Tag Archives: Communications

Review Your Facebook Page To Make Sure Its Working For Your Business

6 Aug

Screen Shot 2013-07-24 at 12.34.13 PM

In a recent survey of 1,000 social media users, researchers found that more than 1/2 of them – 52% – found a business’ facebook page to be more valuable than its website.  82% said that facebook was a good place to interact with brands.  Use the following 10 tips in the below infographic to review your facebook page and make sure its working for your business:

1) To increase visibility, write a photo description for your cover photo that includes a CTA (to do this, just click on the photo and write in the space provided).

2) To track user data for ad targeting, “Export Data” from your Insights panel weekly or monthly. Use the report to track the progress of your Page and monitor the posts that get the most engagement.

3) Status updates Posts should speak to your brand. Follow the 70/20/10 rule. Seventy percent of posts should build brand recognition; 20 percent are content from other people/brands; 10 percent are promotional.

4) Define the style of your Page and create a social media style guide so admins know what to post — and what not to. Decide if the tone of the Page is fun, funny, informational, journalistic, etc. and be consistent.

5) If you’re using third-party apps, make sure they’re easily accessible on mobile devices. Use QR codes on in-store signs to lead customers to your Facebook Page or a custom app.

6) When responding to users in the comments section of status updates, leave negative feedback visible so customers and potential customers can see how you respond to it.

7) Feature your three most important app thumbnails on your Timeline and include a call to action on each app thumbnail.

8) A profile photo should complement the cover photo. Change your profile photo often to reflect seasons, highlight holidays, etc.

9) Use Facebook ads to target users with precise interests. Sponsored Stories and Promoted Posts are great ad options to help increase the viral potential of your posts.

10) In your Page’s About section, list your company URL first if possible; fill out the rest of the section completely, including URLs to your other sites. Use this section to also include information about your business, like the date you were founded, contact information and milestones you’ve reached.

Infographic courtesy sociallystacked.com http://www.sociallystacked.com/2013/07/infographic-of-the-day-does-your-facebook-page-need-an-operation-2/

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Do Your Social Media Connections Overshare? Here’s Why?

6 Jul

The prolonged fight on twitter between a couple you know.  A friend’s angry posts on facebook that is aimed at someone  you don’t know.  The pictures that your social media connections post of themselves in various stages of undress.  The video of someone you barely know rambling about a topic you care nothing about.  The incessant posts by other friends  that document every seemingly intimate thought or occurrence in their lives.  Sounds familiar? Congratulations: you’re a victim of extreme social media overshare.  So much for the phrase “You never know what goes on behind closed doors”.  Our facebook, twitter, you tube and instagram feeds now allow us to know things about each other that we probably wouldn’t have before.   Here’s why?

Rhianna

Sex, Alcohol and Oversharing

What makes us reveal too much on Facebook and Twitter? And why do we do it?

By  @techland July 05, 2013

There it is. On your Facebook feed: a picture of a tall, clear glass full of what looks like a red smoothie. “That looks good,” you think. And then you read the caption: “Mommy’s First Placenta Shake. It tastes like heaven. I put lots of pineapple, orange and mango sorbet. Yummmm!”

Congratulations: you’re a victim of an extreme social-media overshare. Maybe your annoying neighbor told everyone about his appendectomy. Or perhaps you sister posted too much about her attempt to conceive Baby No. 3. Either way, you’re surrounded by people who blab their business online — and it’s happening more and more.

Not too long ago, office water coolers were the place to hear and share that kind of news. But your facial cues — like raised eyebrows and wide eyes — told them when they were going too far. Or you could just walk away when the details got a bit too intimate. Today though, Facebook and Twitter are the hubs of social life, helping you check up on old friends, browse weekend photos and set lunch plans, so inevitably, you’ll run into all kinds of TMI postings.

We all have a near biological urge to overshare, and oftentimes, the results are funny. The placenta smoothie, for example, comes courtesy of Blair Koenig, creator of the submission-based STFU, Parents blog. But more often than not, the joke backfires, and oversharing leads to some sobering and challenging consequences.

The Compulsion to Share

The roots of oversharing go back long before Mark Zuckerberg was born, down to the depths of our subconscious. Most psychology experts say we overshare to try to control anxiety. For example, when we talk to people, we spend a lot of mental energy worrying about how we come off to them. We want them to think we’re funny, smart and interesting, but that often means we don’t pay attention to what we’re actually saying. That’s why we blurt out unexpected comments to the people we want to impress most, like that crush you had back in high school or prospective in-laws. As soon as those ridiculous words leave your lips, you instantly regret it. You know you shouldn’t have said it, and then you try to fix it, making it worse. Why? You pile on the blabbing because your anxiety is rising.

