So I’m at my 12 year old daughter’s softball game last Friday night and as the game is concluding I reach for my cellphone and I see a text from my wife it reads:
Your daughter is on Facebook”?
I text back
She better not be”.
As I’m waiting for her to emerge from the dugout, I decide to call my wife who is in Ohio for the weekend for my nephew’s first communion. The first words out of her mouth are that her sister Terry tried to “Friend” my daughter on Facebook. I was shocked and stunned. But there were some legit reasons why. Here’s 4 of them.
1) Not 2 weeks prior to this happening, I was on television and in front of a live audience, as well as members of the school board, explaining why I did not see the point in children (freshman to sophomores on down) using Facebook, let alone a social network at all. They’re too young.
2) I had explained to those that attended, how important it was to monitor your childrens online activities.
3) I had outlined how important it was, to explain the implications of privacy and what can happen when you are “out” there to your children.
4) My daughter saw the event on television
Apparently I suck at drinking my own koolaid. I did not do a good enough job of monitoring my child’s online activities. I took for granted that my straight A’s student, great athlete, daughter would never violate the trust that I thought we had. She had asked previously if she could get a Facebook account and I said no and I explained why.
Here’s the cautionary tale.
- First off, I felt completely betrayed by my daughter,
- Facebook has no idea of the challenges that parents face.
- Even “good” kids will do what their ‘friends” tell them to do and what their parents tell them not to.
- My daughter knew she wasn’t supposed to be on, but her friends told her to set up an account.
- As smart as my daughter thinks she is, and yes she is, she still set the account up wrong, but luckily she had not put “that much” info out there.
- There were dozens of other “friends” waiting for her to “friend” them back. Dozens.
- Those other “friends”, were no older than 13, but the majority were younger than 13. That means that they worked around the so-called age limit to join Facebook.
- Children have no clue what privacy settings are and how to set them up on Facebook.
So what’s my point? I supposedly was monitoring my daughter’s online activities. I live, eat, breath and sleep this social media stuff, and yet she did it while my wife and I were down the street trying to hit tennis balls.
The parents of the others that I saw on there? Chances are, they do not live, eat and breathe social media. I bet if I were to at least look at the privacy settings of those accounts, 90% of them would be wide open. That’s a problem. One of many.
As social networks and mobile phones continue to evolve, and as the age of innocence continues to evaporate, and entry into owning a phone continues to be lowered-issues about content, behavior, ignorance, and privacy on social networks are going to continue to escalate and magnify. Take it from me, or maybe not…
Yesterday I threw out a tweet about 125 twitter chats worth checking out on Google Docs. I thought I might condense it a bit and focus not only on Tweetchats that I was familiar with, but also those that would benefit the Social Media, Marketing and PR folks out there, and which also had solid participation as well. If I have left any out, please drop me a line and include it in the comments section.
1) Hashtagsocialmedia-#socialmedia Of course I’m partial to the one I co-founded with Jason Breed Advancing the Business of Social Media every Tues noon EST. New topics & new industry thought leaders and A-listers host the tweetchats. Great discussions. all archived and easily searchable
2)#4change is a monthly tweetchat on how social media is helping to create change
3) #b2bchat is a weekly conversation for B2B marketers; Thursdays 8 pm Eastern.
5) #Brandchat is a discussion between experts, strategists, and those interested in learning more about personal branding and managing their personal brand.
6) #Hcsm The Health Care Communication & Social Media community hosts a weekly Twitter conversation about communication and marketing practices by Health Care organizations, including use of social media
7) #Innochat A Tweetchat on innovation
11) #SEO411 Weekly chat to collaborate with colleagues and other marketers about their questions and ideas about SEO.
12) #SMCEDU Discussions about Social Media / Higher Education
13) #Socentchat A monthly discussion on social entrepreneurship, focusing on a particular topic or field each month, eg. Mobile Innovation; Fostering Soc Ent at universities; Support Women; eHealth; etc.
14) #Socpharm Weekly chat on pharmaceutical marketing and social media.
15) #Solopr Open discussions that serve as a companion to the SoloPRpro.com blog, designed for independent PR and MarCom pros – and those who’d like to be. Active hashtag throughout the week, with chats taking place on Wednesdays at 1 p.m. ET, Started and run by Kellye Crane
16) #TNL TNL is TalentNet Live. the #1 monthly hashtag chat for recruiters on Twitter that takes place the last Wednesday of each month at 9pm Eastern at #TNL. Login at RecruitingBlogs.com
17) #U30pro The chat that focuses on issues and trends surrounding young professionals. All ages welcome and encouraged to join.
