Awesome Tool for Creating Social Media Policies

I’ve been thinking about creating a social media policy for my company for a while now.  “Thinking” versus “doing” because it seemed a bit daunting.  It seemed like there were so many issues to consider and cover.  Plus, my company likes to treat its employees like grown ups, so heavy-handed, top-down policies don’t really fit the culture.  But guidelines are needed.

So I was beyond thrilled to find the PolicyTool for Social Media.  It’s dead simple.  Answer 12 questions, fill in some information and voila! you’ve got yourself a policy.  It creates policies at every end of the spectrum, from command-and-control to anything goes.  Of course you can further customize it by editing the final output.

Highly, highly recommend.

Trash or Treasure: The Blu Dot Marketing Stunt

This week’s Consumed column in the New York Times Magazine features a fun marketing stunt. I’m not usually a fan of marketing or PR stunts — I think they backfire more often than they hit and they often reek of desperation.

But this one is fun — on brand, simple, social. Blu Dot, a maker of modern furniture, put some of its chairs out on the streets of New York City with a GPS attached. When people picked up the chairs and took them home, Blu Dot’s marketing agency reached out for an interview. Almost everyone who got a chair participated in the interviews. This lead the writer to conclude “As for the potential negative reaction to this marketing as street theater, there doesn’t seem to have been much. Maybe there’s a parallel to the way most Americans are said to loathe Congress in general but keep re-electing their own representatives: Marketing is an awful intrusion, unless we’re totally into the chair (or whatever) being marketed.”


Walter Cronkite 1916-2009

It’s beyond trite to say this, but it does feel like the death of Walter Cronkite is the end of an era.

President Obama’s quote encapsulates this change best:

“He brought us all those stories large and small which would come to define the 20th century.  That’s why we love Walter, because in an era before blogs and e-mail, cellphones and cable, he was the news. Walter invited us to believe in him, and he never let us down.”

It’s true, there just isn’t today that one singular voice that defines the culture.  But I’m not so sure that is all bad.  As Chris Anderson pointed out in The Long Tail, we didn’t all watch the Big Three network because the programming was so good.  There wasn’t anything else on.

I think the future looks more like Seth Godin’s book Tribes.  And in that world there isn’t one Walter Cronkite, there are tons and tons of Walter Cronkites, each leading his own little tribe.

The upside to the old way was a sense of community.  The downside is cultural conformity and a certain level of mediocrity.  (In a three-channel world you only have to be better than the other two.)

So that means the upside to the new way is everyone gets what they want, when the want it.  The downside is a fragmentation of cultural experience.  Life sometimes feels a bit like a modern-day Tower of Babel with everyone having a different conversation.

I think there are two ways to mitigate the downside and actually leverage the upside.  And both involve cross-pollination.

First, no one belongs to just one tribe.  So, for example, I might belong to tribes for Mommies, for communications/PR professionals, for folks in the email industry specifically, for Red Sox fans … Everyone might belong to dozens of tribes or more.  And of course you bring stuff from one tribe to your other tribes.

Second, the big tribe leaders know a lot of other big tribe leaders and they pass information between them, which then passes down to the tribes.

Change is hard.  But it can also be good.  We’ll all miss Walter Cronkite and the singular voice that he represented.  And we will certainly miss his amazing storytelling abilities.  My hope for the future is that more opportunities for great storytellers to have a forum for their stories.  I think Mr. Cronkite would agree with that, too.

When is the best day to Tweet?

C’mon. After years (and years and years) of headlines blaring “Days ending in ‘Y’ are best for sending email!” you had to see this coming a mile down the road:

Tuesday is the most active Twitter day. One of the most useful data points from the report is that it clears up the common question of which day of the week is the best day to tweet something. Sysomos found that Tuesday stood out as the most popular day for tweets and retweets, followed by Wednesday and then Friday.

This from a worth-reading post on Twitter stats over at Influential Marketing Blog.

Facebook Fan Page URL Debacle

This whole issue with vanity URLs for Facebook Fan pages is getting a little annoying.

I tried to register my company back when they first announced the vanity URL thing, but then they made the rule that you had to have 1,000 fans. The page said they’d let smaller pages get their usernames on June 28 (today). Got up this morning and still nothing.

It looks like maybe they are opening it up at midnight tonight. No way I’m staying up for that. Will try in the morning.

Facebook has a mechanism in place if someone grabs your tradename, but I’m sure it will be a hassle. Just want to get this thing secured and move on with life …