Don’t Do This on Twitter, Part Duh

February 1, 2012

(Note: I was going to call this Part Deux, but this one takes The Duh cake.  Mmmmm, cake.)

So my significant other and I went to a local bar/restaurant to watch the 49ers game, she being a San Francisco native.  In the middle of the game they switched bartenders.

Unbelievably, this new fellow ignored us:  he did not ask us if we wanted anything, never refilled our water glasses (!!!) and completely disregarded us for over an hour.   We had never seen, or heard, of anything like this. Rightfully furious, the Sig Oth Tweeted her disappointment, saying:

Bar X then favorited that Tweet.

Yup, you read that right:  this bar decided that her criticism, broadcast to over 100 million active Tweeters, is one of their favorite things.

Wow.  It is not every day that I find myself with a loss of words.  This is one of those days.

What can you do if you get criticized on any social media site?  For starters, here is what you should not do:


(2) DO NOT DELETE THE COMMENT. (Some tools, like Yelp, do not allow you to delete criticism anyway.)  If you can delete the comment and do so, you are sending the message that you do not care. And you are missing an opportunity to improve your brand.

(3) DO NOT IGNORE THE PERSON WHO IS CRITICIZING YOU.  Ignoring the comment implicitly validates the criticism.

What should you do?

Engage that person in a conversation!  For instance, you can reply with, “I am sorry you feel we did not provide 100% customer service.  What can we do to make things right?”  and/or “Please call us so we can talk about this.”

Remember: social media is not really marketing.  Rather, it is a conversation:  a place to listen, manage your reputation, connect with people worldwide about myriad topics and turn criticism into an opportunity to improve your business and enhance your brand.

So if you are facing a social media challenge, don’t ignore it.  While you’re at it, don’t brag about it either.


Don’t do this on Twitter

January 22, 2012

Here’s a great example of how not to use Twitter.

In an effort to further engage in the conversation on Twitter, I followed a whole bunch more people.  Sadly, one of them was this fellow, who thought it would be totally awesome to post at least 30 Tweets in a row.  I tried to zoom out as much as possible but I still couldn’t capture every Tweet he sent in a burst. I quickly unfollowed him.

Don't do this on Twitter

So yeah, if you are looking to use Twitter, or any social media tool, it is important to engage in the conversation, not just talk about yourself. Especially 30+times in a row.

Social Media Marketing? Not quite

June 23, 2011

The interwebs are chock full of articles about Social Media Marketing.  Indeed, every day it seems I am inundated with articles featuring Five Amazing Tips to Increase your Social Media Presence.

The below infographic illustrates the mindset of many such emails I receive:

Clever, but not quite right

In my opinion, using Social Media to simply talk about yourself misses the point.  What makes Social Media different than, say, a newspaper advertisement, is that Social Media enables you to listen to what people are saying and engage in conversations relevant to you and your potential customers.

So instead of using Social Media to promote your company, treat Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and LinkedIn like huge, interactive phones.  In addition to talking about your business, join groups to speak to potential customers, listen to what they are saying and discuss relevant issues.  In this way, you’ll gain credibility as well as increased sales.

Got Hacked? Here’s what you can do.

April 29, 2011

Recently I have noticed a spike in the number of email and Facebook accounts which have been hijacked.  Indeed a day doesn’t seem to go by that I don’t receive an email from a colleague insisting that my personal, private parts are woefully inadequate and require immediate remedy by clicking on that link.  It remains unclear why my friend in Denmark would care about said personal, private parts on the other side of the Atlantic, but hey, maybe he really does care about his good friend’s, er, welfare.

Also, several people have sent me IMs via Facebook, exhorting me to click on a link of a picture they found of me using the aforementioned personal private parts in an inappropriate and not-too-private manner, and OMG I really have to see it to believe it.

Uh huh.

Internet security remains a big problem, and a little common sense can go a long way to protecting your online presence.  Here are a few steps you can take to combat online abuse.

