Persuasive Picks for the week of 10/24/11

This week’s Persuasive Picks begin with a great article by Hubspot entitled “5 Ways to Double Your Social Media Results“, which explores new tools that have emerged that will enable your company to optimize & increase promotion of tweets.

Over at Technorati, Bryan Cain-Jackson talks about mobile social media in his article “Mobile Social Media Is The Way We Stay Social“. This article includes recent findings showing that everyday people on-the-go have a new way of staying social. In fact, 72.2 million Americans accessed their social networking sites or blogs via their mobile devices in August 2011.

CNN’s Lilly Workneh writes about the new campaign called “Smart is the New Sexy” implemented by the Newspaper Association of America in her article entitled “Newspapers Use Social Media to Say “Smart is the New Sexy”. The campaign encourages consumers to share their personal connection to newspapers through the papers’ Facebook and Twitter accounts — with the hashtag #smartsexy — to spark conversations online.

Another interesting article by Forbes entitled “Rise of Social Media is Shot in the Arm for Symantec, McAfee” discusses how companies will begin allocating bigger advertising budgets towards social networking sites.  While doing so, many will also continue restricting access to those sites for their employees.

 

Introducing PerkettPR’s New Interview Series – “Persuasive Women”

PerkettPR is excited to present a new series of interviews entitled “Persuasive Women” – featuring women entrepreneurs whom we admire.  These influential females will share their thoughts on how they’ve built their businesses, give insights on the hurdles they have encountered, and highlight some exciting tidbits on what they have planned next.

The first ”Persuasive Woman”  we are featuring in this series is none other than the fabulous and witty, Melanie Notkin, otherwise known as “SavvyAuntie.”  Melanie is the founder of SavvyAuntie.com, an online community for aunts (Aunties by Relation, Aunties by Choice, Great-Aunts, Godmothers, and all women who love kids) and author of the best-selling book Savvy Auntie: The Ultimate Guide for Cool Aunts, Great-Aunts, Godmothers, and All Women Who Love Kids.  Melanie has over 17,000 followers on Twitter and is known as one of the most powerful women in social media.  Her site is on the Forbes Top 100 Sites for Women list and Melanie’s column over at Huffington Post is both entertaining and thought provoking.

You can follow Melanie on Twitter (@savvyauntie), check out her site SavvyAuntie, or join in the fun on Facebook at Facebook.com/SavvyAuntie. We hope you enjoy this new series and please feel free to share your comments below.

You recently celebrated three years of SavvyAuntie.com.  Has it turned out to be what you expected? Is it what you envisioned many years ago?

Savvy Auntie has turned out even better than I expected. I had always envisioned Savvy Auntie to be a multiplatform media company, and with the addition of popular social media platforms, TV appearances, spokesperson gigs and a national best-selling book – that it is! But the journey I’ve been on is most wonderfully surprising. Finding potential I hadn’t realized until now has been the best reward.

A lot of us have ideas from time to time and many of us sit idle waiting to find the time to commit to the new project or idea. How did you push yourself to move forward with this concept?

I woke up one day in June 2007 and decided I was an entrepreneur. That morning I went to a class on how to write a business plan. It wasn’t the right class for me – but I was determined to do something that day to move forward. It was about momentum. I started to invest time and money in the business. And I never looked back. I knew if I did, my idea would turn into a statue of salt and I’d never move forward. You just have to keep going.

What was the biggest hurdle as you worked on growing the business?

I’m self-funded so what I earn goes back into growing the business. Bandwidth suffers from that but I felt if I took investment dollars, I’d be following someone else’s vision for my brand. That’s not why I became an entrepreneur.

Who was your biggest supporter?

Me.

If you could name one thing that truly made a difference in bringing your business to the next level, what was it?

Unconditional belief in myself and my business.

You recently published your first book which has become a best seller.  Will there be another book and if so, what can we expect?

I’m working on what that will be now! It’s very exciting. If it happens, it will be much more personal and closer to the voice I have in my Huffington Post column.

What TV or movie character are you most like?

If I had to pick one, I’d have to say Carrie Bradshaw from Sex and the City - but I have more faults, fewer shoes, and bigger ambitions.

If you could have dinner with one big celebrity, who would it be and why?

Jennifer Aniston. We’re the same age. No kids – and I think she handles the pressure about that extraordinarily well. I think we’d be friends… No point just having dinner if it can’t lead to Sunday brunch one day soon after.

What’s next for SavvyAuntie.com. Are there any new features to be added or new partnerships you would like our audience to know about?

Well, I just launched SMITTEN by Savvy Auntie: Deals Curated with Love by Melanie Notkin. It’s a partnership with Saveology so I can bring the Auntourage deals designed just for them and their lifestyle. https://www.saveology.com/offers/savvyauntie. There’s more to come but I can’t talk about it just yet. Needless to say, I’m thrilled and excited for what’s next.


photo credit: Ana Schechter

Persuasive Picks for the week of 10/17/11

We start off this week’s Persuasive Picks post with “Taking Social Media Beyond Your Own Ego“. Ramon Ray and the Smallbiztechnology.com team offer insight on how not to fall into the “do it yourself trap” and how to truly take social media beyond the ego for your business in this straight-forward article over at BusinessInsider Tools.

