Author: Lisa King

Lisa King joined CDG Interactive as a Project Manager in December 2007 and transitioned to a role as a Marketing Strategist in December 2008. Prior to joining CDG she worked for Randstad USA managing their Washington DC Technical & Creative office, at an Internet start-up, a think tank and a trade association. Lisa brings this breadth of experience to every project. She has served as president and board member of DC Web Women. In addition, she is pursuing an MS in Science and Technology Studies at Virginia Tech and holds a BA from SUNY Empire State in Modern Intellectual Thought.

About 10 years ago, I started working for a large, publicly traded company where only the CEO was authorized to communicate the press. Restricting who could speak on behalf of the company was a common practice where stockholder confidence (and securities compliance) was at stake.

Fast forward a decade and we now have many companies where the only people who are authorized to speak to the press are the CEO—and whoever is handling social media. And too often, social media is assigned to an entry-level employee or even an intern.

Mandy Jenkins, departing social media editor at Huffington Post, recently wrote aboout this trend on her blog. We caught up with her to talk about why that’s the case—and why undervaluing social media is an unwise and even dangerous strategy.

CDG: How is managing social media different than other functions in the communications field?

Jenkins: It’s a job that’s still being developed. There are not a lot of set guidelines. Not everyone understands what it entails.

CDG: You've said that a social media position is often treated as a “young person’s job.” If that's the case, it seems like the social media staff would be kept out of high-level meetings where the fundamental decisions are made about communications strategy, business goals, crisis management, etc. Is that a mistake?

Jenkins: It’s important for companies to understand that this person [who is managing social media] is just as much a representative for the organization as someone as the top. They need to have the knowledge and background. You have to understand what that role really means for your organization.

It’s so easy for someone to capitalize on a mistake you make [on social media channels].

CDG: If you’re working in social media, what can you do to encourage your company to get more strategic about it?

Jenkins: It’s so easy to get caught up in the day-to-day. . . .When you’re the voice of an organization, you feel a lot of ownership over it and you feel like you have to be a part of it. But you and your management have to find a way to make it work. Don’t get caught up in just running accounts. Make sure you craft a strategy and re-craft it. Take the lead for yourself and your organization.

Jenkins offers great advice to social media professionals, but her comments really illustrate how crucial it is for business leaders to get educated and strategic about social media, and to fully understand the benefits and risks inherent in using each social media channel.

If you’re struggling with your social media strategy, contact CDG and talk to us about our comprehensive social media workshop; our upcoming social media roundtable series, or our customized consultation services. We can put you on the path toward an impactful—and manageable—social media strategy.

A new evolution of this feature

Rather than collect links throughout the week and wait until Friday to share them, it makes more sense to share them as we find them and when they are most timely for our readers.

From now on, you will find shared articles and ideas on the CDG Interactive Google + page throughout the week, so we invite you to join us there.

If you like, put a pin in it

Pinterest is the new rage in social media as participants “put a pin” in images, ideas, and concepts that inspire them. Others can follow, like, comment and re-pin. Unsurprisingly, businesses aren’t far behind, wondering how this can work for them. Open Form offers tips for brands interested in Pinterest. And a jewelry maker shares her own experience on how she has successfully used Pinterest to generate interest in her bracelets.

Twitter can’t fix your debit card

Many of us turn to Twitter for customer service assistance – especially when faced with baffling phone tree menus. But according to the New York Times, tweeting your bank won’t help at all and will likely get you referred right back to that customer service phone number.

Learn an instrument online

Can’t find a teacher that plays the ukulele or the bagpipes near you? Never fear! Now you can take music lessons online. Now that people have better bandwidth at home, it allows for better video chats and music lessons with teachers anywhere. Students can take master classes without leaving their own homes and adult students can find teachers available when they are.

Listen with your friends

Facebook is rolling out a new music service that allows you to listen along to the same music on their online music service (such as Spotify). Just look for the musical notes in the chat sidebar and you’ll have the option to listen along. We’ll reserve judgment as to whether it’s creepy or cool.

Scan that code

If you’re going to create a QR code campaign, you should probably make sure it’s implemented in a place where it will work. Over the holidays, I was visiting a wildlife preserve that offered QR codes along the trail. Unfortunately, there was no data signal available to let us know what the information was.

What did you resolve?

Curious about the most popular resolutions or how likely you are to achieve your resolution? There’s an infographic for that. http://dailyinfographic.com/new-years-resolutions-infographic

If you resolved to upgrade your browser, it’s a good thing. Microsoft is saying goodbye to Internet Explorer 6. Download newer versions from Microsoft.

Rules are rules

It’s nice to know that Google’s rules apply to everyone – even their own products. And when the Chrome browser violated Google’s own rules with their ad campaign, Google punished them by pushing them further down in the search engine results.

