Tuesday, September 22, 2009

20 Great Ways Your Company Can Use Twitter

20 Great Ways Your Company Can Use Twitter:

1. Introduce yourself
2. Introduce your business
3. Talk about a new product
4. Talk about a new service
5. Introduce a new employee
6. Announce an upcoming in-store event
7. Tell others about what you’re doing in the community
8. Promote a contest
9. Promote your industry
10. Get feedback about in-store service experiences
11. Use it as an online customer service department
12. Post an online-only "coupon"
13. Apologize publicly for a shortcoming
14. Promote a local charity event
15. Announce a significant company anniversary
16. Name an "employee of the month"
17. Direct people to your company Website and blog
18. Address a negative news article about your company or industry
19. Ask for ideas from customers about what possible new services/products they want you to offer
20. Post an online survey

Got any other ideas? Share them here.

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Saturday, September 19, 2009

Kanye West's Trashed Reputation

It’s been suggested by Stephen Kersey at the Bizzia.com business site (and elsewhere online) that the Kanye West outburst at this year’s MTV Video Music Awards - in which he interrupted Taylor Swift’s acceptance speech and blurted out that singer Beyonce’s video was better - was all an elaborate hoax and marketing ploy.

The evidence he cites is:

MTV has been using similar marketing stunts for years. From Eminem getting Bruno’ed to Madonna’s kiss, they’ve been very inventive in their attempts to create controversy and draw attention.

Secondly, the participants are too perfect. Kanye has a rebel reputation, Swift is innocent and Beyonce was able to save the day. If that wasn’t a marketing stunt, it was a huge coincidence.

Finally, MTV has motive. Their award shows aren’t nearly as popular as they used to be.

If this turns out to be the case, it was a bold move on the part of MTV. But it will have been an extremely bad move for Kanye West, because the event severely damaged his reputation.

Already a bit of a laughingstock after the cartoon South Park ridiculed him in a "you're a gay fish" storyline (a must-see episode), and infamous for saying that Pres. Bush "doesn't like black people" on national TV during a live event to raise money for New Orleans victims of Hurricane Katrina, West's reputation didn't need another hit.

And if it was a plan, it went horribly wrong. Since the incident, West has had a humiliating interview on Jay Leno's first show (in which he came close to tears) and has been the subject of HUNDREDS of riffs on his line "I'm gonna let you finish..." on twitter and in online spoofs, including one in which he interrupts Pres. Obama's speech on health care, rather than Joe Wilson (viewed by over 3.33 million people.)

From a purely reputation management point of view, it was an extremely damaging outburst that will have repercussions on the career of a man who is already known - inside and outside the music community - as a rather egotistical jerk. It's all well and good to say the man's music is hard-edge and he has to have a "bad ass" image to go along with it. But while I don't have stats, I bet a lot of white teen girls buy his music, and many will be greatly offended by his verbal attack on Taylor Swift.

His own pledge on Leno's show to "take time off to think" about this debacle and his career is great self-given advice. Removing yourself from the limelight in this case would be the best thing to do. When he comes back, let him do it with some humility. Perhaps release a ballad, or something that softens that nasty exterior of his and restores his reputation somewhat with his core publics.

Whatever it is, the "comeback" needs to be one in which his reputation doesn't take further hits, or he could find himself radioactive with music companies, and not at all "active" on the radio.

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