Lecture Response on Accuracy in Social Media

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Great lecture this week!  I thought a lecture on “accuracy” could go in a lot of directions… And I really liked the way this one decided to go down.  Twitter is my favorite social media platform and the balance of speed of journalism versus the desire to be accurate is definitely something that interests me.  Also, as a side benefit, I am now extremely excited to check out TweetDeck!

At the beginning of the lecture, Justin (@newsleader) pointed out the fact that social media has increased the need to fact check as opposed to decreasing the need as some have led us to believe.  I definitely agree with this and think the most difficult part about being a journalist now must lie in that fact checking and being conscious of the speed with which you release a story.  In fact, that was the first question this week for the lecture: how do you reconcile accuracy with speed and it couldn’t be a more interesting one.   As recent as 10 years ago, I would imagine many news organizations had the opportunity to wait as long as 12 hours before deciding whether or not to publish a story.  Today, that same story is dead 12 hours later!  There must be a fascinating dilemma that occurs very often in journalism and I certainly do not envy those that have to make it.  Even deciding to wait to add a picture so that a story can be read by more people must be tough to decide.  Personally, I think truth and accuracy needs to come first in reporting based journalism even if it means waiting a slight bit longer for that story.  However, I also imagine that I am in the minority in thinking this as the general public wants the story as soon as possible.  But if we publish a false story, how do we fix it?

This was the second question asked in the lecture, and personally, I am against the removal of a false story.  As an organization, I would feel that we are only as good as our word and taking something back is worse than making corrective action.  So, if we send out a tweet that is later proven to be incorrect, we cannot remove it.  All we can do is respond to our own Tweet with a corrective message, or publish a correction later.  Removing the tweet is the dishonest “way out” in my opinion.

Tools were also discussed for fact checking and including some things that I am really eager to try out on my own.  I have never used TweetDeck before and seeing the way that one can customize a search has me really excited to try it out.  Further, I have never done a reverse image search, despite the fact that I have heard of them before.  I look forward to exploring this through both Google and TinEye (discussed in the lecture).  Overall, an interesting lecture including many of the topics I was hoping would be discussed.  Thanks!

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Using Moderation in Response to Negative Comments on Social Media

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The assignment for this week asked us to review two negative comments made on a hypothetical Facebook account and then reply to them with moderation.  During our response, we need to maintain moderation while still acknowledging the complaint and expressing the fact that we are listening.  As an academic advisor, I think I am good at handling complaints with my students, but social media adds a new challenging layer because I do not have the ability to read body language and non-verbal cues from my client.  The first example is about a restaurant and is as follows:

“I am disgusted about the state of your store on 1467 Justin Kings Way. The counter was smeared in what looked like grease and the tables were full of trash and remains of meals. It makes me wonder what the state of your kitchen is?!!! Gross.”

I think my response to this post would simply be to apologize and to express an interest in gathering further information and making it relevant that I am listening and looking to take corrective action.  My response would be something like this:

“I am sorry to hear about your experience with our restaurant.  We strive to maintain the highest standards and this clearly was not reflected in your visit.  Could you please private message me more information about the situation including the day and time of your visit as well as any other specifics that you might find necessary.  That way, I can look into taking the proper corrective action.  Thanks!”

Short, sweet and to the point.  This response acknowledges the fact that I am listening and interested in taking the appropriate corrective action.  It didn’t talk too specifically about that corrective action and it didn’t offer some kind of reimbursement.  It was moderate. If the client is willing to go more in depth with me, I might be willing to later offer reimbursement or a coupon for a future visit, but I do not want to advertise that on the public Facebook page.  This next situation involves a news agency and may be slightly more complicated:

“Your reporting on the Middle East is biased in the extreme. You gave almost all your air time to spokespeople for the Israelis last night and there was no right to reply for the Palestinians. The conflict upsets me so much and your reporting of it, saddens me even more and makes me f**king furious.”

I think my response for this one will try to acknowledge the client’s problem with the reporting without necessarily admitting fault.  It will embrace the fact that the debate can be ongoing and may even offer a “higher up” to contact should the client still remain unhappy.

“Thank you for sharing your feedback on this situation and our reporting of it.  As you know, the Middle East is a very complicated situation and while we try to remain as impartial as possible, we understand that any discussion of this topic will often lead to engaging discussion.  We here at JSR TV are thankful to live in a country where we can have this debate and would encourage you to keep on having it.  I see that you are from Pennsylvania, here is a list of representatives that you may want to consider sharing your concerns with.  I have also forwarded your complaint to our producer, Gary Dell’Abate, in the hopes that he will take your thoughts into consideration for future broadcasts.  Thanks!”

What would you have done differently in these situations?

Should the first situation have admitted a little more fault?

