I think this book is going to help your business so I want to give one of you a copy (details at the bottom). I didn’t pay for it, it came in my mailbox and I want you to experience the same joy!
A Conflict Perspective on the Impact Equation
I just finished reading Chris Brogan and Julien Smith’s new book the Impact Equation that comes out this Thursday (October 25, 2012). All I can say is: Wow. This book will help improve your community, pump up your message, and get people reading it. It will show you how to transfer that passion and make it contagious (If you can’t tell, I enjoyed it!).
Here’s where it all starts;
Impact = C x (R + E + A + T + E)
This book unpacks these 6 (CREATE) attributes to help you begin to understand and implement these attributes into the community. They are Contrast, React, Exposure, Articulation, Trust, Echo. While Chris and Julien likely could have written an entire book on each of these 6 attributes, they did a pretty solid job of explaining each one.
So What’s the Conflict Perspective?
I don’t think Chris and Julien fully realize this, but this book really speaks to the preventative measures you should be thinking about when faced with a crisis or conflict in the online space. Particularly in the Articulation, Trust, and Echo sections of the equation. Sure they talk a little about critics, using the audience’s vocabulary, and having a comment policy for your agency’s networks and blogs which are great reactive strategies and things to think about, however, from a preventative measure they are giving some tools to brands to use in a time of building a community but also to diffuse and handle conflict online.
Community = Support
As Chris and Julien express in the Impact Equation, communities are awesome. You can have lots of fun, great conversations, help people become better all in community. You can also receive feedback, accountability and support from communities, both in the good times and the bad. If you build a strong community they are going to be there in the good and the bad. If you are a company that is self-aware, introspective and has a pulse on your community, this is going to help you when you make a mistake or offend someone. The support you’ll receive from that community will blow your mind, so long as you’ve treated your community right and own your part of the crisis.
Take the recent KitchenAid mis-tweet for example, if they had not focussed on building a strong community, owning their mistake, and showing transparency it could have been a lot worse! Instead they had folks, from their community, talking about it being an honest mistake and that the companies strong brand would overcome this.
The Impact Equation is on sale starting October 25th and we want to send one of you a copy of the Impact Equation. So, all you have to do to get a copy of the book is answer ONE of these three questions and we’ll randomly pick a winner!
1. What does community mean to you?
2. How are you creating community online?
3. What kind of impact do you want to create?
We’ll pick a winner on October 31 at noon!
Update: Congrats to Trina for being randomly selected to win the book! I know you’re going to enjoy it as much as I did! (For this draw we used Random.org)
How many times have you reached into your fridge, grabbed the lunch meat, tried to remember when you bought it, suspiciously check the expiration date, carefully looked it over to make sure there were no spots on it and smelled it to make sure it was not emitting some funky odour before slapping it on that delicious sandwich you were making? I’ll bet you the answer is lots!
Food has a best before date and apparently anything that has a shelf life of under 90 days is required to have one. The best before date is another way of saying, durable life date. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency describes it as:
- “Durable life” means the anticipated amount of time that an unopened food product, when stored under appropriate conditions, will retain its
- nutritional value, or
- any other qualities claimed by the manufacturer.
- A “best-before” date, also known as a “durable life date”, tells you when this durable life period ends.
- This information is usually found on the label with the words “best before” and “meilleur avant.”
- “Best before” dates do not guarantee product safety. However, they do give you information about the freshness and potential shelf-life of the unopened foods you are buying.
Does your brand have a “best before date” for the conflict it’s dealing with online?
Potential conflict situations also have a best before date. It’s that moment when a customer or client has a complaint, when you think your sending a tweet from your personal account but it goes out over the company’s account, when you over-promise and under-deliver and many much more. It’s that moment before the “geekalance” explodes and a full blown crisis hits. It’s the calm before the storm and it’s full of opportunities for your brand.
I’ve said this before, and it couldn’t be more true; Conflict on its own is neither negative nor positive, but how we deal with it will determine its outcome. Your brand’s best before date is full of opportunity for you to manage how you respond, act and serve the issue at-hand.
