5726027505b089dcefd049618e1c42b4

How to Develop a Social Media-Crisis Strategy

It may be difficult to imagine that a comment on social media, or ad campaign, graphic, misquote or argument could cost your organization immeasurably in terms of sales and brand favor.

But these events do occur, increasingly. With communications now moving nationally and internationally at the speed of IOT, compromises can occur, and it is essential to have a solid social media-crisis strategy in place, and ready to implement.

What contributes to a social media crisis?

Digital marketing teams and community managers deal with small problems and minor incidents on a daily basis. One of the most important aspects of social media management is handling negative or inappropriate comments and images and ensuring channel security and customer-service responses that enhance consumer’s experience and with its brand and your image.

Of course, a social media crisis is something far larger than a negative comment or two. It is an incident where something that your business has said or done has caught negative national or even global attention. Sometimes the brand is not at fault in any way, but is still in a position where it has to defend against a substantial social media public backlash, one that can cost millions in lost sales and customer retention, if your representatives do not handle things in an appropriate way.

Looking for some examples of social media brand crises in 2016? Who could forget the staff member at Kitchenaid who tweeted insensitively about President Obama’s deceased grandmother? The tweet was sent, mistakenly, on the Kitchenaid official account by an internal staffer who thought that he or she was using a personal account.

Kitchenaid respectfully deleted the tweet, apologized to the Obama family and indicated how the error had happened. The company also confirmed that the individual who had made the comment would no longer be managing its social media activities.

That quick and appropriate response probably saved the brand.

In some instances, however, it is not an internal staff member who is responsible for tweeting something offensive, but rather a deliberate hack of the social media account. That happened to Burger King in February 2013, when hackers replaced the burger chain’s official branding with a McDonald’s logo, and began to tweet offensively.

Fans quickly caught on, however, that the account had been hacked, and in subsequent weeks (after Burger King changed its password), the chain’s Twitter account gained more than 30,000 new followers.

Creating your social media crisis plan in four steps

Like any other emergency strategy, a social media crisis plan is designed to offer a quick and appropriate response and funnel correct information to anyone looking to access it, including customers, employees and the media. Here are four steps.

1. Assign a team.

While the best-practices guidelines for your social media crisis plan should commence with your marketing department, the implementation of these procedures will touch a variety of departments, including customer service staff, sales, human resources and senior leadership officials within youre organization. Create a team with at least one representative from each impact department who will be trained to respond, and one back-up person from every essential communication group.

2. Delegate and designate.

Define the core message that your brand needs expressed in the event of a negative online backlash or public relations fallout. The most successful businesses in the world, in a state of emergency publicity, fall back to their core values to assure the public, customers, shareholders and employees of their commitment and integrity.

Delegate core spokespeople for your brand. Controlling who comments on behalf of your business is essential to resolving the problem. Letting multiple employees comment, perhaps inappropriately, can fan a small flame into a forest fire, from a public relations perspective.

3. Document it.

Your crisis strategy for managing communication through social media should be thoroughly documented, and there should be printed copies available in key areas, as well as digital ones. Keep in mind that some social media crises can stem from a corporate hacking incident (like the event with Sony in 2014), in which case intranet and other resources may not be immediately available. Have a back-up location specifically separate from your main network.

4. Practice the plan.

Having a social media crisis strategy buried somewhere in the marketing archives does little to ensure that your response will be prompt when it’s needed. So, practice it twice per year, and ensure that as staff members change in key roles, new staff are trained with the appropriate protocols

The ability that a brand has to pivot in the face of a public relations problem determines its ability to find a fast resolution, and minimize collateral damage to the brand and its reputation. With luck, your business may never need it.

Source: Enterpreneur, article by Pratik Dholakiya(https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/282934)

Read More

spectacles-centered-3

Snapchat Unveils Video-Recording Sunglasses

Available in the fall for $130, they’ll record 10-second video clips.

Meet Snap, Inc., a Venice, Calif.-based startup that’s behind the popular ephemeral messaging app Snapchat.

Snap, Inc. is Snapchat’s new corporate name because the company now has a second product: A pair of sunglasses equipped with a video camera, marking its entry into the hardware business. The glasses record 10-second clips that are synced to the user’s smartphone so they can be shared via Snapchat, according to a report from the Wall Street Journal. Earlier on Friday, news site Business Insider published a video clip showcasing the sunglasses, which also displayed the company’s new name at the end.

The sunglasses, called Spectacles, will be available this fall for $129.99, in black, teal, and coral, according to the Journal. Its camera uses a 115-degree-angle lens and records video in a circular frame instead of the typical rectangle to make it more akin to the human wearer’s vantage point. This is no surprise considering that many Snapchat users document their day-to-day lives using the app’s Stories feature, a temporary collection of photos and videos.

