A New Year, But Same Rules for Social Media PR

Image courtesy of the Association of Web Design Professionals2011 was the year in which social media gained wider acceptance as a viable business tool. But in many ways th new year finds the chasm between Marketing and Communications over its use has grown wider.

I’ve written before about the ultimate goal for social media within the enterprise (see “Who Owns Social Media? Ultimate Answer: The Opposites”), but at the start of 2012 it seems (according to the job openings I have observed) that social media marketing is taking command, with calls for professionals experienced in social and viral marketing campaigns ruling the day.

So, when I found this article, The Do’s and Don’ts of Using Social Media in Crisis Communications, I noticed that despite the crisis communications spin of the headline the advice listed makes good sense for any company looking to leverage social media for Communications/PR. Briefly:

Accept social media as an ongoing tool; create a social media policy; trust and use your staff; plan on who and how to handle crisis communications; keep social media social – participate in the conversation; be honest; always think of your image.

Try to ban social media use company wide – it won’t work; talk at you audience – engage with them;  try ti spin the message – insincerity is magnified (and readily apparent) online; keep your associates in the dark — keep them apprised and energized; mix corporate social media accounts with associates’ personal ones – accidents do happen.

Of course, the biggest “Do”: engage in social media. It’s a valuable cross-discipline tool for your entire organization.

image credit: association of web design professionals

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When to Say “No” to Your Social Media Marketers

See photo credit belowMore and more people are calling themselves social media marketers these days,  so how do you know the one you are working with is giving you good advice?

As always, my recommendation is to first hire a social media professional (someone employed in social media for at least five years) as your in-house guide, watchdog and subject matter expert. Until then, here are four red-flag warning signs that you’re getting bad advice from your social media marketer: Read more of this post

Social Media Week 2011: SUXORZ

When looking over the Social Media Week NYC offerings, there were many having to do with how to do social media right. So, it was only natural to register for the one that promised to lambaste those who failed — and failed spectacularly:

SUXORZ*: The Worst Social Media Advertising of 2010, Hosted by Blogads

* – SUXORZ: Leet-speak (hacker talk) for something that sucks, a lot. Opposite of ROXORZ.

Panelists at the Feb 10 event at the Gershwin Hotel were: Jessica Amason, ThisIsWhyYoureFat; Brian Clark, GMDstudios; Brian Morrissey, Ad Week; and BL Ochman, Proof IC with moderator Henry Copeland, Blogads.com. Entrants were grouped into five categories, and the winners, err, losers of each going for the Biggest Loser title. Here are the categories, with the winner in bold.

Meme Purgatory: Trying, but failing, to create viral characters
Cisco’s “Ted from Accounting – trying to emulate Old Spice’s “Smell Like a Man” icon
Dell’s “Dr. Ashley
Smirnoff’s “Bros Icing Bros
Volkswagen’s “Sluggy Patterson

Missed Connections: What you would typically label a #FAIL
CVS’s Community Manager having a protected Twitter account
Denny’s pointing to a Twitter account (Twitter.com/Dennys) which actually belongs to a Taiwanese guy
Leo Burnett Worldwide’s Introduction to Humankind video
Starbuck’s getting Facebook to blitz an existing Community page that had 3,000 members — in Hungary — when they launched their “official” Hungarian page

Mean People Suck: There’s a way to soothe the savage social media beast (sic) – and then there are these:
Dr. Pepper taking over fans’ Facebook status updates to post outrageous entries
Mercedes requiring Facebook sign-up for a Twitter contest
Nestle’s inability to deal with the social media backlash spurred by Greenpeace
Price Chopper contacting a customer’s employer and requesting disciplinary action for posting a negative tweet

You’re So Vain: Just because your PR team makes you do social media doesn’t mean you get it
Fast Company’s Influence Project, where popularity equals influence (it doesn’t!)
Kenneth Cole’s Coptic co-opting of the unrest in Egypt to tweet about his fashion line
Kim Kardashian led Digital Death campaign to forgo social media until a ransom was paid (see my related entry Quitting Twitter for Charity Doesn’t Make Cent$)
Lebron James joining Twitter just before his big announcement, then abandoning it

People’s Choice: New media failures that ticked people off
BP’s response (or lack thereof) to social media sturm-und-drang regarding the oil spill
Charmin’s ‘TP-A-Friend’ Facebook app
Facebook’s Stories that turns your posts into ads
TSA’s handling of the full-body peep show security scanner

Worst of the Worst:
Cisco’s “Ted from Accounting
Denny’s Taiwanese guy Twitter account
Price Chopper negative tweet retribution demand
Kim Kardashian Digital Death campaign
BP’s response (or lack thereof) to sturm-und-drang

The biggest loser is:  Price Chopper! For the most unsocial social media response.

A well deserved #EPICFAIL

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