Sunday, August 9, 2015

Donald, Megyn, and the Curious Art of NYC Social Media

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Social media lessons we can all learn from the most outspoken, opinionated, yet fascinating Presidential candidate.

If you were slapped by a stranger, would you turn and run, restrain them, or hit back?  For many of us raised in and around New York City, a slap is returned with a closed fist to the jaw. Not fighting fair? The attitude is, if you make an unprovoked or unfair hit we will hit you much harder. This transcends socioeconomic class. Perhaps it's why one time New York City Police Commissioner Teddy Roosevelt would speak softly and carry that big stick.

The same applies to verbal slapping which has moved for the most part from the streets to the Web. Twitter seems to be the arena of choice where tweets fly quickly with stinging jabs.  A football player disses a rival team; a rapper calls out another for not having street creds. The retorts that are often crude, inflammatory, libelous even - but good fodder for our reality-obsessed public that relishes these verbal smack downs.

The social media tough talking is safer than saying it face to face and that's part of the problem. The attackers are rarely held to their words. We hold our politicians to a (seemingly) higher standard. They are expected to dismiss the vitreous comments and barbs, show decorum and move on - but NYC's own Donald Trump has his own approach.

If you cross Trump - particularly if he believes it's unprovoked - you cross him for life, as Rosie O'Donnell among others now know.  He carries that same city kid, you-slap-me-I-obliterate-you style over into his social media. At times his posts come off as snarky, sarcastic, and sage. Other times as incendiary or sour grapes, but he never comes off as wishy-washy. If Trump says he doesn't like you, he really doesn't like you. You're on Team Trump or against them. That black and white perspective is another quality of NYC social media.

As for Megyn Kelly's debate question regarding disrespect for women, Mr. Trump should have simply replied, "I believe in equality. If someone insults or unfairly critiques me, it's open season regardless of who they are." It appears that Trump does not consider your sex, race, age, or anything about you before he hits back. It's a no-holds barred, instinctual approach. If you poke at Mr. Trump  - even in jest - prepare to fight, run, or duck swiftly.

Trump's debate ratings were through the roof. But the most remarkable thing to me about Donald Trump the Presidential candidate is not his gloves-off verbal bouts. It's the fact that he's actually reading these tweets and posts and taking the time to reply to them. Think about that for a moment. I'd bet Trump employees will tell you he is anything but a hands-off manager. Sure, he likely has people searching for these social media attacks, but the replies are unabashedly all Donald's words, not those of a social media think tank massaging the right message.

Maybe his time would be better served elsewhere but that Über involvement is impressive. I'm sure if there is something that rubs Trump the wrong way in this column, I'll hear from him as well. His off-the-charts confidence can be confounding, off-putting, engaging and refreshing all at the same time. That's social media Trump style. Not for the politically correct or faint of heart. It makes him as many detractors as it does supporters. Or as Trump might summarize, "You don't like me? Too bad, loser."

Three things that we can all take from the Trump style of social media.
  1. Read what people are saying about you and your company yourself. Don't just leave it to a junior member.
  2. Address attacks and issues immediately. If a disgruntled employee or customer makes unfounded claims or even legitimate complaints address it immediately on social media. Waiting only compounds the problem. 
  3. Watch what you say, people are listening, just waiting to throw off those gloves and use that big stick.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Feed and Speed Your Social Media Metabolism

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The best way to keep momentum in your company's social media efforts is to become a social media nutritionist and change the way you're consuming content.

"Eat many small meals throughout the day" is the mantra of many a nutritionist when teaching clients on how to keep their metabolism going.  Your body is like a locomotive gaining momentum and energy from the frequent small feedings. Social media I will tell you works the same way.

I've written about the importance of regular blogging, press releases, tweets but creating relevant content on a regular schedule isn't easy. It's not that we're lazy, it's that -- OK - we are lazy, or busy, or just fresh out of ideas. But that's unacceptable.

The reason these lapses occur is because most  people write only when things need to be written and postpone it as long as possible (remember college term papers?) But for those of us who make a living through writing know that writers write all the time.  When we're walking, running, even sleeping. Regardless of what writing deadline I'm on, chances are I'm writing something else. This article, in fact, is being composed in my head while waiting online at the supermarket. (Which reminds me, I forgot to get eggs, but I digress).
Facebook is a great way to keep your Social Media Metabolism burning. Now before you go spouting about how Facebook has done nothing for your business, let me stop you right there and say "I agree." It's tough for most businesses to get business on Facebook. And asking friends and family for company likes  or posting news on your company page is not what I'm suggesting.

I'm saying that if you are the one responsible for creating all those blogs, and tweets, and press releases for your company, then you should be posting and commenting on yours and your friends pages to keep your creative juices flowing.  Or comment on that news story or blog you just read. Or join LinkedIn groups. Sound off. Make a snarky quip. Add poignant insights.  This gets your social media metabolism burning.

As a caveat to doing more of your personal social media, you'll actually want to create more social media post rather than feel obligated or pressured.  When it's time to post engaging content about your company, you'll be "in the zone" as they say. You'll also likely see stories that could tie in well with your brand.

And make your posts leaner. Too many companies fill the posts with a month's worth of news. Not good for readership, and unless it's all the same topic, not good for SEO either.
So start thinking about social media more like a marathoner. Rather than three-multi-course, fatty meals, think many lean engaging posts. You'll feel better and your sales team will thank you.

Follow Frank Bocchino, a digital marketing consultant who helps brands exceed their business goals utilizing the latest trends for  blogging marketing automation, SEO, and social media.

Or contact Frank Bocchino for media opportunities.

Monday, June 1, 2015

Excellence? I Bet You Don't Want It.

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Some people (and businesses) often strive for the mundane and average because it's safer and easier.

Before you ask for exemplary efforts from your employees, your team, your managers, your partner, first ask yourself: "Do I really want that?"
Everybody wants the best right? Wrong. We all have the ability to be great. And some of us for are willing to put in the work to get there and the additional work to stay there. But once we're there perhaps the most surprising thing is discovering that the rest of the world is perfectly content with being average.
Think about it. When most people talk about their favorite actor actress it's often not because under extraordinary talent. "I like that guy," they'll say. "He seems like a regular person." And read any dating profile online and most will state: "I'm just looking for someone normal."
We tend to do the same thing in business. We may want to be the best but often just okay is just fine.
"Don't take too long with this one. Just get it done."
"I think you'll be bored with this job. You seem overqualified."
"Who cares what we paid for it? We need to cut our losses."
As a society, we like the concept of being a superhero but really don't want to put in the work, put up with the dangers, or risk the chance of falling from grace. It may be fun being the Incredible Hulk but those mood swings and wardrobe costs must grow weary.
Perhaps one reason people do not give their all at the workplace is because their best is not wanted. Businesses expect to get the most out of employees but in truth they are not willing to respond in kind.
Really experienced employees will cost you more money. Really smart employees Will challenge the way you do business. And really hard working employees might aggravate the rest of the staff and will leave quickly when a better opportunity arises.
In business, as in life or love, we get back what we put out. Want to find the person of your dreams? Then be that person. The same goes for your business. Don't make idle promises that you know you will never keep. Don't downplay the importance of doing a good job. Don't expect A-level work from B-level players. And don't expect an exemplary staff, unless you're an exemplary leader.
Follow Frank Bocchino, a digital marketing consultant who helps brands exceed their business goals using the latest tools for marketing automation, SEO, and social media.

Or contact Frank Bocchino for media opportunities.