The new glasses are reminiscent of Google Glass, the search giant’s short-lived connected eyewear product that was discontinued in early 2015 after it failed to catch on widely. Its failure was largely attributed to common concerns over privacy if a wearer filmed people without their consent.

Snapchat began in 2011 as an app for sharing photos and short videos that disappear after the recipient has viewed them, an answer to growing teenage anxiety about the permanence of online social networks potentially haunting them later in life. Since then, it has added a media hub to its app where users can read short news articles from publishers like People, Vice, and CNN. It also features Stories and Memories, an album for saving certain photos and videos users wants to keep.

Snapchat’s ambition of becoming more than a startup with a photo-sharing app has been clear for quite some time. It’s been fostering relationships with major publishers and expanding its advertising products in a clear bid to be a media company.

But there appears to be more. According to the Journal‘s interview with Evan Spiegel, Snapchat’s co-founder and CEO, he thinks of Snapchat as a camera company. He draws comparisons to the histories of Kodak and Polaroid, whose cameras helped shape the trajectory photography took from people posing for photos in a studio, to carrying camera nearly everywhere.

Rumors that Snapchat was working on a wearable device began to emerge over the past year or so as the company quietly hired experts in hardware, eyewear, augmented reality, and other related areas. In June, Business Insider also reported that the sunglasses Spiegel was photographed wearing while on vacation a year prior were an early prototype of Spectacles.

Source: Fortune, article by Kia Kokalitcheva (http://fortune.com/2016/09/24/snapchat-video-sunglasses/)

Read More

linkedin-logo

5 Overlooked Features of Your LinkedIn Marketing Strategy

LinkedIn has proven to be a winning platform for many B2B companies. But while the professional networking site holds major potential for amplifying thought leadership, boosting brand awareness, and generating leads, success on the site isn’t a given.

Maximizing your LinkedIn presence requires mastering the ins and outs of the platform and its many offerings as a piece of marketing technology. Here are five of the most overlooked features of your LinkedIn marketing strategy—plus a few tricks to jump-start your efforts.

1. Engage Your Employees

Your company’s LinkedIn page is a great starting point for your marketing efforts, but a company page alone won’t guarantee an audience. Encouraging employees to share and amplify your company page content will help spread your message far and wide, hitting the types of people who might be interested in your company to begin with.

A proper LinkedIn employee engagement program starts with getting employees excited about the platform and everything it can do for them personally and professionally (not to mention what it can do for the company). Explain why participation can improve the visibility of the company, thus increasing exposure to potential customers and leads. Companies in service-oriented industries have an added incentive to used LinkedIn; the talent behind the company is as important as the product or service offered. Empower staff to build stellar profiles (complete with links to the company page and a logo), and encourage them to share company content—blog posts, videos, images—to increase the reach of your message. Content marketing on LinkedIn grows exponentially stronger when engaged employees share content with their connections.

2. Test Your Content

Sharing posts from your company page and encouraging employees to do the same will bring content to users within those networks. But if you want your content to hit users outside your networks, LinkedIn can make it happen (albeit for a fee). Direct Sponsored Content allows brands to test multiple variations of their content, while maintaining control over what is posted to their company page.

LinkedIn’s marketing technology allows companies to test the headline, intro, teaser text, and thumbnail image of a post to see what garners more clicks from users. By finding out which variable resonates the most, marketers can optimize content so that the people they want to reach—industry leaders and potential customers—are more likely to click.

LinkedIn offers metrics for organic posts, too. Companies can see which posts are performing better, allowing them to tweak their content strategies to woo more followers. Top-performing organic posts are good candidates to receive a sponsored boost, allowing the content to go even further.

3. Utilize LinkedIn Pulse

Motivating your employees to use LinkedIn is a key piece to LinkedIn marketing success. Take these efforts to the next level and recruit your in-house company experts to author their own posts and share them to expand your thought leadership marketing. Richard Branson, Virgin Group founder and innovator, adorns his LinkedIn page with posts about entrepreneurship, business success, and work–life balance. The posts offer easily accessible business insight—while also consistently referring and linking back to Virgin, helping the brand boost its industry cred.

Any LinkedIn user can publish to LinkedIn Pulse, which functions as its own self-publishing platform within the LinkedIn site. Simply click “Write an article,” add a photo and write a headline, and you’re on your way to accessing the millions of LinkedIn users who browse the site for insight or advice. Pulse editors help curate the content users see on their Pulse feeds, but trending content and content that users in your network have Liked also gets highlighted. Once again, the more employees on board and sharing content, the further your content will spread.

4. Vary Your Content Mix

LinkedIn is building a niche as a go-to platform for long-form content. LinkedIn readers have a high tolerance for in-depth pieces—as long as the content is interesting.

