I love this story written by Zachary Sniderman– it talks about PR disasters via social media. Most of us have been there in some form or another.
I too have suffered that “can I take it back?” moment in a previous job. I was young and dumb and forgot that an email is forever and once it is out it is OUT. I unknowingly sent an email complaining about a customer TO THE CUSTOMER. Not cool, definitely not cool… It wasn’t laced with profanities or anything like that, but it was not professional to complain about a customer, and it was extremely unprofessional to send them the email.
I felt sick the second I realized what I had done, I was racking my brain on how I could get the email back somehow…I would have given my left rib to hack into their account and delete the email. Instead I decided to own up to my mistake and apologize for being inconsiderate and unprofessional. The best part was the customer was totally cool about it; they accepted my apology and moved on.
While it was no Kenneth Cole Twitter slip up (seen below, via Mashable) – it was a mistake that could have reflected poorly on my company at the time.
The best advice in this article is this:
“Even harder is owning up to your mistakes. Rather than try to argue to your audience that the mistake wasn’t so bad or that you’re actually in the right, the best course is often humility.”
I agree! You can read more about other mishaps and slip ups here.
I found a blog posting I read recently very interesting, it spoke about two key ingredients in marketing and social media. They were 1. Always remember that you are marketing to humans and 2. Just be clear and honest…. Easy enough right?
Here are some excerpts from that blog, full article found here.
Key Ingredient #1: Always remember that you are marketing to humans
“You are marketing to humans.”
Of course, we all know this…but the content we delineate into our marketplace often proves otherwise.
“Social media is not a broadcast medium, it is an interaction medium.” It notes the importance of participating in the conversation without selling all the time: “Share valuable information, share others’ ideas and services, say thank you, and root others on. Be a friend, a champion, and true to your beliefs. That is being human, being social, and being genuine.”
BMF could not have said it better, these are many of the things we strive to do on a daily basis!
Key Ingredient #2: Just be clear and honest
“Clarity trumps persuasion.” So, here’s the secret to great copy: Be clear and honest.
In the end, great content + social media = customers
riot clean up
Photo by Emma Jane
With the recent riots in London, social media was found as a useful tool in organizing cleanup groups, volunteers and even catching and prosecuting looters. Twitter, Facebook and Tumblr proved very useful in the aftermath.
To read more about the riots and how social media mobilized riot cleanup, click here on Mashable.
QR codes are becoming common place in advertising. In a recent post by Mashable (http://mashable.com/2011/03/04/qr-codes-infographic/) great statistics were given about the use of codes, who is using them and why. Not surprisingly MAC users were the highest operating system users and the increase from July-December 2010 was 1200%. But are they working?
I think a critical component that hundreds of codes are missing is directing users to specific information. Many codes direct to a general website and not to specific information. How is that helpful? To truly use a QR code “correctly” we suggest the following ideas…
- Customize the content and landing page of the QR code
- Create an incentive or “call to action” that make the code necessary and inviting
- Spice it up—make the code have an identity specific to your company
With these simple tricks we know you will see why QR codes are successful and not just a passing fad.
At BMF, we like to review analytics, return on investment and statistics. We like to track engagement and see how our clients compare with others in their industry. We work with them to see how their website ranks, how they can get more “likes” on facebook, what makes someone retreat and even how different tradeshows drive new business development.
Last month I took a moment to sit down and think about this business of marketing. It is all about people. Knowing them, learning from them—then adapting and changing to their wants, needs and communication preferences!
So, with this knowledge, I would ask each of you the following questions:
- When was the last time you asked your clients how they preferred to be communicated to?
- What was the last marketing campaign you responded to?
- How do you prefer to be communicated to?
Taking time to review, analyze and adapt can be the most important time you take for your marketing. As we enter the age of instant messaging and immediate response taking time to listen and learn is proving to be a powerful sales tool.
When was the last time you took the time to listen?
I am a big fan of everything that make my life easier.
Recently, I received the “automated refill” call from CVS reminding me that my prescription was ready to be refilled. Then I renewed it. How easy is that? Done! Within three minutes, my prescription was ready to pick-up exactly when I needed it. Prior to this automated service, I would typically take the last pill and proceed to call that same day (okay, so it was actually around 7pm that night) to see if they could rush and fill my prescription within the hour. The new automated service has not only made it easier on me, but I’m sure the CVS staff appreciates it as well.
This got me thinking…
What can BMF do to help clients not have to “think” and just respond? We have recently implemented the “Friday Wrap-Up” reports for clients to let them know what we did that week and what we plan to do the next week. This way, our clients have one document outlining all their projects. We also include a “still need from you” section so the client knows what we are waiting on from them; this way, we aren’t bombarding them with e-mails. Since we are a deadline oriented company, we try our best to prevent ever having to say “it’s too late!”
How can your business implement the “automatic refill” for your clients? How can you make your process a win-win for you and your clients? Brainstorm with your staff and tell us what you come up with.
I know that for me, CVS has “automatically” ensured they will receive my business for years to come.
At BMF, we have a high standard of ethics and truly operate with the mentality that “you are only as good as your word.” We try to understand each of our clients view points and act on their best behalf.
Recently, I worked with a company who did not operate under our same standards. In dealing with them, I decided to take a moment and let them know how much I felt they were hurting our industry (Seriously, you would have laughed if you heard the conversation on the phone…I felt like my mother trying to teach someone a lesson). I felt the need to reach out and tell them some positive changes they could make going forward.
We all need reminders (myself included) on how to make sure you are operating your business to the best of your ability. Here are some points we discussed:
- When you make a mistake ask for help. We all make mistakes and rather than trying to back-pedal, make excuses or rationalize our error.–own the mistake and see how those around you can rally together to help solve your problem and resolve the situation.
- No one is going to make your job easier for you. At least, you shouldn’t assume they will. We all need to work and do our jobs the best we know how and we should NOT rely on others to double-check, follow-up or complete a task that we are supposed to be doing.
- Take a deep breath. When a problem arises, it is important to take a deep breath and try to figure out how those on the other end are feeling. Take time to understand another point of view even if you have nothing to do with the problem. It never hurts to help.
I think it makes for good karma to work with other people and help them….you just never know when your next big mistake is around the corner and you will want to be treated in the same way!