Don’t be a PR ambulance chaser

Whenever a company mishandles a social media kerfuffle, there is no shortage of bloggers and other experts ready to offer biting criticism and recommendations for how the organization should have handled the situation. Sometimes the advice is good, sometimes it’s not. The advice offered is rarely consistent from one expert to another. And it’s even more rarely forgiving of companies new to the space, just beginning to feel their way around.

I’ve spoken with leaders at some companies who are reluctant to enter the social media space as much because of the put-downs and jibes they’ll take from the ever-growing world of experts as from… Read More »

Best Buy isn’t buff enough for this kind of transparency

In his book, “The Naked Corporation,” co-author Dan Tapscott argues that organizations that seek to be transparent need to ensure that the access to company information won’t reveal anything unsightly. Or, as he puts it, if you’re gonna be naked, you’d better be buff. (I heard him reiterate this point during his talk at WebCom in Toronto a couple weeks ago.)

Tapscott’s admonition was top-of-mind as I followed links from an article about a Best Buy presentation on transparency to an employee Facebook page that was less than buff.

The article—from SmartBlog on Workforce—reported on a presentation by Gil Dennis, Best Buy’s senior… Read More »

A text question doesn’t have to lead to a text answer

While attention is fragmenting across multiple web channels and formats, there are smart ways to use different pieces of the online puzzle to create a single, unified communication effort, even for something as simple as answering a question.

As copycats began creating cringe-inducing one-offs of the Old Spice Twitter-YouTube experiment, I suggested in a post on this blog that the real lesson from the Old Spice guy responding to tweets with often-hysterical YouTube videos is that queries on Twitter need not be answered solely on Twitter. The response can link to a YouTube video if video is better suited to providing a good answer.

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Can you shrink your way to success without annoying your customer?

I had two interesting conversations at a family event last night in my home town in Southern California. (Truth be told, I had a lot of interesting conversations, but only two that warrant discussion here.)

First was my nephew, the oldest of my brother’s three boys. He’s going to school, doing some part-time work in the TV industry, and working more-or-less full-time for a restaurant near his home. He’s a server and formerly host at the restaurant where, he told me, the parent company has cut back on the number of servers and implemented customer charges for “extras.”

For example, he told me, a customer ordered a salad with bleu… Read More »

Deathwatch: Why Facebook won’t kill your website

Not that long ago, a chorus of voices rose in opposition to advertising campaigns that drove consumers directly to a Facebook page at the expense of the company’s website. They raised all kinds of alarms over this approach, from lack of control (what happens if Facebook shuts down?) to SEO issues (why would you want to share the link love with Facebook?).

Now Jay Baer insists Facebook is killing your website. On his thought-provoking Convince & Convert blog, Baer, writes:

Like print newspapers, basketball players under 6 feet tall, and the McRib sandwich, the website as we know it will soon be a thing of the past ??? a quaint reminder…

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FIR Live set for August 14 on Facebook-focused campaigns

FIR Live is back!

Is it wise for companies to direct consumers to their Facebook pages instead of their websites? That’s the subject our panel will discuss on Saturday, August 14, at 10 a.m. Pacific, 1 p.m. Eastern and 6 p.m. London.

The panel will include…

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