Social8 Tips to Avoid Social Media Disaster

8 Tips to Avoid Social Media Disaster

Amber Mac's Keynote at SES Toronto 2011 was almost renamed "How to Avoid Weinergate" in light of the recent social media scandal named after Weiner's weiner. Her presentation provided best practice advice how to plan a corporate social media strategy

Amber Mac‘s Keynote at SES Toronto 2011 was almost renamed How to Avoid Weinergate in light of the recent social media scandal named after, um, Weiner’s weiner. The key theme of her presentation was authenticity and provided best practice on how to plan a corporate social media strategy and tips on how to avoid a social PR disaster.

Below is an outline of some of the key takeaways from her presentation.

1. Have a Social Media Policy

Social media sites have a home in today’s workplace, but each company needs to develop its own rules for its employees about how and when social media should be used at work.

Does anybody like writing policy agreement? Nope. So use Policy Tool, a free web-based policy generator that will write your company’s policy based on a 12-question survey. You can customize it from there.

Can’t get employees to read the result? Try making video privacy policy like this one from the Victoria Department of Justice.

2. Be Authentic

You don’t have to hire an actor to appear in your marketing videos. Let the company speak for itself.

Would an actor have been as charming as Blendtec Founder, Tom Dickson, using his high-end blenders to blend high-end electronics? Sales at the company (whose blenders will set you back $400) increased 500% along with their viral videos.

3. Be Original

Amber cited a number of original online marketing campaigns. Among them were Charmin’s support of Sit or Squat, an app that locates and assesses the quality of public restrooms so you always know where to go to go, Footlocker’s Sneakerpedia, an online authority on sneaker history, and Ben & Jerry’s Fair Tweets app, which adds messages to the ends of users tweets in support of Fair Trade.

4. Avoid Social Media Done Wrong

Dave Carroll’s viral “United Breaks Guitars” video has attracted over 10 million views on YouTube. Amber cited a recent study that concluded United Airlines had lost 180 million dollars and 10 percent of their share price as a result of the damage to their reputation. That’s enough to have bought Dave 80,000 of the Taylor guitars that United refused to replace.

5. Assess your Associations on the Web

Use Wefollow and Klout to assess the digital influence of the businesses and individuals you are building relationships with online. Remember, influence scores only tell you so much. You’ll need to do some research to discover whether someone’s influential message is one you want your brand associated with.

6. Keep up on Trends: What’s Hot This Year on the Web?

  • Group buying: Groupon and others have become the fastest growing web sector. Watch out for Uforce, a reverse Groupon business model that allows customers to band together and propose bulk buying to businesses in return for discounts.
  • Quora is a crowdsourcing question and answer resource that’s gaining traction. Your brand’s presence could position it as an authority on topics related to your products.
  • Qwiki is a popular resource that gathers information for a search term and assembles it into a multimedia presentation accompanied by a spoken narrative. It’s a good resource for building infographics. Amber said she is addicted to exploring the different data visualizations.

7. Key Social Media Statistics

Here are some stats from the presentation that caught our eye: 

  • 66 percent of women don’t check in with Foursquare due to the “creepiness factor.” Simply put, many women don’t want to constantly publicize where they are out of concern for their safety. This might be something to consider if you’re trying to find appropriate social channels for a brand with a largely female customer base.
  • 35 percent of people use mobile applications before they get out of bed in the morning. No word yet as to how many of those applications are alarm clocks.
  • On Facebook, only 10 percent of people engaged with a brand will interact with the brand page. Ninety percent of engagement happens in the news feeds. Success depends on your use of “the blank box,” so keep up with your updates! 

8. Recommended Tools

Here are some of the tools mentioned that will help you manage your Social Resources.

  • For free Facebook monitoring, Amber talked about Facebook Insights as the best option.
  • For monitoring all of your social media resources, she spoke about Radian 6 as the paid tool she uses.
  • For a social media dashboard, she recommended Hootsuite.

This SES Toronto session coverage article was co-authored by Cooper Pickett, SEO Consultant from IntegraStrategic.


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