Posts Tagged ‘caribbean social media’

Thinking of Social Media brand management D.I.Y.?

August 19, 2013

ImageYou’ve heard all the success stories. Start ups and entrepreneurs that build amazing brand awareness and business by promoting via social media. So now, when those businesses are now going multi-platform (i.e.: expanding beyond one social media site) you are thinking of taking your “Facebook Plan” to the next level by going beyond your friend base – ALL BY YOURSELF.

Wake up and smell the multi-platform reality.

Social media D.I.Y. (do it yourself) brand building was successful for entrepreneurs 3-5 years ago because it was new. Growth was easier back then. Audiences were pretty much captive to one site and EVERYTHING was cool. 

Back then, social media was like the world to a toddler. Everything your social circle did online was awesome and you HAD to try it out. It was “rad”/ “killer”/ “fresh” or basically any cliche social statement of youth that is now totally passe. Social media has grown up

Need another example? Ok. 

Back then social users said things like: “Oooh my BFF just liked (insert cool boutique name). They MUST be cool. Let me like it too by clicking my mouse.”

ImageToday social users are less wowed by the same activity saying: “OMG my Facebook friend just checked in at (insert boutique name). How lame that store’s not even on Instagram. I just un-followed my BFF bc their check ins are TOTALLY killing my smartphone battery.” 

If you don’t get the difference. Let me spell it out. The social media audience is no longer captive or easily wowed. We can’t stand “social spam” and chances are, we’re checking sites via our smart phone where battery life is king and frequent is less appealing than newsworthy. Social recommendations (recommendations by friends via social media) need to be AUTHENTIC and not business generated to be meaningful. 

Re-enter the PR profession. 

Around the world PR company CEO’s (likely all now under 50 with the older generation being kicked out in favor of those who understood this ‘digital age’), are breathing sighs of relief. The more savvy among them are saying “I told you so”. Why? History gives us a good reason to know why ITUSO (I told u so) can so easily be “what’sapp”ed throughout the PR world. 

Social media evolved as advertising did initially (somewhat so anyway).

Before the rise of the newspaper, stores advertised with simple signage. They depended on word of mouth from customers and good signage to make their business grow. Then billboards, radio and newspapers entered as ways to reach the public and more focus was put on them to help grow business. Word of mouth always remained important but the media by which to capture attention of the public became more complex. Expertise was needed. The PR agency was born. Today PR is reborn because the varying ways to reach audiences online have evolved WAY beyond business posting signs in their online business window. 

In addition to there being more channels – there are simply more social media users. Those store window signs just don’t cut it anymore. Businesses need help. 

So is social media D.I.Y. impossible for businesses? Not impossible BUT then again, its not impossible to solve a Rubik’s cube on the first try either (of course, you can Google ways to do that too!). So how do you grow your digital brand in today’s social media landscape? 

Hire a digital media consultant. There are a few of us out here with actual social media track records. DO NOT JUST HIRE AN INTERN (glad I got that off my chest)! Whether you hire someone certified in social media with a track record of growing a variety of business social media presence or a large scale agency,  digital media consultants work with various budgets.

To reminders here

1. Don’t be cheap – you get what you pay for. 

2. Empower yourself with enough education to at least have a sense of what the consultant is doing. (Stay tuned – I’ll have an offer to help you with this in the coming weeks). 

As you educated yourself, keep in mind that savvy social media management is not “a post here” and “a post there” – its a STRATEGY with set targets, goals and measurable milestones. Where to start?

Think about why your existing channels (ok we know its totally ONLY Facebook for 99.9% of you out there) have likely plateaued in growth or engagement. How? Look at your content and ask – what’s new here that will make customers/ fans/ friends come back.  

Get that answer then find a partner in a specialist. Tell them your vision. Agree on clear objectives. You focus on growing your business and let them work for you to help grow your digital brand. 

Hugs! 

 

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About those Photos….

March 1, 2013

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Don’t look now – you’ve been tagged! Trinidad and Tobago Carnival 2013 is over. The glitter is finally out of your hair. The suntans are beginning to fade and the good times are now memories…or are they?

Enter the embarrassing social media picture.  Exit your reputation (potentially anyway).

Today, those few moments of “wildness” as we say in T&T, can be captured digitally and live on forever. So, what can you do about it? You’re probably not going to love the answer. 

In reality, there is only prescription to prevent your reputation from coming into question as a result of an illicit photo featuring your image – don’t put yourself in compromising positions. Told you that you would not like it. 

