April 27, 2017

Helping PR pros make smarter decisions

Afraid of Social Media? (and Other PR Blog Jots)

Afraid of Social Media? (and Other PR Blog Jots)

While my job consists almost entirely of providing social media strategy and guidance to clients, I still encounter companies skittish about (to use a clichéd term) “joining the conversation” almost daily. They worry about message control, about negative comments on a Facebook page, bloggers bashing their brand, overzealous groups on the other side of their legislative agenda. They worry about saying the wrong thing, about that wrong thing then going viral, about losing not only their message “control” (something they never really had to begin with, not in this day and age) but their message; period. Sometimes things can get lost in the din online.

It’s my job to help them sort through it, to educate them about where their fears may be irrational, or when they’re very real concerns. Mitch Joel strikes at the heart of everything I’ve tried to convey to clients, and I may just be directing them to his post this week on getting over these fears from now on!

The Fear Is Real – Mitch Joel – Mitch points out something most of already know, and why—that many companies are still rather scared of delving into social media. He counters and gives new insight into some of the most common fears and misconceptions, including one that I try to highlight as well—negativity will always be out there, but if you have a strong community, they will be there to protect you. “The flaw in this thinking happens because brands are being reactive without a community to help them spread an idea. Brands hop into Social Media with very little equity in the audience. They fail to realize that you don’t get a community when you need it, you develop and nurture a community slowly over time, so that when you need something (anything) they are there for. If you’re not spending your time in Social Media developing and nurturing that, you will always be in a reactive mode.”

Blog Like Brogan – Chris Brogan – Do you ever want to just loathe Chris Brogan because he’s so ridiculously prolific? Just me then? Of course I could never actually loathe him, because I’ve known him for some time and find him to be an exceedingly pleasant and giving (not to mention smart) individual—but admit it, you kind of want to. Who has time to write as much as he does? And with his schedule? Well, you do, if you really think about it. Here’s an instructive post for how. “I keep a notepad in my back pocket all the time. I use my phone to take photos of interesting/curious things. I jot down ideas as they come to me, as often as possible. My notebooks are full of ideas for potential blog posts and for topics for later dates. I have hundreds and hundreds of ideas at the ready, in case I ever hit a wall.  Get your eyes into the habit of seeing things with curiosity. Get your ears perked up to eavesdrop and to extrapolate on what you’re hearing. Jot notes down all the time, especially when reading other people’s work. There’s no way you can write well and often if you’re not reading well and often.”

The Viral Myth – CC Chapman – Thank you, CC! I am also weary of everyone describing everything on YouTube as “viral video.” Or marketers claiming among their services that they can make a “viral video.” No, you can’t. It doesn’t matter how stupendous your video is, you can’t harness viral. It just happens. “So instead of focusing on how many views, buzz and warm fuzzies you want to get, why not focus on what you hope to get out of the content and then create it in the best possible way. If you are ever lucky enough to have something go viral, are you even set up to capture that momentum and do something with it? Sure, a lot of people might watch your video, but then what? How does that help your business? How does it make you more money?”

What’s After Email? – BL Ochman – We all have too much email. I personally have four email accounts. Work, personal, blog, and spam. And now Facebook wants to join the fray? I agree with BL—who needs it? But there are some interesting things to ponder here: kids aren’t emailing. But will they, when they grow up? Or is email on its way out? “I personally don’t care one way or another if Facebook launches email. I’m drowning in freaking email. I don’t need another email account. And since teenagers and millennials text more than they email, I can’t imagine that Facebook (or anyone else) really sees email as a growth business. I’m sure I’m not the only one who thinks pundits ruminating on Facebook email are just trying to build some traffic to their blog. Now that’s something I’m happy to join in on.”

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