. As important as social media sites have become, companies often take a passive approach by merely setting up a Facebook or Twitter account, and assuming that the good feedback will just start rolling in. While accepting that having a social media presence is important, companies continue to believe that spending time on them is a waste of time. Instead of passivity, what these companies really need is a “Brand Ambassador.” Read the rest of this entry »

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Being First in Social Media Doesn’t Make You Right

sms_iconsIf we learned anything about journalism following the Boston Bombing coverage, it’s that it is no longer a spectator sport. Through the use of Twitter, Reddit and other social media sites, everyone these days is eager to be the first with breaking news. While CNN and Fox News were struggling to stay ahead of the manhunt coverage in Boston, most people turned to Twitter to get minute-by-minute updates from citizens on the ground.

Some people may have seen this as a positive. After all, since a private citizen doesn’t have to go through a rigorous fact-checking process, information can be transferred more freely and updates are more immediate. Especially in a crisis, the free movement of information can be useful, even groundbreaking. Just look at the Arab Spring or Trayvon Martin case – neither of these would have reached the large audience they did without social media. In fact, if left to traditional journalism outlets, we may never have heard of them at all. Read the rest of this entry »

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Social Media and Your Local News

Posted this a few months back…worth another view!

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Social media is a must for CEOs

My first thought when considering the social media landscape was a wayward “What a waste of time,” followed by this little gem of preconception: “I am hardly interested in what anyone had for breakfast!”

You may be thinking, or might’ve heard of something similar as prime excuses for steering clear of Twitter and the social media space. Understandable. After all, when it comes to moving their organization into the future, a CEO is constantly busy focusing, prioritizing and deliberating on decisions that will propel their endeavor ever closer to the goal line. There is no room for trivialities, right?

It wasn’t until November 2009 when a friend, mentor and fellow CEO explained the different professional benefits to services such as Twitter and LinkedIn, as a not only an effective business tool, but a necessary one as well to succeed in the entrepreneurial climate of the 21st century. He punctuated the conversation with an emphatic, “You have to tweet!” So here I am, more than a year later, a former skeptic, arguing the case, albeit briefly, as to why CEOs should heed this advice and consider social media (if they haven’t done so already) worthy of their time, not a waste.

Connectivity

Adopting Twitter and LinkedIn has afforded me the valuable opportunity of connecting with highly successful people I respect that I probably would’ve never met otherwise. Whether they are the largest independent hotelier in California, best selling authors or previously “unreachable” CEOs, this technology grants me access to what movers and shakers are doing to prosper in their field — directly from the source. It’s a portal to insight that can teach and inform and has at times, for me personally, influenced my business trajectory, not to mention expanded our network of contacts. Not bad for a guy from Asheville.

Sharing

As important as giving time and giving money is the exchange of ideas and experiences that potentially can enrich our community. Twitter, if used properly, helps nurture that ideal by maintaining an open line of dialogue between colleagues and friends — 140 characters at a time. So look at your social media use as part philanthropy, generously sharing information that could help your fellow business journeymen along their way.

News and information

One of my most cherished Twitter functions is information filtering. To stay abreast by sifting thru all the major business publications and outlets cover to cover could take the better part of a lifetime. Twitter streamlines the process of how we extract information by filtering out the noise and serving up what’s necessary on a daily, more immediate basis. By selectively following people I trust and have a proven track record of liking similar content, I essentially am able to customize my news, eliminating wasted reads. For instance, for technology news and TED updates I follow the CEO of Mojo Interactive in Orlando, Glen Lubbert @glubbert. For my fix on the state of the authentic leadership and conscious capitalism movement I read Bill George @bill_george. And for some good old fashioned comic relief — or where I can find a loud, questionable sweater — I’m a fan of Bill Cosby @billcosby. He’s as entertaining on Twitter as he is on stage or screen. Hilarious!

The time saved in having my news curated for me is priceless.

Revenue

So what’s the bottom line? Since adding social media as part of our approach, our firm has generated over six figures of additional new business. It’s hard to ignore the numbers.

I share this much like my mentor CEO did with me, not to impress, but to persuade you to at least try this new medium. I guarantee the benefits will soon become clear. Share what you are learning, cross-pollinate your ideas, make new connections, and lead your organization into the Twitter-sphere.

I look forward to speaking to you on Twitter in 2011 – Send a tweet and include @integritiveJM and a link to this article and I’ll be your first follower.