Social Media

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Doug Anweiler from Authentic Seacoast Resorts and resort marketing expert talks about the difference between authentic marketing and how to use Social Media to really engage your customers in the experience they can expect from you. He also reminds small business people to not pretend to be bigger than they are. People are looking for real and authentic experiences even in their business dealings, and it’s something smaller businesses can do much more readily than big companies.


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Jay Baer consults to big companies everywhere, helping them better understand social media and the online space. Jay believes that the human stories about the people you serve make for more compelling content than the standard old messages about you, you, you.

Jay is a public speaker and co-wrote the book The NOW Revolution: 7 Shifts to Make Your Business Faster, Smarter, and More Social with Amber Naslund.

In this video, Jay has some helpful advice on how to create content that will help you without wearing you out!

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Few PR activities are as important as corporate reputation management, but lots of organizations are having trouble shifting to the customer-centric mindset their publics increasingly demand from them.

The truth is, bad corporate reputation management is quite common, and often comes from forgetting to think through the customer’s likely response to certain activities.

Banks making it harder on struggling seniors while posting record profits? As consumer reporter Ellen Roseman points out, that didn’t go over so well with seniors or anyone who has ever loved one. Neither did the case of the energy retailer that made every mistake in the book while trying to roll out news of additional cancellation charges, including by burying the news underneath improvement announcements.

In both cases, the companies backed down, which begs the question: how necessary were these changes in the first place if each company could abandon them so easily?

It’s human nature to not want to have to tell people things they aren’t going to like. But when a corporation appears to hide changes or news consumers won’t like behind complicated language or other distractions, the public loses trust and business runs on trust. No amount of corporate reputation management can immediately build that trust back up.

Marketing departments sometimes launch corporate reputation management initiatives that fail in interesting ways. Rogers recently had a doozy when it launched a new service with a promoted hashtag on Twitter called #Rogers1number.

Customers used the occasion to attach their complaints to the hashtag and vent their anger at the company, which looked blissfully unaware of how many perceive them in the marketplace. To their credit, Rogers was quick tell the Twitterverse that they were listening to the complaints and trying to learn from them. Whether that will result in a cultural shift within the organization or was simply a PR crisis communications move to deflate this situation remains to be seen.

That may have been dissent by convenience but as a rule, by the time someone takes to Twitter to complain about a company, they’re pretty angry. Social Media speaker and author Jay Baer ties together a couple of related studies in this blog post, and notes that only about 29 per cent of companies even respond to complaints on Twitter. That means 71% don’t extend their corporate reputation management into social media, even though that’s where some of their most dissatisfied customers are.

Of the customers who have dealt with the 29% of companies that do deal with Twitter complaints, there is certainly anecdotal evidence to suggest they get better results. Many, myself included, have found satisfaction via Twitter when calls to help desks and 1-800 numbers went nowhere. Some companies, it seems, are a bit more responsive to complaints in public than in private.

I’d like to hope that most companies would want to have employees who will champion the customer’s point of view when someone new is suggested.

But I’m not sure.

Companies aren’t always good at hiring those who aren’t afraid to ask the harder questions internally before they get asked externally. But they should be; a company of “yes men” will ultimately lead to mediocrity and complacency.

It will also lead to a workplace incapable of hiring the best and the brightest. An emerging generation of worker has been raised to assume their opinions matter and they simply won’t stay where they don’t have a say. Some will go to where they will be heard. Others may go out and invent something new, perhaps even a competitor capable of reinventing the industry all together.

And at that point, not many will weep for those left in the dust, choking on corporate reputation management theory when really they needed to start with the customer and work back from there.

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Amber Naslund has some great advice about Social Media Engagement and how to use it to foster better relations with donors and clients. Amber blogs about social media engagement at Brass Tack Thinking and is the author of a wondeful book with Jay Baer (an interview coming up with him in the coming weeks too) called The Now Revolution.

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Chuck Hester is a long time PR consultant and a social media authority who believes that Linkedin is the best social networking sites for business out there. But there’s another reason I like Chuck. I like him because he’s a big believer in paying it forward, in other words, helping others who haven’t helped you. He is a public speaker and he  frequently speaks on the subject of paying it forward.

But back to Linkedin! In this two minute interview, Chuck talks about why Linkedin truly is one of the best social networking sites for business and he has a few tips to help you really make Linkedin work for you.  I have more than 10 additional tips for you in this follow up post. Enjoy!

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More than 100 million people have a Linkedin account (can you believe that?) but most people only scratch the surface of what Linkedin for b2b can look like. If you’re one of the folks who has neglected your account, or you haven’t even gotten around to setting one up, now is as good a time as any to get your head wrapped around using Linkedin for b2b marketing and PR.

Here are a few of the most commonly asked questions (with answers) I get asked about Linkedin.

1. Should I accept the invitation of anyone who sends me one? 

There are those who will disagree with me but I’ll say no. Sure, it may seem that if you’re using Linked in for b2b efforts, the more contacts you have, the merrier. Yes, it’s good to have contacts, but you want your contacts to be quality contacts. Linking your name with someone is a kind of endorsement for that person, and you want to make sure that an association with them will help and not hurt you.

2. Should I make my contacts public to those I’m LinkedIn with?

Yes you should. The vast majority of people will not rifle through your contacts madly trying to link in with them as they go. They might have tried that early on in their exploration of Linkedin, but if they did, probably got a whole lot of nothing at best, and they will have abandoned it. People who don’t make their contacts public are secretly resented by others who do. It’s like inviting people to your party and telling them you’ll be counting the silverware when they leave.

