Dave Masterson's thoughts on technology happenings, personal experiences, travels, work, fun, etc.

Entries in social media (9)


The Vocabulary Wheel? 

I loved this! For anyone that writes articles or makes frequent posts to social media - this will help. How many times can you portray a similar feeling with different words? For just such instances, we have the vocabulary wheel...




Damage control

Oh I really like this! Not just the hearty greeting I receive when I walk in to eat ("WELCOME TO MOE'S!"). I like when a company that I think has creative in-store and online marketing shows their true colors. Apparently, a promotion designed at bringing awareness and new users to their web-ordering and app ordering fell flat. The response was great, the system couldn't handle it, I even heard some stores ran low on supplies as a result. Damage control! This is how it's done correctly. Earlier this week, Moe's opted to use email and their social channels to acknowledge this mishap or problem. This is an excellent way to repair credibility damage and get your business' ship sailing straight again. A popular eatery, Moe's Southwestern Grill, promoted a free burrito to customers that used the website or smartphone app to order a large drink. Before many could figure out there was a problem, Moe's stepped forward, took ownership of the apparent overload of their system in "e-commerceland" and issued the above message. Everything from the bruised and bandaged logo to the "101010" binary techie background graphics tells me it was well thought out. This message was echoed on Facebook and Twitter. The sentiment among the users was positive, once the error and problems were mentioned and explained. I think most people realize that sometimes, well placed plans fall short. Trust is gained by admitting to a fault and recommiting - exactly what has happened here.

Good going, Moe's. I trust you'll have a good contingency plan for your loyal followers.


Is this working for you?

Social media. It is pervasive in our lives. A recent study done by IDC shows Facebook usership on smartphones is dominating the online landscape. Or maybe it's "eating up the time pie" as they say. Check these stats - Over the course of a week, the average number of times per day that an 18-44 year old will check Facebook is... 13.8! If you check Facebook less than that, you're below the average. Most people check their Wall/Newsfeed (82% of the visits), followed by reading or replying to your friend's posts (49% of the time). As compared to overall usage of smartphones, Facebook ranks third in popularity, trailing only email and your phone's web browser for popularity. Amazing, but not surprising.

My thought on this is, what are people doing with their social media? I mean specifically, what are most users looking to accomplish with all of this time and effort being poured into the compulsion that is Facebook? Start with this thought, what are you posting? What do you look to get out of spending this much time in a world that's online and shared amongst your family, friends, and business contacts? For the purposes of this post, Facebook is the focus, but my question bleeds into your use of LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest and Google+. I ask - How are you using social media and is your strategy working?

I'll start with personal use of Facebook, that's what the above referenced IDC study addresses. Do you check Facebook to see how popular you are? Do you care how many "likes" your posts receive from the friends in your group? Many people are hung on this, "What responses do I get?" For plenty of Facebook users, what happens on the popular social media site harkens back to a high school mentality - meaning they derive their perceived popularity and sometimes their day's mood based on the opinion of others. Have you ever heard or thought, "I can't believe he/she didn't comment or like my reply?" "Did you see what so-and-so put on Facebook?" It's definitely happening. What you choose to share online is a reflection of what you're thinking about. I have Facebook friends that routinely post negative information ABOUT THEMSELVES. True! Amazing as it seems, they voluntarily share their misery with others. "I have another headache today." Really? Is this newsworthy? Do you want sympathy or just recognition as being sickly? I don't understand this at all. I have other Facebook friends that post text or photos almost exclusively featuring themselves. Facebook allows for each person to be their own PR firm. You can dispense whatever information you'd like. Ask yourself or take a look at your posts and feed to determine the following - Is your information "all about you?" What part of your social plan does this satisfy? Imagine if you conducted yourself this way with your friends in person? Picture anyone saying the following in a group setting..."So, then I did this, have a look at these pictures, then I did that, see more photos, aren't I wonderful?" Hmmm. Does this constitute a "giving" mentality or a "taking" mentality? (Gut check here) It seems like the social part of this exciting media should be more about "giving" than "taking." Business use of Facebook? Same thing. You can fill your fans' walls with information solely about your accomplishments and marketing propaganda. Some do, but I doubt they have an engaged group of followers.  That "me first" mentality isn't attractive, in person or on Facebook. Take inventory - What do you offer to your friends, both personally and in your business dealings when participating in social media?

