Tag Archives: Internet Marketing

Social Media Misinformation

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When people see information on Twitter, even if they are on the platform every 20 minutes, there is a high chance is something is shared and it is incorrect, people will not see the corrected information. People want to be the first to share information, however if that information is unverified, they are just sharing the problem. While some people do take the time to post a retraction through social media, or a new post that reaches out to people with the truth, that is few and far between.

Ethically, that can be a major problem for people who are out and sharing the information and for the people consuming it. When it was the Boston Bombing, people were hurt by the misinformation. There were a lot of people who were hurt and upset and by sharing information out that is incorrect, it just grew the cycle. Here is an article that speaks about all of the different kinds of misinformation and how it is spread not only during the Boston Bombings, but during the Sandy Hook shootings as well. Below is a map of the most used hashtags during the Boston Bombing time period. These led to people connecting and finding information out, however, it also led to people connecting and trying to find the truth from the misinformation.

Twitter-mapWhen it comes to ethics, there is always a chance that companies will capitalize on a tragedy with targeted marketing. However, when it happens, people traditionally get highly offended and call companies out on it. There are times when people commend companies for being quick to capitalize on an event, such as when Oreo quickly got an image out during the Superbowl power outage. It was considered brilliant by many! However, at the same time, when Ford thanked the Boston Bombers emergency responders, on Twitter it was quickly deemed self serving.

Looking at that link, I do think that it was a self serving image. While I think that what Ford was trying to do was done with the best intentions, there was a certain lack of thinking things through correctly. Ethically, showing their own cars during a tragedy, probably was not the best idea, however, thanking the responders for doing a great job, was a great idea. At the same time, execution is everything and when things are done, they can’t be undone, social media posts included.

Behavior and Values

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I think when it comes to various networks there are subtle differences in the way that people act on all of them. For instance, I act differently on all of my platforms. On LinkedIn I stay completely professional and only join groups based on social media, on Instagram I keep things focused on my daily life, my dogs, what I eat and fitness. On Facebook I focus on my friendships and sharing various funny stories that I come across, on Twitter I focus on social media and occasionally interesting thoughts. On Pinterest I focus on crafts and things I want to do in my house as well as recipes and wedding planning, and on my blog I focus on social media and how various companies handle social media.

I feel that I am not the only one who handles different platforms in different ways. I feel as though it is common practice to act differently since people follow you for different reasons and it is boring to follow people on all of the same platforms and see all of the same things everywhere. If I see someone auto-posting the same information of various sites I would honestly want to unfollow them because it would be boring.

When people connect on Facebook I think it is to see what people do in their lives, on Twitter I think it is for quick information and for inspiration, Instagram is to visually share everything that is happening in a day in the life, LinkedIn to connect professionally, Pinterest to share great ideas and more. I think it is easy to see why people would share differently on different sites since there is an accepted difference in how to act. When people post pictures of their day to Facebook all the time, people get annoyed because that is what Instagram is for. Just like when people consistently post everything that they are doing to Facebook, since that is what Twitter is used for.

While I do not think that it is a big deal when people commit social media faux pas, I do think it cause people to not want to stay in communication with them on that particular platform, if at all.

There are different ways to handle connecting with people on these platforms, and a good rule of them is to never engage in a fight on any of the platforms. In fact, a lot of people that I know have a policy of “if you have nothing nice to say, say nothing” especially on posts regarding fitness. I personally don’t delete anything whether it is positive or negative, but I do reward people who post by commenting. I think it reinforces the fact that I love engaging with people who read my work, so comment below!

Watch Your Reputation

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Screen Shot 2014-06-09 at 8.51.03 PMWhen it comes to reputation management, British Airways learned the hard way that social media is playing a bigger part than it used to. I have previously mentioned that Dave Carroll reached out and created a video after being upset with how his broken guitars were handled. Here is the story from Dave’s point of view. While British Airways did offer him flight vouchers and the cost of his guitar as chronicled in this article, a bigger part of that is how this got out of control before that happened.
When looking back at this, it is always easier to point out what works since hindsight is 20/20. To give you an idea of what I am talking about, this video went viral before it really got attention from the company.

