Please, please, please… keep your social media names, logins and passwords simple!

"Give me the password to the email where you send the link to reset my password when I forget it, because I can’t remember that either."
“Give me the password to the email where you send the link to reset my password when I forget it, because I can’t remember that either.”

Did you know that business loses $38 biliion per year because employees can’t remember their passwords?  The average employee types passwords 4,000 times per year. For a social media pro with multiple clients, this must be tens of thousands of times per year.

And if there is a #1 thing that slows down social marketing and wastes time and money these days it’s having 10 different cryptic passwords and 8 different obtuse email addresses for all your social media accounts!  Especially when you have 6 social media pages and 10 people who need to be admins.

I’ve been doing social media for 7 years professionally and only once was a client’s Fan page hacked.

But 98% can’t remember their passwords!

Your poor marketing employees and social media folks have to log in and log out all day long using these obtuse passwords with multiple characters and symbols. So I recommend that you keep your passwords simple — even if that’s not the “secure” IT-sanctioned way. People need to continually use these passwords all day long. It’s adding an extra layer of confusion and complexity if they are complex.

According to eWeek, a survey of consumer users in 2014 revealed that companies lose more than $420 of productivity annually per employee due to workers merely wasting time with passwords.
For a company with 500 employees, the loss is equivalent to nearly $210,000 per year in productivity.

Your business social media content is 100% public and you want it to be as public as possible — so why are you worried about it staying private?

Who is going to hack into your Twitter account? Everything you do in Twitter is completely transparent and public anyway.

In the rare chance you get hacked, you will be able to change your password a lot faster if someone on your team can #$%^&*( remember it!

Keep it simple. Please.

99% of the CEOs and solopreneurs I work with also cannot find their log in emails and passwords and this can slow things down for days or weeks. I have one client who kept me waiting 4 weeks for the passwords while the meter was running!

One client never got started on her social media campaign and gave up because she couldn’t find her login and passwords.

Another could not remember where her website domain was created so we never got around to actually transferring a website I built over to her URL.

I have seen businesses scrap all their SEO and valuable fan base because they can’t remember their #$%^ log in and passwords!

The worst thing that happens is when the former social media manager gets fired and refuses to hand the login and passwords over and nobody knows them because only one person had access to this information.  This can literally bring your business to its knees for a few days.  And this happens a whole lot more than hacking.

If you are just starting out, this might not seem important, but someday in the future, when you get as big as you dream of growing, it will be.

And you won’t grow as fast as you want to if you can’t remember your logins and passwords.


TIPS FOR ORGANIZING YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA ACCOUNTS 

  • Create a shared Google Document or spreadsheet for storing the accounts, emails and passwords.
  • Invite all the members of the team in who will need access to these accounts.
  • Then create one company email address specifically for all of your social media pages. (Not the email of an employee who might leave).
  • I recommend one password for all your social accounts.
  • Change all of the passwords on a regular basis, as employees, agencies or consultants turn over.
  • Name every social media page the exact same name (preferably the actual name of your company, film, book or product) and reserve the URL for it. (Example: http://www.facebook.com/mycompany.)
  • Before you even name your business, book, film, band or product, check Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, WordPress, Domain.com and Instagram and make sure your name is actually available on all of these pages. It can be embarrassing if it’s not.
  • Don’t use a Yahoo or Gmail as your one email address — it needs to be http://www.yourcompany.com because some social media tools will only let you use a business email to establish your account.
  • When an employee leaves, or you stop using an agency, please remember to change the passwords and remove the admins. (I am still an admin on about 23 pages for projects I no longer work for, including clients who died and companies that no longer exist but still leave their Fan page up.)

Social media marketing isn’t free — you get what you pay for

0fe856038a37ce3f84af53823c5afb99I get at least one inquiry per day from someone begging me to help launch their product, their festival, their conference, fix their online reputation or get them better SEO results for their site.

But 9 times out of 10 people somehow think that because Facebook is free, getting someone to post for you is free. Everyone wants it. Nobody wants to pay for it.

If you want quality social media, expect to shell out as much as you’d pay for a web designer, graphic designer, publicist, branding agency or writer. If you’re paying $150-500 to go out on a mail list to reach 10K+ people, well, you should pay the same to reach 10K people on Social Media. It’s more valuable.

We’re getting you customers — customers you can see, know the names of, know every possible demographic detail about. It’s exponentially more valuable than buying an email list. We’re giving you a way to interact with people — that’s so much richer than a one-way ad.

Social media has tipped — everyone realizes they need it. They just still have a trouble grasping the concept that it’s they need to pay for it.

1. You need a strategic plan or it’s a waste of time. 9 out of ten clients who approach me do not even remember what social pages they have, or the passwords. Having a ton of neglected, half-baked You Tube channels and un-tweeted Twitter pages does not impress anyone. Do it right or don’t do it at all.