Best Before Dates Do Not Guarantee Product Safety
I love that the Canadian Food Inspection Agency highlights this in their definition of a best before date. Simply responding to a complaint on Twitter or Facebook does not guarantee you not getting slammed, especially if you’re going to give them a standard response that shows no personality or a ‘press-release’ response. That could actually make matters worse. The best before date for brands actually has a lot to do with timing, the information that you are posting or the questions that are being asked of you, gathering information on the complainant, understanding their intent, what they are actually looking for, and looking at the urgency of the situation.
When thinking about your brand’s best before date for any conflict, here are some things that will help you assess what actions need to take place next;
1. Do you understand the situation? – Make sure you know what your commenter’s actual issue is. Put on that listening hat and if you need more clarification ask questions or look into the situation.
2. Is this venting or legitimate? – Again, put on that listening hat and make sure that you understand the difference between a person leaving comments who is merely blowing off some steam to a person who has a legitimate concern, comment or question.
3. Have the answers – Don’t know the answer to a question? Go and ask someone! If it’s going to take a little while to grab that answer for a person, make sure you let them know and then follow up with the answer. Make sure people feel heard.
4. Prioritize, Prioritize – Don’t spend all day on a comment that you’ve addressed a million times before when you have others complaining about your product injuring someone. Make sure you are prioritizing your comments from customers and clients while keeping an ear to the ground for potential land mines.
5. Respond. – A response can do a lot for a situation. Many people just need to feel that they’ve been heard. Even if you feel it’s a relatively “small” complaint or issue that the person is feeling. Don’t respond in your legalistic voice though, use the one that you have developed for your brand. Stay in character.
6. Communicate – Communicate with your team, your manager, people across silos. See a potential conflict brewing? Let them know, get their opinions, and then respond in your brand’s voice.
Sure, this isn’t an exhaustive list, but it’s a good starting point for your brand to start thinking about what how they can begin to avoid landing a spot on the 6-O’clock news and in UnMarketing’s next book.
Let me just start by saying that conflict is neutral. It doesn’t pick sides. Sure, there is good conflict and there is bad conflict, but ultimately conflict is neutral. What determines its outcome is not the conflict in and of itself, but rather how we react to it. If we react to the situation well, it will likely turn out well, and, of course, if we don’t react well, it will not turn out so well.
Social media has taken these decision processes to a new level. When social media rears its ugly head, companies still have those same two options, but they are now on a grander scale with a bigger audience. Back in the day (relax…only a few years ago) companies could commercial and advertise their way out of a situation. They would take their time, consult their PR firms, lawyers, board, executive staff and then put out TV commercials, billboards, and radio ads to market their way out of the situation. Now companies no longer have a few weeks to do this, now they must figure out what they are going to do in a matter of days and hours.
Let’s look at a quick example. Sure it’s an older one, but it perfectly illustrates my point.
We have a mis-tweet. We have a conflict. Chrysler (well…the company they hired) messed up. Before this tweet, as I’m sure you can imagine, the company was building their brand. They were talking in a human voice, connecting to their audience and building their community. Then they screwed up, pissed off their community (and many others) and retreated with their tail between their legs. They quickly consulted with their PR firms, lawyers, and whomever else they could get a hold of and put out this response:
So what happened here? Here’s a mistake that many, many businesses are making. They went from humanizing their brand, developing their voice and their community, to slapping their community in the face and poking them in the eye with a “press release” response. They don’t take responsibility, don’t give a further explanation, and it looks like their legal team wrote the tweet. Except it didn’t stop there! They wrote a blog post to continue the assault on their community by stomping on their feet and kneeing them in the groin.
