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Archive for the ‘Social Media’ Category

Crisis Social Media – One Piece of a Complicated Puzzle

Wednesday, June 20th, 2018

Social media has introduced an interesting component to crisis communications. Not only does social media play a role in communicating important messages during a crisis, but it can also be an emergency instigator in itself. While social media is a buzzword for many, failing to communicate information to stakeholders through other traditional channels, while focusing on social media solely, can worsen any crisis situation.

As a channel of communication that allows users to be co-content-creators, social media can lead to gray areas between facts and fiction. Strive to communicate sensitive information using a variety of channels to ensure your message is received clearly.

One irritator that makes social media crisis communication especially challenging is the wide gap that often exists between the person managing an organization’s social media, and the decision makers who ultimately determine what should be relayed to the public in uncertain situations. As organizations continue to tap into a newer, technology-savvy generation for social media management, there is a barrier of understanding between executives and those who are tactically making social media decisions.

It’s challenging to make judgements without knowing the full intensity of a potential crisis situation. For example, a customer is upset about the way they were treated at a retail store; this could have the potential to blow up and become viral, making you wish you had taken the issue to your company’s leadership earlier or you may have two unhappy customers every single day, and you’re not going to continuously bother your company’s busy leadership just to have a discussion about Patty’s bad experience in the grocery store. So how do you determine what is worth the time investment and what is not?

In crisis conditions, information typically comes more slowly than we wish it would, and we’re left to piece together what we know quickly while remaining transparent and credible. It’s essential to have a crisis communication plan already in place prior to an issue arising. From social media to traditional media relations, having a step by step plan on hand that details actions for all communication channels will guide tough decisions that are necessary under tight time constraints.

There’s also an infection going around right now called “Oh yes social media is so important.” That’s what executives say when they give you advice on how to handle the social media crisis at hand and then you learn that they thought Twitter was a type of bird and they haven’t logged into their LinkedIn for two years. And you think wow, no wonder they just gave me really bad advice. During times such as those, a level of autonomy must be taken by the social media manager, using an understanding of the industry’s key components while still respecting the wishes of a company’s senior leadership. While this is a hard line to ride, it is critical and the sign of a social media pro. It’s also important to emphasize to executives that regardless of the social media response, integrated efforts across all communication channels should still be prioritized to successfully navigate any crisis situation.

Marketing Communications isn’t an Afterthought

Wednesday, April 25th, 2018

In our world passionate people have the ability to make things happen. From fighting for justice to creating innovative products and solutions, it takes passionate “big idea” thinkers to make the world turn and keep it moving forward.

With that being said, these “dreamers” while effective, often get ahead of themselves and jump to the end game before they’ve carefully thought out the steps to get there. Because marketing communications may not initially be a must-have to simply open the doors of a business or initiate a social movement, putting marketing strategies off until later may seem justified, but it will create issues in the long run including inconsistent brand identity, varying messaging, and a lack of brand awareness.

At some point every organization that has these issues comes to the conclusion that they have 2 different logos, no marketing strategy, and Tim’s 15-year-old niece isn’t cutting it anymore for social media management. Incorporating marketing communications into a business, organization or product development plan from the beginning, will ensure a cohesive overall brand identify and will set the stage for successful promotional efforts.

The longer that technology and well-branded initiatives have been a regular part of our lives, the better we are as a society at being digital skeptics. We can quickly evaluate a website or a social media page and decide if it’s legitimate, and most of what we are analyzing is subconscious. You don’t have a check list to go through such as…Are the images cohesive? Are there any typos on the website or social media posts? Is relevant contact information provided? Instead you just quickly glance at a page and analyze all of those things without ever realizing what you’re doing.

As our culture becomes more technologically savvy, maintaining minimum cohesive marketing communications is no longer an added privilege, but a basic necessity of representing a legitimate product, organization or movement.

In the Age of Results Measurement, What Happened to IMPLICIT Value?

Wednesday, March 14th, 2018

Impressions, sentiment, engagements, sessions, users, views, clicks… these are today’s units of measurement. We report on these metrics, we use them to make decisions, and yes – of course – they’re valuable. Very valuable. But, what about good old-fashioned implicit value?

