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I am always on the lookout for interesting social media campaigns and initiatives.  I do this for two reasons: To fuel ideas for my work and motivate my team of social media practitioners, and to stay on top of how companies are integrating social media into their overall marketing and PR efforts to meet company goals.  Instead of keeping them all to myself, I am going to start sharing some of them here on my blog. Hopefully you will find some inspiration or at least gain fodder for new ideas.

So without further adieu, here is a list of three cool social media campaigns poised to generate buzz and a lot of attention (if they haven’t already.)

  1. Bounce Energy just launched a Facebook contest where one customer and a friend could win free electricity for a year! Now there’s an incentive to get involved. The contest launched yesterday and goes through April 30. To enter, Facebook users must “like” the page and fill out the entry form. Those who already “like” the page, are prompted to complete the form.You can see it for yourself, here.
  2. Urgent Animals at Fort Worth Animal Care and Control is a Facebook page that focuses on animals on the “E” list. The “E’ stands for euthanasia and through this Facebook page many of them have been  saved and found happy, loving homes. The mission of the page is to “give shelter animals extra exposure in hopes of getting them rescued or adopted.” According to a story in the Star-Telegram, about 1,000 dogs and cats have been saved through this Facebook page in the last year.
  3. The Toronto Street Food Project is a campaign with one mission: Bring better street food to Toronto! It’s mission is further clarified in a post on Torontoist.com as this: “to try to ease the by-laws that are suffocating the Toronto street food scene.” The campaign makes it easy for Toronto residents to put pressure on their “councillors” by selecting their names from a drop down menu and submitting a pre-written from letter.  The Twitter hashtag #streetfoodto is another  major component of the campaign, with more than 1,000 tweets last week alone.

Those are three campaigns I found interesting over the last week or so. If you’ve seen any others, do share them in the comments. If this idea takes off I may consider a bi-weekly or monthly series of noteworthy social media campaigns.

 

When I started this post, I planned to provide a few tips for landing a job in social media in 2012, but I found myself heading in a different direction.

After all, sometimes the best advice on what to do, comes from focusing on what *not* to do. So here are my thoughts on what you should avoid during an interview, if you’re hoping to land a job ( a legitimate, good job that is) in social media.

If you do not want to get called back for a second interview, do any of the following, and I bet you won’t: Read the rest of this entry »

I was promoted at work last week.

I’ve been the Social Media Manager for just about two years and now bear the title: Vice President, Director of Social Media. To say that I’m excited about the future and the increased expectations that come with my role would be an understatement. I have a great team that’s growing, and some of the best colleagues I’ve had in my entire career.

When I shared the news in a Facebook status update, the likes and comments went through the roof.  It was amazing to see the out pour of well wishes from family and friends and people I’ve worked with dating back to 1996.

But despite this new title, I am nowhere near complacent. Nor do I feel like I’ve reached a mountaintop. Don’t get me wrong, I know it’s a milestone for me. But to think that there is such a thing  as “arriving” or making it to the top in an industry that changes almost overnight is a huge mistake.

If anything, I am even more challenged now to stay on top of changes and trends and make sure that I am providing the best guidance for my team, my co-workers and our clients. I have to groom others to do the same kinds of things that I’ve done and even more.

I have to provide value and work even harder on integration and proving the value of social business.

In my mind, this is the beginning. I know so many people looking to get in social media who feel like all they need is that one position with a well-known (or maybe even not-so-well-known ) brand to claim themselves an expert. But that’s not how it works. Read the rest of this entry »

If you learn anything about communicating across social channels in 2011, let it be this: Never write anything when you’re angry. I’ll take it one step further and add that you should never  respond to any comments that bring out emotions you feel you cannot control.

Here’s an example: You’re reading a highly critical comment about your company, yourself or one of your colleagues or employees. After the first few sentences you are fuming. You know it’s a lie and you cannot wait to rebut. That is when you have to walk away. You are in no position to respond.

Not yet.

I have seen this time and time again, and the people who would seemingly understand this concept, and the permanence of any content posted online, fall victim to their emotions.

One comment turns into two, unfinished thoughts morph into uncontrollable rants, and when the dust settles, they look like a fool.
Consider the tale of this back and forth on Twitter, as described by MG Siegler over on Techcrunch. This is just one case of bad judgement and it probably won’t have much fallout for those who participated, but it is chronicled on a popular blog, something they may not have expected.

Read the rest of this entry »

Every tweet, Facebook update and comment posted online is a form of communication. Whether that comment is on a blog post, news article, YouTube video or Flickr photo, it counts.

So my question is this: Why isn’t this content being held to the same high standard and given the same level of thought as traditional communications?  I don’t know what your answer is to that question, but mine is this: It should be.

In 2010, an increasing number of brands began treating Facebook like the new internet. That’s because, for the most part, it is. A Facebook page today is what a website was ten or more years ago. Facebook is a destination site. Actually, it’s THE destination site, having surpassed Google as the number one site on the internet.

People spend insane amounts of time there, and this is why businesses are also setting up shop, in droves. I know you’ve seen marketing material with the Facebook icon or have heard TV commercials and radio spots urging you to follow Brand X on Facebook. If Ford can unveil the 2011 Ford Explorer on Facebook, do I really need to say more?

This time last year, Nielsen reported that the average American spent 421 minutes on Facebook, each month a number that has surely risen since then and will only continue to do so. So what you put there matters.

But this isn’t a post about Facebook, it’s about social communications as a whole. It is no longer wise to pour over the content of a press release, editing draft after draft until it reaches perfection, while giving very little if any thought at all to how you are going to represent your company across social media channels.

Communications professionals have a new job description, whether they want it or not. It is that of Digital Communicator.

