Monthly Archives: July 2011

Social Media Campaigns for Good

Social media has proven to be more than just a means of sharing fun videos and wasting time. It’s also an effective way to deliver important news and messages. Nonprofits and other charity organizations have taken to getting their messages out via Twitter, Facebook and viral videos, making a positive impact in the online community and beyond. While we don’t have nearly enough room to list all charities with a social presence on our site, here are three great programs using social and online initiatives to raise awareness about their causes.

It Gets Better

itgetsbetter

It Gets Better is an online community launched in response to the startling number of teen suicides and bullying in the LGBT community. The site offers over 22,000 entries of supportive and encouraging videos and stories from all walks of life including President Obama, The Baltimore Orioles baseball team and Lady Gaga.

Charity: Water

charity-water

Charity: Water is dedicated to bringing clean and safe water to people in developing nations. The site offers a variety of ways individuals can help out, with a function allowing users to create their own campaigns, instead of accepting gifts for birthdays, weddings, etc. This nonprofit recently received attention after a young girl was tragically killed in a car accident. She had just started a program to raise $300 for the charity before her 9th birthday. Since news of her heartbreaking accident, an outpouring of donations have been made to her site, totaling over $578, 859 so far.

Malaria No More

malaria-no-more

The Malaria No More organization is aimed at putting an end to malaria in developing countries. With the help of comedians these viral videos break the mold of traditional PSAs to give not only information, but also a few laughs.

Is there a cause or social good campaign you are a fan of? Please tell me about it in the comments section, I always love to hear about other social good campaigns.

-@MereEpp

Look Inside When Planning A Social Media Program

Who are you targeting with your corporate social media efforts? Customers? Investors and analysts? Vendors? The media? The general public?

Those are all fine targets, but you may be overlooking one vital group — corporate employees. Internal corporate communications may become the new wave of social media. Here are a couple of reasons.

Younger employees are already right at home on Facebook, Twitter and other social platforms. It’s how they communicate with their friends. It’s quick, easy and meets their needs. Smart organizations will look for ways to keep this next generation of workers involved and fully participating in the business. Social media is a good choice.

Heineken's "Beer and Ideas" page exclusively for employees

Another reason is the national or even global nature of many companies. Keeping employees engaged across different time zones and cultures is difficult. Social media can make that job easier.

I’m sure you can think of many other ways that social media can help bond a broad and diverse group of individuals into a cohesive corporate culture. So while planning a social media program, don’t forget ways to use it to reach out to the internal employees.

-JD

Twitter: @Jdaum

Eat, Drink and be Merry…and check your Facebook and Twitter

Last week I went to visit a good friend in Chicago to see the mother of all music festivals: The Dave Matthews Band Caravan. Artists like Amos Lee, David Gray, Flaming Lips, Ray LaMontagne and (of course) The Dave Matthews Band (DMB), graced the stages for three glorious days. The lineup was amazing. The event was the first of its kind and fans were tuned into every update they could find online from start to finish. How did we do it? Social media.

These days the modern-day concert’s link with social media intensifies the experience for fans. For example, on the second day of the concert, I checked the Facebook page for the Caravan site and found postings of specific meet-and-greet opportunities with various band members. This was a daily event on Facebook and Twitter and it blew my mind. I felt like I was being let in on a dirty little secret. This valuable information wasn’t made available anywhere else but online. The slots filled up within minutes, which showed how social media supplemented this festival.

If any of you reading this are DMB fans, you must follow @antsmarching, the fan site Twitter account. This person tweeted minute-by-minute twitpics, updates and details of everything from the weather to each song played in Chicago. His or her job consists of attending DMB concerts and tweeting from them. #jealous

From now on, I will be paying more attention to the social media accounts of any band I go see. You never know what golden opportunities you might miss. Want a quick glance into my experience? Check out some of my favorite moments:

Dave Matthews singing to me.

My good friend Mike Van Camp and I enjoying the VIP area and Amos Lee.

Just one of three stages: view from the Ferris wheel. Before the masses came for DMB.

Hear more about social media and my adventures on Twitter @SaraAlisia

Social Media is like Herpes… It’s Forever

Herpes. A virus that comes in various categories, with random flare-ups that once infected, remains in the body for life. Social media can be like a case of herpes with random flare-ups of blush-worthy posts, groups and photos that you wish would just go AWAY.

