Archive for May 2012 | Monthly archive page
The introduction of social media tools has made transparency in marketing not only important, but critical. Social media enhances the ability to listen to what customers and prospects are saying publicly for any size company and brand in almost any industry today. I would argue that listening to customers has always been one of the key tenets of good marketing, and I agree with Dave Kerpen’s precept that that it has never been cheaper or easier to do so because of social media. There is no longer any excuse for companies to be ignorant of what is going on with both their customers and, I would add, their competitors.
Highly readable, this book is just the right mix of case studies, guidelines and suggestions. I read the book in one beach sitting. It is broken into digestible chapters of 12-15 pages in length, and the style is conversational yet substantial, with suggested “Action Items” at the end of each chapter. (I do always wonder if readers actually stop to write down their answers to these exercises. I just wanted to keep reading the book!)
Apparently I have placed myself directly in the middle of a social media kerfuffle by claiming and posting pictures to a Facebook page for my community (a 500 acre, 66 family, cooperatively-owned tree farm and community association).
An (email) letter from me to my community:
“May 22, 2012
I realize some community members may be surprised by the Facebook page for Crystal Lake, Inc. As a twenty year resident (and former Board Member) of Crystal Lake, a student of social media at the University of Washington, and a corporate marketer by profession, I have more than a passing interest in this subject. I am currently involved in developing a social media plan for a Seattle non-profit organization as part of my social media class, and have been studying a variety of scholarly issues around social media, including privacy and transparency in corporate and non-profit communications.
Several months ago, I approached the Board because I discovered there was a Crystal Lake Facebook page already created, but it did not have an administrator. It had very little going on. I suggested to Chris [Board President] that it might make sense to take ownership of this page for the community before someone else did. Chris subsequently brought the issue to the Board. They gave me the green light to claim the page for our community, which I did, and I added myself and Chris as administrators. I updated the profile with some pictures and sent the link to the Board to review. I indicated in my email to the Board that the page was public (not private), so that everyone could “Like” it and enjoy posting pictures and having a dialog, even people who lived outside the community.
I was physically present (IRL, In Real Life) recently at an event where the Twitter hashtag stream was completely co-opted by twitter spambots. I’ve live-tweeted from a half-dozen tech and cultural events since the beginning of this year, when I first immersed myself in Twitter. I’m very curious about how social media interactions work – and when and why they can go very off-track. When I live-tweet, I try to observe the hashtag stream in real time, usually using Tweetchat.com or setting up a Hootsuite stream. I’ve followed a handful of events remotely via the Twitter hashtag as well, including a recent conference in Boston called Rethink Music (#rethinkmusic). In addition, I participate regularly in a weekly Twitter chat called #ggchat, one of thousands happening all the time in the Twittersphere. Following Twitter hashtag streams has become an integral part of my participation, and that of many others, in this virtual global sociological communications experiment called Twitter.
Maybe because I’m relatively new to Twitter, I’ve never seen a Twitter stream completely taken over by spambots. I found it fascinating and dismaying at the same time. This article in The Atlantic Wire by Rebecca Greenfield gives a good overview of some of the different ways in which Twitter hashtag streams can get co-opted or become annoying. The stream I was on recently was taken over by the Types 1 and 2 spammers which Rebecca mentions: Porn Bots and Jokesters. I didn’t click on any of the links; I could tell the Porn Bots by their Twitter avatars of scantily clad women and the fact they had few tweets, no followers and were following no one. The other category of spammers I saw which Rebecca doesn’t mention I’ll call Job Bots – these are the same as Porn Bots, except the links they promote are to scammy Craig’s List ads, you know: “Easy job! Earn $500 a week using your computer…”