I Trust Mike Rowe

Questions about the Trust

What is trust, exactly? The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines trust as, “belief that someone or something is reliable, good, honest, effective, etc.” It then goes on further to say trust is “assured reliance on the character, ability, strength, or truth of someone or something one in which confidence is placed; dependence on something future or contingent.” I think this is why the notion of trust on social media is such a hard thing to define.  In terms of trusting an individual online, it’s hard to feel those feelings for people you haven’t spent time with.  So how do we determine whom to trust online?

Steve Rayson, in an article on Social Media Today takes a look at the equation authors Chris Brogan and Julien Smith argue for in their book “Trust Agents.” They say the formula for trust is:

Influence + Reputation = Trust

Rayson gives his reasons for a new formula:

social media trust formula-white-160

(Authority x Helpfulness x Intimacy) / Self-Promotion = Trust

I didn’t feel like their formulas represented why I trust people and companies on social media, so I tried to rewrite the formula myself.  Not liking the inclusion of self-promotion, I scrapped it.  Some of my favorite personalities online self-promote, and unless it’s the only thing a person does, it doesn’t bother me.  In fact, if it weren’t for their self-promotion I’d probably never have heard about them in the first place!  Then I replaced Authority with Credibility, Helpfulness with being Interesting, and Intimacy with Honesty.  This is what I came up with:

Credibility + Interesting + Honesty = Trust

Now, I wasn’t really good at math in high school, so I tend to feel like formulas like these are pretty good guides, but they can’t always explain why we trust who we do online.  I started to ponder, who do I trust on social media, and why?

I remembered a post I had read on Facebook from television personality, Mike Rowe.  It was about a liquor store owner who posted photos of shoplifters he’d caught on camera in his store as a deterrent to others.  Here’s the post.

Photo from Mike Rowe’s Facebook page

Now, I don’t agree with everything he says, I really don’t like any use of profanity, and I don’t follow him on social media, but whenever I’ve seen his statuses shared on Facebook or read an article about something he’d written there, I’ve always appreciated his voice.  I like that he’s real.  Can there be a formula for that?

From a business/marketing standpoint, his Twitter profile seems to be purely re-posts of his Facebook content, which isn’t an effective use of that platform.  But from a trust standpoint, I don’t care.  When he posts something on Facebook that is newsworthy, I read it, and I appreciate it.  His down-to-earth “everyman” persona on Facebook has become a bit of an anomaly to me.  He’s controversial, but he’s not mean.  I like that he comments on hot-topics and points out things that rub him the wrong way in our politically-correct society.  I find it refreshing from a celebrity, and that has led to my trust.   He is honest and entertaining.   As a result, I find myself interested in his television projects and foundation more.  So, my re-written equation actually applies.

Credibility + Interesting + Honesty = Trust

But the real equation that matters is:

My Trust = My Support

If I trust you online, I’ll support you.  I’ll watch your movies or television shows or buy your book.  I may even give to your favorite cause, if it lines up with my values.  The point is, trust is a valuable thing to gain on social media.

I’d like to hear from you!  What do you think of my formula?  Have you ever trusted someone on social media that you find it hard to explain why?

Terms and Conditions Do Apply

Handwritten Underlined Terms and Conditions Texts

Have you read the writing on the wall?  How about the Terms and Conditions for your favorite social media sites?  Well, whether you’ve read them or not, if you’ve checked that “accept” button and are using the site, they apply to you.

I think most of us feel about website Terms and Conditions the way that comic, Eddie Izzard, describes in this video.

For the purpose of learning more about social media sites’ Ts & Cs, I read through Facebook’s and Twitter’s and some others, as well.  I’ll be taking a closer look at the User Agreement for LinkedIn.  I chose this document out of all of the ones I read through, because I felt it took the most balanced approach.

First of all, I really like the format. LinkedIn tries to communicate to the user in easy-to-digest bites of information and organizes it with a sidebar, whose only purpose is to help explain what they’ll be covering in each section.  If you took a look at Facebook’s  or Twitter’s Ts & Cs, you know that that is not always the case.

