Social Media Blunders

 

It Only Takes a Moment

Social media blunders only take a momentary lapse of judgment. A snarky reply to a follower, a tweet from the wrong account or a poor attempt at humor. With the press of the enter button the entire social media world could be in an uproar.

It Can Happen To Anyone

Businesses, celebrities, politicians — no one is exempt. Anyone can make this mistake. And once it happens how you respond is critical. With a great strategy and a little honesty you can take an embarrassing situation and turn it into something positive.

Examples of Social Media Blunders

Check out today’s infographic from MDG Advertising to see some of the most infamous social media blunders from the past few years. The blunders of Ashton Kutcher, Anthony Weiner, Kenneth Cole, Ragu and the American Red Cross can serve as lessons for everyone using social media personally or professionally. [Read more…]

NFL Branding Takes A Blow

NFL Branding Takes A Blow

NFL Branding Takes a Self-Inflicted Blow

I watched one of America’s most beloved brands take a blow to the gut last night. And the worst part, it did it to itself. In case you missed the game, and weren’t anywhere near Twitter (there is some inappropriate language in this post), there was a bit of controversy last night. The game between the Green Bay Packers and Seattle Seahawks was filled with missed calls, bad calls and more than its share of chaos. The last few minutes of the game felt like a slow motion scene as the train wreck you felt coming actually happened as the time ran out. A hail-mary pass to win the game, a missed offensive pass-interference call, two refs making contradictory calls on the winning touchdown, a blown review, and a victory handed to a team that should have lost the game.

This is the worst nightmare for the NFL. Games being decided not by the play on the field, but by the referees. And not just referees, but replacement referees. There is a labor dispute between the regular officials and the NFL. So the NFL has brought in replacements this season. And after three weeks of questionable calls, the unthinkable finally happened. They made a bad call and changed the outcome of the game.

Don’t Blame the Officials

I don’t blame the officials. No one thinks they are purposefully making the bad calls. They are doing their best. But they just aren’t qualified. The blame rests on the league for putting them in the position with no chance of success. [Read more…]

Who’s Faking It? (Infographic)

Who’s Faking It?

Buying fake Twitter followers has been in the news a lot lately, mostly thanks to the election process and a new app from Status People that let’s you find out who’s faking it.  We actually first posted about the fake follower issue here on the blog back on Aug. 15. This week we found this interesting infographic and decided to make it our Friday Infographic here on the blog.

You Might Be Surprised by Who’s Faking It

  • The earliest fake account dates back to Jan 15, 2007Over 11,000 Twitter users have purchased more than 72,000 fake followers
  • Those celebrities with huge Twitter followings, probably padded with fake accounts
  • Politicians are right behind the celebrities when it comes to fake followers
  • Surprisingly, some of the top social networks have hug fake followings on Twitter
  • It can cost anywhere from $2-$55 for 1000 fake followers

Who's Faking it on Twitter?

The Real Cost of Fake Followers

While many people are buying fake followers to boost their numbers for various reasons, they are obviously missing the point of social media. Fake followers aren’t sharing your idea or buying your product. And the level of trust your customer or client has in you will almost certainly suffer when thy find out you’re a fake. So play it smart. Build your following the old fashioned way, with a great product, excellent customer service that gives your real fans something to talk about.

Would you buy fake followers if you though it would boost your online image?

Keeping It Real – Exposing Those Who Purchase Fake Twitter Followers

Fake Twitter Followers

Buying Fake Twitter Followers Isn’t Just for Politicians

Perhaps you seen in the news lately mention of political figures who have been questioned about purchasing fake Twitter followers to boost their numbers. This is a practice that has been growing in popularity for those who simply don’t want to do the work of social media or who apparently just need an ego boost. And if you think it is something only happening on the big brand and national political stage, think again. I ran a few of the popular local Twitter users through the app and was surprised by the findings.

Sure, buying fake followers is a quick way to boost your follower count on the surface, but the damage to your reputation when you are found out can be devastating. Clearly,this is something we would discourage any of our readers from even considering.