Change your password

Call it another New Year’s resolution, but change your passwords. Once hackers have accessed information on one site, they will use the same email/password combination on other sites with an alarmingly high rate of success. Even computer security firms aren’t immune, according to a story in the Wall Street Journal that also identifies the most popular passwords.

If you’ve been keeping an eagle eye on your web stats, you’ve likely seen an uptick in the organic searches that are tallied under the cryptic little label called “Not Provided” (as in, the search term visitors used to get to your site is not provided).

So what gives?

Well, back in October, Google announced that there would be some changes to how keywords data would be presented in Google Analytics. If a user is signed into a Google product (such as GMail), and they perform a search, they do so on the secure version of (https://www.google.com/) Google by default. Any of the searches performed on that secure version are still recorded in Google Analytics as organic visits, but the search terms the user types into the Google search bar are—you guessed it—not provided.

So instead of seeing a breakout of individual search terms used by people logged into their Google accounts, you’ll see all of these visits aggregated under the single label of: “Not Provided.”

Continue reading "Solving the “Not Provided” Conundrum: What A Recent Google Change Means for Your Stats" »

2011 Wrap Up & Lessons Learned

From A List Apart - What I learned about the Web in 2011

From UX Magazine -  Global Lessons from Travel Websites

Social Media most popular online activity

According to a recent comScore report, social networking is now the single most popular online activity, accounting for 1 in 5 online minutes. Facebook now reaches over half of global online audience. Mobile fuels the social addiction – with 64% of smartphone users accessing social networking sites, either through apps or a mobile browser.

Military families are among those increasingly relying on social media to keep in touch. Facebook and BlueStar Families have teamed up to create a Social Media Guide for military families.

Google Image Search

Google is now detecting your device to add some new features to movie and Image Search for mobile and tablet users. Google is trying to anticipate the reason for the search and provide a richer experience such as offering opportunities to purchase movie tickets on your mobile device.

How we search

One word searches are increasing dramatically, possibly as a result of mobile search becoming more popular.

A recent Pew Internet Project report indicates that people are increasing turning to search engines for information about local businesses – an argument for optimizing your Google Places listing.

Just for fun

Open a Google search window and type “let it snow.” Enjoy.

Go to LinkedIn and click to see who has viewed your profile in the last 5 days. Click on any special consultants you see listed to get a special holiday message.

Google released Google Zeitgeist 2011 – what we searched for.  You can also see what we talked about on Twitter with HootSuite’s top trending topics of 2011.

Tomorrow night Google and NORAD will help you track Santa’s journey as he brings presents to all the good boys and girls. (I hear cookies can help.)

New new Twitter

Just went you got used to new Twitter, there’s a new new version. And this one includes brand pages. So far those brand pages are limited to 21 advertising partners and charities including CocaCola, DisneyPixar, and McDonalds. They’ll be rolled out to a wider audience over the next few months.

I remember when….

The holidays always make us nostalgic, so here’s blast from the past - see how 20 popular sites looked when they first launched including Google, the Facebook, Apple, and Whitehouse.gov.

Public Messages vs. Direct Messages

In case we all need a reminder about direct vs. public messages (and why you should probably just text when you’re sending your phone number), Charlie Sheen accidentally tweets his phone number.

HTTP Status Cats

In true Internet fashion, there’s now a way to help you remember http status codes… with cats.

Online activity

According to a recent report by comScore, more than 200 billion online videos were viewed in October and over 40% of those were on YouTube. This makes the new YouTube metrics even more important.

Projects are winding down; office parties are ramping up. Before you take off for the holidays is the perfect time to reflect on what’s happened and think about goals for the coming year. Here’s our checklist of things to do now to position yourself for success in 2012.

Continue reading "Top 6 Things You Can Do Right Now to Ensure Success in 2012" »

Location aware deals

You can now add a “Save this to Foursquare” button on your website that allows visitors to save your location to their Foursquare account – they’ll be notified when they are near your location. This is even more interesting now that ScoutMob has partnered with FourSquare – showing available deals when you check in.

Jargonitis

As we’re approaching the end of the year, let’s make an early resolution to not commit any of these jargon-related sins next year. May plain language be with you.

Facebook events

Facebook changes the way event invitations act, and it’s confusing people.

Holiday Cheer

Bing offers a “Magical Holiday Calendar” that opens a new holiday icon each day with links to deals, contests and give-aways.

NORAD will be tracking Santa on his journey again this year and you can follow along with Google Earth.

No idea what to get your co-worker for the office secret Santa gift exchange? Search Engine Watch has you covered with suggestions ranging from gloves make especially for touchscreens to a t-shirt that detects wi-fi signals to a phone case with a built-in bottle opener.

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