What will US AIRWAYS do After this Twitter Disaster?

A conversation started between an individual whose flight was delayed for about an hour and US AIRWAYS on Twitter.

She tweeted this @USAirways Unhappy that 1787 sat for an hour on tarmac in CLT because overweight, resulting in over hour late arrival in PDX…

And US Airways tweeted this @ellerafter We truly dislike delays too and are very sorry your flight was affected.

Then she responded @USAirways yeah, you seem so very sorry. So sorry, in fact, that you couldn’t be bothered to address my other tweets.

And that was the beginning of the disaster because US airways tweeted this in response

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And if you want to see the NSFW image here is the link link.

To be honest, I wouldn’t want to be in the US AIRWAYS PR team right now because no apology or taking down the picture will fix this.

You have to be very creative and strategic on how to respond to a crisis like this. That is why I always say that every PR team must have a crisis communication plan handy to respond to situations like these without any delay.

They tweeted an apology saying that they are investigating the case. It’s been more than an hour and we are still waiting to hear from them. They are obviously failing their Crisis Communication 101 and to be fair, if I were on their team, I wouldn’t know what to say in reaction to this tweet.

 

Manage Your Brand Strategically. It’ll Take Your Business to The Next Level

downloadWhether you are a small or big business, or a person trying to market yourself, managing your brand is one of the most important things you have to do. Strategic branding gives you a competitive advantage in whatever market you are in, or trying to enter. Because your brand is what pushes customers to choose your products/services over another company, it is very important that you carefully choose what you want your brand to be associated with.

For starters, you need to make your brand associations simple enough to be memorable in minds of your customers. Therefore, simplicity is the key. You want people to remember you, and be able to describe what you are about in less than five words. If possible, they should be able to say one word about you or your business that summarizes what you do. For example when you think or hear Volvo, the words that come to your minds are “reliability”, “safety” and “family”. Therefore, someone who is looking for a reliable car wouldn’t go far because Volvo is the answer. It should be the same for your business. However, you have to make sure that your brand associations speak to what your customers value the most. Usually, marketers choose messages that sound good, but sometimes those messages do not align with customers’ needs.  With all the resources we have online today, it is easy to find out what your customers want and need to better serve them. You could run a survey on Survey Monkey to learn about ways to serve them. Once you know what people are expecting from you, it is easy to build your brand around those expectations to make sure it speaks to customers personally.

Besides simplicity, memorability helps your brand a lot. As a business owner, you want people to remember who you are and what you do. For this reason, you need to be very careful when you describe yourself. Your brand associations should be something really clear and easy to remember, otherwise your customers will be confused. You don’t want that. In order to do so, you must often engage with your customers to remind them of you. Remember that effective branding is all about conversation and building relationships. Because of this, it is important to find tools that allow you to do both. In my opinion, social media is the perfect tool to engage into a conversation about your brand with your customers not only to give them a chance to express their feedback (both positive and negative), but also to give yourself a chance to remind them who you are and what you do. It’s not enough to have a Facebook page/account, a twitter or an Instagram presence, you need to start the conversation and continue to participate and give feedback when needed.

Your brand is your reputation, and the quality of your reputation determines if you are trustworthy or not. If you manage your brand strategically, you will keep your current customers loyal to your brand, and will attract new ones. Research shows that when two products are of equal qualities, customers choose the product which has strong brand associations.

 

 

Is Instagram The Next Big Thing? Cool Kids Say Yes

Now that everyone is on Facebook, including parents and grandparents, most kids are looking for something else that could still considered “cool” because their family members aren’t using it.  That other thing is Instagram.

Instagram is the next big trend in the social media world. Following the steps of Facebook, Instagram has become the app that all the cool kids use now. Some people would say that Facebook is still the hottest social media tool used today, but looking ahead, Instagram may have a powerful place in your marketing.

If a business wants to reach that particular cool kid demographic, there is a strong business case for Instagram. According to EverythingPR54% of Top Brands Include Instagram in their Social Strategy (for 2012) and this number will continue to increase significantly as Instagram is gains popularity from big brands and rapidly customer growth.

Nike has leveraged its presence on the social media tool by scoring more than a million followers on its Instagram page. On its page, Nike posts pictures of products and the followers do the rest–they like the picture or they comment on it. That’s free marketing and massive, instant visibility.

Not only does Instagram allow you to reach a specific niche of cool kids, but the fact that pictures and videos there can be directly shared through other social media channels like Facebook or Twitter makes it even more appealing. The social media tool becomes a one-stop shop with tremendous marketing and brand-building potential.

This social media platform works well for small businesses as well as fortune 500 companies. Success depends on how well the organization is using it. For companies selling products, Instagram is the place to showcase pictures, videos and create a buzz around them. If you use Instagram in a smart, strategic way and integrate it with your other social media accounts, you have more chances to maximize your online and mobile presence and reach more customers every day.

