If you’re a fan of Kitchen Nightmares, the show where Gordon Ramsay tries to re-launch unsuccessful restaurants using his years of experience and streaks of curse words, then you’re likely familiar with the brouhaha surrounding Friday night’s episode. For those who aren’t: Ramsay gave up on helping the Bouzaglos, owners of Amy’s Baking Company in Scottsdale, Ariz., when it seemed they were uninterested in changing the way they ran their business.
Instead of the credits signaling the end of the story, it spilled out onto various social media sites, including Reddit, Facebook and Yelp, where viewers and past customers alike began reviewing the restaurant negatively, uncovering faked photos of the restaurant’s food on Facebook, and generally undoing the Bouzaglos’ business — which prompted the owners to take the kind of drastic step one should never take with social media: FREAKING OUT IN CAPS LOCK ON FACEBOOK.
We won’t repeat what’s been said here, not only because it’s repetitive, but also because it’s offensive. Sheez. Let this be a reminder to all of us: Whether you’re with company face-to-face or in front of a keyboard, mind those Ps and Qs!
“This example violates a cardinal rule of social media for businesses: Do not respond defensively to criticism, which could initiate a virtual battle with your audience,” explains Katie Whitmore, our Account Supervisor for Public Relations and Social Media. Katie, who oversees content development and community management on behalf of several CBD clients, works diligently to help them maintain a stellar rep through social media as well as traditional media channels. So she knows a thing or two about how, when feeling like they’re under attack, many people try to fan the flames by engaging in arguments on Facebook or Twitter.
“Receiving online criticism gives businesses an opportunity to identify a problem, be proactive by offering a solution and to demonstrate superior customer service to change negative opinions. If businesses instead respond negatively, a somewhat small issue can rapidly grow out of control and the integrity of the business will suffer.”
With each inflammatory response the Bouzaglos clan posts, the comments continue to climb — but not their business. And that is some serious food for thought.
You no longer have to possess Martha Stewart-like skills to pull off a successful business or charitable event!
Events are social in nature. No matter the type, the ultimate goal of any event is to foster relationships and make connections. Social media is a great tool to develop and maintain meaningful relationships through every phase of the event planning process and beyond.
First, have a social plan. Developing a strong social media plan is essential to increasing awareness and interest in your event. Creating Twitter pages and handles (and Facebook pages or tabs) for your event will allow you to post content beforehand, which will significantly boost your brand’s visibility.
These interactions can consist of:
- Asking for recommendations for local venues and caterers
- Educating your audience with informational posts
- Connecting and “cross-promoting” with other local businesses
- Providing event details
- Teasing followers with information about what’s on the horizon.
The possibilities are limitless, but the main goal remains the same: Drive attendance with engaging, interesting content.
During your event, social media can play just as much of a role as it did leading up to the big day. Tweeting or posting tips live from the event like, “Don’t miss out on the crab legs, they are divine!” or “There will be a big announcement at 9 p.m.” is a great way to get attendees engaged while making people who didn’t come wish they had. Asking for feedback during the event also ensures that your guests are happy, comfortable and left with a positive impression of your brand, product or company.
Afterwards, social media makes it easy to thank your attendees and post any content you gathered at the event like photos, videos or sound bites to keep your followers interested and engaged. This is the perfect opportunity to get constructive feedback, too. Monitoring sentiment and making changes based on the results can show you what you did right and, possibly, how you can improve next time.
In today’s tech savvy world, social media plays a significant role in effectively planning any event. Solid, long-term relationships are built on intimate interactions, and social media allows you to establish and maintain them.
Twitter has a language of its own. If you don’t believe me, just try logging on. You’ll eventually run into something that makes you scratch your head and reach for your search engine of choice.
Part of it has to do with the shortness of Twitter. If you can use “u” instead of “you,” that’s two more characters to utilize. The other part is the idea that you can be part of the “elite” — because who would know what you’re talking about better then someone as knowledgeable of Twitter as you?
So in the event that you’re thrust into the Twittersphere, here are a few definitions to clear things up:
A RT is when someone likes your tweet so much that they want to share it. Sometimes users will answer a question you posed, creating grounds for conversation.
- #FF=Follow Friday
If you get a #FF tweeted at you, it’s simply the other user saying a friendly hello…in a mass bulk way. The proper response is to RT (Yes, I’m testing to see if you remembered the above term.) and say your own “thank you” back.
- MT=Main Tweet
RTs can become long winded after a while. Sometimes, you can’t even tell who tweeted first. To distinguish the original tweet from the rest, simply change RT to MT. Problem solved.
- TT=Translated Tweet
The great thing about social media is that it’s everywhere. If you see TT, it means that the tweet was tweeted in another language, and the person who RTs it has kindly translated.
- DM=Direct Message
Sometimes, you don’t want everyone to see your conversation. A DM is a private message between you and another user. If someone asks you to DM them, they usually want to provide confidential information.
- HT=Heard Through
HT is a way to source. So if you’re aware of copyright laws, this might be a keeper.