2. You need to support it with great branding. logo, website, name, packaging, video and advertising. Get your act together on all fronts before you start blasting it out to the public.

3. It’s not free and it’s not cheap. A good Facebook post that gets engagement can take 30-60 minutes to research, write, tag and post — longer if there’s original content like photography, video or an infographic.  You need to post 3-5 times a day. That can take someone a full 8 hour day on all of your channels–more if you want to approve all the content they produce.

4. You’ll need to supplement it with a Facebook ad campaign, video, good banner design and online branding, contests, apps and services that cost money. If you can’t afford these things, maybe you need more funding for your business before you decide to do a social media campaign.

5. It takes writing skills, wit and good taste. I find that journalists, photographers and other content creators are the best at social media, because it’s about storytelling. Talented creative is rare — and costs money.

6. It has to be proofread, spell checked, high resolution and not look junky. That means it takes time and care, and you’ll need to hire educated, thoughtful, creative people.

7. It takes technical skill. Building a Facebook page takes more knowledge than using WordPress or building a website. By far. Just because billions of people use it, lamely, does not mean that using it intelligently is going to be easy.

8. It’s a specialty. You really need to specialize in this and do it all the time to stay on top of the technology. It changes every day.

9. There is still this myth you can farm social media out to interns or outsource it.  Or worse, just by a bunch of fake followers for $5 on Fiverr. This is the front line of your brand and you’re going to trust it to someone entry level?

10. If you want to reach consumers under 40, you need to be online. Period. Statistics and marketing research have consistently shown that younger people, especially Millenials, don’t watch much TV, listen to broadcast radio, read print media or read email anymore. They’re glued to smart phones — and social media.

So if you paid for email campaigns and lists, TV ads, print ads, Google ad words, and PR — expect to pay for qualified, experienced and competent social media too.

What makes you influential on social media? (It’s not what you think.)

images

What makes you influential on social media?

Just as in mainstream journalism, great content is key. Great headlines grab the reader. Posting frequently and regularly and being the first to break the news is key.

And just as magazines have long known, pass along readership is key to great circulation.

But the main thing that sets social media influencers apart (and sets social media apart from traditional “journalism”) is that they are followed by people who they themselves have strong networks.

An influencer might reach only 1000 people — but those 1000 people also reach 1000 highly connected and active people and so on and so on…which means within seconds, they can reach millions. Which is how revolutions like the Occupy movement and #Egypt managed to spread like viral wildfire.  And why your boring: “I just announced a new product” or “Please like my business” plea is often ignored.

As Haydn Shaughnessy wrote yesterday in Forbes:

“What behaviors make the key difference for people who want to elevate their status online?”  He breaks it down to:

  • Being active in a sufficient number of channels
  • Creating and maintaining a high quality network
  • Frequency of participation
But there’s more.

Social Media is interactive. To have real influence you need to be “social” — and that’s where 99.7% of businesses go wrong.

Social media not a press release or an advertisement — it’s an interactive conversation.  If your content is so engaging and interesting that followers feel compelled to repeat it–you will be retweeted and shared, and quickly reach tens of thousands or even millions of people.

Don’t ignore social media. It won’t go away.

8732_164696916792_628241792_3196283_6332174_s.jpgQ: “What’s the worst thing you can do with social media?”

A: “Ignore it.”

And that’s what most corporations (and small businesses) did in 2009 and 2010. They ignored social media, or they barely paid lip service to it. Business tried to co-opt social media and failed miserably. Businesses tried to ignore social media and it didn’t go away. It turned around and bit them in the…well you know.

They made many of the same “penny wise, pound foolish” mistakes with Social Media that businesses make with PR.

If you ignore the media, they won’t go away. Well, if you ignore the people (the social media) they won’t go away either. Better to act than react.

1. Outsource your social media monitoring and blogging to India. (Watch the TV show “Outsourced” for some hilarious examples of why the culture of India might not relate to your purely American brand they’ve never used before.)

2. Equating something new with “young” and take a misguided trendy approach to social media hiring. (“He has a shaggy haircut like Chad Hurley and cool eyeglass frames! That must mean he knows something about social media and our target Gen Y audience!”)  While sometimes you can luck out and get a very sharp intern who will do your social media for free (for a while) why would you trust your most visible communications to someone who doesn’t even sit at a desk inside your company?

3. Assuming that the audience for Social Media is Gen Y. (The average age of a Facebook user is Gen X, 38, with half the users firmly in the Baby Boom Generation.)

4. Pay a fortune for boring, self serving fake “user generated” videos that never went “viral” on You Tube. (The Hollywood film “2012” with it’s fake user news coverage on You Tube was particularly transparent.)

