Archives For digital strategy

Despite the title, I am not sending out this post just to be a shit disturber (though it is a role I have embraced with enthusiasm in the past). What I intend to do here is to provide a much needed reality check on the limits of online reputation management. Most articles on reputation management and digital branding focus on the form and quality of online corporate communications. However, even a seasoned communications professional will secretly admit that the best approaches only go so far when a client’s business practices, or core business itself, are widely viewed as problematic. Continue Reading…

In my career managing social media campaigns for corporate clients, I have approached online Community Management from many different angles. First, when short-staffed, as a Community Manager (CM) myself, then as a CM supervisor when managing full fledged campaigns and finally, as the creator of CM protocols for projects that carried reputation risks. As a matter of fact, most of the projects I have worked on involved moderating communities for clients with controversial projects. Invariably, these ‘communities’ were online environments that pushed CMs to their limits and, as a result, led us to discover common traps that they may be drawn into by the nature of their work. 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…