Here's what I see working best, in two segments:

  1. Personally, the practice of spreading knowledge is the gem of social media. Look to share and give what you know to your flock. If each of us comes with expertise, we can lift all of those in our group by helping others. Yes, I post things about where I am, where I'm going and what I'm doing. However, most of my social media entries are me dispensing information, sharing humor, reposts of articles I've read, problems that have been solved and new things coming soon. Sharing what I know and find to help my network of friends and followers. 
  2. Business-wise, I see our franchisees effectively spreading the word about their products and services with Facebook. Those that do this best aren't outwardly selling their wares, they offer relevant information, solidify themselves as knowledgeable experts in their field and transfer good feelings to their followers. The best franchisees engaged in social media are wrapped around "being the expert" in their communities. They feature local stories and happenings, even if they aren't at the center of the story. Franchisees inform their followers, keeping the mood positive and high. They give far more than they take. The selflessness that allows someone to make giving a priority pays dividends in other places and at other times. Good social communicators know this.

Have a look at your content. Question the core reasons for your involvement. If the social scene is as big as the statistics say, know why you're spending an ever-increasing portion of your day working to grow using Facebook and the other prominent social sites. It does work well if you can tailor your content to give. So many others will consume themselves with the take, take, take. Let the giving work for you.



Hootsuite integrates your Google+

Previously reserved for the "pay" versions of Hootsuite, now all users can link to and make postings to their Google+ Pages from the Hootsuite dashboard. This makes populating and using Google+ much easier, you can share posts across your social networks. We recommend Hootsuite to help simplify and organize your social media dealings. It's better now with the inclusion of the Google+ growing network of businesses and individuals.


The Facebook Diet

It's Friday, May 18th. Facebook stock, through an initial public offering, will be sold for the first time today. This occurrence will make a few Americans ultra wealthy - those that helped Mark Zuckerberg build (Or swipe, whichever you believe) an extraordinary platform for advertising and marketing. All under the guise of friends and family!

I won't be buying stock today, quite the opposite, I'll be divesting some of my interest in Facebook. This is ironic because at work, I help instruct and guide our franchisees to use Facebook in their business. Facebook does help bring more awareness to what you sell or service, because so many people use the service. I'll go further and state that you'd be crazy as a business owner not to have a strong online presence and Facebook Business Page. But I'm referring to personal Facebook, you know, the reason we all went and set up our own walls and profiles in the first place? I've been a user for 5+ years, before the fad hit many. Now I'm going on what I call a "Facebook diet."  I am cutting way back on my personal use of Facebook, primarily because unlike a business, I stand to gain little by pouring more of my time into the exercise of keeping my page and profile updated along with checking the never-ending flow of status updates that come from my group of Facebook friends. I like my collection of friends and I have enjoyed looking at their pictures and their posts. My friends are great! I just find I'm not getting enough of what I want to warrant the time I spend on the site, so I'll be doing less of it. Maybe I'm leading the trend of folks who will find that like American Idol, The Biggest Loser, and other pop culture sensations, at some point, it's just not important anymore.

Diet may not be the best terminology to use, but it sure gets attention as a blog title. Most people look to "lose" when they take on a diet plan. I'm on the other side of the coin, I'm looking to "gain" by virtue of my Facebook diet. Personally, I look to gain back the time I would be spending online for more worthwhile purposes. I'll use this time to better myself, my family and my friends. Just like Facebook said would happen :)