Finding the Fakes Just Got Easier

This week finding out who is purchasing fake accounts got a whole lot easier thanks to Status People’s new Fakers App. This app lets you type in your, or anyone else’s, twitter username and it evaluates the quality of their followers. While the app isn’t perfect in that it only evaluates a portion of your followers, it does a pretty good job of giving you a snapshot of your or someone else’s account. Here’s a snapshot of my results.

Fakers Score

The Dark World of Paid Followers

Here’s an example of how blogger Zach Bussey dove into “the dark world of paid followers” and was able to set up a new account and get over 26,000 followers overnight. What’s interesting is with a few clicks you can also find out who else has purchased those same fake accounts.

It’s Not About The Numbers

Sure, having a large follower number is attractive, but that’s not the goal of social media. Large numbers don’t necessarily translate into increased interaction and more business. Especially if those followers aren’t real. What good does 20,000 or 2,000,000 followers do if none of them are talking with you, buying your products or giving to your cause. Absolutely none!

Social media has always, and will always be about connecting with your customers and donors in real ways that draw them to your brand and deepen their relationship with you. Purchasing fake followers not only doesn’t help you connect with current or potential customers, it can wreck your brand image and credibility when you are found out. And you will be found out.

How would your impression of a brand or individual change if you find out they have been purchasing fake Twitter followers?

 

 

Three Ways to Turn a Negative Review into a Big Problem

Today we welcome back guest blogger Sarah Warren to the rm2g blog.  Sarah is a graduate of Baylor University, the University of Oklahoma and Focus Leadership Institute. She lives in Norman, Oklahoma where she does public relations for a university by day and owns Swoon Designs, a custom invitation business, by night. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her husband, learning about new media, watching cheesy movies, and cooking gluten-free meals. Connect with Sarah on Twitter  @swoonsarah

Three stories, all true:

  1. A popular blogger with a new book gets on her Facebook fan page to tell her thousands of fans that someone has written a negative review about her book online, and she’s counting on her fans to correct her low rating.  The fans ravenously attack the negative reviewer (whose review was negative but fair) on the book’s review section on Amazon.com.  They cuss out the reviewer and dare anyone else to write a negative review.  The blogger is meanwhile cheering them on from her Facebook fan page.
  2. I go to a salon, uncharacteristically arriving 10 minutes late.  In a moment straight out of Pretty Women, the beautician loudly and publically throws me out of the salon.  Being a social media pro, I write a negative review on a review site.  A few weeks later, I find there are suddenly positive reviews for that specific beautician on the review site and the salon’s Facebook fan page.  These reviews purposefully counter my negative review.
  3. I go to a conference for public relations professionals.  Among my colleagues is someone from an organization notorious for secrecy and censorship.  He repeatedly asks the speakers how to best censor social media and is baffled when the answer is “you don’t”.

How do you manage your fans?  You can ask them to fight for you.  Similarly, you can ask friends and loyal customers to challenge negative comments and reviewers.  Or you can censor your fans’ negative comments and viewpoints.  I think those are all pretty bad ideas. [Read more…]

Social Media is a Magnifying Glass

Flicker image via user kapungo

Social media is a magnifying glass. It takes what your audience is looking at and makes it bigger, clearer, and easier to see. So what is your audience seeing? If customer service is part of your brand’s DNA, it will be magnified in the social space. Your digital audience will feel cared for, listened to, and taken care of. If it isn’t, well, that will be magnified too. [Read more…]

Managing Your Online Reputation

Key Takeaways:

  • You no longer control your online reputation – it is in the hands of your customers
  • Stay informed about what people are saying about you, your company and your products.  Set up alerts so you are aware when others are talking about you.
  • Be proactive. Work to build a solid reputation online by communicating clearly, listening well, building trust and responding quickly and effectively to customer concerns.

When was the last time you checked to see what your customers are saying about you online?

#2 in 2011 – Just Because the Internet is Fast Doesn’t Mean You Should Be

This week we’ve decided to highlight our top 3 posts from 2011 in case some of you missed them the first time around. Today we’re highlighting our second most popular post and it is from guest blogger Sarah Warren.

Sarah is a graduate of Baylor University, the University of Oklahoma and Focus Leadership Institute. She lives in Norman, Oklahoma where she does public relations for a university by day and owns Swoon Designs, a custom invitation business, by night. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her husband, learning about new media, watching cheesy movies, and cooking gluten-free meals. Connect with Sarah on Twitter  @swoonsarah

The speed of social

Social media is fast. It’s immediate and permanent. And that’s not always a good thing. Recently, the food blogging world learned this lesson in a very public way.