(1) If you get a suspicious message, contact the person whose account was hacked and tell them to change their password.  If your account was hijacked, immediately change your email and computer passwords.

(2) If your or your friend’s Facebook account has been hacked, you can report it here.

(3) Only purchase items on trusted, secure websites. Pay with escrow accounts if possible.  If you get an email from ebay or Amazon, please make sure the link you are being taken to is in fact that site and not some mirror site.

(4) My good friend runs a website called Stop Badware, the premiere community and information clearinghouse for Internet security threats.

Please note I am not an Internet security expert, and this is by no means an exhaustive list.  There are many more steps you can take to protect yourself online.  Nonetheless surfing the web safely requires that you pay attention to what you are doing, just like if you were driving a car.

What else can you add to this list?

Thoughts on Social Media

January 31, 2011

These days companies are scrambling to understand what social media is and how they are supposed to use it.  The first question many business leaders may ask is, “How can we use social media?”

While logical, that’s not quite right in my opinion.  Instead, the first question should be, “What are my business objectives, and how can social media help me meet those objectives?”

Social media is a tool and can be used in many ways.  The analogy I like to use is a hammer.  A hammer can be used to install a window or break one.  Similarly, social media can be used to get you new clients or ding your reputation.

So the first thing you need to do is understand what you are trying to do:  do you want to recruit better candidates?  Improve your sales and marketing?  Bump up your website on Google search?  Enhance employee communication?  Something else?

Next you’ll need to get your messaging together, which I will discuss in a later post.  Meanwhile feel free to add your comments below about this new and exciting field.

More Social Media Abuse

November 22, 2010

Recently I launched a new website/company, SynergiSocial, focusing on social media training for people who have never used social media before.  Apparently I need to expand my scope of services to experienced technical people who can’t keep their e-traps shut.

First there is this gem about a guy trashes the city of Memphis on Twitter while visiting FedEx which is located there.  This condescending Tweet could have cost Ketchum a multi-million dollar contract.  Then I came across this post describing how, after accepting a job at Cisco, some guy Tweeted that he hated the job before even starting.

Folks, social media is not about you; it’s about everyone else who reads what you put out there, which is why it’s called social media and not me me me me media.  I previously wrote a blog post about topics people should generally avoid posting to Facebook and Twitter.  I didn’t think I had to say this but apparently I do:  in addition to the other things I listed in the earlier blog post, DON’T trash your employers, employees, clients, enemies or friends on social media.  The Internet has a long and unforgiving history, and these postings will probably end up biting you at some point down the line.   This is especially true in a terrible economy.

So please be careful when using your social media.  A good rule of thumb is to use your outside voice:  if you wouldn’t say something in polite company or at a dinner party, why would you put it on the Internet for the whole world to see?


November 16, 2010

At long last, today is finally here.  I will never forget today, because something unbelievable happened.

Did aliens finally arrive on Earth?  Have scientists discovered a cure for cancer?  Is there evidence proving, or disproving, the existence of God?

No, the Beatles are on iTunes.  This, my friends, was Apple’s big announcement, the thing they promised that would make today the day I never forget.

I’m not sure if I have anything to say here.  This is so pathetic, such a monumental flop, such a marketing fail of Appleian proportions that I fear saying anything at all would validate Apple and make them continue doing stupid stuff like this.  If this isn’t an iFail I don’t know what is.

This does leave me with a philosophical question:  if Steve Jobs makes a sound in the forest with everybody around to hear it, will anyone care?

Here We Go Again — More Hype From Apple

November 15, 2010

Today I discovered that  tomorrow will be a day I will never forget.  Like, ever.  How could I possibly know that I will never forget tomorrow when tomorrow isn’t even today yet?  Because Steve Jobs told me so!

Clearly, Apple has not learned anything about overhyping their stuff:  the iPad was mockingly compared to the Ten Commandments (no, seriously), the iPhone4 turned into an iFail before it was discovered to have problems, er, making phone calls, and so forth.