5. Build a visually tricked out Fan page that nobody ever “likes” and then spam Twitter with advertisements, contests and coupons.

6. Tweet or post as an impersonal logo or “the brand”, instead of an engaging personality. (Do I really want to be a Fan of Victoria’s Secret Corp.? No. But I might want to be friends with a Victoria’s Secret Super Model.) Do I want to be a Twitter friend with a fertilizer company? No. But I might want to get Tweets from a funky, clever cartoon cow who talks about composting and gives me organic gardening tips. Do you really want to be friends with GE? But you might want to learn more or ask questions about about a specific GE product you own.

7. Tweet or post positive comments as a fake employee or fake customer.  This can be a good tactic if you hire someone outside the company to do the posting.  A little positive news can help turn a negative tide around. Just don’t post from a computer that can be traced to an email address or ID inside your company!

8. Lump Social Media in with SEO/SEM and online marketing. Search Engine Optimization, (SEO) is about generating hits to your website in Google. SEO has absolutely nothing to do with managing your company’s brand reputation or responding to media inquiries when a problem suddenly goes viral. This is why so much early Social Media seemed as intrusive and spammy as a direct mail campaign. And why so many social campaigns were ignored until they erupted into viral PR disasters.

Latest excuse for sightings of dead birds and fish? Over reporting in social media!

earth1.jpgUnless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve probably read about the mysterious sightings of dead birds dropping out of the sky, and millions of dead fish and sea mammals washing ashore, all over the world.

The news started with a report on New Year’s Eve of redwing blackbirds falling out of the sky in Arkansas — and soon steamrolled into reports of sudden animal deaths of shellfish, sea mammals and birds, sometimes by the tons, dying suddenly en masse all over the globe.

Dozens of official theories and explanations have been offered for this “aflockalypse” — from fireworks and unusually cold weather to bible scholars saying it’s the day of reckoning and New Agers blaming it on aliens or 2012.

But today’s latest theory about this sudden flock of animal deaths is that it’s because of social media!

Twitter, Facebook, mobile devices, blogs and instant, citizen media enable stories that would have once been local, or not even reported, are now global news.

As more and more of us report our news instantly on Twitter and it shows up immediately in Google search engines, this kind of mass reporting of simple, ordinary things, all over the world, can suddenly looks like a huge outbreak.

But are these  stories that back in the era of local news reporting, may have only made the local TV news or a the back pages of small town paper?

Or is this the first example of citizen journalists revealing a truth that would have otherwise never been revealed before the social media era?

A fascinating example of community-generated collaborative media is here, in a Google map of the sudden animal death sightings.

It will be fascinating to see if the massive bird deaths are simply a series of linked coincidences, brought to light by social media — or if indeed there truly is something fishy about this “aflockalypse.”

Here’s a story in the citizen-generated Examiner that offers social media as the possible excuse:

http://www.examiner.com/headlines-in-san-francisco/dead-birds-fish-kills-update-more-evidence-that-the-die-offs-are-not-unusual

Executive social media jobs exploding. (It’s not just for ninjas, gurus and interns anymore.)

Look how fat I am on your airline.
Commedian Kevin Smith posted this Twit Pic with the caption: "Look how fat I am on your airline," after Southwest bumped him off a flight for being too fat.

2010 was the year of the uber-embarrassing social media blunder:

  • Southwest Airlines threw celebrity Kevin Smith off a plane for being too fat to fly in one seat. Smith’s Tweets about the incident were not only widely read and hilarious, but a PR nightmare for the airline.
  • The Gap changed their logo and the blogosphere errupted by ridiculing it with the “Crap” logo and the “Gag” logo.

In the wake of so many embarrassing social media disasters, smart businesses are finally starting to take social media seriously. This week, social media hit a new Tipping Point and the Fortune 500 started creating new jobs and investing in seasoned professionals.

Today I did a search in one of the employment databases and found an astonishing 3,193 new jobs created in the US in the last few days for social media professionals! But more amazing, most of these jobs are senior level, VP, Director or Manager positions. This is a dramatic shift from even a few months ago.

Here are just a few of the major brands that are advertising for new social media posts:

Sony, Corning, American Express, Coca Cola, Ingram Micro, Intl, Nike, Accenture, EHarmony, Red Cross, Forever 21, Vocus, View Sonic, ToysR US, IBM, BBC News, Lowe’s, DSW, Chrysler, L’Oreal, Chase, COX, Este Lauder, Yahoo, Vonage, MGM, Citrix, GNC, Kellogg, Equinox Fitness, Bloomberg, HP, Ann Taylor, Starwood Hotels, Omnicom Group, CitiGroup, Lily Pulitzer…

Many web-based businesses and tech start-ups are also searching for social talent: Amazon.com, Tiny Prints, Elance, Moxie, Diapers.com, Yahoo, Tripadvisor, EHarmony, Shopzilla, Vocus.

