Posts Tagged Twitter
In France it is forbidden to publish “by any means” the results of electoral surveys the day before and the day of voting. In the run up to this year’s presidential election the State prosecutor’s office were quick to remind news outlets and the general public that it would impose the €75,000 fine on anyone breaking this 35 year old law.
Determined not to be silenced, it didn’t take Twitter users long to come up with an alternative plan using the hashtag RadioLondres, originally a war time broadcast from London to occupied France during WWII to counter Nazi propaganda and deliver coded messages to the French resistance. Soon enough tweeters got into the war time spirit and made up their own humorous codes for others to decipher.
As the hours started to tick away on the final election day it soon became apparent that it wasn’t just politically minded citizens using the hashtag, but spammers and malware writers were also taking advantage of the number of people following Twitter’s trending topic. With Tweets abound with funny images – my favourite is the red Ferraris heading across the Swiss border, it was easy to see that caught up in the drama of the election many people would be tricked into clicking a bad link. According to a recent article in The Register cybercrooks are moving away from using email to carry out spamming and social engineering attacks and focusing more on social media, something that is very apparent if you’re a regular watcher of trending topics.
But what really got me thinking was what would be the legal implications for an organization of someone using their work laptop to post or retweet “illegal” content. And would it matter if they were in a different country? In the UK it would come under Vicarious Liability and it appears that France has a similar law under Responsabilité du fait d’autrui. Vicarious Liability makes an organisation responsible for the actions of its employees during the course of their employment and would include using work equipment and the fact that such an action maybe expressly forbidden is not necessarily a defence.
Fortunately it seems as if French Prosecutors have decided not to pursue the people that might have infringed the law, though quite how they expect to enforce it the future remains to be seen. Communication and broadcast technology has changed beyond all recognition from when the law was introduced in 1977 and rather ironically measuring social media sentiment, could be the new opinion poll.
Earlier that week across “La Manche”, the London Mayoral Elections were taking place. In the UK there are no such restrictions on reporting exit polls and one firm predicted the Boris Johnson and Ken Livingstone split fairly closely by analysing social media conversations. Though the methodology is still in the early stages to be as accurate as the current exit polls it’s interesting to see how social media is affecting our lives in sometimes surprising ways.
The other day, on my daily walk at 7am, I saw a beautiful new cruise ship heading up the Hudson. She was surrounded by low flying helicopters, NYPD Fire boats spraying water a hundred feet in the air, and a flotilla of small boats. Magnificent.
I was unable to read the name on the bow and kept wondering, whose ship is this? As she passed lower Manhattan, she blew her horn. Nothing unusual in that. You see, many Captains sound their horns as they pass where the Towers fell, to honor the dead. However, instead of a long mournful blast, this was the first 5 notes of “New York, New York” (My- litt-le-town-blues). My fellow walkers stopped and clapped and smiled, and yet we still wondered, whose ship is this?
And then the Captain blew her horn again. The first seven notes of “When You Wish Upon A Star” rang out across Manhattan and New Jersey. Of course! Disney. And yes, when we looked more carefully, we could see Mouse Ears on the smoke stacks.
As it turns out, Disney’s newest cruise ship, the Fantasy, was making her maiden voyage from Germany, stopping in New York City to be christened, and then heading to her new home port of Port Canaveral.
So what does this have to do with social media? Everything.
We are beginning to shift the conversation from “No, we’ll be out of compliance” to “How do we do this well?”. We’ve learned social media is just another form of electronic communications and needs to be treated as such. We’ve also learned that once we have crafted our in-house social media policies and procedures, there are technology solutions such as Actiance Socialite, that we can trust to mitigate risk and keep us in compliance.
Now’s the hard part.
As marketers, how do we integrate social media into our corporate marketing strategy? After all, it’s just another tactic at our disposal. Over time, the tactics have evolved – public relations, direct mail, telemarketing, trade shows and events, email, websites — but, we’ve learned that to be successful, each marketing effort must reflect and reinforce the personality of the corporate brand and each point of contact must be part of a cohesive strategy. At the same time, we also must take the time to understand our audience so that we can version the message so that it resonates with our customers.
That’s exactly what Disney did. Through research, they uncovered the tradition of blowing the horn while passing the site of the World Trade Center. They then versioned the message to resonate with all New Yorkers by playing “New York, New York” and then reinforced their brand with a sound that is instantaneously recognized as Disney, “When You Wish Upon a Star.” Brilliant. And entertaining.
So using this example, Disney’s integrated marketing campaign generated press coverage by creating a special event, their website highlights the new ship (http://disneycruise.disney.go.com/), they tweeted about it (@DisneyCruise), and they are running sweepstakes and sharing video of the inaugural voyage of the Fantasy on their Facebook page (Disney Cruise).
