Social Crisis Management – Nothing is Ever “Accidentally” Deleted

23 Jul
July 23, 2012

Channel 7 is under fire today for deleting the comment from their Facebook page of a mother whose grief was exploited for ratings. Now, lack of morals aside, a different part of the story during the crisis response today was that the comments were deleted as an error.

In a similar situation a couple of weeks ago, Paspaley Pearls “inadvertently” removed comments from their page after a negative story on Four Corners.

In both cases, and many other social crisis missteps before it, the business in questions claim the deletion was accidental, or an error.

Let me shed some light on something:

Accidental deletion is not possible unless you accidentally do it multiple times through a process.

See the picture above? This is the third step in the comment deletion process on Facebook – first you have to click on the “X”, then the delete or report button and then the delete button.

So next time you face a social crisis – first of all follow the rule of Do Not Delete. If you do want to reserve the right to delete, make sure you have very clear community guidelines around what is acceptable and what isn’t.

But if you do decide to delete and you get called on it, never claim it was inadvertent. Own up to the fact that you deleted it, and refer to your public guidelines if necessary.

But don’t claim it was a mistake. Because it can’t be.

Can We Get Rid of CAPTCHA? Please?

11 Jul
July 11, 2012

Own up – who really likes CAPTCHA?

They’re impossible to read half the time, they hold up sign up processes and I can only imagine how many people have gotten ticked off enough to actually not complete a form because of it. Even if they actually have a purpose like digitising books.

Feedburner to me seems to be a prime example of the redundancy of CAPTCHA.

I sign up for a feed based email, I get a CAPTCHA pop up to confirm my subscription, and that I’m “real”. After that, I then get an email to confirm that I actually wanted to receive en email, which I then have to click on again.

Too many steps. CAPTCHA here is an unesseary step. If I sign up to your email, and I confirm that via an email link you then send me, then I’m real. I want to receive it.

Keep the customer gateways in mind when considering acquisition – how many hurdles do they have to get past to connect with you? Remove as many of them as possible.

PHOTO – bekathwia

Under Promise, Over Deliver? How About Just Over Deliver?

12 Jun
June 12, 2012

For years, there has been a mantra of under promise and over deliver, presumably coined by the first person who failed to deliver on something big, and subsequently becoming a catch cry for anyone who has the slightest concern that what they’re putting forward may not actually be able to meet expectations. It’s become commonplace.

But whenever I hear it, I can’t help but think that there is no conviction in the quality of the product / service.

How many times do you think that under promising has cost you business?

We hear many reasons for why people didn’t end up purchasing what we’re selling – some of them are true, some are just convenient – but how many times do you think it’s because they want more from you, but what you’ve promised is less than what they need?

What if you just aimed to over deliver on what you know you can achieve, rather than just delivering on what you under promised (and therefore, by default, over delivering – but not really)?

If there is something that it stopping you from delivering on your promise, look at it as a way of making the product better. What is the gap? Where does it fall down?

Let’s aim for a culture of being committed to what we can deliver, rather than aiming low.

PHOTO – hans s via Flickr

When QR Codes Attack

17 Jan
January 17, 2012

I’m just back from summer break and while I was on holidays I picked up a copy of the Social Media Monthly at the newsagent. It was more curiosity than anything, and at $17.50 despite a $6.99 USD cover price and above parity exchange rate, I now consider that curiousity satisfied and probably won’t be doing it again. But I digress…

Something that really struck me was the inordinate number of QR codes in the magazine. Front and back cover, and nearly every ad and article inside had a code attached.

I think QR codes can be a very useful and valuable tool. But as with most things I talk about here, they’re only good as long as they are easy to use and provide value for the customer.

In a bit of an experiment, I scanned all 20 QR codes in the magazine – only two went to a mobile optimised version of their site. One didn’t work all together and the kicker for me was the one for a business that specialises in mobile applications that went to their standard web site.

While a normal website can be viewed on a smart phone, the experience is not awesome. Images and text become small and illegible, and you have to drag around the page to navigate it all. If a site is optimised for mobile however, the experience is much better.

Experience is everything.

Secondly, you need to think about WHY you are using the QR code. Are you offering anything of value that might make it worth their while? As an example, all I landed on when I scanned the magazine’s QR code was a non optimised subscription page. No value to me.

Think about what you want people to do when they get there. It’s like building Facebook fans – awesome to have, but what are you delivering to them in terms of value?

Remember – value and experience – these two things should be the foundation of everything you do.

Yes, that QR code above does actually work. It’s a little gem from Scott Stratten on bad use of QR codes – plenty you can learn from here. And for those of you who don’t want to scan it, you can watch it below.



Where Does The Sell Go?

12 Jul
July 12, 2011

Knowing when to sell in social is like playing the lottery. Sometimes you’ve got the winning combination, and sometimes you just lose out.

One of the foundations of social is that is a conversation and not to “sell”, rather provide valuable and useful content that then leads to customer acquisition and then in turn into a potential sale.

That’s not to say that you can’t try and sell, but doing it straight off the bat is not the right way to go. Creating and providing this useful content is part of what I like to call a “window of trust” – a passage of time that passes before you’ve provided enough value that then pitching a product or a service is not unreasonable.

To give you an example, one of the sites that I own and contribute to recently launched its first product – after 2 years of creating and providing free content. We’ve built a good rapport with our readers, they trust us and value what we have provided.

Will every single one of them buy the product? Absolutely not. But some will, and probably more than would have if we had launched it one year ago, and certainly more than would have if we tried to sell it on launch.

That 2 year window of trust has built value and a base of people that will be interested in a product that we’ve demonstrated provides a useful service.

How long does your window of trust need to be before you can try to sell?

I was just heading home in the car and a quit smoking ad came on. Now there are a million quit smoking ads on TV and radio – some use shock tactics, some use a disco band, others use positive reinforcement to quit.

But this one was different. No fancy bells and whistles, just one guy telling you that smoker’s cough is the least of your problems, and there is a revolutionary new treatment to flush nicotine out of your system and and get rid of cravings (as a non smoker, I can’t imagine how hard it is to fight these). But the next thing he said was “for a free quit smoking guide, visit our website”.

In this case, the sell went straight up front – “we have the cure”, which was then followed up by the offer and provision of useful, free information.

Your window of trust will depend on who you’re selling to. Smoking is one of those things that people are looking for anything they can to quit, so the space of a 30 second radio ad could be enough. Business services much longer.

Understand what it takes for your customers to buy and how long before they do. Spend that time delivering great service, information and assistance. Then sell.

PHOTO – Sizima