Certain types of people are more prone to BYB, or blabbing your business, than others. It depends on your “attachment style” — how you form emotional bonds with people, Dr. Hal Shorey, a professor at Widener University’s Institute for Graduate Clinical Psychology, told the Wall Street Journal. Partly genetic, attachment style is also a by-product of how your parents raised and related to you as a child.

The theory maintains that we’re divided roughly into three types: “secure,” which are loving and comfortable with intimacy, make up about 55% of population; “avoidant,” which reduce closeness, make up 15%; and “anxious,” which were inconsistently nurtured, account for roughly 15%. The remaining population is a combination of types.

Anxious types, which are overly sensitive to social cues, are prone to overmanaging personal connections — they’re also the most routine blabbers. Meanwhile, avoidants rarely overshare, while secure types do so on occasion. Though we manage the urge to blab to varying degrees of success, that basic urge is still instinctual.

Beyond those originals in anxiety, though, it just feels good to brag about ourselves. According to a Harvard study, about 40% of our speech, and 80% of social-media posts, is devoted to telling others about what we feel or think. “Self-disclosure is extra rewarding,” said Diana Tamir, the Harvard neuroscientist who conducted the experiments with colleague Jason Mitchell.

When you talk about yourself, you engage two areas of the brain associated with reward: the nucleus accumbens and the ventral tegmental. Those areas — linked to feelings of love, pleasure and addiction — send the same powerful feelings you experience when engaged in sex. And it continues until the rational parts of your brain kick back in, and you realize, “Oh, my God, what have I just done?”

Beyond the Ewww Factor

BYB is like the reality TV of social media — cringe-inducing, yet mightily entertaining. Koenig’s blog and her 14,000 Twitter fans touch on a range of topics, from placenta smoothies to lessons in potty training to bouts with puberty.

“Once a poop-picture oversharer, always a poop-picture oversharer,” she said. But oversharing isn’t just a joke anymore: people are discovering that what they share on Facebook and Twitter is evidence that can be used against them in a court of law.

Richard

In February, Richard Godbehere made headlines after he posted a five-minute video of himself drinking and driving. “You’re not supposed to do that,” he said. “But they didn’t say anything about driving then drinking.” Local police didn’t find it humorous and ticketed him.

Confession is good for the soul, but it’s usually bad for the case — and that’s especially true on social media. Jacob Cox-Brown, an 18-year-old Astoria, Ore., resident, for example, posted a Facebook status that read: “Driving drunk … classic :). But to whoever’s vehicle, I hit I am sorry :P.” Someone tied the apologetic post to news about an unknown driver sideswiping two cars, leading officers to investigate his home and find the damaged vehicle. He was arrested, but he’s fighting the case, claiming icy conditions contributed to the accident.

Your employer, though, has more leeway in dealing with posts that cross the line — a lesson one worker at London’s Luton Airport learned the hard way. The employee, described as a “new, overenthusiastic member,” posted a photo of a crashed airplane to the company’s Facebook page, along with the cheeky caption: “Because we are such a super airport … this is what we prevent you from when it snows … Weeeee :).”

The law protects you against self-incrimination, but it doesn’t cover voluntary gloating, confessions or stupidity. You’re protected against a forced confession, but not against your questionable choice to videos and social-media posts, highlights the very important difference between what goes on in your mind and what you should share.

The real trouble with oversharing isn’t so much that it’s part of human nature, but that digital tools make you vulnerable to doing it — or being a victim of it. Who hasn’t vented to friends about a relationship fight and then having to smooth things out after the make-up? It’s hard making nice after a fight, but if you’ve posted about it on Facebook, it’s even harder. We overshare to manage our anxiety, but after you apologize, kiss and move on, you still have to clean up the mess with all the others you drew in.

You can manage it by recognizing BYB-prone situations. Take a moment to see if sharing will cut your anxiety — try to imagine if the negative effects make it worthwhile. If you’ve already overshared, of course, you may want to consider dropping the subject altogether. By revisiting it, you run the risk of aggravating an already awkward situation. But if you think it’d be better to bring it up one last time, be brief and apologize without asking for approval, which may compound the gaffe.

In our culture, people bare themselves for all to see. And we need boundaries between private and public life — a safety zone. Tech tools improve our lives in many ways, but they can also exacerbate some basic urges that are best ignored. In the end, rethink your computer or social-media use if you’re anxious, doing questionable things or under the influence. Rarely does it end well. And if you have a kid, do us all a favor and don’t post pictures of placenta smoothies. Ewww!