Why Press Release Responses Are No Longer Acceptable
In a world where brands are desperately trying to find their voice online, interact with and build a community to sell more products, the second they see a potential issue or conflict they revert into their old ways. The press release. “Let’s lawyer the shit out of this so we can protect ourselves from any potential lawsuits”, is what that says to me and people aren’t buying it anymore. Here’s the thing with humanization; If you want to be a brand that interacts with people and have a personality, you can’t just ditch it at the first sight of conflict. It hurts your community, it hurts your reputation, it hurts your brand. This Chrysler situation happened roughly a year ago, and many people can still remember the incident vividly. This past year I bought a car, you know what dealership I didn’t even bother visiting? That’s right! It left the taste of blood in my mouth and I lost a lot of respect for them.
Think of any one of your relationships…what would happen if you screwed something up? Would you go and apologize? Maybe take responsibility? Talk with them to see how you could fix it? Or would you talk to a lawyer and read them a wonderfully put together press release?
To me it’s a no brainer, what do you think?
All Publicity is Good Publicity Right?
Many people would have you believe that all publicity is good publicity. Sure it may get you in the news, it might even get you on television or get you a lot of “buzz” on your favourite social media site. That’s good right? Yep, it’s really good…if your goal was to get slapped three ways from Sunday!
I just read a recent post from Gini Dietrich of Arment Dietrich called Is All Publicity Good? Go ahead and read it for a second, I’ll wait right here. You back? Alright, here’s one part in particular that caught my attention;
Sure, not all news will be good news. Even the best companies will have some negative things written about them, but it’s in how you respond that makes, or breaks, the game.
This is the other part that caught my attention in the comment section
You Can’t Contain Shit Hitting The Fan
Have you ever seen shit hit the fan? It’s not a pretty sight, and it’s a mess to clean to up. It takes all hands on deck, a great plan, communication between said shit cleaners, and you can’t be afraid to put your hand in the crap.
If that’s the kind of planning that needs to go into cleaning up feces hitting a fan, shouldn’t your company be doing more to manage their brand? Here are a few things to think about before you have to clean up your next shit storm;
- If you build it they will come: Alright, that may not be true, but here’s my point with this one…you need to be purposely building a strong community. The stronger the relationship between your brand and your community, the more willing they are to “go-to-bat” for you, the more receptive they will be towards your explanation of your screw up, the more willing they will be to accept your apology. Why? Because they trust you because you have done the same for them. Yes, you will need to re-build the trust that you wrecked, but if there was no trust to begin with, the gloves are really going to come off!
- Have a crisis plan: Please, please, please, have a plan set in place! A plan can act as your map as you steer through the muddy waters.
- Do a fire drill: Sure, having a plan is good, but if you’re not sure how it works, you need to test it out! That’s the whole reason we have fire drills right? If a crisis hits, you should know what to do and how to approach it, you should know to stop, drop, and roll! If you have no idea of where to stop read Jeremey Owyang’s post
- Monitor and Listen: I say both monitoring and listening because I view them as two very different things (which I’ll explain another day). Keep your ear to the ground and listen to the chatter, engage, ask questions, find out what the underlying problem is. Just don’t give away the farm!
- Timing is everything: Because you’ve been monitoring you know what’s been happening. Don’t wait to long to respond or it may be too late to mitigate some of the damages.
- Take Responsibility: Own what’s yours. If your brand caused someone else hardship, own it. If they screwed up someone’s bill, own it. I don’t care what it is…this is part of that trust building that we were talking about earlier. Own what’s yours and apologize accordingly.
- It’s not what you say, it’s how you say it: It’s not always the message of what you are saying when you apologize, respond, or issue a statement. It’s how your saying it. Look at the tone of the message, look at it’s surroundings, keep in mind; No one can hear you say it.
Your turn: Do you think all publicity is good publicity? How do you “contain” it? Is it even possible?
Here’s how the drill works, you have a problem/issue/complaint/imagination of what a product/brand/service is suppose to do for you and it’s not. You’ve had it before, the waitress screws up your order, your cell phone company “accidentally” charges you twice, or a flight attendant jumps the line on you like Scott, (We’ll talk about that in a second). So what do you do? You ask for some sort of monetary value for their mistake for your time/effort/whatever the heck you lost. You trade the screw up for some sort of monetary apology and that makes it all better right?
