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Burger King’s Twitter Hacked = Link Bait Goldmine

1 Comments
February 19  |  Link Bait Tactics  |   Ryan Clark

burger king twitter hack

So we often hear that no press is bad press and in the case of Burger King’s Twitter hacking they certainly will come out on top. While a lot of nefarious things were mentioned and done on the account no one will really care, so in the end Burger King will definitely enjoy the buzz.

The reason I hope they don’t care? No one will remember this in a week and during that time, I imagine the will get thousands of links and social followers because of it…so what’s the big deal? Let this sink in and be a lesson on how to turn a bad thing into something good.

If I were them, I would also try and get interviews from highly authoritative places about the incident and perhaps talk about brand image and or social media security…it’s kind of a snooze fest but I imagine a lot of publications are looking to talk to someone over there while the news is hot.

Just take a look at the social buzz via Topsy:

burger king hacked twitter
 
News sites were also picking the story up like crazy:

Screen Shot 2013-02-19 at 8.30.32 AM
 
So you get the idea eh?

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Building Social Media Profiles For Fun & Profit

3 Comments
September 19  |  Brand Building  |   Ryan Clark

Building a targeted social media follower base is no easy task. However, there are certain ways to speed things up and get a quick ROI for your time spent. It’s really hard to see the value when you’re starting out, especially when trying to get upper management to put good money and manpower towards the cause. It’s one of the toughest areas we have with our clients as they hate waiting for results, and really they should only be using an outside company to send them in the right direction.

What we want in the end are real people hitting that “follow” button so you have a real target audience that’s truly interested in your brand. The one other aspect that’s extremely important in my mind is the fact that you get to build a level of trust with consumers. If they can see you interacting with other customers, sharing new media and seeing others engaged with your brand, you’ll see an uptick in sales…without a doubt! The cream on top comes with the value in spreading content once you have a large following. If you have a truly creative content team, they’re going to have a lot more success spreading the right media because customers will actually want to share your content.

#Protip – Using a profile picture of a good looking bloke or lady from your company is going to get more follows thanks to good old “sex appeal”.

What I’m going to go over today will help get a big boost to your follower base that should be decently targeted to your brand. We will also identify your key social influencers which will be really important down the road. The world of business becomes a lot easier when you have the right connections, so make sure you know who the key players are. These relationships can lead to getting links, making new social friends, and getting help sharing your content. Just make sure you play nice and be social!

Let’s Talk About Pinterest

This site is perhaps the most fun to work on as of late, and while it’s not for business, it is a social network not to be slept on. Pinterest has a large female following (with the guys finally catching on) and while the referral traffic might be on par with StumbleUpon (aka not that sticky), this social network has other uses. You do get links on your profile, but the best marketing aspect yet? You pins can rank easily for long tail keywords and thus become a major traffic driver in and of themselves. This of course will only last as long as Google inflates their rankings like they are now, so definitely take advantage of this (and for any other social media site of the moment).

Pinterest follows will mainly come from you having good content, just like any other marketing angle you usually would be working. If you’re selling a product that’s the same across other websites and it’s already pinned, it’s time to take some custom photos for the occasion. Pinterest will send you insane amounts of traffic if done right, but don’t expect to magically go viral anymore, even with amazing content. Nevertheless, having the right audience already in place will make your life so much easier!

First up, get your staff (or yourself if flying solo) to populate your account, make sure you have your links set up, and create a dozen of your own pin boards. Fill the default ones up first and work on those amazing pictures for your custom pin boards before heading off to make friends.

Play Nice With Others…

Spend a few hours hunting down similar users by hand based on what you like and see. That’s always a great way to make sure you have future pins you’ll actually be interested in re-pinning on a bi-weekly basis. Not only that, but hopefully they’ll be something your followers will be interested in as well; chances are good that you’ll earn some like-minded followers back. By now, I’m sure you’re thinking “I’ve already done this with Twitter”… Sadly, it won’t be the last time you feel that sensation either, as I’m sure the next big social media site is just about to pounce.

Trending & Influencers

Once you’ve worked on the above task, it’s time to start utilizing the mashup sites that provide a wealth of useful information. In came Repinly and let me tell you, this is the most handy Pinterest marketing resource you’re going to see, hands down.

