Without fail, my New Year’s resolutions are always the same: get fit, quit smoking and get out of debt. But this year, I’ve added a new one to my list: stop oversharing.
Let me explain. I’m addicted to checking in. I check in to my favorite Chicago haunts on Foursquare, our weekend movie picks on GetGlue and the most buzzworthy restaurants on Yelp. For me, it’s all about being recognized by my favorite brands. After all, I drank a lot of skim lattes to become a Mayor of Starbucks and dealt with a hoard of feisty tweeners to secure my limited edition “Twilight” sticker. The surprise and delight discounts and special offers are just icing on the cake (and, yes, I resolve to stop eating so much cake next year).
My friends who follow me, however, aren’t so amused. Upon receiving my “Finale” badge for watching the season closer of “American Horror Story,” Doug, my college buddy in Maui commented, “We’re so proud of you, Peter.”
The sarcasm did not go unnoticed, even on Facebook. After all, do my friends and family really need to read this?
As Jamie Young notes in her blog on Twitter etiquette, there comes a point when sharing becomes oversharing. And nobody likes an oversharer. Social networking is about engaging with interesting people, not an automated stream of updates. Thanks to Jamie and Doug, I will now keep my check-in addiction to myself and use Facebook and Twitter for meaningful conversations with people I love and admire. This is one New Year’s resolution I think I can keep.
It is truly hard to believe that with this post, there are only five days left until Christmas! For the last couple of years, the month of December seems to fly by faster and faster for me and there is still so much to get done.
This year, the whole issue of “believing” has been very interesting for me. I have two girls—one still a firm believer in Santa, the other not wanting to grow up and give it all up. Me? I just keep believing that I will somehow get everything done in time…but that’s my own tangent. I keep skirting the issue with my older girl, throwing it back at her when she asks about Santa and telling her that you are never too old to believe in Christmas altogether.
In looking for ways to keep the whole Santa myth alive for just a little longer, I searched for some new and improved “Santa” sites via online and social channels and was amazed to find that Santa now blogs and tweets. There are also multiple ways to contact Santa before Christmas and track his trek across the world on the Christmas Eve. Most of these cater to the younger child, but we have been enjoying these sites daily (and they are a great go-to when holiday impatience kicks in):
· North Pole.com. A fun site that brings you right into Santa’s Secret Village offers tons of fun activities for kids, parents, teachers, and anyone that still believes! Kids can email a letter to Santa (yes, he writes back), send a postcard, read stories, play games in the Elf Clubhouse, download crafts and recipes and much more!
· Santa Claus.net. Another fun site chock-full of cool activities. Here kids can ask Santa questions, send a letter to Santa, get a phone call from Santa, track Santa’s flight on Christmas Eve and even check out whether they are on Santa’s Good List!
· Email Santa. This site provides lots of fun for the little ones. Kids can email their wish list directly to Santa and get a personalized note back. There are lots of activities and games, Santa’s blog, his latest tweets, etc. I love that they ask the kids to rate how good they have been and limits them to only three wish list items.
· Good ole NORAD! The old standby that we have used for years—NORAD—has become more high-tech than ever before. Kids can view Santa’s current location and next stop on Google Maps on December 24, and there will also be “Santa cams” at a number of locations around the world that will show images and videos of Santa and his reindeer as they make their journey around the world. NORAD is available on other social networks as well. This year, the kids can track Santa on Facebook, Twitter, even on your mobile device by visiting m.noradsanta.org.
· iSpotSanta. Yet another Santa tracker and entertainment site for the “best Santa Claus sightings all over the world.” A new Santa Claus sighting video is posted each day in December for the “25 Days of Santa.” The videos and humor on this site will engage older kids too (features Tim Conway and the Muppets!). iSpot Santa has more fun stuff on Facebook and Twitter too!
Getting a Dalmatian puppy for Christmas is probably the only way my daughter will continue believing in Santa much longer. All I can say to that is “all good things must end!” But I kept the myth alive for one last year and I’ll take it. Feel free to share your favorite Santa sites!
Happy holidays to all!
“It might be a distraction.” “It is more of a social tool than something that will benefit the company.” Enough! The arguments against employee social networks are as out-of-date as Myspace. If you have not taken the plunge, here are four more reasons you should consider creating an employee social network:
Listen to Disney – Make it a Small World. Are team members spread across the country or the world? Employees can talk to colleagues in real-time and access information at lightning speed via a social network. Social networks help participants get the answers they need when they need them and create relationships that shatter silos.
If your friends all jump off a bridge…Why peer pressure is good. There would not be 800 million Facebook users if people did not want social networks. For most of your employees, social media and networking is already familiar. Getting them to participate will require minimal training or support.
That’s a great idea, but…In social networks, people disagree. But in the workplace, many people are not comfortable questioning ideas. Social networks increase comfort with providing honest feedback and communicating ideas. This results in greater collaboration and more input.
When are they doing an episode of that show Hoarders focused on knowledge? In a culture where information is not shared, employees have a harder time doing their job, and organizations cannot optimize knowledge. Social networking provides a platform for sharing knowledge, broader thinking and shared decision making.
And, if that is not enough, consider this: It can also make employees feel better about the company. James Hayton published research earlier in the year that showed when employees have bigger, richer networks of connections with coworkers—where they help each other with work as well as having friendships—they feel more positively about the organization.
With so many benefits, now might be the perfect time to develop your 2012 employee social network plan!
With 2011 rapidly coming to a close, the year-end wrap-ups and 2012 forecasts are starting to roll in. In Ad Age, PR pros cited engagement as the key goal for 2012, as brands – and their agencies — shift focus from acquiring fans to more actively engaging with those consumers. In our experience, one of the most powerful ‘recruiting’ tools is a vibrant, active community of brand advocates. So, I’m always intrigued by how brands step up to build those important relationships.
Take EpicMix, a 2011 WOMMY winner in the Mobile category. Recognized for its creative use of RFID, Vail Resorts uses EpicMix to make it easy to capture customers’ experiences on the mountain and for customers to share the moment with their social networks. Presented as a perk for holders of a season pass or special day lift ticket, EpicMix also lets skiers build their reputation among a community of avid downhill fans with a pretty slick gamification system.
In his Social Media Marketing Blog, Scott Monty shared an infographic featuring five companies that are ‘rocking social media’ on the engagement front.
That innovation spans all three community pillars –advocacy, feedback and support.
Our own State of Online Branded Communities highlights engaging approaches by four top scoring brands in this year’s study:
Looking back at 2011, what are your engagement stand-outs?