CEO Blog – Mama’s Cookie Inc. (Fictitous Company)

On September 25, Mama’s Cookies Inc. got the type of call that it hoped would never receive. A customer called to report that traces of nut products were found in the packaging of Puppy Paws, a nut free cookie line.

For this, we are truly sorry and recognize the risks to people with nut allergies. This accident is not only unacceptable to you but to us as well. I want to reassure you that Mama’s Cookies Inc. is taking all the necessary measures to ensure this type of incident does not reoccur.

As a start, we have recalled Puppy Paws cookies and pulled the product line off the shelves for investigation. We have also temporarily suspended production in our Oakville plant, where Puppy Paws were prepared until further safety enhancements are made to avoid cross contamination. Although our facilities meet Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) requirements, we are committed to making further changes to make sure we provide safe and quality product to our customers.

Furthermore, our employees across Canada, not just Oakville are required to complete a mandatory Nut Product Handling training program.

If you have any questions or concerns, I want to encourage you to contact us at our 24 hour customer support line 1-800-555-4444. You can also follow us on Facebook, Twitter @MamasCookies.

Continuous updates on this issue will be posted on our website, Mamascookie.com, Facebook and Twitter.
I also want to personally thank our customer for reaching out to us to notify. This allowed us to act quickly. I am happy to say, to date we have not received further reports. We value our customers and their loyalty.

Thank you,

Ani Bekmezian
President and CEO, Mama’s Cookies Inc.

Social Media Analytics – What’s the Verdict?

After any social media campaign, it is important to have a way of measuring its success or failure. At the moment, there are many free and paid measuring tools available in the market for these types of analytic.

I’ve narrowed down a list of three free tools and one paid and gave a snap shot for each of their benefits.

1. Facebook Insights – FREE
– Ananlysis focuses mainly on Facebook presence and performance.
– Measures how people are discovering your site and measures the popularity of posts.
– Provides easy to understand dashboard.

2. HooteSuite – FREE
– Leading measuring tool that combines a number social media of social media platforms and produces one report
– It monitors brand or product mentions in forums, groups,etc,
– Tool can be used to schedule tweets and messages

3. Sprout Social – FREE (Trials)
– Provides all -in-one social inbox.
– Provides in debth analysis on Facebook and Twitter social media platforms.
– It can manage up to 10 profiles – for example, if a company like IBM in 10 contries, you can monitor and measure social media presence in one country or all ten rolled up.

4. Social Snap – PAID
– You can monitor and measure all social media data from all plangforms into a single interface.
– Makes it easy to track and monitor changes.
– Tracks buzz about brand and competitors and puts it in pdf and excel reports.

Crisis Management : Social Media Backlash to Susan G. Komen Decision

SGK

Situational Analysis

February 2012, Susan G. Komen (SGK) Foundation made a decision to pull funding from Planned Parenthood. This triggered outrage and SGK was accused of being influenced by politics and issues relating to abortion rights. SGK decision to cease funding for Planned Parenthood went viral and spread through social media l like wildfire. The organization was  being accused of stripping rights away from women and getting tangled in politics.

Twitter users send more than 1.3 million Tweets referencing Planned Parenthood and SKG foundation.  Anti-Komen Facebook pages were set up with titles like `De-fund the Komen Foundation.` Social media drove and became part of the mainstream media`s coverage.

SGK felt the pressure from social media. After three days, the organization caved in and reversed its decision.  However, this was three days too late!

The delayed response by Nancy Brinker, CEO and co-founder of SGK, undermined the speed information travels in social media. By this time, social media outrage had spiked and the company’s reputation was damaged. Donors and Race for the Cure participants pulled out. There was a 40% decline in runners – this was a huge financial hit for the organization. The reputation of the organization was damaged due to the lack of trust.

Three Ways I Would Have Managed the Crisis :

  1. Timing is critical in social media. Send acknowledgement or apology tweet or post to audience as soon as possible. This will help manage the negative sentiments from picking up traction and becoming mammoth.
  2. SGK to communicate through the same social media channels (Twitter and Facebook) as its concerned audience. Using a relevant social media channels are key in ensuring the message goes to the right audience. SGK focused mainly on Twitter  communication.
  3. Encourage audience to go to SGK`s website for further information on the organization`s decision and criteria used. Outline how the decision was due to shortage of funds and not political influenced. If in fact that was the case. This will bring the social media noise down and steer your audience towards a more manageable area where their questions could be answered.

Content Strategy – Pictures are Worth a Thousand Words!

Simply put, content strategy aims to align business objectives while satisfying customer needs. However, to do this is no easy task. To develop a solid  content strategy, organization need to carefully factor in the following elements:

  • Knowing your business objective
  • Understanding your target audience needs
  • How to best deliver messages to them
  • What methods of delivery to be used in communicating messages
  • Type of human resources the organization has etc.