Despite the conventional wisdom that shorter is better, on LinkedIn, longer posts seem to perform better than their shorter counterparts. Posts between 1,900 and 2,000 words gain the greatest number of LinkedIn likes, comments, and shares, a study from OKDork found.

The key here is variety. Offer followers meatier pieces with an in-depth analysis of an industry conundrum. But it’s okay to share shorter content, too. A great infographic may do the same work of a 2,000-word thought piece.

5. Publish Solutions to Your Audience’s Challenges

“If you build it, they will come” is the wrong mantra to have when it comes to LinkedIn marketing. Before posting content willy-nilly to your company page, think about the audience you want to reach and the pain points they are experiencing within their industry. This is where you, the industry expert, can add value. Need ideas about what’s bugging people in your industry? Scour LinkedIn’s Groups Directory to find out what challenges people in your industry are facing, and create content that speaks to those challenges.

Marketers can use LinkedIn’s built-in analytics to get a better feel for who is viewing and engaging with your content. The content created should help this audience solve a problem, learn something new, or empower them with advice. Avoid clickbait like the plague, because users will see right through it. Only relevant, compelling content will resonate with LinkedIn’s professional audience, lending you legitimacy as an expert in your industry.

Source: Skyword, article by Krystal Overmyer (http://www.skyword.com/contentstandard/marketing/5-overlooked-features-of-your-linkedin-marketing-strategy/)

Read More

1-instagram-stories-creating

How to Use Instagram Stories to Market Your Brand

Instagram blew up recently with their new “stories” function. Besides openly ripping off Snapchat, the stories are pretty functional to grow your brand or your business.

Actually, I’ve enjoyed using them a little bit! They’re great because they offer additional exposure to your audience, and another way to connect. When you post a story, people can message you based on each post just like on Snapchat. This allows more interaction and engagement with your followers on Instagram!

Plus, I’ve noticed that I have more exposure on my stories than I may have otherwise on each post I create for Instagram! Instagram looks like they’re giving a little more runway and exposure to your audience via stories, so make sure you check it out!

I’ve been monitoring how people have been using stories, and it’s actually pretty similar to the way that they use Instagram. Even though the platform is similar to Snapchat, people use it differently. Rather than streaming your face (the way Snapchatters do), Instagram stories are about posting sweet pics through your day of beautiful things and environments. it’s kind of like a behind-the-scenes slide show. Not to mention, everything that’s posted is beautiful.

So the question rises, how do you use this to grow your business or brand?

Let me jump right in and give you some tips to use stories to create hype around you.

Give Your Followers Behind-the-Scenes Access

Much like a VIP at a club or a show, give your audience behind-the-scenes access. Show them what you do in your business or with your brand. If you have a product, show how it’s made or the production process. If you’re a photographer, show yourself choosing new pics to edit, or live on a shoot with a client. If you’re running an online business, show what you do through the day that only insiders would see! Show some secrets, create some mystery and give another dimension to your brand.

This can be done a variety of ways.
I would start with something on the first image that says “VIP ACCESS” or “INSIDER ACCESS” or something like this to intrigue. Then snap away! Try just posting pics with some text on top, a series of videos or explainers, or mix still and video. Remember to ask your followers to send you a message and connect with you too so you can start engaging even more with them and building relationships.

Show Your Day-to-Day… (if your life is cool!)

Allow me to preface this by saying that no one will be interested in seeing the day-to-day of a normal person’s life. The reason why they’re on social and watching your stories to begin with is because they’re using social as a tool to dream, and escape from the normal realities they face on a daily basis. Give them something to love and aspire to!

For example, I have a friend that is mostly normal all around, but she recently got invited to NY Fashion Week care of JCrew. JCrew invited her to NYC to take part in a stylized-fashion shoot specific for fashion week, and she was one of the new models (without any modeling experience or crazy amounts of Instagram followers!). She got to see all the behind the scenes for a JCrew art directed photo shoot, live with all the craziness that happens at these events. And she did it for 2 days.

This is an example of something that you’d want to show through Instagram stories as a day-to-day. Had she decided to broadcast the moments throughout the day (even more “boring” ones) her followers would have LOVED it! They’d see her modeling for a major fashion brand, eating lunch with the creative director and having someone do her hair and makeup.

Mostly they’d be able to place themselves in her shoes even for a few moments and say to themselves “maybe I can have that cool of a life too!”

I know… it sounds kind of vain, but I promise you that if your followers don’t WANT YOUR LIFE, that you won’t have a following. It’s just how it goes. It’s part of psychology. If your followers admire you, what you stand for, and the life you live, they’ll follow you and engage with you.