A few years ago I moved into the house I’m in now. My job allowed me to do most of my work from home which was great, expect for the fact that I had a temporary internet line running to my house that was less reliable then public transportation. In a matter of 3 months my internet didn’t work 4 times and each of those 4 times it was a minimum of 3 days before someone came to put in another temporary line. Yes, you read that correctly…instead of replacing the faulty temporary line and putting in a permanent line, they just strung up another temporary one. Each time this happened if drastically would alter my day. No longer could I work from home, so I had to leave my house. Each time this happened I would call up my provider, bitch and moan about it, get some money off my next few months, and wait until they fixed it. Never did I receive a non-scripted apology, never did they try and figure out how we could make this never happen again, never did they empathize with my situation. Finally after the 4th time I got so upset with the internet provider I called them up and cancelled all the services I had with them (internet, cable, and home phone). The $10 a month I saved from their “screw-up” wasn’t enough to hold my loyalty through crappy service. Two days after I cancelled everything they put in a permanent line (oh the irony).
You Can’t Buy Loyalty
Think about that for a second. Think about the brands you are most loyal to, why is that? Is it because they gave you a discount when they screwed up? Is it because they gave you a free meal after you found a hair in it? I doubt it, likely it is because of their behaviour, their service. It’s how they engaged with the conflictual situation. It’s how they handled a less then positive issue. It’s how they engaged with you and problem solved with you to rectify the situation.
I don’t know about you, but to me brands are giving away the farm for a return on what? Loyalty? Nah, they are just giving you something to shut you up and that’s not awesome. Let’s take a recent example of what happened to Scott Stratten (The Coles notes version):
Scott was flying out of New York when a group of flight attendants cut in front of him, without as much as an excuse me to get through airport security. After a brief exchange ending with the flight attendant telling Scott to, “Open your ears” Scott was pissed. He tweeted this:
Now this could have turned into a story for Scott’s next book (Read: Go buy the Business Book of Awesome/UnAwesome), but Delta took note (even though their name was mis-spelled) and responded:
They didn’t offer him money off his next flight, they didn’t offer free cashews on the flight, they gave him nothing of monetary value. They simply gave him an apology, an unscripted apology. They recognized his frustration, dealt with it in a public space, and guess what? When Scott was booking his next flight he went with Delta.
Address the Needs
I’m convinced that people are not simply looking for some monetary gain from a companies screw up. In my situation above, I would not have cancelled everything had they simply apologized for the shitty service and up’ed their game. Why? Because they would have better built a relationship with me had they simply had a conversation. I would have been more understanding if they addressed my needs instead of trying to buy my silence.
Back in the days of high school I got to learn a form of kick-boxing in one of my gym classes from the world-class fighter Jeff Joslin. We learned how to punch, how to kick, so great grabs and holds, but also some great moves to get out of various grabs and holds. As a pip-squeak grade nine’er I was pretty amped up that I learned all these awesome ways to defend myself (and in one class!) and was excited to start trying them out. So because I’m so manly, I went home to practice these new moves on someone smaller then me… my sister. I, of course, immediately moved in on the weakest of the pack, my youngest sister, and tried out some of these new power moves. Before long, I had received an elbow blow to my eye and it began to swell. Yep, she gave me a black eye. So much for my fighting career. You can imagine how the next day at school went.
Research in Motion (RIM), currently has a black eye. They learned some new moves that they thought were pretty cool and right away tried them out. Some might say they walked away with a black eye, or possibly even more severely, with a broken leg or even worse. Regardless to say, RIM’s not doing so well right now. Seemingly, every time you read the newspaper there is another article about the death of RIM. Their losing money every quarter, upper-management changes, job losses, product delays, every day it’s something new. People are predicting the end of RIM in one way, shape, or form.
Sure, they still have their advocates (#TeamBlackBerry) and supporters, but they have acquired quite the out-spoken group of dis-believers and haters. It’s not looking good for them, or is it?
