Marketing Student Views

Perspectives by GMU Internet Marketing Students

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Managing crisis with social media

Blogger: Greg McKeone

In the digital age it is easier than ever to reach people on an individual level. This is a double edge sword as organizations and people can benefit from these channels or take crucial missteps. The archaic press release has been replaced by Twitter and Facebook to reach people instantly but just because we can reach people instantly doesn’t mean we should do so. A lot of social media crisis management is flawed because of the instant reactionary message the company takes without stopping and thinking of a strategy before moving forward. In a blog written by Chris Syme, she says “Plastering your messages hastily over every popular social media channel is a mistake. Where social media strategy is vital in business, it is more important in crisis to be strategic about your messaging.”(Syme, 2013) Just as in “Marketing in the Round” there is a need for not only strategy but synergy in crisis management through social media. All your channels must convey the same message and timed in accordance with one another. This is all done with patience and strategy.

In regard to coming up with a strategy, there are many tips and rules to follow. During any crisis, acknowledgement is vital. No one buys the “our account was hacked” excuse anymore because even if it was, the account is still your responsibility. Acknowledgement of crisis syncs with transparency but it also shows the public that you’re taking responsibility for your actions. The public respects accountability over excuses or silence. This brings us to another aspect of managing crisis, transparency.  In an article by Ekaterina Walter on she says “Certain companies have been guilty of removing posts they didn’t agree with, ignoring those posts, or else claiming that they had been hacked, when they clearly hadn’t. Trying to cover up or remove justified but negative comments can make you look as if you are ignoring a problem or, worse off, don’t care about the customers. It is critical to be honest and upfront about any issues you or your company may be facing.”(Walter, 2013) This is vital to good crisis management because everything that is posted on the internet lives forever. Trying to delete or take down anything controversial is pointless. The public isn’t stupid; the act of trying to cover up something usually just adds more fuel to the social media fire. You need to be up front and honest with the public with what happened, why it happened, what you are doing to correct it, and prevent it from happening again.

Finally, you must carefully plan a response and know where to put that response. Organization’s and people all know where there main following is whether it’s Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, or a subset of all social media channels. You need filter your message into the best possible places to reach the largest clientele. If you don’t have a Facebook page, you don’t start one in a crisis you stick to where you are and where your following is. This is the most effective way to get your message out. There are many other aspects to consider when using social media to avert crisis, but these steps are a starting point. Transparency, acknowledgement, and strategy are the foundations of effectively using social media when using them to respond to a crisis.


Walter, Ekaterina. “10 Tips For Reputation And Crisis Management In The Digital World.” Forbes. Forbes Magazine, 12 Nov. 2013. Web. 25 Nov. 2013

Syme, Chris. “How to Avoid Spreading Your Social Media Crisis Messages Too Thin.” CK Syme Media Group, 28 Aug. 2013. Web. 25 Nov. 2013.


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Social Media Marketing: Blogging to build a brand

Blogger: Ashley Hawkins

Social Media is one of the main forms of communication today. Social Media Marketing typically targets efforts to create content that attracts attention and encourages users to share that content on their social networks. Social networking sites and blogs allow the person to “retweet” or “post” comments about the subject they’re reading about. By amplifying these messages out on social media sites, more traffic about the company or product is being produced. When a company reaches out to potential customers, the brand grows exponentially as more people share it. Social networking sites include a gigantic amount of information about what products and services clients might be interested in. Companies that recognize they need more feedback about launching new campaigns which social media helps them accomplish.  Companies turn to blogs to make their products admired and exclusive, and ultimately reach out to consumers via social media sites.  Blogs are now the force behind a brand’s online identity.

In the article, “Building your Blog”, Brianna Smith discusses how to structure a blog post in a presentation which covers the following critical post components:

  • Blog title best practices
  • Heading usage
  • Paragraph length
  • Using bulleted/numbered lists
  • Optimal post length
  • Best practices for adding links
  • Creating sources
  • Adding images

What Brianna Smith suggests in the article, helps us understand the important aspects in creating your blog. Creating a blog can be a fun, exciting and educational passage.  I was  thinking about starting a restaurant review blog, because I love going out to eat and telling people about my experiences at restaurants. With these critical post components Smith provides is helpful when your first thinking about how to start a blog.

In another article “Is Your Business Blog Serving up the Right Information?” by Linda Dessau she mentions on November 7, 2013 a couple hundred marketing professionals gathered in Toronto for a meshmarketing conference. A meshmarketing conference is a one-day event to interact with digital marketing leaders, connect with peers and prospects, and to gather an understanding of new developments that might affect your business. Some of the discussed topics at 2013’s conference were social media and content marketing. Dessau mentions the highlight of the conference was the closing Keynote presentation by Jay Baer, author of Youtility.  “Youtility” is a book written by Jay Baer who is a New York Times best-selling author, a marketing keynote speaker and consultant. Baer has a blog that ranked as the #1 content marketing blog in the world. The concept of Youtility is marketing that’s wanted by customers, instead of marketing that’s needed by companies. Youtility is massively helpful information that creates trust between the company and the customers. The concept of Youtility makes sense because we are in an age of information overload with the amount of information that’s on the internet. We are also in a mobile world, where we need information right here, right now.

At meshmarketing conference they mentioned “a survey found that, on average, by the time a B2B customer contacted a sales rep they had already completed 60% of their purchasing decision process.” Self-serve information is what B2B customers are looking for. No one likes calling a company in order to wait on hold for twenty minutes just to fix a small billing issue. So when writing your next blog post, they suggest check whether the information is self-serve or self-serving. 

Dessau lists some different types of self-serve blog post to offer customers and prospective customers:

  • A “how to” article that helps the reader solve a specific problem
  • Tips and insights about a topic your ideal customer is interested in
  • A video demonstration about how to complete a task
  • A review of a book, website or other resource that will be helpful to ideal customer

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