So what does this mean for someone who is in charge of an online reputation? I think it should be treated just as an argument that would have occurred face to face. The first step would have been to handle this in a timely manner, since that didn’t occur right off the bat; I would start with an apology. A sincere apology can make people feel better about the situation that they are in. After that, an expectation should be set for resolution, such as, we will get back to you about this within a day, or however long the company sets as a time. As far as giving them a free ticket or paying them back for their guitars, while it may have been what would have made them happy originally, at this point and with this much media coverage it seems as though it would be British Airways trying to buy their silence. Instead of just offering money, something that usually makes people more at ease with the situation is changing policy. When any company has a situation and realizes that what they were doing doesn’t work anymore, they should change their policy and move forward instead of apologizing for the past or trying to justify their current policy.

I have never encountered this severe of a customer service problem, but a common frustration I have noticed by either myself or people around me is that companies choose to justify policies that don’t make sense. There is no need to stick to a policy that doesn’t work and customers would like to see a company work through an issue and come out with a better procedure than they had when they first began dealing with them. In this case, a change of policy when it comes to how soon people are expected to respond within would make a big difference.

Flying Into Trouble

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Screen Shot 2014-06-08 at 6.51.40 PMI remember hearing about the man who took out an ad against British Airways. What should British Airways do? I honestly don’t know. I don’t think they can complain to Twitter since it was a valid tweet and a valid complaint. While they did apologize, I don’t know what they can do. At some point it came out that this man paid $1000.00 to promote this tweet. While I do think they should do something, such as offer him a new flight first class, I don’t know if that really is the right thing to do. I also don’t think they should only have someone manning the social media from 9am-5pm when they have flights at all different times. I also think that this man was so angry at this point that even if they had offered a flight, I don’t know if it would even fix anything, but it would have saved face with other customers.

Whether or not they lost this customer, by offering compensation it would have shown other customers how they at least tried to handle the situation. I think it is important when dealing with a customer service issue to even address what you don’t know. I don’t always know who I should be reaching out to for information since I am new, but I respond and ask for email so that I can reach out to the proper person on their behalf. I think setting the expectation of someone getting back to them this week is also helpful since they know they will not be getting an email back in 4 hours.

This song is hilarious, but the fact that Dave felt the need to write this, should really astonish the company. I think in both cases that ethically leaving their customers feeling as though they don’t care, is wrong. While they may not have realized just how important customer relations are, especially now that social media has become a forum for people to voice their good and bad experiences.

Social Media and Relationships

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When watching the KLM Airlines video it is apparent that the company is truly reaching out to their customers in a genuine way. It seems to make a huge difference, and I wish more companies would adopt this customer first attitude. I have reached out to many companies through Twitter and have been ignored time and again. I know that it is hard to respond to everything, but ignoring people is not the way to build a following or an audience.

I truly think that when it comes to building relationships, trust is important as well as consistency and engagement. Ensuring that you are connecting consistently with people so that they can rely on you is a key way to become an influencer. For me, personally, I have tried to post content, whether it is my own or not that I think is relevant or interesting in order to show how I am not constantly promoting myself, but social media in general. I also make an effort to respond to all posts or comments in a timely manner so that people know that I am listening to what they say, as well as favorite when I have been spoken about in a positive manner so that people know I am aware of what is going on.

I do constantly try to write in a conversational manner, in my blog posts and on my various social media platforms. Something else I have tried to do in the past is connect with people through various groups and join in on conversations to talk to people that way. Sometimes that has resulted in making a connection, and sometimes it doesn’t, however it always is nice to converse with people and learn more about what other people think about social media.

