By Nick Johnson - November 16th, 2010

Hi everyone,Another installment of news and stats for you. But before we get into that, as you'll hopefully know we have our Corporate Social Media Summit taking place in London tomorrow and Thursd...

Hi everyone,

Another installment of news and stats for you. But before we get into that, as you'll hopefully know we have our Corporate Social Media Summit taking place in London tomorrow and Thursday. If you can't make it, you might want to keep up with tweets from the show on Twitter. Just follow #csm10 to get all the big news, views and insight!

Anyway, onto our regular scheduled programming:


Social media risks for big brands

See here for Nick Johnson’s investigation into the complicated path towards incorporating a social media strategy into the marketing and communications plans of big companies. How well are Twitter accounts really utilised, where did Habitat recently go wrong and how many company blogs get abandoned after the initial launch?


Employees shouldn’t get fired over Facebook posts - but people can be fined for Twitter jokes??

Ever complained about your boss on Facebook? Ever made an un-pc jest on Twitter? Well be careful because corporate posting policies might catch you out. The US National Labor Relations Board experienced its first foray into Freedom of Speech regarding Facebook recently. It is suing a medical organisation for the discharge of an employee who spoke negatively on her private page about her superior. The NLRB suggest that making derogatory remarks relating to the workplace might not constitute a legal reason for termination of employment.

Twitter users have also jumped to support an unfortunate UK accountant whose joke on twitter towards an airport turned sour. A judge fined him for a facetious bomb threat, he lost his job and had to pay an additional £2000 to cover legal bills. See the gladiatorial show of support by people using the hashtag #IamSpartacus here.


B2B social media survey results

A new report by marketing agency White Horse found that B2B companies are now embracing social media. The research found that 86% of B2B firms are now engaging, compared to 82% of B2C firms. However, B2B firms aren't as active in their social media activity with only 32% engaging on a daily basis compared with 52% of B2C firms. They may not be using the tools effectively.  Another report found that 60% of B2B firms have no staff dedicated to social media. There is clearly room for improvement.


Online marketing heads offline

Context sensitive marketing is set to be the new hyperlink between the real world and the virtual world. By printing a Quick Response bar code on any item, the consumer can scan the code on their smartphone and be taken directly to the related web content on the internet (see the just  launched Paperlinks platform for an example). CSM harnesses the power of the ‘impulse buy’ and aids the convenience of the consumer. The key however is to change consumer behaviour by convincing them that the scanning is useful. Businesses must ensure their pages are scan worthy. See here for some examples.


An example of doing it wrong

Alaska Airlines recently learnt that ignoring consumer complaints on public forums can turn nasty if handled incorrectly. One unhappy couple aired their grievances on a blog and then consumers forums, they had lost their seats on a flight because their son needed to be changed urgently and despite alerting staff, their seat was given away. This got picked up by a journalist and turned into front page news on a widely read journal. The airline eventually compensated the couple, but it was too late and they have now been branded a ‘family hater’ for inflexible rules and even more inflexible staff. Companies everywhere must make sure that the social media monitoring team they employ, not only picks up on this type of example but handles it correctly before it explodes.


Cheers guys!

Francesca Boothby


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