Category: Social Media

ASBPE Gold Award!

I forgot to post but a couple of months back I attended the American Society of Business Publication Editors’ ASBPE awards and won the Gold for Best Use of Social Media for Foodservice Equipment & Supplies!

It was pretty neat because I had already won the Gold when I was nominated for Best Use of Social Media in the Tabbie Awards. So I’ve won both of the highest honors for social media in business publishing!

Just hadn’t posted in awhile but felt like tooting my own horn!

Social Media Best Practices: Dealing with Public Tragedies and Deaths

Social media management needs to follow a kind of etiquette.

Generally, when national tragedy strikes and the white hot media spotlight focuses on it–like the murder of little schoolchildren in Sandy Hook–I reschedule or delete all previously scheduled social media efforts. I don’t want the brands I manage to seem insensitive by continuing on with any level of self-promotion when all eyes are riveted to a murder scene and their hearts are breaking at the thought of so many children dead in such a brutal way.

Taking a step back is just polite.

In a break with many others on social media, I also refrain from tweeting out or making a Facebook status sharing our heartfelt sympathies. It’s not that we don’t have heartfelt sympathies–we absolutely do!–and it’s fine for individuals to address those personal feelings. But when your social media handle represents a specific brand? You’re still calling attention to your brand! You’re saying DORITOS IS SUPER SAD ABOUT THIS!

Which is still saying: DORITOS is exploiting the tragedy of dead children to mention its super tasty and salty delicious crack chip. It’s tacky. It’s gross. It’s ineffective. No offense to Doritos; it was the first thing that popped into my head.

If there is a way to personalize it and use your audience to draw attention to a cause? That might be excusable. For example, if something awful happened in the town that houses your brand’s headquarters? Perhaps you could draw attention to charitable efforts the company is undertaking and encourage your followers to do the same.

Recently I’ve also seen some really inappropriate use of hashtags on Twitter. This floored me:

Cory Monteith’s Death: How TV Shows Handle the Loss of a Star #RIPCoryMonteith #Glee

— Hollywood Reporter (@THR) July 15, 2013

The Hollywood Reporter using #RIPCoryMonteith as a way to drive page views to a story about other dead TV stars. I thought that was pretty disgusting, actually. The man’s just died. You can debate the cultural merits (or lack thereof) of people using RIP as a hashtag–I’m against it, for the record–but clearly fans were using it to, you know, send out their public condolences, and not to drive page views to their magazine’s related content on the death of a popular TV star.

If it seems rude to do it in person? It’s more rude to do it on Twitter (despite what so many anonymous trolls might lead you to believe). Nobody can hear your tone of voice online so it’s important to ensure your brand’s social media face is a polite and kind one (unless your brand is being an insensitive jerk).

Writers and Editors: We’re All Inbound Marketers Now

So I’m an editor by trade. That means that I don’t spend a lot of time worrying about SEO optimization despite the fact that my job description makes me sound suspiciously like an inbound marketer. And I didn’t even know what an inbound marketer did until I stumbled across a webinar on YouTube a couple of weeks ago.

I write very little in the traditional B2B trade magazine sense. Of course, I edit copy for two magazines. But I post articles to our content management system (we use Joomla) on a near daily basis across two sites. I write SEO meta data and keywords. I manage and generate all of our social media content (that’s two Facebook pages, two LinkedIn groups, two Twitter profiles, a Google+ page, and a Pinterest page–there might be more I’m forgetting, honestly, and I’m always looking for appropriate ways to grow that presence).

The crux of this is that social media drives traffic to our websites (which gets readers to actually read the great content we produce) and also helps our sales people sell ads on our website. I am lucky to work for a company that cares more about content than the typical B2B (who, in my experience, cares a lot more about sales that content). We generate great content for readers in our niche and we want everybody who might care to read it to find it.

And that’s a whole new world.

I’m in a weird hybrid position. I’m not a coder but I need to understand everything Joomla offers to my small company (we’re small enough that we fit around a large dining room table). I’m not exclusively a social media manager but I need to maximize our efforts because we don’t have the luxury of expensive analytics or a team of people to manage it. I need to understand SEO writing and optimization so that I don’t waste my time (or the time of my co-workers) with pointless efforts.

I’m half editor, half inbound marketer. And the problem I’m facing is the gap between those skills.

Big Presentation Tomorrow on Social Media Strategies

I’m giving a presentation providing an overview of my social media strategy and challenges to my biggest client tomorrow!

Very exciting. I was pretty nervous about it but I sent my notes and slides over for review and got very positive feedback so I’m feeling good about it.

Basically, I’m giving them a rundown of what I do and why.

I truly believe your social media efforts should serve your core business–whatever that is–and should be thought of as a tool for exposure, customer service, and branding.

However, it’s important not to chase whatever is hot right now because chasing technology only makes sense if that is what your business is/does. For content creators, it can be challenging not to chase technology–if you get in early it can make a huge difference–but it can also eat resources and waste time.

Everything in balance, I always say (when it comes to anything but chocolate).

On Utilizing Social Media for Businesses

A client of mine sent me a new social media site and wondered what I thought of it, if it was a right fit for them. I’d never heard of it. That doesn’t mean it’s not valid or is not going to become wildly popular in the future. But the fact that I’ve never heard of it is part of the reason I told her that it probably wasn’t a great fit at this time.

Social media sites are starting up all the time, and while you may be lauded for your vision in jumping on the bandwagon early on–yes, my friend Tara knew Facebook was going to be a thing before I did–I think it’s better to see which ones are actually popular and utilized before investing your business in them.

I haven’t even created a Google Plus page for this particular client because I don’t think the site is utilized enough to be worth it at this time. For now the dominate social media platforms for this client’s use continues to be Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

That may change, of course, but the broad buy-in to those platforms is what makes them effective, so brands and even individuals will be reluctant to abandon their audiences (friends, followers) unless the audience abandons them first (which certainly could happen).

The effectiveness of social media is often hard to quantify, particularly when you’re not a retailer. Coupons, sales, etc. can be gauged much more easily than it can when your product is content. I think it’s important for content producers to have a strong social media presence–it drives traffic and builds brand awareness–but I don’t think it’s prudent to chase technology and new platforms so much as harness them to enrich your own business vision.

Ultimately, social media platforms are a tool. They shouldn’t drive your business (unless they are your business). They should enrich your relationship to your customers, which will end up driving your business. There’s no need to chase it or be an early adopter if there is no compelling evidence that it will enhance your bottom line.