RIM has opportunity coming out the yin-yang right now
No, I’m not talking about licensing out patents or selling for a bajillion dollars to some other organization. RIM has conflict, and it could save them, it all depends on how they engage it. How do you know you have haters? Dis-believers? People who don’t really like you? Because they talk about it! They talk about it with their friends, they talk about it on their blog, they talk on Twitter, Facebook, and all those other sites. They are voicing their opinion which is creating a huge opportunity for RIM (or any brand/organization with haters) to open a conversation with them.
Conflict on its own is neither good nor bad, but how we deal with it will determine its outcome.
Conflict is a huge opportunity for companies to make a switch, define their identity, get those creative juices flowing, build community, deepen relationships and sell some serious shit (sorry…I grew up in a farming community). That’s right, you can’t do any of these things very well without beginning to engage with conflict. In a world of humanizing business in the social space, companies have opportunities like never before, and it’s called engagement. They are able to address people’s concerns, have conversations, have a personality and much, much more. One aspect of humanizing brands that companies too often forget is that they are now able to engage with conflict and turn those conflict situations into creative solutions.
It Starts Internally
That next day in high school I made sure to wear a ball cap…really low as to hopefully cover my eye. Yep, you guessed it, it didn’t work. Not long after walking into the building the comments were flying around and I was trying to explain the situation. I tried to make up some stories as to how my eye got to be the way it was, you know the type; “You should see the other guy,” or “I fell 20 feet and only ended up with this,” those kind of macho stories, but people saw right through them. I had a few options; I could run away from it all, I could throw back some fighting words, I could do nothing, or I could carry on, engage with the comments and move forward. Here’s what helped my situation, I started internally. I asked myself some tough questions and had some tough conversations with myself (yes…I talk to myself). Here are 5 things you need to think of internally before you can start engaging externally:
- You need to know who you are – what makes you tick?
- You need to be able to laugh at yourself – You’re not perfect right?
- Know what you’re good at – we’re all good at something
- Know what you suck at – we can’t do everything
- Know what you can improve on – good ‘ol works in progress
When you’re backed into a corner like our friends at RIM, you need to address what’s happening internally before you can begin to address the external. Once you begin that conversation, that will allow you to have the information to answer the questions that are happening from the external world so you can offer the haters explanations, jokes, a transparent conversation, maybe even an apology to those you’ve dropped the ball on (if necessary). Use that conflict to create a conversation and you’ll see the haters as people and be able to alter their negative passion and turn them into being a member of #TeamBlackBerry. By knowing who you are, you can begin to fuel the conversation, address the issues that people are having and use conflict as a part of your brand and marketing strategy.
“Whenever you are in conflict with someone, there is one factor that can make the difference between damaging your relationship and deepening it. That factor is attitude.” – William James
What do you think? Where do you think brands should begin engaging with conflict? Internally or Externally? Why?
I used to work in a drop-in center where the occasional fight would break out. One dude would say something negative to another dude, who would counter with a comment and a heated exchange was under way. If it got heated enough, fists would fly and the fight was on.
Those days remind me of situations on social media. Someone says an off comment, someone else reacts to that comment, and we have ourselves a good ‘ol fashion fist fight that’s public for everyone. It happens with people, businesses, and yes even between brands/organizations and their consumers.
When I was at the drop-in center for these situations, one of the first thing we would do is remove the audience. Get the people not involved in the altercation out of the room so that they wouldn’t get hurt, but also so they wouldn’t choose sides and get involved. This (mostly) de-escalated the people who were in the fight because they no longer had to posture and defend their reputation because no one was watching. They could afford to be a bit more vulnerable in the situation.
This is also what brands do when they are trying to de-escalate a potential problem. They take it off-line, or at very least out of the public eye. If you look at many brands twitter feeds (for example) you’ll see a sleuth of tweets to their customers to DM them or asking the customer to follow them so that the brand can DM the customer. They are taking the conflict out of the public eye to attempt to deal with the issue, keep the customer satisfied, and show that they are listening to their complaints with hopes of making it a good interaction.
