reputation management Archives - Harris Social Media

Video killed the cartoon star: Disney’s social media disaster

on Sep 01 in branding, celebrities, fun stuff, marketing, reputation management, social media, trends posted by

Donald Duck is sure to be mad with what Disney has done to his classic cartoonsI just love those classic cartoons. You know, Roadrunner, Sylvester the Cat, and, of course, Disney’s famed cast of characters.

But Disney have made a big mistake trying to “modernize” some of their classics, notably Donald Duck, in a series called “Blam!” The videos provide a voiceover that humorously points out Donald’s misdeeds and mistakes in a way that Disney evidently presumes is palatable to today’s youngsters.

Unfortunately, Disney’s misguided effort has fallen, true to cartoon form, flat on its face.

On YouTube, comments on one video, unimaginatively titled And Another Blam! go the whole way. Here’s a few:

  • ahermit Annoying and insulting. Whose stupid idea was it to do this?!
  • BrianSchultze There is a special place in hell reserved for the person who approved this. 
  • sbl195207 …I had no idea that my childhood was being raped.
  • r3dk9 This is the worst thing. Ever.
  • electrojones This is spectacularly lousy in every way. 
  • FrankieSmileShow Oh my god. What the fuck is this. This ruined my day.

And so on. Not one of the 157 comments (at the time of writing) can be in any way construed as positive.

And serious bloggers (well, as serious as they can get) are lambasting the effort left and right. Cartoon Brew says “ These Blam! episodes, which are probably named so because the viewer wants to blam their head off after watching them, destroy the spirit of the Disney cartoons and over-explain every joke to the point where it becomes unfunny.” The 103 comments on that post are similarly unimpressed with Disney.

Cartoon forums such as Animationforum.net are also buzzing with negative response to the Blam! videos. 

Could Blam! be Disney’s big social media disaster? Disney’s heading over the cliff, but its executives won’t be laughing about it.

Is social media monitoring a bubble?

on Apr 04 in business, monitoring, reputation management, tools, trends posted by

Image courtesy of WikipediaAaron Koh, Social Media Director at That Social PR Agency, posted an interesting question on LinkedIn: Is social media monitoring a gold mine or a bubble?

During my work developing social media strategies for a variety of clients, I have had the opportunity to review the social media monitoring space in some detail.

Yes, there are a lot of companies jumping on the bandwagon. Some of the free services are useful. Used appropriately, they can meet the needs of many situations. Who hasn’t heard of Google Alerts? (List of free tools.) But some free services, while enticing, seem inaccurate at best, or even misleading. Larger enterprises will most likely need to consider paid solutions.

The big players (Techrigy, Radian6, Nielsen, Filtrbox, etc.) will likely buy out the best of the small scale solutions. (See Nathan Gilliat’s excellent Guide to Social Media Analysis for a list of companies offering paid solutions for social media monitoring.) 

My sense is that the trend will shift away from technological solutions and to the human element. A monitoring program can alert you to a mention or conversation. It can even indicate whether it’s positive or negative. But software can’t tell you how to respond.

The nuances of building relationships through social media simply cannot be left to software. And even humans get it woefully wrong as Nestle’s recent social media disaster on Facebook testifies. Monitoring is important but experienced people with the expertise to manage specific situations will always be needed.

To answer Aaron’s question, the plethora of sub-par social media monitoring tools suggest a bubble is growing. The bubble will deflate in due course. But as with most bubbles, the strong players will survive and most likely come out even stronger.

Ten steps to evolving your personal brand

on Oct 18 in blogging, branding, facebook, google, hints and tips, linkedin, reputation management, social networks, strategy, tools, Twitter posted by

Anyone who has an online presence needs to understand the importance of personal brand. The person on Facebook who got fired because she posted on her profile that she hated her job did not get the concept of personal brand.

But there are many social media channels. Most people have several profiles, which they maintain to a greater or lesser extent. What is the point of perfecting your LinkedIn profile if you inadvertently sabotage it with a lackluster blog or indiscrete Tweets? The solution is to evolve your personal brand.

By evolving your brand, you start from simple principles and create an increasingly complex presence. Before you start on any of this, you must understand the process of biological evolution. Broadly speaking, it is a process of experimentation, ruthless selection, survival and propagation of what is successful. Here are 10 steps to implement as you evolve your personal brand.

1. Establish goals –– Decide what you want to do with your personal brand. First and foremost brand is about perception. Your basic goal is to craft perception of what people think. What do people find when they search for you on Google? Do you want to be seen as an expert, thought leader or influencer?