You can read a recount of the entire sordid and controversy here. But here are the highlights.

The young husband of Jennie Perillo, a well-known food blogger, died of a sudden heart attack.

A fellow food blogger with a large fan base talked to Jennie days after. Distraught, Jennie talked about the scary logistics of being a new, young widow – soon expiring health insurance, a mortgage that might have to paid off in a lump sum. This blogger wrote a beautiful and heartfelt blog post about Jennie, explaining Jennie’s situation as she understood it, vowing to do what she could, and pleading for others to help also.

Spearheaded by an organization of food bloggers called Bloggers without Borders, the food blogging world rushed to Jennie’s aid.  A hashtag was created, and everyone from bloggers to international cookware companies created fundraisers for Jennie’s immediate, distressing needs.

Within just a few months, something shocking happened: they’d raised more than $70,000.  People turned out in droves to help one of their own who was looking at no health insurance and possibly no home.  Something else happened, though.  Some of Jennie’s twitter followers noticed she was grieving extravagantly for a financially distraught widow: $600 boots, lots of new house wares, and once a month cross-country trips.

#afundforjennie was brewing into a full-fledged controversy.

It turns out that in the days following that emotional conversation between Jennie and her fellow blogger, Jennie learned her husband had diligently provided for the possibility of his passing.  The fund raised $70,000 for a woman who was financially secure.  According to Jennie, she never wanted #afundforjennie to happen, but asked the organizers to instead direct people donate to an organization that helps widows and widowers in need (but she retweeted the hashtag, so no one can know for sure).

Because the money was raised for Jennie, it legally had to go to Jennie.  In a very public compromise, the money went into a college fund for her two girls.  Still, a lot of people are upset.  Many gave more than they could because they were told that Jennie’s situation was dire.  People sent money for basic needs, and instead donated to a college fund.

The normally tight-knit food blogging community has been divided.  Angry tweets have abounded.  Accusations of outright fraud have been levied at both sides.  Bloggers without Borders insists it did nothing wrong.  Jennie feels that her husband’s memory has been tarnished by insinuations that he did not provide for his family.  Donors feel like they were cheated.  And an organization that had the potential to raise money and connect an influential community in unprecedented ways has been discredited.

These are deep wounds, and it will take a long time for them to heal.

In the final letters from Bloggers without Borders  and Jennie, both tried to wrap up this controversy while still vehemently sticking to their respective sides.

What can we learn?

1. Think before posting
Just because we can instantly write a blog and post it to the World Wide Web doesn’t mean we should. Even leveraging social media to mobilize the masses to do good can be a bad thing if there is not first in-depth planning and fact checking.

2. Best practices are best practices, no matter the medium

I don’t know about you, but sometimes I feel like blogging and communication on Facebook and Twitter is fun, while policies are a complete bummer.  This isn’t true.    We should have the same best practices and policies in place for social media publications as any with any other media.  This is doubly applicable for emotional situations.

Policies can range from something simple as a social media guide in your organization that discusses tone and grammar, to full-fledged policies about social media’s role in large campaigns. In legally binding communications such as a fundraising drive, safeguards like advisory boards are not relics of the past.

Social media is an amazing tool.  It allows us to communicate and connect with others in unprecedented ways.  But just like any other powerful tool, it must be handled with care.

Have You Been Through The LinkedIn Bootcamp?

LinkedIn may not be the first social network that comes to mind, but it may be the most powerful for your business and your personal brand.  The inforgraphic below highlights why LinkedIn should be part of your strategy and gives you some great tips for how to make the most of this tool.