Companies, You Must Leverage Your Instagram Presence

Instagram is the next big thing in the social media world. Following the steps of  Facebook, Instagram has become the app that all the cool kids are using. Some people would say that Facebook is the hottest social media used today, I wouldn’t argue completely against that assertion; however, I would say that Instagram is the next big thing and it is right here (to quote Samsung). Now that everybody is on Facebook, even the parents and grandparents, most kids are using something else that is still considered COOL because their parents aren’t using it.  And that other thing is Instagram.

imagesWell, if a company wants to reach that particular demographic, look no more, Instagram is the real deal now. According to EverythingPR54% of Top Brands Include Instagram in their Social Strategy in 2012 and this numbers will continue to increase significantly as Instagram is becoming more and more popular among brands and the number or users has grown very fast since last year.

Nike for example has leveraged its presence on the social media using by scoring more than a million followers on its Instagram page. This number is very powerful as these people choose to follow Nike and it means that they either are Nike customers/consumers or they like the company to the point of following it on Instagram. On its page, Nike posts pictures of products and the followers do the rest — they like the picture or they comment on it. That’s visibility.

Not only does Instagram allow you to reach that specific niche of “cool kids” , but the fact that those pictures can be directly shared through other social media channels like Facebook or Twitter makes it even more appealing because by doing so, you will also reach those people who aren’t on Instagram, but who are using other social media sites.

This cool social media platform works well for small businesses as well as fortune 500 companies. It’s all depends on how well the company is using it. For those companies selling lines of products or introducing new lines of products, Instagram is the place to showcase the pictures of the products and create a buzz around them. In conclusion, if you use your Instagram smartly and link it to your other social media accounts, you have more chances to make the best out of your social media presence and reach more customers everyday and keep in touch with news trends in the business and what consumers want to see you doing.

Responding to a Crisis in Real Time

Now that we are all more or less social media addicts, we are just giving more work to companies out there, especially if they are dealing with a crisis. responding to crisis today has become easy and challenging at the same time. Social media usually amplifies the a crisis because of the number of people who are on site like Twitter or Facebook. In the old days, if an add was offensive, it takes some time for everyone to see it and the company can pull it out before more damage is done. Today, you release an ad on TV, in seconds it’s already uploaded on YouTube and before you realize, everybody is either sharing it or commenting it on Facebook and twitter.

If a company’s PR team is on top of everything, they can plan ahead of time what to do if a crisis arouses. In this case, Social website that usually are dangerous for spreading quickly messages, can also become the very best tool to react , to engage in a discussion or to apologize, there is need to.

Being on top of everything is very rewarding, especially if you are able to turn an unfortunate situation to your advantage. That’s what Oreo did, during the Superbowl blackout.

oreo-dunk-in-dark

 

Not only did Oreo get publicity for the tweet, but also it made itself talked about weeks after the Superbowl. This tweet was retweeted 10,000 times in an hour. This just shows how easy you can turn something around. According to AdAge, the Oreo graphic was “designed, captioned and approved within minutes,” according to Sarah Hofstetter, president of the cookie brand’s digital agency of record, Dentsu-owned 360i

Therefore, it is very important for every company to have a crisis plan that involves the worst scenario. By having one, companies are setting themselves to control any crisis, if it ever came up. Using Facebook, twitter, or another social networking site, it allows the company to send out a message very fast, and reach as many people as possible.

 

 

Facebook, the addiction that brings me news and gossip

imagesCAHDLY7JLast year, I closed my Facebook account for two months. Why? Because I realized how addicted to Facebook I was and I knew that I needed to try to break the addiction. The first few days were unbearable. I had to find something else to fill in my Facebook time. Believe me, nothing could replace the numbers of hours I put in everyday in Facebook. I became used to the fact that I wasn’t using Facebook anymore, but something pushed me to reconnect my Facebook account. I realized how disconnected I was, how I didn’t know what was going on around the world. I reopened my Facebook account for these two reasons: getting the news from everywhere and be up to date with all the gossip that makes Facebook not boring at all.

When something wrong is going on in my country or when the government makes a new decision on exportation for example, when the congress pass a new law on media and so on, I get all that information on Facebook. I’ve already liked the pages of news outlet from my country as well as global news outlets on Facebook and it’s easier for me to access the news this way than going to the outlet website. News outlet Facebook pages are not the only one to inform me about what’s going on around the world. My friends do too. If they read, see or listen to something interesting or newsworthy, they post that on their page and some of them tag me if they think that the article or video will interest me.  The good news is that I am not the weird one. Many people use social media as a means to access news. In fact, One-third of adults under 30 get news on social networks now.

Besides news, Facebook has been a great way to keep up with gossip. We get gossip about celebrities, which sometimes is true and some other time false. For example, I really like Jennifer Aniston and it’s on Facebook that I learned that she is engaged to Justin Theroux, which was true. It’s still on Facebook that I learned that she is pregnant with twins, which was false. It’s also on Facebook that I learn that a friend got married or something good happened to them. Still on the same medium that I will know if the wedding party sucked or was great, that I will know if the dress the friend wore was beautiful and expensive or cheap and ugly. It’s also on Facebook that unfortunately people spread insults and defamation about other people. Sharing gossip with friends on Facebook is addictive and arousing, that’s what makes Facebook what it is today.

The most important thing that I learned is that Facebook is not only a great tool, but also a dangerous one. It can help people or it can ruin their lives. It is important to use it accordingly, just like other social media sites. Our ethic should lead all the actions undertaken on Facebook. Regardless of its negative impact, Facebook has been a great tool for me to get news and stay connected with the world wherever I happen to be.