Archive for November, 2011


Social Media First Aid and Checkup

When a person makes an odd post on social media, they are expressing their personal opinion. When a person engages in the same activity on a corporate blog or social media, the whole brand that they are involved with becomes tainted. Even though mistakes of this type are hard to repair, there are steps that a company can follow to keep the management of its social media network under control after a gaffe.

Step One – Recognition

It is important to acknowledge what the problem is and where it came from. If it was an employee then it is important to take care of the issue with the employee right away. If the offense is from a third party then it is equally important to get in contact with said party and right the wrong. Don’t ignore the issue or it will take on a life of its own and get worse.

Step Two – Take Action

Once you know what the problem is the way to respond is quickly. Put a reply on whatever format the gaffe was on. Then follow the reply up with an official and formal apology. This should be inclusive of three facets of content. First, it is vital to project your understanding and acknowledgment of the mistake or problem. Secondly, it is important that affirmation that you have learned from the situation is detailed in the account. Lastly, and the most vital, it is important to show the steps you’re taking to correct the issue and prevent similar issues from happening in the future. These steps are simple and can help a company get past the present ordeal.

Step Three – Learn for the Future

After a mistake is fixed, it is vital to put a social media policy in place. That way the social media process will continue, but in a manner that does not jeopardize the company or the brand at hand. It is also important to realize that social media needs to be managed. Ashton Kutcher recently handed over his social media activities to a management company after posting some comments on Twitter that were considered uniformed and insensitive. He quickly apologized online but also handed over future social media actions to a social media management company. It is important to know how to leave the control of social media to those with the public relations skills to administrate it.

The bottom line is that everyone makes mistakes. Even a company or person can make mistakes on social media. The important thing to always keep in mind is that you want to clean up the mistakes in a way that is timely as well as is honest. The game plan discussed here is a good way to get past mistakes in social media. ty Ray

This is a great article by Beverly Macy of the Huffington Post highlighting social media for business in terms of what trends she sees in store for 2012 business on this front. It has great concise breakdown with regards to the power of real time, the global social brain, content curation and discovery, and educating in social media.

One of the great points of this article is both that social media is here to stay and that a company should now have a “knowledge baseline” in social media. This is a working knowledge of social media processes and functions that allows a company to make informed decisions and changes which involve and benefit ROI through social media. In other words, the company cannot afford to just talk the talk with social media; it must know what it is doing. A company which just goes to a set the web site up and move on type of approach will suffer. Those social media sites which are interactive are the ones that will excel in terms of ROI. If a company cannot handle such tasks in house, Beverly says, then get a consultant to help them. The work is vital and must be taken seriously in 2012 to add to the total marketing portfolio of a company. Some of the students of social media now will be encouraged that they will become the teachers of tomorrow. Adapt or die. Ty Ray

“Muffins and Beer”

In Nicholas Christakis: The hidden influence of social networks, I feel that Nicholas has made a significant point about the influence of social media on people. He speaks of the hidden influence of social media on society and how people are connected in simple terms that have to do with the nature and environmental habits of likeminded people. This is a vital yet simple point to make. People influence people through network structures that are essentially made up of groups of bonding people. Let us look at this more in depth.

I personally agree with the theory that people are interconnected. If you read or see on the news a bad news story that about a disaster that happens in another town or even another country, you feel sad for those people affected. You do not know them. You do not live near them. You do, however, feel a common social bond of being a human being trying to get through life and prosper. Nicolas would argue that it is these type of bonds that occur in social media formats every day that make people bond through computer networks. I would say that he is correct. We are all a member of a bonding group of some sort, and give and take product attributes from interacting form the group.

Nicholas speaks from a point of sociology. All of the major studies that we have showcased to a degree so far have been more focused on the social network then the person. He uses the widower effect to illustrate his point. This is a great point. No one can network alone. Networking is a social activity. If a married person dies, the spouse has much heart ache too. The bond to them dies and the pain is real. They are of greater chance of passing away. The reason for this is that it was the bond, not the person alone that kept them alive. We see the same aspect of social networks. The network keeps itself going when you post to a blog, on Facebook, or does a tweet; you are acting in a manner which is social. You are making a point that others will read, react to, repost, and enjoy. They will feel the emotion in the lines that you type. They give you emotional posts back. Social networks are very much the sharing of experience by people. You see the same bond in the married, divorced, and jobless, sports team, gender, preference, political affiliation, and any bond by which people can bond and feel and share emotion.

Look at the current youth movement, Occupy Wall Street. It has sprung up in every major city, many people of the same age and experience, and was spread through social media into the movement that it is today. Those people related emotionally to other. There was no call to arms, specific obligation, or even official news release. There were just many equal posts that many other people read and reacted to. Large numbers of people collectively feeling the same frustration and deciding to make it known in their own towns. Nicholas uses the behavior simulation analogy of coworkers going for “Muffins and Beer” together causing them all of to gain weight. The behavior is learned and shared and bonded. The result is social groups formed and the message is unified. The idea is multi person centric, however, and many different relationships will be formed, causing many pairs and complexities. The same is true in social networks. Many groups will further develop and reform as other groups and react to yet other groups. The common social format which brought them together for “Muffins and Beer” is the structure and activity of using a social media network.

The bottom line is that Nicolas is dead on. If social networks provide benefits which outweigh the costs, have good values present, and allow people to share new ideas and positive goodness, then they will join and form emotional bonds. If more connections, as Nicolas says, means more goodness, then a life of social media is a connected and emotionally rich social one. Anyone for muffins and beer? Ty Ray