I am promulgating that you refrain from the revelry that is T&T carnival? Should you dress less scantily? Where will this nonsense type of advice end you wonder? It stops there – just avoid the compromising positions! 

I’m not saying not to “tief a wine” – I am saying to be smart about it. Be aware that your actions can come back to haunt you so limit the moments. 

Ok so to those of you still reading, the advice gets a little better. Set some standards and make your friends aware of them: 

  1. No photos please! Ever notice how MANY of those illicit photos feature people looking straight on at the camera? There’s a reason for that. Some people like the wildness captured. Fight the power. Stop striking poses and fewer photos will be taken
  2. You better as somebody! Ask your friends, family and partygoers in your circle to refrain from taking pics of you “living it up” in a party/on the road for carnival/ “liming”. Explain that you’re not keen on the photos of your revelry being shared with the world. Identify the consequences for those who violate that up front and ask that they respect your opinion. (Note, piccong will likely will follow. Your friends may tease you a bit, but after a while, they’ll understand). 

  3. To tag or untag? Untag is the answer! While your friends may not take photos of you, the world is now full of photographers. Papparazzi (interpret as other party goers who INSIST on taking photos everywhere they go) need only have a mobile phone to capture a moment. They post. Friends tag you. What do you do? Change your settings to ensure only YOU see tags or, even better, that any tags require your permission. This way, fewer photos you don’t want will be visible on your social media profiles. 

  4. Take it a step further. If you don’t like the photos – write the websites, people who posted them and ask them to be removed. Yeah – I’m serious. I’ve done it and generally people comply. 

So, I’m not suggesting you change your offline life completely to avoid pictures (though some slight tweaks won’t hurt). I am suggesting that you aggressively manage your online profile. Consider starting your own blogs and you tube channels to share the image of yourself you want the world to see. 

That said. Offline ALWAYS meets Online. Ensure your reputation does not “wine to the side” when they meet. 

Facebook for Kids? NO

January 31, 2012

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Parents are humans. They make mistakes. Dealing with colds, homework you forgot how to do but have to help your kids with and (gasp) the fact that kids cost a fortune can’t be easy. Thus, I forgive the many misguided parent who says – “my child is on Facebook and I’m worried.” Young grasshopper parent, let me school you.

If your child can still be referred to as a child…they ought not to be on Facebook. Decoded: If your kid is under 13, Facebook is NOT for them. Am I a prude? Sure. Is this a smart suggestion? Double sure. The offline world is barely safe enough for adults – much less the online world for kids. As for Facebook for those under 13? Its akin to letting your child have some wine with dinner – every night…like a bottle…and then wondering 5 years later why the kid grew up to be a future aa attendee (and we don’t mean American Airlines).

Why? Lord knows teens and adults are addicted to what is playfully called “Macobook” in the Caribbean. As February approaches in the Caribbean, the freeness of the carnival season (on Trinidad anyway) gives rise to idle thoughts, party photos and, well, candid shots catching amusing (read as on the boarder of vulgar) moments in parties known here as fetes. You don’t let your child fete so why allow them to watch that FB facilitated live stream of the woman dancing around in a lace top?

Ok exit Carnival as my prude-ness may seem like a cultural snub. Enter the photos of brutal car accidents, sex offenders caught in the act or much more commonly, the “slack talk” that dominates many a status in the hope of installing amusement. You would not expose your child to this day to day so, why let them surf facebook where it can be so prevalent.

I am not stupid. I know the world is changing and even traditional media can bombard people young and old with material heretofore (take that for an old fashioned word) deemed forbidden. My suggestion is not censorship but rather caution. All young ones need conversations about digital footprints, about not talking to strangers (on or off line) and on the new power of photography. these convos need start long before signing on to any social network. Not just this dominant oNe about to be IPO’d for 100 billion.

Before signing on ask your young one some questions?
1. Why do you needed to be on Facebook?
2. What do you understand Facebook to be?
3. Do you understand we will share access to your account and I can cancel it at any time?
4. Before posting any photos or videos, do you understand the need to seek the permission of your parent and anyone else in the video/photo
5. Do you understand that everything you put up there can be potentially viewed by strangers?
6. Do you understand privacy settings?
7. let’s agree on potential consequences for online behavior that does not meet our family’s expectations

It’s not all perfect but hell, it’s a start. Again Facebook under 13 not ok but regardless of age, these 7 questions should form the foundation of a young person’s pre social media life.