Given some recent Twitter data that shows that most people don’t actually “use” Twitter-Why in the hell should we sit here and tell SMB’s to use Twitter to listen, to monitor and “be” where there customers are when a) Their customers might not be on there, b) They don’t have time to use it and c) Those customers or competitors that might be using it are using it wrong and d) There is essentially nothing there. So chances are, you may not see the point in using Twitter and I don’t blame you.
I can excuse SMB’s for claiming that they don’t have time, because I know of all of the things that sit on their plate, but to be honest, I can also see why they might be skeptical to use Twitter. Turn it on- and it looks like a sea of useless information.
I have a suggestion though and I have a reason why things are the way they are.
If Twitter is not working the way you want it to or expect it to, or in the way you were told it would work…
If you’re looking at the state of the Twittersphere in your local area and it truly is pathetic, and it’s giving you cause to think that maybe it’s not worth your time.
Be proactive. You start the conversations! Why no be the one to lead and to “make it work”? You may have to add hashtags that matter. You may have to do more than just pimp your stuff. But if you were expecting to “turn on” Twitter and see this wellspring of opportunities and conversations and companies and customers talking about your company-Guess what? It still may be too soon. It may have to start with you. You may have to be the early adopter because there are just not a lot of people using it in your area or wrapped around your business, your product, and your company.
You may not have a choice. But that does not mean that Twitter does not “work”. You just have to work a little.
The title of this post pretty much sums it up. So often we get caught up in frameworks and checklists and strategies and everyone is running around looking busy. Meanwhile, back at the ranch where the real work happens, consumers are still being marketed online. How could this be?
It is helpful sometimes to take a step back and take a look at what you are doing from the outside looking in. Consider how your consumers view you online and where they view you. You might begin to understand why your social programs are performing the way they are. So many strategies stop at the tools so you end up with a blog or a Facebook page and the strategist goes home. Inevitably the same marketer or communications person does what they know and starts blasting messages. As a result, the consumers that you were trying to get closer to actually end up further away. To translate this back into social media jargon, you end up with an audience of lurkers (assuming they stay that long) when you are attempting to get those consumers engaged.
Jake Mckee’s infamous 90-9-1 pyramid comes to mind. If you do not make it easy, fast and safe for consumers to engage you will end up with more than 90 percent lurkers trolling your content. On the other hand, if you take the time to create baby steps of engagement like a simple “thumbs up/down”, share this, or even a one question “quick poll” your audience will begin to engage more. This helps to establish trust as well. With trust comes responsibility though. If you allow members to digitally attack each other via comment threads, etc then you will end up with the same 4 people running your site like street dogs marking their territory on trees. Curating community content to keep it safe will go a long ways for members to want to contribute and connect with greater frequency.
Once they are connecting with higher frequency, what’s your plan then? What messages do you want those consumers sharing? Your consumers have 2 experiences with every interaction they have with you. Those 2 experiences are perception and reality. If you ask for suggestions, get them and never respond or even acknowledge them, the consumer’s perception is that you really don’t care. All of these experiences get crafted into a story that is told and re-told online, at dinner parties, at the gym and anywhere else someone brings up your store, brand or product.
If consumers are your storytellers, then shouldn’t you have a plan to help shape that story every chance you get? Two main themes are emerging: 1) enable consumers to connect with you more frequently and 2) have a plan in place to help mold their story about you once you do connect. Sound straightforward? If it does then you have never had to a) manage a community first hand, b) never been responsible for results or c) all of the above.
By design, our moderator has a lot of experience doing both. Kyle Lacy is the head of Brandswag and a highly sought after social media practioner for businesses. Kyle will lead a discussion around how to better connect with consumers by converting more passive consumers into active consumers of your brand and what to do once they become active. This discussion will follow our weekly Tuesday event schedule taking place 5/4 at noon Eastern. The topic and questions will be:
Topic: Connecting With Consumers Through Social Media
Q1) What are ways to move customers up the interactive chain from lurker to influencer?
Q2) What’s the value of storytelling vs. messaging?
Q3) How can you get customers to take action on your behalf and tell the story for you?
The event will begin with Q1 at noon eastern followed every 20 minutes with the next questions. To follow along and add your POV simply track #sm58 via any Twitter client or follow along via our LIVE page.