When it comes to customer service and how to deal with a customer, I have always been incredibly courteous, however, just like through text messages, sometimes it is hard to be read correctly. I think that when it comes to answering anything through social media, it is hard to establish a voice and people have to be extra courteous to ensure that their words are not misconstrued. I personally have had to re-read things at times to make sure that I am truly understanding what is being said, and the tone it is being said in since language written online can be confusing.

People I Trust..

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Two people that have gained my trust on Instagram are MShell and Erin Morgan. Both of these women have done different things that have earned my trust through their pages. First of all, I am interested in health and fitness and both of them are focused on that area as well.

MShell:

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I follow and trust this woman because she has proven time and again how honest she is. She is funny, honest and really shows people the struggles that she goes through physically, emotionally and mentally when working on her body and deciding if she was going to compete in a show or not. Does she gain anything from it? No, not unless I decide to become a client, which at some point I might do, or if I decide to purchase some of her clothing, something else I might do. However, she does not know what her followers will do and she gives them shout outs and reaches out to connect with them anyway. That is one of the reasons I really do trust her, since she gives her followers an honest portrayal of her life.

 

Erin Morgan:

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I trust Erin because she constantly shows what she does and gives hints and tips for people to follow. I think that she is always honest about her struggles and frustrations when it comes to being healthy and losing weight, and I value that. She does not gain anything from me unless I become a client of hers, which I don’t think I will, but she does provide her followers with motivation and tips whether or not they are her clients.

 

Both of these women are people that I would like to emulate, which is one of the reasons I trust them and believe in what they do. If I wasn’t interested in what they were posting about, or if I thought they were being fake or dishonest, I would stop following them immediately. I would also stop following them if I felt that they were only self promoting. However, that is not the case. A benefit they do get from me, without even knowing it, is that when people ask me who I follow for health tips, I automatically recommend them. Word of mouth is still an important tool and it can help increase followers on a regular basis. It is important to remember that human face to face interaction can translate into a gain on social media at any time.

Taking a Look at Pinterest

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Pinterest1This week I was asked to take a closer look at a social media platform and the “Terms and Conditions” and I chose Pinterest. I chose Pinterest mainly because I think it is a growing platform and one that I truly enjoy using. When I started to research the Terms of Service, I found out that in 2012 Pinterest had changed their Terms due to major backlash after people realized what they had agreed to.

A particularly good post about what was wrong with the site was one written by the Shrimp Salad Circus. She described why she had deleted all of her pins after carefully curating content. As it turns out, Pinterest had decided to not allow people to use Pinterest for self promotion, but expected people to own the content that they were posting. I was very confused by this and had to read the legal jargon a few times before I actually began to understand why this was such a conundrum. The fact is, most people use this site to create boards of wonderful things that they want to look at and keep for use at a later date. However, 99% of the time, they do not own that content. Which means that people should not be pinning anything except for the 1% that they own. What?

So many people were upset, that Pinterest did something great. They listened to their audience and changed their Terms. I found an article by the Huffington Post about the changes. It talks about how people were upset and how they changed the Terms to make them more palatable for people.

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Above is a screen shot of the current Terms of Service when it comes to “Your Content”. The terms have changed to accommodate the requests by users, which I think shows how they were willing to deal with the ethical problems that their original Terms contained. Another point of ethics that I think Pinterest shows is how they have the “More simply put” boxes next to every paragraph explaining what it means for the user in simple terms. It shows how they are trying to make their terms simpler so that people actually know what they are getting into when they sign up. I think this is a great way to make sure that ethically they are making users happy as well as avoiding all unethical implications by confusing their users.

However, when it comes to the Copyright policy, I noticed that they didn’t put their “More simply put” boxes to make things less complex. On that page they used a lot of jargon and I think there was a reason for that. Since the copyright laws are what caused the problem for them the first time around, it is intentionally confusing for users to understand. At this time there is not a problem, but there is a potential problem if lawsuits end up happening and the original pinner and any other secondary pinner becomes held liable.