social media

Lies, Damn Lies, and Sticky Tricky Truths – Part 3

bschiss exhibition titleA small museum in aptly but coincidentally named Liestal, Switzerland, had a recent exhibition dedicated to lying that included lies in books by famous authors. The title of the exhibition was Bschiss, which means something like a trick or cheating.

Swiss newspapers condemned the Bschiss revealed this summer when a training document from Ryan Air was leaked to the media in the UK. In it Ryan Air flight attendants were instructed to tell passengers they didn’t have change following a purchase and then “forget” to return the money later.

Another Bschiss controversy getting a lot of play in Swiss newspapers this summer concerns the political 1:12 Initiative promoted by the Schweizerischen Gewerbeverband (SGV) and opposed by the Jungsozialisten (Young Socialists).

Overnight this summer the initiative’s Facebook fan “likes” nearly tripled, to the immediate delight of the SGV. But upon further inspection, the sponsors found that the majority of the clicks came from places not necessarily considered Swiss strongholds, like Azerbaijan, Turkey, etc. They deny buying clicks and accuse the Young Socialists of the provocateur action of buying false likes to discredit SGV.

facebook screenshotAccording to the Swiss paper Blick am Abend, the cost of getting 10,000 fans is 450 Swiss Francs (about the same in US dollars). Clicks from click farms are, of course, strictly forbidden on Facebook; but a recent expose on British television showed the ease of arranging for such a service.

Are you having trouble managing your online reputation and confused about how to make social media work for you without resorting to tricks and Bschiss? Ask, assess, then act. We’re here to help (and that’s the truth)!

Read these other posts from this series:

Lies, Damn Lies, and Sticky Tricky Truths Part 2
Chief Truth Teller – The Risks and Rewards of Full Disclosure – Part 1

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Lies, Damn Lies and Sticky, Tricky Truths – Part 2

facebook smear buttonThe first article in this series recounted some ways to determine whether a speaker is lying to you.

But what happens when physical and non-verbal clues aren’t available for interpretation? How do you spot a liar online? And what should happen when you do, especially when the lies are about you or your beloved or your beloved company?

Let’s focus on the third situation, where your company’s brand is being disparaged online.

Dissent and debate can be healthy, and as Mark Twain once said, ”It’s the difference of opinions that makes a horse race.”

You may be having a disagreement with a customer or a group of consumers. But before you even realize you have a problem, suddenly you have a PROBLEM! Let’s look at a case in point.

promoted tweet screenshotA disgruntled passenger on a British Airways flight bought a promoted tweet to complain about his father’s lost luggage. The tweet went viral, drawing the attention of BA’s competitors, too.

When news — whether true or false or misleading — spreads through cyberspace without any monitoring or appropriate intervention, you can lose control of your brand conversation and those bad messages can stick…and that’s certainly not good.

One popular ”complaint site” is taking steps to ensure companies have a forum to respond publicly to complaints. The petition platform/website, , has just begun offering the targets of an online campaign an opportunity to address any inaccuracies online. Companies that want to be extremely transparent are able to create their own pages that will show all petitions and their status.

Are you ready to take steps to protect your brand in virtual or ”real” life? Ask, assess, then act. We’re here to help (and that’s the truth)!

Photo Credits: Smear Button, Todd Barnard
Tweet screenshot via

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How to Paint a Thousand Words Without Using Any

the art of social media

“The Art of Social Media” Photo Credit

As a thought leader, it’s important to build your brand and tell your story in pictures, not just words. The images you use on your social media sites speak volumes about who you are and how you do what you do.

For a handy guide to all the sizes and shapes and measurement requirements for a wide range of social media sites, go here.

Do you need help creating impact with your online presence as a thought leader? Ask, assess, then act. We’re here to help!

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Social Media Risks – Real or Simply Managed

You’ve heard them all before – reasons why not to increase the scope and frequency of your company’s social media outreach.

crowd surfing and social media risks

Instead of sitting on the social media sidelines, ride with the crowd, manage the risk and reap the rewards.

The arguments usually include concerns that employees or consumers might abuse the channels and thereby put the company’s brand at risk. Other perceived threats are a loss of intellectual property as inappropriate news is posted in cyberspace or a drop in productivity among employees who are supposedly just checking the company’s social media sites.

Whether these are real or imagined risks, they can be simply managed by a robust, considered, enforceable social media strategy. Does your company have strong social media strategies and policies in place that manage these risks? Ask, assess, then act. We’re here to help!

Photo Credit: Photos by Mavis

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Being a Social CEO – Do Keep Up! (Part 3)

reasons ceos don't use social media

Some of the reasons CEOs stay away from social media
(Full infographic is here.)

Right now, 70% of all Fortune 500 CEOs don’t have a presence on social networks. An estimated 16% of CEOs use social media to keep up with their customers currently, but that number is expected to jump to 57% in the next three to five years, according to an IBM survey published recently. See the survey results in infographic form or in a short video at the end of this post.

Another survey published on that site presented a finding that may make you want to be an early adopter and lead the way with social networking. Continue Reading…

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Do you have Klout?

unattainable klout score for thought leadersOn most scales I’d be happy to rate a “10” but not on my Klout score. OK, OK, Justin Bieber is the top of that scale with a Klout score of 100 – clearly my influence is much lower. But since I have a very active virtual presence, I expected to rate higher than 10. I was slightly comforted to find out that my favorite columnist Lucy Kellaway, who actually has 20,000 followers on Twitter, also only rated a 10. In a recent article, she claims she’s proud to have no Klout. I, however, would like to have more and here’s why. Continue Reading…

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Senior-Level Social Strategy: Building a Virtual ‘Brand You’

social media usage statistics infographicA solid social media strategy can help a thought leader build a reputation within an industry and among a wider public. You can also gain traction for your ideas and get real-time feedback. And if you are skillful, your virtual presence can reinforce a positive image of an up-to-date “brand you.”

But what channels do you need to use to get your message out beyond the walls of your company? Any and all of them…as long as they are used by your target audiences and are appropriate to the messages you want to convey.

There’s no need to limit yourself by anything but time. A wide range of options exist depending on your purpose.

According to Edison Research’s report “The Social Habit 2012,” Facebook is the dominant social media channel, with 54% of respondents saying they have a profile page on it. LinkedIn came in second at 13%, Twitter third at 10% and Google+ at 8%. The telephone survey of 2,020 people in the U.S. was the 20th in the series, begun in 1998.

Nearly 80% of respondents said that Facebook is the networking service or site they use the most to connect with brands and services, with Twitter in a distant second place with 9%. More than half of Facebook users are accessing sites on their mobile devices, and a quarter of respondents are on the site five or more times per day.

Researchers also found that compared with 2011, increases in social networking were greatest among those 45 and older although over half of social media users are still under 34.

Among other interesting findings, about 10% of respondents are Twitter users; but of those people, about a third check it several times every day. About half of social networkers shared YouTube videos in the previous month.

Clearly, you have choices, but what’s best for you as a thought leader? Do you need guidance and advice as you choreograph those communications choices? Ask, assess, then act. We’re here to help.

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