2. Consider your audience — Who are you communicating with via social media? If your personal brand is your professional persona, what kinds of topics interest your audience the most? Find the common ground with the topics you are knowledgeable about. By sharing your unique knowledge you provide value to your target audience. It’s vital also to consider the kinds of online behavior typical for your audience. Does your audience create and upload content, will they comment on blog posts, or are they content to passively consume content? (Charlene Li’s “ladder” model of social media participation is a good starting point to classifying user behavior.)

3. Research platforms — If you want to use Facebook just for family and friends, it might be unwise to “friend” work colleagues as did the unfortunate Facebook user in the example above. If your professional network is mainly on LinkedIn, tweak your profile and engage on Answers and Discussions. Bear in mind your audience might not be active on the platforms on which you’re active. For instance, in regulated industries (e.g., pharma) you’re unlikely to have a large audience in social networks. Do some research to find out where your peers are. In choosing platforms consider whether it gets traffic (one reason Facebook is the 800 pound gorilla), relevance, the value of content and if you are comfortable using it.

4. Create a strategy — Once you have identified where your audience is active online, and what kinds of topics you want to engage in, create a social media strategy. A common mistake starting out is to assume strategy is simply engaging your audience. It is not. Think of strategy as similar to a business plan. Your strategy needs to include long- and short-term goals, evaluation of the competitive landscape, resources you plan on using, success benchmarks, a tactical summary and a schedule for executing tactics. Be sure to try something new and unexpected. Mutations are the raw material for evolution. You have to have unusual approaches to survive in a competitive and changing environment.

5. Implement your strategy — The schedule in your strategic plan will guide your day-to-day activities: for example,  what to blog or tweet about, how many posts or tweets, what kinds of content and what kind of integration (such as cross-linking with your other online presences on LinkedIn, blog comments, forum posts and so on). A common mistake for beginners is to start their social media branding at this stage, rather than including implementation as part of a strategic plan.

6. Measure your results — Your strategic plan’s benchmarks will include metrics for you to assess your progress. There are endless different ways to measure social media. If you are advertising, a good start is the IAB’s Social Media Ad Metrics Definitions. If you have a WordPress blog, use a plugin that provides a good overview of basic stats. For more detailed stats, Google Analytics are a must. You can set behavioral goals such as a conversion or clicking on a link to directly measure the impact of specific site content. If you are on Facebook or Twitter, these applications provide a variety of stats. On Facebook, the Fan page provides information on the number of views, fans, uploads and so on. Several third party sites provide stats to allow you to track your progress on Twitter, such as the number of followers, posts, and URLs clicked. There are endless permutations. Again, you need to experiment and see what works for you. (Introduction to social media metrics)

7. Compare your results with your goals — Selection is a key step in evolving your personal brand. In order to begin the selection process you, see if your results are meeting your goals. When you compare your results with your goals, it will help to refine your goals and to get more specific. Say your goal is to be the top blogger in your industry. How will you measure whether you are the top blogger? You could use your Technorati rank or Compete.com traffic. Or may be you just want to be a better blogger. You could use the change in number of comments over time, so traffic or rank would be less important. The key is to focus on what is most important relative to your goal.

8. Continue what is working — Once you have the first seven steps, the rest is easy. Simply keep up with what works. Do more of what gets positive results, whether it’s more traffic, more comments, or whatever.

9. Quit what is not working — Do less of what doesn’t work. This is selection — arguably the most important step of the evolutionary process. Selection is ruthless. You need to be too. You might have to give up something that’s precious or important. The dinosaurs were awesome animals. They’re all dead. Extinct. For ever. You need to think along those lines. What’s not working? What is diminishing your survivability? If it’s not working, kill it.

10. Start all over — Yup. Evolution is iterative. Just like the environment, the online ecosystem is always changing. Life’s evolution is always ongoing, and always will be. To survive and thrive in the online ecosystem, you too will need to continually evolve. Start from Step 1 above and continue the process as long as you want to stay in the race.

Does it work? Sure. If you stick to your plan and persist, your personal brand will evolve and you will get results. Here’s a screen shot of my stats on this blog since have focused on evolving my personal brand. It isn’t the only measure of success, but it illustrates that you can evolve your personal brand applying the above ten steps.

All for one and one for all: 5 tips to managing multiple social profiles

on Sep 16 in hints and tips, lifestreaming, links, personal information management systems, reputation management, social media, tools, Twitter posted by

Do you Tweet? Have a Facebook profile? MySpace? LinkedIn? How about your own blog? Like many, you probably have at least two or three social profiles and, like many, are wondering how on earth you’ll find the time to manage them all.

Some people suggest you should only have one profile and focus on that. But others recommend separating your personal and professional profiles. Many users want to spread their presence and extend their network beyond one or two profiles. So you may need several social profiles, depending on your needs and circumstances.

 Here are five suggestions for helping you manage multiple accounts (and your time!) to get the most out of your social media presence.