Don’t get me wrong, I think that it’s great that brands do this. I think it’s great that they are beginning to listen to their customers and starting to address the issues where their customers are. Kudos on them, they are starting to get what it means to be humanized. They can always do better, but that’s not really what this is about. This is about taking conflict public.
Taking Conflict Public
Sure, it’s probably not a good idea all of the time. Especially if the specific issue is extremely personal to the customer or the situation is very unique, but there can be some crazy awesome benefits to dealing with conflict in the public eye. Take this quote for example that I pulled from Erika Napoletano’s (Red Head Writing) book The Power of Unpopular (See our short review of the book here):
“When you make your communications with the haters public and conduct yourself in a professional manner, people see that. Sure, there are plenty of things that you can deal with offline, and rightfully so, but something that’s worked well for us is being as open and honest as possible. Odds are that other people are going to have the same question or concern, so if we can show we’re not afraid to get asked and answer, that’s one of the best brand decisions we can make.” [Ariel Scott of GoodBelly]
Ariel hit the nail on the head. People like transparency. They like to feel heard. They like to see businesses being open and honest, which means they are not afraid to own up to their mistakes, apologize, or take a stand in what they believe to be true.
Here are 5 advantages of dealing with conflict in the public eye, in no particular order:
- Shows your customers that you are listening
- Shows transparency
- Builds rapport with people that read your responses
- Builds trust
- Keeps brands accountable
How about you? Do you agree? Disagree? What would you add to this list or take off the list?
Here’s the thing about love. We all want it. We all want to feel its comfy warmth, wrapped around us like our grandmother’s knitted socks, or freshly cleaned, air-dried sheets. We look for love everywhere we go; at the bar, church, strolling through the park, everywhere…but we still have our standards. Companies are all about the love too, they want to give love and receive love from their customers and clients. They too look for the love everywhere they can and let’s face it…they’re a little slutty. They’re looking for love from anyone and they have some low standards.
I just finished reading The Power of UnPopular written by Redhead Writing’s Erika Napoletano and to say the least, I’m impressed (If you don’t know about her, slap yourself with a wet pool noodle and then go to her website here). Erika’s book reads like she’s having a conversation with you and she offers you some no-bullshit, un-polished straight truths. If you’re looking for a book that strokes your ego or will give you a pat on the back…then watch your back, because this book may slap you in the face. Perhaps what I like best about the book is that all of her examples aren’t big named brands that you see in every book. They are the grass-root brands, ones that aren’t on the cover every magazine, but ones that truly understand their customers and what type of customer they are after.
So why am I talking about this on a site that deals with conflict? Because your brand deals with conflict, especially if you haven’t decided who your target audience is. You can’t be everything to everyone, so you need to know when to own up and address the conflict, and when to let it go (more on that later).
No matter what business you run, you will always have people that hate you. You will always be unpopular, so embrace it, enjoy it, and have fun with it. Whether your starting a company or already have one, this book is definitely something that you should be reading to both build your brand and establish a living community.
If you’ve already read the book, I would love to hear your comments about it. If you need the book, tell me why and maybe I’ll send you a copy!
Isn’t Conflict Bad?
When I say conflict, what are the first thoughts to pop into your mind? Having asked this questions in many workshops here are some typical answers; negativity, pain, hurt, relationships, fragmented, war, divorce, broken (and the list goes on and on). In case you didn’t notice all of those words are not positive. This is what people and brands think generally about conflict. Are you surprised?
“Your brand works for you or against you, but it always works ” ~ John Morgan (author of Brand Against the Machine)
This is the same as conflict. In fact, replace the word ‘brand’ with ‘conflict’ and this statement runs just as true.
“Your conflict works for you or against you, but it always works.” ~Jason…ripping off John Morgan
In other words, how you deal with conflict is going to determine it’s outcome. You have the choice. What?? Yes…you have the choice. Here are three ways conflict can help your brand:
People are passionate. They can either be passionate for your brand or against your brand. Again…it’s your choice. But here’s the thing, passion is in people’s DNA. My own view is that people on social media, especially, have loud mouths. What I mean by that is that they aren’t afraid (at least over a computer) to voice their opinion. They are going to do this if they are passionate for your brand or against your brand. If you have people that are passionate about your brand, then great! Show them your appreciation! Do something for them! Embrace the love!
