Kmart unveils ‘boxers ad’, JCPenney suggests wearing pants

With the holidays approaching, brands are amplifying their messages to shoppers. Kmart unveiled an ad recently titled, “Show Your Joe.” The ad is for Joe Boxer and includes men dancing in their underwear.

The ad has been getting flack from some people who say it’s ‘disgusting’ and ‘inappropriate.’ But perhaps the best response came Wednesday night from, of all places, JCPenney’s Facebook page.

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Well played jcp.

Update: Nice response from Kmart on Twitter.

Note to others: Quit taking social media marketing so damn seriously. This is fun, people!

Facebook Begins Enforcing the 20 Percent Rule on Promoted Posts

You may want to keep your ruler nearby if you’re planning to promote your business on Facebook. The social media giant is cracking down on Promoted Posts that include more than 20 percent of text on photos. I know that Facebook is cracking down because I got an email from their ad team saying Park Nicollet’s Facebook page broke the rules.

The email read:


Fortunately, Facebook didn’t threaten to shutdown Park Nicollet’s page. But it’s a clear sign that Facebook is going to enforce this rule. For reference, here is the post I was trying to promote:


Clearly, the text takes up more than 20 percent of the photo – and I got caught (not that I was trying to beat the system. I wasn’t.) So how did I get caught so quickly? According to an article in Entrepreneur Magazine:

Facebook uses an automated tool that can quickly review and determine whether each cover photo or post that you want to promote is compliant.

The new rule started on January 15, according to the article, and was added to the Facebook guidelines as a way to minimize loud and obnoxious marketing messages from overtaking News Feeds. Facebook felt this rule was necessary as more and more businesses experimented with Promoted Posts.

While we got flagged for this particular post, Park Nicollet has used other Promoted Posts with great success. We’ve used it several times to share stories to a wider audience, receiving many more likes, comments and shares. Plus, our Facebook fanbase has grown thanks to the Promoted Posts.

Rules are nothing new for Facebook. It has a policy for what can be included on a cover photos, how contests can be run and restricting calls to action, such as “Get it now” or “Tell your friends” – but those rules are rarely enforced. It’s good to know Facebook is standing by its word – on words.

KitchenAid reminds us to Tweet carefully

On Wednesday night, Mitt Romney and Barack Obama met in Denver for their first presidential debate of this election season. Not surprisingly, the highly anticipated showdown was the talk of Twitter, including from one unlikely political pundit.

While Obama and Romney exchanged barbs, the Twitter account of @KitchenAidUSA (the company that makes kitchen appliances and accessories) posted a Tweet about the Obama presidency. The Tweet was quickly removed, but thanks to a retweet by Tara Olson (@futureadexec), the Tweet lived on:

#socialscandel indeed.

After deleting the Tweet, the @KitchenAidUSA account posted this response:

I can only speculate what happened here, but my guess is the person who manages Kitchen Aid’s Twitter account accidentally Tweeted from the company’s account instead of from their personal account. Again, that’s just speculation, but I could see how it could happen.

Whatever the case may be, this is a great reminder to Tweet carefully. No Tweet is that important that you must rush it out and make this kind of mistake. Also, a good practice that I follow is if you’re going to Tweet something controversial, type it out then walk away from your computer for a moment. Take the time to think of all the ramifications that it might come from that one Tweet.

The person from Kitchen Aid who posted this Tweet is going to have a tough day at work on Thursday. That is if he/she still has a job.

UPDATE: According to, KitchenAid’s Senior Director of Marketing Cynthia Soledad sent the website an email that read: “During the debate tonight, a member of our Twitter team mistakenly posted an offensive tweet from the KitchenAid handle instead of a personal handle. The tasteless joke in no way represents our values at KitchenAid, and that person won’t be tweeting for us anymore. That said, I lead the KitchenAid brand, and I take responsibility for the whole team. I am deeply sorry to President Obama, his family, and the Twitter community for this careless error. Thanks for hearing me out.”

Learning from #NBCFail: Managing your online reputation

NBC is getting slaughtered on social media for its decision to use tape delay during the 2012 Olympic Games in London. NBC is holding off on showing events live (which is common practice during the Olympics) so they can present them to a larger audience in primetime (hence, charging more for advertising). While NBC is defending its decision to show popular events, such as swimming and gymnastics in primetime, an online revolt is taking place.

Outraged fans, who want to see the events live, are taking to Twitter and voicing their displeasure over NBC’s decision to tape delay the events. You can find these people by typing #NBCFail into Twitter’s search box. This type of backlash is nothing new thanks to social media. Twitter has become “America’s megaphone” because it’s a fast and simple way to air grievances to a large audience.