1. Use disseminators to post to multiple accounts across platforms

Ping.fm Push microposts with one click to more than 30 of the most popular social platforms including Facebook and Twitter. Supports SMS messaging so you can update from your mobile device.

Posterous A “life-streaming” application enabling you to post multimedia to multiple platforms including Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, Tumblr, Blogger and others. You can update Posterous simply by emailing your post — no browser needed! 🙂

Hootsuite The best application (IMHO) for managing multiple Twitter accounts. Includes a scheduler to Tweet any time in the future, one-click URL shortener, stats for your posted links and dashboard for one-stop management.

2. Use aggregators to monitor conversations across platforms

Think of aggregators as the opposite of disseminators. You are pulling in information which you monitor for conversations and mentions. The simplest aggregator is an application that reads RSS feeds, say from a blog.

You can manage multiple RSS feeds through desktop aggregators but I have found the most efficient way is to use the iGoogle browser interface. Use the tab feature to build multiple pages around specific topics, then add RSS feeds from Web sites featuring those topics.

Friendfeed is the leading social aggregator. Use it to pull in posts from your friends and followers on up to 58 social sites including Twitter and Facebook.

3. Choose one or two platforms and do them really well

Rather than running around with a Tweet here, a Digg there, then a Facebook post, use the aggregators to make your life easier. But choose one or two platforms to focus your energies. For example, I focus on my Twitter activity and use Hootsuite to manage my multiple profiles. But I could decide to use Tumblr or Posterous if they better suited my communication needs.

4. Check in occasionally to your less-used accounts

The downside of having so many profiles is that you will inevitably miss some of the conversation. Include your FriendFeed feed (sorry!) in your RSS feeds to make sure you catch at least the main conversations. On the profiles you visit the least (say Plurk), put a message in your Plurk profile saying you are mostly on Twitter or whereever and will not likely respond to posts on Plurk. The idea is to point users in the direction where you are most active.

5. Practice to your strengths

If you are good writer, blog. If you like making videos, do that. I’m good at understanding complex issues and boiling them down to a few words, so I like to Twitter. By practicing to your strengths you will build your online reputation and personal brand.

Top 21 product brands on Facebook

on Nov 25 in branding, business, facebook, marketing, reputation management, social networks posted by

Here are the top 21 product brands on Facebook in order of the number of fans of their pages.

Surprises? Windows Live Messenger (a Microsoft product!?) is number 3. Kinder Surprise (a non-US product) is number 5. It and several other international brands make the list. Three of the top 12 brands (Kinder Surprise, Nutella, Ferrero Rocher) are owned by Ferrero SpA, based in Italy.

Perhaps not so surprising, Coke, Nike and the iPhone make it into the top 20. But why are there are not more US brands in this list? (No auto brands, for example.) Maybe the Italians can teach us something about marketing on Facebook. Or maybe some brands have decided Facebook just isn’t going to give them enough ROI.

What makes these brands’ pages so successful on Facebook? Visit their pages for some ideas. What they share is that they are (1) focused on their audience, (2) understand why they are trying to engage the Facebook audience and (3) their pages are well-designed and intuitive, without gimmicky apps or blatant advertising.

1. Facebook 1,076,662 (Technology Product / Service)
2. Coca-Cola 1,061,170 (Products)
3. Windows Messenger 996,933 (Products)
4. YouTube 951,476 (Products)
5. Kinder Surprise* 813,569 (Food and Beverage)
6. Nutella* 776,503 (Food and Beverage)
7. Apple Students 770,439 (Products)
8. Pringles 743,275 (Food and Beverage)
9. adidas Originals 635,787 (Sports / Athletics)
10. Victoria’s Secret Pink 626,842 (Fashion)
11. Oreo Cookies 624,454 (Food and Beverage)
12. Ferrero Rocher* 586,099 (Food and Beverage)
13. Converse All Star 578,607 (Fashion)
14. Nike Shoes 529,430 (Fashion)
15. Red Flavour Pringles 520,958 (Food and Beverage)
16. iphone 485,278 (Technology Product / Service
17. H&M 480,845 (Products)
18. Converse All Star 463,760 (Fashion)
19. McFlurry* 449,640 (Food and Beverage)
20. Toblerone 441,954 (Products)
21. McDonalds 438,135 (Food and Beverage)

*Denotes international brand generally not available in US.

Your business’s cocktail party reputation

on Nov 24 in business, quote of the day, reputation management, thought leaders posted by

Quote of the Day, Nov 24, 2008

“Your company’s reputation spreads through language. So you should really force yourself to distill exactly what your company does. How many times have you been at a cocktail party and met someone who can’t tell you what his or her business does?”

—Robert Stephens, founder of Geek Squad

Ask Robert Stephens