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Perspectives by GMU Internet Marketing Students

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“Did that really just happen?” Social Media Crisis Management

Blogger: Diane Wells

We have all seen that one post, picture, tweet, etc. that has made us ask, jaws dropped, “did that really just happen?”  Social media problems arise every day in today’s society.  A company has the option to fix it or fall deeper into the hole of crisis.  According to Ozgur Alaz, author of Ozurg Alaz: 7 Steps For Social Media Crisis Management, there are 7 steps for social media crisis management.  These steps include:

  • Preparation
  • Knowing relationships
  • Knowing stakeholders
  • Choice of strategy
  • Micro management/ Know your tools
  • Abundant records
  • Social media statement


Alaz stresses the importance of preparation when it comes to social media crisis management.  There are three components of preparation; eliminating risks, competent in social media, and tools to manage crisis.  According to Alaz, eliminating risks increases your brand value.  Eliminating risks also relates to the competence of social media in your company.  All employees need to be knowledgeable of social media; eliminating the threat of those who are not by providing informational advice, will greatly benefit a company by taking away the threat of employee mistakes.  The last preparation must is the need for crisis management tools.  An example Alaz uses is the use of a crisis meeting room.  Preparing for a crisis is a must do in terms of management.

Knowing Relationships

Building relationships is another key component of social media crisis management.  Alaz states that social media can get to a lonely state because there are millions of users to interact with and few companies to befriend.  He believes the company needs to create relationships and retain people who will defend the company.  He calls these people/companies “brand friends”, he also states, “Brand friends know you, trust you and defend you when it’s necessary.”  This will in turn lead to loyalty and trust in your company, as well as a “friend” to help back you up during crisis.

Knowing Stakeholders

Stakeholders are the people who are invested in your company.  Alaz stresses that a company must get to know its stakeholders in order to come up with a strategy.  He also states that stakeholders are not just customers; they are employees, suppliers, government, journalists, and investors.  According to Alaz, “it’s important to create a stakeholders map and think about their motivations and communication channels that lead to them.”  This is vital to the creation of the company’s strategy.

Choice of Strategy

Alaz writes that it is important to know that a company’s strategy will change frequently based on different situations.  This being said, a company relies on scenario analysis and keeping their employees updated.  He explains that there are some strategic decisions to be made, which include; “What’s your message?”, “What’s your attitude?”, “How will you create plausibility?”, “Will there be any official statements made? How frequent will they be?”.  These all are great questions to ask in order to be fully prepared for any issues that arise.

Micro Management / Know Your Tools

It is important to be able to micro manage questions/comments that arise.  Alaz suggests each member of the crisis team answer questions via their personal twitter accounts; allowing more questions to be answered.  He states, “The reason I recommend to use employees’ accounts is that by doing this you’ll start a dialogue instead of just “answering” and it’ll feel more convincing and genuine”.  It’s all about creating the relationship and providing useful information to your audience.  Another necessity of crisis management consists of knowing your tools.  Knowing your resources and communication channels will help when applying the strategy.

Abundant Records

When a crisis occurs it is imperative to have abundant records in order to defend your company.  Alaz explains that records can range from camera recordings to positive comments on your social media site.  All of these records will help you have an advantage over the crisis situation.

Social Media Statements

Alaz points out three things that need to be treated with care.  These include timing, simplifying the message, and actively using your advertising channels.

Final Thoughts:

Now that we have gone through Ozgur Alaz’s 7 steps for social media crisis management, I leave you to be the judge of these two social media crises listed below.



A waitress posted this picture and was later fired for violating one of AppleBee’s rules.  AppleBee’s was ridiculed for firing this waitress; they defended their decision to the end, which did not help them at all.



An employee accidentally posted this on the company’s twitter account; the head of KitchenAid brand sincerely apologized and explained what happened.  This honesty was a plus for the brand.

For more examples visit:

Articles referenced:


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Tips to make your video worth watching

Blogger: Chris Saunders

Video marketing has never been easier to do. With the recent emergence and boom of easy to use platforms like YouTube, video marketing can be both a successful and profitable tactic for any business. Getting the video out to the public is simple, but getting the right video out still has its difficulties. Getting the right message and properly voicing it to your audience can be quite a tough task. Every business is different, and each business can benefit from following these few simple tips, which will ultimately improve the success of your business’ video marketing.

