The Pinterest…..

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I would love to be able to tell you that Pinterest is the hot “new” thing.  But in the world of digital things move so rapidly that it I can’t say that this is the case.

As with all other social media platforms, this is just another medium that can be used to an organizations or an individuals advantage.  The interesting thing with Pinterest is of course that there tends to be a lot more repinning than the addition of new content, but I think what it best does is really institute the shift of perception in sharing things.

That beings said, as with all hyped social media platforms business are wondering how they can use Pinterest to their advantage.  Here are some things to consider before embarking into a new social medium:

  1. What is the core function of your organization?  Does it require a visual component?
  2. What is the mandate or objective of your communications and marketing departments?  Just because a new social media platform arises, it doesn’t mean that you have to use it or that it can serve your organization and communication objectives.
  3. Determine if you have sub-brands or products that could works for this particular medium.
  4. Go ahead and register the company and/or product name with Pinterest.  Even if you decide not to use it, you’ve at least acquired ownership of your name.

My two cents?  I think Pinterest should partner with Instagram.  Who knows, by the time this post hits that may have already happened 😉

Digital Media Summit 2012

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I had the pleasure of recently attending the Social Media Summit, and the celebrity guest speaker was out of this world! Arianna Huffington was charming, hilariously funny and made it easy to feel like you had known her all your life. I think the most important piece of information that I garnered from (other than what it takes to be totally fabulous), is that getting into the digital space has nothing to do with age or even understanding the full capacity of it. Arianna noted that people told her that she was not young enough to be getting into a space that was for young people – and well – I guess the proof is the pudding, no? An AOL deal of $315 million USD I think is a very large and loud statement of whether or not she made the right decision.

5 Best Practices for Social Media Strategy in Communications Departments

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Featured in Social Media Today, one of my most read blogs from my old site:

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Social media strategy and usage in Communications departments requires a bit of a shift in traditional thinking.  Often, many organzational leaders view social media as a technological advancement — and while it is, its primary usage is often to promote/conversate/develop content/grow audience. Hmm… this is sounding like Prinicples of Communications Theory 101.

The technology aspect is working with IT people who understand things like SEO and the programing aspect of social media platforms, building apps and using apps that work best with websites etc.  (There is obviously much more, but I’m just condensing for space).

While that thinking has to shift a little, there are some things that need to be thought about the same.  You still need to run a department that has people with clearly defined roles and responsibilities.  You can decentralize who has onus on particular features, but ultimately you need to have content creators and community managers and decide where that responsibility will sit.

Here are 5 best practices for social media implementation in your communications department:

  1. Role development: One of two things need to occur — either you will need to develop a new role that is responsible for overseeing and implementing your social media strategy, or you will need to look at existing roles and decide where expansion in roles should exist.
  2. Roles and Responsibilities: Social media can be used by everyone in an organziation — not just communications.  However, you need to define solid roles and responsibilities — who develops content? Who manages your community and profiles? Who leads the strategy?  Will it all be one person or will it be different people?
  3. Understand the basic needs of social media in communications practice:  If you do not fully understand social media as a leader in your communications department, don’t pretend you do!  More importantly, make sure you consult others who have existing social media department models to understand how they set their’s up.  The most important need is: WHOEVER you choose to run your social media strategy NEEDS to have a communications and/or marketing background combined with a DEMONSTRATED knowledge in social media principles.
  4. Demonstrated knowledge in social media principles:  Google them.  Social media users should have a high Googleabilty factor.  More importantly, they need to be demonstrating content development, community management, social media knowledge, involvement in the social media community and of course — newest trends in social media platforms.  If they cannot demonstrate this online, then how can they really understand how its used?
  5. Don’t get technology confused with communications: What you need is  a communicator that understands technology.  It is easy to become sidetracked when you don’t understand technology.

3 common mistakes:

  1. Confusing IT and Technological Communications.  You need to have a person in place with a solid career in communications first!
  2. Multiple personalities on one Social Media profile — ie: Corporate v.s CEO.  If the corp profile is speaking, then you need to keep it consistent.  Let it be one voice manned by one department. If you want your CEO to tweet – the most important principle – be open and transparent, don’t confuse your audience or try to re purpose your corporate account to become the CEO (unless he’s been the one developing the content in it  from the get go!)
  3. Multiple users of one social media account.  Community management is essential to engaging and understanding your audience.  Too  many hands in the pot — no matter how organized or differentiated you think it might be — is never a good idea.  Can you imagine if you had several people responsbile for one e-mail account?  Yes — it will be that messy.  That is why the roles of Community Managers are essential — its a one person job — it can be 1-1 (1 community manager per 1 profile) or 1 to many (1 community manager responsible for multiple accounts).

I’m baaaacccckkkk!!!!!

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*Sigh*!  It took a long while.  I thought and thought and thought about whether or not this was a good idea.  I was asked by everyone what happened to my blog.  And as a recap – if any of you remember – I had someone who basically hacked and stalked my life for a while.  Posting photos that were inappropriate claiming they were me, e-mailing my contacts on FB and all my e-mail accounts (including employers/colleagues)  with disgusting propositions.  He texted me, e-mailed me, called me – threats and more threats.  I fought back on my blog.  And then he came here to fight me too.

That was when I made the decision that I could not do this anymore.  I learned that FB and hotmail do not have expeditious ways to deal with security related issues.  The cyber crimes unit of the police were as helpful as they could be, except that they had to obtain a warrant that would need to be served to hotmail via a general e-mail address and could not guarantee when they would be able to do anything.  They asked me things like “Who hates you?”, “What about your ex?  Is he angry with you?”, “Any friends you had any recent conflict with?”, “Would there be any reason that someone would want to harm you or hurt you or seek revenge for anything?”.

I’m supposed to be a person who has more understanding about online and digital things – especially in regards to marketing, communications, PR and advertising.  How could this be happening to me?  Comments and e-mails both positive and negative flew into this blog.  Some blaming me, some poking fun at the fact that I should know better because of my career and interest.  Others, thankfully – supportive!  I shut down my blog.  I had to fight this crazy person, I couldn’t be fighting the general public too.

But, because I had more requests to bring back my blog than not.  Because I had multiple tweets from different people in my industry to bring it back, I’ve been in the process of setting myself back up for the last two months.  And thanks to @AlphaStar, @ShambledRambler and @WonderMoms_ca combined with a Happy TwBirthday recognition from @TwBirthday and @Tor_Twop_1000, I grew a pair and decided that my personal brand, my career and my knowledge are worth more to me than the people who tried to tear it to shreds.  I’m back.