Here you can easily find the top influencers and pins in your vertical. Since using this site, we’ve managed to help build clients’ Pinterest follower levels over the 100k mark. You can also keep your eye out for pin boards that allow other contributors which opens you up to a world of power sharing.

There are a couple of other Pinterest mashups worth mentioning, and although I hate to favor one over the other, Repinly has really outdone themselves. You can also check out:

Pinauthority.com – tracks statistics for Pinterest users including pin stats and follower gains/losses.

PinPuff.com – This is kind of like Klout, but for just Pinterest… I don’t think I could have summed it up any better.

Don’t Skip Out On TheFancy.com

This is my personal favorite social site of the “pin kind”. TheFancy.com has been growing rapidly, although it’s not quite near the traffic levels of its arch-nemesis. We also run a luxury blog and luxury marketing company which is in the upstart stages, and that’s more so what this site is geared towards. The cooler and more fancy it is, the better luck you’ll have spreading it on this site. The bonus as well is that you can directly partner with TheFancy and they can send you sales/leads for your products. I’ve also found that the site’s posts also rank quite well in the long tail and can be another addition to that specific strategy. Here’s a shot of my profile:

To me, the overall experience of this site is way better than its competitors and I spend way too much time on it. I’ve also found the traffic is a lot more sticky and productive that Pinterest (which usually has a time on site of less than 10 seconds). There are no stats and trending tools for TheFancy, but you can use Topsy to see some hot items which I find is great for my link bait writing. Gaining followers here requires a lot of hard work and while I’ve had my items front page featured a lot, I’m still not that influential.

Instagram Is Too Useful To Ignore

Instagram is quite fun, and bringing it into the work place can be a positive work task if done correctly. It can be used to showcase your products, your team and even score some natural links in the process. Creating content is good, and that’s what it’s all about these days! Gaining target followers here is the same as in any other place: follow, like/comment and hopefully get followed back. As I’m sure you’re aware, #hashtags play a key role with Instagram as well, so don’t forget to utilize them.

Instagram is a great marketing tool because:

  • You can showcase behind-the-scenes at your company on the fly.
  • You can use it to feed content to your Facebook and Twitter accounts.
  • You can repurpose the pictures into galleries or use them on your company blog.
  • You can push Instagram followers to subscribe to your other social media accounts.
  • You can take part in trending topics with your own content.

Getting Stats and Trending Data for Instagram

Statigr.am

Since viewing anything on Instagram from the web is a complete pain in the arse, in came Statigram which makes life easier and prettier. You can get stats, view pictures and comment on images as well – all from their beautiful interface, which I think is what Instagram should have been like from the get-go. Take advantage of the search feature and go hit up your favorite #hashtag to find users to follow and discover who your influencers are.


Pinstagram

If you’re looking for another way to attract more followers and showcase your content in a purrdy way, then don’t miss out on using Pinstagram. It’s a breeze to use on your mobile phone or tablet and the whole interface is just so well done. Another perk of the 10-second sign up process is of course a link that will add a natural site/brand named link to your profile.


 

Google+ IS Worth The Effort

I’m finding that the Google+ effort by most webmasters, especially myself (shamefully), and even clients these days, is still quite minimal. I’ve been reading and researching what’s working well for other mass-followed individuals across a few verticals, and have come up with the following tactics to try out to see how well it builds an audience. Some of it is just obvious and I cannot believe how we’ve been sleeping on it all this time. If you have any tips I missed, leave them in the comments below and I’ll include it in here with a reference back to you!

Another reason I think the new social media network on the block is worth the effort is simply because of its integration. We spend so much time marketing to all of the other “Google streams” and now that they’re all flowing into the same lake, we have no choice. I definitely see it as an opportunity to take hold of as many followers as you can while the getting is good. I think it will play a crucial part in allowing any sort of top 10 ranking in whatever is left of the Google first page results in the coming years. Rand Fishkin has already covered this and several more reasons to get in on it sooner rather than later.

 
Badges & Reaching Out

This is the easiest part as there are many Google+ buttons you can get and try out on your audience, and while we use Sharebar for our social shares, I think it’s time we tried something else. We’re just not getting the desired amount of G+ shares on our content, so we’ll see what we can do for the last half of the year. You can find different badges for free all over the web (just use Google…), plus you could and should experiment with your own creative options to get that follow.

