How The Entenmann’s / Casey Anthony Twitter Debacle Was Actually A Success

For those that missed the HUGE news, Likeable Media issued a single tweet on behalf of their client Entenmann’s that make a tongue in cheek joke about the Casey Anthony Trial.

Cue online righteous indignation by people with too much time on their hands.  Boycott Likeable Media!  Boycott Entenmann’s!  How DARE they Hashtag surf across such an important topic!  How could they be so stupid?  The damage that will be done to Entenman’s is irreparable!

Seriously?   It’s a tweet, not a tattoo.   If you don’t like it, move on to the next one.

Regardless, despite the fact that the tweet was almost immediately taken down along with a twitter update, this resulted in a flood of apologies from Entenmann’s and Likeable Media.

Here’s Entenmann’s statement:

“We are saddened and disappointed that an outside agency handling our social media posted a comment on Twitter associating the Entenmann’s brand with the not guilty verdict in the Casey Anthony trial. This Tweet does not reflect the values of our company, our associates or the Entenmann’s brand. We have taken immediate steps to make sure the individuals that created this post will not work on our account again. Additionally, we are taking steps to ensure that future tweets reflect our company’s values. We sincerely apologize for this incident.”

And here’s a part of the Likeable Media apology:

We apologized on behalf of the Entenmann’s brand right away, however, as the leader of Entenmann’s social media agency, I would like to personally say I’m sorry if the tweet offended anyone. The truth is, our team was leveraging the trending topics and moving so fast they neglected to see what the hashtag was related to. It was obviously insensitive, and on behalf of the entire Likeable team and our client, Entenmann’s, I’m sorry. Please know that I am working on refining our process to ensure that this does not happen again.

I personally found two things interesting about this whole story:

First, Dave Kerpen from Likeable Media (who honestly did an amazing job responding to all comments and gripes) was basically stating that this was some sort of “mistake” — like a typo that should have been caught or accidentally sending a public tweet vs. a DM.  This, as opposed to saying something like, “I’m sorry if some took our tweet the wrong way, we obviously failed to echo the value of the brand and will do better in the future”.

I don’t believe this was a “mistake”.  I’m confident that the person that sent this tweet out knew exactly what it was referring to and thought it was creative and clever.  Would it have been sent if it required approval by Likeable senior management?  By Entenmann’s marketing team?  Maybe not.  Good marketers should be seeking unique ways to get people excited and read our stuff.   I hope that the person responsible for the tweet did not lose their job and was actually given a private “attaboy” for thinking outside the box.  Twitter can be a testing ground for concepts and ideas (ideally with client’s approval) — before you spend millions on more expensive wider reaching campaigns.

Second, let’s talk results.  This may actually be a case where “Even ‘bad’ press is good press”.  A few months ago, there was a similar “scandal”, when Kenneth Cole tweeted, “Millions are in uproar in #Cairo. Rumor is they heard our new Spring Collection is available online at http://bit.ly/KCairo-KC”.  This arguably more offensive tweet resulted in thousands of new followers in the first few hours — and a great deal of buzz.

Similarly, Entenmann’s Twitter followers were relatively flat for months and amazingly “suffered” a 35% spike in followers after this disaster.   Terrible, huh?

Entenmann's Twittercounter Chart

There may actually be some people that were so horribly offended by this single tweet that they will illogically blackmail the brand.

However, I realized that all this talk about Entenmann’s made me remember how much I missed their donuts and will be going out of my way to find them the next time I’m at the grocery store.  Since I’m still relatively upset since the jury couldn’t find Casey Anthony guilty, a little comfort food might help.

 

A Tribute To My Dog and Friend For 10 Years

While I typically try not to use my blog as a “diary”, I felt it was cleansing for me to jot down a quick tribute to my dog Jada whom I painfully had to say goodbye to this past weekend after a 4-5 month battle with cancer.

It’s kind of scary, but next to my wife, parents, and my brothers, I probably spent more time with that dog than anyone else in my entire life.   She was always there to play with, take a walk, or just sleep on my armpit on the couch.  So, if my readers will indulge me, I wanted to provide a quick tribute list to Jada.