This article was written by Margaret Rock and originally appeared on Mobiledia.

Read more: http://www.mobiledia.com/news/180578.html#ixzz2YGeIqq7j

Ten Tips For Posting Compelling Social Media Updates

2 Jul

Ten (10) tips with examples for posting social media status updates that capture the interest of your audience.  Infographic courtesy Socially Stacked.

10 Quick Tips for Better Facebook Status Updates

Here’s a quick summary of the ten (10) tips:

  1. Post an interesting fact
  2. Share a tip
  3. Endorse content
  4. Don’t always ask a question
  5. Inspire action
  6. Tell users what to expect
  7. Add a P.S.
  8. Use short links
  9. Use images with text
  10. Ask users to comment

10 Quick Tips for Better Status Updates

http://www.sociallystacked.com/2013/06/infographic-of-the-day/

How To Craft Messages That Capture Your Audience’s Attention

27 Jun

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I found this infographic to be a great way to quickly summarize the points.  Courtesy Ragan Communications:

  1. Keep it simple
  2. Be unexpected
  3. Be concrete
  4. Get credible
  5. Be emotional
  6. Tell a story

http://www.ragan.com/Main/Articles/46822.aspx?format=2

New York City Targets Energy Drinks And Sweetened Teas in Advertising Campaign

6 Jun

I worked in the Health Industry for over 3 years and the rise in obesity and non-communicable diseases like diabetes, hypertension, heart disease and stroke is a real concern for the state, not jut in Trinidad and Tobago which has the highest rates in the Caribbean, but globally. We started to tackle this in 2011 through a public education programme about the need to lose weight, get active and eat healthy.  It is interesting however to read about the push back by the American Beverage Association (ABA).  The global public health problem of increasing waistlines is not something the ABA can hope to address with Public Relations.  A more appropriate response would be to continue to add more affordable healthier options to their product mix.  Please read this blog by Natalie Zmuda and let me know what you think.

NYC’s Latest Target: Sports Drinks and Sweetened Tea

‘Pouring on the Pounds’ Ads Also Goes After Energy Drinks, Fruit-Flavored Beverages

By:   Published: June 04, 2013
New York City is at it again. The city’s health department launched a new iteration of the long-running “Pouring on the Pounds” campaign, this time targeting sports drinks, energy drinks, fruit-flavored beverages and sweetened teas.

The ads, which will air on TV and be seen on city buses, warn New Yorkers about the dangers of sugary beverages that may “sound healthy.” Past versions of the campaign have gone after soda.

In the latest series of ads, non-carbonated beverages are attacked for being packed with sugars that can lead to obesity, type 2 diabetes and complications like amputation, heart attack, vision loss and kidney failure. Outdoor ads show a sports drink bottle that’s pouring nauseating globs of fat into a glass. The ads, slated to run through June, encourage New Yorkers to replace sugary beverages with water, seltzer, fat-free milk and fresh fruit.

“Sports drinks, energy drinks and fruit-flavored drinks sometimes sound like they’re good for us, but they are contributing to the obesity epidemic just as much as sugary soft-drinks,” said Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas Farley, in a statement.

The health department says sales of non-carbonated sugary drinks have risen substantially in recent years, and the ads are meant to warn New Yorkers who “may mistakenly believe that non-carbonated sugary drinks are healthy.” According to the health department, data from the New York City Community Health Survey shows that, of the 10 city neighborhoods with the highest obesity rates, nine also boast the highest consumption of sugary drinks.

According to Beverage Marketing Corporation, energy drink volume rose 14% in 2012. Ready-to-drink tea rose 5% and sports drinks were up 2%. Those figures don’t separate out unsweetened or lower-calorie options.

Both Coca-Cola and PepsiCo referred calls to the American Beverage Association.

Kevin Keane, a spokesman for the ABA, referenced a new study from the Centers for Disease Control that shows over a 12-year period, U.S. youth and adults lowered their intake of sugar-sweetened beverages by 68 and 45 calories per day, respectively. Mr. Keane added that the ABA has reviewed the city’s Community Health Survey and that its claims connecting consumption of sugary beverages and obesity don’t “add up.”

“This obsession that the New York City Health Department has for beverages is really unhealthy, because it’s misleading New Yorkers. The contribution of sugar-sweetened beverages to diets is small and declining, yet obesity rates are going up,” Mr. Keane said. “The facts don’t match their rhetoric.”

