Monday, January 10, 2011

Social Media, a dog, and a dumb mistake - Bonanza Social Media Lesson

It was something I was just going to let go by the wayside.  People can and do make mistakes.  But once it goes almost viral on facebook and becomes a hot issue with people I consider strong sellers and social media experts, I felt it was time to address the issue.

First of all, Social media is a term referring to spaces like facebook, twitter, MySpace, etc where people can interact with others in a social setting online.  A Social Media representative is someone whom handles theses accounts for a company or a celebrity, or anyone else that wants to hire someone to handle one or more of those online accounts.  Social Media is one of the fastest growing ways for a company, etc to spread the word about something, whether it be a a product, music, or in this case, a marketplace.  There are Social Media Reps and there are the wannabes.

My take of the issue at hand is the fact that a company has hired someone to represent them as there social media representative that gave what many would consider a rude response to a friend request on his personal facebook account.  Now the person making the request knew this was the reps personal account, because the rep put his personal facebook account out on the companies website, in doing so, basically gave permission for friend requests. It being his personal account, he does have the right to accept or deny the request in however he chooses rude or not.  But, as a representative of a company, does he always represent the company?  In a way, yes, especially in any social setting when all or part of your job is interaction with the public. Online or off.

Two people I hold in the highest regard in the world of online sales and social media,  John 'colderICE' Lawson and Phaedra (Perkins) Stockstill (@ the Boutique and The Bonanza Boardroom ) have an in-depth discussion on this.  You can listen to it from colderICE Blog.  I agree with many of their points, and is well worth a listen. One main point is the line between of WHO you are, and WHO your work for is often intertwined.  This is true in many aspects of business and in many businesses.  On a personal note from one of my businesses, Renagades Music, I have had the same discussion with musicians and bands that everyone from the frontman to the soundman is often representing the band at almost every minute of the day.  They need to walk a finer line than the every day Joe.  And when you hold yourself out as a Social media specialist, as the Rep in question has, now you need to be 'on' in your social media persona 24/7.

Now the one point I disagree with the points made in the above recording is the fact that the person making the friend request has a picture of their dog as their facebook picture, and the question was raised about whether or not its appropriate.  I personally have my personal picture, but I have friends that use everything from their kids, to their dogs, to their logo.  Personally I don't care.   And personally I fully understand that many, especially online sellers and businesses use logos or one picture across every spots on the web, doing so, establishing the brand they want and the image they chose to be associated with.

In conclusion it is very important companies, no matter whether they handle their own company, band, etc social media or you hire someone to handle social media to tread carefully.  Once you send something, post something online, it can ether  work for you , or it can tarnish the image you try to establish.  Words hard been known to go running across the web.

You have been warned ..... Renagade 
Visit Russ Kawecki Facebook thread for background information about this issue


sofyblu2 said...

Excellent blog Ren :) I had to post this on Colderice/Phaedra's podcast lol:

Do I hear you dissing a dog with a "stupid" hat on whereas later in this commentary you say that is not right to do( ie rude and childish)? Dude? Yes, this the Dog :) Or should I say this is the wife of Russ both of whom adore their pets! First I would like to say that we are branded by our has been a big selling point for us OMG OMG how gross you say. We use our "dog" also as a means of working with the rescue groups on facebook attempting to find homes or foster placements for animals that are to be put to sleep.

I would love to find the written specific rules for using Facebook. Hell I would just love to be able to FIND our business pages on Facebook. I am sure that both of you did not step into the social media arena without blunders. I find it also curious that you both have many "friends" that do not have facial avatars OMG ! LOL Give some of us newbies at this social media stuff a break..maybe you have been at it for years....I/we have a lot of catching up to do

btw....dude lol The dog's name is Joey and he has a very special place in the hearts of many at Bonanza. His "stupid plastic" hat is a cowboy hat ( get it? at the ranch? sure you do :)) Thank heavens you didn't see him in his Santa hat you would have been apalled roflmao . And our Fiestaware booth is a picture of a disk pitcher, our Seasonal booth is a snowman and OMG the new booth not yet open features a kitten of ours (maybe you'll come buy something pet related:)

Good info towards the end of this. Yes many of us have MUCH to learn but I am sure, like you both we will continue to make blunders till we get it right
Mary Kawecki aka wife of Russ Kawecki aka the person behind the dog face known as Joey :) might want to change the spelling on the word BONANZA in your heading lol :)

John (ColderICE) said...

Hey Ren thanks for the post.

To @Sofyblu I guess I just see the irony of a platform called "FACEbook" with a dog's picture a little differently.

If my High School yearbook had a person that used their dog's picture instead of their own picture I would think it would be OK to ask the question.

Nope, I honesty do not see that as being something I could not ask about?!? But I guess that is just me. But, I have never claimed to be "normal" by any stretch of the imagination. There are no RULES to the game, do as one pleases. But don't be offended if I ask why, OK?

sofyblu2 said...

Likewise John! Absolutely not offended ..that's why I had to respond :) Good thing it's not a yearbook LOL

John (ColderICE) said...

Hey Sofyblu2 here is what is funny...Since this story has gotten some legs, I have been getting a bunch of folks that use pets and kids on their pages to tell me the back story. Some are really very interesting. There are dozens of great stories about why people are using pet pics. My favorite so far "because I have a face for radio" LMAO!!!

John (ColderICE)