I would also highly recommend letting your social followers elsewhere know that you’re now on Google+, and/or share your brand/company community url there. This also means sending out a newsletter as well… Not many people remember to do this and that’s a big mistake. Newsletter followers are usually a high valued follower and syncing them up is going to be very well worth it. Remember that the Google “tentacles” reach out everywhere and that also means into the Gmail inbox location!

I’ve also seen the majority of shares on our end come from my blogging author bio both on our site and especially when I guest blog. Besides that, you should list it on other social media site bios(when you have the room) such as:

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • About.me
  • About Us Pages
  • Scribd
  • Slideshare presentations
  • Youtube videos
  • Pinterest etc
  • Linkedin

Google+ Hangouts

This is where things get the most interesting in my opinion. Video conferencing is a very handy tool and it will most likely outpace audio only communication in the coming years. While texting is still widely popular, I think in the business world in particular the trend of video conferencing will be quite well received. This is the area I myself and the Linkbuildr team will be focusing on the most because there are a couple of unique uses for this free service.

Use 1) Google+ Hangout Air

Google has been testing Hangout Air quite a bit over the past year, and it is basically live streaming to your audience for whatever reason you may have. There are already tens of thousands of celebrities, sports teams, brands and leaders making good use of it. You can instantly save it to Youtube for marketing purposes later, or just go live to your audience. Right now you can broadcast up to 10 people, which is great for collaboration or for interacting with many people from a client’s company.

Use 2) Handle Customer Service

We’re a small team and a small company, so keeping costs down is always a plus! I know Geoff couldn’t agree with me more there as I give him and our accountant enough headaches as is. With Google+ Direct Connect, you can connect your website/brand to everything properly so Google can index your content accordingly. This can work great for communicating with clients on-the-fly, and will be a serious threat to Skype and other services like it.

I can take a video call from a client and pull in Geoff, Simon or Curtis at any time to consult on something they’re working on specifically. We’re also going to test this out with our month end reports and let each person report to the client what’s going on in their work. Most of our communication is through email still, so it will be interesting to see how this works in improving how we get to know our clients and improve the working environment.

 
Don’t forget about Google+ Local

For anyone servicing a specific location, Google+ Local is an absolute must so I really shouldn’t be listing it here in this post. As I’m sure you’re aware, the local listings are placed highly on local search results and thus give you quite the advantage. This makes up for the majority of all local leads within Google, so make sure you’re open to reviews and providing customers something to look at.

You can feed in Youtube videos, product/company images, and your Zagat rating and actual testimonials from other Google+ users here which will greatly improve your ranking amongst all others. This is extremely helpful in showcasing that you’re an active and legit brand, something a lot more companies need to work on. I want to feel as if I can trust a website I’m buying from and will often peek at your social media activities to see who’s behind the code. I highly recommend reading David Mihm’s crowd sourced mega article on ranking factors for local SEO, as it goes into great detail on just about everything you’ll need to know.

Youtube & Vimeo

I won’t – nor do I need to – go into great detail on why and how you should be using video in your marketing efforts. I will, however, quickly cover why I think these two are the only video sites worth putting a lot of effort into in the immediate future. It’s no secret that videos from these two sites can rank extremely high up in the SERPs if done correctly, and it all comes down to great content and your user base.

Vimeo.com

Vimeo is a place for high quality content, so sticking to that idea, I definitely recommend only using it for a certain type of video. I would certainly not recommend putting up boring product commercials or anything not edited well by a professional. Don’t get discouraged though; even though it’s more of a place for video art, you can by all means utilize it as a sales driving force. To give you an idea, just take a look at how GoPro has used it to sell their product and launch viral video content.

Kick ass content that lets the product do the selling without having to shove any tom foolery in a customers face. After seeing just one of their videos, you’ll want one.