But not a single ad looking for a social media “guru” or “ninja.”


Seven lame, business-killing excuses for not having a social media presence.

It's time to stop making lame excuses for not having a social media presence.
It’s time to stop making lame excuses for not having a social media presence.

This article was selected as 1 of 1 million WordPress posts to be on Freshly Pressed where it created a momentary sensation and 15 minutes of social media fame for me. It’s two years old now, and clients are still making excuses so I am running it first to remind you all that it’s about time started on this Facebook thing.

1. You’re too busy.

I don’t think social media is optional anymore. A professional presence in social media is now a marketing necessity, like a business card or a website. You can’t afford not to have a social media presence. You’ll look like a Luddite, like you’re out of step, like you’re stuck in the Eighties — when people actually got their news from a newspaper, bought things from ads, looke for businesses in the Yellow pages, and were influenced by television.

For most businesses and professions, social media is important. Make an investment in social media, plan your strategy first, do it right, and you’ll be paid back ten-fold.

Updating your profile and sending out Twitter updates can become part of your regular routine — like brushing your teeth, answering email and checking your voice mail.

Using free tools, you can interlink all of your social profiles — so that your Twitter automatically updates Facebook, your blog and LinkedIn. You can update everything simultaneously from your mobile phone in a few minutes a day.

2. You don’t “get” this social media thing.

When you tell stories in public, not only do they have to be true (fact checked, verified, libel-free and legal), accurate, spell-checked and well written, but your story needs to be interesting, engaging and continually evolving. If you’re not naturally good at that, or you don’t have time, you’ll want to hire professional help.

Ultimately, you’ll need to be engaged on a daily basis. Celebrities, consultants, musicians, workshop leaders, public speakers and CEOs who “get” social media make it a priority and are personally involved. You can also outsource social updating to a pro. But make sure they take time to truly know and understands your business, know how to tell an engaging story, have a “voice” and “get” the culture, ethics and rules of the community you’re trying to reach.

3. You can’t afford it.

Everything you need is free. If you hire a consultant, you can get a lot of value from a few hours of his/her time setting your site up and coaching you on the unwritten secrets, tips and tricks of really using Social Media brilliantly.

4. You don’t need it.

Just like you “didn’t need” a website back in 2000. Everyone else jumped on the bandwagon, killed brick and mortar businesses, got all the cool urls and are now worth millions. Are you going to miss out on this land grab too?

500 million people worldwide are utilizing Facebook to create their personal brand. Many events are solely promoted on Facebook. You are really late to the program and totally out of the loop and out of touch if you have a stagnant, unupdated profile or none at all. These days a lot of people think you don’t exist anymore if you’re not in the social sphere because they aren’t even using email anymore and use Facebook or LinkedIn as their main way of communicating with colleagues, or Twitter as their main way to announce breaking news.

5. You’re doing fine with Google adwords.

Oh yeah? Why are you buying search results that will disappear as soon as you stop paying — when you could be using social sites and a blog to build a search ranking that will last forever. Also, you’re totally missing out on a highly targeted market if you’re not also advertising on Facebook.

6. You already hired an SEO guy.

In my opinion, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is dead in 2010. It was important in the age of static HTML websites in the 90s.

Why? Because search engines can only search text! The most important thing you can do is generate tons of text and mentions of your URL that will drive people back to your website. More about this later.

7. It’s not necessary.

If you are not on social media, your business reputation is at risk! Ignore social media at your peril–because people are probably talking about you, your competitors and your brand. They’re building relationships without you. They’re inviting people to cool events that you’re not learning about. If you’re not on social media by now, it’s as if you don’t exist.

Bad PR used to be quickly forgotten when the newspaper was tossed in the trash. Now it lasts forever in Cyberspace. Bad customer reviews can quickly destroy a new product launch, a new event or a beta program. Bad word of mouth on social networks will severely damage your personal reputation.

Negative reviews on Yelp can kill a restaurant in a few days. Don’t worry, you can now pay Yelp a monthly fee (aka bribe) to remove bad reviews. Better off to not get them in the first place.

You need to be prepared to brand yourself and position yourself wisely. And you need to pay attention to what your peers, competitors and partners are saying in the social realm.

If your business is large, you’ll also need to track the coverage and monitor feedback so you can respond to customers immediately. It’s all quickly becoming as complex as a traditional, mainstream media PR program.

Whatever you call it — Social Media, Emerging Media, New Media — it’s all just a conversation.

But it’s a conversation you can’t avoid anymore. Ignore it at your peril or it will happen without you. It’s time to lead the conversation.