Last year the industry was extremely vocal in condemning New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and the health department for attempting to institute a ban on the sale of sugary drinks larger than 16 ounces. That effort was struck down earlier this year by a New York Supreme Court Judge.

“The people of New York City are much smarter than the New York City Health Department believes,” Coca-Cola said in a statement, at the time. “We are transparent with our consumers. They can see exactly how many calories are in every beverage we serve. …New Yorkers expect and deserve better than this. They can make their own choices about the beverages they purchase.”

 

How To Moderate A Lively Panel Discussion

5 Jun

I recommend this blog by Scott Kirsner on how to moderate a lively panel discussion.   However, presentations do work for some panelists and under certain circumstances such as when the panel is addressing a complex or poorly understood topic.

panel

How To Moderate a Panel Like a Pro

by Scott Kirsner  |   1:00 PM May 30, 2013

http://blogs.hbr.org/cs/2013/05/how_to_moderate_a_panel_like_a.html?referral=00563&cm_mmc=email-_-newsletter-_-daily_alert-_-alert_date&utm_source=newsletter_daily_alert&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=alert_date

The panel discussion was invented by someone who liked to sit three feet above his audience, talk with five of his closest friends for an hour, and barely acknowledge that there are 100 other people in the room, usually sitting in uncomfortable chairs.

But until the panel discussion disappears from the agendas of conferences and networking events, you may be asked to moderate one. Lucky for you, the bar is very, very low. If you can find a way to deliver a few fleeting moments of entertainment or interaction, you will be regarded as a rock star. If you can toss in some insight and controversy, they may erect a statue of you at the convention center.

I’ve moderated more than 300 panel discussions at events like the Consumer Electronics Show, the Sundance Film Festival, and various Harvard Business School conferences. Here are a dozen guidelines to put you on the right track when you’re tapped to run a panel.

Don’t prep with your panelists. Many moderators imagine they are running a Congressional hearing, not a panel discussion. They hold pre-panel conference calls, and write lengthy e-mails back and forth hashing out the terrain each speaker intends to cover. Avoid that as much as possible. Your goal is to be a group of smart, funny people on-stage having a dynamic conversation. That doesn’t mean that you as a moderator shouldn’t research your panelists and their work so that you can come up with appropriate questions. My advice is to send your panelists a single pre-event e-mail, listing three questions you plan to open with, and asking them if there are any other issues they think are important to cover. At the event, socialize with your panelists and make sure everyone has met one another, but resist the urge to talk about what you’re going to talk about on-stage.

Sit with your panelists. It’s just not possible to run a good panel discussion by standing at the podium. Sit in the middle of your panelists, so you can easily make eye contact, and if needed, tap someone long-winded on the elbow and say, “Janet, those are fascinating examples, but can we get Bill’s take on this topic?”

Moderators can’t also be panelists. Just as an orchestra conductor would never whip out his viola to play a solo, your job is to encourage your panelists to give great performances. Once you start chiming in or rebutting panelists, the balance gets thrown off. You just can’t play both roles at once. (And just as a conductor would, you also need to be firm about not letting certain panelists dominate the discussion.)

No slides. Letting panelists show slides is almost certain death, and it radically reduces the role of the moderator. Exceptions: If panelists are talking about a visual topic, like retail store design, you can let each speaker bring the same number of example photos to show. If speakers are movie directors, letting everyone show a clip from their latest film, of a similar length, is fine. But letting speakers bring PowerPoints will usually gobble up your time and prevent any kind of interesting interactions from happening.

State your objective at the outset. Don’t write a long-winded introduction. Two sentences will do. Why is this topic important now, and what do you hope to accomplish within the next hour. “With all of the publicity around Google Glass, everyone is thinking about wearable computing. Our objective with our time today is to share some of the thinking about how wearable displays like Glass will change the way we interact with others.”

Never let the panelists introduce themselves. That’s the moderator’s job. Be as brief as you can, especially if the audience is holding a program guide with lengthier bios in it. Three lines is the absolute longest anyone’s introduction should be. No one cares where each panelist worked 27 years ago, or how you first met them.

Involve the audience within the first five minutes. This lets your audience know that you’re aware of them, and it keeps your panelists from acting as if they’re in a bubble. You can ask a few people to introduce themselves just by name, title, and company, to get a sense for who is in the audience. I sometimes ask audience members to applaud or boo in response to questions. “Have you ever had a great idea for improving a process at your company? Please applaud.” “OK, now, have you ever found it difficult to get the necessary resources or support to actually improve the process? Please boo.” It livens up the room.