How will you integrate social media into your marketing strategy?
In an amusing tale of free speech and the Internet, Emma Sullivan, a high school senior from Kansas, tweeted that the governor of Kansas “sucked.” (Editor’s note: the author, Norv, is clearly in his element with this blog entry and “amusing” of course depends entirely on your point of view.) Instead of just dismissing it as an instance of free speech or teenage angst, Governor Sam Brownback’s staff went so far as to chase down the teen to extract an apology from her. Leery of the PR implications, the governor himself apologized for his staff’s over-zealousness. (Editor: OK, Norv, I see where you’re going with this one.)
What makes this story so relevant is the intersection of free speech, social media, and government intrusion. The proliferation of social media sites makes it easy for folks to chime in with their thoughts (good or bad) on everything from politics to sports to their favorite ice cream flavor. It’s the essence of free speech. However, where is the line drawn between protected and unprotected speech?
Google searches, monitoring software, and good ol’ fashioned word-of-mouth make it easy to find individuals and their comments railing on government. A teenager tweeting that the governor sucks is a much different ballgame than a parolee posting on his Facebook page that he intends to detonate some explosives at the federal building next week. However, it does raise the discussion point that when it comes to the Internet, does anything truly ever go away and will Emma still be remembered as the high school senior who… well, you see what I mean, I’m sure.
State and local governments are themselves still feeling their way on how best to leverage social media, which has emerged as a highly effective mechanism to engage with constituencies and to provide a transparent avenue for the exchange of information. Already, the states of Oregon, North Carolina, and Florida have specific guidelines on social media usage and other states are sure to follow.
So, while it may make you chuckle to hear someone say that their governor “sucks” (and mind you, I live in a state where the Governator did his thang for several years), the implications are real. Privacy is a misnomer when it comes to social networks; free speech is one of our most cherished rights; and the role of government in society will forever engender passionate debate.
The Facebooks and Twitters of the world just happen to represent new platforms for folks like Emma to express themselves.
Suck or not suck?
While the Arab Spring was unfolding, the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) was taking note. For those in need of a refresher on Middle Eastern politics, it’s been nearly a year since mass protests starting sweeping through the Middle East and North Africa. Dictators fell, civil unrest ruled the day, and social media played a hand.
Huh, come again? What does Facebook and Twitter have to do with Middle Eastern despots? Well, given the reach of social and its ability to spread the word quickly and cheaply, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the protesters turned to social to galvanize the masses and “bring the ruckus.” And ya know what. . . it worked. Dictators fell in Egypt and Tunisia, Gaddafi’s dead, and Syria and Bahrain are moving towards more openness.
So, why the concern from DHS? Simple. What happened in the Middle East could happen in the States as well. Anyone remember Timothy McVeigh from the Oklahoma City bombings? Or the Unabomber? That’s precisely the type of activity DHS is worried about. The Arab Spring showcased the power of social media and it opened some eyes at DHS. Social networks can be a treasure trove of intelligence information, and now DHS is keen to leverage social to keep tabs on potentially dangerous elements and threats in society.
Welcome to the social age. Spy movies will never be the same. The next time you see Bond and Bourne, they might be checking their Twitter feeds to see where the bad guys are. Problem with this is “how do I know this information is accurate or reliable?” This conundrum pre-dates social media and has always been a concern for all the government agencies and departments dealing with intelligence.
As DHS is still trying to figure how best to monitor social networking activities without running afoul of privacy laws, now might be a good time for them to start looking towards technology as an ally in the fight against threats, be it cyber or old school. With a deeper understanding of today’s technological capabilities, DHS will be better able to formulate appropriate social media monitoring guidelines and perhaps avoid Oklahoma City and Unabomber-type tragedies in the future.
Failing that, give Jason Bourne a call.
Not long ago we blogged about the proliferation of mobile devices being used by the next generation of consumers to access the new Internet and its impact on financial services. This was the topic of a recent webinar and accompanying white paper from Forrester Research, and it’s a growing concern for all businesses – how to create safe, effective marketing programs using the latest social media platforms that drive business in a measureable way.
I recently chatted with Erin Traudt, Research Director at IDC and their resident guru on all things social (Michael Fauscette , you’ll have to forgive me, I’m not lessening your guruness with that comment ) , about the marketing capabilities we recently introduced in Socialite Engage. Erin pointed us to two public Insight reports on the IDC web site that define a new kind of Social Business Framework:
“The democratization and socialization of media through the social web has turned anyone into a publisher, reporter and/or critic – subsequently redefining influence. The social customer, employee, supplier and partner each have a voice and the means to use that voice at scale. And people are listening.”