LinkedIn Terms and ConditionsI also like how LinkedIn seems to be trying to use real conversational language in their Ts & Cs whenever possible.  From an ethical perspective, this is important because I think it shows that the company is making its best effort to make sure their Ts & Cs are not just binding, but understood.  The inclusion of this video at the top of the page also helps communicate that to their users.

In terms of safeguards, LinkedIn is very clear that, “When you share information, others can see, copy and use that information.”  They also make it very clear in their Disclaimer and Limit of Liability that they are not liable for any damages, loss of services, opportunities, reputation, data, profits or revenues related to their services.  Here’s where is gets tricky.  After having read through so many of these Ts & Cs, I now look at them as the contracts that they are.  Companies, like LinkedIn, should be allowed to protect themselves by making statements like these in their Ts & Cs.  Otherwise, they’d never be able to operate.

Terms and Conditions wordle

It’s certainly a balancing act that sites like LinkedIn are doing in their Ts & Cs.  For the most part, I think LinkedIn is doing a great job of both protecting themselves while explaining to their users the best way to conduct their business on their site.

It’s true.  Their List of user “Do’s” is much shorter than the “Don’t,” but as I read through them, I felt that they are reasonable, which is more than I can say for many others!

So, read the Ts & Cs of the sites you are a part of.  Are there any that stick out to you as being outrageous?  Which social site do you think has the best Ts & Cs?

Social Media Magic — Planning Your Posts

I am a planner.  All of my friends and family would tell you so.  I pack at least several days before leaving for a trip.  I save money ahead of time for special purchases.  I like to plan.  It makes me happy.

This is one of the reasons I’m good at what I do.  An effective social media strategy requires a lot of planning.  There are a lot of ways to assist with planning posts to social media channels.  Buffer, Hootesuite, and Bronto are just a few online programs you can use to schedule your posts.  But before you start plugging your posts in, I’d recommend a good, old fashioned editorial calendar.  They work great for planning everything from blog posts to tweets.  You can make your calendar as elaborate as you like, but a straight-forward list can be quite useful — especially when you’re in the first stages of planning a campaign.

For the purposes of education, I’ve put together a purely hypothetical list that will focus on Walt Disney World’s (WDW) Magic Kingdom during the month of August 2014.  When thinking about this list, I’ve set some goals, which are important for any social media campaign.  Looking at WDW’s Twitter feed, I’ve noticed that they’ve been focusing heavily on using the hashtag #FrozenSummer.  This is a clever way to engage folks, using the success of the worldwide phenomenon the movie, “Frozen,” coupled with the excitement of visiting WDW during the summer.  And let’s face it: anyone visiting WDW in the heat of the summer could use some reminding of cooler temperatures.  So, for the sake of this hypothetical list, I will also focus on using a hashtag, promoting themed posts by using it.  Using a hashtag would allow me to track my results, and it also helps me to engage social media users when they post using it.

WDW is known for it’s fanatical fans, so I’m going to set a goal to try to engage all users — not just current guests.  WDW already does such a great job of promoting and listing it’s times and events to guests.  They hand out maps.  They have handouts of showtimes and special character meetings given out by the handful upon entry to their parks.  They even have a fabulous new app guests can use.  I am not going to use social media as yet another calendar for them.  That would be redundant and, as their social media marketer, wouldn’t best serve my “client.”

Tech-savvy guests will certainly be interested in participating in social media during their stay, but to focus solely on them would be to ignore the hoards of Disney fans at home wishing they could be there too.  So, my main goal for this hypothetical campaign would be to engage fans who are not currently at WDW along with those who are currently guests.  Getting those fans back to the Disney website, so they can start thinking about and planning their next visit would be ideal, so I’ll include shortened urls in posts that will link back to the Disney website.