Youtube

Youtube is great for all video, including artsy high end HD productions. I tend to recommend that clients heavily upload product reviews, funny videos, and pretty much anything else here. Youtube videos rank well, and if you can make your video authoritative enough, you will dominate the search results. A well ranked video comes from a number of areas such as view count, ratings, comments, and social share data, so having a well built social following can make a fast and significant impact to those rankings. I picked the random Google search query “San Jose mortgage broker” off the top of my head and sure enough, I got two video listings right at the top!

That’s why I love utilizing video, although we mainly do it for clients and not enough for ourselves. Just make sure you’re producing useful content, as it will lead to real social follows and that’s what you’re going after here. Video also lets your customers peer into your brand a little more intimately, which in turn leads to more brand trust.

A Couple More Examples

Manhattan creative agency

How to make money online

Need I say more?


Read Part 2: Build And Engage

 


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Marty McFly’s Nike sneakers have finally come Back From the Future

3 Comments
September 8  |  Viral Marketing  |   Simon

As a senior member of Gen Y, the 80s holds many of my fondest pop culture memories. The Back to the Future movies were huge hits when they were released and are still loved by millions today. I still remember seeing the original Back to the Future when it was first released to VHS. When the sequel came out, where Marty McFly travels to the future, my whole generation was blown away. No one can forget the flying DeLorean, the hoverboard, the 3D Jaws movie billboard to the self-tying Nike hi-tops that Marty McFly wears. With all this and so many other imaginative details, Director Robert Zemeckis and producer Steven Spielberg were able to send us all to the distant future: the year 2015. Now in 2011, Nike is finally releasing the same Nike’s Marty McFly wore to ride his hoverboard, after over 20 years of rumours and hype.

The legions of Back to The Future fans have always discussed and fantasized about when the hoverboard and the self-tying sneakers would become a reality. On September 6th, 2011 the Nike “Air Mags” finally came back from the future in a teaser Youtube video by user “DocEmmettBrown88”, for those who don’t know all their BTTF trivia, that’s the name of the scientist who invented the time traveling DeLorean.

The next day at around 3pm, NiceKicks.com, one of the leading authorities in the world of sneakers, received a special package from the future. Just like the scenes in the movies where Marty would receive messages from Doc Brown for another point in time, an iPod Shuffle had a special message from the Doc himself saying: “Welcome to Los Angeles. If my calculations are correct, over the next 24 hours you are about to see some SERIOUS SH*T!”. It included an invitation to: “IT’S ABOUT TIME…an unveiling that could change the course of time”, a special event in Hollywood tonight. I’m sure the NiceKicks staff are BTTF fans and I couldn’t imagine their excitement, I would have screamed and fainted for sure.

promo package for Nike's "Back to The Future" Air Mag sneakers

Doc Brown's metal wrap glasses from "Back to The Future II"The package contained Throwback Pepsi (the mid-80s formula), some 80s candy, such as Nerds and bubble gum tape. It also had the Back to The Future Trilogy and a pair of Doc Brown’s metal shield glasses he wore in the film.

While there have been a few Nike releases with a “Marty McFly” theme, none have been official or done the pair from the movie justice. Last August, NiceKicks reported that Nike had filed a patented for a pair of battery-operated self-tying shoe with LED lights. Many dismissed it as a hoax since rumours of this sneaker being made have always come up over the years.

80s candy, Throwback Pepsi and "Back to The Future" movies

Now we have confirmation that the dream is real, tonight at 8pm, the real-deal Marty McFly Air Mag sneakers will be unveiled. They will be the first rechargeable footwear from Nike, featuring a glowing LED panel and it actually auto-ties itself with a button… JUST LIKE IN THE MOVIE!!!!

Nike's Air Mag sneaker from "Back to The Future"

1500 have been made, with 150 to go up for auction on eBay for 10 days, starting tonight. All proceeds will go to the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s disease. In case you are not aware, Michael J. Fox who starred in BTTF, has Parkinsons which led to him starting this foundation. He will appear on David Letterman tonight, hopefully in his signature outfit from the movies. Leading up to this release, Sergey Brin and Anne Wojcicki said they would match all donations to this foundation up until 2012, at a max of $50 million. With over 20 years of hype for this release, I’m sure it will be an all out 10-day bidding war for these sneakers, so it’s great to see Brin and Wojcicki stepped up to match all donations.