IDC’s definition of social business is companies using emerging technologies (like Web 2.0 and social media) to make cultural and organizational changes to drive business. According to the IDC report, “Social Business Framework: Using People as a Platform to Enable Transformation,” there are four steps to implementing a social business:
- Identify the market factors driving the need for change to social business. Market factors can include such things as competition, brand awareness, customer behavior, and the economy,
- Recognize social objectives you want to accomplish and why they matter. Social objectives are linked to business goals and include such elements as customer engagement, employee empowerment, partner enablement, and supplier engagement.
- Establish social outputs to support those social objectives. These are the mechanisms you use to share, such as tweets and Facebook posts. Content creation democratizes the process so customers and partners can join the conversation, and you have to consider your community as part of social output, i.e. those individuals who are connected in some way, ideally around your brand.
- Determine the platforms and applications you need to achieve your desired social outputs. These are the software tools that you need to build, deploy, and manage social applications, such as Jive, Lotus Connections, and Facebook, and, of course, tools like Socialite Engage.
As part of your social business strategy, you need to adopt business tools that measure the impact of social output and social media platforms. According to the IDC Insight report Determining the Value of Social Business ROI: Myths Facts and Potentially High Returns, most organizations don’t even know how to calculate ROI for traditional projects, let alone for social business. Identifying metrics to monitor social media engagement allows companies to optimize customer acquisition, decrease customer churn, and create upsell and cross sell opportunities. But to do that, you need to be able to gain control of your social media program and measure the effectiveness and ROI of social media programs.
According to the latest Social Business Survey from IDC, there are five primary reasons that end users use social media as part of social business:
- Acquire knowledge and ask questions;
- Share knowledge and contribute ideas;
- Communicate with customers;
- Create awareness about company product or service; and
- Communicate with internal colleagues.
As part of your social business strategy, you need to think of the impact your social business program has on your social media audience in terms of:
- Reach: How extensive is your online footprint and are you being effective at building an online following?
- Impact: What part of your online community is active, pay attention to your products and messages, and influencing others?
- Yield: How much revenue or new business can you link to active members of your social media community?
These are all factors we took into consideration in when we designed Socialite Engage. We understand that for certain industries it’s essential to not only promote conversation with preapproved content, but to understand how that content performs in achieving social business goals, and which channels are yielding the desired results.
As a firm, as a business, to gauge the effectiveness of a social business initiative, you have to be able to track aggregated engagement across different social media platforms, determine who your key influencers are, and how those influencers are affecting your bottom line. And that’s what we’ve done with Socialite Engage. We’ve designed the means to identify and track key connections into Socialite Engage, and ways to track their influence. We’ve also built in analytics to determine how those connections are affecting business, which channels and messages are having the greatest impact on sales, lead generation, or whatever initiative you have determined will drive your social business.
Embracing social business isn’t just about improving customer relations and increasing sales, it’s about changing the very DNA of your people and the organization. Developing a social business strategy means empowering your people, your customers, your partners, and your suppliers with new tools that can impact your brand and reputation, as well as your bottom line. As a result, you need new tools to monitor the conversations and measure their impact. That’s what our next generation of social business engagement tools is all about.
Follow my experiences in beta testing Socialite Engage – as I endeavor to change the social behavior and the results of social collaboration of Actiance team members, partners and customers. You can watch it all here – at blog.actiance.com (or follow us on Twitter @SarahActiance and @Actiance)
|I may need to wear a shirt like this in the office.|
Most readers of this blog are savvy social media users. I would include myself in that category. Well, I would have until last Sunday.
Yes, I will come out and admit it for once. I got suckered into clicking on a Twitter malware link that was forwarded to me by one of my ‘trusted’ venture friends. Now that I got that off my chest (and demonstrated that I could be just as naive as thousands of users out in the Internet), I think I can talk about this incident somewhat objectively.
It turns out that this particular malware spreads by getting a Twitter user to click on the shortened t.co URL that’s sent via private message. When an unsuspecting recipient clicks on the link, it automatically sends the same tweet to all of the recipient’s followers as a private message. Very sneaky.
It was quite an embarrassing moment when I realized what just happened (I even had to update the new Twitter app to follow the link on my iPhone). Thanks to a couple of my co-workers and good Twitter citizen @DevonAlderton, I came to my senses only after a few hours had passed. Once a few seconds of disillusionment of my malware ‘detect-o-meter’ had passed, I regained my composure to delete all of my private tweets to all my followers (thank goodness I don’t have Kim Kardashian’s follower base) and took remedial action to shore up my defenses.
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