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A powerful idea can be stood on its head — and deeply misunderstood — when it passes through the filter of viral sharing on Twitter.
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Rather than waiting for impressions about a company to be driven by others in social media, CEOs of large companies can help shape the conversation by becoming active on Twitter. Journalists often check a CEO’s Twitter account before covering the CEO or the company, and certain types of business-related CEO tweets — including tweets about new management initiatives; strategy and performance; and new products and services — have even correlated with positive movement of company stock prices.
The McDonald’s “Our Food. Your Questions.” campaign engaged customers on social media and the web. As manager of brand reputation and public relations for the U.S. McDonald’s Corporation, Lainey Garcia helped put the campaign together. “We had to align those responses across a variety of functions — whether it be legal, supply chain, communications — and really prepare for what we knew consumers were going to ask,” she says. “That was new for many members of our organization, to really understand the nature of social media.”
New research shows a link between the amount of diversity in employees’ Twitter networks and the quality of their ideas. “A diverse network provides exposure to people from different fields who behave and think differently,” write Salvatore Parise (Babson College), Eoin Whelan (National University of Ireland) and Steve Todd (EMC Corporation). They found that the more diverse a person’s social network, the more likely that person is to be innovative. They also found that Twitter users who are both idea scouts and idea connectors are especially valuable in the workplace.
The American Red Cross has become an excellent example of how to use social media to connect people during the three cycles of disaster: preparedness, response and then recovery. Its digital volunteers help calm people in the middle of events, and its community mobilizers help coordinate services afterwards. “We want to blur that line about who’s a Red Crosser and who’s not, to say, ‘actually, this is up to all of us,’” says the organization’s Wendy Harman.
As the first anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombings draws near, the response of leaders in the public sphere offers some lessons for the effective use of social media — which has shown itself repeatedly in recent years to be the key means of communication during a crisis. Six specific lessons on how to manage crisis communications via social media can be drawn from the Boston Marathon crisis and its aftermath.
The very largest corporations in the country are showing “the first signs of really embracing a range of social media tools” says a new study from the University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth.
Brands have embraced Facebook Inc. as a key marketing channel to drive engagement and brand awareness. The question is whether some brand content creates more brand engagement on Facebook than others. A recent study coded more than 1,000 wall posts from 98 global brands, aiming for a better understanding of how different wall-post attributes impact the number of “likes,” comments and “shares” a post receives. This article offers up the results of that study, for brand managers to act on.
MetroTwit is a tool that helps Twitter users track their Twitter feeds, see several columns at a time and easily tweet, reply or retweet. MetroTwit’s managers use Facebook to talk to customers and let them help each other with questions.
Many companies are trying to leverage the power of Twitter to connect with customers and promote their brands and products. This article identifies factors that increase the likelihood of “retweeting” so that a company’s tweets will be shared with recipients’ networks.
There are several practices that don’t work well. The most important to avoid is blatant hard-sell messages. Twitter may be better suited for building brands than for building markets for new offerings.
Effective social media measurement turns the traditional ROI approach on its head: “managers should begin by considering consumer motivations to use social media and then measure the social media investments customers make as they engage with the marketers’ brands.”
From Apple to Twitter, some of the most successful businesses are not what their inventors originally envisioned. The Twitter story, in fact, is a powerful reminder that an entrepreneur’s main job is not to flawlessly execute the business idea so lovingly articulated in his or her business plan. It’s to embark on a learning journey that may or may not reach the destination originally envisioned. Instead, the company may end up at a more successful Plan B.
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