  • For affectionately leaning against my leg so hard the first time we met that you almost knocked me over.
  • For breaking down a door that first night (when we tried to put you in the basement) because you weren’t going to be left alone when you knew there were people in the house.
  • For your ability to spin while holding a stick by your teeth.
  • For your bloodhound like incredible hide and go seek skills.
  • For accepting your fall in priority from #1 to #2 (after my marriage) and then #3 (with the entrance of my son Kyle).
  • For shaking in a way that always made me feel guilty when I screamed at the computer after losing big hands when I played poker on-line.
  • For putting up with our new dog, Caesar, as well as my son who both managed to sleep on you, wrestle with you, and drive you crazy in a way I know you loved
    Jada, Caesar, and Kyle Sleeping On Couch
  • Despite the fact that you were part pit bull, for being probably the worst watch dog that ever lived — even happily jumping in the car of the pizza delivery guy.
  • For always being there with a spin and a smile regardless of whether we were gone for 1 hour or 10 days.
  • For preparing me to be a father (as far as sacrifice, responsibility, and the ultimate rewards of having someone that relies 100% on you)
  • And finally, for never complaining or whining– not once – as you got sicker and sicker to the point where you couldn’t walk or eat.

Rest in peace my puppy.

Badges?? We don’t need no stinkin’ social badges!

In a classic scene from Blazing Saddles, a bandit says, “BADGES?? We don’t need no stinking badges!” Lately, I feel like I’m being “badged to death” as companies and brands playing off my desire to compete are offering me seemingly useless online badges if I’ll do exactly what they want.

On-line gaming companies like Zynga, MSN Games, and Kongregate have pushed the concept of on-line badges and ribbons to encourage players to play their games.  This concept was extended into location based social media sites like Foursquare where you can become a “virtual mayor”.  While Foursquare offers networking and discounting benefits, the mayorship badges again seem to be playing on our desire to compete and win awards.  It’s almost less about the discount and more about the bragging rights and recognition.

Many companies are now applying this same concept in other ways:

  • Badgeville is leading the way having created a variety of programs for many verticals including music (Universal Music Group), clothing (Bluefly), sports fans (Chime.in), and fitness (Active.com).
  • TripAdvisor.com notified me of a new program this past week where I can get a new stars next to my profile if I write more travel reviews.
  • Klout (an interesting social media rating system into itself) has a variety of badges and achievements that you can aspire to achieve.
  • Osnapz.com will similiarly provide achievement badges for social activity by measuring social media experience via points and levels.
  • Even politics is not immune to this phenomenon. Tim Pawlenty just launched a new program called PawlentyAction as part of his Presidential bid where you can earn badges and points for connecting via Facebook/Twitter, volunteering, sharing, donating, etc..

These programs all seem to make perfect sense. Companies and brands get unique engagement analytics and insights into identifying their top customer advocates.  Ideally, customers are motivated to do what you want them to do (e.g. write reviews, spend time on their site, buy things, and talk up their brand).  In addition, as Badgeville argues, “Gamification increases user loyalty” — taking your fans beyond the “like” to a truly engaged advocate.  For the consumer, it can turn even mundane activities into a fun game and a way to socially interact and compete with other people.

However, a word of caution.  Fans of SocialMediaToday.com may have noticed a similar badge and reward program on their site that was released a few months back. You received points which translated into levels for reading articles, making comments, etc..  As I was thinking about writing this article, I noticed that the program mysteriously disappeared so I reached out to them to find out what happened.  While they still believe that these reward based systems hold a great deal of value, they shared a few of the major challenges in their particular implementation and why they took it down.

  • Time to Implement:  It took almost 8 months to define the measurable actions and implement the solution.  Capturing some of the point drivers also turned out to be more difficult than originally expected.  It might have been done faster if it was a core priority, but rolling out programs like this takes a good deal of planning, programming, and testing.
  • Web Site Real Estate:  As tight as they tried to make the scoreboard, it still seemed to eat up a lot of valuable space — particularly for readers that didn’t find the program  interesting.
  • Scoring Issues:  There were complaints by engaged participants who felt that the system often did not give them proper credit.  The scoreboard was also confusing — as it showed your weekly score and rank, but your overall “level” was based upon your total number of points.
  • Value For Readers:  While there were some that got into the game, the majority of people did not.  As a site primarily targeted toward busy overwhelmed professionals looking to read good content, it was questionable as to whether people really cared about their level or the number of points they had.
  • Fake Behavior: Although the trial didn’t seem to show this, I wondered if the system caused people to do “fake things” to get points.   You could leave short comments or bounce around the site without really reading an article to help yourself level up.