My secondary goal is to promote some of the lesser known things to do at the Magic Kingdom that are no less magical than the headliners, and I’ll be using the hashtag #MagicalSummer to do this.  I’ll group lesser-known Magic Kingdom experiences along with those sought-after ones, using the hashtag #MagcialSummer with all of them, thereby grouping them in the same category for both fans and current guests.

While a comprehensive social media strategy would focus on many platforms with multiple posts per day, I’m just going to focus on the two most popular channels, Facebook and Twitter, giving one example per day.  Remember when planning posts to count your characters, and I don’t mean the Seven Dwarfs.

Note: When I list a photo, it is for the Facebook post.

Friday, August 1st

Facebook:  Don’t forget to make a wish during tonight’s Wishes Nighttime Spectacular fireworks show! What would your ultimate Disney wish be? http://bit.ly/L1qazf #MagicalSummer

Twitter:  Don’t forget to make a wish during tonight’s Wishes Nighttime Spectacular! What would your wish be? http://bit.ly/L1qazf #MagicalSummer

Saturday, August 2nd

Facebook: Hades and his cohorts could spell trouble! Defeat the villains in the Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom game, and let us know who your favorite Disney villain is! http://bit.ly/1jvs5dW #MagicalSummer

Twitter: Defeat the villains in the Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom game! Who is your favorite Disney villain? http://bit.ly/1jvs5dW #MagicalSummer

Sunday, August 3rd

Facebook: Who is your favorite miner? Don’t miss the new Seven Dwarfs Mine train ride in the all new Fantasyland! http://bit.ly/1lUpM6p #MagicalSummer

Twitter: Who is your favorite miner? Don’t miss the new Seven Dwarfs Mine train ride in the all new Fantasyland! http://bit.ly/1lUpM6p #MagicalSummer

Monday, August 4th

Facebook: Have you mastered your skills at the Frontierland Shootin’ Arcade? Which Disney character would you most want to beat?  http://bit.ly/1kTmn24 #MagicalSummer

Twitter: Which Disney character would you most want to beat at the Frontierland Shootin’ Arcade? http://bit.ly/1kTmn24 #MagicalSummer

Tuesday, August 5th

Facebook: Have you seen the funny things written on the tombstones at the Haunted Masion? What is the best way to pass the time while waiting in line for attractions? http://bit.ly/1flgNUq #MagicalSummer

Twitter: What is the best way to pass the time while waiting in line for attractions? http://bit.ly/1flgNUq #MagicalSummer

Wednesday, August 6th

Facebook: Have you been to the Laugh Floor? It’s a great place to giggle and guffaw with the character from Monsters, Inc., and Monsters University! Tell us the silliest joke you heard there! http://bit.ly/1la3RHK #MagicalSummer

Twitter: The Laugh Floor is a great place to giggle & guffaw with characters from Monsters, Inc. & University! http://bit.ly/1la3RHK #MagicalSummer

Thursday, August 7th

Facebook & Twitter: Need to cool off?  Enjoy a “Hare-Raising” Adventure” on Splash Mountain! http://bit.ly/1a7Dmyb #MagicalSummer

Friday, August 8th

Facebook & Twitter: What’s your favorite stop on Tom Sawyer’s Island? Adventure awaits! http://bit.ly/1cflzDW #MagicalSummer

Saturday, August 9th

Facebook & Twitter: Are you remembering some of your favorite Magic Kingdom memories? Let us know your favorites! #MagicalSummer

Sunday, August 10th

Facebook & Twitter: Do you know what Frontierland attraction was one of the last Walt Disney personally helped build? http://bit.ly/1cfhobk #MagicalSummer

Monday, August 11th

Facebook & Twitter: Did you know you can sign up for FastPasses for your upcoming Magic Kingdom visit right from home? http://bit.ly/1i5Zhp6 #MagicalSummer

Tuesday, August 12th

Facebook: Have you heard of the Dapper Dans? This barbershop quartet can be seen on Main Street U.S.A. What song of theirs is your favorite? http://bit.ly/1tGlYth #MagicalSummer