Don’t go down the line every time. By the time the fifth panelist is answering the same question as four other people have answered, the odds they will contribute something interesting have dropped almost to zero. When you ask a question, two answers is plenty, unless a third person is dying to jump in. Instead, ask a related question, ask for a concrete example, or simply shift gears and ask your other panelists about something else.

Invite panelists to ask each other questions. When you send out your pre-panel email, or when you chat with panelists on-site, ask them to think of one question they’d like to ask their fellow panelists. Often, these questions are sharper or more provocative than the questions on your list — and panelists are often more candid when one of their peers asks them a question, as opposed to the “official moderator.”

High Altitude+Specifics+Audience. As you plan out what you want to do with your time, divide it into three roughly equal categories. “High altitude” are those questions where you give your panelists a chance to discuss what is happening in the world at a 30,000-foot level. Specifics are where you invite them to share funny anecdotes, war stories, or concrete examples — things that the audience can really relate to. Audience means not just leaving time for Q&A, but also coming up with creative ways to bring the audience into your conversation. After you’ve asked panelists about the worst hire they ever made, for instance, you might ask people in the audience to share their stories. If you have a panel of venture capitalists and an audience of entrepreneurs, try asking a few bold entrepreneurs to deliver their elevator pitches and get the VCs to suggest ways to improve it.

Don’t ask panelists for “one final thought.” The lamest way to conclude a panel is by giving each panelist an opportunity for a concluding oration. Typically, they’ll recap what they’ve already said, or look to their notes and cough up some uninteresting musing they didn’t have time to get to (usually for good reason.) Use the time instead for a last question from the audience, or for something forward-looking. “What important new trend will we be talking about at next year’s conference?” “What’s your counter-intuitive, half-crazy prediction about the next five years in our industry?”

You are an airline pilot. It’s your job to land this baby on time. Once you push past your scheduled end-time, audience members will get restless, and you’ll start getting dirty looks from the conference organizer. If you don’t have anyone in the room to flash you the “five minutes left” sign, set your mobile phone to vibrate in your pocket when the end is approaching.

If you attend enough panel discussions, you already know that the worst ones feel like a plodding public access TV show — and you can’t switch the channel. The best feel like a fast-paced, unpredictable conversation between smart people on stage and smart people in the audience. Keep that goal in mind, and you’ll soon be modeling for that heroic statue.

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Scott Kirsner writes the Innovation Economy column and blog for the Boston Globe, and is a founder of several conferences, including the Nantucket Conference on Entrepreneurship & Innovation. He’s a regular speaker (and panel moderator) at events related to startups and corporate innovation. Scott is also co-founder and editor ofInnovationLeader.com, an information service for corporate innovation officers.

Cheerios Ad Featuring Mixed-Race Family And Biracial Child Brings Out The Racists

3 Jun

A new commercial for Cheerios featuring a mixed-race family has become a target for racists on the internet – from YouTube to Facebook to Reddit.  The advertisement features a Caucasian mother, an African-American father and their biracial daughter, and contains no overt messaging, politically correct or otherwise, except that Cheerios are good for you.  The negative comments posted were reportedly becoming so outrageous that the commenting system has been disabled on the advertisement’s YouTube page.  According to CNN reports, there were over thirteen thousand negative comments compared to about six thousand positive comments. However the Huffington Post reported there were more than 1,600 likes compared to over 500 dislikes as of Thursday evening.

So why the huge uproar over this ad promoting the heart-healthy benefits of Cheerios?  This is another example of how the often anonymous environment of the Internet can bring out the worst in people.

Despite the fact that interracial couples and multiracial children continue to increase in the population of America, advertising agencies and the corporate sector are still cautious about featuring this demographic in their advertisements.  However, Camille Gibson, Vice President of Marketing for Cheerios, in a statement issued to The Gawker said “Consumers have responded positively to our new Cheerios Ad.  At Cheerios, we know there are many kinds of families and we celebrate them all.”
I commend General Mills, the manufacturer of the Cheerios brand, for their commercial which acknowledges diversity.  Hopefully the uproar over the Cheerios advertisement won’t discourage other companies from embracing the changing demographics of not just America, but the world.
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Francisca Jordan is an accomplished communications strategist and advisor with over (24) years experience in Corporate Communications, Marketing, Sales and Customer Service.  Ms Jordan has assisted several large and small-to-medium enterprises (SMEs) in both the public and private sector by providing winning strategies that transform business, drive sales, engage customers, employees, and other stakeholders and increase brand value. 

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