Marty McFly holding his Nike Air Mags in "Back to The Future II"

Mark Parker, CEO of Nike, said he wanted to translate all the built-up excitement for this sneaker and turn it into a positive action to raise money and awareness for Parkinson’s disease. A great PR move by Nike to help a great cause. The viral-ness of this sneaker has blown up across Facebook, Twitter and the blogosphere. This has covered all marketing costs, outside of the teaser video, release event and promo packages. And Nike and BTTF fans get a chance to fulfill a childhood dream while giving to charity. This ends up being a win-win-win situation, with Nike, charity and fans all benefiting. It also stands as another stellar example of viral marketing and leverage of inbound marketing techniques, brought to us by the geniuses at Nike.

topsy.com stats for "Back to The Future"

Hoverboard from "Back to The Future II"

Still waiting for the Hoverboard to come out...

Let’s take a look at some of the real-time stats from Topsy.com after 24 hours of NiceKicks’ post on receiving the promo package. The Back to The Future hashtag, #BTTF has been used just over 1000 times. “Back to The Future” has been mentioned 5,600 times, “Marty McFly” has been mentioned 2,800 times and “Nike Air Mag” mentioned 1,500 times. The post itself has had over 19,000 FB ‘likes’, 228 +1’s and 3683 retweets. The teaser Youtube video has received almost 185,00 views in two days. All this without the shoes even being released yet. Just imagine the ROI of promoting a pair of sneakers or a charity through traditional channels like banner, print or TV ads, compared to inbound marketing tactics of social networks and blogging. You can imagine the $$ saved.

We’ll see how long this topic trends with 10 days of auctioning. And I’ll also update if I’m incredibly lucky and win a bid… They would just make the perfect pair of (online)work shoes.

UPDATE: The winning big on the first pair was $37,500 by British rapper Tinie Tempah, who also received a plutonium case to carry them in and was apparently promised a puppy by the auction’s host. And unfortunately, the sneakers do not auto-fasten, guess we’ll actually have to wait until 2015 like in the movie… But in other BTTF news, Coke-a-Cola has angel invested in The Hoverboard Program, which aims to bring us the hoverboard by 4:29pm on the 21st of October 2015, which is the exact date/time when Marty McFly arrived in the future. Its hard to say how serious this program is, they are hiring though. Just like with the legacy of the Nike Air Mags, we’ll just have to wait and see.

Follow me on Twitter:@S_Gerard

Photo Credits: NiceKicks.com

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Twitter’s Earthquake Commercial – Snoozfest!

1 Comments
September 2  |  Brand Building  |   Ryan Clark

I was expecting a lot more 2.0 humor and pizazz to come from Twitter’s commercial but it fell kind of flat for me. You’ve almost nabbed everyone in the tech/nerd/hipster sphere, and if you’re wanting to reach the broader audience, you’re going to have to do better than this! The communication power of Twitter is immense and down right useful, so I expect to see something more emotionally moving next time around.

 

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Ecommerce Twitter Marketing Strategies In Action

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August 17  |  Ecommerce SEO  |   Ryan Clark

From time to time I see Ecommerce sites using Twitter in really effective, fun and marketable ways. I’ve been saving a few of these one day for a post and finally got something to go on here for everyone! We’ll take a look at some big players, and of course the smaller niche shops out there doing it large.Most of all the brands mentioned are favorites of mine, so oh happy day for them because they’re getting a link! I’d like to do this type of post more often as well, so send us in some tips of your favorite brands doing awesome things via Twitter!

Twitter is a great way to interact with real people in near real time, and this is great for business. I like the fact the small to big brands can take part and actually make some serious coin. I especially like how you can build a real trust level with customers just from interacting. You bigger brands really can make someone’s day just by sending them a Tweet, so take advantage of that!

@Sheepskinshttp://www.sheepskinfurs.com

This is a great example of interacting with someone who owns some sheepskin and obviously is having some problems. I’m not sure if this lead to them getting a sale for a new rug, but they handled the interaction spot on in my books! Offering the discount a new sheepskin rug also may keep their brand in her memory every time she gets a whiff of that smelly old rug.

