Archives For corporate

As corporations adopt a peer to peer medium, they slowly learn that the multitudes out there are seeking interactions with other humans or, at the very least, interactions with a human quality to them. This, of course, is awkward for a large company that must speak for all of its employees with a single voice. It would be much more natural, and powerful, if corporate employees, each with their own social accounts, were to actively represent the corporate brand each through their own personal interactions online. Now, hold on there! You might say…This is a control crisis if ever there was one! And indeed there are concerns to address. Continue Reading…

In the previous posts of my Troll fighting series, I described some core damage control techniques for community managers when abusive behavior starts to show up on the sites or social media networks they moderate. These have included the need for solid House Rules as well as defensive tactics such as the Passionless Voice and the Hall of Shame. For those managing spaces where passions flare and it is important to maintain an open and respectful atmosphere, I feel a need to add prescriptions for a written Moderation Protocol. Beyond the House Rules established on most large discussion groups or social networks, the Moderation Protocol explains HOW these rules are to be applied. This is a must if you are delegating the moderation of your spaces to junior staff as missteps in applying rules, such as overzealous moderation or subjective preference of some points of view over others, can lead to damaging spinoff reputation issues for the host of the space.

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The #Social Survival Manifesto is full of good advice that is, unfortunately, hard to apply in the workplace. At the time of writing, many of the prescriptions within are sure to generate conflicts with the different departments that compose the corporate communications machine. This next principle for managing online trust and credibility is sure to ruffle feathers in the marketing department and with all the talent they have hired to give the brand a stunning presence and a commanding voice. Essentially, Principle #7 proclaims that the appetite for persuasion has all but disappeared in networked society. To win hearts and minds on social media, marketers will have to drop the hard sell, copywriters will have to shelve their witticisms, and designers will have to learn to embrace drabness, to some extent. Continue Reading…

As the new practices of social branding and content marketing start to enter the mainstream, a lot of space is given to the search for the elusive ‘influencer‘ and the even more elusive ‘brand ambassador‘. In online marketing literature, these valued personae are presented as instruments for delivering larger audiences to the client. Influencers and ambassadors, it is said, are gateways to communities of peers as their endorsements and reiterations of brand content will be listened to and trusted while those broadcast direct from the brand will not. Quality time spent listening to, flattering and seducing these two audience segments is the 21st century twist on the old ‘push’ model, only now it is called ‘influence marketing’ instead.

As an inveterate contrarian, I would like to propose a different and counter-intuitive model for influence marketing: The active pursuit of engagement with those who hate youContinue Reading…

So far, in this series of blog posts presenting principles for managing online reputation risk, I have laid out what I call the “Principles for Survival”, that is, the absolute essential practices for avoiding crisis. Starting with this post, we will move into the “Principles for Success”, precepts that, if adopted, can confer competitive advantages to the leaders who take them on. Principle #6, discussed below, is all about the surprising power of showing a little weakness online, especially if you are an all-powerful corporation or public institution.

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