As social media platforms mature, evolve and become even more mainstream, clients need a presence in this space, and the smart, savvy digital communicator will make sure they have one. But it isn’t enough to simply show up, you have to actually communicate and have a plan for harnessing the power of new media and getting messages straight to a target audience.

I believe that 2011 is the year to deliver or die. PR professionals have to think more broadly and deliver more value. In the social media space, nothing is too small to matter. We are no longer solely seeking attention of reporters and journalists affiliated with traditional media organizations. It is critical to understand the needs of the new media professional, whether journalist, blogger, power tweeter forum participant or vlogger.

We have to produce the type of content that will increase exposure  and extend reach for clients.

So what does all of this entail? New-fangled communications plans with new attitudes right alongside them.

Deliver or die!

Note: This is a cross-post from my Company Blog.


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When you handle social media initiatives for one organization, it is easy to develop linear thinking. Even when you follow the trends, stay on top of all the latest developments and devour all the social media news you can stand, you still tend to apply it to your own company or think about how certain tactics can work for your industry.

This is certainly not the case for everyone so please don’t take offense. I know when I worked at a news organization I was very focused on how we could adopt social media or better yet incorporate social media into our products to better serve the needs of the readers and viewers. I did think about other industries, mostly because I was intrigued at what they were able to accomplish when mine couldn’t even come close. But that was the extent of it.

Now that I am social media manager at a communications agency working with a myriad of clients from very different industries, my horizons have broadened. I think much more deeply about strategies and tactics.  I am challenged in ways that sometimes make me extremely exhausted but I know I am better for it.

I think a lot more about regulated industries, because many of our clients fall into that category and their barriers to entry are real.  I am grateful for all the work the Dachis Group has compiled in that regard. Research is much more important to me than it ever was and I often dissect it into small pieces. Read the rest of this entry »

If you haven’t heard by now, I started a new job this week. Tomorrow is Day 4 and I am 100% sure that I made the right decision. It is already challenging and the people seem like a wonderful, creative bunch.

I’ve already started blogging on the company blog and have  written  two posts  that I’d like to share with you.

The first is: Intelligence through Social Media. In it, I discuss the benefits of monitoring your competition in addition to your own brand online.

And the second gives a bit of insight on my thoughts on a new study that details exactly what makes online content, particularly New York Times stories go viral. It’s an interesting study and if you haven’t already read it, you should. Here’s a post from The New York Times and another from Gawker.

If you have a few moments, give them a read.

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It started out as an innocent tweet from my soon-to-be employer, Capstrat and turned into a full-blown twitter event that made me feel like Elvis.

In case you missed it, the big news is that I have accepted a great position as Social Media Manager at an amazing communications firm in Raleigh, NC called Capstrat.

To say that Capstrat has a great reputation would be an understatement, and to say that I am excited about the opportunity would be as well. I would not have resigned from my position as Managing Editor of User-Generated Content at WRAL.com and editor of GOLO.com if the opportunity wasn’t worth it’s weight in gold.

And this one is.

Read the rest of this entry »

This is exactly what nearly 5,000 members (or should I say “former” members) of the website BeautifulPeople.com were told after packing on the pounds during the holidays, according to a story on CNN.com.

Founder, Robert Hintze states in the article that they “mourn the loss of any member,” but that his community demands a high standard of beauty.

“Letting fatties roam the site is a direct threat to our business model and the very concept for which BeautifulPeople.com was founded,” he told CNN.com.

While my initial reaction included a smidgen of outrage, it soon faded because you know what? The community belongs to the members, and if they don’t want so-called “fatties” it is certainly their prerogative.

The good news is, these members will have a chance to redeem themselves once they lose the weight as characterized here:

“We responded to complaints by moving the newly chubby members back to the rating stage. This is the same as having them re-apply.” That comment comes from Greg Hodge, managing director of BeautifulPeople.com.

While I do find this a bit amusing I think there’s a lesson here about online communities. It’s one that I truly believe in. The community will develop its own culture and the members who are vested will work to keep that culture. It was the members after all who flagged these fatties.

Why?

Because like it or not, they care about what their community stands for.

And in this case, its beautiful people who can clearly exercise self-control around the holidays.

(This post originally appeared on the blog, SiliconAngle, where I am a regular contributor)

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Here’s something you can do to jump start your year, clear out your inbox and make better use of your time in the social space next year.

Start opting-out.

Take a few minutes to assess every piece of email you receive that comes from someone who promised to teach you how to become an internet marketing genius, double your number of Facebook fans, guarantee that you’ll get 15 retweets per day by following 8 simple rules or any other claim that simply did not deliver.

You’ve waited and waited for that one email that would give you the idea of a lifetime but it didn’t come. It probably isn’t coming. Perhaps you’ve received one valuable e-mail blast and the other 11 were crap. Why continue to reward this person with a personal invitation into your world? They wanted your email address for their own gain, not yours.  You gave them a chance and they didn’t meet your needs, so let them go. This is YOUR time we’re talking about here.

After my book was published earlier this year, I opted in to all kinds of emails from experts who knew how to get me super publicity. I dialed in to a few teleseminars and even participated in a webinar or two. It was all junk. Regurgitated junk and empty promises, week after week.  There was one gem though. A woman who offers great practical advice on book marketing. I was so impressed with her that I paid for one of her information products on how to get your book in libraries.  It cost $19 and I am happy to say that after following her advice to the letter, I did get my book in a few libraries and learned how to navigate the bureaucracy. That was worth it,

But back to the topic at hand….

Read the rest of this entry »

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This is a personal blog. The opinions expressed here represent my own and not those of my employer. Feel free to challenge me, disagree with me, or tell me I’m completely nuts in the comments section of each blog entry.

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