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@DJPremiumhttp://www.djpremium.com

This is a great use of Twitter for helping a customer out and I imagine the more active you are doing this, the greater your conversion rate will be! If the Twitter manager knew the answer directly, then obviously this would have been the better choice. Regardless, it’s nice to have a brand speak back to you on issues at hand. I buy a lot of my denim from these folks so it’s nice to be able to use them as an example of Twitter customer service!

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@OswegoHotelhttp://oswegovictoria.com

This happens to be one of of favorite hotels in the world, and they happen to be right in my neck of the woods. The social media team for this boutique hotel is on the ball to say the least. They’re insanely good at social interaction and I’d recommend just studying how they run things for a great example of how to do social media.

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@Hublothttp://www.hublot.com

Hublot is one of my favorite watch brands, and they’re a company that doesn’t need to use social media to thrive at all. However, they do one helluva job making their fans know what’s what. @JayZ has recently started rocking their brand and it makes for a great celebrity endorsement…perhaps one of the biggest. They’re doing a lot of good marketing tactics on Twitter to raise awareness and this is just one example.

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@3DCarthttp://www.3dcart.com

This brilliant ecommerce platform is no stranger to marketing hard via social media and I’ve always liked how they’ve handled themselves. With all the ecommerce software competition out there, you’re going to have to hustle to keep the users flocking to your service. Here’s a good example of them winning over a new client.

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Whitehouse Twitter Drops The LOLZ

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July 29  |  Link Bait Tactics  |   Ryan Clark

While the Whitehouse will rarely answer a tough question, the jokes were certainly a flying this week via their Twitter account. Their Twitter team went a little viral this week when they they dropped the rickroll on Twitter user Wiggsd, and I imagine he loved it! A lot of people were annoyed that this happened, while I think it’s fun an a prime example of good social media participation. I imagine all the news brought them in a hefty amount of followers this week in hopes of catching more lolz.

whitehouse rick rolled

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Gwazu.com Makes Twitter Contests A Breeze

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March 11  |  Twitter Marketing  |   Ryan Clark

Our team has been handling a lot of contests lately in the social media realm, so when a new tool comes out we’re always thankful. Getting followers to your social media channels are more important than ever, and we have an inkling that it’s going to be even more crucial by the end of 2011. Marketing a contest by Twitter is so easy that not doing one is just plain crazy. Gwazu.com has recently come onto the radar of our team not only for its contest marketing ability, but to enter random give-aways when we’re bored. I thought we’d take a quick look at what makes this web app tick, and hopefully persuade some brands to start using their platform.

The first thing I’ll mention is the complete ease of entering a contest from the consumers point of view. As long as you’re logged into your Twitter account, you just need to click the enter contest button and you’re done. It doesn’t get any easier than that! This should really entice companies and brands to jump on board and utilize their platform. Those ReTweets should be nice and handy in getting a lot of exposure, and play things right so that people are funneled to your Facebook Page.

Getting your contest listed here for now just requires a simple email and a reading of their rules. Gwazu’s aim is to alert the world about the biggest and best social media contests, so I don’t recommend coming to them with a measly $10 gift card to Mcdonalds…although I’d most likely sign up for that! You can also pay to advertise in their featured contest spot which is top dead center, schmack dab in the middle! So what are you waiting for? Get on that social media contest your brand has been dying to do before it’s too late!

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Chrysler Drops F-Bomb Via Twitter

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March 9  |  Brand Building  |   Ryan Clark

While some people would be offended to hear the F-word, most of us hear it on a daily basis so it’s no big deal really. When it comes to branding and watching what you say on behalf of your company, then that’s a different story. While it looked like the social media team for Chrysler may have accidentally dropped the F-bomb via their Twitter profile, it now is a case of being hacked…or at least that’s what they say. Regardless I’m all for it! While a few people will scoff at what has happened, the rest of the web is quick to talk about it on Twitter, Facebook and of course blogs. This means the links are pouring in and it’s a nice little bit of exposure for Chrysler.

So far I haven’t heard much of a negative response, but I’m sure Chrysler is doing all it can to make sure their image isn’t tarnished. If anything is learned here, and you have a slip up via social media like this then you can instantly claim you were hacked and begin an easy clean up process. Either way, the auto company will enjoy a couple days of buzz before the entire world forgets all about it…kinda like when they a launch a new car(zing!).

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