Moderation: Useful in De-escalation AND Marketing Situations with our Followers

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The lecture this week talked about moderation and how low touch initiatives can be the best for addressing our audience.  It seems as though the lecture is trying to display the fact that our ethics for any given situation can remain the same, but the way that we approach situations can be different.  We have to understand who our users and followers are on various platforms and use that knowledge to best address them and situations that may arise with them.  We have to address their concerns without burdening them with too much information.

This concept reminds me of some of the work I did when I was studying mental health counseling.   We were given a series of questions and responses to ask our clients that were designed to get them talking to us.  I had a problem with this concept and would often like to self-disclose my own situations in an attempt to relate to the client.  The client would certainly engage with me, but I was marked low by my professors because I had discussed things that did not necessarily need to be discussed in order to yield the same results.  I was not speaking with moderation.

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Moderation also needs to take the platform into account.  The easiest point to make about this is the character count restrictions on Twitter.  If a customer were to complain on this platform, we only have a brief response in order to express the fact that we are listening and would like to collect more information about their experience.  On Facebook, this is not a problem.  We have more space to respond and we can begin to make our corrective actions apparent even on our first interaction with the complainer.   Other platforms will have their own considerations for making an effective response to a disgruntled client.

What I found myself reflecting on the most about this lecture was whether or not I thought using moderation was also a good approach when addressing clients from a marketing standpoint.  I certainly think various platforms take moderation into account when devising certain strategies; and things like repeat posts become more acceptable on platforms like Twitter where posts can be so fleeting.   Tips for moderation were also given during the lecture and seemed rather similar to marketing tips in the same arena.  Advice like “acknowledge funny posts and posts that move the discussion forward” and not posting while angry can also be very strong marketing strategies that can yield best results.  When marketing to clients, I certainly think there is a similar balance between showing them what we want them to see and not over burdening them with our content.

Online Reputation Management and United Airlines

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The assignment for this week asked us to respond to a very unique customer complaint against United Airlines.  This complaint is unique because the customer chose to create a song and YouTube video about their experience with the airline.  We are to respond to the complaint as if we were the Online Reputation Manager at United.

To me, this complaint is just like any other and should be handled as such.  Any attempt at getting “creative” with a response in order to match the creativity of the complaint itself will likely not be effective and will only draw more attention to the wrong-doings of our company.  People do not want to side with the airline on issues like these, so even the most creative response of all time will likely fall on deaf ears.  In fact, handling the issue correctly is in my opinion the only way United Airlines can potentially change this bad press into good press.

The first thing to do in this type of situation would be to reply quickly.  Ideally, we would want to reply in a place that is most visible to people watching the video.  I don’t really recommend replying in the YouTube comments however, so maybe a social media account for the band would be the best place to have a public response.  That response can be brief, but needs to acknowledge that we are listening and gathering information about how we can remedy the situation.  Respectfulness and human-esque-ness will be the characteristics of a good response that I would be looking for.

Courses of action should be to reach out in a way that encourages the complainer to give us more information about the situation.  Encouraging a private message from the complainer allows us to investigate the issue and take the conversation “offline.”  According to the video, this seemed to be an issue with baggage handlers, so appropriate action can include a promise to review handling policies and offer “refresher courses” to some of the employees at the questionable airport.

Compensation and “gifts” might be a good way to really turn the situation around for the company, but again, should not be done in too “cheesy” of a way.  Offering to pay for the flight that the problem occurred on might be a good idea or even offering to replace the guitar.  However, the most important elements of the response are the need to be quick and attentive.  The most appropriate “gimmicky” response might be to buy the musician some kind of special guitar, but I don’t know if the PR gamble is worth it.

What would you have done differently? 

Would you have gotten a little more “creative” with your response? 

What about buying a new guitar?  Maybe one of the same model; or something a little more “special?”

Lecture on Social Media Reputations

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The lecture for this week was on reputation and how easily it can change thanks to social media.  As Justin pointed out, reputations are so dynamic because it is easy to have a say on social media.  Not only can someone have a say, but they can also promote their say as we saw in an example.  A Twitter user actually paid for one of his Tweets about British Airways to be promoted so that more people can see it.  The tweet told readers not to fly British Airways because their customer service “is horrendous.”

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We were asked to discuss the ethical implications for this practice.  Personally, I do not have an ethical problem with this person’s decision to not only say something bad about British Airway nor do I have a problem with their decision to promote it.  To me, it’s the equivalent of standing outside a restaurant and telling people not to go in because you had a bad meal there; certainly within your right.  Further, paying to have the Tweet promoted is simply a way of exercising one’s freedom of speech in my opinion.  If political donations of astronomical amounts can be equated to freedom of speech, certainly this can too.

I also tend to agree with the lecture in terms of handling this type of situation.  The tweet needs to be dealt with just like any other through a quick response and a human acknowledgement of the issue.  British airways should look to gather more information about the customer’s experience and publicly display the fact that they are working with the customer to dissect the problem.  Complaining to Twitter is an unproductive way of handling the situation and likely will only fall of deaf ears from Twitter who seems to take no responsibility for the content posted by its users.