Here’s where brands miss the boat. We like people who spread our word. We like people who praise us. But we ignore the ones that are opposed to us. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that everyone is going to like your brand, but what I am saying is that not all people that are talking negatively about your brand can’t be swayed. Like this for example;
Is @RogersHelps in the habit of ignoring people and complaints?
— The Photography Link (@twit_tpl) April 24, 2012
This is a passionate person and they are asking a simple question. This is Rogers opportunity to not only address this person, but to look back through their tweets to see what the orignal complaint was about. They could come back with an amazing answer and turn this person’s negative passion into a passion brimming with positivity.
2. Showcase Your Expertise
Let’s think about this for a second. People are complaining about your brand, maybe it’s the product, maybe it’s a service, whatever it is, they are complaining about you…they are challenging you. When people get upset they often start asking you questions. Here’s your opportunity to show them that you are an Expert in your field. Take this interaction for example:
First of all, sorry for picking on you Rogers…second of all, great job continuing the conversation. Lastly, here’s your chance! Why should this dude stay with you? Here’s your chance to be an expert! You have a golden opportunity to remind this customer why he choose you the first time, and you create the possibility of turning his negative passion into a passion that is for your brand.
3. Take Responsibility
When dealing in conflict situations, everyone places a part in the conflict. Yes…everyone. So claim what’s yours. Let the person know what your part of the conflict is. Take responsibility for it, don’t ignore it, don’t pass it off on someone else, it’s yours…own it. Not only are you going to find that people are in shock that a brand has taken responsibility but you are going to be able to build rapport and trust with that person.
If your actions require an apology…guess what….yep, you guessed it….apologize. But make it personal, don’t cut and paste an apology, make it unique to the person and their issue.
Any examples that you’d like to share from your experience?
You know what I love about social media? I can post one thing to my Twitter and it will post it on my Facebook and LinkedIn and Pinterest and Google Plus and…. You get the point. Isn’t that great?
One post and it can cross-post to all these different sites. What a time saver! And I’m showing my fans/followers/connections/etc. that I’m really present there and want to engage with them!
If you’re nodding your head in agreement right now…you deserve a kidney shot. Yep…maybe even a eye poke or something more severe. Take this picture for example (Yes I did this on purpose)
I cross-posted this from Twitter, which you can tell because of the @ in the status. Why is this bad? Well for starters, I’m showing anyone on Facebook who looks at this post that I originally posted this on Twitter and the @adrhub doesn’t really compute into Facebook language. I’m also showing the Fans on this page that I don’t care enough to craft a status specifically for them. Is that what you want to do to your community? Show them that they don’t really matter?
1. Turns you into a broadcaster: We talked about the dangers of broadcasting in myth #3 so I’m not going to go over it again…but seriously…do you really just want to shout at people? I’m also willing to guess that if you’ve been cross-posting for a while you have completely forgot about that community. You’re not engaging with those people because you have forgotten about them. Not enough time to check? Read this then. Shame on you.
2. Different audiences: For my communities, I have a different audience on my Facebook fan page then my Twitter community, then my LinkedIn community. By cross-posting I’m not being in tune with any of those communities because I’m failing to realize that they each community is different. They have different demographics, they have different age’s, they have different jobs. They are three distinct communities and so I treat them as such.
3. You’re missing the point: Social media has a pretty key word in there. Social. How social are you being by posting the same crap to different audiences all the time? One common example that I see is people cross-posting their twitter updates to LinkedIn. That’s like telling a dirty joke to your friends and then repeating it with your clients. You run a huge risk of damaging your reputation and the relationships that you have on the various platforms.
So here I am. Begging you. Please stop the insanity that is cross-posting. It’s a complete myth that it is glamorous, beautiful and a huge timesaver.