Flare-ups of embarrassing social media posts can happen to individuals and companies when they least expect or want it. And while deleting a post or profile, like in the case of Roger Ebert, may temporarily relieve the pain, the rest of the social world may not be so quick to forget.

You can run, but you can't hide...

Facebook data is retrievable up to seven years after publishing, with the help of Social Intelligence, a company for employers that vets potential employee’s social media sites. In a recent article Mat Honan, of Gizmodo ran a social background test on himself using the FTC approved company and didn’t pass. Turns out seven years of flare-ups might be enough to keep you from getting hired.

Companies like Kenneth Cole, the Red Cross and most recently Entenmann’s, have each experienced their share of flaming red outbreaks, leaving scars on their online reputations.

While social media posts may seem fun and insignificant at times, if there is something distasteful or controversial to be taken out of the post you better bet someone will find it. Just like herpes, it will go viral no matter how many times you delete the tweet, post or photo. Somehow it will remain infected in the social sphere waiting for an opportunity for another outbreak.

Check out my Tweets @Mereepp

Behind The Scenes: How To Create Engaging Content

Back in the day, when I was acting like a diva my grandmother would always say, “Who do you think you are? Queen Sheba?” So before you start acting like all that and a bag of chips (despite the circa 1992 saying I promise these tips are all 2011) here’s how you can make sure your content is king.

Analyze audience engagement. Great content takes great listening. Take a close look at past feedback and adjust for your audience’s preferences. Hone in on those topics and formats that readers most react to.

Take the “Would I…?” test. Would you read it, retweet it, Like it, comment on it? If not, then why would anyone else? Fundamentally we all want to learn, laugh and be inspired. Sometimes you need to get creative and do more than state the cold hard facts to spark an emotional response in your reader.

Content is king

Acknowledge the platform. Writing for Facebook is worlds different than writing a case study. Similarly, you can’t write a tweet like you would a press release. Think about why people are following you on Twitter, using PR Newswire or subscribing to a certain publication and write your content to fit that need.

Speak from a place of passion. The content we create, be it personal or for a client, becomes part of the public personality we are building. With every type of communication we are creating a community and revealing more about ourselves. Be authentic and passionate about what you are writing – readers can tell.

Chat with me on Twitter @RGDwyer (aka Queen Sheba)

Social Media Complaints – How to Not Lose Your Mind

Oh, the power of social media. Real time results, instant messages, an open platform and the ability to go viral in minutes… Great for when your brand is getting praised, but complaints on social media can be a nightmare for the mangers that have to deal with them.

Customer service complaints affect all brands, from Versace to small mom and pop shops, but as brand managers what can you do to be sure a customer complaint doesn’t turn into a viral nightmare?

Don't lose your head

Plan ahead- Have page rules set out before you start posting so you can reference them in case you ever need to remove an inappropriate post. Also, make sure you have an action plan in place if something needs to be escalated beyond the social media team.

Respond as quickly as possible- Get a response up on the wall or tweet as soon as possible. In the case of Twitter make sure to quickly follow the person. It helps to have a list of approved responses or service numbers you can access quickly if needed.

Have a back up plan- Some complaints and questions may need a little more research so be sure to communicate this to your fans. Acknowledge the post and let the person know you are looking into the issue. Just be sure to follow up with a helpful response. Make sure fans and followers know their feedback is appreciated and being heard.

Respond and leave it- Deleting all negative comments from your brand’s Facebook wall may sound like a great way to keep the page looking nice, but the possible backlash won’t be worth it. Unless the post violates your terms of use, leave it up followed by the best possible response.

Stay calm and professional- Often times social media is the last resort for a customer trying to get help. They can be frustrated and angry, but it is extremely important to take the professional route and not to engage in rude or defensive comments. We recommend always running a response past at least one or two other team members to avoid getting yourself into trouble.

Listen- Finally, it is important to listen to what fans and followers are saying. If there is a common theme among complaints it may show an opportunity to address a flaw with the company. Encourage feedback and be sure to pass it along to the client.

Tell us, how does your social team normally handle complaints?

– I’m on Twitter @Mereepp