Measuring the public opinion or internal opinion of an organization as a marketer will always have its flaws. Why does one feel a warmth in their heart when Starbucks is mentioned? Do people reminisce of road trips gone by when they see a Cracker Barrel logo? We can point to possible causation of our positive or negative feelings towards companies, products, or thought leaders, but in no way are those connections inerrant.

When it comes to raising awareness for an organization or initiative, unfortunately there will always be some success that floats by unmeasured. You can’t measure sentiment on friends using word of mouth to discuss a new product. And yet, that interaction is one of the most powerful channels that exists.

We attempt to measure the digital form of word of mouth interactions using Yelp reviews, social media interactions, and influencer engagement, but as ‘fake news’ is no longer the exception, people are being subconsciously trained to become sceptics of the less-than-honest digital presence that some companies or products maintain.

Without forsaking the recognizable value in digital channels and measurement, we implore companies and marketers to remember the implicit value of human connection and the vital importance of emotion and touching the human spirit.

Algorithms can’t measure that.

Social Influencers Debunked: Everyone Wants to be the “Cool Kid”

Wednesday, January 31st, 2018

It’s not difficult to understand the draw that social media influencers have. To be human is to understand the desire to be like the “cool kids” and that’s largely the effect that a social influencer has on you. Whether you respect them for their professional success, their athletic achievement, their parenting skills, or their ability to be the most obnoxious contestant on The Bachelor; for some reason you’re watching their stories, liking their posts, and occasionally buying into what they’re selling.

It goes beyond the simple act of an obviously endorsed product, and blurs the lines of what the influencer really likes or what they’re being paid to like. Regardless of your skepticism while viewing their social media, they’ve still been successful because you just saw the hotel they stayed at, the champagne they drank, the swimsuit they bought, and now those brand names will be floating around in your head as you consider your upcoming beach getaway.

The Influence

According to Medium 70% of millennial consumers are swayed by recommendations of their peers buying choices and 30% of consumers are more likely to purchase a product recommended by a non-celebrity blogger.  And Facebook is the most influential social media channel, with 19% of consumer buying decisions being influenced by Facebook posts.

In light of Facebook’s recent shift in newsfeed content, there may be an even bigger space for social influencers to fill. Recently Facebook announced it will revert back to focusing on meaningful social connections with family and close friends instead of content from brands and publishers. But what if an influencer is also a friend? With these newsfeed changes, companies and brands may place more consideration on the impact a “peer” influence can have.

Trendsetter or Irrelevant

 As we know from our days in middle school, being the “cool kid” takes a lot of maintenance. When someone or something “cooler” comes along, you have to set the trend or you’ll be forgotten. Now that social influencers are less of the “game changers” and more common practice, influencers must stay on top of strategy advancement or they will become irrelevant.

#WeddingHashtags

Wednesday, November 8th, 2017

Wedding hashtags in a nutshell:  they’re cliché, rarely as clever as you think, and honestly your guests are probably embarrassed to use them. And yet somehow this trend continues to trend to the point that the majority of couples getting married these days have one.

Most people have seen their fair share of cringe-worthy wedding hashtags, either being overused, only making sense to the bride and groom, or not quite hitting the mark of a successful pun.

This whole situation is inciting real concern in young adults as Grace Randles tweeted this summer: “what if my future husband’s last name doesn’t make a cute pun for our wedding hashtag……like this is the stuff that keeps me up at night.”

Steven Kleinschmidt responded by tweeting “I want to apologize now to my future wife”.

BuzzFeed featured this Twitter debacle and showed a few of the many outpouring of responses that Kleinschmidt received. The Twitter-sphere came together to help poor Steven find a wedding hashtag that wouldn’t leave him lonely. A few of the suggestions were:

Love is patient, #LoveIsKleinschmidt – Noah Cook

#HolyKleinschmidtWereGettingMarried – Landon Wade

#GetLitWithKleinschmidt – Emily Schrecengost

No need to worry if you’ve had similar issues coming up with the right wedding hashtag, as there are countless wedding hashtag generators that you can utilize.

As ridiculous and borderline sarcastic as wedding hashtags seem, there is one valuable trait that may just be enough to salvage their existence altogether. Wedding hashtags really are a huge gift to the happy couple, allowing them to follow the hashtag and share in all of the memories that were made during their special day.

So, next time you’re considering not including a wedding hashtag in your post, consider it a gift to the happy couple and swallow your pride.