In the end, SocialMediaToday.com did not see more engagement, more readers, or more comments and decided to stop it.

Personally, I think it’s absolutely worth looking at these programs if you’ve got the right audience and time to properly define and implement one.  I recommend this article by Shane Snow that was written for Mashable.  In it, he highlights four key things to help use game mechanics to power your business (read his post for the details).

  1. Start with your vision and work backwards
  2. Make a list of required user actions
  3. Motivate the most important behaviors
  4. Evaluate and adapt

Good advice to follow.

If you subscribe to my blog and like my Facebook page, perhaps I’ll reward you with a golden badge of your very own.


Originally published at SocialMediaToday.com under the title “Badges?? We don’t need no stinkin’ social badges!“.

Killer Social Media Sales Advice (Acquired From An Customer Insider)

Here’s the perfect world for today’s B2B sales guy:No Means No

  • You have a rolodex of thousands of C level executives who all know you by name and reputation.
  • Your marketing team is churning out quality leads dying to buy your product tomorrow.
  • Your product / solution is very unique and differentiable.
  • Every time you call someone to discuss your solution, they instantly call you back — upset that they missed your call in the first place.
  • Prospects immediately see the value in your pitch and are rushing to get their checkbooks out before you hang up the phone.

Is this the world you live in?  If so, please let me join you.

Realistically, sales can be painful. Cold calling involves bothering people that receive hundreds of similar calls selling similar products and solutions.  Your product, marketing materials, support team, etc. is never perfect and you’re always looking for ways to maximize our effectiveness – reach more people, find more leads, close more business.  We are all looking to rise above the noise and get people excited about what we’re selling.

As I was working to enhance my cold calling efforts, I came across the following excellent post by Kevin Doohan from Red Bull.   Kevin was kind enough to allow me to share it word for word on my blog.  I simply thought it was excellent advice that would be appreciated both by prospects, customers, and sales people (well, my competition can ignore this).

Give it a read and let me know your thoughts:

I appreciate it when a sales person is aggressive and wants to win. I appreciate it when a sales person is confident in their product and wants to be sure I get the opportunity to see it. I still feel there is PLENTY of room for improvement for most of the reps I hear from though. I decided to draft some thoughts on what works and what doesn’t here on the blog. Enjoy it! Much of this derived from actual email exchanges with identities withheld to protect the guilty.What doesn’t work are email exchanges like this:

Rep (who I’ve never met or spoken with before) email: I sent you some info last week that details how our 3 step platform can create millions of social media conversations for your brand…Did you have a chance to look at it? I know it was a lot of info so I wanted to review it with you personally. If you have 5 minutes this afternoon, I’d be happy to speak with you and answer any questions….If not, I’d love to set up time next week so speak for 15 minutes.

Me: thinking…This dude doesn’t know anything about Red Bull. This is the same email he would send Acme widgets and social media “experts” are pretty easy to find these days. No thanks.  my email response: Thanks for the email. No interest right now. All of our social media needs are being met.

Rep’s email response (canned again): Thanks for the quick reply. I understand. Lots of people say that but once they see our solution they say: “Wow, why didn’t my current agency tell me I could do that?” or “I didn’t even know that was possible to achieve.”. I’d love to set up just 15 minutes to review our solution so that you can see the difference it can make for your organization.

Me: (No response. I’m done.)

How frustrating.I currently have 800 unread emails in my inbox. I give this guy, who writes the lamest prospecting email ever, the courtesy of responding and he persists with the emails asking for an appointment. Not only is it not going to happen next week. It’s not going to happen ever. No means no. Find a better way to win clients. Do your homework.  BTW, you would not believe the firms that I get variations of this approach from. Major agencies and publishers looking for brand $$$ just do not put the work in. It’s super lame and I’m fed up with it.

The email below is an example of an approach that could work. I share it at the risk of getting 100 of these this week but I think the sales universe desperately needs some feedback from a brand.