Twitter: The Dapper Dan barbershop quartet can be seen on Main Street U.S.A. Which song is your favorite? http://bit.ly/1tGlYth #MagicalSummer

Wednesday, August 13th

Facebook & Twitter: Who is your favorite president? Come see him at our Hall of Presidents! http://bit.ly/1ceXdui #MagicalSummer

Thursday, August 14th

Facebook & Twitter: What are you most excited to see in the new Fantasyland? http://bit.ly/1m5V1Fy #MagicalSummer

Friday, August 15th

Facebook & Twitter: What was the first ride you ever rode in the Magic Kingdom? Teacups or Dumbo? #MagicalSummer

Saturday, August 16th

Facebook: Do you have a photo from this iconic Magic Kingdom spot? If you could choose any two Disney characters to be in another Partners Statue, who would you choose? #MagicalSummer

Twitter: If you could choose any two Disney characters to be in another Partners Statue, who would you choose? #MagicalSummer

Sunday, August 17th

Facebook: Do you have what it takes to be a pirate? Do your best pirate impression at Captain Jack’s Pirate Tutorial and share your photos here! http://bit.ly/1m928gA #MagicalSummer

Twitter: Do you have what it takes to be a pirate? Share with us your best pirate impression at Captain Jack’s Pirate Tutorial! http://bit.ly/1m928gA #MagicalSummer

Monday, August 18th

Facebook & Twitter: What do you think of the new Be Our Guest Restaurant? http://bit.ly/19088bR #MagicalSummer

Tuesday, August 19th

Facebook & Twitter: Cool off at the nostalgic Plaza Ice Cream Parlor! One scoop or two? http://bit.ly/1scTSnG #MagicalSummer

Wednesday, August 20th

Facebook & Twitter: What is your favorite attraction to FastPass in Magic Kingdom? http://bit.ly/1i5Zhp6 #MagicalSummer

Note: Use collage of atttractions

Thursday, August 21st

Facebook: Have you ridden Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin? What was your high score? Who’s score would you most want to beat? http://bit.ly/1d8iG3I #MagicalSummer

Twitter: Who’s score would you most want to beat on Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin? http://bit.ly/1d8iG3I #MagicalSummer

Friday, August 22nd

Facebook & Twitter: Learn secrets of the Magic Kingdom while on a tour! Where have you seen Hidden Mickeys? http://bit.ly/1r7isGl #MagicalSummer

Saturday, August 23rd

Facebook & Twitter: What are your favorite things to do during #ExtraMagicHours? Did you know it’s a great time to meet Disney characters? #MagicalSummer

Sunday, August 24th

Facebook & Twitter: Dance with some Super characters from Disney Pixar’s The Incredibles!http://bit.ly/U2L0lE #MagicalSummer

Monday, August 25th

Facebook: Christmas is just 4 months away! It’s never too early to visit Ye Old Christmas Shoppe. What’s your favorite Disney ornament? http://bit.ly/W2f2Yi #MagicalSummer

Twitter: Christmas is just 4 months away! What’s your favorite Disney ornament? http://bit.ly/W2f2Yi #MagicalSummer

Tuesday, August 26th

Facebook & Twitter: Who is your favorite Disney Princess? You can be transformed into her at the Bibbidi Bobbido Boutique! http://bit.ly/1dwJpNa #MagicalSummer

Wednesday, August 27th

Facebook & Twitter: Who did you first ride Space Mountain with? http://bit.ly/1fe4fjo #MagicalSummer

Thursday, August 28th

Facebook: Which Magic Kingdom land would stay in all day if you could only visit one? Adventureland, Fantasyland, Frontierland, or Tomorrowland? #MagicalSummer

NOTE: Include map of Magic Kingdom

Twitter: Which Magic Kingdom land would stay in all day if you could only visit one? #MagicalSummer