Other ways to address these sorts of Tweets given by the lecture include apologizing and empathizing with the customer, explaining why the even happened and what course of action you are taking to fix it.  I agree with these approaches especially if they are done in a public forum.  Acknowledging a mistake publicly and then showing that you are working to fix the problem is a great way to turn an unfortunate situation into a positive customer reputation experience.

Social Media Relationships with Silent Stage Gallery

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For our assignment this week, we have been tasked with discussing how a company manages relationships with their customers in their social spaces.  I have chosen to discuss a company that I am always eager to do business with and one that I am always interested in building my relationship with: Silent Stage Gallery.  The gallery is based out of California and boasts “top quality fine art prints along with very limited edition sculptures at an affordable price.”  I buy many things from my favorite artist, Aaron “Angry Woebots” Martin from them and have appreciated the way that they do business.  Today, I would like to discuss how they build relationships online through social media and where I think they can improve.

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Let’s start with the things that Silent Stage does right.  The primary means of contact that I have used in my interactions with Silent Stage is email.  sales@silentstagegallery.com is usually a great place to get answers to any questions you might have about upcoming products or shipping of purchased products.  Palmetto, the owner, has always been very courteous to me over email and the gallery’s appreciation for their customers is always very apparent.  Emails are typically answered within 24 hours and usually do a great job of addressing the issue at hand.  As this seems to be the primary means of communication, I do occasionally wish the address was a little more apparent across platforms and the website.

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From a social media perspective, Silent Stage does a very good job at remaining “human.”  As a fellow collector, it is fun to see Palmetto post pictures on Instagram of new things that he has added to his own collection and you can tell he shares the same excitement as us when he gets a new piece.  The “language” the gallery uses on Instagram is also appropriate to the platform and does a great job of promoting new works before they premier on their website.  The gallery answers questions on Instagram, but I have noticed that not all questions get answered.  Silent Stage also takes great pictures for Instagram, which is important and helps them to stand out as professionals.

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Silent Stage’s social media is not without fault however and I do think there are some things that they can do to improve their relationship management with current customers all the while appealing to a new audience and bringing in new customers.  For one, there is a Facebook account that like their Twitter, is mostly used to re-post images from Instagram.  Posts do not receive very many “likes” because it seems there isn’t much of a real presence on the platform.  Also, I think it was an ill-advised move to create a second Instagram account that was promoted as being more “exclusive” regarding product information.  I understand why someone might think this is a good idea at first, but all it has really done is segmented their audience and forced monitoring two accounts on the same platform.  I would like to see efforts to change this to monitoring the same account on multiple platforms!  Instagram is really the only social media presence the gallery has and while they are doing a good job on it, more can be done in my opinion.  I would like to see fresh content across multiple platforms that is not limited to just information about their products.  Silent Stage has the opportunity to become a thought leader on social media simply by talking about the trials of operating a gallery or sharing information that might be relevant to the art world as whole.  A Twitter and Facebook account that does more than just re-posts Instagram posts would be great.  Even a YouTube or Pinterest channel might be a new way to attract a new audience.  Overall, I am pleased with my current relationship with Silent Stage, but do feel they could be doing more to build relationships with other customers and expand to relationships with more new customers.

Lecture Response on Building and Maintaining Social Media Relationships

building relationships

Today, an accurate description for the lecture was given right at the very beginning: we discussed how “marketers build and manage relationships.”  This built well on the concept of trust discussed from last week because once we earn a potential client’s trust, what do we do with it then?  How do we interact with them in a way that maintains it?  If you read my blog posts from last week, a common theme you would have seen was consistency (I consistently spoke on consistency as a matter of fact).  After this lecture, I see that maintaining a good relationship with a follower or client can come in many different forms.

 KLM

Similar to other lectures, Justin (@newsleader) gave us an example of a company that is doing a very good job at maintaining its relationships with customers.  KLM, a Dutch airline, has guaranteed that they will respond to all posts on social media within an hour.  This is an impressive feat and I commend KLM for having the ambitions to say they can get that job done.  From the examples that we saw, KLM seems to be doing a good job at making right on this promise.  Responding to every comment like this is not without its concerns and as business owners, you must be careful making this promise as it welcomes the negative and the positive comments alike.  As Justin pointed out, “KLM has changed its behavior (behaviour for authenticity) to become more people-focused.”

 

In my personal reflection on application of this subject for me, I had a lot to think about.  Justin asked us to describe how our voice would sound if our social media account was actually a real person.  Before today, I used to think that voice would have a bit of humor to it, but today, I am not so sure.  I think I am definitely a more “informative” voice on social media (@jakereuter10 on Twitter), but now I wonder if I have tried too hard to make that voice more comical than it really needs to be.  When someone comes to see me in my advising office, I am not immediately humorous with them.  They are not here for that.  Perhaps my social media life needs to be tweaked a little bit so that you come to me for the information and stay for the occasional laugh.  Maybe?