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Posts Tagged ‘social media’

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.

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.

3 Ways Social Media Is Hurting Your Organization

Wednesday, September 13th, 2017

Picture this—a small organization is looking for new ways to gain public awareness; people keep telling them they need to implement social media, but that’s all they know. So, they make accounts, and then abandon them due to lack of understanding or time.

This is a common tale, as many clubs, organizations, small businesses, and non-profits are looking for new ways to expand with a small budget, but they only hear the advice “get more social media,” without any further explanation. What does that mean?

  1. Just Having The Account Isn’t Enough

Creating a Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or other social media account is great, but if you don’t post or don’t post often, you would be better off without them. An account that is never used makes an organization look like it’s inactive and will not attract new awareness or involvement.

It’s important to be strategic about which platforms you select. If you have a limited amount of time to devote to your social media presence, select platforms that will best showcase your organization. For example, if your non-profit could be best featured visually, then choose a platform that is picture based, like Instagram, instead of posting ‘occasionally’ on multiple platforms that are ineffective.

  1. Forgetting Your Core Members

Social media can be a great way to reach new people or those currently involved in your organization, but don’t abandon your old channels of communication in hopes that social media will do everything for you.

There will be some members of your organization that will never get a Facebook or Twitter, but are tireless volunteers that read your mailed newsletter every month. Don’t forget about them!

  1. Stop Selling

Just as no one likes someone who only talks about themselves, no one likes an organization that only talks about themselves either. Although an organization wants social media to promote and spread awareness, they must think beyond advertisements.

Think of your social media presence like you’re building a new friendship. Be intentional about making small talk with your followers, finding common interests, and showing them that you care about their interests. Engage with them using interesting content, instead of selling them the same product.

Opinions are like assholes.

Wednesday, May 24th, 2017

Eduardo Salles is a realist illustrator known for creating brutally honest, yet often funny and ironic, comics about modern life. His illustrations bring to light the harsh realities of our society – from brutal truths about social media to the reality of humanism and relationships today. In the illustration below, Salles perfectly summarizes five of today’s popular social media sites on signs with a single sentence. For example, the Twitter sign says, “We are offended by everything.” However, the last sign he includes is not about a social media site; it’s about the “real world”. This real world sign appropriately says, “Your opinion does not matter.”

Everyone with a social media account has a platform to share their opinions with the masses; it doesn’t matter whether those opinions are solicited and/or valuable. And while people have always been vociferous on social media, it seems the forceful sharing of opinions has only increased as a result of the 2016 presidential election. But how does that practice and attitude translate into our “real world” lives?

With people spending an increased amount of time on social media sites, the line between the “real world” and the social media world may be blurring. It seems as though many people have adopted the idea that they should get to express their opinion and have their personal needs met in both worlds. We’re especially seeing this more in the workforce. CEOs, HR executives and company leaders have expressed frustration with younger employees feeling entitled to sharing their opinions and having their demands met, despite their lack of experience and seniority. Companies are experiencing pressure to constantly work collaboratively, solicit employee input, and meet employee demands. While this can be a positive tactic in some cases that increases employee retention rates, there has to be a line drawn at some point. Employees need to understand that an office isn’t equivalent to a Twitter account. The harsh reality is, their opinions don’t always matter. Everyone cannot always have a ‘seat at the table’ and the opportunity to share an opinion – nothing would get accomplished. Everyone disagreeing and sharing opposing viewpoints on social media has certainly not been productive or positive, so why would anyone think it would work well in the real world?

American musician Allan Sherman said it best… “They sit there in committees day after day, And they each put in a color and it comes out gray. And we all have heard the saying, which is true as well as witty, That a camel is a horse that was designed by a committee.”

So while interacting in the world of social media… share away! But if we want to be productive in the real world it’s time to accept that “opinions are like assholes, everyone has one” and sometimes they just don’t matter.