Thursday, March 31, 2011

Alabama Social Media Inaugural Meeting: Recap


I attended the Alabama Social Media inaugural meeting yesterday, and it was phenomenal!

The sensation of seeing a roomful of hundreds of faces straight from their Twitter Avatars was extremely fun – I got to meet so many friends face-to-face for the first time!

Zo√ęs Kitchen catered the event with their usual fantastic assortment of food, which would have made the meeting worth going to on it’s own! But the speaker, Ike Pigott, also had some very valuable (and fascinating!) information to share.

Ike talked about the importance of Social Media, especially to corporations. He used the analogy of a Canary in the mine – the miners pay attention to the Canary, because if the Canary dies, the miners will follow unless they leave.

Social Media is this generation’s Canary – it makes a lot of noise, and it can help identify future crises if analyzed in the right way. And companies ABSOLUTELY need to be paying it attention!

"Framing gives context to fact. With the right story, you can change the way people see facts." – Ike Pigott

But not ALL disparaging words spoken against companies are crises - some are just noise. Ike recommended the book, The Gift of Fear, where the author Gavin De Becker arrived at a formula to analyze whether letters to celebrities were threats or not. In the same way, Ike set out to find a way to know whether individual Social Media messages were important or not.

Ike shared several examples of Social Media crises (or averted crises) in his current job with Alabama Power and in his past job with The American Red Cross. He used these situations to come up with the following guidelines:

7 Signs of a Viral Threat:

A – Authority / Assertion – The message must give you the feeling that you now know something important that will truly affect future decisions.

B – Brevity – No one wants to read a manifesto. If the negative message is too long, the average reader won’t want to be the one to foist it upon his whole social network.

C – Clarity – A well-crafted message, to go viral, must be unambiguous. There can be no question about where the author stands.

D – Detail – The position is rooted in incontrovertible fact, not just generalized negative statements.

E – Emotion – How well-written is the message? Does it make you feel as though you could be just as passionate for simply passing it along?

F – Focus- The message must be about one thing, and one thing only. If it makes a reader mentally wander he’ll be less likely to feel compelled to pass it along.

G – Gossip – We like to pass on juicy little tidbits to feel the rush of knowing you knew something before (almost) any of your friends did. This expands our position of esteem and authority.

When asked what tools were useful in monitoring what social networks were saying about your company/brand, Ike recommended Kurrently and socialmention.

*For the full transcript, you can visit the alsocme page.

I was unbelievably impressed with the amazing job that Kristen, Jeff, Wade, Erin, Stacey, Michelle, and all of their volunteers did with the event – it was beyond perfect!

I highly recommend planning on attending the next ALsocme event - the networking is invaluable, and the information shared is awesome!! There is a mixer on Thursday, April 21st, where there are currently only 7 tickets remaining. If you can attend, be sure to reserve your FREE ticket ASAP!

Also, they will have another education event in May – watch their website for more details.


Ike said...

Rachel, it was my pleasure seeing you and so many others for the first time.

Thanks for coming out, and looking forward to the next one!

Wade Kwon said...

Rachel, great wrapup of the meeting! Thank you for coming out to cover our first ALsocme event!

Kristen said...

Rachel, thank you so much for your support and partnership with Alabama Bloggers!

If you haven't linked up and introduced yourself yet, be sure to go here to do so!