3. Should I try and link in with as many of my colleagues’ contacts as possible?

Many people are relatively thoughtful about which invitations they accept online, and they approach a Linkedin the way they might about answering their door at home by first trying to figure out who’s there and if they want them in their house. You really want to be knocking on doors you’re welcome. Knocking where you’re not wanted isn’t going to help you anyway – because no one will answer!

4. Should I pay for the premium profile?

I have tried it on a trial basis and didn’t feel it was something I needed. Most people are just fine with the free account.

All that’s well and good, some of you might be saying, but you’ve been there, done that. What you really want to know is how to use Linkedin for b2b communications and PR. Okay, you b2b types, I like how you think!

Let’s get down to business with a few tips on how to use Linkedin for b2b growth:

1.Make sure you set up a company page in addition to your personal profile(s). And make sure you keep it updated and have all necessary contact information there.

2. Ensure everyone in your company has their Linkedin profiles fully or close to fully filled out as possible. You’ll present a better face to the world and more opportunities to be found by people looking for services or products like yours.

3. Like Chuck Hester said in this video, keyword your Linkedin profile (company and personal). Think through what someone looking for what your company does or sells would put into the Linkedin search window in order to find a company that does or sells what you do, and then ensure that your profile features those keywords and themes. Here is a short explaination on what are keywords, and here is an article that will help you understand how keywords work.

4. Linkedin lets one person with your name grab the vanity URL with your name in it, just like mine is. If you haven’t already, try and grab it. It helps you return higher in the search when people are searching those with your name, making it easier for people who are looking for you to find you.

5. Think visually. If you have a paid Slideshare account, you can drop a video onto one slide and then insert that into your Linkedin profile. You can also drop in any kind of slideshow, including a powerpoint presentation. Slideshare, incidentally, is a very cool sharing site for slide presentations of all kinds. You can actually do a fair bit for free but if you do a fair amount with powerpoint or slides of any kind, you will likley find you want the paid version.

6. Get active in groups. Linkedin has 1million groups – at least one of them is bound to be helpful to you. To the left of the search bar is an arrow. In the drop down menu, you will see a number of choices, including “People,” “jobs,” “companies” and “groups.” Anyone of these categories will help you research companies or people you’d like to do business with, so spend a little time nosying around in there.

And make sure you jump into some of the groups that fit your business. Unless you are in a very niche business, you should find a number of groups that will be helpful to you. Make sure you listen first, look around and get a sense of where the conversation already is before you try and steer it. If you have helpful thoughts about a question someone else has asked, chime in.

Same goes if you have something helpul to share with the group, say an observation, a great new tool, a blog post that will given them info or insights they need. Linkedin for b2b is all about being helpful.

7. Start a group. Don’t do that until you’ve explored how other groups work. Once you’ve determined the need for your group and figured out how your group will be different, go for it!

8. Look up in the “More” tab at the top for the menu option that says “Answers” and search the questions for those you can answer. The more you answer helpfully, the more people will see you as a thought leader.

I hope that helps you in using Linkedin for B2B. None of this works if you don’t use it, so go on, jump in. You know you want to…





I caught up with Chris Baccus of AT&T who had some great advice about social public relations, including through customer relation management and content marketing through blogs, social media and even email.

Social public relations is a brave new world and Chris Baccus definitely knows which way it’s spinning. Many companies fail miserably when it comes to customer service via social media, appearing to be helpful when really all they do is push you back to a 1800 number you’ve already dealt with.

AT&T does it right.

Chris Baccus blogs on subjects that interest him. They help keep him interesting and well rounded. His other blogs include one on automotive marketing and another on food.


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Social Media has moved from being something organizations “should do” to something many now understand they “must do.”With it comes great opportunity, and whenever there is great opportunity, there is also crisis. And there is no crisis like a social media crisis.

Before social media, all corporate communications really went one way: out. Now, of course, with social media, it is very much a two way street and customers and donors don’t just want to tell you about their experience with your brand. In many cases, they want a seat at your board table.

If they do not feel that they are being heard, or if they feel you are acting not in their interests, they will one of two deadly things:

  • ignore you
  • push back

Either way, it means fewer sales or donations. Even brands with lots of money get it very wrong as this infographic from Frugal Dad demonstrates:

social consumer






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I recently caught up with Doyle Albee, the President of Metzger Associates. We both know the pain of having to turn down good people and causes looking for pro bono help. So in this 4 minute video (and yes, as a matter of fact I do know that my hair looks awful), Doyle and I talk about some ways in which smaller organizations can approach their PR needs, both through traditional PR and through Social Media.

In the video, Doyle references the idea that Social Media is like a cocktail party, which we absolutely agree with. There is a book by that name that you might want to look at and also David Meerman Scott speaks and blogs about that subject too.


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By nature, people love to build communities. Twitter is no exception. So when likeminded people gather on Twitter to discuss things they care about, it’s not unusual for them to say “hey, we should explore this more indepth and maybe even regularly.” So what is a Twitter Chat? Generally, it’s a gathering on Twitter at a particular day and time (often recurring weekly) to talk about a particular subject of common interest.   That, in a nutshell, is what Twitter chats are: groups of people gathering at the same time and day each week to talk about something that matters to them collectively. Their conversations are no more private than any ordinary time on Twitter but the hashtag (#) is a way of distinguishing all tweets around a particular chat and making the content of that chat searchable after the fact.

Check out other Online PR, Public Relations, Journalism, Social Media and Marketing terms.


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