 

 

Some key takeaways:

  • LinkedIn is about business and the demographics show that with 77% of users age 25 or older
  • A 100% complete profile is the best way to make a great first impression
  • Connect, Connect, Connect — there are 135 million possibilities.  It’s okay to connect with people you don’t know, but use some judgement
  • Customize your URL – mine is http://www.linkedin.com/in/jefferyabel and Julie’s is http://www.linkedin.com/in/julieabel
  • Write recommendations for others you have worked with
  • Join groups to connect with others in your industry to get the most out of LinkedIn
If you are just getting started with LinkedIn check out these posts on setting up your profile, making connections, and essential tools.
If you are using LinkedIn, what has been the biggest benefit for you or your organization?  If you aren’t, why?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Just Because the Internet is Fast Doesn’t Mean You Should Be

Today we welcome guest blogger Sarah Warren to the rm2g blog.  Sarah is a graduate of Baylor University, the University of Oklahoma and Focus Leadership Institute. She lives in Norman, Oklahoma where she does public relations for a university by day and owns Swoon Designs, a custom invitation business, by night. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her husband, learning about new media, watching cheesy movies, and cooking gluten-free meals. Check out her new line of Christmas cards here and connect with Sarah on Twitter  @swoonsarah

The speed of social

Social media is fast. It’s immediate and permanent. And that’s not always a good thing. Recently, the food blogging world learned this lesson in a very public way.

You can read a recount of the entire sordid and controversy here. But here are the highlights.

The young husband of Jennie Perillo, a well-known food blogger, died of a sudden heart attack.

A fellow food blogger with a large fan base talked to Jennie days after. Distraught, Jennie talked about the scary logistics of being a new, young widow – soon expiring health insurance, a mortgage that might have to paid off in a lump sum. This blogger wrote a beautiful and heartfelt blog post about Jennie, explaining Jennie’s situation as she understood it, vowing to do what she could, and pleading for others to help also.

Spearheaded by an organization of food bloggers called Bloggers without Borders, the food blogging world rushed to Jennie’s aid.  A hashtag was created, and everyone from bloggers to international cookware companies created fundraisers for Jennie’s immediate, distressing needs.

Within just a few months, something shocking happened: they’d raised more than $70,000.  People turned out in droves to help one of their own who was looking at no health insurance and possibly no home.  Something else happened, though.  Some of Jennie’s twitter followers noticed she was grieving extravagantly for a financially distraught widow: $600 boots, lots of new house wares, and once a month cross-country trips.

#afundforjennie was brewing into a full-fledged controversy.

It turns out that in the days following that emotional conversation between Jennie and her fellow blogger, Jennie learned her husband had diligently provided for the possibility of his passing.  The fund raised $70,000 for a woman who was financially secure.  According to Jennie, she never wanted #afundforjennie to happen, but asked the organizers to instead direct people donate to an organization that helps widows and widowers in need (but she retweeted the hashtag, so no one can know for sure).

Because the money was raised for Jennie, it legally had to go to Jennie.  In a very public compromise, the money went into a college fund for her two girls.  Still, a lot of people are upset.  Many gave more than they could because they were told that Jennie’s situation was dire.  People sent money for basic needs, and instead donated to a college fund.

The normally tight-knit food blogging community has been divided.  Angry tweets have abounded.  Accusations of outright fraud have been levied at both sides.  Bloggers without Borders insists it did nothing wrong.  Jennie feels that her husband’s memory has been tarnished by insinuations that he did not provide for his family.  Donors feel like they were cheated.  And an organization that had the potential to raise money and connect an influential community in unprecedented ways has been discredited.

These are deep wounds, and it will take a long time for them to heal.

In the final letters from Bloggers without Borders  and Jennie, both tried to wrap up this controversy while still vehemently sticking to their respective sides.

What can we learn?

1. Think before posting
Just because we can instantly write a blog and post it to the World Wide Web doesn’t mean we should. Even leveraging social media to mobilize the masses to do good can be a bad thing if there is not first in-depth planning and fact checking.

2. Best practices are best practices, no matter the medium

I don’t know about you, but sometimes I feel like blogging and communication on Facebook and Twitter is fun, while policies are a complete bummer.  This isn’t true.    We should have the same best practices and policies in place for social media publications as any with any other media.  This is doubly applicable for emotional situations.

Policies can range from something simple as a social media guide in your organization that discusses tone and grammar, to full-fledged policies about social media’s role in large campaigns. In legally binding communications such as a fundraising drive, safeguards like advisory boards are not relics of the past.

Social media is an amazing tool.  It allows us to communicate and connect with others in unprecedented ways.  But just like any other powerful tool, it must be handled with care.