Friday, August 29th

Facebook & Twitter: Meet Anna and Elsa at the Princess Fairytale Hall! Who’s your favorite? http://bit.ly/1qvFIu2 #MagicalSummer

Saturday, August 30th

Facebook & Twitter: When did you first ride Big Thunder Mountain? What’s your favorite part? http://bit.ly/1aSnq0w #MagicalSummer

Sunday, August 31st

Facebook: Do you have a memorable Magic Kingdom moment? We love the flag-lowering ceremony where a special guest is selected to participate each day. http://bit.ly/1oVcx3O #MagicalSummer

Twitter: Have you seen the flag-lowering ceremony where a special guest is selected to participate each day? http://bit.ly/1oVcx3O #MagicalSummer

So, by now, I’m sure you have a good idea of how to start planning your social media strategy across multiple channels.  I’d encourage cross-promotion, always remembering you want to bring users back to your website and engage with them whenever possible.

What are your favorite tips and tools for planning in social media marketing?

Using Social Media in Integrated Marketing

Using social media effectively is such an important part of a solid integrated marketing plan.  This week, let’s take a look at three very different brands and how they use their social media channels to market their brand.  Three different brands, all integrating social media into their marketing.  While each brand has their strengths and weaknesses in terms of the execution, they all do a great job of showcasing their brand on social media.


Adidas is an international brand that sells sporting goods, primarily shoes.  I wanted to take a look at Adidas now because it’s an especially busy time for retailers and makers of sporting goods due to this summer’s World Cup.  As a huge soccer fan, I am very familiar with their sponsorship of international soccer teams and was expecting a big push from their marketing on social media, connecting their brand to the World Cup.  I wasn’t disappointed.

Website: adidas.com/us

Adidas Website

One thing I found odd was there were no links to their many social media profiles on their website.


Facebook: facebook.com/adidas


Adidas uses Facebook well, in terms of integrated marketing.  They had posts with links to YouTube videos, they used hashtags like #allin, they tagged people and products in their posts, and, most importantly, were linking back their website.

Adidas Facebook

Twitter: twitter.com/adidas

1,546 tweets


Adidas uses Twitter very well.  It’s important to note there were several Adidas related accounts, but I am focusing on their main brand account.  They often retweeted a lot of other Adidas accounts, like @adidasrunning, @adidasfootball, they post photos and YouTube videos, links to email signup, and use a lot of hastags.  They also link product photos back to their website.

Adidas Twitter

Instagram: Instagram.com/adidas

460 posts


On Instgram Adidas maintained their consistent imagery.  They used a lot of hashtags like #allin, #WorldCup, #SmashTheSilence.  They also tagged celebrities in their posts, such as @snoopdogg, @AndyMurray, & @Pharrell.  They were not consistent in linking product photos back to their website on Instagram.

Adidas Instagram

Google+: plus.google.com/+adidas/posts



On Google+ Adidas continued their use of hashtags, expanding it to things like: #Messi, #NFL, and #f50.  Every post had either a photo or a video and many also had a link to the Adidas website to the product.   They were very consistent in their imagery and messaging, and this was the most consistent social media platform when in comes to directing visitors back to their website from product photos.

Adidas Google plus

YouTube: youtube.com/user/adidas

68,263 subscribers

I was surprised at how few soccer-related videos there were on their YouTube channel, focusing the most recent posts on Wimbledon and tennis, instead.  They are consistent posters on YouTube, posting 20 videos, just in the past month.

Adidas YouTube



4 Rivers Smokehouse

I love highlighting local companies, and 4Rivers Smokehouse is no different.  They have a great style to their photos that they use in their marketing that they use across their social media channels, which helps make this local restaurant’s brand very identifiable.

Website: 4rsmokehouse.com

4Rivers website

4Rivers’ website features their signature dish, BBQ brisket.  It highlights their local chef and philanthropist, John Rivers, and clearly shows their social media channels.  I thought it was interesting that they didn’t have a Google+ channel listed, but I found one fairly easily when I browsed Google+.