NBC probably doesn’t enjoy all of the negative feedback (especially from Guy Adams), but they aren’t exactly hurting from it either. Ratings for the 2012 Olympics are down compared to 2008, but they’re still very solid. All this talk about unfavorable online comments got me thinking about the best practices for managing your online reputation, both professionally and personally.

Monitor and respond quickly

There is a great infographic from that perfectly illustrates ‘How to manage your company’s online reputation’. The opening line of the infographic says it best, “Your business has a reputation, and it’s up to you to ensure it’s a positive one.”

Online reputation management is part of my job at Park Nicollet and I’m constantly monitoring Facebook, Twitter and other social media sites for comments about us, both positive and negative. It’s my job to respond to those comments and make sure our customer’s questions and concerns are being answered. I’ve found people respond very favorably to great customer service (shocking!). Coming back from a social media crisis isn’t always easy, but I found this article on Magnet4Marketing’s website that will help get you headed in the right direction.

While Magnet4Marketing’s suggestions are solid, one other recommendation I have is to take the negative conversation offline. Don’t go back-and-forth on Twitter or Facebook for everyone else to see. Find a way to continue the conversation via email or over the phone.

Helpful tools

Tracking your company’s online reputation (or your personal reputation) is easier than ever thanks to the Internet. Of course Google Alerts and searches, Twitter and Facebook will help you manage your online reputation, but there are other lesser known tools that can help you track what people are saying about you as well.

This list is included on the infographic from I use these sites regularly to keep my ear to the online ground.
Motto: Like Google Alerts but for social media. Receive free daily email alerts of your brand, company, CEO, marketing campaign, or on a developing news story, a competitor, or the latest on a celebrity.
Motto: A real-time search engine for Facebook and Twitter.
Motto: Inhale the web. Instantly create a custom page with the latest buzz on any topic.

If you’re having a hard time selling your boss on why social media is important (which shouldn’t be a hard sell these days), show them this article. It might just help change his or her mind.

What is a Social Media Strategist?

So I’ve been on the job as digital content editor at Park Nicollet for about three weeks now and already people have questions. I’m not talking about questions from my colleagues, I’m talking about questions from my friends and family. They want to know what I’m doing now, professionally speaking. My wife, whom I love more than anything, sort of hung me out to dry on Facebook when she wrote:


While her status update was certainly warranted, and supportive (as she always is), it put me in a line of fire. A friend of mine responded to her post with this gem:


I liked it, so did four other people. But it got me thinking about how was going to explain my job now. I can’t tell me I get to goof off on Facebook and Twitter all day (even though both websites stay open on my computer every minute of the day). I needed to find something better that described what I do, and why I’m qualified to do what I do.

Fortunately for me, the answer fell right in my lap when my boss sent me an article by Bryan Kramer. He’s the president of Pure Matter, which is a brand marketing and interactive company based in San Jose, California. He does a beautiful job of outlining the Five Roles of a Social Media Strategist (which is essentially what I am) and makes it easy to understand.

Another thing Kramer does very well in this piece is he describes the type of person that would thrive in a social media strategist role. After reading this article, I hope you have a better understanding for I do. It also reassured me that my current job as digital content editor (again, essentially a social media strategist) is exactly what I should be doing given my skill set.

Thanks Bryan (Kramer, not Jensen) for helping explain what I do for a living to my parents.

Measuring Social Media ROI

I recently started a new job as digital content editor at Park Nicollet. It’s a new position at the company and my role isn’t yet clearly defined. However, I do know I will be in charge of all of Park Nicollet’s social media properties. That includes Facebook (our workhorse), Twitter (evolving), YouTube (sleeping giant), Pinterest (healthcare pins?) and Google+ (helloooo, anyone there?). It’ll be my job to connect people to Park Nicollet using those social platforms.

It’s also my job now to answer the age old question (in social media years) what’s the ROI of social media?

Pardon me? ROI?

After spending most of my professional life in a TV newsroom and working in media relations, where results were measured by ratings points and media hits, I must now sift through analytical data to determine the ROI of my social media work. Yikes!

Since starting this job two weeks ago, I’ve already been asked several times, by several different colleagues, for Facebook metrics and an analysis of how social media is connecting people to Park Nicollet. If this is your life too, I have some advice.

First thing you should do is read this article:

The author, Erica Swallow, wrote a fantastic article about three things to consider when measuring social media ROI. While the information comes from a presentation given by Hal Thomas, a content manager at BFG Communications, Swallow does a nice job of simplifying and organizing Thomas’ thoughts and suggestions.

So the next time your boss or stakeholder demands to know the ROI of social media, you’ll have the answer. I have this article printed out and memorized. It works.