I found some interesting diagrams for which I’ve identified its strengths and weaknesses.

IMAGE 1

http://coachezines.typepad.com/.a/6a00d834521c5569e20120a592e872970b-pi

Strengths: Good blend of images and text. Numbering and arrows used help follow the story it’s trying to convey.

Weakness: Diagram only focuses on communication aspect of content strategy and does not take into account the rest of the other elements.

IMAGE 2

Strengths: Diagram shows the various social media platforms available in incorporating it a content strategy.

Weakness:  Content strategy does not begin and end with only social media platforms. I noted at the top of this blog post thatthere are many other elements that come into play.

IMAGE 3

Strengths: The top of the diagram  shows the business goal and that the content strategy is developed to help the organization reach this goal. This is incredibly important! To have a meaningful content strategy, as a first step the business objective should be identified. Another strength this diagram shows is the reporting aspect.  In order to gauge the effectiveness of the content strategy, you have to have evaluation measures – during the course of the project and at the end.

Weakness: The diagram has too many arrows going in many different directions. It’s not easy to follow.

Twitter Lingos Demystified.

For this blog, I had to do some drilling down to understand the definitions of three commonly used Twitter terminologies – Promoted Tweets, Promoted Trends and Promoted Accounts. I am happy to share with you what I learned in plain English, and  let you know what their main differences are. At the end of this blog, I will explain how these activities can help a  businesses grow it’s  social presence and improve the growth of business

Differences Between Promoted Tweets and Promoted Trends

Promoted Trends are basically tweets advertisers purchase to push across all Twitter.com users. This promotions are clearly identified as advertisement. These tweets also go to smartphone users. Business pay a fixed fee for this type of advertisement.

Promoted Tweets are also used by advertisers but it wants to send the message to the “right audience” . Promoted tweets identify its target audience based on geographic location, interests, gender, etc before disseminating a tweet. In terms of payment, business get charged per-click basis. If the tweet is not clicked on or re-tweeted, than the business does NOT get charged. Payment per engagement is more uses budget more efficiently.

Promoted Accounts is about expanding a business’ “follower base”. Twitter uses algorithms to automatically put your business in front of the appropriate audience  with the intent  to increase the number of followers. In terms of payment, business set a budget and a goal and work towards increasing the pool of followers.

Public relations practitioners need to understand their business’ objective and based on what they are interested in promoting choose the method that would work best.

For more information, please read links below:

https://business.twitter.com/attract-followers

https://business.twitter.com/tactics/flock-unlock

Foursquare – Come Out Come Out Wherever you are!

When Boyd first asked our class to download Foursquare on our smart phones for an in-class assignment, being the social media newbie that I was and am, my initial response was panic. It was unnerving for me to allow this “greater power” to know about my whereabouts, track my interest and know my likes and dislikes. 

I thought I would use the app for the purpose of the assignment then I will remove it and go back to  my comfort zone. That was all until I started using it! In a span of half an hour, while walking though  Dundas Square with my group, I couldn’t believe the number of business that used Foursquare to promote their brand,  products, deals and promotions. It made me feel like I was living under a rock the past few years.

Tools like Foursquare which use location based service, can benefit both organizations and consumers.  Business use it to push valuable information to the customer at the time the customers need it in the anticipation to promote their business. As for consumers, before they decide to walk in, they can instantly read objective reviews written by other people then make a decision accordingly.  

It is important for business to understand that social media tools like Foursquare provide a strong word-of-mouth aspect. Business need to be thoughtful on the type of feed they offer on social media. As we all know, information can become viral in a matter of minutes on the social web. Business today need to understand this and not underestimate its strength and power. Social media used wisely and creatively can  enhance an organization image and boost business and with the same token do the reverse.

Social Media and Its Implication to Businesses Today

 

Today’s businesses face greater competition than ever before to provide the right products and services for the right price while holding commitment to corporate social responsibility. Organizations large and small spend thousands of dollars doing surveys and  focus groups to gather information in efforts to serve its target audience better. With the use of social media on the rise, more and more organizations see this channel as another opportunity to connect with customers. However, the trick isn’t just to “connect” with customers but rather to “communicate” with them. Businesses that use social media for one-way communication, with the intent to market themselves, fail. It is those businesses that use social media as a means for two-way communication that succeed. The focus for organizations should be to build relationships, listen and engage with customers. Another way organizations could benefit from social media is the ease of collecting timely data/information. Knowledge is power and information is knowledge. Organizations can check the pulse of the customers’ standpoint almost in real-time. This can be a more cost-effective way of gauging customer perceptions and tracking volumes. In my opinion, this is an obvious ROI.