Rep: Hi Kevin, <insert mutual friend’s name> suggested I drop you a line and ask if you would be interested in checking out our new social media platform.  I know Red Bull is doing a great job in the space with over 3.6m facebook fans and a quickly growing twitter following but are you engaging your fans as well as you could be? The recent <insert awesome Red Bull video name here> video is a great example of amazing content Red Bull has that could have a greater impact with through your social channels. I saw the video on the Red Bull YouTube channel and was BLOWN away. I wondered why it was not posted to your social channels and to the RedBullUSA.com website. Maybe you didn’t have time. Maybe you didn’t understand or see the opportunity. Maybe roles need greater clarity within your organization. I don’t pretend know what the challenge is but I’ve encountered them all.  I bet we can help and we would love the opportunity to do it.  If you can spare 30 minutes, I’d love to walk you through a solution that I think could be perfect for Red Bull in helping you maximize the impact of the content you generate from the amazing events you produce worldwide.

me: I’m likely to respond to this one. No guarantees… but the above is much better than the “I have no idea who you are but I want to show you my 3 step solution.” email.

I may or may not respond to the note above but it IS doing some important things. It is demonstrating that the seller knows something about Red Bull and/or me. It shows that the writer has engaged with and enjoyed our content. It admits ignorance of Red Bull’s specific strategy but confidence in the firms ability to grow our business.  The personal reference is especially important. I know everyone doesn’t know everyone but find a way. There is NO substitute for a referral from someone I trust.

Good luck reps. I guarantee from this point forward that if you send me something lame via email, you won’t even get a delivery confirmation receipt. BUT, if you share some awesomeness…maybe we can create some marketing magic together. I look forward to the opportunity!

Originally posted as “no means no – sales reps need to get a clue by Kevin Doohan”

Great blunt advice from someone on the other end of the phone, wouldn’t you agree?

A few of my takeaways (at least for B2B Sales):

  • Work a targeted list that you can manage vs. a list of thousands of leads.
  • If possible, become an expert on the industry you’re calling into.
  • Understand as much of your prospect’s business and how you can help them BEFORE you call or e-mail them.
  • Realizing realistically it’s impossible to become a complete expert on their industry or everything that prospect is doing, admit to a degree of ignorance while demonstrating that you can provide value to their business.
  • Not a bad idea to have a little sympathy for your prospects who may seem like he’s ignoring you (when he’s probably ignoring hundreds of people like you)

Back to the trenches….

Justin Bieber: A Social Media Case Study

As a 43 year old father of a 2 year old boy, I’m not exactly in the target demo for Justin Bieber.  I even listed Mr. Bieber (tongue in cheek) as one of my Top Ten Reasons Why Twitter is Stupid.  When my wife asked me to rent his new movie Never Say Never, I decided to try and earn some husband points and watch this monstrosity.

I admit it, I liked it!

Surprising, although I still don’t love the music, I really did like the movie.  The kid is very likeable and it’s wild to watch the sheer insanity of thousands of 13 year old girls losing their minds.  The movie also does a decent job of marketing him as a “down to earth” 15/16 year old trying to balance his super celebrity status and his desire to still be a teenage boy.

The Power Of Social Media

As a social media addict, I loved the sub-story around the power of social media for Justin.  Justin was just starting out – singing on the street with a guitar case in front of him and entering small talent competitions – when he decided to start uploading some of his videos into YouTube.  When a music producer named Scooter Braun saw these videos, he felt that the talent was worth investing in and started working with him.

Initially, the record labels simply didn’t see how they’d market him and passed on the opportunity to sign him (whoops, big mistake).  As a result, Scooter was forced to take an alternate route – leveraging social media and Justin’s willingness to sing almost anywhere.  A relatively short time later, he had over ten million views on YouTube and was signed by Usher.  After his single “One Time” and debut album “My World” was released, he had over 100 million YouTube Views. Continue reading

10 Tips to Make and Run a Killer Facebook Page

Today’s guest blogger is Chris Tompkins (@chrisgomedia), CEO and Founder of Go! Media International.   I thought this was a good basic article for those looking to create an launch an effective Facebook Page.

Do you need a Facebook page? Yes! Here are some reasons why:

  • Branding: Facebook pages are a wonderful way to develop your professional brand on Facebook without taking away from your own PERSONAL profile. This allows you to have the best of both worlds without hurting your brand positioning.10 Tips for Creating a Killer Facebook Page
  • Target Market Communication: You are able to connect and speak directly with your target consumers right on your page!
  • Feedback: It is a wonderful place to post items that you want to receive feedback on, survey or just have your audience kick around an idea to see if it would work.
  • News feed Visibility: Again, this is a main reason why Facebook Pages are powerful. Anyone who connects to (or “likes”) your page, will see your updates on the main screen when they log into Facebook. This is very powerful!
  • Professional Promotions Hub: This creates a main hub where you can direct people that are interested in your product/service. It is also great to put on your email signature, email blast, suggest to friends and much more.