Facebook: facebook.com/4RSmokehouse


26,804 visits

On Facebook, 4Rivers lists their website and phone number in posts, but not consistently.  The photos used are the same that are used across their channels.  4Rivers does a really good job at linking articles and other media about them in their posts.  They tag folks and organizations in them, but don’t take advantage of using hashtags.

4Rivers Facebook

Twitter: twitter.com/4RSmokehouse

1,259 tweets


Their tweets are full of consistent imagery and messaging.  However, they do use hashtags here on Twitter.  They frequently have Facebook posts as their tweets.

4Rivers Twitter

Instagram: Instagram.com/4riverssmokehouse

36 posts


4Rivers’ Instagram profile is filled with great photos of food, their restaurant, chef, and employees.  They do use hashtags here occasionally, with the most common one being, #4rivers.

4Rivers Instagram

Google+: plus.google.com/+4RiversSmokehouseWinterGarden/posts



Their Google+ page is actually not for the larger brand, but for the Winter Garden location.  They still use consistent imagery and messaging.  They also use more hastags, such as #WinterGarden, #recipe, and #wine.  Their Google+ page also includes links to their website and phone number for ordering.  They also tag people and organizations in their posts.

4Rivers Google plus

Pinterest: pinterest.com/4rsmokehouse

7 Boards, 114 Pins, 5 Likes,

246 Followers, 75 Following

4Rivers’s Pinterest board is just as you’d imagine it would be.  It features their food, locations, chef, media, and awards.  The food is really the star on Pinterest, though.  I thought it was interesting that in their profile, they listed their Facebook page, as opposed to their website.  Their Twitter profile is also linked.

4Rivers Pinterest

YouTube: youtube.com/user/4RiversSmokehouse

14 subscribers

5 videos

Out of all of their social media profiles, this was a bit of a disappointment.  There was no banner and only 5 videos on it.  I think, if they’re going to link this profile from their website, they should update and expand on the content.

4Rivers YouTube


While most of the world is watching the World Cup, the NHL draft was happening.  While I don’t expect them to get the attention of the World Cup, the NHL brand did a great job of pushing their content out through their social media channels and linking that content back to their website.

Website: nhl.com

NHL website

NHL.com is filled with a lot of rich content.  They have their social media profiles linked, but don’t show their Instagram profile, which I found odd.

Facebook: facebook.com/nhl


NHL has a lot of great content on their Facebook page.  They prominently list the 2014-15 regular season schedule: http://s.nhl.com/yjLhr, and let fans know that any content shared there may end up on TV, NHL Social, or NHL.com: http://nhl.com/socialmediapolicy.  They are great at tagging, using photos, and using hashtags like #NHLDraft & #StanleyCup.  NHL is the most consistent at linking content back to their webpage.

NHL Facebook

Twitter: twitter.com/nhl

69,070 tweets


They tweet a lot and are great at using of photos, videos, tagging, and linking back to their website.  Their is very consistent use of imagery and content shared.  They use hashtags, most recently using #NHLDraft.

NHL Twitter

Instagram: Instagram.com/nhl

1,023 posts


Their use of tagging and hashtags was the most consistent on Instagram.  I liked the exclusive feel of the photos shared here, since they weren’t the ones shared on the other social media platforms.  NHL.com is not linked on the content, but their Twitter profile is listed in their profile.

NHL Instagram 

Google+: plus.google.com/+NHL/posts



Their Google+ profile is very consistent with the content.  The messaging and imagery is the same as most of the others with their use of photos, videos, tagging, and linking back to their website.

NHL Google plus

YouTube: Youtube.com/nhl

474,749 subscribers

Their YouTube channel is filled with great content.  They have their other social media profiles linked on the banner at the top.

NHL YouTube

One of my favorite things about their YouTube channel is the exclusive content there.  There is a lot of exclusive content, which would certainly be an incentive to visit the page and to subscribe to the channel.