KFC’s Secret Recipe for Social Media Success is an interview with KFC’s public relations manager, Rick Maynard, and focuses on how his Team went about gaining brand supporters. This article offers key tips on keeping your brand relevant to consumers via consistent social media engagment and can be found at 1to1Media.

Are You Bad at the Internet? is a great piece covers a Kauffman study recently released which discusses how many small businesses are still struggling with their online presence and how to use the Web to increase sales. This Inc. Magazine article highlights which industries are finding success.

Tips for Reaching Out to Twitter’s 50 Million Daily Users authored by Angela West of PCWorld, this article examines the value of Twitter and offers useful tips for business, large and small, on how to use Twitter effectively. West’s article cites that Twitter is valued at $8 billion and boasts over 100 million users, 50 million of whom log in daily.

Over at Entrepreneur’s Daily Dose an educational column: Chief Cheezburger Ben Huh Dishes on Social Media provides useful tidbits on his approach to keeping your brand social in today’s business world.

Blackberry Blackout—A PR Crisis

I have a Blackberry. And while most of my colleagues, friends, and family have abandoned their “CrackBerries” for the Apple’s iPhone or Motorola’s Droid, I have remained loyal. Maybe because I am in a contract with Verizon until October 2012 or maybe because I am simply attached– addicted to the tiny keys, BBM, and square pad; however after the recent infamous data black out, I am weighing my options. And I am not alone. According to a survey by shopping comparison website Kelkoo, one in five Blackberry users is considering switching to a different smart phone.

 

Research in Motion (RIM), the Canadian company who introduced the Blackberry ten years ago, is facing one of the biggest PR woes.  After the worst Blackberry outage ever– which lasted for four consecutive days, leaving tens of millions of frustrated Blackberry users on five continents without email, instant messaging and browsing— RIM is now trying to make amends by offering $100 worth of free apps, but is this a case of too little, too late?

The PR mishaps and failure to properly communicate along the way have aided in additional frustration and brand damage. During the outage, RIM offered only a few updates on what was happening while a growing number of Blackberry users turned to their social networks to express their increasing anger, using the tag #DearBlackberry. And while it took three days for a public statement to be made from co-CEO Mike Lazaridis– who publically apologized for the outage through a YouTube video— the PR damage was already done.

So what should have RIM done differently to manage this PR and social crisis?

  1. RIM’s CEO’s should have faced the issue from the beginning, issuing a statement right away. And the delayed YouTube video should have provided a clearer timeline for next steps and updates.
  2. Social media sites like Facebook and Twitter should have been used to provide fast and helpful responses. RIM only posted 15 updates on Twitter over three days. If they set up their own hash tag, they could have better contributed to the conversation and engaged with their users.
  3. Be honest and clear. Technical terms like “switch failures” isn’t explaining the situation in simple language. Being more concise and truthful would have better resonated with consumers and gone much further in repairing any relationship damage.

It’s going to be a long road to rebuild Blackberry customer loyalty and the brands’ reputation, especially with the fierce competition of other, better-maneuvered and slicker smart phones. Technology isn’t perfect. There’s always the potential for an outage or breakdown, but it’s about how a brand chooses to deal with the crisis that is crucial to limiting long term reputational damage and lost customers. This PR disaster is a great reminder of how important communication truly is. Acting fast, telling the truth, and controlling the negative conversation are vital.

 

This a great lesson in bad PR crisis management, but I’d like to hear another recent (we know the Jet Blue story) about a company/brand who took all the right steps in managing a PR crisis. When facing adversity, what did the brand do right? Why was it effective? Please share your thoughts and top tweets of the year with us in the comments below.

 

 

Kids can Participate in Social Media….Safely

Safely

Recently I was watching a news story about several women who had fallen prey to a man with a fake Facebook profile. I often wonder how people fall for these scams, but as I watched it, I could see how it could happen – the man seemed genuine and “normal.” In fact, I have found myself believing in people that I’ve met online only to find out later that they’ve been less than truthful.

This scares me, because while I think I am relatively intelligent, and it’s my job to be online all day everyday where I come across every imaginable scam you can think of, I have been duped by “online personas.”  So if I can be tricked, what chance does my mother have online….or even scarier, my kids?

Our client, Location Labs, recently introduced something that I am hoping will help. I do not normally blog on client news, but this addresses something very important to me. Location Labs’ new suite of family safety services service, Safely, helps parents better protect their children. Their newly launched offering, Safely Social Monitor, makes sure their children are using Facebook in a safe manner.  You will be able to use this to see what your children are interacting with most on Facebook and what photos they upload.  Yes, you can do that by going to their Facebook page, but how many of us forget to look through email, or texts, much less have time to stalk them on Facebook.

But using Social Monitor, parents can get alerts when their children are tagged in photos or when they do other activities, like posting inappropriate words or phrases. And, they are able to do this with a dashboard that allows parents to visualize the data easily, without having to sign into Facebook.

I know many people think of this as stalking their kids and don’t want to do it, however, as a daily user of social media, the things I have seen make me very concerned about what could happen to my kids if I am not diligent.  Personally, I think it’s irresponsible as a parent not to do anything in my power to monitor their social media activity closely.

What do you think? Would you use a service like Safely to monitor your kids, or do you think it’s a violation of their privacy?