Tip 1 – Your targeting audience will respond much better to a video with more personality. Now by personality, I mean a video that is both captivating visually and audibly, and still informative enough to get the point across. A bland video with words on a white background or a salesperson reading to you is less likely to have a positive effect on you than a casual, more intriguing video taking place in a real-life environment. Compare these two videos and see the difference for yourself.

  • Example 1 (Bad) – Not only is the ad fairly boring to watch and monotone, it could also be considered quite offensive. Additionally, you don’t find out what brand the ad is for until the last five seconds.
  • Example 2 (Good) – The ad is mildly humorous, keeps your attention, and puts a strong, positive focus on the brand throughout the entire ad.

Tip 2 – Another important piece of advice is to maintain consistency. Be consistent in displaying and releasing new ads. Don’t release new ads too often, but don’t make them too sparse. A weekly or monthly set schedule can significantly improve your targeted audience’s response. Also, be consistent in releasing ads based around the same subject. A good example would be Geico, the car insurance company; they always feature the gecko and a similar type of scenario which consumers can recognize and build a minor, but important, relationship with.

Tip 3 – Following the same advice from the last tip, a relevant video is a good video. Keep your video short, concise, and focused on your brand, while still retaining audience attention and being informing and entertaining. Now this is easier said than done, but also hard to mess up at the same time. Say what you need to say about your brand, and nothing more. Provide enough information to entice consumers, and allow them to further research your product or service, which if they are interested they will surely do.

Tip 4 – Last but not least, testimonials can go a long way. Providing truthful and convincing testimonials can further instill consumer’s trust in your brand and give them the push they need to look into/purchase your product or service. The one caveat to this tip, is that if done wrong, it can do exactly the opposite of what you want which is push consumers farther away and lose their trust. For instance, have you ever seen those hair growth or weight loss commercials? If so, then you most likely always question whether the person in the before picture is the same person in the after picture. Situations like this can substantially damage your brand’s image, so keep your testimonials short, simple, and most of all truthful and believable.

Video marketing is readily accessible for the smallest to the biggest companies and can provide a large boost in not only your brand’s image but also to the amount of potential consumers you reach. Follow these tips and your video ads will have a much higher rate of success, and possibly make you more money too!


Mobile Marketing: Why is it important?

Blogger: Trevon D. Jones

Mobile Marketing is extremely important in today’s society. According to an article from Business entitled, “Your Customers Have Gone Mobile,” research shows that more than 50% of cell phones are now smartphones along with the increasing use of tablets. An estimation was made that the number of mobile internet users will exceed those of PC internet users by next year.

With our society now currently having that “on-the-go” lifestyle, we tend to prefer convenience and efficiency above anything else. The use of the smartphone allows us to access the internet, download different apps of our choice (some of which could already be a part of the package such as Facebook), utilize the Global Positioning System (GPS) for directions, and not to mention, to call, text, and leave voicemails. With us able to do all of these different activities via a smartphone, something small and light that we can easily carry around, we tend to prefer to use those over a PC. However, it is important to note too that due to the growth of the mobile marketing trend, companies need to, if they haven’t already, adjust their websites accordingly. As we discussed in class, companies with websites need to have a responsive website which the site itself would essentially adjust itself according to the length and width of the current screen it is being displayed on. So for instance, if a viewer accesses your site via a mobile phone/smart-phone, they should be able to view your site without having to do extra zooming or scrolling to read the content.

Another reason why mobile marketing is so important is because it is seen as an opportunity for companies to have essentially an effective marketing strategy. For instance, companies can use mobile marketing as an integrated content delivery, a direct response vehicle, a cross-media driver, or essentially a form of marketing communications according to the article “Mobile Marketing: Its Time Has Come.” Additionally, the article states that with the improvement of technology and reporting, companies can now follow their audiences. Not to mention either, the cost to do such marketing is relatively cheap. The Mobile Marketing article points out this example: “From local retail stores to amateur garage bands, it is now possible to design and implement campaigns to connect with customers and fans alike, with little effort and money.”

STEVENS, TINA. “Your Customers Have Gone Mobile.” Businesswest 30.3 (2013): 18. MasterFILE Premier. Web. 11 Oct. 2013

Westlund, Richard. “Mobile Marketing: Its Time Has Come” Adweek (2008): 6. MasterFILE Premier. Web. 11 Oct. 2013