- SM=Social Media
Pretty self explanatory. If you’re tweeting about social media, you can shorten it to SM.
These are accounts that are robots; everything is automated. There’s no human interaction involved, and they are usually geared toward entertainment. Don’t know what I mean? Tweet the words “Beetlejuice, Beetlejuice, Beetlejuice.”
And remember, just like any language, you have to learn the basics before you jump in. Hopefully, this will keep you from getting lost in translation!
While singing valentines and handwritten love letters seem like a thing of the past, the digital age lends itself to creating similar experiences around Valentine’s Day.
From viral videos and e-cards to social media contests and mobile apps, this holiday is the perfect opportunity for people to show some love, and brands are no exception. According to an infographic from MBA, consumer spending in 2012 went up 8.5 percent compared to 2011. There are many forms of spending that happen around this holiday. From an evening at a fancy restaurant to a box of chocolates, purchases vary greatly in price range and type.
With people beginning to spend more around Valentine’s Day, one marketing tactic that comes to mind is appealing to emotion. By understanding your audience and what triggers their emotions, the connection you create can be powerful. When a consumer associates a positive feeling behind a brand or product, he or she may be more inclined to make a purchase. Coca-Cola is one brand that successfully reaches its audience with emotion. By asking “What is Happiness?” this company has gone far beyond being just a beverage. Whether it’s a random act of kindness, a commercial that tugs on our heart strings or the iconic logo that reminds us of our past, Coca-Cola gets its message across with emotion.
Social media users make their feelings apparent every day — by liking a page, entering a contest, uploading a picture or sharing a video. Online communities foster engagement, and users can become invested brand advocates in this environment. When content on social media targets emotions and makes users feel happy, nostalgic, excited or intrigued, it can spread quickly.
Knowing what your audience truly loves is not only the key to their heart, but the mark of a successful campaign. When a company sparks this online “love-sharing,” the results can be viral. Valentine’s Day should serve as a reminder for marketers to reach their audiences in a meaningful way. Positive marketing is one way to get an audience interested, because a little love can go a long way.
For tips to get your brand started on social media, download our Social Media Starter Kit.
In a world where smart-phones rule and social-media savvy individuals are keen to quality, price and efficiency, it makes sense that shopper marketing has latched onto the digital way of life. From in-store QR codes to push notifications, brands understand that a sure way to reach their customers is through their beloved smart-phones.
Our recent Shopper Behavior Survey captured insights about consumers and their shopping habits that relate directly to social media. With 61.17 percent of shoppers describing their shopping as Efficient (list makers who like to stock up) and 61 percent of shoppers saying they are Budget shoppers (coupon hunters who compare prices), it makes sense that social media plays such a major role in the shopping experience.
Marketers can utilize social media by pinpointing consumers’ needs. The key to accomplishing this is with a full circle strategy: pre-purchase, in-store and after-purchase. When it comes to efficiency and competitive price, smart-phones make it as easy as a tap of a button to create lists and compare prices. The accessibility draws consumers in because with social media, it’s effortless to get all of the information you need at the tip of your fingers. You can instantly compare prices in the aisles, check off items on your grocery list, read reviews for food products, find the ingredients for your next dinner or even redeem a digital coupon at checkout. Not to mention, online communities have created a culture that encourages recommendations, making it easy for users to read reviews, make suggestions to their friends and like brand pages.
Social media isn’t just for young people—82 percent of Millennials and 76 percent of Gen X’ers we surveyed frequently or sometimes use social media to learn about food or beverages. While the gender gap remains, with women being three-times more likely to engage with brands on social media, there is an opportunity to target the male audience and leverage insights about men’s shopping habits to increase engagement.
As brands find new ways to immerse themselves into the social and digital atmosphere, more innovative ways of communicating with shoppers are being introduced. The success of a shopper marketing campaign is not simply to incorporate social media, but to seamlessly integrate it with every point of purchase on the customer’s path, from brand strategy to public relations and out-of-store marketing.
It seems that businesses are getting holiday presents early this year as social media platforms roll out new features. While you might have already heard about Pinterest Pages, you shouldn’t forget to check out LinkedIn’s new goodies.
LinkedIn has upped its game for 2013 by providing a way for businesses to highlight groups on their Company Pages. And if your first thought is “Why is this a big deal?” then you obviously don’t do much social media management.
For years, social media managers have been trying to connect Pages with groups because, as every good manager knows, you need to go where your audience is. And LinkedIn’s strongest and most active audience has always been in groups and LinkedIn Answers.
Now managers have a way to spotlight select groups, and that means more chances to transfer traffic. If that isn’t enticing enough, think of it this way—more traffic can mean more leads. And I don’t have to iterate the positive meaning of leads.
As 2012 draws to a close, it is suggested that companies re-evaluate their LinkedIn strategy. With new tools comes opportunity, but it takes strategy and an understanding of these newer features. If you need help in the 2013, don’t hesitate to schedule a session with an expert. It’s better to know how to utilize these sources sooner than later.
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