And that is just the beginning! But instead of persuading you to jump in….how about I just give you some great tips on how to do it yourself.

Here are 10 tips for effectively launching your Facebook Page:

  1. When you are asked for a picture, make sure to use your logo or your logo incorporated with your product or service. Make sure that your web address is visible!
  2. Have videos? Upload them and promote them DIRECTLY on your page.
  3. Fill out the “Info” tab to the full extent, packing it with information, keywords and website links.
  4. If you have a range of products, in the “Photo” tab, create photo albums around your product ranges and in the caption portion give links to click and purchase.
  5. Make sure that your blog feed is connected to your page so that all new entries will be automatically sent there. If you don’t want to automate that, every time you update your blog, make sure to post a link on your Facebook Page wall.
  6. Do not link it with Twitter! Not all of your “tweets” will be suitable for your Facebook Page wall, and sometimes you will forget they are linked. I suggest staying away from this. Also, it can look lazy.
  7. When you are posting to the page, don’t constantly “sell” or “push” things are your audience. Make sure your posts contain something that is either educational, engaging or entertaining.
  8. When you are happy with how the page looks (and all of the information is COMPLETELY filled out) suggest it to ALL of your Facebook connections. Even ask your friends to suggest it to their network.
  9. Consistently monitor and update the page. A good solid page should have at least one update per day and all comments responded to.
  10. Use the “Discussions” tab to create questions that you want your target consumer to answer. This is good for customer feedback, development of new products and much more.

But remember…this is just the beginning. There are lots of wonderful applications, custom Facebook Pages (created using FBML) and much more! Hopefully these tips will help you get started on your way to being a Facebook Page success story!

What Social Media Must Learn From E-Mail

Article first published as What Social Media Must Learn From E-Mail on Technorati.

Most e-mail marketers will agree that “batch and blasting” the same e-mail message to a single list is not nearly as effective as segmenting your lists and sending targeted or personalized content. While it does require more planning and work, this effort will pay off in:

  • More opens, clicks, and sales
  • Reduced cost (assuming you’re paying per delivered e-mail)
  • Fewer un-subscribes

It’s an obvious thing. Send me valuable information that I want and I’ll read it. Send me stuff that has no applicability to me and I’m going to ignore it and probably you. What’s interesting is that most companies only have a single Facebook page or a single Twitter account creating a “one size fits all” approach to their customer base.

Let’s look at a few examples: Continue reading

Content Marketing & Measurement Chart By Joe Chernov

I just sat through an interesting #profschat and wanted to share a valuable chart (not really an infographic) put together and shared by Joe Chernov who is the VP of Content Marketing for Eloqua.

Our company, One to One Global is focused on trying to find ways to get information out about our new Message Maker Social Media Management Platform.   We’re evangelizing concepts, driving interest, and trying to close deals.   Within that process, we’re trying to build the right tools and focus our limited time in the right places to make that happen.   I found this chart a nice simple way to look at some of the various “functions” or “efforts” as well as how to measure it.

Thanks Joe – great chart. Continue reading

Site Has Been MOVED!

If yo have subscribed to Eric Goldstein’s Golden Nuggets Blog, please go to www.ericgoldstein.net and re-subscribe there as I’ve moved this site from a WordPress.com blog to a self-hosted blow.

It’s geekier and allows me more flexibility to tinker with it’s look and feel (and waste more of my time.)

See you there!

Does Size Matter? (In Social Media Analytics)

When I worked for AOL on their AIM instant messenger product, we used to have parties every time we’d reach a new subscriber milestone – 50M users! 60M users!! Sadly, this was before the dot com crash when companies were being hyped based upon the number of users (even free users), not the amount of revenue brought in. This feels very similar to people beating their chests in social media – where there is ongoing pressure to “have the biggest list in town”.

Still, today’s reality is that social media managers and CMOs are being told to measure and justify their efforts – ideally to translate those large lists into real dollars and ROI. Many social media management platforms now include analytics tools to to capture key social media statistics (re-tweets, mentions, likes, demographics, etc.). In addition, new services such as Klout, Empire Avenue, Peer Index, and others are surfacing to further benchmark, track, and compare what you’re doing.  (See my 2011 extensive Twitter Application List for others)

As people continue to take different approaches toward building a social presence, it’s interesting to see how these different approaches are evaluated by these benchmarking services. Continue reading