Alas, with all that… if you have cool stuff that you do on a day-to-day basis—show it! It’ll gain you street cred with your audience and build your brand.

Show a Curation of Your Day

I keep seeing these types of stories on Instagram, and they totally resonate with me so I’m sure they do with others too. Some of my favorite Instagrammers are posting a curation of their day on their stories through static photos.

For example, I’ll see something like 4-6 pics of coffeeshops and cool scenes in NYC throughout the day, or coffee-shop hopping in Los Angeles. They’re just a string of beautifully taken static shots to give you another type of Instagram gallery (within stories). Just with the story feature, they disappear in 24 hours creating more urgency to watch them!

Get Up Close and Personal: Do an AMA (Ask Me Anything)

Get to know your followers, and allow them to connect with you on a more personal basis. This is an opportunity for people to get up-close and personal with your brand. Of course this builds more brand awareness for you, and consequently will earn you more Instagram story views.

An “ask me anything” is where you announce to your followers that they can submit any questions, and that you’ll answer them on your story for the day. This is a terrific way to humanize your brand.

Create Giveaways in Your Stories

I love to do giveaways on my Instagram feed. I’ve found that announcing the giveaways every day on my story and telling people what’s in the giveaway and how to enter has been really great for engagement. They’ll go straight from my story to my gallery and comment on the giveaway post!

Source: Business to Community, article by Emelina Spinelli (http://www.business2community.com/instagram/use-instagram-stories-market-brand-01660434#ripsaZPzewLlj1bi.99)

Read More

ok

How to Run an Effective Social Media Employee Advocacy Program

Every smart entrepreneur knows that you need to use social media to effectively market your business and your brand.

I realized that back in 2008, when I opened my camera store in New Jersey and had to compete against the largest camera store in the world – B&H Photo — and the biggest competitor of them all – Amazon. I had to acquire customers, and build our brand with little time and even less money. Social media turned out to be the fastest way to do that. But one of the problems I immediately faced was how to get engagement on our posts, when we didn’t have a big following on any of the social platforms.

This is a problem that many entrepreneurs face today.

In many cases, your social media accounts do not have very many followers, connections or interactions. So, if for example, you post on Facebook, your relatively small number of followers will mean Facebook’s algorithm will keep engagement very low. But is there a way to increase your engagement without investing a lot of money boosting posts?

The tactic I discovered back in 2008, and one that I have honed with great success today, is employee social advocacy. Here are the 10 steps I’ve used to implement and run an employee-driven, post-boosting program, which you can start doing today.

1. At the next staff meeting, it should be announced that you are looking for all team members to promote posts on their personal social media accounts – Facebook, LinkedIn, beBee, Twitter and Instagram — on a regular basis.

2. There should be an email sent to All@YourCompany.com with an explanation of what employee advocacy is, why it is done and what will be accomplished for the company. Ask staff to reply with their willingness to participate. I would not require any staff member to do it that doesn’t want to, but let them know there will be rewards for the people who do it the most.

3. In a follow up email, ask everyone to follow and like all of your YourCompany pages on Facebook, LinkedIn, beBee, Twitter and Instagram from their personal social media pages.

4.There needs to be a social leader in the company. It works best if it’s the owner, president or stakeholder. He or she will lead the charge on the personal posting side. Let everyone know who that will be. There can be more than one leader.

5. All participating members need to connect with the social leader. It’s ok if someone is not on every social platform. Let them participate where they can.

6. The social leader then creates a post on their personal social media accounts. Use all the social networks if it makes sense for the post’s content. The post needs to be interesting and engaging and include no direct selling. That post should be shared on all company pages by the company page owner.

7. Send an email to All@YourCompany.com with all of the links to the leader’s posts asking everyone to share on their accounts with a personal comment added that relates to their friends, fans or followers.

8. When you start this advocacy program, do one post per week until your staff gets use to it. Then do up to three per week, but that is the maximum you should do. The staff will get tired of it and so will your followers.

9. To jump start the program, give everyone who follows No. 2, No. 3, No. 5 and No. 7 a $20 giftcard or something similar. Many, who agreed to do it, won’t – especially the first time. A personal note or visit from the social leader asking them to participate again is the way to go here.

10. Create contests, and publicly hand out prizes. The top employees with the most engagement, receives a money prize, extended lunch, day off or something else intriguing. You should post a leaderboard and hand out prizes for the top performers for each month and for the year.

Employee social advocacy is an incredibly cost-effective way to build your brand and business. It also builds employee morale and creates a corporate culture where staff feels like they have directly contributed to the success of the company.

Source: Fox News, article by Matt Sweetwood http://www.foxnews.com/us/2016/09/15/how-to-run-effective-social-media-employee-advocacy-program.html)

Read More