I can’t believe I have to tell this to an adult, but here it goes.

Dearest Steve Jobs: have you ever read The Boy Who Cried Wolf?  Yes?  Well, re-read it on your iPad or whatever.  You are that boy, and I don’t care about your wolves.   Your announcements do not resonate with me forever, other than in mockery or contempt.  Additionally, I don’t like being told about things I’m supposed to remember by anybody, much less some corporate brand.

I’ve had many experiences which I will never forget.  There was the time I was nearly run over by a giant pig.  (No, seriously.)  I remember the first time I set foot on African soil.  And there are far more personal memories which I will not share on this blog.  Of all my memories, both good and bad, none of them involved Apple or any kind of corporate announcement. Like, ever.

So ease off the rhetoric a little, yeah?  You’re starting to give me a rash.

Are Facebook Statuses Driving You Crazy?

October 13, 2010

Facebook has emerged as one of the most, if not the most, popular social media websites in the world.  Five-hundred-million people — nearly one in 14 people on Earth —  has a Facebook account.

Sadly, a good portion of these five-hundred-million folks think the best way to utilize the site is by telling everyone what they are eating for breakfast, lunch, dinner, dessert, snacks, and between-snack snacks, every single day.  Others describe, in painstaking detail, each and every show they watched, are watching and/or are planning to watch, and provide in-depth commentary about each and every one of them.  Perhaps the worst updates are those which publicly lament their lack of love in their lives and plead to the Universe that they find The One as soon as possible or the world will surely end!  (see picture below.)




(Image shamelessly lifted from this website)

Although I appreciate the need to connect with others in this cruel and lonely world, doing so in this manner devalues the perpetrator’s Facebook value, leading others (including me) to hide their status updates, or even de-friend you, just to make it stop.

In my opinion, the only reason someone should reveal this level of detail is if people really want to know what you are doing and are willing to pay for it, such as a celebrity (like Aston Kutcher) or a lifestyle guru (like Martha Stewart) where people are indeed very interested in their lives.

Don’t get me wrong:  the status bar is a very powerful tool which can be used in multiple ways.  Some of the best items to post are funny anecdotes or Youtube clips.  Posting pictures and stories while on vacation are a great way to connect with folks.  And if you are a business owner, such as a Realtor, Facebook can be used to post your listings and projects in progress.   In fact, some of my friends are accomplished artists who use Facebook to tell people about their upcoming exhibitions; they even post pictures of their art on their walls for people to preview.  Even the occasional post about your upcoming social plans can be very useful.

So how do you know when something is worth posting?   Keep this one rule in mind:  Facebook status updates are most effective when they are not for your consumption, but for those who are reading your updates.  If you wouldn’t say something out loud at a dinner party, why would you broadcast it to everyone you know?

So please folks:  unless you are a mega-celebrity, please ease off the updates about every detail of your life.

And for the love of all that is holy:  no, I am not going to give you corn seeds for Farmville or whack your enemy on Mob Wars.  So stop asking.

Fail Davison

September 10, 2010

Yesterday I wrote about Phil Davison, Republican candidate for Stark County, OH Treasurer.  In spite of his passionately delivered speech, the Ohio Republicans did not give him the nod to run for County Treasurer.  That’s not terribly surprising; screaming like a recalcitrant 12-year old does not exactly establish credibility, much less mental stability.

What can we learn from Mr. Davison?

  1. Passion is good.
  2. Too much passion is bad.
  3. Waaaay too much passion scares the bejeebus out of most ordinary folks and kills your credibility.
  4. Screaming and ranting does not convey passion, but poor judgment and even worse leadership skills.
  5. Toastmasters is a great place to practice speechcraft and get honest feedback on speeches.  (After learning his speech had gone viral, he commented, “It was strange.  Feedback would have been nice. I really don’t know how it was received [Emphasis mine].”  Ya think?)

PS:  This may be the first time a video went viral where the subject of the video had never used Youtube.