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Monthly Archives: July 2010

Companies large and small are rushing to understand and get involved in social media. But most of the agencies and consultants who are being paid to establish social media campaigns for corporations are afraid to tell their clients three things they don’t want to hear.


1. Everyone Must Work Together


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hands in imageIn most big companies, IT, digital, marketing and sales not only don’t work together, they compete with each other. Until they start collaborating as a team, you will not succeed in social media.

For example, I recently handled social media advertising for a major retail chain’s holiday microsite. The promotion was conceived by the digital department and involved augmented reality. But the IT department refused to allow a link from the homepage to the microsite because the microsite’s design was done by an external agency.

Further, the marketing department refused to allow a dedicated e-mail to go out to the company’s mailing list, and when placed in the company’s normal promotional e-mail, the link to the microsite was lost in a sea of weekly specials.

These hurdles made it very hard to drive traffic to the microsite.

But more than that, this lack of internal collaboration and contact makes any kind of social media involvement virtually impossible.

A company that hasn’t learned to listen to its own employees, and encourage them to collaborate internally, is not likely to succeed in integrating social media tools into its marketing mix, no matter what agency or consultant they hire.


2. Top Management Must Be On Board


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managers imageIf the direction doesn’t come from the very top, managers, who have myriad reasons to fear change, will hang on to the status quo.

Despite the best intentions of agencies and consultants, social media integration is bound to meet huge resistance until top management says it’s OK to spend time and money to integrate it into the company’s marketing and culture.

Example: The marketing team of an international manufacturer of electronics wanted to know how the company could begin to use social media and we discussed the many possibilities.

Listening and responding to what customers are saying about the brand in social media can supply good intelligence and give the company a chance to interact with customers.

“Our management doesn’t want to listen to customers,” the PR director said. “They want to talk to them.”

However, that doesn’t work anymore. The status quo is dead. Any company that isn’t willing to listen to customers and be nimble and quick enough to respond, and, when necessary, change, will soon be unable to compete with smart, tech-savvy companies that can turn on a dime.

Willingness to change is the new bottom line for every business today. But top management has to buy in before change can begin.


3. Don’t Expect Overnight Success


point a to bSure there are videos that go viral, contests that attract a lot of buzz, and FacebookFacebook pages that get a lot of fans. But what comes after those efforts?

After the tools change (and they surely will) how will social media fit into the company’s overall strategy and help it reach long-term goals?

Example: Smart companies look at the long-term. The Fiskateers, now in its sixth year, is the brainchild of digital agency Brains on Fire, for their client Fiskars.

With the scissors brand losing market share to foreign knock-offs, the company enlisted several actual crafters to blog, attend events, and represent the brand to customers as part of a new community strategy.

“If you empower your customers to become your evangelists, you’d better be prepared to continue it,” says Brains on Fire’s Geno Church. “It’s permanent when you engage in this type of marketing.”

Once you have created the community, listen to it. Fiskars made several changes to its products based on what it discovered through its Fiskateers community. Doing so helped build customer trust and loyalty.


Where Should Your Company Start?


Realizing that employing social media in the marketing mix is a long-term commitment to change, the best way to start is to pick manageable, measurable goals.

Pick a small number of social media goals for the coming year. Some possibilities:

– Turn the company newsletter into an internal blog and give all employees the ability to contribute
– Establish a social media policy for employee participation in social media on company time and beyond
– Let employees vote on the best ideas suggested by other employees
– Resolve to respond to customer service issues within three hours, via social media

Don’t try to do all of these things at once. Pick the ones that are most likely to be possible for your company to start and sustain.

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On Wednesday, Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg will sit across from ABC News’ Diane Sawyer in his most high-profile interview since 2008, when Leslie Stahl interviewed him on 60 Minutes.

Facebook’s well-known CEO doesn’t give many public interviews, and for good reason: he has melted under the lights before, most prominently at this year’s D8 Conference. When Zuckerberg agrees to an exclusive, national TV interview, you know that he has something important to say.

What message does Zuckerberg want to convey to the American public? To the entire world?


Changing the Narrative


We fully expect Mark Zuckerberg to use his national stage appearance to announce that the world’s largest social network has over 500 million users. It is one of the most significant milestones in the company’s history, plus the timing fits.

The national stage gives the young CEO the opportunity to rewrite the Facebook story — one currently being written by this year’s privacy fiasco, the upcoming Facebook movie and Zuckerberg’s poor performance at D8. While the social network continues to grow wildly, the narrative of Facebook changing the world has veered off course.
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Bringing Sawyer to Facebook headquarters does several things. First, it humanizes Facebook by showing off a determined, smart, happy team. Second, it provides Zuckerberg a chance to cast himself in a positive light and make himself into a likable character once again. Finally, it’s a chance for Zuckerberg to get his message out direct to the people, past the media and the blogosphere.

While Zuckerberg’s big announcement is likely to be the half billion user milestone, the focus of his message is more likely to be on the utility and connectivity of Facebook, and the positive world-changing impact it has had on our society. If he’s smart, he’ll bring out stories of how Facebook has reconnected families and friends, as well as talk about the connected future that he envisions.

That positive message is what Facebook’s CEO will try to deliver. If he can avoid major snafus, he’ll succeed in repairing at least some of the damage that’s been inflicted by the company’s previous missteps.

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iPhone4 evoke is ongoing – Daily Mail reported some days before; on the other hand Apple hasn’t announced any plans to evoke such phone; UK publications source announced that it was just a tweet from a fake Twitter account from Steve Jobs.

As @ceoSteveJobs is a parody twitter account – even if you don’t read the bio, it should have been apparent from the tweets, which comprise lines like

“Be careful not to leave your #iPhone4 at the Genius Bar on the way out of the store. Gizmodo might pick it up,”

Well, its really rigid to imaging that Apple didn’t knew about the signal issue as Daily Mail heaved the original story with a state that this recall was coming; and all the issues that users having with the signal loss when the new iPhone4 is in the way.  The concerned persons and engineers at the company doubtless declared that do not expect a recall for that reason.

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Reflection:

Don’t be amazed this not the first time something happened that Daily Mail published story only on the basis on a tweet from a fake account;

That’s why twitter has been implemented a system for verifying the accounts; of the vital people and publications

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